NVD and Horrorshow Head to Orlando

There’s a lot of wrestling going on in Orlando, starting tomorrow night. A number of friends of mine are headed South and will be in the thick of the action. If you’re going to be in the area for Wrestlemania, you need to see the Ninja vs. the Demon.

The ninja in question is the “Hood Ninja” Hy Zaya, and IWA Mid-South original from Louisville, Kentucky. The demon is the “Iron Demon” Shane Mercer, Hy Zaya’s some time travel partner and tag partner. These two have torn the house down all over the Midwest, and ‘Mania wrestling fans who attend Fighting Evolution’s Wrassling Party on Friday the 31st.

Hy Zaya and Mercer will square off during the Florida Legends show Friday afternoon from 12-2, a show that also includes New Jack, B Brian Blair, Bugsy McGraw, Bill Alfonso, Abudadein, and Kevin Sullivan. Mercer will be defending the Strong Style Championship, the first time ever the belt has been on the line in Florida. He will also have a distinct advantage with the notorious Horrorshow manager Jason Saint in his corner.

Saint will also be managing Amazing Maria on the same show in her match against Alyssa Skyy. Canadian-born Amazing Maria has been a stand out for Girl Fight, OVW, and other promotions, and with the recent signings by the WWE, she’s poised to make her mark in women’s wrestling this year.

Jason Saint will also be making an appearance on April 1 at WrassleMaimYa in Samsula, FL, managing Amazing Maria against Mila Naniki. He will also manage Tripp Cassidy against Chris Silvio in a Samsula Street Fight with Ultraviolent Rules.

Fans in Louisville have been spoiled by the action brought by Hy Zaya, Shane Mercer, and Amazing Maria along with all of Jason Saint’s “clients.” If you’ve never had the chance, it’ll be worth your time to see all of them in action this weekend in Orlando.

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.

One year later… top ten posts

It’s been a year since I started this blog experiment, and it’s been exciting to see it grow. Here are the top ten posts from the past year:

The Black Panther Jim Mitchell1. The Black Panther Jim Mitchell – Still working on this book, though it’s taking longer than anticipated. Other opportunities and the difficulty of finding solid info on this forgotten trail blazer have made it difficult, but it’s still in the works. Happy to see this was the top post from year one.

2. Help Kenny Bolin Tell His Story – The story is now out and available from Amazon.com, with some help from fans who responded.

3. Everybody Loves Blue Pants – Interview with NXT’s most electric unsigned star. Thanks again to Mad Man Pondo for the hook up.

4. Who is Dean Hill? – Profile on OVW’s legendary announcer.

5. Khloe Belle Turns Hero – “Sista don’t care” in the ring, but outside the ring is another matter.

6. The Outlaw Returns – Profile on wrestler turned actor Ben Wood.

7. Is Shane Goode Enough? – Shane Mercer’s had a tough month, but he got some well deserved attention during the lead up to Tough Enough.

8. Meet the New Owner of HWA – A second life for a beloved promotion in Ohio promotion.

9. A New Hoosier Promotion EMERGEs – Profile on central Indiana’s EMERGE wrestling, available to watch on Roku’s Indie Wrestling Channel.

10. Meet Mary Elizabeth Monroe – She’s now going by Kelly Klein in Ring of Honor, and she’s one to watch in 2016.

Given that independent wrestling dominates the top ten, you can expect more of the same in 2016 from this blog. I also have several book projects in the works in addition to the Black Panther. I’ve been working with the daughter of Lord Leslie Carlton on his biography. I just started a book on women’s wrestling. And research continues on a new Louisville book focused on the Allen Athletic Club of the 1930s-1950s.

Thanks for reading.

A Goode Cause

“The Iron Demon” Shane Mercer is one of the most impressive young stars you’ll see in indy wrestling. He is quick, agile, and deceptively strong. He can fly off the top turnbuckle, and he can take your breath away with astonishing feats of strength.

Right now, Shane’s focusing on another battle. His mother is gravely ill and has been hospitalized for some time. He’s off the road for the moment so he can be by her side, and he’s had the love and support of his wrestling family every step of the way. Right now, Shane Goode and his family can use the love, prayers, and support of the fans.

A friend of the family has started a web page for those who would like to help. Any amount would be a blessing. It’s Christmas, folks, so give if you can, pray if you believe, and let’s hope for the best.

Much love and blessings to Shane, his mother Jeannette, and those who love them.

Please click here to support the Goode family.

A Ninja Sighting on Raw

Last night I posted a comment from IWA Mid-South Champion Shane Mercer on the blog. Eagle-eyed WWE fans spotted the man himself at ringside during Raw last night:

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The same fans who recognized Shane also spotted one of his chief rivals (and real life travel partner) inside the ring.

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The man giving medical attention in this still from Raw is Hy Zaya, aka “The Hood Ninja.” He is a former IWA Mid-South and CCW World Heavyweight Champion with over a decade of experience in the ring. He’s a Louisville native and legitimately one of the toughest men in the wrestling business. By that I do not mean he is a shooter; I mean his idea of fun is to have someone drop him off at the edge of a forest and disappear for several days with only his knife by his side. In that regard he is probably the most dangerous man who was backstage at Raw last night!

