Yes, You Do Want to See Madi Maxx

Every now and then you go to a show and see a new wrestler who make you sit up and take notice. That happened a month ago when I saw Madi Maxx for the first time. She came into the Jeffersonville Arena as a complete unknown to the Girl Fight crowd. Forty-five seconds after picking up a mic, every fan in the building wanted to slap the “Paris Hilton of professional wrestling” in the face.

Madi was just eight years old when she decided what she wanted to do with her life. That was when he father took her to Monday Night Raw for the first time.”I had never before seen or heard of WWE, or any wrestling for that matter. I instantly fell in love with everything about it. The emotion, the characters, the show, the energy, literally everything. I knew after that I wanted to get the same response from an audience and I started doing moves off my dressers, on to my pillows, and even my friends when they let me!

As a child of the Attitude era, Madi was drawn to some of its brightest stars, including Lita and Edge. “They were my wrestling heroes. I wanted to be just like them. They were also the ones who influenced me the most, along with The Hardys. I was drawn to them because they were all so different than anyone else on the roster. They created such a response from the crowd and filled arenas with energy! Everything they did I was infatuated by everything they did!”

Although Madi’s parents bore some of the responsibility for her infatuation with professional wrestling, they didn’t expect it to last. Madi never wavered in her dream, and when she was seventeen, she took her first steps towards pursuing that dream. “I was home during the summer, and I decided spontaneously I am going to do this NOW! I contacted a school, USIWF, and I called my mom once I got a response. Her and my dad both came with me to my first day and made sure I really wanted to do this. They have been supportive ever since, and have never once doubted me or tried to talk me out of it.”

Madi trained with Josh Gerry at USIWF for a year and a half. She then moved to Louisville, Kentucky and began training at Ohio Valley Wrestling with Matt Cappotelli and Rip Rogers. While in Louisville, she captured the OVW Women’s Championship. “It was incredible! I went to OVW with one mission, and it was to put my name on the list with all the other Women Champions, including Beth Phoenix! Holding the same title she held was something I will always remember and cherish.”

Madi’s determination to make her mark on the business led her to High Spots in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she now trains with a number of other hopefuls. She’s already faced some stiff competition in Nicole Pain and LuFisto and is scheduled to face Taeler Hendrix and Chelsea Greene in the coming months. She has her eyes set on Queens of Combat in 2018, and she hopes to make her West Coast and International debuts this year.

Madi has the skills to become a top star, both on the mic and in the ring. What’s more, she’s a true student of the game who absorbs as much as she can from everyone she meets.

“The lessons I have learned that are the most important to me are, ‘crawl, walk, run,’ which my first coach taught me. Meaning you can’t learn everything in a day, you have to stick with it and really give it your all! The second is, ‘trust no one,’ which is a really big one that I have kept in mind wherever I go.”

Madi listed LuFisto as one of her favorite opponents. You can see the two of them in action in the video below. You can also follow her on Twitter @madi_maxx, Instagram @maxxmadi, and Facebook.

Madi Maxx is a face to watch and a name to remember. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her in the coming years.

People Who Love (To Complain About) Wrestling

Are you a wrestling fan or a fan of complaining about wrestling?

It seems to me the Internet falls into these two camps. In the first camp you find all sorts of fans: WWE fans, New Japan fans, hardcore fans, old school fans, and yes, “comedy wrestling” fans. Some of these fans have strong opinions about wrestling, and they’re not afraid to voice them. They sound off when they see something they don’t like, whether it comes from Roman Reigns or Joey Ryan. But it isn’t constant. They don’t spend all their time complaining because it takes time away from enjoying what they do love.

The “Kool-Aid Drinkers” who pack the Memphis Flea Market every Thursday and Saturday here in Southern Indiana are a perfect example. A lot of those folks hate the WWE, and they don’t care much for New Japan either. But not even the threat of incoming winter weather would keep them from staying out late to see Mance Warner crowned the new IWA Mid-South Champion last night!

