Best of 2016 with Nick Maniwa

I’m starting a series to finish out the year that will look back at some of the best matches in 2016. Today we start with wrestling announcer and super fan Nick Maniwa, whose favorite match came from NXT.

“My favorite match of 2016 was DIY vs the Revival in 2 out of 3 falls for the NXT Tag Team titles from NXT’s Takeover Toronto. Just a damn near perfect tag team contest. All the story telling of years past with the moves of today. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole match. Perfect ending to their feud.”

See an excerpt of the match here, then go to the Network to watch in its entirety!

What does it mean to be King of the Deathmatches?

13882399_909037079242294_2072948225721408746_nWhat would it mean to win IWA Mid-South’s King of the Deathmatch tournament?

I posed that question to several of this year’s competitors. Here’s what they had to say.

John Wayne Murdoch: “It would mean everything to me, I have worked so hard and put my body through so much. This is a must win moment for me.”

Reed Bentley: “King of the Deathmatch for me would be equal to winning the IWA World Title. I pride myself on being a hybrid wrestler, someone who can truly do it all and do it well. So I need to win that deathmatch title to prove I’m the best in a different way than I did when I won the IWA World Title three times.”

Rickey Shane Page: “There’s only one guy in history who has won Tournament of Death and King of the Deathmatches in the same year, and that’s Matt Tremont. I’m looking to make history. I’m looking to do the same thing.”

Dale Patricks: “Everyone who comes to see King of the Deathmatches will see a new champion crowned, and that’s me.”

Josh Crane: “There’s no place I’d rather be than IWA Mid-South with the people that love what I love: some of the best technical wrestling, some of the best strong style wrestling, some of the best hardcore wrestling in all the world… I’m coming home, my home. King of the Deathmatches. And I think this time, I’m going to take it home.”

Joseph Schwartz: “I’m here to make a point. I’m going to King of the Deathmatches, and I’m going to win, because my legacy is written in blood.”

Deadly Dale: “I’m going to come home with that bloody crown clenched in my first, and you people will remember who I am. You will remember Deadly Dale!”

Jeff Cannonball: “Everywhere I go, my peers they have one goal, but my goal was never their goal. My goal is death. My goal is to win King of the Deathmatches.”

Matt Tremont, two-time defending King of the Deathmatches: “King of the Deathmatches probably means a lot to a lot of people for various reasons. I now have won KOTDM twice: 2014 defeating Josh Crane in the finals and last year defeating John Wayne Murdoch in the finals. I was the first person ever to win back to back King of the Deathmatch tournaments. It means a lot to have my name on the history list and even more to do it twice. This Saturday I have the chance to make even more history by winning three years in a row. It was an overwhelming feeling in 2014, humbling in 2015, and it would be the same this year, as many don’t see it coming… It’s a prestigious tournament with a field of 16 this year, and I can’t wait for the violence.”

King of the Deathmatch begins August 6th at 3 PM at Pride bar + lounge, 504 State Street in New Albany, Indiana. Front row is already sold out, but seats are still available for $25. Email BestMistyEVER@gmail.com for ticket information.

Special thanks to Righteous Jesse of the Kick Out at Two Podcast for his assistance on this story!

Pondo for President?

My local wrestling community is a house divided.

Some are fans of Kentuckiana Diehard Wrestling. They have had their issues lately, namely losing their booker and some of the veteran talent, but their fans remain fiercely loyal.

Some are fans of Underground Wrestling Alliance. They’ve had some issues as well, including a big blow up with their TV producer, but their talent and their fans remain steadfastly loyal.

There’s also the Furious Wrestling Society. They haven’t had any issues that I know of, but like the others, they have a galvanized fan base that loves what they do.

And then there’s IWA Mid-South. Ian Rotten just lost his building – again – because someone tried to shut him down – again. Folks, you’re never going to shut Ian down. He’s too stubborn, and he loves the business too much. He’s been kicked out of more buildings than the people trying to shut him down have worked. He will rise again, and his Kool-Aid drinking followers will be there.

Almost none of the above mentioned folks get along, especially in the consequence free realm of cyberspace. And yet for one night, members of all four promotions and their fans came together under one roof to see Girl Fight. They came. They supported the ladies. They coexisted, and no one got into a fight.

Mad Man Pondo is the man behind Girl Fight and the unlikely broker of one night of peace in Southern Indiana wrestling. If Pondo can bring peace to warring factions on a small scale, perhaps he could do the same for our country. Hillary, Donald, Bernie, Ted… no matter who your candidate is, they are only going to divide us further.

We need change.

We need unity.

Pondo for President, anyone?