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Eat Sleep Wrestle on sale for Kindle!

esw coverIf you missed it this past week, Jeff Jarrett finally began dropping names. He’s starting to build the roster for the long awaited debut of Global Force Wrestling, and he’s assembled a promising list of talent. Legends like Scott Hall, Hacksaw Jim Duggin, and my friend Jim Cornette; former WWE stars like Doc Gallows (Festus), PJ Black (Justin Gabriel), and Cliff Compton (Domino); and hot rising stars like the Young Bucks and guy featured on the cover of Eat Sleep Wrestle, Jamin Olivencia.

OVW fans have known for years that Jamin was a star. Now that he’s part of Global Force, I know we’re all hoping that he gets the national and international recognition he deserves.

In honor of Jamin’s selection, Eat Sleep Wrestle will be on sale for Kindle only this week for the price of $2.99. That’s $11 off the retail cover price for the paperback.

Eat Sleep Wrestle profiles Olivencia, Crazy Mary Dobson, Mad Man Pondo, Aaron Williams, Ron Mathis, Zodiak, Hy Zaya, LuFisto, The Lovely Lylah, DJ Hyde, and other stars of the independent wrestling circuit. It’s a great introduction to the world of wrestling beyond the WWE and a chance to get to know some rising stars before they really make it big.

The price is only good through Memorial Day weekend. Download it now, and please share with your friends. If you’re already an indy fan, or if you’re just curious what the indies are like, you’re going to love this book.

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Aiden Blackhart: The Second Strongest Man Alive

11258747_10202966528522690_119951354_oIt’s not easy being the second strongest man alive. All Aiden Blackhart wants to do is inspire fat, lazy wrestling fans to follow his fitness program and get in shape like he is. And what thanks does he get? Boos, chops to the chest, and in a recent match against DJ Hyde – chair shots from small children.

The fans love to hate Aiden Blackhart, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Lebanon, Kentucky native fell in love with wrestling when he was just a kid. In middle school he and some friends began wrestling in the backyard on the trampoline. There was never a signature moment when Blackhart decided to become a wrestler. His friend, WWE Tough Enough hopeful Shane Mercer, introduced him to a promoter who told him all he needed was a license and he could try the real thing.

“Getting licensed wasn’t as easy as he made it sound,” Blackhard laughs, “But I got one.”

Blackhart admits he had a lot to learn coming in. “I didn’t understand things like respect for the veterans and shaking hands in the back. I just went out and wrestled. I copied a lot of guys’ moves in the ring, and they took exception to it.”

One night, veteran Nick Noble took to the ring after seeing Blackhart use his finishing kick and gave Blackhart a kick of his own. Noble challenged him to a match the following week. “I was scared to death he was going to shoot on me, but it was the easiest match I’d had. He talked me through the whole thing. He taught me a lot. Later that night, he sat me down and explained to me the importance of respect in this business. I owe him a lot.”

Blackhart’s title as the Second Strongest Man in the World came after taking a break in 2013. “I was this bald guy who was kind of a brawler, like Steve Austin, but I didn’t really have a gimmick. I was working for Destination One Wrestling in New Albany, Indiana, when promoter Ron Aslam suggested I do a fitness gimmick, Body by Aiden. I liked it, but I changed it to Body by Blackhart.”

Blackhart has wrestled with a number of talented veterans like DJ Hyde, Tracy Smothers, and Mad Man Pondo. “I was scared to death of Pondo because of all the hardcore stuff he used to do, but when he got me in the test of strength, it was the lightest I’d ever experienced. He was great to work with.”

Another veteran Blackhart worked with was the late J.C. Bailey. Blackhart’s proudest moment was working the first annual J.C. Bailey Memorial Tournament. “I was in a Fatal 4-Way Ladder Match for the Tri-State Title. At the end of the match, I went off a ladder through two tables set up on the floor. Bailey was a big hero of mine, and it meant a lot to me to be a part of that night.

Blackhart recently decided to move to Louisville, and he’s hoping to continue expanding his bookings in independent wrestling. His biggest goal for 2015: to earn a tryout with Juggalo Championship Wrestling. You can catch him and his trusty Shake Weight at shows around Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio and on television with UWA in Louisville.

