If you missed it last night, Brock Lesnar coined the next “Austin 3:16” level catchphrase.
I know someone who has been to Suplex City. We’ve been friends over twenty years, and about fifteen years ago he was wrestling as Chris Alexander at OVW. He wrestled many of the guys on last night’s show including John Cena, Damien Sandow, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesnar.
About six suplexes into the main event, he made the comment that Brock doesn’t do suplexes. He pretty much just throws you.
“Did you ever take one from Brock?” I asked.
“What’s it like?”
He shook his head. “Doesn’t feel good.”
As much as no one wanted to see that main event, it delivered. Brock decimated Roman Reigns to the delight of the crowd and proved that he is worth that contract he just signed. Then out of no where, Seth Rollins ascended to the top in a dramatic Wrestlemania moment. Great finish to a surprisingly good show.
I got a message from a friend of mine on Facebook today. It seems that Bluegrass Brawlers came in third in the voting for 2014’s top pro wrestling book at the Wrestling Observer. The top three books, based strictly on first place votes, were:
1. Death of WCW by Bryan Alvarez and R.D. Reynolds (257 votes)
When you look at the votes, Bluegrass Brawlers was a distant third, but to get to that distant third spot, eighteen people had to vote for my book over Chris Jericho and Bryan Alvarez. I’ll take that third place any day!
Every dream, every journey, begins with a few small steps. I am very humbled and thankful to those who voted for Bluegrass Brawlers, taking me a few steps along this road. Thank you.
The first time I saw Ryan Howe was the night after Wrestlemania XXVII. He was the first of the new round of Tough Enough contestants to introduce himself to a Raw crowd that chanted for Stone Cold Steve Austin to “Stun them all!”
I saw him again almost two years later at OVW, the night I started work on Bluegrass Brawlers. He didn’t wrestle that night, but I saw him a few times over the next couple of years. He had a great look, and he showed potential, but he was always in the mid-card, working underneath guys like Rob Terry and Jamin Olivencia. He was better each time I saw him, but he was always outshined by the main event players.
Wednesday night, I saw him again. He worked the main event against OVW champion Mohamed Ali Vaez. This was a completely different Ryan Howe than I had ever seen before. Same look, same gimmick, but there was a confidence and a swagger about him I hadn’t seen before. Howe looked like he belonged in that main event. He looked ready for the next step. If history is any indication at OVW, he’ll probably get it sooner rather than later.
That’s the legacy of OVW. OVW has set the standard for wrestling schools for nearly 20 years. Cena, Orton, Lesnar, Batista, Punk, Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, Miz, Mizdow, Henry, Big Show, Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Dinsmore, Conway, Shelton Benjamin, John Morrison, Lisa Marie Varon, Jamin Olivencia, Rockstar Spud. Over 100 students have gone on from OVW to work for WWE or TNA.
OVW just launched an Indiegogo campaign to upgrade their television equipment. OVW is the longest running wrestling television program in America outside of WWE (over 800 episodes!), and they’re ready to step it up and go HD. This campaign will allow them to upgrade their studio, their cameras, and their editing equipment so they can continue to produce a top quality program while providing the best training for the business, from inside the ring to the editing room.
OVW television airs locally in Louisville, but it’s also available to view online. OVW alums have shared with me how fans have come up to them in airports and venues around the country, fans who know them only from watching online. Most recently, OVW announcer Dean Hill told me he was approached by a fan in Seattle, Washington who watched OVW on TV!
Independent wrestling is growing in popularity once more, and OVW is positioning itself to take advantage of the changing tides. Check out the campaign on Indiegogo and the perks that are available – including and opportunity to train at the school. And by all means go to www.ovwrestling.com to check out their show for yourself!
Crybaby Chris Alexander told me about this match when I was working on Bluegrass Brawlers. I honestly am not sure why this story did not make it into the book, other than I simply forgot about it.
Cena was “The Prototype,” an unstoppable monster heel who had run over every challenger in OVW. Nova was the new guy, a veteran of ECW looking for a new start with OVW and the WWE. His first night at OVW, he got a shot at the champion.
Alexander was backstage that. Danny Davis walked over to him, wearing a big smile. “Hey Chris,” he said, “Do you want to know how to put a new guy over in one night? Just watch.”
WWE published a great interview with Drake Wuertz on their website. Fans of IWA Mid-South, CZW, and PWG will remember Wuertz as Drake Younger, an outstanding indy wrestler with a brutal hardcore past. Wuertz signed with WWE in early 2014 and turned up on NXT in the unlikely role of a referee. While his indy fans may still be a bit disappointed, it’s clear Wuertz is happy and enjoying his role. He’s also doing a great job.
First of all… let’s not get so upset we overlook the good.
We got a terrific title match, arguably the best triple threat of all time. And they made a legitimate main event star last night. His name is Seth Rollins.
That said, many people are beyond disgruntled today, and many have gone so far as to cancel their WWE Network subscriptions.
For those who have, and for those who haven’t but are still angry about the Rumble, maybe you should give independent wrestling a try?
Eat Sleep Wrestle is a great place to start exploring wrestling beyond the WWE. After I released Bluegrass Brawlers, I went out to some indy shows to sell the book. I had the opportunity to meet some of the Midwest’s finest indy talent, and I saw some amazing matches. I was so inspired by them, I had to tell their story.
These are not superstars. These are wrestlers. The people profiled in Eat Sleep Wrestle are passionate, driven people who work as hard or harder than anyone you’ll see on Monday Night (tonight excepted, of course).
Eat Sleep Wrestle will introduce you to people like Mad Man Pondo, Chris Hero, Crazy Mary Dobson, Aaron Williams, Ron Mathis, Hy Zaya, Jamin Olivencia, Zodiak, Mickie Knuckles, Cherry Bomb, and Reed Bentley. It will make you realize there is wrestling beyond the WWE, and it will inspire you to follow your own dreams.
Yes, this is a shameless plug, but Raw isn’t live tonight, and you can get it on Kindle or Nook, why not give Eat Sleep Wrestle a try?
I don’t get a lot of time to listen to podcasts, but there are a few I try to keep up with: Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana, The Steve Austin Show, The Jim Cornette Experience, Ice Cream Headache, and Talk is Jericho.
Chris Jericho did an interview with the Big Guy, Ryback, last week. It’s one of the best, and it’s a great chance to hear from the man behind the hype. I was really impressed with his story, and many people were impressed with the shoot promo he did on the last Raw of 2014.
It’s more proof, too, that the WWE needs to take the scripts out of the hands of the new guys and let Ryback, Roman Reigns, Cesaro, and others be themselves. These are smart, talented, and funny guys, and they need to be getting over the old fashioned way – on their feet, not on script.