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In This Corner: AKIRA

First off, let’s get this straight. If you spell it with lowercase letters, you’re spelling it wrong.

“It’s AKIRA not Akira,” explains AKIRA, a truly gifted young shooter who stole the show at Girl Fight’s Pick Your Poison event in Southern Indiana last November. “One looks cool, the other looks like you forgot my last name.”

Although he lives just a stone’s throw away from the Jeffersonville, Indiana Arena, many local fans have never seen AKIRA in action before Girl Fight. Yet AKIRA is a hard-working, extreme grappler who has traveled all over the US and Mexico and bears the battle scars to prove it. He’s also one of a growing number of young wrestlers who continues to study the once lost art of shoot fighting.

“I started off with Blake Reed of New Wave Pro,” he explains. “Then I went to train with Katsuyori Shibata for a week and really found a base for my style. I then followed that up by training with Jay Grooms, who was a student of the late Great Billy Robinson. So you can generally trace bits and pieces of my background to Robinson, and by a stretttchhhh Inoki and Gotch.

If the names Billy Robinson, Karl Gotch, or (heaven forbid!) Antonio Inoki are unfamiliar, you should look them up. Robinson was a legitimate shooter, one of those “dangerous” grapplers old wrestlers speak about with the same respect as Haku and Dr. D David Schultz. In other words, he’s a man you didn’t play cute with in the ring unless you really wanted to get hurt. Antonio Inoki, of course, is one of the great legends of Japan and the founder of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Karl Gotch was his mentor and Billy’s, a truly dangerous man and the one guy Muhammed Ali would not go near when he was in Japan to face Inoki.

All this to say, AKIRA knows his legacy, and his legacy is men who could hurt people.

That’s not to say AKIRA doesn’t know how to work a wrestling match. He’s trained with a number of big name and “outlaw” style grapplers too, including the Rejects. AKIRA can work with anyone, but he knows how to protect himself. In days gone by, when men like Dr. D first trained with men like Herb Welch, they were taught how to shoot so they could protect themselves in the ring. It’s a skill many wrestlers who were trained in a Performance Center never even touch, but it’s one AKIRA values highly. “You can’t trust everyone,” he adds. “I’d rather be able to have some sort of semblance of control in a fight.”

It’s easy to see AKIRA’s heroes in his wrestling style. As a kid, he idolized men like Brett Hart, RVD, Hayavusa, Tajiri, and the Rock. ”When I got back into wrestling around 18, it was Suzuki, Nakamura, Shibata, Sakuraba, Styles. I would even add Lesnar to that list. Kasai and Gage inspired me to try deathmatches.”

As a writer of wrestling history, I love guys like AKIRA, who appreciate the stories of the men and women who came before him. AKIRA sees value in learning about the past, as a fan and as a wrestler. “History teaches respect. It shows the good of wrestling and the bad of if as well. History teaches acknowledgement of those that came before you.”

He’s got an ambitious wish list of wrestlers he hopes to share the ring with one day, including Katsuyori Shibata,  DBS, Jr., Minoru Suzuki, Simon Grimm, Chris Dickinson, Josh Barnett, Tom Lawlor, Hiromu Takahashi, Nakamura, Ibushi, Takeda, Kasai, Daniel Makabe, and Tony Deppen (again).

AKIRA’s had many rivals in the ring, but if there’s one wrestler you could call his nemesis, it’s Charlie Kruel. Fans of Ms. Kruel have long enjoyed listening to AKIRA heckle the psycho killer from the back of the room during her matches, and I just had to ask AKIRA, why do you hate the girl so much.

AKIRA just hangs his head and sighs. “I live with her. Like…that’s all that needs to be said. And she doesn’t take Kota the Deathmatch Doge out.” Nuff said.

AKIRA’s love of deathmatches is well-known, and fans who visit his social media feeds will see plenty of blood and scars. That said, AKIRA, is far from being “just a bleeder.” He can work any style you throw at him and put on as entertaining a match as you’ll see on the independents. “I can legitimately wrestle, but that doesn’t mean I can’t slug it out with the best of them. I have a love for scifi anime and film, and my music tastes cover a weird spectrum.”

