Midnight Girl Fight Preview: Piper Brooks

Girl Fight Wrestling has granted Eat Sleep Wrestle total access to the roster for its second midnight show, Midnight Girl Fight 2: Howdy, Pilgrim! Today is part three of this series, featuring Piper Brooks. 

To many wrestling, fans, an all-women’s show is a gimmick in itself. Never mind that there are a number of great all-women’s promotions who have put on hundreds (yes, WWE, hundreds) of all-women’s pay-per-views. To some fans, it’s novelty enough in itself. Girl Fight likes to push the boundaries of how people view women’s wrestling. Not only are they running their second midnight show, this one features a match with a no disqualification, falls count anywhere stipulation between two very brutal, hard-hitting women.

A former MP in the US Army, the powerful Piper Brooks is one half of that match up, facing the smaller but very dangerous Girl Fight veteran in Khloe. Khloe just made her debut for Juggalo Championship Wrestling, as blood-thirsty a crowd as you’ll find anywhere, but Piper is no stranger to ultra-violent matches. “I’ve had a no dq and last woman standing match. I actually really enjoyed them. I’m pretty excited for the falls count anywhere part.”

Brooks and Khloe will likely send fans running for cover, and if Brooks has anything to say about it, they will give the fans something to remember. “Lots of hard hitting. Smack talking. Biting. Maybe blood. Lots of fun.”

Piper is thrilled such a match is taking place at Girl Fight, and she’s grateful for the opportunities women’s promotions offer. “They make it easier to get recognition. People take the female wrestling more seriously because they see it happening more. We can do the same stuff the guys can. Or better in some cases.”

Midnight Girl Fight takes place the evening before Thanksgiving, and like all of the other women on the card, Piper sees no good reason for fans to skip this show. “I mean, unless you’ll be at the pound rescuing pit bulls, there’s no other place to be. You get too see this amazing all female wrestling show, where we put it all on the line. Literally, there’s nothing better.”

Fans can see this match and more at Midnight Girl Fight 2 on November 21 at the Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana, 1416 Spring Street. Bell time is at 11:59 PM.

Midnight Girl Fight Preview: Hayley Shadows

Girl Fight Wrestling has granted Eat Sleep Wrestle total access to the roster for its second midnight show, Midnight Girl Fight 2: Howdy, Pilgrim! Today is part two of this series, featuring Charlie Kruel’s opponent for the event, Hayley Shadows. 

Hayley Shadows is no stranger to the Girl Fight scene, and she’s certainly no rookie like her opponent at Midnight Girl Fight 2. She faced Su Yung at a Girl Fight event in 2017, her favorite match at the promotion thus far, and she also made an appearance on WWE Smackdown facing Tamina. “I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity that I was given on Smackdown to go against someone like Tamina Snuka. By far my biggest achievement of my career so far.”

Shadows is also proud of her association with Girl Fight and welcomes every opportunity she gets to work with them. “Girl Fight gives women a chance to perform within themselves. Not only do we get to steal the show, but every single one of us gets specific roles. There’s no other company around here that does an all women’s show, every show. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of, and to grow, and learn from all the other women that get to be a part of it as well.”

Hayley is no stranger to her opponent, Charlie Kruel, and she’s looking forward to giving Kruel another beat down. “I’ve wrestled Charlie multiple times, and beat her every single time. I’m the original, and she can’t hold a candle to the one that’ll rip her head off of her shoulders!”

Shadows is excited to be a part of the second ever midnight show. “Not only is Girl Fight the only promotion that does a Midnight show, but it’s also filled talented women that strive at the chance of opportunity. We all work extremely hard to put on the best shows possible, and with it being at midnight you know it’s bound to get chaotic.”

Fans can see this match and more at Midnight Girl Fight 2 on November 21 at the Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana, 1416 Spring Street. Bell time is at 11:59 PM.

MJF vs. Teddy King – Who Is Better Than Whom?

MJF believes he’s better than you. His T-shirt says it. He says it in the ring. He’s arrogant, he’s cocky, and right now, he has the CZW Heavyweight Title to back it up. He also has a date with the equally arrogant, cocky, and verbose Teddy King of Owensboro this Friday night at Pro Wrestling Freedom, and the two may very well fill the Jeffersonville Arena with enough hot air to make the building float away.

I had the chance to speak to Teddy King about the match. When I asked him what he thought about the opportunity to go after such a major title, he scoffed that this was something new for him. “I’ve had shots at real tittles before. STATE titles. Matter of fact I’m undefeated in title matches!”

As far as his opponent, King doesn’t disagree with MJF’s self-assessments. “MJF says he is better then all these scrubs he’s been in the ring with and that’s true. The fact is MJF has never been in the ring with a Varsity Athlete. I’m like DJ Khalid, ‘All I do is win, win, win no matter what!'”

King has had some huge opportunities as of late, and he continues to expand his territory. But as Friday approaches, he is solely focused on one thing. “Winning the CZW Title would finally legitimize who I am as wrestler. I say I’m the best because I know I am. Now it’s time for everybody else to find that out.”

It will be interesting to see what the fans do as this match kicks off Friday evening. MJF doesn’t have a lot of fans, but neither does Teddy King. I’d go as far as to say at least 90% of the PWF faithful would want to see King take a brutal beating from just about anyone. Put him in the ring with MJF and sooner or later, fans will likely be chanting, “This is awesome!”

That, or praying for a meteor to crash through the ceiling and put an end to, say it with me, “Both these guys!”

MJF vs. Teddy King happens Friday night at Pro Wrestling Freedom. Bell time is at 8 PM at the Arena in Jeffersonville, 1416 Spring Street.

