Tagged in: indiana

Why the Razor Ramones Rock

I will never forget the moment I became a fan of the Razor Ramones. It wasn’t when I heard them on Colt Cabana’s podcast. It wasn’t when I saw them walk on stage at Heroes and Legends in their throw back, Ramones inspired punk gear. It wasn’t when I heard them blaze through the songs from their album Rocket to Rusev before a largely apathetic crowd. It was the moment I saw one of them walking through the crowd trying to sell copies of their new album on cassette.

That’s right. Rocket to Rusev is available on CASSETTE.

Everything about the Razor Ramones is fun. For crying out loud, they’re a punk band that has found a way to combine their love for old school punk and pro wrestling. They have T-shirts to satisfy the Ramones fans as well as the wrestling fans. They write songs with titles like “Obsolete,” “SAWFT,” and “Sami Zayn is the Only Wrestler We Like.”

The boys are true wrestling fans as well. They weren’t at the show to make a buck. They were there as an excuse to see some wrestling. When they settled down and started selling merch at a table, they took the spot right at the entrance to the vendor area – in clear view of the ring.

And in true punk fashion, they weren’t rattled by the lack of reaction from the crowd. When I told them I was sorry they didn’t have a more receptive audience, they just shrugged it off. “We’re used to it,” one of them said. One could almost hear the spirit of Joey Ramone himself in those words.

The Razor Ramones are based out of Columbus, Indiana, but if you’re no where near Columbus, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Louisville, or any of the other towns they frequent, you can also find them on Facebook and their Band Camp page.

Long live punk rock. See you soon, bad guys.

Heroes and Legends

This is going to be a busy spring for me. One week after Wrestlemania, I’ll be headed north to sign copies of Bluegrass Brawlers, Louisville’s Greatest Show, and other book at Heroes and Legends.

Heroes and Legends is an all day event at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, featuring legends of the sport and the best in today’s independent wrestling.

Headlining this year’s event are some of the biggest names in wrestling history, including legendary rivals Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat. And will also get the chance to meet WWE Hall of Famers Jerry Lawler, Bushwhacker Luke, and Ron Simmons along with Kevin Sullivan, Ryback, Hornswoggle, Kikutaro, The Sandman, Mr. Anderson, Mad Man Pondo, Marty Jannetty, Angelina Love, Matt Striker, Davey Richards, and Aldo Rose.

The Heroes and Legends wrestling show caps the day off with a stellar main event pitting Ryback against the monstrous Kongo Kong. Aldo Rose, Jerry Lawler, Sugar Dunkerton, Hornswoggle, and dozens more will also be in action.

As if that wasn’t enough, Heroes and Legends has partnered with Girl Fight Wrestling to present an all female card earlier in the day! Su Yung, Mickie Knuckles, and Samantha Heights will headline the show for one of the best female promotions in the country.

Heroes and Legends happens on Sunday, April 9, 2017 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Tickets start at only $15. For more information, please visit the Heroes and Legends website.

From Bad for Business to Big Business

Three years ago, I sat across a table from an official at a top name wrestling promotion in Kentucky and listened to him dog the multiple Indiana promotions across the river. They were no good, he said. Their wrestlers were no good. They could never work in Kentucky. They were backyard wrestlers, and they and the promotions they worked for were bad for business.

Over the last several months, a number of those no good, backyard wrestlers have made their way across the river to the name promotion. The quality of that wrestling product has gone up. So, I expect, will their business.

I’m not going to name this promotion right here. I’m not writing this to bash them, or the official. I want you to support them as much as the promotions he refused to acknowledge by name because if you are a true wrestling fan, they all need and deserve your support.

As the WWE continues to grow its brands, from Raw down to NXT, it will continue to cherry pick the best of the best from groups like the Kentucky promotion I mentioned. Cream rises, and it’s not too far-fetched to think some of those renegade Hoosier wrestlers will one day reach ROH, NXT – or higher.

Independent wrestling is back, and yes, some of it is pretty darn good. And as I’ve pointed out before, it’s much less expensive to go an support an indy promotion than it is the WWE.

Where will you be watching wrestling next week?