AKIRA’s goal is the same as many young wrestlers: “To make a living on my own terms and be looked upon in a heralded light at the end of the day for my contributions,” he says. “To be a King…you know? At the end of the day, I just want to fight for you all.”

If you want to check out AKIRA (again, all caps!) you can find him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @theakiraway. And be sure to visit his Teespring shop: Akira’s Corner.

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Available Now: The Italian Temper

The Italian Temper

Every city has its wrestling heroes, sung and unsung. Sometimes it’s the unsung heroes who prove to be the most interesting.

Everybody knows that Jim Cornette hail from Louisville, Kentucky, but you can’t appreciate the full story of the city without knowing about Heywood Allen, Blacksmith Pedigo, Jim Mitchell, Stu Gibson, and even Kenny Starmaker Bolin.

The big name everyone knows from Des Moines is NWA founder Pinky George. But when you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover the name Alphonse “Babe” Bisignano and a story so outrageous, it captured the mind of a pro wrestling historian who lives half the world away from Iowa.

Eat Sleep Wrestle is proud to be the publisher for the Professional Wrestling Historical Society’s own Jimmy Wheeler and his first book, The Italian Temper: The Story of How Alphonse “Babe” Bisignano Turned Out All Right.

Babe was a boxer, bootlegger, restaurateur, promoter, cook book author, entrepreneur, and of course, a professional wrestler. Alphonse “Babe” Bisignano had a tumultuous childhood which left him striving for more. This colorful story of an icon in the city of Des Moines, Iowa, takes you along his journey from shining shoes to a friend of the White House. From dodgy dealings to a pillar of the community. Babe had anecdotes for days, and you’ll understand exactly why once you’ve read the about his incredible life.

While all aspects of his life are covered, Jimmy Wheeler of the Professional Wrestling Historical Society naturally dove deep into the pro-wrestling side of Babe’s life. He had quite the connection with the business. Starting in the 1930s there are tales of hijinks on the road, behind the scenes goings on, the confrontation that ended his in-ring career, a major lawsuit, and finally how pro-wrestling came back around into his life much later on.

“Say the name, instant recognition. Instant prestige if he called you by name.” – Chuck Offenburger

The Italian Temper is now available on Amazon. 

Signed author copies will be available soon!

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Tracy Smothers to Speak at CAC

If you’re headed to the Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion in April, you’re going to want to mark this on your agenda.

Wednesday, April 29, at 1 p.m., the one and only Tracy Smothers will be sharing stories from his remarkable career. This is a man who has survived bar fights, riots in Mexico City, real life shoots on WWE pay-per-view, THREE different bears, and coming soon… Cancer.

This will be Tracy’s first ever visit to Sin City, and it’s a rare opportunity for West Coast fans to see and learn from a man who has been hired and fired from every company there is to work for (except AEW, but that’s only because they’re new).

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The Black Panther Jim Mitchell Featured in Black History Month

The Black Panther Jim MitchellIt’s Black History Month, and every day I’ve been posting photos, documents, and other memorabilia from the life of The Black Panther Jim Mitchell. If you’re not following me on social media right now, you’re missing out.

The truly amazing part about almost all of this material is that it all came from the Black Panther himself. I have over 900 scans of photos, newspaper articles, magazine articles, wrestling programs, wrestling posters, and legal documents that Jim Mitchell collected and saved. These items were found in the early 2000s when a man named Dave Marciniak bought Mitchell’s house from the bank as a flip after the death of Mitchell’s step-daughter. It’s a miracle that this stuff survived the years, and it’s incredibly fortunate Dave saw potential value in these items. Rather than throwing it all away, he salvaged what he could, thinking it might be worth something one day. After all the time I spent chasing the Black Panther’s story, it was worth more than gold to me.

I’m sharing a few items every day, so if you want to catch up and follow along, here’s where you can find me:

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

And if you want to pick up the book, you can find it on Amazon or buy a signed copy direct from me.

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The Best Part of the XFL

XFL
A quick note, while I am procrastinating from working transcribing audio for an upcoming book project.