Billie Starkz Demands Your Attention – Especially You, Zach Pittman

Billie Starkz has only been a wrestler, officially, less than a month, but Grindhouse Academy product is selling her feud with Zach Pittman better than WWE sells its current product.

At Sunday’s Grindhouse show at the Jeffersonville Arena, she managed to sneak away with a prized plaque that belongs to Pittman, and ever since, she’s been taunting him with photos of the plaque on social media. The plaque has been used as a footrest, attended classes, and had many adventures in the past few days. It’s been fun to watch, and the week has only just begun.

Independent wrestlers today are small businesses. They are their own brand managers, and those who learn how to market themselves well will go far.

It’s still very early in her career, but I think Billie Starkz has a bright future in this business.

You can catch Billie in action every Sunday at 2 PM with Grindhouse Pro Wrestling at the Arena in Jeffersonville, 1416 Spring Street. Billie will also make her debut with Girl Fight Wrestling at their next Midnight Girl Fight show. Bell time is 11:59 PM on Wednesday, November 21, the night before Turkey Day.

(Photo credit: Mouse’s Wrestling Adventures)

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.

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!

NXT: The Best of Both Worlds

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. I’ve been on vacation, and I’ve been working hard to get Mad Man Pondo’s book ready for release. (We’re almost there, I promise.) Out of the blue yesterday, I found myself at NXT in Louisville, Kentucky. Long story short: I remembered why I fell in love with NXT originally, and I found an even deeper appreciation for the “other, other” WWE brand.

I won’t review the show, but here are some thoughts on an unexpected trip to NXT.

The War Raiders look like a tag team from a bygone era, both their look and the way they hit. I miss them in New Japan, but it looks to me like they’re doing just fine.

EC3 walks and talks like a face that could run the place. Only a matter of time before he’s one of the guys on the signage over the toy shelves.

Fabian Aichner has real potential as a heel. Great match against EC3.

Aliyah is a heat magnet she knows how to enrage a crowd, and she revels in it. I loved watching her introduce herself, only to get “Who are you?” chants in return.

Kairy Sane has to be seen live to be fully appreciated. She is electric. Even when she was at ringside watching her tag team partner Candice LeRae, she was always on. She also gave the crowd a laugh when she joined in on the “Who are you?” bit with Aliyah.

My happily married buddy Kevin Cordell says Adam Cole is his “boyfriend,” and having seen him live, I can see why he’s so infatuated. Adam Cole may be the most entertaining wrestler I’ve ever seen live. His psychology with the crowd, his charisma, and his sense of humor make for a killer combination. He played with the crowd the entire match, and they played back. He’s supposed to be the bad guy, but how do you hate a man who is that good?

Speaking of good, Raul Mendoza is a show stopper. I’m pretty sure most of the fans had no clue who he was when he made his entrance, but they won’t forget him. Props to Cole for making him shine.

The NXT tag division is outstanding, and so much better than the Red and Blue brands. After the opener between War Raiders and TM61, we were treated to O’Reilly and Strong vs. Lorcan and Burch. Both matches were terrific.

Kassius Ohno is still in my mind the most under appreciated man in wrestling. He does not have bad matches. And the Louisville crowd was solidly behind the man they will forever know as Chris Hero. Terrific match with Velveteen Dream.

It was a bit disappointing not to see Ricochet in action, but the Kentucky native received a very warm welcome when he made an appearance to hype his confrontation with Dream at Saturday’s Takeover show.

Nikki Cross is nuts, and her fans wouldn’t want her any other way. While sitting in a corner, she heard a fan shout, “Hey Nikki!” Nikki turned and gave the crowd her crazy eyed grin. “Kick her butt!” said the fan. Nikki nodded in wild-eyed agreement. No words needed to be said. She’s a non stop whirlwind of insanity, and I love it.

Shayna Baszler had more heel heat than anyone else on the show. All night long, the fans split on the other heels, especially Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream. There was no split with Baszler. She has pure heel heat. She’s going to do well in WWE.

Lars Sullivan is a classic monster in the French Angel mold. He’s also a terrific athlete. He had a war with Aleister Black in the main event that ended in a DQ win for Black, setting up their Takeover main event Saturday.

Major props to all the stars who signed the poster for the guy celebrating one year cancer free. After the first match, it looked like word had spread backstage, and everyone made a point to sign the poster.

Huge props as well to Aleister Black for his post match interaction with the fans. This was my first time seeing Black in person, and after collecting his title belt, he rolled out of the ring and started making his way around ringside.  He went around twice, posing for selfies with every single fan who wanted one. A true class act.

The NXT show took place at Broadbent Arena, a smaller venue than the YUM! Center Smackdown took over two months ago. The crowd was much smaller for NXT, but that actually made for a better show. The wrestlers engaged the fans more, and the fans were much more into the action here than at Smackdown. I didn’t hear a dozen disinterested conversations around me because the NXT crowd came to see wrestling. They are the Network subscribers, but they’re also the die hards who know guys like Adam Cole and Chris Hero and Candice LeRae from the independent scene. It’s a shame the crowds aren’t bigger for NXT, but then again, it would be a shame to ruin the wonderful thing NXT has going.

NXT has the top level talent and production of the WWE paired with the heart and spirit of the indies. It is the best of both worlds. 

A very big thank you to Kassius Ohno for inviting me to the show last minute. He was one of our very first interviews for Mad Man Pondo’s book before his return to NXT. After all these years of near misses, it was great to finally sit down and talk with him. Thank you again for your hospitality. See you down the road!