A Classic Rivalry Comes to the Arena

Every great hero is defined by the greatness of his enemies. Superman is great because of Luthor. Batman is great because of the Joker. Spider-Man is great because of the Green Goblin.

The same can be said for the legendary men and women of the squared circle. Careers are often defined by the rivalries that made them great. Flair vs. Steamboat. Rock vs. Austin. The Rock N Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express.

One of the greatest rivalries in modern times is headed for the Arena in Jeffersonville. Fans of Pro Wrestling Freedom have already come to expect greatness from both Chase Owens and Jason Kincaid, but they’ve yet to see the two go head to head in the Arena. That changes on Friday June 9.

Owens and Kincaid have battled each numerous times around the world. Theirs is a rivalry that helped to define a promotion, specifically NWA Smoky Mountain. These two men know each other inside and out, and their battles in Tennessee and beyond are legend to the fans who were there.

Take a look at the promo video put together by NWA Smoky Mountain chronicling this storied rivalry. Then head over to Facebook and get your tickets for PWF: The Crucible, Friday June 9 at the Arena in Jeffersonville.

Something GRIM is coming!

The Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim has been making an impact everywhere he goes. Once the Northeast’s best kept secret, Mr. Grim has been making his way deeper into the US and Canada in the first four months of 2017. On Friday, June 9, Mr. Grim will make his first appearance ever in Indiana and his debut for Pro Wrestling Freedom in Jeffersonville!

Mr. Grim is the man who caught the eye of the Kick Out at Two gang during their first trip to New York. There were much bigger, more established names on the card the night they met Mr. Grim, but the young grappler made such an impact, Righteous Jesse and the gang shocked the promoter when they told him, “We want Grim!”

Mr. Grim is a dual threat: a big, strong style brawler who can also fly. He carries a briefcase to the ring that contains something ominous for his opponent. When the bell sounds and his opponent lies prone on the mat, Mr. Grim opens the case and pulls out a body bag. The victim gets zipped in the bag and carried out by the Hitman for Hire.

Mr. Grim is a consummate student of the game, always watching other wrestlers and learning from everyone he meets. “I spent eleven days in Canada with Chase Owens, ACH, the Beer City Brawler, and Tony Kozina,” he told me in a recent phone interview. “Those guys taught me a lot about ring psychology, selling, self-promotion.”

Mr. Grim has had some high profile battles recently with Lucha Underground star A.R. Fox and Joey Janela. “It was a clash in styles, working with Janela, but it really worked out great. He and A.R Fox are my two favorite matches to date.”

Mr. Grim has two title belts in his possession. He won the Nova Promotions Apex Championship in November and the GXW TV Championship in December. The rising star has already seen his June 9 opponent in person, but this will be a first time ever encounter when Mr. Grim faces off with PWF veteran Menace.

“We were in a battle royal once. I saw some of his stuff. I’ve seen a lot more since, watching film on the Internet. I’ll be more than ready for him.”

Mr. Grim is all over the Internet and social media, a fact that saved him some trouble during a recent police stop. As told on the Kick Out at Two Podcast, Grim was pulled over on suspicion of aiding and abetting a crime he had nothing to do with. The police stop might have ended after they checked his ID and registration, but the police asked him to open the trunk, where they discovered the briefcase and body bag.

“The police had their hands on their guns, asking me what this was all about. ‘Do you have a phone?’ I said. ‘Go to Google, type in Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim.'”

It was a tense few minutes, watching the cops looking at the smart phone, but Mr. Grim was finally able to relax when he heard one cop exclaim, “Holy s— he just put that guy in a body bag!”

Grim added two more fans to his Facebook page that day, and he invites you to join them. The best place to find him is on Facebook, but he is also on Twitter and Pro Wrestling Tees. Or just go to Google and type in The Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim.

Mark you calendar for June 9. Mr. Grim is coming to PWF.

What You’re Missing

Friday night I attended a Pro Wrestling Freedom wrestling show in Jeffersonville, Indiana, featuring some of the best talent in the Midwest and Southeast. It was an outstanding show featuring several stellar matches including Chase Owens vs. Matt Cage and Chip Day vs. Gary Jay as well as the much anticipated return of fan favorite Hy Zaya.

