Category Archives: Independent Wrestling

Two for one on Kick Out at Two this weekend

Kick Out at Two Podcast brings you not one but two guests this weekend. Returning guest Tripp Cassidy makes an appearance to talk about the upcoming Dynamite Cup. The gang also talks to women’s wrestling star Angelus Layne at Punk Pro’s Get In the Pit.

Having seen both of these wrestlers in person, this is an episode I’m looking forward to. Great people, amazing stories. Discover what you’re missing by not visiting your local independent wrestling promotion.

Download the Kick Out at Two Podcast every weekend on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud.

Talkin’ the Business and Rasslin’ Memories

Whether you’re a fan of wrestling past or wrestling present, there are some amazing podcasts out there to please every wrestling fan. In the last few weeks, I had the privilege of visiting two of them.

Rasslin’ Memories was the first podcast that hosted me when I released Bluegrass Brawlers. Glen Braget and George Schire do a fantastic job chronicling the golden age of wrestling, and it as a pleasure to visit with Glen to talk about Louisville’s Greatest Show. Rasslin’ Memories has had a terrific run as of late, featuring guests like Pretty Boy Doug Sommers and Bob Backlund as well as authors Richard Vicek (Dick the Bruiser‘s biographer) and Dan Murphy (Sisterhood of the Squared Circle).

You can download Rasslin’ Memories from their website on Pioneer 90.1 Radio.

On the other end of the spectrum is Talkin’ the Business with KC and Dave, a podcast that thrives on telling the stories of today’s independent wrestlers. Kevin and Dave begin each show with some solid commentary on WWE, and they have had some terrific guests as of late including two of my favorites, Mr. Grim and Mickie Knuckles. This week Kevin and I talk a little recent Louisville history discussing the 20+ year legacy of OVW and IWA Mid-South. You can also get to know a young Ohio-based wrestler named Alex Daniels on this week’s show. Also known as “The Real Ben Affleck,” Daniels is a rising star with a bright future.

Talkin’ the Business can be downloaded on iTunes and PodBean.

Six Inconvenient Truths About WWE and Indy Wrestling

I don’t like to editorialize about the WWE, and I don’t like to go negative in this space. That said, after hearing the air get sucked out of the building at the end of the Money in the Bank match, it’s time we face some inconvenient truths.

Inconvenient Truth #1: The WWE doesn’t want to push your favorite indy stars. Over the last several years they WWE has snatched up a dream roster of independent wrestling stars, but it’s becoming clear none of these signees are ever going to be “the guy.” Styles, Owens, and Rollins have done well carrying the top belts for long periods of time, but when push comes to shove, the WWE will always favor their own.

Inconvenient Truth #2: The WWE wants the next top guy(s) to be their guys. Never mind that independent wrestlers bring not only an established fan base but experience and ring saavy to the table. The WWE still believes it can manufacture stars from scratch at its Performance Center and push them over the independents. Get used to seeing Sami Zayn staring up in frustration at the latest home grown wrestler on top of the Money in the Bank ladder. This is your new reality in the WWE.

So why does the WWE continue to mine the independents?

Inconvenient Truth #3: The WWE is spending money on independent wrestlers to bleed the indies dry of their top stars. It’s not about enhancing the roster. It’s about hurting the competition by taking away their marquee stars and using those highly paid signees to put over their chosen elect.

So what does all this mean?

Inconvenient Truth #4: Any independent star who has a WWE contract needs to consider more than just the money. That’s a hard, hard thing to do when you’re looking at going from $25 a night to the top of the business, but is the WWE really going to give you your dream shot? The roster is overcrowded. Guys who were on top all around the world are forced to job to pre-fabbed stars. Dalton Castle, Kenny Omega, and the Young Bucks have made the right call, staying where they are instead of taking the money for a one way ticket to obscurity. (Remember how excited we all were when Anderson and Gallows got signed?)

Of course it’s easy for the guys who are being paid well to stay put, but what about the guys struggling to make it?

Here comes the most inconvenient truth of all.