Photo courtesy of Michael Herm Photography.

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LUDUS: The Generation After Next Begins Here

If you want to see the next generation of WWE Superstars, watch NXT. If you want to see the next NXT stars, you have to go to the indies. And if you want to see the next generation of indie stars, Rockstar Pro wants you to come check out LUDUS.

Rockstar Pro has arguably the best roster in the Midwest and one of the best in the country. I’ve seen a number of their top stars in action at D1W/PDW in New Albany: Ron Mathis, Aaron Williams, Dave Crist, Kyle Maverick, Jerrod Harris, Alex Colon, DJ Hyde, Samantha Heights. The names may be new to you, but once you’ve seen them, they are can’t miss stars who consistently put on the match of the night wherever they perform.

Established in 2009, Rockstar Pro offers weekly television and monthly pay-per-views. They also offer an outstanding training program that has given rise to a Ludus – a new series of events geared towards showcasing the aspiring Rockstar wrestlers of tomorrow.

Ludus, according to Rockstar Pro’s website, “is an ancient Roman term for a school to train gladiators for combat. At Rockstar Pro’s Ludus, up & coming young talent will get a chance to prove themselves to the Rockstar Nation! YOU, the Rockstar Nation, will decide their fate! All new faces who want a shot at becoming a Rockstar must enter the Ludus!”

The next Ludus show is this Friday night in Dayton and features an outstanding line up of young talent mixed with some of Rockstar Pro’s best including Ace Perry, Lennox Norris, Kyle Maverick, and Samantha Heights. For details on Ludus, Rockstar Pro television and pay-per-view, and their training program, visit their website, www.rockstarprowrestling.com

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Meet Crazy Mary Dobson

1797971_699268903502709_2186941647616043393_nWe are two days from Girl Fight at the ArenA in Jeffersonville, and today’s introduction features the hometown girl who has taken the wrestling world by storm.

Some kids get into wrestling because of their Dad. Crazy Mary Dobson got into wrestling because of her Grandma.

Growing up, Crazy Mary was surrounded by boys, so she mostly did what the boys did: play video games and wrestle. She started watching wrestling on TV with her grandmother and in 2011, she went to her first Juggalo Championship Wrestling show. That’s where she saw Mad Man Pondo for the first time.

Shortly after the JCW, Mary decided that wrestling was for her. She reached out to Pondo on MySpace and asked him how she could get her start. “He told me that Mickie Knuckles could train me, if I could get to Charlestown, Indiana. I wrote him back and told him, ‘I live in Charlestown, Indiana!’”

Mary has since traveled the world, wrestling and training any place that would have her. She’s been to Japan, England, and Germany. She’s been in barbed wire death matches and mixed gender tag matches. She’s even attracted the attention of the WWE, where she’s been a Rosebud, Miz’s makeup girl, Kane’s boss, and most recently… Becky Lynch’s opponent on NXT, Sarah Dobson.

Crazy Mary is a high flier, an energetic performer who loves getting dropped on her head as much as she loves leaping from the top rope. “Lufisto told me she loved me because I like getting dropped on my head as much as she does!”

She has a pin fall victory over Amazing Kong, and she’s the co-owner of the JCW Tag Team Championship with Mad Man Pondo. At Girl Fight, she goes head to head with the daughter of a legend: Tessa Blanchard.

If you’re in the Louisville area, this is a can’t miss opportunity.

Nothing’s for sure in the world of wrestling, but Crazy Mary may very well be on her way to the top of the industry. We’ve been spoiled rotten in this area the last few years, watching her grow and mature into one of the must see attractions in independent wrestling. This could be your last chance to be able to say, “I saw her before she became a legend!”

You can follow Crazy Mary on Twitter @crazymarydobson. You can also read more of her story in Eat Sleep Wrestle.

Keep your eyes open; you’ll likely see her on WWE television again very soon.

(Photo credit: Ichiban Drunk.)

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Meet Mary Elizabeth Monroe

maryelizabethmonroeMary Elizabeth Monroe was the new face that night. She burst through the curtain to a Katy Perry song, waving and smiling like a homecoming queen. The crowd made her feel welcome, cheering as she climbed each corner to wave to the Premier Destination Wrestling regulars.