About fourteen miles up the road in Memphis, a highly anticipated main event capped off a last-minute show arranged by IWA Mid-South. Sami Callihan and Arik Cannon did battle with OI4K’s Dave and Jake Crist in a tag team match that lasted twenty minutes and ranged all over the arena at the Memphis Flea Market. The crowd was smaller than the normal IWA Mid-South Show, but Nick Maniwa tells me the show was outstanding from top to bottom, a must-see when it is released on High Spots in a few weeks.

This is not a blog to tell you that one drew more than the other. I’m also not concerned with two promoters running shows with top talent so close to one another on the same night. What’s sad is that only about 200 wrestling fans in Southern Indiana and Louisville bothered to come out and see a live wrestling show Friday night in a town that used to draw 6000 to the Gardens every week.

If you are only watching WWE on Mondays and Tuesdays, you are missing out. Promotions like PWF and IWA Mid-South are the launching pad for stars headed to the WWE, but they are also the place where you can see some incredibly talented wrestlers do battle weekly and/or monthly LIVE and in person.

It’s not just about supporting independent wrestling or the future of wrestling. It’s about experiencing LIVE wrestling. It’s about being in a place big enough to have a big fight feel but small enough to where the heels can hear you AND engage with you. Rusev is not going to take the time to argue and banter with the guy in the second row. He can’t hear him for one thing, and he’s not allowed to for another. Fans at the PWF show not only saw Cage and Owens put on a stellar match, they engaged with them verbally throughout the show. The same interaction happens at IWA every week, and every other indy show I’ve ever attended.

Promotions like PWF and IWA Mid-South are all over. No matter where you go in the USA and Canada, there are wrestling companies running shows in your own backyard. And if you love guys like Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Kevin Owens, you’re going to love Chase Owens, Gary Jay, and OI4K.

The WWE has a lot independent wrestling can’t replicate, but independent wrestling has just as much to offer the WWE can’t and won’t even try to give you, and at a way better price point.

No more excuses. It’s time to give independent wrestling a try.

New Title on the Line Friday at PWF

Pro Wrestling Freedom is one month away from its first year anniversary show, and in only eleven months, PWF has given fans a chance to see some of the best talent from the Midwest and Southeast. A packed house is expected this Friday night at the Arena in Jeffersonville, and fans will get to see four wrestlers vie for a shot at a brand new title.

Two qualifying matches will be held this week for the PWF Tri-State Championship. “Infinite” Cole Roderick takes on “The Baddest Man Alive” Aaron Williams in one match, while “The Catalyst” Dustin Rayz faces Tyler Matrix. The winners will compete to become the first Tri-State Champion at the May anniversary show.

PWF will also feature Chase Owens defending his Smoky Mountain Championship vs. Matt Cage, and Chip Day defending the PWF title against Gary Jay for the second month in a row. It’s also the only place you can grab a copy of my new book Louisville’s Greatest Show this Friday night.

Visit the PWF: Deception page for show information and tickets. Bell time is 7:30 PM Friday night.

Smoky Mountain Champ Chase Owens Wants Even More Gold

There’s a new trend with wrestling factions in the indies: they want all the gold. There are certain tag teams, for example, who are not content carrying just one set of belts for one company. The Hardys, the Young Bucks, they’re looking to start collections.

The lust for gold has certainly rubbed off on the Young Bucks’ Bullet Club stablemate Chase Owens. Owens already has two belts around his waist: the SWF Heavyweight Title and the Smoky Mountain Southeastern Heavyweight Title. On Friday, March 10, he will defend the  Smoky Mountain Title against “Money” Matt Cage.

“My goal is to be the best,” says Owens. “To do that I have to face the best. It’s like the old saying goes, ‘iron sharpens iron.’ With that being said, I hope Matt is preparing hard because I know I am and I want the best competition I can get.”

Owens is marking his tenth year in the business in 2017. It’s an exciting time for “The Crown Jewel” and his mentor, Ricky Morton of the Rock N Roll Express, who is being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this April.

“Training Ricky was amazing. Being able to sit in the car and listen to stories and to learn on the go from one of the greatest professional wrestlers is one of the main reasons I’ve been able to achieve so much.”

