Why You Better Not Skip Survivor Series

Sunday is a can’t miss pay-per-view for many reasons.

For one, you’re going to see a new champion crowned. Someone who has never held the belt will walk out of Survivor series as world champion. It could be Kevin Owens. It could be Dean Ambrose. It could be Roman Reigns.

Reigns is the odds on favorite, but if he’s not your man, that’s no reason to skip this Sunday! The same people booing Roman are the ones who have been chanting, “Anyone but Cena,” for years. If those fans don’t turn up this Sunday, you know what to expect come Royal Rumble time.

The WWE will be watching the numbers very carefully this weekend. If the numbers are good, you will see more of Reigns, but you will also see more of Owens, Ambrose, Cesaro, Neville, the Wyatts, the New Day, and the rising stars of the WWE.

And if you’re one of those who have been chanting, “We want Sasha,” show up early for the pre-show and watch her. WWE watches those numbers too.

History will be made this weekend. Tune in and show you’re ready for what comes next.

Kayfabe Still Works, Even in 2015

A few months ago, Ronda Rousey was everybody’s darling. She was a role model and and inspiration, especially to women and girls. So why was everyone so thrilled to see her lose this past weekend?

Because Dana White, UFC, and Ronda wanted you to want her to lose.

Dana White knows how to sell a pay-per-view, and he does it the same way the legendary promoters of the old wrestling territories did: with heels, baby faces, and a good story.

Babyface Ronda wasn’t the draw she once was, not after the fight in Brazil.

Ronda’s days in UFC are also likely numbered. Hollywood is calling. So is WWE.

How do you keep interest in women’s MMA from waning?

You turn Ronda heel.

You create an exciting new babyface when the upset occurs.

The result: UFC has a multi-million dollar rematch to sell and a popular new face in the “Preacher’s Daughter.”

Yes, I know, the fights are supposed to be real. But step back and see the big picture. Everything else – the press conferences, the personas, the promos, it’s all a work.

It wasn’t cockiness that kept Ronda from bumping gloves. It was the plan all along. Ronda worked the UFC fans like an old school wrestling heel. That’s why everyone is booing her and cheering Holly Holm.

Kayfabe still works, even in 2015.

Tuesday Night at the Gardens

If you’re a fan of Bluegrass Brawlers, you’re going to love this.

Jim Cornette has been working for two and a half years on a book about the Memphis era in Louisville. Today, that book is now available for purchase on Amazon.com and Jim’s website.

Tuesday Night at the Gardens is an in depth look at Louisville wrestling from 1970-1975. The book features complete results and more than 500 illustrations chronicling the rise of Memphis wrestling at Louisville Gardens. It’s a tremendous collectible for fans who remember the Memphis era and anyone interested in wrestling history.

If you order through Jim’s website right now, you will also get a two hour DVD featuring matches from that same era, absolutely free. If you’ve never seen the video compilations Cornette has put together (like his incredible Mid Atlantic films collection), you are in for a real treat.

Click here to visit JimCornette.com and pick up the new book and the free DVD. And if you haven’t already picked it up, be sure to get my book on Louisville history from 1880 to the present, Bluegrass Brawlers: The Story of Professional Wrestling in Louisville from Amazon.com.

KDW now streaming on Roku

Indie wrestling fans, you now have three local promotions producing television shows.

Kentuckiana Diehard Wrestling has made several big moves in recent weeks. KDW moved their weekly show from the Flea Market in Memphis, Indiana to the Arena in downtown Jeffersonville. Now, KDW is available to watch not only on Youtube, but the Indie Wrestling Channel on Roku. KDW features a seasoned group of veterans, many of whom will be familiar to long time OVW fans, as well as up and comers like Austin Bradley, who was featured in Eat Sleep Wrestle.

New Albany’s own UWA is already available on the Roku channel as well as Youtube. And lest we forget, Ohio Valley Wrestling holds the distinction of being the longest running weekly wrestling program in the country outside of Monday Night Raw.

D1W fans will also be interested to know that Rockstar Pro is available on the Indie Wrestling Channel, featuring Aaron Williams, Ron Mathis, Kyle Maverick, and the Crist brothers. You can also watch central Indiana promotion Emerge on the Roku channel.

And unlike the WWE Network and other major wrestling channels, the Indie Wrestling Channel is completely free. You can’t ask for an easier way to support indie wrestling.

The Return of Jerry Jarrett

When Vince McMahon was facing legal troubles in the 90s and needed a steady hand to help out at WWF, he turned to long time Memphis promoter Jerry Jarrett to keep the ship on course. Perhaps Vince should have turned to Jerry when he decided to reboot Tough Enough because Jerry’s new wrestling promotion is taking Tough Enough to a whole new level – and it just might work!