Hy Zaya is a deep thinker and a deadly serious student of the world and professional wrestling. But he also has a huge heart. Ask him about his grandma, and he melts. She is his hero.

Hy Zaya’s story is one of many told in Eat Sleep Wrestle, and he’s one of the featured stars on the cover. He shared a number of very candid tales with me, of learning respect in the locker room, wrestling his hero Sabu, and yes… how his grandma influenced him to pray before every battle.

Click the book cover to get your copy of Eat Sleep Wrestle.

esw cover

Death is Coming

One of the highlights of Eat Sleep Wrestle is a chapter about deathmatches, a particularly brutal form of professional wrestling frequently involving barbed wire, fluorescent light tubes, and all manner of weapons. The chapter included descriptions of some of the most brutal and barbaric deathmatches ever attempted. Nearly all of them originated from one tournament: IWA Mid-South’s King of the Deathmatch.

Next weekend, Death returns to the place CM Punk once described as the ideal location for Wrestlemania. The first round matches and stipulations have already been announced, and it looks like this year’s event will only add to the tournament’s bloody legacy.

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The KOD tournament will also feature a title match between IWA-MS champ Hy Zaya and the Iron Demon, Shane Mercer. The two young stars have built a rivalry and a legacy worthy of following in the footsteps of IWA-MS legends past Chris Hero and CM Punk. Any match between these two is not to be missed.

The Weekend of Death also features the Queen of the Deathmatch Tournament. Originally created as a way to feature hardcore legend Mickie Knuckles, the ladies’ tournament has become a must-see event for deathmatch fans in its own right. IWA Mid-South has always been at the forefront of promoting women’s wrestling, and this weekend, eight women will vie for IWA Mid-South’s most prestigious women’s crown.

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For more information, visit the IWA Mid-South Facebook page. Tickets are selling fast!

 

Is Shane Goode Tough Enough?

December 11, 2014 BigAssXmasBash351

I attended my first real independent wrestling show in January of 2014. I was hooked from the opening match, and as fate would have it, the first man to enter that match is now one of the most viewed videos on WWE’s Tough Enough website. Shane Goode’s video has caught the eye of fans across the country and the WWE because of his intensity and ring presence. Midwestern fans who know him as “The Iron Demon” Shane Mercer have seen a star in him for a long time.

Goode was hooked from the age of two, when he saw Hulk Hogan vs. the Ultimate Warrior on a rented VHS tape. Years later, he did a search on Myspace and connected with Zodiak, a fellow Kentucky wrestler who invited him and a friend out to a barn where they held wrestling shows to learn some of the basics. “We did a lot of backyard high spot stuff and got a standing ovation, but it didn’t go over well with the boys. They told us we were killing the card.”

Goode credits Bull Pain and Todd Morton for teaching him psychology and how to properly work a match. “I almost got in a fight with Bull over going with the crowd and calling him old man. He hated it and threatened to beat my ass with a bat, but I didn’t back down. I think he understood I didn’t know any better. They took good care of me from there and took me under their wing.”

Goode is typically one of the main attractions on the card these days, but he remembers well how hard it was to break out of the lower card. “A lot of promoters don’t want to give you the chance, or they put you with someone green as Hell and want you to shine from it. One of the early matches that helped me was my debut at D1W against Simon Sezz. It was my first match in a unknown fed full of bigger names, and we tore it up. I got a ‘Please come back,’ chant and, ‘This is awesome.’ Goosebumps moment.”

Goode had similar goosebumps moment wrestling Jason Kincaid at Pro Wrestling Freedom. As a member of the IWA Mid-South roster, he points to matches against Michael Elgin and Hy Zaya as the ones that put him over with the fans. “Hy Zaya and I fought in a cage match that really helped me shift the tide with the fans. I was a heel at the time, and I garnered a lot of respect for the brutality we put on. Humbling and awesome experience with both men.”

So what does Goode hope the WWE sees when they look at his video? “I hope they see a talent that can be groomed, who is still hungry and willing to learn. I have the body strength associated with wrestlers much larger than me. I’ve always had a no nonsense approach in promos, but I can adapt to what’s needed. It would be interesting to expand out of my comfort zone on any level but especially WWE.”

Shane Goode has a great physique and the look of a rising star. He is quick and agile off the ropes, and his feats of strength reminds you of Cesaro. (The photo above shows Shane lifting John Wayne Murdock and Kongo Kong – more than 500 pounds – on his shoulders.) His matches never disappoint, and he leaves it all in ring every single night. What’s more, Goode is one of the good guys, a favorite with the fans as well as the locker room. I’ve never heard a cross word said about the man. The WWE would do well to give him a look, but even if they don’t, you can rest assured the Iron Demon will still be fighting and winning fans somewhere on the independent scene.

Click here to view Shane’s video and please share it!!!