Owens is more than ready to defend his title at the Arena in Jeffersonville, and if he has anything to say about it, he’ll be back for more gold in the near future. “My goal for 2017 is to collect as many championships as possible. Which reminds me, I still have that PWF title in my sights.”

Front row seating is already nearly sold out for Pro Wrestling Freedom: Deception, March 10 at the Arena in Jeffersonville. For event and ticket information, visit the Facebook event page.

A New Era in the Indies

In the days before the NWA assumed control over pro wrestling, it was not uncommon for champions to carry and defend their titles from territory to territory. It was also not uncommon for promoters to attempt and double-cross those champions, sending a shooter into the ring to try and take that title by force. In those days, a wise promoter made sure he had a man who could defend himself holding that belt at all times. Nothing worse than sending your champion into another territory on a handshake deal, only to have him come home disgraced – and empty-handed.

In December of 2016 Mr. Darius Carter made it known that he intended to defend his newly won Tier 1 Wrestling title everywhere he could, around the US and even around the world. he’s not alone. New alliances and new handshake deals are making possible the kinds of matches that haven’t been seen in decades.

Louisville area fans will get their chance to see such a match in two weeks, when Chase Owens brings the Smoky Mountain Southeastern Heavyweight Championship against Matt Cage on March 10 at Pro Wrestling Freedom: Deception in Jeffersonville. One would hope these two competitors will do battle in a manner worthy of such a title, but in the pro wrestling business… you never can tell.

It’s a new era in independent wrestling. More and more of these cross-promotional title matches are taking place. They more they get booked, the more likely someone, somewhere will attempt to pull a screw job.

What’s old is new again in pro wrestling. As a new WWE Hall of Famer once said, “That’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing!”

Release Date March 10: Louisville’s Greatest Show

Louisville’s Greatest Show is ready, and the release date is now set.

I will be selling and signing copies at the Pro Wrestling Freedom Show March 10, 2017 at the ArenA in Jeffersonville, Indiana, right across the river from Louisville. Books will be available for $15. The book will be on sale that same weekend on Amazon for $19.95.

Come down and see why PWF is rapidly becoming one of the most talked about promotions in the Midwest. Several great matches on the card, including Chase Owens defending his Smoky Mountain title in Jeffersonville against Matt Cage and a rematch for the PWF Title between Chip Day and Gary Jay.

Big thank you to Jimmy Feltcher for hosting the book release!

 

Primus Primer: The Iron Demon

14199677_1157799777631907_5163760381507081028_nI did a quick Q&A to catch up with “The Iron Demon” Shane Mercer last week for Primus. He’s had a very busy summer, wrestling for PWF, Funkafied Wrestling Federation, Rockstar Pro, Smash Mouth Pro, CZW, and Strong Style Wrestling. He had his first match with Chase Owens, going 30 minutes with the Bullet Club member and getting raves from there fans. He also participated in a War Games, teaming with Suge D and Billy Gunn. “Was loving it for the little kid in me,” he says. “Who’d thought I would come out to DX music with a DX member one day.”

I had originally intended to share these stories, and this blog, last week, but it’s fortuitous that I delayed. Last night, Shane added another memorable night to his already impressive career. He had his debut match for OVW in Louisville at the Saturday Night Special.

Let me amend that: he had his debut match at OVW at the Saturday Night Special on the night Road Warrior Animal and Mick Foley were in attendance.

OVW official describes Mercer as a guy who is just waiting for the right person to spot him and elevate him. He is, pound for pound, one of the most powerful guys in the indies. He’s charismatic and explosive, and it may not be too long before someone does see him and give him a much bigger shot.

Mercer, meanwhile, is focused on Friday night and his opponent, Adrian Armour. “I have never locked up with Adrian Armour but have seen great work from him. Most of the first round matchups are pretty big but I feel like people are not thinking much into ours. Time to change that come the tournament.”

Mercer was a part of of the first PWF Primus tournament years ago, and he considers that experience to he his advantage. He fully intends to leave fans breathless, just as he did at Davis Arena last night. “I want this to be a night people will be bringing up years down the line. The championship is decided on this night, so it’s up to us to set the bar for what this championship means.”

PWF: The Primus takes place Friday night, September 9, at the Arena in Jeffersonville. Visit the event page on Facebook for information and tickets.