Here is what I love best about the XFL. Look at how many players are in uniform each game. Look at the number of coaches and staff on the sidelines and in the box. Look at all the people who have a chance to make a living doing what they love.

The last few years, I’ve been inspired watching so many independent wrestlers I admire become signed wrestlers. I’ve enjoyed seeing people like Marko Stunt, Dave Crist, Jordynne Grace, and others suddenly find themselves with wrestling as their primary gig and not just something they do on the weekends.

It’s a little ironic that the XFL has done the same for football. After all, if XFL founder Vince McMahon had his way, all the companies now employing wrestlers like Marko, Dave, and Jordynne would cease to be. Nevertheless, this is a great time for football, a great time for wrestling, and an inspirational time for dreamers.

Oh yeah, the football has been a lot of fun. Way better than 19 years ago. I hope this incarnation of the XFL sticks around for a bit.

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How Did I Get Here?

Hurricane JJ Maguire, The Boogeyman, John Cosper, Tracy Smothers

Inspired by Seth Godin and my good friend Nevan Hooker, I sat down recently and put together a complete timeline for my writing career. It’s interesting to look back, see how I got to where I am, and how much I have done.

And there’s still more to come!

1993 – I graduated high school and enrolled at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany. I also began volunteering to help the new youth pastor at church with a new youth outreach program, writing a few skits for the new drama team. A few weeks after dropping out of Acting 101 at IUS, I was put in charge of the drama team against my will.

1994 – The drama team at church took on the name Dramamaniacs. I taught a drama workshop at CIY and created a skit book for the workshop called Righteous Insanity. After the youth pastor suggested I try selling skits instead of giving them away, I created the first catalog for Righteous Insanity.

1995 – Thanks to the leader of the Christian organization on campus at IUS, I was published nationally for the first time by the National Drama Service.

1996 – I started taking bookings with actress Laura Gary as a comedy duo, Craving Chaos. We only did a few gigs.

1997 – I produced what became Righteous Insanity’s most popular play, Aliens. I also wrote two skits that would become my most popular, as well as the one the Dramamanaics voted their least favorite, ever.

1998 – I won the Christians in Theatre Arts dramatic sketch writing contest. I left the Dramamaniacs.

1999 – I wrote the play “The Waiting Room” In the wake of the Columbine tragedy. Righteous Insanity’s website went online for the first time. I published my first novel, The Shell Collector. Co-directed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

2000 – I co-founded the Dramatic Youth drama conference, which lasted two years. I went to work with Youth for Christ in Louisville and took “The Waiting Room” on tour around the region.

2001 – I was laid off from a full-time job for the first time. I left YFC and founded the Righteous Insanity touring company as a six person group. We struggled to keep it together through the end of the year.

2002 – A year to the day after my first lay off, I was laid off a second time. I said heck with it and decided to give Righteous Insanity a go full-time. I attended my first Youth Encounter event and taught a drama workshop. Began a three year stint as an after school drama club director at Barrett Middle School in Louisville directing A Patchwork Girl of Oz. I filmed my first short movie, Chasing Leia. The Righteous Insanity touring company re-formed in the fall as a part-time, 3-4 person group. The footage was lost, and the movie was never completed. Served one year (2002-2003) as after school theater teacher at St Rita’s Catholic School in Louisville. Co-directed Joseph for the second time in a community theater.

2003 – Directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Barrett. Righteous Insanity performed at a handful of Youth Encounter events. As a trio, we went on the road full-time in the fall, traveling across the Eastern US.

2004 – Righteous Insanity’s trio became a quartet for a short time. Interpersonal squabbles resulted in the group splintering, and we wound up as a duet for the next two years. I could have written a great book about how not to run a drama team. We did get to visit Canada, and we filmed 3 movies over the summer, including the first Fluffy film. Directed Romeo and Juliet at Barrett. An encounter with some like-minded writers in Corning, New York led to the creation of the Sunday School Dropouts website. My friend Randy moved in for nine months bringing his entire wrestling library with him. I read Mick Foley’s Have a Nice Day for the first time.