Dick the Bruiser Gets His Due

“When I started wrestling, everyone like Gorgeous George had on capes [and] big robes; really gaudy and everything. Then I came along and all I had was pair of trunks and my shoes. I had no gimmick. It was the absence of gimmicks that made me different.”
— Dick the Bruiser

I first heard about this book when I was working on Bluegrass Brawlers from Chris Parsons, who used to run a fabulous website on Indianapolis wrestling called Rasslin Relics. For many people who grew up in Indianapolis, Dick the Bruiser is wrestling, moreso than the WWE will ever be. He was a no nonsense wrestler and a savvy businessman who ran Indiana for decades, helping to launch the careers of hometown boys from Bobby Heenan to David Letterman. He’s the reason promoters in Indiana enjoy more freedom than almost any other state. And now, his story has finally come to print.

Order your copy from Crowbar Press. Grab a cigar and a beer and enjoy the tale of one of wrestling’s true, original bad boys.

Against all odds, IWA Mid-South is still here

2040_10153423236782039_2284983274109263709_nProfessional wrestling has been called a man’s soap opera. This is true in the ring and backstage. Any place you find there drama of wrestling in a ring, there’s bound to be drama in the locker room.

The Louisville/ Southern Indiana area is flooded with wrestling promotions right now, and right now, at least two of those promotions are in turmoil. Time will tell if any of the small promotions running in Southern Indiana will last. Time has already spoken for IWA Mid-South.

I am not  “Kool-Aid” drinker, nor an apologist for Ian Rotten. Ian has his flaws, but he has always been kind to me. He has also done a lot of good for the sport of professional wrestling. He’s been in business for 19 years, and he’s helped just as many rising stars as Ohio Valley Wrestling. Ian has won and lost many battles in and out of the ring, but while dozens of indy promotions have come and gone, he is still in business.

Ian posted the following on his Facebook page last night. It may sound harsh, but I know him well enough to believe he means every word of this without any malice.

 

“So, it’s two days from Christmas which means the New Year is just right around the corner, so I have to take the time to get this out.

“I need to explain to the many, many promotions that are running in my area (I know this will get to you from either your wrestlers or your fans)… with the exception of OVW you could put all of your shows together and it wouldn’t equal half as many of the shows I’ve ran, so listen to me when I say this. Some of you will be offended by this, but all of you shouldn’t be. Believe me when I say this… I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU. I do not consider you a threat. I do not consider you a competition. I don’t have quote-unquote heat with any of you. I wish each and every one of you the best in business, and you should take the time to stop worrying about everyone else and worry about your own business, your own fans. I hope all of you can last as long as I have, but remember, I’m still here out of pure stubbornness and an incredible dedication and love for this business. To so many of you young wrestlers out there, I will say this – to get booked, show up early and leave late. Prove that you have dedication to your craft and are willing to pay dues. This gets you over a lot more to me than, ‘Yo, when you gonna book me?’ When yo! I don’t even know who you are! In the end, care more about your business than other peoples business.

“Hope everybody has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!”

Ian’s not looking to put anyone out of business. He knows that competition is a good thing, and he wants to see independent wrestling grow. But unlike his would-be rivals, Ian is not fighting to build an audience. He has an audience. Some have been with him from the beginning. They left only when he had to shut his doors, and they were back the moment the doors were open. They followed him from building to building and across state lines for decades, and they’ve embraced the men and women who came through the doors as their own.

Ian built a brand people care about. He established three events – King of the Deathmatch, Queen of the Deathmatch, and the Ted Petty Invitational – that have helped to launch the careers of indy and WWE stars. He doesn’t stoop to the level of those who wish to talk trash on social media because he knows the moment you mention your competition, you put yourself beneath them. (Please take note of this advice, young promoters!) IWA Mid-South alumni are fiercely loyal, and he is loyal to them in return.

No, Ian is not perfect, but he loves wrestling with every fiber of his being. He wouldn’t be where he is if he did not love the business, and IWA Mid-South would long have become a memory.

Ian is hosting a huge show this Saturday, the day after Christmas. It’s a benefit for the family of Shane Goode, aka “The Iron Demon” Shane Mercer. The talent line up for this show is outstanding, and some faces you don’t normally see at IWA-MS will be there in support of Shane. It’s a great chance to have a look at a promotion that has defied the odds and stood the test of time. Click here for details on the Christmas benefit show.

When all else fails, turn heel

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The fair is no easy place to work a wrestling show. You might draw a handful of devoted fans, but you’re also going to draw a number of passersby – including people who are only stopping to laugh and heckle you.

Such was the case a few weeks back in my hometown when UWA put on an outdoor show at the fair. The first couple of wrestlers out to the ring did their best to pump up the crowd but received little to no response. Add in the drunks sitting near me on the bleachers, and it was a really tough crowd.