And then, Crazy Mary Dobson entered.

Mary Elizabeth Monroe didn’t do anything to warrant the boos or the “Mary’s gonna kill you!” chants. She hadn’t done anything remotely heelish from the moment she set foot in the arena. Crazy Mary was the local hero, and Monroe… well, she was just another victim brought in to face their hero. But when Monroe saw the crowd was against her, she turned on them – and her opponent. She snapped, letting her violent side out, playing dirty when the ref let her have a little leeway. She played to the crowd, but the friendliness was gone. They hated her, and she now hated them.

Monroe was the surprise winner that night, and yes, there was cheating involved. She also made sure no one in the arena would forget her name.

Ten years ago Mary Elizabeth Monroe was pursuing her dream. She was the lead singer in a band in her home town of Cincinnati. Monroe invited some friends to come watch her perform at an upcoming gig, one of her friends offered her a deal: “I’ll come to your concert if you come see me wrestle.”

Monroe’s friend was working at Heartland Wrestling, a former WWE developmental territory that had already churned out an impressive number of wrestlers. She never watched wrestling growing up because it wasn’t allowed in the house, but sitting beside her guitar player and best friend at her first wrestling show, Monroe suddenly realized this was what she wanted to do. “My friends thought it was funny. They didn’t realize how serious I was.”

Monroe began her training at HWA and will tell you her training has never truly stopped. She’s a student of the game and counts the legendary Les Thatcher as one of her chief teachers and mentors. Her work with Thatcher is evident in the ring. Not only does she know the moves, she knows when to use them and why to use them in that particular moment.

Monroe’s stock has spiked in recent days. After winning the 2015 Queen of the Ring tournament at Vicious Outcast Wrestling, she went from unranked to number one in this week’s Indy Power Rankings. Monroe is constantly in demand and can be seen all across the Midwest including AIW in Cleveland, Legends and Heroes in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, and of course… Girl Fight in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

In addition to wrestling, Mary is a model for Headlock Gear and a representative for Gerweck.Net. Although she has no home promotion at the moment, Monroe is part of a core group working with Les Thatcher at The Warehouse in Hamilton, Ohio to launch Christian Wrestling Association International, a new, family friendly promotion this summer.

“That’s very important to me,” says Monroe. “When I invite someone to bring their kids to a show, I like knowing that they’re not going to come and see something awful. They’re going to have fun and be entertained. We’ve got partnerships with the Autism Society of Cincinnati and other charities. It’s going to be great.”

Women’s wrestling in general looks poised for a major surge in the coming years. Between her ring skills, and her ability to work a crowd, and her relentless pursuit of excellence, Mary Elizabeth Monroe may very well end up at the vanguard of that revolution.

For more information on Christian Wrestling Association International, including shows and training classes, please visit www.christianwrestlingassociationinternational.com

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Meet the Lovely Lylah

11150360_742747235842254_5067231748321184467_nIf you’re going to Girl Fight in Jeffersonville next week, bring some extra cash, and hit up the Lovely Lylah’s table. If you’re lucky, she’ll have cupcakes or cake pops. Whatever she’s charging, they’re worth the price.

The Lovely Lylah hails from the Pacific Northwest. She never dreamed of being a wrestler as a kid, but when her brother and some of his friends started training, she tagged along. It was there that Playboy Buddy Rose spotted her and saw potential. Lylah started training with Rose and soon found herself taking bumps against both women and men.

When the opportunity availed itself, Lylah moved to Louisville, Kentucky to train at the legendary Ohio Valley Wrestling. It was there that, with the help of Al Snow, she cultivated the powerhouse princess persona she uses most often in the ring. She’s comfortable playing the good guy, but when she’s a real delight when the princess lets her dark side take over.

Lylah is a powerful competitor who isn’t afraid to mix it up with the guys or girls, and she looks to have her hands full next week against The Real Lady Delilah Reignz. She’s a star on the rise and one of many wrestlers who will give you your money’s worth at Girl Fight.