2005 – Fluffy was released. More short films were made. Righteous Insanity’s traveling company made a spring trek to Calgary that included a detour to see the Hart House. We called it quits after the fall. I met my wife Jessica at a Silvertide concert.

2006 – Started a parody Christian dating website, Get Yoked, featuring fake video personals. Got married in the fall.

2007 – Started working part-time at a local Christian high school directing drama. Directed Robin Hood and Harvey. Wrote for and acted in Specific Gravity Ensemble’s “Elevator Plays” production in Louisville. My daughter Lydia was born in November.

2008 – Went back to school to get my teaching degree. Produced the short films Tolerance and F2: Fluffy Strikes Back. Still directing plays at the high school, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Our Town.

2009 – Still at the high school doing theater, directing Joseph and Get Smart. My son Sam was born in March. The short film Bots was produced by comedian Marty Pollio. The Last Temptation of Fluffy, featuring Len Cella of Moron Movies, completed the Fluffy trilogy.

2010 – Released the novel Martian Queen. Directed a terrible presentation of Pygmalion and much better productions of School House Rock and Cinderella at the high school. Released the short story collection that was later revised and republished as Robot/Girlfriend. Purchased Clive the zombie puppet on ebay. Directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a community theater.

2011 – Attended Wrestlemania 27. Directed Annie then left the high school drama gig behind after finally accepting administration was never going to hire me on as a teacher. Started writing children’s ministry curriculum for a friend’s start-up company. Released the novel Cave World. The feature film Wingman, which I wrote, gets a brief release in film festivals.

2012 – Over lunch with my wife in November, I said I was thinking about writing a book about professional wrestling in Louisville. She said go for it. Released the novel Space Monster.

2013 – Began research on the book Bluegrass Brawlers. Released the kids short story book Tales from the Dad Side and the sequel novel Shell Games. Cindy Maples and I co-produced the short film The Telemarketer.

Bluegrass Brawlers2014 – Released Bluegrass Brawlers. Wrote and released Eat Sleep Wrestle and launched the website. Also co-wrote a book with pro wrestler Simply Badd. Released the novel Space Kat.

2015 – Released Kenny “Starmaker” Bolin’s autobiography. Released the illustrated kids book Frank Jordan: Evil Snowman.

2016 – Met Dr. D David Schultz and began work on his book. Released Lord Carlton’s biography. Cindy Maples turned a short story of mine into the terrifying short film Out of My Mind (NSFW).

2017 – Published Louisville’s Greatest Show. Met Dave Marciniak, a former house flipper in Toledo who had found and saved memorabilia from the Black Panther Jim Mitchell. Met him in the fall and began cataloging and scanning everything he had saved as well as helping him sell most of it on ebay. Released the book Season’s Beatings as a result. Released the novel Return to Cave World and the short story collection The Big Bad Goodnight. Finally has a chance to direct my play Morbidman Meets His Maker as a fundraiser for Power Ministries – something I did mostly for my kids but also so that Annie would NOT be my final play.

Memoirs of a Mad Man2018 – Published Dr. D’s autobiography and Mad Man Pondo’s autobiography. Published a kid’s story book Good Night Ninja as a rib with wrestler Hy Zaya. Did a second fundraisers for Power Ministries directing Morbidman Returns – partly for the kids, partly because the cast had so much fun the first time, we had to do round two. Closed down the Righteous Insanity website, handing over the catalog and company to a former student, Gia Harris. Made my first trip to the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame induction weekend in Waterloo, Iowa.

2019 –Published the novel Die Alan Die. Published the Black Panther biography and Hurricane JJ Maguire’s autobiography. Also released four short fiction works with independent wrestlers and Grappling by Gaslight, a collection of short stories about wrestling in the 1880s. Attended the CAC Reunion and presented Dr. D with his award. Spoke on behalf of Stu Gibson’s family at his induction into the New Albany High School Hall of Fame.

