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Indie Wrestling Great Homicide Enjoying the Twilight of His Career

Dee Erazo didn’t expect to be known by his violent moniker for three decades, but he’s grateful for the career he has crafted.

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Homicide on wrestling Jon Moxley for GCW: “It’s going to be emotional, it’s going to be physical, and we’re going to tear it up”

Nearly three decades into his career, Dee Erazo still wanted more.

Erazo—best known by the frightening moniker Homicide—had established himself as a distinct entity in the world of professional wrestling. He had put in the work, both mentally and physically, delivering a high standard whenever he stepped into the ring. Yet there he stood, ringside at an indie show in Seattle in October, hungry for more.

Hungry for opportunities, hungry for success.

Hungry for a call that had yet to come from WWE. He’d already worked with a large portion of that roster and held no doubts that his approach and intelligence would provide value within Vince McMahon’s empire.

He was hungry for a shot in AEW, the upstart company that provided a jolt of adrenaline to the industry. He had a one-off there in September but was fueled by the belief he could add even more. Some of his best friends, like Eddie Kingston, were thriving there. Others, like Santana and Ortiz, are now on the cusp of their breakout moment.

But what about him? When was his defining moment going to take place?

And that is when it dawned on him. While making small talk with Jacob Fatu before the DEFY Wrestling show in Seattle, Erazo was hit with an epiphany.

“I’d started that day so frustrated, wanting to be part of wrestling at a different level,” says Erazo, who is being inducted into the Indie Wrestling Hall of Fame on Saturday. “I’m not a religious person, but I saw a sign. It was like I saw the light.

“It was like a light that showed me I’m exactly where I should be. That moment washed over me with gratitude, and it’s changed my complete mindset.”

Game Changer Wrestling will host The WRLD on GCW on Sunday at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, the most significant show in the history of the company. Airing live on FITE, it features a card that includes Matt Cardona vs. Joey Janela, Ring of Honor champion Jonathan Gresham defending his title against Blake Christian, as well as Allie Katch against Ruby Soho. And headlining the monumental affair will be GCW champion Jon Moxley against New York wrestling icon Homicide.

“I’m grateful to go to Dallas this Friday for Major League Wrestling, grateful for being inducted into the Indie Wrestling Hall of Fame on Saturday and grateful to wrestle Jon Moxley in his return for the GCW title in New York,” Erazo says. “Why would I ever complain? I’m extremely blessed.”

Moxley has not wrestled since announcing in November that he was entering an inpatient alcohol treatment program. (He is set to return to AEW on Wednesday night’s edition of Dynamite.) Seeing him climb back into the GCW ring should be memorable, especially considering he is main-eventing the first wrestling show at Hammerstein since 2019.

While a great deal of the spotlight will be placed on the returning Moxley, his opponent has also made a lasting mark on pro wrestling.

As Homicide, Erazo proudly represents New York and Puerto Rico every time he enters the ring. The Brooklyn native has been an active part of the wrestling scene for the past 28 years, officially debuting a few weeks shy of his 17th birthday on March 5, 1994.

Also known as 187, which is slang for murder, Erazo found the inspiration to call himself Homicide after watching an episode of America’s Most Wanted.

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“At the time, I was going to be The Latin Terror, this crazy bootleg version of Sting and The Undertaker,” Erazo says. “But we had America’s Most Wanted on one day, and someone said to me, ‘That’s it. Call yourself Homicide.’

“I thought it would last, at most, for a couple weeks. Honestly, I don’t love the name. I’m a family man. I love to entertain wrestling fans, especially kids. They shouldn’t even know what that word means. My mother never liked the name, either. But when it comes to an older crowd, I’m a king of the underground scene. They know that Homicide is going to bring it.”

After growing up in awe of the legendary Terry Funk, and then being mentored by the great Konnan, Homicide has brought an unrelenting passion to his craft. And now, with his in-ring career nearing its end, the 44-year-old plans to relish every moment he has left.

“My time is almost over, but I plan on going out in style,” Erazo says. “This Sunday is going to be a big blast.

“Pro wrestling’s backbone is the independent circuit, so I’m grateful for the chance to work this big a show for GCW, especially in New York. And, you know, I’m grateful for Mox. He’s the one that brought me to All Elite Wrestling last September [for a run-in on the “Grand Slam” edition of Rampage].

“I was visiting the boys in AEW at Arthur Ashe Stadium, and a bunch of them surrounded me and said, ‘You’re doing something with us.’ I said I didn’t even have my gear. Mox said, ‘I don’t care, you’re doing something with us tonight.’ That Rampage aired the same night I wrestled a GOAT in Minoru Suzuki at a GCW show in Queens. I felt like Rick Rude when he was on Raw and Nitro on the same night. I’m thankful Mox made that happen.”

GCW has lit a fire on the indie wrestling scene. This Sunday’s show, headlined by Mox and Homicide, will serve as a celebration of pro wrestling’s heartbeat.

“I’ll be going 187% on Sunday,” Erazo says. “It’s going to be emotional, it’s going to be physical, and we’re going to tear it up.”