Like many veterans of professional wrestling, Jarrett believes the old days and the old territories did a better job grooming new stars than the WWE’s Developmental Center ever will. Having seen what is happening in today’s independent scene, Jarrett saw an opportunity to recapture that magic, creating a new wrestling show designed to identify and elevate the superstars of tomorrow now toiling in the indies.

Jarrett’s program will start where the action is, in the warehouses, high school gyms, and other buildings that house today’s indy wrestling promos. It’s a far cry from the days of the Mid-South Colisseum and Louisville Gardens, but it’s where hundreds of young men and women are working hard every day to make their wrestling dream come true.

The show will take viewers into these venues to discover the talent right under their noses. Then, the best of the best will be invited to show what they can do on a larger scale, as Jarrett brings them together in a larger venue and shines a brighter spotlight on potential superstars.

This is not a WWE fabricated program. This is a new vision for the future from one of the most innovative minds in wrestling’s past. Instead of cherry picking and pushing stars on us. Jarrett intends to bring us along on a search and share with us what he finds.

Right now, Jarrett is scouting locations for the first half of the season. This is when he needs to hear from promoters who have talent to show off and a building to show them in. If you’re interested in hosting for Jarrett’s new program, take some photos of the inside and the outside of your facility and send them to Jerry’s email: jerry-jarrett@comcast.net. Yes, it’s okay to use your phone to take the pictures, and please include the address and your contact info.

Please note, Jarrett is not searching for talent at this time; that will come later. He also respectfully asks fans NOT to use this email address for fan mail.

Joelle Hunter: Hero in the Making

10407414_942319322477997_5475356699477839001_nJoelle Hunter’s story sounds like many other stories you’ll hear from the women in pro wrestling. “I was introduced to wrestling in my early teen age years by some of my friends. I mainly watched the WWE, and I would say my hero’s were definitely the Undertaker and Sheamus.”

Hunter decided she wanted to follow in Sheamus’s footsteps, so like many ambitious teens, she found a wrestling school that would admit her at the tender age of 16. Most wrestling schools in the States won’t take someone so young, of course, but Hunter isn’t from the States. She was born in Lebanon, and she was raised in Saudi Arabia. She now lives, trains, and wrestles in Dubai at the Dubai Pro Wrestling Academy, and she is the first female wrestler in the Middle East.

A year into her training, Hunter (whose real name is Gheeda Chamasaddine) is already working shows with more than twenty fellow wrestlers in Dubai, all of them men. She describes herself as a technical/submission wrestler, and though only 5’4″, she can body slam men twice her size. Trainer Caleb Hall was as tough and demanding with her as he is with any man who walks through the doors of his school, and that toughness has helped her earn the respect of the Dubai locker room. “My wrestling mates are all very supportive. They never treated me differently or made me feel less cause am a woman.”

Hunter has enjoyed the support of family and friends, and the wrestling fans in Dubai have accepted her as well. But Hunter knows that her dream – to see a women’s wrestling division established in the Middle East – will meet with a great deal of opposition in a region where women struggle for equal rights. “I have a lot of haters. There are lots of people who don’t accept what I do, but I can really say there is no overcoming that hate. You just need to not care about it at all.”

Hunter aspires to travel the world, to learn from other wrestlers and trainers, and pursue her dream as far as it will take her. She even has a dream opponent in mind. “I would love to wrestle Kharma some day, the woman who was in the Royal Rumble.”

Facing the legendary Kharma/ Awesome Kong would be a great accomplishment, but Hunter hopes to do more than win a few dream matches. She wants to inspire other women to pursue their dreams, even as she fights for her own. “I wanna show girls that it’s okay to wrestle and be who they wanna be. It’s a very hard task, but I will keep doing what I do and hopefully in time people will become more accepting of it.”

Joelle Hunter is a humble and gracious spirit, the kind of young woman who can be a positive role model for girls and women worldwide. She’s got an uphill fight on her hands, but fighting is her chosen profession. She’s already winning fans and friends in Dubai, and I have a feeling she’s going to make more friends all around the world.

You can follow Joelle’s pursuit of wrestling glory by following her on Facebook and on Instagram. The photo of her with Sheamus on her Instagram will bring a big smile to your face.

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The Man of Tomorrow

11898628_943554585710617_1993227650622410364_nFans of Kenny Bolin know that Kenny is largely down on today’s wrestling and wrestlers. So when Kenny Bolin offers praise to one of the young independent wrestlers of today, he does not do so lightly. Such was the case when Kenny got back from the Lawler-Funk show in Tennessee, where Kenny got a look at The Man of Tomorrow, Daniel Eads. “Best new talent on the show,” says Kenny. “Me and Chris (the Prince, who is equally stingy with praise for today’s talent) liked him a lot.”

I first met Daniel Eads almost a year ago in New Albany. He’s a big guy with a good physique, and he stands out even among the biggest and fittest wrestlers. His fellow wrestlers suggested the nickname “Man of Tomorrow” because he bears a resemblance to Superman, but Eads will be the first to tell you he wasn’t born that way.