Inconvenient Truth #5: Fans who are sick of it need to seriously consider where they spend their money. If you keep paying for a product you hate and refuse to spend a dime on ROH, NJPW, High Spots, CHIKARA, CZW, or any number of alternatives. Am I suggesting you cancel your Network subscription? Not necessarily. I am saying you should stop spending all that fat cash on T-shirts and Pops and Booty-O’s Cereal and spend a little more on a wrestling product you can care about!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: one ticket to a WWE show costs the same amount as six tickets to an independent show; or two tickets and two T-shirts; or a six month subscription to the alternative wrestling network of your choice. The money you spend there goes into the pockets of real men and women who need and appreciate it far more than a faceless corporation that long ago decided it knows better than you what you want to see.

Inconvenient Truth #6: The WWE is not about to change its ways any time soon. Indy stars will continue to take the WWE money, and Inconvenient Truths 1-3 will continue to play out.

Knowing this to be true, you have a choice. You can continue watching a product you hate and griping about it online, or you can make a choice to spend your time and hard-earned money on a wrestling show you do love.

Life’s too short to spend on these Internet rants. I’m going to find something I enjoy.

Righteous Jesse lives!

It is with great joy and relief I can report to you that Righteous Jesse survived his deathmatch with Tank last weekend at Southern Underground Pro Wrestling in Nashville. It looks like SUP is starting to develop quite a following. Not only are they energizing indy fans by bringing something fresh to Nashville’s wrestling scene, they are winning new fans who have never seen a wrestling show before. Kudos to the entire Southern Underground Pro, and much continued success!

This week, Jesse is back to work on the Kick Out at Two Podcast alongside the Wilkman and Bonnaroo Brittany. Their guest this week is Ray Waddell, who just made his debut at SUP on the show last weekend.

Download the Kick Out at Two Podcast every Friday in iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud!

RISE: It All Begins Here

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting the first class of students to go through the Grindhouse Pro Wrestling Academy at The ArenA in Jeffersonville. This Saturday, the initial class invites you to come see their pro wrestling debut as Grindhouse Pro Wrestling Academy presents… RISE!

Trainers 2 Tuff Tony and Rudy Switchblade have poured their decades of knowledge and experience into the first class at Grindhouse. Now fans can get their first glimpse of the Buffet Brothers when they take on the Armada. They’ll also see Freddie Hudson vs. Toney Gunn, and a student versus trainer match when ZDP – Zach Dayton Pittman faces Rudy Switchblade himself!

Will this be the start of something new? Could the next ROH, NJPW, or WWE superstar be on the card Saturday? The students at Grindhouse are eager to convince you that anything is possible.

Show information is available on Facebook. For tickets, contact one of the students. Better hurry. They’ve hit the streets hard, and seats are going fast.

Evolution Pro Wrestling Returns

Three years ago when I released Bluegrass Brawlers, Evolution Pro Wrestling was one of the first independent promotions to welcome me and allow me to promote my book at their show. Not only did they set me up with a table, they put me right next to Ricky Morton, who put me and the book over to everyone who came to visit him.

Three years later, it’s my pleasure to share the exciting news. Evolution is back!

Evolution Pro was one of the most exciting shows in town during their day, and if the card for their return show is any indication, it’s going to be just as exciting in 2017. Three stellar matches top the card, including a 3-way battle between young stars Corey Storm, Ace Perry, and Mickie Midas; a women’s battle between Brooke Valentine and the always devious Amazing Maria; and a stellar main event featuring Dale Patricks and long-time Louisville favorite, Jamin Olivencia in a first time ever match up!

Other announced matches include Casey Reeves vs Deonta Davis; Amazing Pooky vs Van Martigan; Matt Atreya vs Jay Matthews; and a three way tag bout pitting Nathen Edwards & Aaron Von Baron vs TJ Flexx & Ram Jam vs Lennox Norris & Omega.

