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Best of 2016 with Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams calls himself the Baddest Man Alive, and he backs it up every night in the ring. He had a banner year in 2016 that saw him expand into new territories and even make an extra appearance on TNA. He has a shot at the IWA Mid-South Championship this week in Clarksville Indiana, and with the new vacancies atop the indy ranks (thanks to continued signings by the WWE), he’s one to watch in 2017. Here’s Aaron’s pick for one of his favorite matches in 2016:

“One thing I wanted for sure in 2016 (among a lot. But this one I got) was a match with Sami Callihan. Sami is a world class competitor, and he is truly one of the best in the world. Testing myself against him was something I needed just for me, I think. Sami and I have grown in the business together and although our careers have taken different paths. I’ve always believed I could hang with not only him but the best wrestlers in the world. This match was special to me. Even more so after Sami spoke after the match. The match may have gone different then how I wanted, but I proved something to myself that I hope people will see in the coming year. I’m far from done killing it, and the #PlanetWilliamsTakeover has just begun!”

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Return of the Baddest Man Alive

I took a friend of mine to his first indy show back in December. After the intermission, the song “Baddest Man Alive” began to play. My friend snorted, “Baddest Man Alive! Is this guy really the baddest man alive?”

Considering what he’s been through the last year, yeah, he just might be.

Aaron Williams is one of the most athletic and exciting wrestlers in the Midwest. The Cincinnati native was one of the featured wrestlers on the cover of Eat Sleep Wrestle. He is a regular at Rockstar Pro in Dayton and recently participated in CZW’s Best of the Best 14, one of the premiere tournaments for rising indy stars. But from October, 2014 until April of this year, he was working injured.

“I was attempting to execute a moonsault off the top rope,” recalls Williams. “My target moved, but not quite far enough. I ended up hyper extending my knee. I couldn’t hear it due to the noise from the crowd. But I was later told it sounded like a gun went off when it happened.”

Despite the seriousness of the injury, Williams continued to work another seven months before having surgery. Wrestling isn’t a second job for Williams; he’s one of the few proudly doing it full time, which made taking time off very difficult.

“Surprisingly I experienced a lot of emotional ups and downs during my down time. Didn’t expect it but it was a rough time that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.”

Williams took advantage of the time as best as he could. “I learned more then I can say really. Months of sitting and watching match after match, promo after promo you kinda can’t help but learn something.”

So can fans expect any changes from Williams when he returns? “I think it’s safe to say that I have changed. I think people will see a new me to some extent. Some of it may surprise people but at the end of the day I still be the Baddest Man Alive.”

Williams’ return will be a welcome one for the fans, if not his opponents. He’s rested, restless, and ready to resume his career. “My biggest goal is to do everything I can to get past this set back. I feel like I was on the rise before I couldn’t put off the surgery anymore. Now I have to get the road under me and back to moving forward again.”

Welcome back, brother.

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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.

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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.