Category Archives: Independent Wrestling

Indy Podcast Round Up for August 12

Here’s what’s happening on my favorite indy wrestling podcasts this week:

Dave Dynasty welcomes Izzy Slapawitz to his podcast on Monday, August 14. Dave is hard at work on a new YouTube compilation series featuring a number of matches from various promotions in the Midwest. Should be exciting.

The story collectors at Talkin’ the Business have the Ace of Spades Ace Austin on the show. They promise an inspirational story of knowing what you want from an early age and stopping at nothing to get it.

Finally, Kick Out at Two presents the first of their interviews recorded live at the 2017 Scenic City Invitaitonal in Chattanooga. First up is an early morning live Q&A with SCI competitor Corey Hollis.

Check out these podcasts on iTunes or wherever you happen to download or steal your podcasts every week, and get to know who’s who and what’s happening in independent wrestling!

I’m Learning Japanese

Back in January, I set an unusual goal for myself. I decided I want to learn Japanese.

It happened because I decided to pick up New Japan for a month just to see Wrestle Kingdom. I had trouble navigating the mixed language site, and I ended up watching the show with the Japanese commentary instead of English. I loved it, and I was intrigued. So I decided to pick up Japanese.

Just a month or two before watching Wrestle Kingdom I heard Kevin Owens tell the story of how he learned English by watching Monday Night Raw. I wondered if it was possible for an American fan to do the same watching New Japan.

Four months later, Duolingo released their Japanese language module. I’ve been working at it ever since, and in July, I re-subscribed to new Japan World. Is it working? Well, no. Not yet. I’m still very much a beginner, but I’m determined. I’m also loving New Japan way more than WWE right now. As a matter of fact I’m planning to drop the WWE Network this fall and go exclusively with New Japan.

I’ll repeat that in case you missed it. I am unplugging WWE this fall in favor of New Japan.

Fans, if you are sick of what you’re seeing on TV, there are options. Vote with your remote. Vote with your subscriber dollars. Pick up New Japan World, or CHIKARATOPIA, or CZW, or High Spots. Or drop ’em all and get the free Rasslin’ channel on Roku.

The WWE doesn’t listen to your complaints on Facebook and message boards. As long as you keep on paying your $9.99 a month, they could care less what you say on Twitter, Reddit, or any other website.

You know what they do care about? People hitting the unsubscribe button. That’s how you get their attention.

Right now, the best wrestling is not at the biggest company. I know I’m not alone in this sentiment. If you are tired of being disappointed, stop setting yourself up for disappointment. Cancel the Network. Find something new. Find something you love and support that. Stop supporting the stuff that’s letting you down.

Indy Podcast Round-Up 8/5/17

Want to know what’s happening in independent wrestling, particularly in the Midwest and Southern states? Here are a few podcasts to get you started.

Kick Out at Two has been a friend of Eat Sleep Wrestle for a long time. This week, amid preparing to visit the Scenic City Invitational and hosting Southern Underground Pro Wrestling’s show on Sunday August 6, they took the time to interview Brutal Bob Evans. Bob is the Obi Wan Kenobi of today’s indy scene. He’s the guy giving everyone the tough, common sense talk that if they apply it will help them expand their brand and build their business as a pro wrestler.

Kentucky’s own KC and Dave on Talkin’ the Business pride themselves on bringing their listeners the best stories from the indy wrestling scene. They love shining the spotlight on guys and ladies most folks haven’t heard of (but soon will), and this week their guest is rising star Axton Ray. TTB and KOAT are both new every Friday on iTunes and wherever you download your podcasts.

The Dave Dynasty Show broadcasts out of south central Indiana every week on Mondays. This coming Monday Dave’s guest is one of the most influential trainers and veterans in the region, the great Al Snow! Dave’s show can also be found on iTunes and other fine podcast outlets.

Final note for this week’s indy round-up is not a podcast note but a TV programming note. If you’re not watching Impact wrestling, you will want to start this coming August 17. The best kept secret in the Midwest, the phenomenal tag team of Jake and Dave Crist, will make their debut on Impact as oVe: Ohio vs. Everything. Check out the teaser below.

Wrestlers Read Free!

Today’s post is a shameless plug, but it’s a shameless plug with heart!

I’ve made this offer in private to a few people I’ve come to know I the wrestling business, but now I’m making it public. Long before I was writing about wrestling, I was writing science fiction. Space opera, sci-fi comedy, nothing heady like Asimov but fun and adventurous like Flash Gordon meets Douglas Adams. I have several novels and a short story collection published in print and ebook formats.

If you’re in the wrestling business, and you enjoy reading this type of fiction, I’d like to hook you up for free.

If I have your attention, I invite you to take a look at my personal website, www.johncosper.com, and take a look at the books now available. If you see something you like, Email Me and I’ll be happy to send any and all books you want in PDF or ePub format.

Sounds great, man, but I don’t read ebooks. I like to hold a real book. 