Promoter Christian Skyfire used to say, “You never know who will show up at Evolution,” and he’s vowed that motto will ring true when they return to action at the ArenA in Jeffersonville. For show information, visit the official Facebook page.

Pizza King of the Ring Recap

If you missed Terry Harper Presents Pizza King of the Ring Tuesday night in Jeffersonville, here’s a quick recap of some of the things you missed:

Enter Sandman! When you see a legend of the ring, there are certain things you expect to see. If it’s Mick Foley, you want Mr. Socko. If it’s Stone Cold Steve Austin, you want a Stunner. If it’s the Sandman, you simply want to see him make an entrance. Sandman milked the full duration of his entrance music, sharing beers with fans around the ArenA. By the time he reached the ring, the ECW faithful had their money’s worth. The kendo stick beat down of Nick Depp was just an added bonus.

Speaking of Nick Depp… The reigning Prince of the Deathmatches cut the promo of his life on Sandman. Depp held the crowd in the palm of his hand while he tried to convince the Sandman he had an alcohol problem. Sandman let him speak his peace. Then, as mentioned above, he broke his kendo stick over Depp’s back.

Maria is AmazingAmazing Maria continues to prove she’s one of the best heels in independent wrestling. She had an entertaining match against the dark but charismatic Sage Sin, who was led to the ring by a fire eater and two casket-bearing ghouls. Sage walked out of the ArenA the winner. Maria was carried out in the casket.

Sudden Death Tables Match. Kevin Cordell of the Talking the Business Podcast told me to keep an eye on Jake Garvin. Kevin thinks he’s a rising star. I have to agree. He and Calvin Tankman broke four tables in their match. These guys are young, big, and athletic, and they’re only going to get better. The only thing more entertaining was watching them pick splinters out of their arms while they looked over the menu at Spinellis later in the evening.

Mama Bates to the Rescue! The intergender match took a very unexpected turn when Mama Bates, Leva Bates’ mother, leapt to her feet and tried to stop Tracy Smothers’ second Kyle Maverick from choking her daughter on the ropes. Yes, some things in wrestling are staged, but it was very clear Mama Bates was not in on any storyline; she was out to protect her daughter, who came out the winner. Side note: Leva remains one of the friendliest and most down to Earth wrestlers outside the ring.

Lio Rush is the Man. I’ve heard a great deal about Lio Rush in the last year. He exceeds the hype. Rush and Super Crazy capped the night off with a stellar bout that had everything from mat wrestling to high flying to steel chairs. Rush is a mega-star on the rise, and a class act out of the ring as well.

Bottom line: Terry Harper doesn’t promoter wrestling shows very frequently, but he has a formula that works. Harper books people he wants to see in match ups he wants to see. He pairs legends of the past with stars of today in a way that allows casual fans who only came to see guys like Sandman to discover rising stars like Lio Rush and PWF’s Tri-State Champion Tyler Matrix. A Terry Harper show is the perfect opportunity to bring your WWE-loving friends along to see names that they know and introduce them to independent wrestling at the same time. It was standing room only in the ArenA tonight, just as it was for Terry’s last show in November 2016. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

One of These Days, Everybody IS Going to Die!

On Tuesday night fans will gather at the ArenA in Jeffersonville, where Terry Harper will present an evening of wrestling under the banner Pizza King of the Ring. If his last show is any indication, this will be packed house, and I have no doubt many fans will be going just to see the intergender battle between Leva “Blue Pants” Bates and Tracy Smothers.

This worries me.

For the last few years, Southern Indiana fans have been treating Tracy Smothers with utter disrespect. They’ve chanted, “Tracy sucks!” They’ve cheered for Tracy’s opponents instead of the Smoky Mountain legend. Tracy has been patient with fans because he has yet to make good on his standard threat, a threat that goes like this:

“If I hear ‘Tracy sucks!’ one more time, everybody dies!”

But a man can only take so much, and I fear that one of these days, everybody is going to die.

Will Tuesday be the night? Will “Go, Blue Pants, go!” be the cheer that forces Tracy to make good on slaughtering an arena full of wrestling fans who have disrespected the man who flies the stars and bars for the last time?