The other camp doesn’t seem to enjoy anything wrestling-related. Nostalgia, maybe, but nothing else. They hate the WWE. They hate comedy wrestling. They hate the Young Bucks. They thought Wrestle Kingdom sucked, top to bottom – except for maybe Jericho. I’m starting to see some of these folks don’t even watch wrestling any more. They have too many angry wrestling podcasts to listen to, and they just don’t have the time.

You can be a positive or a negative force in this world. If you don’t like something fine. Let your voice be heard. But for your sake – and those on your social media feed – don’t spend all your time complaining. Find something you do love. If it’s not wrestling, then move on and find something else.

It’s cool if you’re a wrestling fan. It’s cool if you’re not. But being a fan of complaining about wrestling? Come on, man.

Don’t Wait for Omega to Come to You

I’ve seen more than a few people on Facebook asking questions like, “When is Kenny Omega’s contract up?” “When is he coming to WWE?” And “Do you think he’ll be in the Royal Rumble?”

Those are the wrong questions to ask. Fans who want to check out Kenny Omega should be asking, “How do I sign up for New Japan?” And “Which match should I watch first?”

If you wait to see Kenny Omega in WWE, you will miss out on what has made him the talk of the Internet. Omega is in his prime and has hit his stride. He had a phenomenal 2017, and no doubt he is red hot headed into 2018. But there’s no guarantee that you will see anything close to that if and when he makes it to WWE.

New Japan is less than $10 a month. Not only will you have access to all of Omega’s work in Japan, you’ll also get to see Cody Rhodes, Davey Boy Smith, Jr., Juice Robinson, and other wrestlers the WWE just didn’t know what to do with along. You’ll also see Cruiserweight Classic darling Kota Ibushi, Tetsuya Naito, Jay White, Evil, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Marty Scurll, and of course, the Young Bucks. New Japan is home to the IWGP World heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, a man who carries himself like Ric Flair, Harley, Race, and the great champions of the past. And for the time being, it is also the one place you can see Chris Jericho in action.

You can also go back and see the classic matches that led to the WWE signing people like A.J. Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Anderson and Gallows, and Prince Devitt (now Finn Balor). You can travel back even further in the archives to see other legends who never “made it” to the WWE… like Bruiser Brody.

The WWE doesn’t always get the best out of the people they sign, and the rose colored glasses that made the WWE look like the end-all, be-all of professional wrestling are finally coming off. For every Kevin Owens and A.J. Styles, there are dozens of talented performers who get lost in the shuffle, cast, aside, and fed to the top stars as jobbers. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good enough. You’re just not seeing them in the right place.

Kenny Omega found his place, and it’s made him a star. Don’t wait for his Royal Rumble surprise entrance. This is the time to see him in the place that made him a star.

Support indy wrestling.

Five Matches

Someone on Facebook recently posed an interesting question: if you had a wrestling time machine and could go back to see any wrestling match, what would you go back to see?

I didn’t have to think about my answer. As a hug fan of the Black Panther, I’d want to go back to the night he is most famous for: the night he and Gorgeous George incited a riot at the Olympic Auditorium. Then I got to thinking, what other matches would I want to see if I could return to any night in wrestling history?

Here are my top five, in order:

August 24, 1949, Los Angeles. Gorgeous George vs. The Black Panther Jim Mitchell at the Olympic. George was one of the biggest heels of his day, and the Panther was a beloved star. On a hot summer night, George went too far. He tossed Mitchell from the ring and refused to let him back in. One fan jumped in the ring to give George some payback, and George leveled him. In an instant the entire crowd was on its feet, and a riot raged on for hours. Mitchell and George escaped to the back, but several people had to be hospitalized. One woman even sued George and Mitchell for her injuries. I have the program from that night and a letter summoning Mitchell to answer for his part in the riot that evening. They are the prizes of my wrestling memorabilia collection.