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The Golden Age for Wrestling Research

Andre the Giant - The Eighth Wonder of the World

The 2020 CAC James Melby Award Winner Greg Oliver just posted a terrific editorial on Slam! Wrestling about the quest to chronicle pro wrestling history. After reading an advance copy of the Andre the Giant biography, Oliver was struck by the incredible depth of research in the spook, especially when compared to an infamous earlier bio on the Eighth Wonder of the World. Oliver suggests we’re living in a golden era for wrestling historians and research, thanks to the resources that are not only now available but being utilized by writers and researchers everywhere.

I share this because I absolutely could not agree more. I have only been at this game for seven years, having taken my first dive into the newspaper microfilms at the Louisville Free Public Library in January of 2013. The access to such archives has improved tremendously in that short time, thanks in large part to archives such as newpapers.com. In 2013 I was hunting and rooting, scrolling through film after film and then scanning the weekly Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and occasionally Friday and Saturday sports pages. Just a few short years later I was finding results much faster from my home office, scanning the same Courier-Journal newspapers but using the advanced search features available online. In less than four months, I had a complete 22 year record of the Allen Athletic Club. Between my work schedule and family life, it would have taken me years to compile the same data at the library.

Every year it seems more wrestling fans and history buffs are jumping in the waters. As a community, we are uncovering, recording, and preserving the history of professional wrestling faster than ever thought possible. This is a golden age for the wrestling historian. It’s also a golden opportunity for fans and especially workers to learn that history for themselves.

This past weekend, when a wrestler at PPW told me about the stack of wrestling books he was reading, I added to it and gave him a copy of the Black Panther book. I always love hearing that a wrestler wants to know the history of the business because that tells me, this is someone who wants to learn from the past. This is someone who appreciates those who came before. This is someone who might just discover something that hasn’t been done in decades and use it (making what is old new again) to become a star.

Whether you’re a wrestler, a referee, a manager, a student, or just a fan, I encourage you to do the same. Read the Andre book. Read Have a Nice Day. Read Lou Thesz’s incredible autobiography Hooker. Read Queen of the Ring. Read Adnan Al-Kaissie’s hard to find/ harder to put down memoir. Your favorite past time has an incredible past. More and more, it’s there waiting for you to discover.

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Paradigm Pro Is Still Here!

PPW: So Far Gone

Jordan Rose summed up the mood in the Sellersburg American Legion Post on Friday night for all the fans in attendance at Paradigm Pro Wrestling’s January event. After losing their building just a few weeks before, thanks to a suspicious phone call placed to the nearby city of Clarksville, the powers that be at PPW were able to find a new home quickly. Not only were all the previously booked wrestlers in attendance, PPW likely drew a few extra fans thanks to the cash bar at the back of the room. In a spirit of defiance and pride, Rose directed his gaze at the steadi-cam perched on the announcer’s table and sent a message to the man or woman who not only evicted PPW from Malice Manor but managed to get Girl Fight’s most recent offering canceled:

“WE’RE STILL HERE!!!”

The recent incident is not the first one of its kind. Not in wrestling, not in Kentuckiana, certainly not in recent memory. It was just a few years ago that two more phone calls successfully shutting down IWA Mid-South at Jammerz Rollerdome while unsuccessfully attempting to close the Arena in Jeffersonville. The so-called snitch was identified as a rival promoter who has since vanished from the area, along with his promoter. The identify of this recent caller remains anonymous, and in all fairness, it could just as easily be a local do-gooder rather than a promoter will ill intent. Nevertheless, it’s worth sharing a thought I’ve spoken only privately up until now.

If you are running 5000 fans a week, you have a territory to defend.

If you are running under 200 a week, as all the local promotions on both sides of the river are, you do not have a territory. You have NOTHING to defend.

Run your shows, and let everyone else be.

Be thankful for the loyal fans you have, and remember – even out of those 200, at least half are patronizing the other guys too.

With all that said, let’s go to the show and talk a couple of highlights:

First, let’s talk about the Lost Boys. I’m thrilled to see Hoodfoot has connected with Adam Slade and what appears to be a great faction. If you get the chance to see (or book) this group, do it. Adam Slade, Bradley Prescott IV, Hoodfoot, and the rest are hungry, talented, and most of all – fun. These guys are fueled by a love of wrestling and entertaining. Great to see so many of them on the show.

