Updated Fall Schedule

One show is in the books on my fall book tour. Here are your next three chances to catch me at a show!

Saturday, September 28

Lucha Libro at the Indianapolis Central Library – 10 am – 3 pm

An amazing event celebrating Lucha culture featuring artwork, films, exhibits, and of course – Lucha Libre wrestling. I will have books available for sale, and I will be bringing some of the Black Panther Jim Mitchell’s artifacts to display.

 

Saturday, October 5

Heroes and Legends – Allen Co. War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana

I’m returning to Heroes and Legends with both Hurricane JJ Maguire and Mad Man Pondo this fall. We’ll have copies of both of their books available, plus other titles.

 

Wednesday, November 27

Midnight Girl Fight 4: Pick Your Poison – The Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana

What’s better than a Girl Fight show? A Midnight Girl Fight Show of course! For the second year in a row, the ladies will do battle in the wee hours of the morning before turkey day. Bell time is at 11:59 pm, on minute before midnight, and this year’s “Pick Your Poison” event will be a mixed tag team tournament.

And yes, since it is Black Friday weekend, I will be offering some deals exclusively for the Girl Fight fans in attendance!

KZW: The Building May Be Hot, But the Crowd Is Hotter

I always enjoy getting away from Jeffersonville and Louisville to check out wrestling in other areas. Last year I traveled to East Carondelet, Illinois and experienced the fan frenzy that surrounds SICW, a promotion run by the great Herb Simmons. It’s small town wrestling at its best: a packed crowd, popular babyfaces, and dastardly heels. This week’s excursion to Kentucky Zone Wrestling in Somerset, Kentucky felt a lot like SICW with the fan frenzy as hot as the air in the Shopville Elementary Gym.

I sensed the excitement about the evening’s activities as soon as I drove into town. At the T-intersection that leads to Somerset, I saw a sandwich sign by the road that announced there was “Wrestling Tonight” at the gymnasium. Promoter Dennis Spradlin told me there were 14 signs set up around town, and the show had already received press coverage thanks to the impending release of master of ceremonies Hurricane JJ Maguire’s autobiography at the event. I’m told there was good word of mouth buzz about the book and the show around town as well.

It was 87 degrees at bell time, and the un-air conditioned gym was balmy, but that did not stop a crowd of about 200 from packing into the building. This was KZW’s annual Caged Fury show, an evening of cage matches each with multiple contenders. KZW’s roster includes a lot of long-time Central Kentucky stalwarts, but there were some promising young stars as well, guys who are already making am impact beyond the Kentucky/Tennessee region.

The highlight of the evening was the confrontation between Team Evil, a group of five heels managed by the notorious David Barnabas Spector, and Team JJ, a contingent led by JJ Maguire featuring four top babyfaces and the legendary Tracy Smothers. Competitors entered the cage at two minute intervals ala the Royal Rumble, but all stayed in until the babyfaces won the match by pinfall. The good guys grabbed hold of Spector and brought him into the ring, holding him in place for Tracy Smothers to do some real damage.

And that’s when it got really great.

Instead of leveling Spector, Tracy took out the babyfaces, shocking the crowd. “He’s double crossed ‘em!” a fan shouted, making my night and capturing the spirit of the evening. Tracy grabbed a microphone and shot on the state of Kentucky and the fans, leading to a 30 day suspension from KZW’s startled co-owner JJ Maguire.

Several matches were set for upcoming shows in the chaotic final moments, as angry good guys demanded a shot at the villains, and the fans went out with a fury, hoping that maybe next time, Spector and his goons would get theirs. Fans were also reminded that the action resumes not next month but this coming Saturday, September 21, in nearby Williamsburg.

KZW has truly filled a niche in their community, offering the fans of south central Kentucky a welcome live wrestling promotion that delivers the action they love. If you’re in the region or just curious to check them out for yourself, you can follow them on Facebook.

Elev8 Wrestling Invites You to Witness History for Free!

Ben Wood and I go back a long, long ways. Before I got into writing about pro wrestling history, the two of us crossed paths in the Louisville independent film scene. He made a few short films for me, including The Last Temptation of Fluffy, and before making appearances in Escape Plan and Happy Death Day 2 U, he appeared in the must-see indy flick Overtime with Al Snow. (Trust me, it’s worth looking up.)

Ben still wrestles from time to time, but over the last few years, he’s been part of the office building a fantastic promotion down in Louisiana. Elev8 Pro is about to mark their third anniversary in a big way. Ultimate Valor 3 is the name of the show on October 12, 2019. The historic Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center in Chalmette, Louisiana is the venue, and the cost? Absolutely free!