Eads grew up in a rough family situation. “I was a bit of an outcast. I was quiet and nerdy, and didnt have a back bone. I grew up with an abusive alcoholic stepdad, and dad that abandoned me. I was sexually abused, fought depression for half my life, and I didn’t have a great support system.”

Eads had some friends in school who were wrestling fans. This was the era of Goldberg, RVD, and Evolution in the WWE, and Eads began watching so he would have something to talk about with friends. Much as he enjoyed it, becoming a wrestler was never even a consideration for him. “I was a scrawny little kid that competed in cross country, track, and swimming. I weighed a whopping 125lbs. I had no muscle, no spine and no voice. Then I went to college started working out and next thing you know my soon to be best friend Ian Lowe is telling me to give it a shot. I thought I’d have a couple decent matches here and there, but it wasn’t until my match with Chase Stevens that even Ian finally said ‘Dude….You got it.'”

Eads began training with IWAU in Olney IL, under Josh Totten and Steven Davis and worked briefly with Tony Kozina with Rip Rogers at OVW in Louisville. Like the wisest of the young generation, Eads values the input of wrestling veterans, and he takes the opportunity to pick their brains any chance he gets, including Tracy Smothers, Chase Stevens, Jerry Lawler, Jim Cornette, and Bob Orton.

“He came to me to review his match,” says Kenny Bolin. “I was shocked he even knew who I was, but he seemed to know a lot.”

Wrestling has given Eads the support system he never had as a kid. “The fans were the first people to truly believe in me, and many of my friends in the business said that I was going to be the one to break out and become someone. So many have gone out of their way for me, not because I asked or begged, but because they see something and notice my work ethic. That’s what keeps me going every day, working to become bigger, stronger, faster.”

Like many young stars, Eads has his eyes set on the WWE, and he wants to achieve that dream for his supporters as much as for himself. “I’ve never been more convinced in my heart that I’m meant to do something like I am with wrestling. I’d sacrifice anything to achieve this opportunity and make this far fetched dream a reality.”

While Eads is not a Superman fan himself (he prefers Marvel over DC), he discovered he had much more in common with the Man of Steel than his looks. “Feeling like an outcast, never truly fitting in, yet feeling like I’m meant for big things. I love the gimmick because I can be a beacon of hope for people with my story and the things I can do inside and outside the gym. I want to ‘live the gimmick’ and be big, strong, fast, and agile like Superman is. And when I see kids get on the edge of their seats, there’s on better feeling.”

Currently, Daniel Eads can be seen working for Bert Prentice and USA Championship Wrestling in Tennessee and Southern Illinois. Given his deep respect for the past and his drive to succeed, Eads is headed for even greater things in the future. Take a good look at the Man of Tomorrow, folks. He may well be the Superstar of Tomorrow as well.

The Door Opens a Little Wider

https://youtu.be/qB-qEKI37eY

Seth Rollins is out 6-9 months.

The WWE title is vacant.

Rollins will be back in less than a year, and when he returns, he’ll likely get a huge babyface pop. He will be bigger than ever.

Question is, who will step up and take the top spot?

Orton is out for months, also injured.

Cena’s gone until late December.

Brock will be back in January.

Vince is about to push Roman Reigns to the moon… but who will garner the fans’ support?

Cesaro? Owens? Ambrose? Ziggler? Ryback?

Dare I say it… Sasha Banks?

Pick your favorite and tune in. A star is going to be born out of this.

Anybody but Cena? Prove it!

John Cena is out for two months. Every time he’s out, the ratings drop. This in spite of all the “Cena sucks” and “Anybody but Cena” mantras of the Internet wrestling fans.

If you’re ready to “move on” from John Cena, it’s time to prove it.

Do not miss Raw and Smackdown. Watch them again on Hulu and DVR.

Do not miss the pay-per-views that air while he is gone.

Above all, show support for your next guy. You don’t like Roman Reigns? Fine. Buy a shirt to support KO, Ambrose, Ryback, Cesaro, Rollins, Ziggler. Whomever your guy is, put your money where your mouth is. That’s really how the WWE pays attention to whom they need to push.

Reality is, Cena’s a once in a generation star. There are some very talented guys waiting in the wings to take his spot right now, but I’m not sure there’s any one guy yet ready to fill his shoes. The time is coming he won’t want to lace them up as often, but if the ratings plunge like normal, you can expect another major Cena push all the way through Wrestlemania!

Lawler vs Funk – Not for the last time

This may be the last time these two men step into the ring together at a live event, but it’s hardly the last time fans will enjoy their work. These are two of the greatest wrestlers of all time, rivals and innovators with a great history individually and as rivals.

Lawler is 65. Funk is 73. Neither man acted their age over the weekend, and that’s just the way the fans wanted it.