I finally got to see Warhorse Friday night, and wow, that was a fun match with the aforementioned Bradley Prescott IV. I love this guy’s look, too. His promo photos remind me of Zartan. He’s got a great gimmick, and he really connects with the fans. I’ll go see him any day.

It was great seeing Reed Bentley again, but I have to admit, I’m questioning these stories he told me when we first met. Reed tells me he trained in an actual ring, but he spends so little time wrestling inside a ring, I don’t know if I believe him. Joking aside, it was fun seeing him in a singles match again. Much as I love him with John Wayne Murdoch (who I will get to) and their all-out wars as the Rejects, it’s nice to see both those guys show what they can do as singles.

Billie Starkz is a superstar in the making. The girl connects with the fans like another young lady I first saw wrestling locally back in 2014 who just made her third appearance in the Royal Rumble. She’s already where Crazy Mary was skill wise at that time, and she’s five years younger than Mary was at that time. Enjoy her while she’s young, fans. She won’t be in this area for very long once she hits 18.

Calvin Tankman is a monster. He is big, strong, agile, and OVER with the fans. Not sure why he is “unsigned” but that’s a status I would expect changes before the end of this year. 

The PPW title match went on second to last, which is what happens when you have John Wayne Murdoch scheduled in a street fight. The Duke of Hardcore can do no wrong in the eyes of fans around these parts, and everyone was thrilled to see the doors, steel chairs, and other implements of destruction set out for the main event. It’s almost a foregone conclusion in these moments that JWM is always going to win this type of match, and you could feel the shockwave ripple through the crowd when the referee counted three and raised the hand of…. Nolan Edwards? Yes!! It was Edwards who defeated John Wayne Murdoch in his own specialty match. Edwards has scored several huge wins as of late across the region against top stars, not the least of which was Kongo Kong, and now he has a huge statement win at PPW. PPW has already proven to be a launch pad for young stars, introducing fans to guys like Corey Storm and Ace Austin. Nolan Edwards is poised to have a breakout year in 2020. 

Oh, and speaking of break out stars, PPW fans better enjoy every chance they get to see Dominic Garrini up close. The bare-footed shooter has an invitation to the eight man tournament that kicks off the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame festivities this July in Waterloo, Iowa. Other competitors include Colt Cabana, Mad Man Fulton, Mr. Anderson, Gary Jay, and the man Garrini most wants to get his hands on – Ken Shamrock. This is a high profile tournament and an incredible opportunity for Garrini.

PPW will return to Sellersburg on March 27 for their next Heavy Hitters event. Fans who want to check out this outstanding and (so far) unkillable promotion can follow them on Facebook for more information.

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Jams and Slams – A Night of Pro Wrestling and Roller Derby

I haven’t been blogging in a long, long time.

It’s been a busy few months.

But, I’m going to be giving this another go, starting with this great event out of Baldwin, Missouri coming up Saturday night!

The good folks at Dynamo Pro Wrestling are presenting a night of both pro wrestling and roller derby, two sports that are not only a total blast but have always shared a common bond. Matter of fact, I have it on good authority that the great Bobby “The Brain” Heenan loved roller derby girls.

Anyway, I’ll let the promoter speak for himself on this one. If I was close by, I’d be there. It’s going to be one heck of a show! And hey… Hayley Shadows is on the card! That’s always a great thing!

Dynamo Pro Presents Jams & Slams

“Jams and Slams” – A Landmark Event for Dynamo Pro Wrestling & Arch Rival Roller Derby

