For five years Gene Snisky wrestled with the World Wrestling Federation. He was featured in many main events during which he wrestled such stars as John Cena, The Undertaker, Kane, and The Big Show.
During those five years, the Nesquehoning native fought in the squared circle in arenas around the world, including Japan, Australia, Europe, and Canada. "I went through three passports in those five years," he said.
Snisky currently wrestles with Allentown-based WXW C4, which has televised shows weekends on Blue Ridge Communication TV 13.
On Saturday night, Snisky, a Panther Valley High School 1988 graduate, brings his talent to his home school.
He will be featured in the main event of a pro mat show to benefit the American Cancer Society Saturday at Panther Valley High School. The opening bout begins at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Lisa Hiles of Summit Hill, a coordinator for the show, said this is the second year the pro wrestlers are helping the Cancer Society. She said last year's event raised over $3,000.
The wrestling show is being sponsored by The Sports Zoo of Lansford.
Snisky is 6-8 and weighs 307 pounds. The son of Eugene and Sylvia Snisky of Nesquehoning, he is married to the former Diahann Ouly, originally from the Seek section of Coaldale.
Also on the show will be The Great Samu (Afa Samoan Jr.), who wrestled as Manu in the WWE.
Snisky has a big task on Saturday night's show. His opponent will be Ox Hog (Jared Menne) of Gordon, Schuylkill County. Hog is 6-2 and weighs in excess of 325 pounds.
"Somebody's going to get hurt Saturday night and it won't be me," Snisky interjected.
Also present will be Panther Valley graduate Chad Gerber, who is presently employed with the WXW C4 creative team.
The local grappler has never lost in WXW. He is a former world champion, but he had to surrender the belt when he underwent shoulder surgery.
Snisky was booed often in the WWE. He had grudges with Kane, Cena, Edge, and C. M. Punk.
His most infamous moment came when he was in the ring against Kane. In the storyline, Kane's girlfriend, Lita, was pregnant. Snisky hit Kane with a chair. Kane then fell against Lita, causing her to "miscarriage," according to the script.
Snisky was given the quote that stayed with him through the duration of his WWE career, "It's not my fault."
He was then situated in a major feud with Kane, which led to a match at Taboo Tuesday 2004. In this match, fans voted on the type of weapons the opponents could use on each other. They chose a steel chain.
Snisky pinned Kane in the bout. He said it was probably his "most memorable bout" while in the WWE.
His bout with Kane was listed on one Web site as "One of the Top 50 OMG Moments in Professional Wrestling."
Snisky got his professional training and start in the WXW. He said he considers himself "family" of the WXW founders Afa and Sika Samoan.
He made his WWE debut on the Sept. 13, 2004 edition of Raw as an apparent jobber against Kane in a no-disqualification match. It was in this match that Kane made his statement as a qualified superstar by holding his own against the Red Machine. It was also this match where the Lita incident happened.
Snisky said the "coolest thing" about his WWE tour was that in his first year, he got to wrestle in Stabler Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Hershey, Philadelphia, and the famous Madison Square Garden. "That was thrilling," he said.
He still travels around the world, both wrestling and appearing in movies. Besides wrestling for WXW, he also fights on the independent circuit.
"I do a lot of work not only for Cancer, but also the Humane Society and autistic children.
Locally, he has appeared at 15 Zoostock events.
Of Saturday's wrestling show, he said, "I hope to make this a 15-year event."