Tagged in: jeffersonville

Congratulations PWF!

A year ago, a new promotion opened up in Jeffersonville looking to make a statement. The men behind PWF wanted to fill a gap in the local scene. They wanted to be the place local fans could see not only the Midwest’s best talent, but stars from other regions of the country. This Friday, PWF celebrates their one year anniversary with a show aptly named, Statement Made!

Friday’s show features the kind of mix fans have come to expect from the new promotion. Former tag partners and Louisville based stars Myron Reed and Mickey Muscles go head to head. Four members of the Fear Family settle a family feud in a tag match. Gary Jay faces the Bullet Club’s Chase Owens. Aaron Williams battles Tyler Matrix and Dustin Rayz for the new Tri-State Championship Belt. Atlanta stars Murder One, Chip Day, and Adrian Armour go to war against local heroes Cash Flo, Hy Zaya, and Shane Mercer. The Boys from Jollyville face off with new fan favorite Pat Monix and partner Storm Grayson. And two ladies who stole the spotlight from the boys in Fort Wayne Sunday go head to head when Mickie Knuckles faces Randi West in a no DQ/ falls count anywhere battle.

The action starts Friday night at 8 PM at the home for PWF, The Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Visit the event page on Facebook for details and tickets.

Congrats to all the wrestlers, promoters, refs, and fans who made this first year for PWF a success!

Grindhouse Academy: Rudy Switchblade

This is part two of a series of stories about The Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and the new Grindhouse Academy wrestling school.

When 2 Tuff Tony opened the doors of The Arena on Spring Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana, one of the things he wanted most was to start a school for aspiring wrestlers. Tony is a seasoned veteran himself and knew he had a lot to teach, but he wanted a partner who could give students the things he could not. He wanted someone trained in a variety of wrestling styles, someone with in-ring experience and knowledge that would really challenge the students. Tony found all that in Rudy Switchblade.

Louisville area wrestling enthusiasts will remember Rudy from his run with OVW as well as appearances for other promoters and promotions in the area. What fans may not know is that Rudy is a twenty year veteran who began training and wrestling all the way back in 1997.

Rudy spent 10 years in the business before he came to OVW. He started his training at the School of Hard Knocks with Bill Anderson, Jesse Hernandez, and Chris Daniels. “They were pretty much the ‘it’ school at the time in Southern California, and I started with a group of guys who are all pretty famous now.”

Rudy moved on to UPW, then the Southern California developmental territory for the WWE, where he worked with future OVW and WWE stars John Cena and Rico Costantino. He spent two years in the New Japan dojo, and a few more years with Ring of Honor before coming to Louisville to train under Danny Davis, Rip Rogers, and Al Snow.

Rudy Switchblade is a student of wrestling well-versed in many styles and techniques. His is a very different path than the one his partner followed, but Rudy and Tony have become good friends as well as partners over the last six months.

Rudy and Tony are now training a half dozen students at Grindhouse Academy. Through trial and error, they’ve established a regular class schedule that seems to work best with the odd shoot job schedules of their students. It’s an open door type of setting, where students of all levels are welcome to come and go, and it’s ridiculously affordable: it’s only $10 an hour.

Wrestling purists are bound to raise an eyebrow and even a few objections to such a low price. Most training schools cost thousands of dollars and require large, up-front, non-refundable deposits. Those schools do their best to weed out the less serious students on day one, keeping the money and sending them packing. It’s an old school mentality that you won’t find at Grindhouse.

“Don’t get me wrong. We’re looking for serious students,” say Switchblade. “The difference is, we’re not here just to take you money. Tony and I are not getting rich off this. We’re doing this because we love it.”

Grindhouse is a place for those who can’t afford the big name schools. It’s a place to come and get your feet wet without getting your butt kicked. It’s a great place to see what wrestling is really all about without blowing your life’s savings on day one and having you love of the business battered by a hundred knife-edge chops.

Grindhouse Academy currently meets 3-4 times a week at the Arena. Schedule and times vary, but you can get more information on the school and the Arena by contacting 2 Tuff Tony on Facebook.

Grindhouse Academy: The Man Behind the Arena

This is part one of a series of stories about The Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and the new Grindhouse Academy wrestling school. 

2 Tuff Tony knows there are people who don’t share his vision for pro wrestling. He knows because someone keeps trying to shut him down. But in the words of the long time veteran, “They only make me stronger.”

Just two weeks ago, the Clark County Health Inspector received another phone call about The Arena, located on Spring Street across from Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville, Indiana. While some promoters might have told the inspector where to go, Tony welcomed him, as he always does. He gave the inspector full access and complied with the one request given.