It seems apropos that the respective worlds of professional wrestling and roller derby would cross paths in today’s landscape of sports promotion. Historically fixtures in pop culture and the evolution of broadcast television, the two sports are often joined at the hip (or perhaps better defined, a hip toss and hip check) for their own brand of mayhem that is enjoyed by multi-generational audiences. Dynamo Pro Wrestling and Arch Rival Roller Derby will join forces for “JAMS & SLAMS”. This event will take place on Saturday, February 1st at Midwest Sport Hockey, located within Queeny Park in Ballwin, Missouri.
This co-promoted event marks the first-time that both sports are presented locally under the same roof. “We’re excited to be a part of this event,” said Dynamo Pro Wrestling owner Jim Yount. “Pro wrestling and roller derby are a great match together that will appeal to fans of both sports.”
The featured attraction of the evening finds Dynamo Pro Wrestling women’s champion, the “Empress of Evil” Rahne Victoria, defending her title against “The Barbie Killer” Hayley Shadows. Both fought each other in a grueling match in St. Louis at “New Year’s Brawl”. Victoria, who has held the title since its inception in August 2018, made the challenger tap out after several near-falls. “Hayley’s a very worthy opponent,” Victoria has respectfully said of her adversary. “However, I’m always ready to show her, and everyone else, why I am the Dynamo Pro Wrestling women’s champion and why I will remain champion.”
In the co-main event, a “Bragging Rights” contest between a pair of title holders will take place as Dynamo Pro Wrestling heavyweight champion “Lights Out” Adrian Surge meets Dynamo Pro Wrestling D-1 champion Camaro Jackson. Although neither title is on the line, both men have their pride and reputation at stake. The pair faced each other on May 16th, 2019 as Camaro challenged Surge, who had regained his championship the month prior, but was unsuccessful. As Surge has continued his title reign, Camaro continued training hard and focusing on gaining another opportunity at a Dynamo Pro Wrestling championship. At “Thanksgiving SLAM!” on November 30th, 2019, Camaro Jackson was able to acquire his first championship in Dynamo Pro Wrestling, by winning the Dynamo Pro Wrestling D-1 championship. At “New Year’s Brawl”, Camaro Jackson silenced a great deal of his critics by defeating “The Yoga Monster” Mike Sydal in his first defense of his championship.
Prior to this important match-up, both champions have been focused and respectful of their opponent. Camaro Jackson spoke quite highly of Surge. “Adrian Surge is a man of class and integrity. He has the respect of the locker room and of his peers as well.” Jackson’s tone of voice changed as he continued. “Unfortunately, this isn’t about shaking hands and kissing babies. It’s about showing who is “the man”…who is the champion of champions in Dynamo Pro Wrestling. Surge may be a two-time champion, but I’m a champion with a chip on my shoulder. This Saturday, I plan of putting “Mr. Lights Out” in his place…and that’s behind me at #2”. Surge made a similar statement about his challenger.  “Camaro has been impressive in his fairly short tenure in Dynamo Pro. But, I’m the reigning two-time Dynamo Pro Wrestling heavyweight champion for a reason. I will be Camaro’s first real trial in Dynamo Pro. I will walk out the better champion at “Jams and Slams”. One thing is for certain at “Jams and Slams”. This match will easily one of the most important matches in Dynamo Pro Wrestling history.
C.J. Shine and The Snitch are no strangers to one another. These two men have been rivals within Dynamo Pro Wrestling for over three years. A former Dynamo Pro Wrestling heavyweight champion, the charismatic C.J. Shine is one of the most popular wrestlers in Dynamo Pro Wrestling. The Snitch is one of the most diabolical wrestlers in Dynamo Pro Wrestling. Having argued for nearly two years that there is a championship conspiracy between himself and Dynamo Pro Wrestling management, The Snitch retained a lawyer and refused to compete in Dynamo Pro Wrestling until his professional demands were met. In a surprise return at “Thanksgiving Slam”, The Snitch hid in the crowd until his return. The Snitch, through his legal representation, has stated that he will hold championship gold in Dynamo Pro Wrestling by the end of 2020. These two men will continue their rivalry at “Jams and Slams”.
When Dynamo Pro Wrestling fans and wrestlers alike are asked about who they feel is the greatest champion in Dynamo Pro Wrestling history, many of them say the name Outtkast. Between his two tag team championship reigns and two D-1 championship reigns, Outtkast has held championship gold in Dynamo Pro Wrestling for nearly three years. Outtkast is a model competitor, leaving everything in the ring and always willing to take time out for his fans. At “Jams and Slams”, Outtkast will square off against one-half of the Arch City Mercenaries, Jimmi LaFleur. LaFleur is a wrestler that is not afraid to let his actions speak just as loudly as his words. The outspoken LaFleur spent time in 2019 under suspension from Dynamo Pro Wrestling due to his attacks on Ricky Rodriguez outside of his home and on a member of the Dynamo Pro Wrestling media department during a backstage interview. Even though he is considered extremely volatile by many within Dynamo Pro Wrestling, no one can question his in-ring ability. At “New Year’s Brawl”, Jimmi LaFleur saw his year-long reign as Dynamo Pro Wrestling tag team champions ended. LaFleur has stated that “2020 will simply be the Year of the Arch City Mercenaries. We will not slip into obscurity. We are faster, stronger, and angrier than we have ever been. At “Jams and Slams”, Outtkast needs to prepare for the punishment.”
In addition to a great night of Dynamo Pro Wrestling action, the Arch Rival Roller Derby will continue their regular season. At 6:30 P.M., the event launches with local roller derby action as the defending champions, the Smashinistas, will be facing five-time ARCH kingpins, the Stunt Devils. The Smashinistas are paced by Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Frowntown, Skeevie Nicks, Smash Money, WyldeSyde, Shady Hawkins and Skulpix. With a win at “Jams and Slams”, the Smashinistas (1-0) will guaranteed automatic placement in the Arch Rival Roller Derby championship final. The Smashinistas are at no loss for words prior to this contest. “As for those Devilish Stunts, we will not be bamboozled or baited by their tricks,” said Smashinista Drag-Her. “One of their leaders, I think it was Black Dyna-somthin’, told me to stay home on Saturday! Nope…not falling for it!”
Meanwhile, the Stunt Devils counter with a line-up that includes Sir Ian McKillin’, Slamgelina Jolie, Rhonda Lousy, Black Dynasmite, Shiv Tyler and Bette Davis Thighz. A victory will put the Stunt Devils into a tie in the standings. When asked for comment prior to this eagerly anticipated contest, Sir Ian McKillin stated, “We’re super-excited. We know going up against the defending champs is going to be tough, but we’re looking forward to it,” “On and off the track, the Stunts are ready to party and get weird.  We’re ready to do some battle on the track against our foes in the green and gold, but then we’re ready to kick back and enjoy some wrestling with them after!”
Adult tickets are available at the door for $15 each. Children ages 10 and under are free. They are several special ticket discounts available for this event as well. For ticket information, please check out the Arch Rival Roller Derby website at www.archrivalrollerderby.com. Come out and witness St. Louis professional sports history on Saturday, February 1st as Dynamo Pro Wrestling and Arch Rival Roller Derby present “Jams and Slams”!
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Back to Basics