I completely understand. If that’s the case, email me the title or titles you want and we will work something out.

Is it okay if I share the books you send me with other wrestling friends? 

Absolutely. Matter of fact as long as you’re sharing with people who are willing to say, “Hey, I read a great book and you should too,” you can share with anyone you like.

If you need something to read on your next road trip or long flight, please visit www.johncosper.com and Email Me to get your books.

Indy Books: The Next Step to Growing Your Territory?

Today’s independent wrestling workers are very tech savvy. They use Youtube as an endless library of wrestling videos, a place to study wrestling’s past and improve their work. They use sites like Pro Wrestling Tees to sell their merch online. They use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites to promote shows, themselves, and grow their network.

The Internet has played a huge part in growing the new independent scene. Now, a new website has come along that will give wrestling workers an even better opportunity to grow their brands and their opportunities.

Indy Books is a social media platform specifically for wrestlers, promoters, referees, and other workers in the business. Think of it as a LinkedIn for wrestling. This is a place to connect with friends in the business, make more friends, discover uncharted territories, build your own loops, plan carpools, and most importantly, grow your brand.

I was excited to read about Indy Books because the potential for a site like this is huge. It consolidates wrestling contacts into one place. It allows promoters and wrestlers to advertise open dates to one another in a more private forum than Facebook and other open social media platforms. Used well, Indy Books can be the place where previously undiscovered diamonds in the rough can launch their careers faster than ever.

If you’re a wrestler, promoter, ref, etc. I encourage you to visit Indy Books and set up your profile today. As I wrote the other day, the time is ripe for the independents to rise up. Sign up for Indy Books, and seize the day.

Opportunity Knocks for Indy Wrestling

Hollywood isn’t making movies for American audiences. The cost of blockbuster films has skyrocketed so high, they can’t make their money back if they make movies for American movie goers. Movies are being made for international audiences. Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Tom Cruise Mummy debacle… Hollywood doesn’t care if we like them or not. They make money overseas. They made enough money internationally to justify making more. This is the trend in Hollywood, and it’s spreading.

The WWE is doing the same thing. You want to know why the Great Khaki is back? You want to know why Jinder Mahal is your Smackdown champion? Because there are 1.3 billion people in India, an audience and a market the McMahons covet. It’s clear they are going after India, and it’s clear they don’t care if it costs them fans here.

While the WWE is focused on India, Jeff Jarrett is loading his roster to make Global Force Wrestling a household name. While the WWE continues to push for subscriptions overseas, New Japan is making in-roads in America, thanks in part to their partnership with Ring of Honor. New Japan now has an app for Amazon Fire and Google Chromecast. I am one of the many waiting for the Roku channel to be released.

This is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for the #2 and #3 American promotions to gain ground. It’s an opportunity for the #1 Japanese promotion to invade our turf. It’s an opportunity for the independents, who never lose sight of their base audience, to steal some thunder.

Two weeks ago on the Kick Out at Two Podcast, Righteous Jesse said something I’ve observed myself. Loops are coming back. Territories are re-forming. The more wrestlers network and share rides, the more promoters are willing to help each other out, the better it gets for everyone.

The time is ripe. It’s the best opportunity the modern day independent wrestling has ever had. Time to seize the moment, ladies and gentlemen.

The WWE wants India. Who wants America?

The Power of Freight Train

Like many fans packed into the Jeffersonville ArenA last November for Terry Harper’s first wrestling show at the Southern Indiana venue, I was a little taken aback when I got my first look at Freight Train. He didn’t move like other wrestlers. He didn’t fight like other wrestlers. A couple of casual fans standing near me turned their noses up and left the building to smoke a cigarette until the match was over. It’s a shame they did, because the longer I watched Freight Train do what he does best, the more intrigued I became.

If you’re not familiar with the name, Freight Train is one of the stars of Five Dollar Wrestling. He’s a native of Charlotte, North Carolina who has achieved a level of success most can only dream of. He’s overcome the odds that stack up against every wannabe wrestler and then some. He’s the subject of the inspirational documentary, “The Power of Freight Train.”

I mentioned Freight Train didn’t move like other wrestlers. Freight Train has mild autism spectrum disorder known as Aspergers Syndrome. One of the hallmarks of Aspergers is a singular focus on one or more key interests. For Charles Stevenson, the boy who grew up to become Freight Train, there were two things that drew his interest more than any other: trains and wrestling.

Rather than hinder Stevenson’s dream of becoming a wrestler, his condition actually helped him to achieve his dream. Stevenson refused to take no for an answer when men told him he couldn’t train. He refused to take no for an answer when people wouldn’t book him. He ignored the people who laughed at him. He was persistent; he never gave up. And when 5 Dollar Wrestling opened a door, he made that dream come true.

