Mr. Brickster Builds His Career One Brick At A Time

On Friday night I saw one of my favorite heels in independent wrestling in his retirement match. Teddy King didn’t go out with his back on the mat. He went out with his bare back on a pile of Legos. It was a gutsy choice King himself made to put over a good friend who takes bumps almost every night on Legos, a man they call Mr. Brickster. Teddy and Brickster had a great match, but the thing that impressed me the most was seeing Brickster seek out Tracy Smothers at intermission to get his feedback. I knew from that he was a man who not only loves what he does but is truly committed to getting better. Until I talked with him a few days later, I didn’t know the half of it.

Born Ricky Perillo, Mr. Brickster hails from Buffalo, New York. His parents separated when he was very young and he didn’t have much. “My mom worked her tail off for us,” he says. “She’s everything to me. She really took great care of us. It was Dad who introduced my to wrestling, though, and that’s how the two of us bonded after my parents separated.” 

Brickster was an athlete and an artist as a kid. “I was captain of the football team, and I starred in the school musicals. My teammates would always come out to support me.” Having one foot in the theater and one on the football field laid a foundation (pun intended) for the message he now has, using Legos to bring people together.

As a young man of 21, Brickster was cast on the VH-1 reality series “I Love New York” as a character named Romance. The show became a big hit in the early days of reality TV, but Brickster admits he made a lot of bad decisions during that time. “I realized I was going down a bad path, and that’s when I turned back to God.” 

Mr. Brickster’s parents were not religious people, but he had grown up a Christian thanks in part to his grandmother, who got him involved with the Circle C Christian Camp at an early age, a place he says changed his life. After coming to a dead end, he went back to the church. His renewed faith in God set him on the right path. “I met my wife through the church, and we’ve been married almost ten years now.” 

Once he was out of the spotlight, Brickster got a regular job and became very successful, but after his Dad passed away, he felt called to go into professional wrestling. “My wife was not about it. She’s an ultra-conservative woman, and she just wasn’t feeling it. I told her I was going to start training, and see what happens.”

Mr. Brickster started training at Grapplers Anonymous in New York, where he got a solid education in how to work and how to respect the business. “That was when Lex Luger came into my life as well. Luger taught me a lot about making my brand and how to make sure everything I do tells a story. He also told me about a lot of the mistakes he made so that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes.”

One door after another opened up for Mr. Brickster, and best of all, his wife came around and became a fan. He blew out his knee, which put him out of the ring for a while, but he took advantage of the time to watch film and learn as much as he could.

After getting back into the ring, Mr. Brickster felt the nudge to move from Buffalo to a larger entertainment city. He and his wife began praying for the right opportunity, and a door opened up in Nashville. Many of their friends thought they were making a big mistake, but once again, Brickster found himself in the right place at the right time. “I told my friend Dylan Hales I was headed to Nashville, and he connected me to Kerry Awful.”

Kerry Awful was not interested in training Mr. Brickster at first, but the newcomer blew him away with his passion for the business and for life. “It never felt like a job or burden to teach him,” says Awful. “He would drive for almost an hour to me, then another hour to our facility. He would then spend sometimes 4/5/6 hours in the ring with me. To the point of pure exhaustion sometimes. Then drive two hours home. This doesn’t include all the times at home watching tape for hours , upon hours, asking questions and taking notes. Paying dues by driving on his off weekends with me to set up the ring and ask questions not just to me, but to the people I look up to as well. He worked his damn tail off.”

It’s hard to argue with Brickster’s belief that he was called to be a wrestler when you see the path he’s taken. Sitting beneath the learning tree of Kerry Awful, who himself is one of Brutal Bob Evans’ staunchest disciples, Brickster found himself working with guys like Teddy King and Kevin Ku who not only excel in the ring but have the business savvy to succeed outside the ring. He has a brand and a plan, and he’s building a name for himself brick by brick (pun once again definitely intended).

Simply put, Mr. Brickster has become more than just a wrestler. He is a motivational speaker for kids and adults with vision to bring people together of every shape, size, and color. The father of a two-year old, Brickster loves speaking to children, and he’s found a warm audience in schools, wrestling promotions, and even businesses for his faith-inspired message. 

“Much like Legos, we come come in all shapes and sizes, but if we build together, we can build beautiful things. We are better together. That’s my message, and it all comes from Jesus. I think it’s the right time for it, too.”

I had to ask Mr. Brickster what it feels like falling on Legos every night. “There’s nothing fun about it,” he says, “But it’s all part of the art.”

Mr. Brickster is enjoying his weekends on the road and his weekdays as a stay at home dad. He has a fantastic support system at home, beginning with his wife, and he has a goal. “I’m a WWE guy, and I’ve always wanted to work for the WWE. I want to end up there, or AEW.”

It may happen sooner rather than later. Mr. Brickster made an appearance as “The Librarian” in a recent episode of Being the Elite alongside Cody Rhodes. He’s on their radar, and judging from the roster they have built, he might find the perfect fit for his come one, come all message.