You can read more about the Lovely Lylah in Eat Sleep Wrestle. And please follow her on Twitter @lovelylylah. Grab the book. Go see her wrestle. And remember what I told you about the cake pops!

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Don’t Call Them Divas – This is Wrestling

girlfightWomen have been wrestling just as long as men. In fact the very first match featured in the book Bluegrass Brawlers: The Story of Professional Wrestling in Louisville is a mixed gender match that took place in 1880 when a circus wrestler named Ida Alb issued an open challenge to any man in Louisville for a 3 out of 5 falls contest, just to prove wrestling was not fake.

Sadly, women’s wrestling has never really been considered on equal footing with men’s. Even in today’s WWE, women’s matches are too often booked poorly, treated as restroom break matches before the main event.

It’s time you experience what women’s wrestling really is.
Tuesday Night May 12, Strictly Nsane Pro Wrestling and the ArenA in Jeffersonville, Indiana, presents Girl Fight, a night featuring some of the best independent wrestlers from across the country. You won’t see any guys on the bill. Tuesday night belongs strictly to the ladies.

TNA Knockout Havok will be in action against Hardcore Heather Owens. Crazy Mary Dobson, who just made her NXT debut last week, will do battle with Tessa Blanchard, daughter of the legendary Tully Blanchard. The Lovely Lylah, Mary Elizbeth Monroe, Samantha Heights, and others will also be in action.

This week I’ll be spotlighting a few of these talented wrestlers on the blog. Please understand, this is not a night of popcorn matches. This is professional wrestling at its best, featuring some of the hardest hitting, highest flying performers on the independent scene today.

Girl Fight will change your definition of “hit like a girl” in a very dramatic way.

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Wrestlers are like family

There’s a bond that forms among wrestlers, referees, announcers, promoters, and fans that’s almost like family. When one person hurts, everyone feels their pain. Everyone rallies to be by their side. Today, the wrestling community in the Midwest is standing by two of its own.

aaron_williams

This morning, when Ohio wrestler Aaron Williams went in for surgery on his ACL, his Twitter and Facebook page lit up with thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. Surgery went well, and Aaron’s already looking forward to rehab. Aaron’s a class act, one of the nicest guys in the business, and I for one can’t wait to see the baddest man alive return to action.

The other person feeling the love is Rick Brady, promoter of Premier Destination Wrestling (formerly Destination One). Rick and his family lost everything when their home was flooded several weeks back. Rick had already decided to close shop on PDW before the flood, but last night, word came out that the men and women who worked for him are putting on a benefit show.

rick_brady_benefitThe show will be May 5th at the Production House in New Albany. Tracy Smothers, Mad Man Pondo, 2 Tuff Tony, Crazy Mary Dobson, Lennox Norris, Dash Venture, Matt Atreya, and Mitchell Huff have all committed to be there for their old boss. I’ve been a fan of D1W/PDW since my first show in January 2014, and if you’re in the area, this will be a show worth seeing. And for a good cause.

Stories like these were part of the inspiration for this blog. It’s not just love of wrestling that unites us. It’s love for our neighbors.

Do something good for someone today.

 

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One step closer…

11150237_998391110194268_8290898454189391646_nMad Man Pondo posted a few photos on Facebook tonight, and I had to pass one along. That’s Becky Lynch on the right, who just became the number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship last night. On the right is one of the featured stars from Eat Sleep Wrestle, Crazy Mary Dobson, whom they billed as Sarah Dobson.

The WWE has shown a lot of interest in the Southern Indiana native, and this has to make her fans around the world very excited. Fingers crossed the WWE brass saw what indy fans have known for some time: Sarah is awesome.

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Can You See Her Now?

LuFisto’s one of my favorite wrestlers. Not female wrestlers, I mean wrestlers. She’s more than tough enough, and she has the titles and battle scars to prove it.

I’d love to see that happen, but I’m posting this for another reason. If you’re a wrestling fan, you need to see LuFisto. Watch her on YouTube. Watch her in Shimmer or WSU. And go see her live. She’s one of the best, and she’s a threat to steal the show on any card.

UPDATE: #GiveLuFistoAChance is trending on Twitter. Keep it going, LuFisto fans!!