The Legendary Casey Brothers

If you walked into a restaurant and saw two actors sitting on opposite ends of the room – one an Oscar winning mega star, the other a life-long character actor – which table would you be most likely to approach? Most people would migrate to the Oscar winner just to get that photo and autograph and say they met them, but a handful – myself included – would want to sit with the character actor. He may not be a household name. In fact he probably falls into that category of, “That one guy who was in that one thing.” But the character actor is not only going to take more time with you, being that he isn’t approached as often, he’s going to have way, way better stories to tell.

The Casey brothers, including professional wrestlers Jim and Steve, would comfortably fit into the character actor seat opposite the top draws of their era, but their story is no less compelling than that of Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George, of Buddy Rogers. As a matter of fact, if you were to travel to their native Ireland, you’d find that the Caseys, all seven of them, are legendary figures in their homeland.

I first heard about The Legendary Casey Brothers from Mildred Casey, Jim’s widow. She told me how writer Jim Hudson had come and taken down the stories from Jim Casey himself for the book, verifying everything through news clippings of the time. The result is a well-documented, well-told story about a family that produced some of the most competitive and unbeatable athletes in any era.

The Casey brothers were champion rowers to begin with, having built up their strength working their father’s farm and rowing the nearby waterways all their lives. They soon sought and conquered bigger challenges including tug of war (a huge sport in Ireland at the time), boxing, and professional wrestling.

The Legendary Casey Brothers is more than a wrestling book. It’s a terrific sports book. It’s a wonderful story about a group of brothers whose greatest competition was each other. The wrestling stories are kayfabe, which only makes you love Jim Casey more for protecting the business even as an old man. That said, the author invites you to do the research for yourself should you dispute any of the claims made regarding the Caseys’ dominance on the water, on the mat, and yes, even in tug of war. It’s all public record, and thanks to Jim Hudson, Jim Casey, and Myrtle Casey, it’s been compiled and preserved in a wonderful book.

The Legendary Casey Brothers is available on Amazon.com in paperback and on Kindle.

Tradition Continues at Midnight Girl Fight 2

If you’ve read Mad Man Pondo’s book, you know the reason Girl Fight was created. With so little female wrestling talent in the Louisville area, Pondo chose to create a promotion that would allow young, new female wrestlers could learn from and network with veteran wrestlers.

To say the promotion has been a success in that regard would be an understatement. A number of the girls who worked for Girl Fight the promotion started are now working for Shimmer, Shine, Ring of Honor, Impact, and even WWE. Pondo filled a void in the women’s wrestling scene, providing a stepping stone from the training schools and local promotions to the larger women’s wrestling stages. What’s exciting to me about the poster for Midnight Girl Fight 2: Hello Pilgrim that the promotion is still providing that vital link for younger talent.

Fans of Girl Fight will see a number of familiar faces on November 21 at Midnight. (Yes, that’s the night before Thanksgiving!) Randi West, Samantha Heights, Amazing Maria, Hayley Shadows, Khloe, and Thunderkitty are all scheduled to appear. Fans will also see Charlie Kruel, a Grindhouse Academy trainee who had a tremendous run at the last Girl Fight show including a win over Mickie Knuckles and has expanded her territory rapidly over the last year. Randi West’s protégé Alice will be making her Girl Fight debut at the show along with Grindhouse Academy’s young star, Billie Starkz.

As always the card is subject to change, but fans can expect to see:

Samantha Heights vs. Billie Starkz

Randi West vs. Alice

Piper Brooks vs. Khloe in a No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere Match

Amazing Maria vs. Lexxie Green

Hayley Shadows vs. Charlie Kruel

Cassandra Golden vs. Thunderkitty

Midnight Girl Fight 2 takes place at the promotion’s home base, the Arena at 1416 Spring Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana. For those who are curious, the last show ended just before 2:30 AM, so you should have plenty of time to get home and catch a few winks before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off at 9 AM.

Click here to go to the Facebook event page for ticket information and other details.

Nine Days Until the Rich City Comic and Pop Con

On Saturday November 3, Eat Sleep Wrestle will be in attendance for the first annual Rich City Comic and Pop Con in Richmond, Kentucky. John Cosper will be on hand with books as well as two special guests.