Brickster nation is for everyone, and fans are welcome to follow the action on social media. You can follow Mr. Brickster at Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook

Fans in Nashville, Tennessee can celebrate Mr. Brickster’s one year anniversary in the business this weekend on Easter Sunday as he faces A.C. Mack at Southern Underground Pro Wrestling.

And be sure to check out his website or more information on Mr. Brickster the wrestler, the public speaker, and the man.

“Everyone is welcome, no matter who you are,” says Mr. Brickster. “We just have to build together.”

Well said, my friend.

Down with the Slickness: Midnight Girl Fight Returns!

I’ve been to many independent wrestling shows and seen many crowds. I’ve watched mid-day shows weekday evening shows, and weekend shows. I’ve seen many, many shows at the Arena in Jeffersonville. There’s not a crowd anywhere has lovely or as raucous as a Midnight Girl Fight crowd.

Girl Fight is a phenomenal promotion as it is, but there’s something about the caffeine-fueled midnight crowds that’s extra special. It brings out the best in the ladies as well, and the second show this last fall was even better than the summer time first. The spring 2019 edition is almost upon us, and Friday night at 11:59 p.m., I’m expecting to see an even more lively audience for this week’s card.

Top to bottom this show has the potential to be one of the best Girl Fight shows yet. Girl Fight champion Aja Pereira showed her toughness in a recent time limit draw against Paradigm Pro champion A.J. Gray, but she will have her hands full not only with opponent Ravana Xin, but former WWE manager Slick at ringside.

You read that right. Mad Man Pondo booked the Reverend Slick for a midnight show on Good Friday!

Your co-main event is a battle of good versus evil with teen sensation Billie Starkz facing a former Girl Fight champ, the Demon Bride Su Yung. I have to question the sanity of all involved, booking the sweet but tough newcomer against the woman who recently killed Allie in Impact. Billie likes to bite, but she appears to have bitten off more than she can chew this time.

Some Girl Fight regulars are scheduled to face off on the same night, including Charlie Kruel vs Thunderkitty and Alice Crowley vs Khloe. Randi West and Amazing Maria will also be in action, and fans will be watching to see if Maria is ready to make good on her recent threats to go after the Girl Fight title by any means necessary.

Girl Fight kicks off at 11:59 p.m. Friday evening, with a special meet and greet for fans who want to see Slick and Su Yung beginning at 10:30 p.m. You can contact Rebecca Ann Bridget for ticket sales or go to the Midnight Girl Fight Facebook event page for more information.

The Doctor is REAL In!

When I first published Dr. D David Schultz’s book just over a year ago, I gave him an option to buy me out so he could own the book outright if he so chose at some time in the future. This spring, Dr. D opted to buy me out, and that transition is now complete.

Dr. D is truly his own man, and now, he’s his own publisher. You can now find his book on Amazon by clicking here.

And if you’re interested in the Herb Welch book, which Dr. D also owns, you can find it by clicking here.

Sounds like the Doctor has big plans for the book, and I wish him well. Heck, if he follows through and creates an audiobook, I’ll be first in line to buy it!

When We Wanted to Be Hulkamaniacs

I’ve mentioned in interviews and possibly on this blog that my introduction to wrestling books came through a friend of mine who moved in with me during the summer and fall of 2004. His name was Randy, and he’s the guy with the frightened expression sandwiched between me and my friend Jamie. It’s largely because of him this website and all the books on the website happened.

But this is not that story.

In addition to bringing his VHS tapes and books, Randy brought wrestling music – lots and lots and lots of it.  His digital music collection included everything released from WWE, WCW, and ECW. He also had another wrestling-related album the three of us came to adore: Hulk Rules by Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band. 

I’m not making this up. This is not some spin just because I am not working with Wrestling Boot Band maestro “Hurricane JJ” Maguire on his memoir. When the three of us were out and about and we weren’t listening to No Doubt or Green Day, we were listening to wrestling music. Hulk Rules was our favorite, with our three three tracks being “Beach Patrol,” “I Wanna Be a Hulkamaniac,” and “Hulkster in Heaven.”

One evening we were dropping Jamie off at her house. As soon as she shut the car door, we rolled down the window, cranked up the stereo, and serenaded her: “The car just lost another Hulkamaniac.” Jamie laughed so hard, her Dr. Pepper shot out of her nose all over the sidewalk. 

It completely blows my mind that I am working with the man who put all the music behind Hulk Rules together. JJ Maguire has lived an amazing life, and readers are going to love his Hollywood movie star stories, his rock n roll stories, and yes, his wrestling stories. But it really was a thrill when I found out that beyond “Sexy Boy” and “Cool Cocky Bad,” JJ was the music to Jimmy Hart’s lyrics on Hulk Rules.

Say what you want about the album, the songs are fun, and there’s a charm to them that is undeniable. I was sick to death of “American Idiot” before that summer was over, but I never got sick of hearing “Beach Patrol.”

“‘We love to party, party, party!’”

Watch Elev8 Pro’s Darkness Falls for Free!