The Civic Center in Chalmette was a regular stop for Mid-South Wrestling in the 1970s and 80s, a building frequented by stars like Ted DiBiase, Jim Duggan, and Junkyard Dog. The Elev8 Pro crew is thrilled to give fans a chance to see what they are about, free of charge, in a building overflowing with history.

Ultimate Valor 3 is sponsored by the St. Bernard Parish Government and the St. Bernard Parish Recreation Department, the Tonry Law Firm, and Cane’s Chicken Fingers. It is presented in partnership with the The League of Angels, an amazing organization doing big things for special needs children in the community. The League of Angels is an organization “all about the kids,” so it’s only fitting this free wrestling event is open to (and appropriate for) all ages.

Folks, if the sudden surge in professional wrestling companies getting television contracts hasn’t clued you in, the independent wrestling scene is bursting with hard working, passionate, dedicated talent that deserves your attention. if you’re in the Chalmette area, do not miss this once in a lifetime even October 12 at the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center.

Click here to go to the official Facebook event page.

#togetherwerise #stbenardparish #louisianawrestling #elev8pro #leagueofangels #event #historic

K-7’s Revenge: A New Indy Film Featuring Hy Zaya

Hy Zaya was one of my first interviews when I wrote my second book Eat Sleep Wrestle. He’s become a good friend, and it wasn’t long ago we added children’s book author to his list of credits.

Now, Hy Zaya’s breaking into film, and the trailer for his upcoming movie K-7’s Revenge looks like a perfect fit for the Hood Ninja.

The debut of the movie is September 6. You can real all about the movie on the official Facebook page.

See the trailer below!

On the Road This Fall

I didn’t get out anywhere this summer because I was enjoying time with the family and finishing up JJ Maguire’s book, but I am happy to say I’ve got three road trips planned (so far) for the fall.

Here’s where you can find me, and here’s who I will be with!

 

Saturday, September 14

Kentucky Zone Wrestling in Shopville, Kentucky

KZW is JJ Maguire’s home promotion. I’ll be in Shopville with over 200 fans, signing copies of JJ’s book as well as my other books.

 

Saturday, September 28

Lucha Libro at the Indianapolis Central Library – 10 am – 3 pm

An amazing event celebrating Lucha culture featuring artwork, films, exhibits, and of course – Lucha Libre wrestling. I will have books available for sale, and I will be bringing some of the Black Panther Jim Mitchell’s artifacts to display.

 

Saturday, October 5

Heroes and Legends – Allen Co. War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana

I’m returning to Heroes and Legends with both Hurricane JJ Maguire and Mad Man Pondo this fall. We’ll have copies of both of their books available, plus other titles.

Girl Fight Presents: Not Another Number One Contenders Tournament

Okay, stats junkies, prepare for some numbers coming at you.

Girl Fight is presenting yet another number one contenders tournament Tuesday, August 6, to determine who will face Samantha Heights for the Girl Fight Championship upon her return from Japan.

Here are the first round matchups with the win/loss records at Girl Fight for the eight ladies in contention:

Billie Starkz (4-5) vs. Tootie Lynn Ramsey (0-1)

Billie is going to be the heavy fan favorite for this match and the tournament, this being her home arena. Hard to pick against her in round one.

Charlie Kruel (4-10) vs. Big Mama (0-1)

Despite the 0-1 mark, I have to pick Big Mama in this one. She was too impressive in her recent Girl Fight debut, and knowing what she’s done outside Girl Fight, she’s a serious contender to win it all.

Hawlee Cromwell (0-2) vs. Sam L’eterna (1-0)

A tough call. Hawlee has yet to pick up a win at Girl Fight, but she gave Samantha Heights all she could handle in her last bout. Sam L’eterna will push her to the limit. Going to go with Sam here.

Ella (5-1) vs. Khloe (6-8)

Ella is off to one of the best starts in Girl Fight history. Her only loss came in a tag match, when she walked out on her partner. Khloe will not be intimidated, however, and she’s going to be one of the favorites for the event – if she survives Ella. I’ll give Khloe the nod to win it.

It’s going to be a great night of action. Not sure where the brackets will take us for round two, but overall… I’m going to go with Big Mama. I think she has too much power for most of the other contenders, and I expect her to come back strong after winning the hearts of the fans in her debut. Her odds get even better if her “win at all costs” side comes out.

Girl Fight takes place Tuesday night at the Arena in Jeffersonville. Front row seats are $15, general admission is $10, and bell time is at 7 pm.

