By Kevin Price
For GCS Athletics
Ray Lloyd has travelled to some of the biggest cities in the country to perform under the bright lights of some of the biggest arenas, too.
But, he hasn’t forgotten where he learned the skills that helped him reach the big-time in professional wrestling or the place he played high school football before continuing his playing career at the collegiate level.
So a week from Saturday, Lloyd, one of Brunswick’s best all-time athletes, will host an event to raise money for the Brunswick High football program. The former all-state offensive lineman for the Pirates and Glynn County Sports Hall of Fame inductee is orchestrating the Battle of Altama Avenue, a heart-pounding and sure-to-be entertaining wrestling show that will benefit the current BHS team.
The show is slated for 6 p.m. at the Brunswick High Gym, also known as Brunswick Square Garden.
“It’s to raise money for the football program, but it’s also something to give people something to do and a chance to have a good time,” Lloyd said. “It’s going to be a buffet-style show. There will be something for everyone.”
The doors will open at 5 p.m. the day of the event. Tickets are currently on sale at the school for the Sept. 14 show and will be on sale at Brunswick’s next football game against McIntosh County Academy scheduled for the Friday night prior to the wrestling matches. Members of the Brunswick Pirates Touchdown Club also have tickets that can be purchased directly from them.
Tickets will also be sold at the door as long as they remain. Student tickets are $7 while general admission tickets are $10.
Also, ringside seats are $20 with front row seats available for $25. There is also a $50 VIP ticket for sale that includes a ringside seat, admission to a meet-and-greet with the wrestlers prior to the show, an after-party at an off-site location and a large poster made especially for the event that fans can use to get autographs from the wrestlers.
Corporate sponsorship packages are also available and start at $400. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Sandra Branch with the Touchdown Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Every bit of the money contributed goes right back into the community to help the football team,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd, who has wrestled under several names but gained worldwide fame as Glacier while touring with the WCW, has put together a lineup of known wrestling names to help him entertain his home community. Among those scheduled to appear are WWE Hall of Famer Larry Zbyszko, Ernest “The Cat” Miller, Meng, Luther Biggs and Big Bank Barfield who will be sure to rile up the crowd with his antics.
Lloyd said there could be a few more surprise stars added to the list before the first bell rings and those may not be announced until the night of the live show to add to the element of surprise that hardcore wrestling fans like.
“The biggest reason we will be able to have a quality show is the great friends I have in the business who will do this because of the relationship we have. They’re going to be a big part of our success,” Lloyd said.
The night’s wrestling card will also feature some potential future stars who currently train and wrestle out of the One Fall Power Factory, a training facility for aspiring pro wrestlers which Lloyd is affiliated with in metro Atlanta.
One of those coming from the Power Factory is Brunswick’s own Anna Jernigan who goes by Anna Jay in the ring.
“This will be her debut show,” Lloyd pointed out. “She’s the epitome of what we look for in pro wrestlers. She has a great work-ethic and attitude and toughness. She is going to surprise a lot of people.”
Lloyd said Jernigan will compete in a women’s tag-team match. “The other girls are really good and athletic, too,” he said.
Lloyd has already put together most of the matchups for the Battle of Altama Avenue, but said he doesn’t want to release them in advance. He did offer a glimpse into the scheduled action, though, while noting that the show will begin and end with a bang.
Lloyd, who remains active in the ring today, said he will team up once again with Ernest “The Cat” Miller, his one-time partner in the WCW ring. The two have had similar careers as Lloyd played college football at Valdosta State while Miller played at Savannah State. Both are former karate champions and actors. Miller, who is from Decatur, appeared in the 2008 drama “The Wrestler.”
“It’ll be a big thrill to tag with him again,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said he will appear as Glacier at the outset of the show, but he will wrestle under a different name when he goes into the ring for battle.
That’s because one interesting subplot to the local show is that several matches will be filmed as they happen and footage taken from these matches could be used for scenes in an upcoming action and adventure film in which Lloyd and some of the others wrestling here are starring in.
Pre-production for the film will begin this month while most of the shooting is scheduled for later this fall. The movie is due out sometime next summer, Lloyd noted.
“The film has a wrestling theme and will feature wrestling scenes,” Lloyd said. “Some of the wrestlers here will be wrestling as their characters in the film.”
Lloyd said those attending the event could find themselves appearing in the film, too. “I really want to show off the Brunswick people and the community,” he said. “I’m hoping the camera crew will get a lot of the shots they need, including cars coming into the parking lot, ticket-takers taking tickets, crowd shots and all those things.”
Lloyd added that he has plans to include several Brunswick football players in the action and also said that he’ll have BHS head football coach Sean Pender make an appearance in the ring during the night, too.
Local radio personality Joe Willie Sousa will also take part as a ring announcer.
“There won’t be a dull moment,” Lloyd said. “It will be fast-paced and action-packed.”