Enter Dick Devlin.

Devlin is a UWA original, and until that night, he had been working as a babyface. But when the fair crowd cheered his opponent – also babyface – and gave him little response on his entrance, he decided to take what he was given and play the heel.

“It was a really weird night,” he said, “We had both been working as babyfaces, but the crowd didn’t know who either one of us was. They seemed to want me to play the heel, so I did.”

In playing the heel, Devlin did something no one on the card had managed to do before him. He got the handful of drunken hecklers to not only engage with the show, but cheer for him.

“I threw my opponent into the fence. They said, ‘Do it again!’ So I did.”

Devlin has since turned heel for UWA, a rising promotion based in Southern Indiana that tapes television once a month at The Production House in New Albany. Devlin fell into the role quite naturally, having played a heel most of his career, and he is enjoying life on the other side once again.

Devlin grew up a fan during the attitude era and decided to give pro wrestling a try after attending a few Destination One Wrestling shows in Indiana. It’s a part-time job for him, as he’s also a full-time student majoring in criminal justice, and while he isn’t sure wrestling will become a full-time vocation, he’s enjoying every second of it.

Devlin is also very proud to be a charter member of UWA, a group he describes as being like family. “The promoters are a father and son, and they really cultivated a family atmosphere. I’ve been in locker room where there’s fighting and drama, but we don’t have any of that. These guys are my brothers, and I love it.”

Devlin can be seen on UWA TV, both on Youtube and the free Indie Wrestling Channel on Roku. Click play on the video below and skip to minute 38 to see Devlin and friends in his favorite match to date: a TLC match filmed at The Arena in Jeffersonville.

A new Hoosier promotion EMERGEs

11778164_545071125644092_819899590_nPromoters and wrestlers in the state of Kentucky refer to Indiana as the “wild, wild west.” You see in Kentucky, professional wrestling is heavily regulated by the state athletic commission, where in Indiana (thanks to Dick the Bruiser), pro wrestling is considered entertainment. Consequently, while you have only a handful of state-sanctioned promotions on one side of the Ohio River, you can find wrestling just about everywhere in the Hoosier state.

Columbus, Indiana is known for its world famous architecture, while nearby Seymour, Indiana is best known as the home to the world’s first train robbers, the Reno Gang. Now, Dave Dynasty is hoping to put the area on the map in the growing independent wrestling scene.

EMERGE Wrestling opened its doors on January 10, 2015 in Seymour, Indiana with EMERGE1 where a tournament was held and “The Mastodon” JD Mariani was crowned the first ever EMERGE champion. Successive shows were been held monthly in Columbus, Indiana as well as Seymour, and most of those shows have been sell-outs, averaging 350-400 fans.

“EMERGE Wrestling is unique because we strive to be fresh and cutting edge,” said promoter Dave Dynasty. “We promote a highly athletic and entertaining product with high production value and presentation. We strongly utilize social media and an online presence to promote our product and stay in constant contact with our fans.

The core roster includes the current EMERGE champion “The Main Attraction” Donny Idol, the current EMERGE Outbreak champion “Warfare” Jeremy Hadley, Ricky Ruckus, “The Mastodon” JD Mariani, Khris Kaliber, “Diamond Cut” Ace Perry, Joe Pittman, and “The Next Level of Entertainment” Owen Travers. “We also feature tag team regulars including the current EMERGE tag team champions B.A.D. and the 8bit Punks,” adds Dynasty.

EMERGE is also attracting guest performers from across the Midwest, including “Poison” Appollo Starr, “Beautiful” Bret Havoc, and the tag team Team IOU. This September they’re bringing in their biggest attraction yet when Donny Idol will defend his EMERGE championship against “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels.

“Our goals for the future include containing to promote high quality events and increase our attendance,” says Dynasty. He adds that EMERGE will soon enter the DVD and video on demand market and hopes to offer iPPV’s and webshow in the future.

True to their mission, EMERGE is easy to find on the web on all social media platforms. And if you’re in Seymour/Columbus area, about half way between Indianapolis, and Louisville, Kentucky, they’d love to have you stop in for a visit.

WEBSITE: www.emergewrestling.com

FACEBOOK: /emergeprowrestling

TWITTER: @emergewrestling

INSTAGRAM: /emergeprowrestling

YOUTUBE: /emergeprowrestling