The alleged theft of the mask of ‘Ophidian The Cobra’ has wrestling fans rallying on social media to help the luchador find the gear he claims was stolen Sunday morning, in a large navy blue duffel bag.
Ophidian and his fiancée say the gear was stolen from the front steps of their house on the corner of Broad and Snyder, sometime between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday morning, after they arrived home from a wrestling show in Sellersville, PA. The couple has not filed a police report.
“This is the worst time for my gear to be stolen,” Ophidian says. “I have eight shows, one music video, and six seminars, before I leave for my tour in the United Kingdom on September 24.”
Despite the bad timing, fans are doing everything they can to help the wrestler who performs with Chikara Pro, a wrestling promotion based in Philadelphia.
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Fans learned of Ophidian’s stolen gear through the Facebook post from his fiancé, Kate Nickerson, where she posted that his two masks, gauntlets, kick pad covers, belt, ring jacket and $80 in an envelope were stolen.
“Our entire lives were stolen from our front porch,” Nickerson says.
From Facebook, to Twitter, to Reddit, fans are showing their support for Ophidian. One fan is giving Ophidian back an old mask that he bought from him at a show. Another fan started a PayPal page to raise money to buy a new mask. Ophidian claims they have raised $1,100 since Sunday.
Nickerson has been making costumes for Ophidian and other wrestlers for years, and always finds the leftover fabric she throws away in the trash at night, shredded along the streets in the morning.
“I know people go through my trash, and hang around my house at night. We just need this bag returned. No questions asked,” Nickerson says.
If anyone finds the mask or outfit, they are encouraged to email the couple at email@example.com. If they prefer to remain anonymous, they can call their Google Talk Number: 267-627-GEAR, or through social media. Wrestling is the engaged couple’s primary source of income.
While Nickerson is working diligently to make Ophidian a new outfit from scratch, the mask needs to be specially ordered from Japan. The price of the custom mask is around $500, and the total estimated value of his gear in the bag was around $3,000.
“The person who took the bag probably sees a pair of tights and a crazy mask, and doesn’t think it holds any value, but to me, and to my fans, it means everything,” Ophidian tells NBC10.com “My identity has been stolen. The only person who has seen me without my mask on is my fiancé. I don't go anywhere without it.”
“Our whole lives revolve around wrestling,” Nickerson says. “We are even having a wrestling theme wedding planned, where everyone will be wearing wrestling masks. We are counting on the watchful eyes in our Philadelphia community to find our gear, and help bring it back to us.”