PS, this will be show number 50 for Girl Fight. I now have a spreadsheet with complete results for 40 out of 50 shows. I have a running list of shows I need to find results for if you want to contribute. Click here to see what I am still missing.

Oh yes, there’s an announcement coming as to why I am compiling all this data.

Marko Stunt is (All) Elite!

There’s not a nicer, more energetic, enthusiastic, dynamic, over the top kid in pro wrestling than Marko Stunt. What Marko lacks in size, Mr. Fun Size more than makes up for in heart. And this kid is bursting to overflowing with HEART.

It was a huge surprise to all of us who have watched him in the indies when he was named to the All In Over the Budget Battle Royal last September. It came as no surprise when he announced today, on his 23rd birthday, he has signed with All Elite Wrestling.

Congratulations, Marko! Cannot wait to see where you go from here!

New Book Updates

For fans eagerly awaiting out future releases, here’s where future new releases stand.

Hurricane JJ Maguire has just finished compiling a stack of photos to be added to his book. The text is finished, and once photos are inserted, it’s off to the proofreader. The book cover is also in the works, and we are still shooting for an August release.

The Bomb Shelter: Curse of the Undead Bride is now in the hands of Randi West and Joseph Schwartz, who are in the midst of a very busy summer. Once they have read through and sent back comments on the story, I’ll be doing another draft to finish the book before editing begins. Shooting for fall on this one.

Tracy Smothers fans, I have great news: his book is about half way there. I am sending a preliminary draft out this week to Tracy for review. After he reads it and we make any editorial changes, we’ll be sitting down to start filling in the gaps on a truly amazing story. Looking early 2020 for this one, but it might get moved up depending how fast we get things done from here.

Wee Willie Davis remains on my radar, but for now, it’s been postponed. It’s possible I can still make a 2020 release date, but two more projects have bumped this one back at bit.

What are those two new projects, you may ask?

One is an historical biography I was approached to write. Someone who rubbed shoulders with Wee Willie Davis and The Black Panther Jim Mitchell. By a stroke of pure coincidence, he even makes a cameo in the Bomb Shelter’s upcoming novel with Davis and Mitchell.

The other is a much more modern story.

That’s all I will say for now. The modern tale is already in development, and it’s a very timely story. Hoping to dive in on the new historical bio once JJ and the Bomb Shelter books are released into the wild this fall.

Both should be announced this fall. Both will be released in 2020.

Stay tuned.

New Albany, Indiana: Wrestling in My Hometown

Since my hometown is all over the dirt sheets this weekend, I thought it might be a good time to share a little of our professional wrestling history. New Albany, Indiana has had a long history with professional wrestling, due in no small part to its proximity to Louisville, Kentucky. In fact I almost dedicated an entire chapter of Bluegrass Brawlers to the city of New Albany’s unique wrestling story.

Promotions in New Albany

New Albany has played host to a number of independent promotions in the last couple of decades including (but not limited to) IWA Mid-South, Destination One Wrestling, XCW, and the name everyone now knows, Pro Wrestling Trainwreck. It’s worth noting, however, that so-called “outlaw” promotions are nothing new here. Back in 1941, while the Allen Athletic Club was still on the rise as THE promotion in Louisville, a group of sports lovers founded the Hoosier Fistic Club, a joint boxing and wrestling promotion intended to bring both sports to New Albany. It was an audacious endeavor spearheaded by president Seymour Hull and matchmaker Johnny Lovell. It was also short lived, as the club faced an uphill battle to draw fans away from Heywood Allen’s wrestlers and the many boxing promotions already active across the river.

Col. Stu Gibson

While wrestling in New Albany failed to take off, the Allen Club often featured Hoosier starts including a number of New Albany natives. Far and away the most famous of these was Stu Gibson, a New Albany High School graduate who was a stand out athlete in multiple sports. After serving his country during World War II, Gibson became a football star at the University of Louisville and was named a Kentucky Colonel after setting the school record for scoring. Gibson was a Golden Glove boxer but chose to pursue wrestling instead, becoming one of the most hated heels in Louisville and later San Antonio.

Lord Humongous

In the 1980s another New Albany native rose to frame as the masked Lord Humongous, a character based on the villain from the movie The Road Warrior. Like Stu Gibson before him, Jeff Van Camp played football at U of L and took a job as a security guard at Louisville Gardens after an injury ended his playing career. Jerry Lawler invited Van Camp to train with him in Memphis. Lord Humongous became a WWA Tag Team Champion with Dick the Bruiser. After relocating to Florida, he became the NWA Southeast Continental Heavyweight Champion and a three time NWA Alabama Heavyweight Championship.

