During the build the WrestleMania 33, the NXT roster of WWE lead the campaign around Orlando at a multiple media, publicity and philanthropy events. Seven months removed, they are keeping that momentum up by participating in the Fourth Annual Plane Pull benefitting the Special Olympics Florida! On Saturday, November 4, a team of 15 NXT Superstars will compete against multiple teams in the community by squaring up… against a United 737 aircraft at the Orlando International Airport! My inner aviation nerd is colliding with my wrestling fandom, and I love every moment of it! Let me tell you why…
Pulling hard on those heartstrings …and on a plane! (WWE 1/15/17)
Growing up, tug-of-war was one of the primary staples of Field Day at school, and it always concluded with the winning class scoring an opportunity to see if the could best the faculty. It’s been years since I’ve been on either side of the tug-of-war rope, as I did eventually wind up on the faculty-side when I taught, too. When I used to fly, I had the opportunity to participate in the Plane Pull, but I couldn’t find a space on a team! A local friend asked about my familiarity with the Special Olympics Florida and Plane Pull because she knew of my background in aviation as well as my love for WWE, with NXT firmly holding a special place in my heart.
WWE NXT Superstars to Participate in Plane Pull Benefiting Special Olympics Florida (Official Release)
October 27, 2017 (Clermont, FL) –Special Olympics Florida announced today that WWE® NXT® Superstars will participate in the 4th annual Plane Pull at Orlando International Airport.
With proceeds benefiting Special Olympics Florida, Plane Pull is a giant tug-of-war, pitting teams of up to 15 against one another to see who can pull a 50-ton United 737 aircraft 12 feet the fastest.
NXT Superstars will join Special Olympics Florida athletes to compete against other teams made up of members of law enforcement and the general public.
This family-friendly event will also include music and entertainment from DJ Carlos Capaz, performance of the national anthem by pop recording artist Bethany Burnette, free food from ZaZa Cuban Diner and Planet Smoothie, a selfie station by Uptown Selfies, and more.
Teams must raise a minimum of $1,500 to participate. All proceeds go to help Special Olympics Florida provide year-round training and athletic competition at no cost to more than 41,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities statewide.
What: Special Olympics Florida Plane Pull
Where: Orlando International Airport, United Airlines Operations Center, 8855 Tradeport Drive, Orlando, FL 32827
When: November 4, 2017, Registration begins at 9:00 a.m., First pull at 10:00 a.m.
Learn more:Special Olympics Florida – Plane Pull
About Special Olympics Florida:
Special Olympics Florida provides year-round sports training, competition, and health services to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the athletes or their caregivers, as a means to achieve physical fitness, self-esteem, socialization skills, and the life skills necessary to be productive, respected, and contributing members of their communities. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicsflorida.org.
About Team NXT
Captained by WWE Performance Center Head Coach, Matt Bloom, team members include Sage Beckett, Mandy Rose, Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler, Babatunde Aiyegbusi, Akam & Rezar (Authors of Pain), Dan Matha, Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight (Heavy Machinery), Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss, and newcomers Donovan Dijak & Fabian Aichner! The partnership between NXT and Special Olympics Florida is a special one because it not only helped establish NXT as a supportive neighbor, but as a community leader, stressing the importance of giving back and contributing to the improvement of sports accessibility for all athletes.
Check out Team NXT’s fundraising page, and don’t let the fact that they’ve already smashed their goal stop you from opening your hearts and contributing, if you are able to do so. In years past, NXT has also sent delegations to participate the Special Olympics Florida’s annual Polar Plunge at SeaWorld’s Aquatica Waterpark, in addition to participating in the Plane Pull.
Support Your Fandom!
Seven months removed from WrestleMania 33, my friends I have been to the monthly NXT tapings at Full Sail and at least one house show. Many of the Superstars participating in the Plane Pull, are up-and-comers, but are making their way onto NXT TV. As one of the regular loud-and-proud members of the NXT Family here in Orlando, I’ve been fortunate to be able to see their WWE careers begin to gain traction at on the house show loops around Florida. Events like these are friendly reminders that there are live, living breathing people behind the Superstar in-ring personas. What I love is that this team is a combination of “faces” and “heels,” but they’re all working together to support their fellow athletes.
Through meeting the NXT Superstars at shows, interacting with them on social media, and cheering them on during matches, I’ve become emotionally invested in their journeys. Seeing them give of themselves to make the lives of athletes with special needs in Florida, motivates me to consider what I actions I can take to contribute more. Thanks to their passion for their work, I have been able to make an exceptional circle of friends who I enjoy shows and events with. I can’t wait until Saturday to see my first Plane Pull live. I’ll do lots of cheering, but leave the heavy lifting to the professionals!
Let’s Nerd Out
- Have you ever participated in a themed-fundraiser event?
- What is one cause you’d like to volunteer your time?
- In what ways has your fandom helped you to become a better person?
- No, I am not employed by Special Olympics, United Airlines, or WWE.
- Yes, I have plenty of photographs with most of the wrestlers mentioned above over on Instagram.
- No, I will not apologize for the volume of wrestling content on a “nerd” blog because it is its own fandom, and it makes me happy. 🙂