“He asked me to put in a sink,” said Tony, who demonstrated the brand new plumbing in the Arena’s tiny concession area.

Tony may have one or two detractors, but wrestling fans, promoters, and the workers themselves are raving about the Arena. It’s a work in progress that has taken a lot of time, money, and move, but Tony is proud of the work that has happened. In addition to the new sink, there’s a wider, easier-access entrance in the back to allow for more accessibility for the disabled. The DJ booth has been re-designed and re-built, the downstairs locker area is constantly evolving, and one of three murals is nearly done on the wall behind the DJ.

Tony opened the Arena because he saw a need. Over the past few years, multiple promoters have tried to run in a variety of buildings, from the former Production House in New Albany, to the Colgate Gym in Clarksville, to Jammerz Rollerdrome in Clarksville. The Arena was conceived as a place where anyone could come in and, for a low price, put on a show. The Arena has the ring, the DJ booth, the locker room area, and the concessions area. It’s up to the promoter to bring the people, the wrestlers, the music, and the food.

The Arena now has three regular promotions running on a regular schedule. OSWA runs every Sunday afternoon. IWA Mid-South runs on Thursday nights. Pro Wrestling Freedom Runs on the second Friday night each month. The building has also hosted special events sponsored by Terry Harper, several Girl Fight women’s shows, and Chikara Pro Wrestling.

“One of the promoters told me he didn’t like seeing other guys’ fliers hanging up in the Arena,” says Tony. The solution: Tony put a drop down curtain over top of the cork board that holds show fliers, so promoters can cover up the other fliers during their own events.

The newest occupant in the building is Tony himself, along with partner Rudy Switchblade. Together they have begun a program called Grindhouse Academy. “Grindhouse is a place where anyone who wants to become a wrestler can give it a try,” he says. “We don’t require a large deposit up front, and we don’t take your money and try to run you off the first day. It’s low priced to give anyone a chance to give this a shot and see if they have what it takes.”

Tony’s had a few trainers in house since the Arena opened its doors, but Rudy Switchblade brings a new level of experience and knowledge to the program. “He’s been to OVW, Japan, Mexico. He knows a lot that I don’t, and he’s a great teacher.”

Grindhouse Academy meets a few afternoons every week. Interested students can contact Tony on Facebook to get more information on times and fees. I’ll share more about all of this, Tony’s partner, and their students as the week goes on.

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!”

20 Years On, IWA Mid-South May Have Its Best Roster Ever

It had been a while since I paid a visit to Southern Indiana’s legendary wrestling promotion, IWA Mid-South. I’m not big on blood and hardcore and deathmatches, a hallmark of IWA-MS, and truth be told, I decided to go tonight for one reason: OI4K. I’m a big fan of Jake and Dave Crist and their frequent companion Aaron Williams. All three have been regulars at IWA-MS for some time, and when I saw Dave Crist was scheduled to face another favorite in Shane Mercer, I decided it was time to go.

It was a trip worth taking.

The boys from Ohio delivered as they always do, but this was hardly a three man show. Every match on the card tonight delivered, from the opening bout between Desmond Xavier and A.J. Gray to the main event with Larry D. and John Wayne Murdoch. Top to bottom, this was the best wrestling show I’ve ever seen from IWA-Mid-South and one of the best independent shows I’ve ever witnessed.

 

Corey Storm and Myron Reed were two of the younger stars of IWA-MS who impressed in the early matches. Reed is a Louisville veteran with a ton of talent and charisma, and he took an action-packed three way match from Teddy King and Brett Havoc. Storm is just fifteen years old, but he looked like a a seasoned veteran in the ring with Jake Crist. He’s getting the education of a lifetime, working with veterans like Crist, and it’s very clear he has a bright future ahead.

Aaron Williams had a hard-hitting bout with Japanese star Shigehiro Irie. Despite his alliance with the hated manager The Rick, Williams had a strong following in the crowd. Ian Rotten stunned Williams and the crowd after the match by announcing that Williams will face Jessica Havok next week.

Two more members of OI4K, Zachary Wentz and Trey Miguel, had a show-stopping tag match against the Player’s Club, Mance Warner and Ray Waddell. Wentz is the current heavyweight champion at Rockstar Pro Wrestling in Dayton, and he and Miguel put on a clinic with Warner and Waddell.

