Wing Bowl 26: Flair, Ford & Frenzy
Posted: Feb 3rd 2018 By: John Corrigan
A few days after Philadelphia hosted Royal Rumble weekend, thousands of drunken spectators returned to the Wells Fargo Center for a gluttonous city tradition. Wing Bowl 26 took place the Friday before Super Bowl LII, where the Eagles look to capture their first league championship as they face the John Cena of the NFL: the New England Patriots.
With its grand entrances, elaborate costumes and raucous crowd, the annual chicken wing eating competition has all the ingredients of a pro wrestling event. As a Limp Bizkit cover band (named Counterfeit) played classic wrestling themes like “Rollin,’” fans pelted super heel Pittsburgh Paulie (who rode in a Patriots-themed pope mobile) with garbage.
Ric Flair returned to the spectacle for the second year in a row, popping out of a giant Lombardi trophy while donning a custom-made Wing Bowl 26 jersey with “Nature Boy” emblazoned across the back.
As “Woooo” chants rained down upon the 16-time world heavyweight champion, Slick Ric turned his attention to Penelope Ford, indie wrestling star and former Wingette of the Year. Ford was all decked out in honor of Flair, sporting a luxurious Eagles-themed robe. Of course, Naitch’s eye caught the blonde bombshell, prompting a hilarious response from her boyfriend Joey Janela.
“That’s pretty funny. He’s a pretty funny guy,” Ford told The Wrestling Estate. “The atmosphere is fun and crazy. I saw someone puke.”
In the biggest screwjob since Montreal, Ford was not named Wingette of the Year, despite thunderous cheers for her backflip into a split. “They said the audience votes, but I thought I got the biggest pop,” Ford said.
In the eating competition, two-time champion Molly Schuyler, the 127-pound odds on favorite, smashed her own record by devouring 501 wings in just 30 minutes. Schuyler set the record before the final two minute blitz, eating 455 in the first 28 minutes.
Kennett Square native Moe Train came in fifth place again, downing 250 wings while cloaked in his trademark skeleton face paint. This was Train’s fifth year competing at Wing Bowl, which he originally qualified for by eating three pounds of fried mushrooms and a pound and a half of Brussel sprouts.
“I get to entertain 22,000 people at 6 a.m. in a stadium in Philadelphia,” Train said in a Team LeftJab interview. “It’s one of those things where it’s fun as hell, I get a ton of adrenaline from it, and I get my closest friends together to be part of my entourage. We party all night and day.”
A longtime wrestling fan, Train models his style after Ultimate Warrior and The Rock, loving to talk smack on fellow eaters like Pittsburgh Paulie. In the early 1990s, Train was actually encouraged to train in ECW. “It was my dream to be a wrestler for a while, but I don’t regret it because I’d be dead by now,” he laughed. “I don’t know if I was as hardcore as those guys.”
He was planning to use Bobby Roode’s “Glorious” for his entrance at Wing Bowl 26; however, Philly hip hop artist VAS and Level 13 created an original track for Moe Train’s arrival
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