I had a great time in 2019. Not only did I meet some amazing people and share some fantastic histories with my readers, I had a chance to bridge the gap between wrestling and fiction. I released four short novels in conjunction with independent wrestlers, including Ella, Charlie Kruel, and the Bomb Shelter. I also produced a collection of short stories inspired by 19th century wrestlers and a pure science fiction novel that may… okay, does have a nod to pro wrestling in it.

All that said, in 2020, I’m getting back to what built Eat Sleep Wrestle. I’m releasing one biography by Jimmy Wheeler and two autobiographies co-written by me over the next several months. I am also planning to take on the story of Dangerous Danny McShain in partnership with his nephew Danny Daymon, and I am determined to make some headway on the story of Wee Willie Davis.

I’ll throw this out as well… if anyone has memorabilia or information about Elvira Snodgrass that has yet to com to light, please reach out. I’m not 100% sure there’s enough information out there to fill even a short book, but she remains a huge fascination for me.

Eat Sleep Wrestle is here to honor the past and celebrate the present. I want to turn wrestlers, referees, and promoters on to the stories of the past as well as fans. There’s much we can learn from those who made the business great. There are gimmicks and ideas that haven’t been seen in decades that are due for a revival. And there are unsung heroes, like McShain, Davis, and of course Jim Mitchell, whose stories need to be told.

Okay enough stalling. Back to editing Tracy Smothers’s book.