A return to D.C. for Sting brings back memories of “Starrcade”

Sting returns to Washington, D.C., on this week’s Dynamite, where he will team with Darby Allin against The Acclaimed. In his first match on TBS since 2000, this is another opportunity to put Sting in a position to highlight two emerging stars in Anthony Bowens and Max Caster.

Allin and Bowens wrestled an entertaining match on the “New Year’s Smash” edition of Rampage at the end of December. The program has kept its momentum, with Bowens and Caster having fun with their “Two Grown Men Going Through a Goth Phase” video. It is still a pleasure to see Sting safely play his greatest hits in the ring, and he is lending the bright spotlight that follows him with two emerging, charismatic talents in Bowens and Caster.

D.C. also hosted World Championship Wrestling’s Starrcade pay-per-view in 1997. And when you think of Sting, it is nearly impossible not to think of his year-long story arc that built up to that seminal show, which became the highest-grossing pay-per-view in WCW history.

Starrcade ’97 was a show loaded with superstar after superstar—Randy Savage, Eddie Guerrero, the Steiner Brothers and Curt Hennig were all part of the undercard. The main event was Sting challenging “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan for the WCW title during the height of the NWO (whose popularity still rages on today). Remarkably, the match failed to deliver.

The finish turned into a comedy of errors, with referee Nick Patrick counting a customary one-two-three for Hogan, even though his role called for a fast-count “screwjob” finish that would bring the newly arrived Bret Hart out to save the day. The match restarted and Sting won, but the damage was done.

It is easy to Monday-morning-quarterback this, but why not go 10–12 minutes, have Hogan take over the match, and then transition to Sting miraculously recovering in time to come back for the hot finish? Had WCW opted to book a clean finish, the match would be remembered entirely differently.

Starrcade ’97 remains one of the most fascinating shows in wrestling history. Perhaps The Acclaimed will poke fun at it since Sting is back in D.C.

The (online) week in wrestling

  • Could there be a worse fit for this show than Elimination Chamber? 
  • Jon Moxley returns to AEW Wednesday night on Dynamite. Welcome back, Mox. 
  • Cody Rhodes’s segment on Dynamite is expected to clear up his future—which will be in AEW.
  • CM Punk had some fun with the Royal Rumble rumors. 
  • The finish of Raw presented The Usos in a great light, getting the better of Seth Rollins.
  • The presentation of NXT 2.0 still feels far too much like Monday Night Raw from 1994 or even Wrestling Challenge, but it was great to watch Walter and Roderick Strong deliver in the main event last night. It’s no secret that Walter has “star” written all over him.
  • But the controversy happened after the match ended when WALTER appeared to announce his new name: Gunther. It comes with plenty of baggage considering WWE just filed a trademark for the name Gunther Stark, which was the name of a Nazi U-boat commander. 
  • Big Time Wrestling announced on Tuesday that The Hardys are teaming together again in 2022, starting this March. 
  • That is also the same promotion running the FTR–Rock N’ Roll Express match—which will be streamed on its Facebook page—on Saturday night in Spartanburg, S.C. 
  • Mustafa Ali should have been a major star for WWE. 
  • “Hangman”: the champion we need. 

What surprises are in store for the Royal Rumble?

The Royal Rumble is less than two weeks away. Surprises are always an important part of the Rumble matches, and with Impact Knockouts champion Mickie James taking part in the women’s Rumble, it is also worth exploring who else could appear unexpectedly.

Two-time WWE Hall of Famer Sean Waltman makes the most sense. He is healthy and has had his sights set on the Rumble since March. Former NXT champ Tommaso Ciampa is a strong candidate to make the jump to the main roster, and he would be a great fit as the “iron man” who lasts the longest in the Rumble. For the women’s match, a best-case scenario is that Bayley (who was injured in July) is healthy enough to return—and win—the match.

Even if someone from a different company appears in the men’s Rumble match—which I would have an easier time believing if it were Paul Levesque running the company and not Vince McMahon—the single biggest surprise would be the return of Bray Wyatt.

Wyatt is Windham Rotunda, a third-generation talent as the son of Mike Rotunda and grandson of Blackjack Mulligan. Prior to his release in July, he was a shining example of how to succeed in WWE. After a rocky start as Husky Harris, Rotunda found himself in the Wyatt persona. It was a perfect fit, one that continued to evolve from its creation in 2012.

Unlikely as his return may be, a Wyatt comeback would be a huge hit for WWE.

Another good fit for the Rumble is reigning NXT champion Bron Breakker, who spoke about that possibility with Sports Illustrated.

“That would be a great honor,” says Breakker, who is Bronson Rechsteiner, the son of Rick Steiner. “Every year, that’s something I always watch. It would be a dream come true.”

There are still a number of unknowns regarding the Rumble. If Bobby Lashley defeats Brock Lesnar for the WWE title, does that mean Lesnar will be part of the Rumble match? If that is the case, it would be fascinating to see Breakker square off against the likes of Lesnar, Big E and possibly even Edge.

“That’s a huge stage,” Rechsteiner says. “I imagine it’s a crazy experience. Being part of the Rumble would be my honor.”

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Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.