Mad Man Pondo is a deathmatch legend, a veteran of nearly 30 years who has been hit with everything from light tubes to barbed wire bats. He’s toured North America, Asia, and Europe, appeared in a feature role in the horror film 2001 Maniacs, and been a featured character in multiple video games. He’s rubbed shoulders with great and near great celebrities including Marilyn Manson, Vanilla Ice, and Jonny Fairplay, and he’s shared the ring with legends like Terry Funk, Junkyard Dog, Nikolai Volkoff, and Kevin Sullivan. He is the founder and promoter of Girl Fight Wrestling, and his autobiography Memoirs of a Mad Man has been a top seller on Amazon.

Hurricane J.J. Maguire (far left in the photo above) is a musician, composer, producer, and singer. For a brief time he was a member of the Gentries, and his life-long friendship with “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart led him into the world of professional wrestling. For nearly two decades he composed and recorded wrestling themes for WWF and WCW Superstars including Shawn Michaels, the Honky Tonk Man, Bret Hart, Demolition, and Hulk Hogan. He was also the chief composer and musician on Hulk Hogan’s solo album and performed with Jimmy Hart and Hogan. His upcoming autobiography will feature stories about his time with WWF, WCW, and Hulk Hogan as well as encounters with music legends like the Beatles and a very young Simon Cowell.

Mad Man Pondo and Hurricane JJ Maguire will both be at the Eat Sleep Wrestle table at the Rich City Comic and Pop Con on November 3 at the Richmond Mall, 830 Eastern Bypass in Richmond, Kentucky. The show runs from 10 AM to 4 PM, and admission is free. Come say hello, buy some merch, get some autographs, and take some photos. And be sure to visit the other great artists and vendors who will be in attendance. Rumor has it an old pal of mine named Clive the Zombie may even make an appearance.

Terry Harper Presents Delivers Again at the Arena

The great thing about a Terry Harper wrestling show is that you get to see faces and matchups you would not normally see in the Louisville area. Last night was no exception. The fans who came out were treated to a fantastic card capped by what many fans said is the best match they’ve seen all year.

There were a number of outstanding matches last night and some creative and unusual characters in the ring, including “Man Scout” Jake Manning with his camping tent and scouts manual to MJF, who is better than you and definitely not Colt Cabana’s son. Manning and MJF seemed like an odd pair on paper, but they put on a great match that included a brief appearance by Colt Cabana, who as I already told you, is not MJF’s father.

Colt was once a regular for IWA Mid-South in this area, and he received a warm welcome from the fans. The same can’t be said for Sam Adonis, the CMLL superstar who carries a Donald Trump flag to the ring. Adonis and his masked manager tossed out paper towels to the crowd and openly expressed their great love for the president. You have to hand it to Adonis. Being a pro-Trump heel in Mexico, even in 2018, is a very dangerous but very, very successful gimmick. Once again, Terry’s eye for perfect match ups was on display, as Colt got the victory and encouraged everyone to register and vote afterwards.

A special salute is due to local wrestler Matt Atreya, who filled in as one half of a tag team called “Team They Showed Up” for a bout with the Mercy Brothers. It was a bona fide squash match, but Atreya’s one liners made it memorable.

Sometimes injuries and other plans force promoters to invoke the “card subject to change” clause, and that happened twice last night. The Bomb Shelter’s Randi West filled in for Girl Fight champion Aja Pereira in a match against Sam L’eterna. The cocky young L’eterna is a Lance Storm trainee and more than held her own against the toughest broad in time and space. L’eterna has a world of potential to match her New York attitude, and West is always a fan favorite in this area.

The injury bug pulled Brian Pillman Jr., out of his much-anticipated match up with International superstar Mecha Wolf 450, opening the door for Owensboro’s Teddy King to fill a spot. Wolf and King put on a rough, hard-hitting affair that included Mecha Wolf 450 landing the hardest suicide dive I’ve ever seen on King. Wolf won the battle, but Teddy King, who spent as much time talking smack with the fans as he did wrestling, proved he belonged in the spotlight. Like him or not, he is a star to watch.

Side note: Teddy King was just announced for a match Friday, November 9, against MJF at Pro Wrestling Freedom’s “Hot Dog and a Handshake” at the Arena in Jeffersonville. If you weren’t planning on attending that show already, this match is a potential show stealer.