February 1, 1944, Louisville. Mildred Burke vs. Elvira Snodgrass at the Columbia Gym. If Mitchell is my all time favorite grappler, Elvira is a close second. I’d love to see the greatest women’s champion of all time against the toughest, meanest, scrappiest heel she ever faced in front of a hot Louisville crowd. This wasn’t the only time they faced one another in Louisville or the biggest crowd in Louisville to see them do battle, but it was the night they were the main event attraction. How incredible would it be to see Heywood Allen chomping on his cigar, overseeing the action in the Columbia Gym?

Jerry Lawler vs. Andy Kaufman in Memphis. The Kaufman/Lawler feud is one of the most fascinating stories in wrestling history, both for the in-ring action and the behind the scenes machinations. It’s the greatest work of the modern era and a blueprint for how to do kayfabe in an era when kayfabe is supposedly dead. Some how, some way, I’d have to have a ringside seat so I could see the back and forth after the match with Danny Davis telling Jerry that Andy will pay for the ambulance.

The Road Warriors vs. The Midnight Express, Night of the Skywalkers. Cornette has been a friend and a great asset in my research of Louisville wrestling history. The scaffold match was far from the best work either of these legendary tag teams did, but just to see it all unfold and watch poor Jimmy slip through the arms of Big Bubba (RIP) would be priceless.

When Hero Met Punk, IWA Mid-South, Clarksville, Indiana 2003. Before Punk made it to WWE or even Ring of Honor, he had some of the greatest battles in the modern indy era with Chris Hero, now NXT’s Kassius Ohno, in front of one of the most passionate crowds in wrestling today. Matches like these are the reason CM Punk said his ideal place for Wrestlemania would be the old warehouse in Charlestown, Indiana, where many of their brawls took place. This particular match went almost 93 minutes, and for the last 15-20 minutes, the entire crowd was on their feet. Watch this, their Tables and Ladders duel, or their 60 minute brawl, and join me in hoping that when Kassius Ohio reaches the main roster, WWE will make amends with CM Punk and give these two one last battle – at Wrestlemania.

Honorable Mention: The 1951 Derby Eve Show, Jefferson County Armory, Louisville. I’m going to cheat here, but this has to be one of the greatest cards ever presented in Louisville. Francis McDonogh, who took over the Allen Club from Heywood Allen in 1947, made the annual Derby Eve Show and the Police Benefit Show that took its place a monster even every year. Have a look at the card and tell me you wouldn’t want to be one of the 8000 in attendance that night:

Wild Bill Longson vs. Dutch Heffner
Bill Longson, Fred Davis (of the Chicago Bears), and Freddie Blassie vs. Ivan Rasputin, Stu Gibson, and Dutch Heffner
Mildred Burke vs. Mae Young
Lou Thesz vs. Green Dragon

 

Remembering Ma Bolin

A lot of things were written about Ma Bolin in Kenny Bolin’s autobiography, from her status as part of a three generation wrestling manager’s family (managing Jerry Lawler against her son at Six Flags) to her affection for men in uniform. Ma Bolin was a character who raised several characters largely by herself. She was a strong woman, a tough woman, and in my experience, a very sweet woman who was truly loved by her kids and grandkids.

I met Ma Bolin the night Bluegrass Brawlers was released at Golden Corral. I had many nice conversations with her at the Corral when I would meet Kenny and his entourage for dinner. I always enjoyed seeing her, and any time Kenny spoke of her – no matter how crazy the story – you could tell he loved her deeply.

Ma Bolin passed away today at age 78. My prayers are with the entire Bolin family. She was a lovely lady, and she will be greatly missed.

Fans who would like to help with Ma Bolin’s funeral expenses can donate via Kenny’s PayPal address, KennyBolin@msn.com, or send checks to his address: Cherokee Rd. apt 1F, Louisville Ky. 40204. Please mark all donations “Funds for Ma Bolin.”

Pre-Order Dr. D’s Book Now!

The word is out: Dr. D has finally told his story, and the book will be released in February.