Leviathan

Another monstrous wrestler “born” in New Albany is Leviathan. In the early 2000s, when WWE was sending its developmental prospects to Ohio Valley Wrestling for seasoning with Danny Davis and Rip Rogers, there were two infamous wrestling managers dominating the scene: Kenny “Starmaker” Bolin, and Synn. Versed in the dark arts, Synn made a trek down to the Ohio River in New Albany one evening and summoned forth the demon Leviathan to join her faction. Leviathan rose out of the waters ad became a member of the Disciples of Synn, wreaking havoc on countless foes at the Davis Arena in Jeffersonville.

Okay, okay, so Leviathan isn’t actually a demon, and he’s not actually a native of New Albany. Leviathan was the first persona adopted by Dave Bautista, a character he dropped before he ever appeared on WWE. That said, the video of Leviathan’s “creation” was filmed on the banks of the Ohio River, with Bautista gamely wading out into the less-than-crystal-clear waters to rise up from the deep. It was a humble beginning that led to great things for the man who has become a true movie star.

“Crybaby” Chris Alexander

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my old friend Jason Lindsey, who worked as “Crybaby” Chris Alexander during the WWE developmental days at OVW and was behind the camera the night Leviathan was “born.” Jason and I were both members of the marching band during our days at New Albany High School. We were friends then, but I honestly had no idea he was a wrestling fan until the day someone told me he was training to be a wrestler. Jason shared a locker room with all the big names who came to town including John Cena, Batista, and Mark Henry, and he wrestled them all. His biggest claim to fame is one he won’t claim for himself. During a show at St. Therese’s Gym in Louisville, Jim Cornette made all the WWE signees go out and watch Alexander make his entrance to “Dude Looks Like a Lady.” Cornette loved the way Alexander took his time getting to the ring and playing to the crowd, and he held him up as an example of how it’s done to a group of future superstars.

“Iron Man” Rob Conway

Without question, the most decorated wrestler to come out of New Albany is Rob Conway. A star basketball player in a town that LOVES its high school basketball (Romeo Langford, anyone?), Conway was part of OVW’s first class of students, the men Danny Davis trained to train all the students who came after them. He is one of the few wrestlers who came into OVW as a beginning student and earned a WWE contract. Conway won multiple heavyweight championships and tag team championships at OVW before being called up to the WWE, where he won the WWE Tag Team Championship with Sylvan Grenier three times. After leaving OVW, Conway traveled the world working the independents and won even more gold, becoming a four time NWA Tag Team Champion and two time NWA World Heavyweight Champion. He is part of an elite club of wrestlers who can say they worked both Wrestlemania and New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom show.

Time will soon tell what the fallout will be from last week’s Pro Wrestling Trainwreck show. The facts of the story are still coming out, and time will tell what repercussions, fair or unfair, this story will have on wrestling in New Albany. The bottom line is professional wrestling is in the blood of New Albany sports fans as much as it is anywhere. We are living in a boom time for professional wrestling, and the history of the sport in this town is far from over.

Honoring Papa Saint

I am buying a ticket to Destructo Pro’s wrestling show on July 6. I am not sure my schedule will allow me to go yet, but I am buying a ticket to support a wonderful family that has supported me for years.

Jason Saint became a friend before Bluegrass Brawlers, my first wrestling book, was released. He contributed some great memories and photos to the book, and he’s always been exceedingly generous about supporting and promoting my work.

When I met Jason’s father James, it was clear where Jason’s good heart came from. James was kind and warm and funny. If I had a new book for sale, he bought it. Just like his son, he was exceedingly generous and kind not just with me, but with every man and woman in the wrestling business who crossed his path.

The Saint family suffered a terrible tragedy this past weekend. James passed away in a motorcycle accident, and his wife Pam was critically injured. Two friends of James and Pam were also involved in the accident, and while their friend Bill is also fighting for his life, his girlfriend Michelle died en route to the hospital.

No one would blame Jason for taking time away from the business if he chose to do so, but out of love for his father, who he know would have told him the show must go on, he is continuing plans for the second ever Destructo show on July 6. This promotion was a labor of love for a father and son. It meant a great deal to James to build something to help not only his son, but all of the men and women who saw James as a wrestling dad. Jason said the best way to support them right now was to make the show a success, and in honor of James, I am throwing my support behind them.

I’m all about supporting independent wrestling, regardless of where it is or who is running the show, but in this case, it’s not just about the wrestling. It’s about honoring a very special man. My prayers are with all the friends and family affected by this tragedy, and I hope you’ll support this upcoming show as well.

Click here for event and ticket information.