We can only pray that Tracy’s patience will hold out long enough for fans to realize they are disrespecting a legend.

Small Child Costs Mr. Grim Debut Match!

The Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim was defeated, flat on his back in the middle of the Jeffersonville ArenA. As the theme music for the victorious Menace faded out, PWF fans jeered him with boos and insults.

“You lost!”

“You suck, Mr. Grim!”

Grim, a 260 pound 6′ powerhouse, took the criticism in stride. He ignored the harsh words as he slid out of the ring and rose to his feet, proud even in defeat. Taking a few seconds to get his bearings, he spotted the one person in the building he held responsible for his loss and made his way to the barrier wall in front of her. She was young, maybe eight years old. And she was responsible.

“This is your fault!!” he screamed at her, shouting in a tone that silenced the fans. “You did this! You’re responsible!”

The child didn’t know what to say. Shamed by the confrontation (and her own undeniable guilt), she hid in her mother’s side, crying.

“Look at me!” Grim shouted. “You did this! You’re the reason I lost!”

Now the fans were vocal again, defending an indefensible young woman who had just spoiled the Maryland-based indy star’s PWF debut. The boos were more intense now than they had been during the actual fight with fans taking the side of the guilty party rather than the wronged wrestler.

A well-meaning but horribly misguided face-painted wrestler named Joe Kerr came out to ringside to defend the little girl who was now in tears. It was a mistake he would regret. Unable to lay a hand on the one who had cost him dearly, Grim took his frustrations out Joe Kerr. After flattening Joe Kerr like a pancake, Grim reached for his metal briefcase and stunned the fans with what was inside.

“Is that a body bag?” said a woman near me.

It was indeed. Grim opened and spread the bag out beside Joe Kerr, still unconscious in the center of the ring. He rolled the young man onto the black plastic and sealed him inside with a zipper. A shower of fresh boos poured over Grim as he slid the loaded body bag off the ring apron and carried Joe Kerr to the back.

It wasn’t the grand debut Grim anticipated in his first Kentuckiana appearance, but as Grim made it clear, it wasn’t his fault. I’m sure the scolded young woman is filled with regret today for whatever she did to cost The Hitman for Hire his bout with Menace, and she’ll think twice about doing whatever the heck it was she did again!

I certainly hope PWF management will take steps to prevent any fan costing Mr. Grim a match again. As harsh as they were with Mickie Knuckles and Randi West after last month’s show, they need to do something! Otherwise it might be a fan leaving the ArenA in a body bag the next time Mr. Grim comes around.

Is This the End of Righteous Jesse??

This week the Kick Out at Two Podcast welcomes Air Paris to the program. Righteous Jesse talks with Air Paris about partnering with A.J. Styles, NWA Wildside, and being the father of a young wrestling fan.

It’s a shame to think that after 87 episodes, this could be the end of KOAT as we know it. Why? Because Saturday night, Righteous Jesse is going to die. He’s promoting his second show ever with Southern Underground Pro “Don’t call it SUP GRAPS” Wrestling, and he’s booked himself in a deathmatch against former KOAT guest and legendary deathmatch wrestler, Tank. I’m not sure why Jesse would do such a suicidal thing or why his friend the Wilkman or girlfriend Bonnaroo Brittany would allow it. We can only pray that Jesse will survive and live to podcast another day.

The Kick Out at Two Podcast is available on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher every Friday.

Southern Underground Pro Wrestling’s second show, Show You No Mercy, takes place Saturday night, June 10, at The Cobra in Nashville and features Bonestorm champion “The Lodestar: Curt Stallion, “The Blue Eyed Devil” Tripp Cassidy, Kevin Ku, Percy Davis, Brett Ison, Chase Jordan, Matt Lynch, Caleb Courageous, and Jeremiah Plunkett. Show information can be found on Facebook or Twitter.

Condolences on the loss of Righteous Hesse can be sent via Twitter to Bonnaroo Brittany.

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