I first saw Elev8 Pro’s Ben Wood wrestle probably 10 years ago on a small independent show in Louisville. We didn’t meet until I cast him in a short film I produced a year or so later. I’ve enjoyed watching his many adventures in wrestling and in film. Did you catch him backing up Arnold in Escape Plan? That was flipping amazing.

Ben is now producing Elev8 Pro, available on Fite. He invited me to watch their latest free episode, and so I am passing the invitation on to you!

Folks, there has never been a time when wrestling fans everywhere had this many options – not even when Corny and Bolin were on the rooftop with their battery-operated TV trying to get the wrestling broadcasts from Hawaii. You don’t like Raw? Then give this a look. You might find you new favorite wrestler and wrestling show all in one fell swoop!

Teeny: Brennon Martin’s Biographical Novel Will Hold You In “The Grip”

It took me way to long to finally pick up this book and read it. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down.

Memphis Wrestling fans know Teeny Jarrett as the lady who ran the show in Louisville, Evansville, Lexington, and spot towns for her son Jerry. Many of these stories have been told before, but here, Martin presents them in a narrative that is cinematic and compelling.

In addition to telling the story of Teeny’s rise from ticket sales to powerful promoter, Martin pulls back the curtain on the Jarrett family drama in a way that is both touching and heartbreaking. He traces Teeny’s life from her poor upbringing with an alcoholic marriage, through an ill-fated marriage, to her troubled relationships with her siblings, and her struggles to hold her own children and grandchildren together.

In the end, Martin gives wrestling fans a clear portrait of one of the most powerful women in the history of wrestling. Teeny Jarrett was a self-made millionaire who worked her way up through the ranks. She humbled everyone from Jack Pfefer to the Iron Sheik, with her signature move, a one-handed face clench known as “The Grip.” In an era when women’s wrestling has come to the fore and women are taking their place alongside men as modern day attractions, Teeny Jarrett’s story is an important and inspiring narrative that every wrestling fan needs to know.

Brennon Martin set out to write one book to tell the story of his grandmother, Teeny Jarrett. I daresay he has a gift for this sort of thing, and I hope Teeny won’t be his last effort.

Kudos to you, Brennon, for making your grandmother proud.

You can pick up your copy of Teeny on Amazon.com.

RD and Blade Poised to Crap on Starrcast II

My favorite memory of Starrcast was when Joey Ryan swung by the table to shake hands with Dr. D David Schultz. This may explain why my second favorite part about Starrcast was hanging out with the Wrestlecrap gang.

I won’t be there for round 2,  but I am thrilled the Powers That Be saw fit to book RD and Blade for Starrcast II. Wrestlecrap had one of the most popular booths at the convention, offering fans photo ops with the Gobbledygooker and Katie Vick. They also tore it up on the stage with two live presentations, including RD going one on one with Eric Bischoff.

I have no idea what the boys are cooking up for Vegas, but take it from me: if you go, you will want to see what they do.

If you go to Starrcast II, plan your day around whatever events Wrestlecrap presents. You can thank me later.

Who Wants to Watch Raw with Mark Henry?

How would you like to watch Monday Night Raw with a WWE Hall of Famer?

Mark Henry is giving fans that opportunity starting this spring as he kicks off a new tour dubbed, Monday Nights with Mark Henry. Fans get the opportunity to watch Raw alongside the World’s Strongest Man and hear stories from his amazing life and career. Attendees will also come away with a one-of-a-kind Mark Henry T-shirt and an autographed photo. You might even hear Mark tell a story or two about the Black Panther Jim Mitchell!

Four dates have already been announced: April 15 in Nashville, April 22 in Kansas City, April 29 in Las Vegas, and May 6 in New York. Tickets start at $65 and can be purchased now on Mark’s website. Must be 18 or older to attend.

Visit Mark Henry’s website for more information and tickets.

Photo credit: www.themarkhenry.com

More Art from the Remarkable Lord Carlton

The “Lady Carlton” just sent me a few new pics of her father’s art work. Lord Leslie Carlton was a huge draw and a much hated heel in his day, but he was an undeniably talented artist before and after becoming a star in the ring.

I’d LOVE to get my hands on the Marx Brothers print.

To learn more about Lord Carlton, be sure to pick up his biography, available from Eat Sleep Wrestle. Click the book cover below to learn more!

Black Panther Earns Praise from Tim Hornbaker

A few months ago I sent a draft of the Black Panther biography to sports and wrestling historian Tim Hornbaker. I was quite humbled and flattered when he sent his endorsement:

“Wrestling historian John Cosper has done it again. His newest book, The Original Black Panther: The Life and Legacy of Jim Mitchell is a fascinating journey into the history of one of wrestling’s forgotten superstars. This book is compelling, informative, and leave you wanting more. Major kudos to Mr. Cosper. Another great job!”

The book is selling well, and I’m trying to replenish my stock now. You can order yours on Amazon.com, or if you want a signed copy, you can get one direct from me for $15 plus postage. Email me at johncosper@yahoo.com to order.