East Providence, Rhode Island – On April 18th 2010, the 5th Annual New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame Induction ceremony held its second annual dinner banquet (with the first three ceremonies taking place during wrestling event intermissions.) The New England PWHOF honored twenty international wrestling superstars and personalities for their impact on the professional wrestling in and around New England. Kenny Casanova was inducted for the class of 2010.
DJ Kenny Casanova has been a wrestling personality since 1994. In this realm, Kenny Casanova is a wrestler, a wrestling manager, a ring announcer, and also a color commentator who has provided sports broadcasting voice overs for hundreds of international wrestling shows and DVDs.
Kenny’s wrestling and managing (acting as a villianous mouthpiece for “bad guy” wrestlers) was based on crazy showmanship, humor, interacting with the audience, and spontaneous improv when needed. His character was and still is a big success in the professional wrestling world. However, the character eventually also, as you know, morphed into a second brand of entertainment.
“Kenny Casanova” the wrestler is a lounge-lizzard/karaoke-singing wrestler that would sing his own entrance music, as he walked into the ring for a match on a cordless microphone. It was only a matter of time before select wrestling fans wanted “The Karaoke King” for personal appearences. They booked Kenny to MC karaoke parties and events, as a spin off from his staged personna. The party thing caught on, and because Kenny Casanova also has a very musical backgound, the MC / ring announcing hype-man side of him easily transitioned into providing the entire entertainment needed for full-fledged disc jockey gigs, including sweet sixteens, proms and even top-notch weddings.
However, Kenny did not turn his back on the original brand; pro wrestling entertainer.
On April 18Th 2010, the 5TH Annual New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inducted Kenny Casanova for his impact on the wrestling circuit in the North East.
Two Fan Festivals kicked off the event. On Saturday, a memorabilia and meet-and-greet autograph signing took place to hype up the fans for the next day. Vendor guests included Former ECW Heavyweight Champion Justin Credible, WWE and WCW Superstar Brian Clarke (Adam Bomb aka Wrath), Rick “The Model” Martel, John Cena Sr. (The current WWE Champion’s Father), Matt Bourne aka Doink The Clown, and Barbie Menegan.
Fans were also pleasantly surprised to see Mick Foley (Mankind aka Cactus Jack) do an unannounced drop by run-in on the fun.
On Sunday, the day of the induction, the Fan Fest meet-and-great was extended. Highlights for fans included pictures and signings with “The Living Legend” Larry Zbysco, Referee Danny Davis, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Ox Baker, Melissa Coates, Lushious Latasha, “Spirit Squad’s” Kenny Dykstra, and Japanese Wrestling Sensation Shockwave The Robot who was added special to the Sunday line up. There was also plenty of food for everyone, on the house. (Mmm… Delicious premium calzones! The Philly steak and cheese calzone was scrumptious!)
Come time for the actual Induction Ceremony itself, the seats were practically sold out with standing room only, with about 200 plus guests. The Class of 2010 New England Pro Wrestling Inductees included some very well known wrestlers:
Superfly Jimmy Snuka (Inducted by Rich Palladino)
Larry Zbyszko (Inducted by Mike Messier)
Dangerous Danny Davis (Inducted by Mike Sparta)
Public Enemy (Inducted by Joel Davis)
Kenny Casanova (Inducted by Referee Todd Taylor)
“Duke of Dorchester” Pete Doherty (Inducted by Peter Riendeau)
Tony Ulysses (Inducted by Paul Richard)
Angelo, Mario, and Tom Savoldi (Inducted by Brian Webster)
John Rambo (Inducted by Chuckie Manson & Cory Bush)
* John Cena Sr. received The 2010 Manager of The Year Award.
* Robbie Ellis received The 2010 Life Time achievement award
* Referee Tim White received The 2010 “New England Icon” Award
Kenny Casanova was inducted by referee and long time friend, Hotbod Todd Taylor. Taylor roasted Kenny for being a big mark for the business. He cited several ridiculous quick antidotes including Kenny being kicked out of several WWF locker rooms for his shenanigans by Tony Garea and fellow inductee Referee Tim White, as well as scrambling to pick up “Golddust” Mylar chips from an arena floor.
Kenny walked up to what was a rather tame induction to a chant of, “SING! SING! SING!” and decided to turn it up a notch. “The Love Boat” television theme kicked in and Kenny gave the audience what they wanted. He lap danced and serenaded Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Lobsterman, then moved towards Larry Zbysco, who sold it hard and ran out the door! Kenny thanked the late Captain Lou Albano for giving him his first opportunity in the business and also thanked Superfly Snuka for singing inappropriate blues songs with him in several locker rooms before shows. Kenny also mentioned how as a baby, he had won a beauty contest where the Pennsylvanian town had dubbed him, “The Duke of Carlisle.” Kenny recalled asking his mother at his first live wrestling event if Pete Doherty, who was also known as “The Duke of Dorchester,” perhaps had won a beauty contest, but then confided that, “after seeing Pete Doherty here today, …I now know the answer.”
Kenny Casanova finally thanked promoter Mike Sparta for booking him on many occasions in New England with WWA wrestling, he thanked Maria and Buttery Bert, then thanked the New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame and Joe Bruen for the honor.
Recognizing all of New England and the entire east coast, Hall of Fame Commissioner Joe Bruen created the venue because he wanted to recognize North East professional wrestling talent in a public forum for the impact they have had in the area, over the years. “There hasn’t ever been proper recognition for local wrestlers and might have never been,” said Bruen, who himself is a former ring announcer, as well as manager, booker, and promoter.
Again, in his own public forum, Kenny Casanova thanks Joe Bruen for the call.