Wolf and King would have been the match of the night, had the main event not exceeded all expectations as it did. Teddy Hart is the oldest of Stu’s grandchildren, and his family’s legacy of greatness is evident in everything he does in the ring. This was not his first time stepping in the ring with former WWE Cruiserweight star Rich Swann, and the chemistry between the two was undeniable. The two did plenty of high-flying spots, but they also twisted each other in knots, trying for a submission.

There was a scary moment near the end when Hart slipped off the top rope and fell on his neck, but when Swann went for the quick pin, Hart kept out and kept going… and going… and going. The moment he secured a victory of Swann with a three count, the crowd was on its feet, cheering “Thank you both!” and “Please come back!”

For what it’s worth, the controversial Teddy Hart was exceptionally gracious in his in-ring speeches before and after the match and more than generous with his time. He shook hands with every fan he could on the way to the ring and paid homage to his family’s incredible legacy.

Brian Pillman, Jr., who accompanied Teddy to ringside, was also very gracious and approachable. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and a real love for the business. He also has a look that screams future WWE Superstar. Let’s hope the injury bug will leave him alone so he can build some real momentum!

I had the chance to meet a few wrestling students and rookies in the crowd as well. Hood Wolf is a Joseph Schwartz student who was willing to shoot some video for an upcoming Eat Sleep Wrestle comedy short. He’s got a lot of enthusiasm for the current state of the business and a great appreciation for the past. And then there’s the sweetheart of Grindhouse Academy Billie Starkz, who had her first match earlier this month. Billie is bright, energetic, and has a smile that’s infectious. I wish them both all the best.

Rumor has it Terry Harper has one more show in him this year, possibly Christmas time. He wasn’t forthcoming with what gifts he will bring on his next card, but given his track record, it’s sure to be another can’t miss.

Terry Harper Presents Wrestling Returns to the Arena

There are different types of wrestling fans in the Louisville area. There are OVW-only fans and IWA-Mid South Kool-Aid drinkers. There are fans who never miss Pro Wrestling Freedom, fans who never miss Paradigm Pro Wrestling, fans who never miss Grindhouse, and fans who love all three. There are some fans who never miss any show, anywhere. And there are many, many fans who never get out to an independent show because they only watch WWE.

I’m not here to shame the WWE-only fans. (Okay, I might as well. Shame on you!!) Regardless what kind of fan you are, I am here to tell you you need to be at the Arena tomorrow night for Terry Harper’s next show.

Terry is normally a concert promoter. In the past year he’s booked acts like Chanel West Coast, Fozzy, and Clownvis Presley. But once or twice a year, he calls his pal Mad Man Pondo and says, “I wanna put on a wrestling show. Who should I book?”

This week, Terry Harper brings you the Louisville area debut of Brian Pillman, Jr., a second generation star who has become a must-see attraction in only his first year in the business. He also brings you Louisville fan favorite Colt Cabana, former WWE Cruiserweight star Rich Swann, and wrestling royalty in the form of Teddy Hart.

Aja Pereira will also be on the card defending her Girl Fight Women’s Wrestling Championship. Other stars include Mecha Wolf 450, Sam Adonis, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Jake Manning, The Mercy Brothers, Sam Leterna, Clayton Cosby, and Jordan Kage.

The Arena is located at 1416 Spring Street in Jeffersonville. Get there early if you go. Terry Harper’s events are well-attended, and it is likely to sell out!

What Was the Best Part of OVW 1000?

Ohio Valley Wrestling held its 1000th TV taping last night, beating WWE Smackdown to that mark by a few weeks. It’s an unprecedented achievement, and from all appearances this legendary promotion is not about to slow down.

The event was a sold out engagement in the heart of downtown Louisville at 4th Street Live, just a few blocks from the Louisville Gardens. Rising stars like Randall Floyd and Justin Smooth were given the chance to shine alongside legends like Billy Gunn and Tommy Dreamer. Fan favorites like Mr. Anderson, Paul Burchill, Michael Hayes, Randy Royal, and Simon Dean made return appearances. The hardcore legend Mick Foley put in a special appearance. Abyss was crowned the new OVW Heavyweight Champion. And Gilbert Corsey introduced the fathers of OVW – Joe Wheeler, Rip Rogers, Dean Hill, Jim Cornette, and of course, Danny Davis – to a rousing ovation.

