Hingham firefighter to wrestle former WWE star

Mary Ford

Chris DeNapoli is best known for his role as a firefighter and paramedic who also serves as the Student Awareness Fire Education officer who teaches kindergartners and second-graders about fire danger.

But come Saturday night, DiNapoli, a father of two, will be wearing a different hat. He might be demonstrating some “stop, drop and roll” maneuvers but not in the classroom. The 37-year-old lieutenant at Station 2 will be entering the ring where he will wrestle “Scotty,” a former World Wrestling Entertainment champion at Hingham High School.

The event is all about providing entertainment while raising money for the Hingham Permanent Firefighters Association, a non-profit organization made up of Hingham active and some retired firefighters. The organization funds scholarships, provides donations to local charities and provides other good-will efforts, such as sending flowers if a firefighter is injured or has a new baby. The HPFA also sponsors the annual Firefighter’s Ball, now in its 118th year.

DiNapoli, a former professional wrestler, said he got the idea for bringing the “United We Slam” tour to Hingham after seeing a show in April and reconnecting with Eastern Pro Wrestling promoter Bob Evans, whom DiNapoli knew from his pro wrestling days.

“I brought the idea back to the association and they voted ‘why not?’” he said.

There is no telephone solicitation involved; the funds are strictly raised through ticket sales; and Eastern Pro Wrestling provides the advertising flyers.

DiNapoli says he has been training with the professional wrestlers for a couple of months.

“I’ve been getting back in shape, shaking off the ring rust, and practicing my moves and holds,” he says.

DiNapoli, whose match with Scotty will be the final one of the evening, will be wearing a Hingham Fire Department T-shirt, shorts and his old wrestling boots which he took out of the closet and dusted off.

DiNapoli’s pro-wrestling career dates to the early 1990s when he joined a program in New Bedford. “I was always interested and it seemed kind of fun. I thought ‘I would try it because you never know what you are going to miss.’”

He wrestled for more than a year before following his dream of becoming a paramedic and attending medic school.

Pro-wrestling differs from youth, high school and college wrestling, which follows the Roman-Greco style.

“This is more sports entertainment,” DiNapoli explains. “There are characters, story lines and gimmicks.”

Nevertheless, pro-wrestling is very intense. “People do not realize how intense it is and what goes into it,” he says.

DiNapoli stresses the Hingham event is family entertainment and appropriate for anyone from small children to the elderly.

DiNapoli said his fellow firefighters are supporting the event. “They are delighted to be seeing something new and with no out-of-pocket expenses.”

However, he has been taking some ribbing. “They think that I will be out injured following the event,” he says. “But I will be in Sunday morning for my shift.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. Saturday at Hingham High. The wrestlers will be around to meet and greet their audience. Tickets, which sell for $20 for the floor and $15 for bleachers ($10 for kids younger than 12), are available at the door and at Tedeschi Food Shops on South Street and Whiting Street and at Thomas Auto Body.