Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A ‘Princess’ on the mat

March 08. 2013 12:38PM

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PITTSTON — Members of the Greater Pittston YMCA know her as Chrissy Ryzner, the Y’s member engagement coordinator.

But in her other life, she is “Princess” Chrissy Johnson, the East Coast Professional Wrestling’s Woman’s Champion.

On Saturday night, Princess Chrissy will defend her championship belt at the Greater Pittston YMCA as a featured event on the 10-match card that starts at 7:45 p.m. Doors will open at 7 p.m. The other matches will feature ECPW male and female wrestlers.

After defeating “Little Jackie” Daniels in December, Johnson and Daniels will meet again in the ring to battle for the belt. Johnson, 27, is from Duryea. “Daniels is fierce competition, but no match for me,” she said. “This is my town, and I will not be losing my belt on my home turf.”

Promoters said the December match between the feisty competitors “electrified the stage” in the gymnasium of the Greater Pittston YMCA. And Johnson, who has been wrestling professionally for seven years, fueled the fire as the rematch approached.

“I’m excited to be back at the Greater Pittston YMCA for this match and can’t wait to get back into the ring with Daniels,” Johnson said.

Johnson said there are four women competing in the ECPW woman’s division. She said she enjoys the competition. “I’ve always been a fan of professional wrestling, so I thought I’d give it a shot,” she said.

Johnson, a graduate of Pittston Area and the Fortis Institute in Forty Fort, also works part time as a paralegal. She said the wrestling career is fun.

“I urge people to come out for a good time,” she said. “It’s good, family entertainment — something different in the area.”

Part of the proceeds and all of the concession revenue from the event will go to programs at the YMCA, Johnson said.

Robert Duliba, mission and membership development director at the YMCA, said Johnson takes on an “alter ego” when she gets in the ring. In her job at the YMCA, she is always “nice and sweet and friendly,” he said. But when she wrestles she becomes aggressive.

“She becomes a totally different person when she wrestles,” Duliba said.

When Johnson was hired, she didn’t talk about her weekend wrestling, Duliba said. But when he found out she was a wrestler, he decided to bring an event to the YMCA. “We try to think outside the box with our fundraising here,” he said. “This is a different type event where mom and dad and the kids can come and watch something they normally see on TV.”

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