It was a memorable night from top to bottom, but for this fan, the best part of the evening took place outside the ring. It happened in the walkways around the ringside area in the center of 4th Street Live, in the outdoor dining areas at Guy’s Smokehouse and other restaurants, and behind the cheap seat bleachers.

The best part was watching the passersby, who dropped by 4th Street for dinner or an after work drink. The best part was seeing the look of a ten year old boy in the eyes of three men in business casual attire, watching the action from behind the cheap seats.

They didn’t buy tickets. I doubt they knew wrestling was going on that night. It may have been years since any of them had sat down to watch any wrestling. Last night, for a moment, they were kids again, spellbound by the action of professional wrestlers doing what they do best.

By all indications, last night was not the last time such moments would be made, as Gilbert Corsey hinted there will be more shows at 4th Street Live. There certainly will be more shows coming from OVW, and more superstars emerging from the school. The legacy of OVW is in great hands thanks to new owner Al Snow, and the story of one of the premiere independent wrestling promotions is still being written.

Congratulations to everyone at OVW.

New Releases for Paperback and Kindle

Last week saw one new release in paperback and two Kindle releases from Eat Sleep Wrestle!

First up is the bedtime story “Good Night Ninja,” a collaboration between myself and my long-time friend Hy Zaya. Hy has always enjoyed sneaking selfies with sleeping passengers on wrestling road trips, and we decided to turn these delightful photos into a children’s book. Mad Man Pondo, Referee Man Bun, Jason Saint, Tyler Matrix, and Shane Mercer are just a few of the supporting characters in this short story.

Next up, the biography of Lord Leslie Carlton has finally come to Kindle. Kindle readers get all the same stories and images as paperback readers with one added bonus: the photos of Lord Carlton’s artwork inside the book are in color! 

Finally, I rereleased Louisville’s Greatest Show for Kindle over the weekend. This is actually an updated version of the book with expanded biographical profiles of Stu Gibson, Elvira Snodgrass, Blacksmith Pedigo, and “The Black Panther” Jim Mitchell. The paperback edition was quietly updated as well, so if you haven’t yet read my favorite book out of the bunch, this is the time to do so!

Meet Mad Man Pondo and Hurricane JJ Maguire on November 3

November 3 is the first annual Rich City Comic and Pop Con in Richmond, Kentucky, and Eat Sleep Wrestle will be there. Joining me for this special event will be Mad Man Pondo and “Hurricane JJ” Maguire.

Mad Man Pondo is a deathmatch legend, a JCW Hall of Fame who released his autobiography “Memoirs of a Mad Man” this past summer. Pondo will be signing books and taking photos with fans as well as promoting his own Girl Fight Wrestling promotion.

“Hurricane JJ” Maguire is an unsung legend, the composer and co-author of over 100 wrestling themes. Maguire partnered with Jimmy Hart on songs like “Sexy Boy,” “Honky Tonk Man,” and the song from Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth’s wedding, “Together.” He also appeared in our recent short film, “War Chant Eddie.”

The Rich City Comic and Pop Con takes place at the Richmond Mall, and admission is free. Come meet Pondo, JJ, and myself and see all the other amazing vendors.

And be sure to “meet” my old pal Clive the Zombie at the Moturoais booth.

How to Turn Creepy Fans Into Gimmick Table Gold

Like most female wrestlers, Jordynne Grace is subject to the creepy, inappropriate messages that a small minority (at least I hope it’s small) of wrestling fans thinks is acceptable. It’s the kind of crap that was unacceptable before the #MeToo era and is absolutely inexcusable now.

Jordynne is a very sharp lady with a wicked sense of humor. At least I presume she is because she’s taken the creepy fodder DM’ed to her on social media and turned it into gold. Jordynne now not only offers a book of creepy DMs from fans, she’s turned some of them into a T-shirt.

The T-shirt and book are rated R content. Not the kind  of thing you can wear to your niece’s fifth birthday party, but perfect attire for a lot of wrestling shows.

Check out Jordynne’s book, T-shirt, and other merch on her website. And for heaven’s sake, guys, let’s lay off the creepy messages. It’s 2018. Act like it.