“Don’t Call Me Fake: The Real Story of ‘Dr. D’ David Schultz” is 472 pages long and will sell for $25 on Amazon.com, but you can now pre-order a copy signed by Dr. D for only $35 plus shipping.

Dr. D does not do many appearances, and he does not plan on doing very many in the coming year. This is a very rare opportunity!

Please email John Cosper for payment instructions via PayPal.  Books will be shipped by mid-February.

How to Watch Wrestle Kingdom

Japan’s version of Wrestlemania takes place on Thursday January 4, and it all kicks off while most of the USA will still be in bed. Here’s all you need to know if you want to catch the show live.

First off, you’ll need a subscription to New Japan World. Go to their website at www.njpwworld.com to sign up. If you don’t read Japanese, click the little link up near the top right to switch to the English language website.

A subscription will cost you just under $10, depending on the daily value of the yen. NJPW charges you at the end of the month for the full next month. Be aware: If you sign up in early January, you’ll be charged full price on the day you sign up and at the end of the month. If you sign up mid-January, you’ll pay full price on that date and on the billing date at the end of the month. Don’t start an account on the 27th of the month because you will be billed a second time just a few days later. Found that one out the hard way.

Once your account is set up, you can stream live events and all archived events from their website. New Japan has an app available for the Amazon Fire and I think Google, but they do not have channels for Roku or Apple TV yet. I currently stream the site from my iPad to my Apple TV to watch it on the big screen.

The pre-show starts at 2 a.m. and the main show starts 3 a.m. Eastern Time Thursday morning. If that’s too early, you can stream it later in the day when you’re awake and off work, but stay off the wrestling news sites and social media. There are enough fans on Twitter and Facebook that it will be spoiled for you!

The match everyone’s talking about is Alpha vs. Omega: Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega, but the entire show is stacked, from the opening rumble through the main event between Okada and Naito. Long story short: if you enjoyed Finn Balor vs. A.J. Styles, you’re going to love what you see Thursday.

Welcome to the bandwagon, new New Japan fans. Enjoy the ride, and please, join me in begging for that Roku channel!

Resolve to Discover Indy Wrestling

I just watched one of the best matches I saw all year in 2017 starting at 11:30 on December 31. This match didn’t take place on the East or West Coast, but 9 miles up the Interstate from me. This was the third battle in 2017 between Mance Warner and Anthony Henry at IWA Mid-South, a match I had seen hyped all over Facebook and Twitter. It lived up to the hype. This was no spot fest. This was not two men no-selling moves that would kill a man. This was a slug fest from start to finish, an absolute brawl that made me gasp audibly over and over. It was a delight to watch.

Folks, if you’re fed up with the Fed, done with the TV cartoon wrestling, looking for some real action, you can find it. And odds are, it’s happening a lot closer than you think. These are a few of the match ups happening less than an hour from me in the Louisville area:

IWA Mid-South in Memphis, Indiana on January 4: Hudson Envy vs. Su Yung; Myron Reed vs. Shane Strickland; Ace Perry and Jimmy Jimmy Jacobs vs. Aaron Williams and a mystery partner.

NWA Mid-South in Madison, Indiana on January 5: Hayley Shadows vs. Karma; Van Martigan vs. Jason Kincaid.

Pro Wrestling Freedom in Jeffersonville, Indiana on January 12: Myron Reed vs. Tyler Matrix; the Hooligans vs. the Bombshelter; the Carnies vs. Adam Slade and Kevin Giza; Shane Andrews vs. Gary Jay.

Prodigy Pro in Memphis, Indiana on January 25: Shane Mercer vs. Dominic Garrini; Hy Zaya vs. AR Fox; a fatal four-way featuring Daniel Eads vs. Corey Storm vs. Gary Jay vs. Logan James; the Rejects vs. the Night Ryderz in a TLC match.

And that’s just the month of January.

Stop wasting time griping about wrestling online. Find something you love and get back to enjoying wrestling. There’s something for everyone on the indy scene. It may be online; it may be in your own backyard.

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