Packed with interviews with friends and fans like like Colt Cabana, Mad Man Pondo, Crazy Mary Dobson, and even the notoriously old school Rip Rogers, “The Power of Freight Train” is a beautiful story not only of Charles Stevenson, but all the people whose lives have been touched along the way, especially Freight Train’s good friend and mentor “Manscout” Jake Manning. It was Manning who gave Freight Train a chance with 5 Dollar Wrestling, and Manning, more than anyone else, has been inspired and transformed by his friendship with the gentle giant.

“The Power of Freight Train” is a story even non-wrestling fans can enjoy. It’s an inspirational tale of a man who refused to give up on a dream and the hearts he changed along the way.

“The Power of Freight Train” is available only on High Spots.

Faces to Watch the Second Half of 2017

2017 has been an amazing year in independent wrestling. Half way through the year, Billy Corgan has assumed control of the NWA, Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force has overtaken Impact, and NJPW has begun its conquest of America.

It’s been a spectacular year at all levels of independent wrestling. Here are a few names and faces you need to be watching as we enter the second half of the year.

NICK DEPP

Nick Depp began the year by winning The Prince of the Deathmatches – and promptly found himself on the sidelines nursing an injury. The temporary set back hasn’t slowed him down  a bit. “The Sports Entertainer” is expanding his territory and gaining new ground not only due to his in-ring work, but his skills on the mic. Depp cuts an amazing promo as a face but especially as a heel. His mouth is going to take him far.

ALEX DANIELS

“The Real Ben Affleck” is the talk of the independent wrestling podcasts, and with good reason. Take away the Ben Affleck gimmick, he is one of the brightest and most talented workers in the Midwest. One observer told me privately he thinks Daniels will be in Ring of Honor in just a few years. The Ohio native is expanding his territory as well, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets his big break.

MICKIE KNUCKLES

Mickie is no rookie. She’s been around for 17 years, breaking ground the WWE’s women are only now beginning to tread. Mickie has caught fire in 2017. She headlined a spectacular main event in Ft. Wayne covered in my blog back in April for Girl Fight. She and Randi West stirred controversy in Southern Indiana with a brutal falls count anywhere match. To top it all off, she just won the OVW Women’s Championship. This is Mickie’s year, and no one can stop her.

AMAZING MARIA

A Canadian transplant working out of Louisville, Kentucky, Amazing Maria is one of the most under-rated women in the women’s scene. Her skills in the ring are solid, and her character work as a heel improve with every outing. Whether she’s on her own, paired with Samantha Heights, or partnered with Horrorshow manager Jason Saint, Amazing Maria is a stand out on every show.

OI4K

I’ve been a fan of the Crist brothers, Dave and Jake, ever since they yanked the tag titles away from Aaron Williams and Ron Mathis at D1W a few years ago. Not only have they become regulars at IWA Mid-South, they’re making appearances for PWG in Los Angeles. Dave Crist has had an exceptional year, despite some injuries, having won the IWA Mid-South Championship and CZW’s Best of the Best 2017. A fellow wrestler told me he doesn’t think they’ll be exclusive to the Midwest for long. I couldn’t agree more.

INDY CARD MAFIA

The tag team of Thomas Brewington and Eric Emanon is starting to make deep inroads in the South and the Midwest. They put the southern territories on notice a few weeks ago when they invaded Atlanta’s AWE and shocked everyone by earning a victory over the red hot Carnies (another must see tag team, I might add). “Do we have your attention now?” Emanon asked on Facebook. Yes, sir, you do.

THE HITMAN FOR HIRE MR. GRIM

Mr. Grim is something special. His combination of speed, power, and high-flying make him a must-see attraction, but that’s not the reason you want to see this man live. You want to know what’s in the briefcase. You want to see what happens when the Hitman for Hire claims a victim. Grim is coming, and he’s headed your way sooner than you think.

KONGO KONG

Kong has already made the leap from indy darling to TV star, and his star’s about to get brighter. Kongo Kong was one of Jeff Jarrett’s early signees for Global Force Wrestling. Now, with GFW taking over and Jarrett firmly in control, there is no stopping the big man.

Please note: This is by no means a comprehensive list of the up and coming rising stars in independent wrestling. If you have a favorite you want to add to this list, please comment below. Let’s let the casual wrestling fans of the world know why they need to tune in to independent wrestling.

Lost Episodes on the KOAT Podcast

What once was lost has now been found. Righteous Jesse, the Wilkman, and Bonnaroo Brittany are very, very sorry for losing these but happy to announce that at long last, their lost interviews with Aaron Space and Kevin Zaxby have been found.

You can heard Aaron and Kevin on this week’s KOAT Podcast, available every Friday on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud.

Just a quick note, I won’t be sharing the weekly KOAT shows on Fridays going forward. I’m planning to try a few different things with the blog in the coming months, but I’ll still be sharing the weekly KOAT updates on social media.

I’ve said this many times and I mean it. There’s no better podcast to get you up to speed on who’s who in the independent wrestling scene than Kick Out at Two!

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.

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