Dave Crist vs. Shane Mercer followed the tag match and stole the show in every way possible. Mercer and Crist are two of the best kept secrets in the Midwest. Mercer is all power; Crist is a high-flyer. The crowd was electric for the entire match, and when Crist got the win, the fans leapt to their feet with a standing ovation.

As soon as the match was over, Dave Crist grabbed a microphone and told the fans they were witness to one of the best shows he had ever been a part of. Christ praised the fans for their dedication and heaped even more praise on the young stars of IWA Mid-South. “Ian Rotten has an incredible eye for talent,” he told the fans, and he encouraged everyone to, “Tell a friend, bring a friend, and make IWA Mid-South the best promotion in the Midwest!”

It would be a bold statement to say that the current incarnation of IWA Mid-South is the best ever. This is, after all, the promotion that helped launch the careers of superstars like CM Punk, Chris Hero, Daniel Bryan, and Seth Rollins. That said, it’s clear that something special is happening in Southern Indiana.

IWA Mid-South is in their 21st year. They are packing the Arena in Jeffersonville every Thursday night and the Memphis Flea Market (where Rotten says fans can see more of the hardcore action they are used to) every Saturday. That’s no small feat, running twice a week, and with Joey Ryan, Gary Jay, and Jessica Havok on the card for next week, it’s only getting better.

If you like great wrestling, I’d encourage you to check out IWA Mid-South Thursdays at the Arena. And if you like violence for violence’s sake, you won’t want to miss their Saturday shows (including this weekend’s King of the Crimson Mask show) in Memphis, Indiana.

Congratulations to Ian and the entire crew at IWA Mid-South. Thanks for an amazing night of wrestling.

Whatever Happened to Stu Gibson’s Car?

stugibsonStu Gibson was a legitimate hometown hero in New Albany and Louisville. The New Albany native turned professional wrestler was a star football player for the Bulldogs as well as the U of L Cardinals. But Stu’s most favored status did not extend to neighboring Jeffersonville, Indiana, home of the New Albany’s most hated rival, the Jeffersonville High School Red Devils.

The New Albany-Jeff rivalry goes back more than a hundred years. No game is more important to the residents of New Albany and Jeff as the annual basketball game between the two schools, with fans on one side chanting the now toned down cheer, “Beat the devil out of Jeff!” as fans across the way chant the not-so-innocent response, “SONA! SONA!”

There was so much heat between the two schools during the 1950s, you didn’t drive in certain parts of Jeffersonville with a New Albany license plate, or vice versa. Stu’s status as a former New Albany Bulldog, coupled with his reputation as one of the biggest villains in Louisville’s wrestling scene, led to an incident at the Jeffersonville Fieldhouse that took place around 1952 involving a Jeffersonville alum named Billy Tanner.

“I was a small guy in high school,” says Tanner, who still works as a musician and singer in Southern Indiana. “The big guys were always putting me up to stunts they themselves couldn’t do. The old Fieldhouse on Court Avenue had a marquee sticking out from the front entrance, and one night during a wrestling show, Stu had parked his Studebaker convertible right near the marquee. Stu was the bad guy, and he was from New Albany, so we decided to have some fun.

“My friends lifted me up on top of the marquee, and I jumped straight down onto the roof of Stu’s car. Caved it right in! We didn’t tear it up or anything. Stu was able to pop it back in place when he came out. But boy, did we get a kick out of that.”

Gibson had no idea who had damaged his car that night. Three decades later in the early 1980s, Tanner shared the story over lunch with a man named Bill Heinz at the old Marriott Hotel in Clarksville.

“Tanner had no idea I was Stu’s brother-in-law,” says Heinz. “All of a sudden, he’s confessing to me that he was the one who jumped on Stu’s car. I didn’t say a word. I sat back and listened, thinking to myself, ‘You just signed your death warrant.’”

Heinz called Stu that afternoon and told him Tanner’s story. When Stu made his next visit to New Albany, Heinz arranged to have lunch with Tanner.

“Stu sat with his back to the door,” says Heinz. “As soon as Tanner walked through the door, I pointed him out. Stu was on him in an instant. He put him in a headlock and took him right to the ground!”

Tanner didn’t recall being taken down, but he will never forget the vise-like grip of Stu Gibson around his neck. “All of a sudden, this bear of a man grabs me in a headlock!” says Tanner. ‘Do you know who I am?’ he said to me. That’s when I realized I was in trouble. ‘I’ve been looking for you for thirty years!’” he said.

Tanner was relieved to know Gibson was only joking. Even in his late fifties, Stu was a powerful and imposing figure. “He was the nicest guy, once you got to know him. It’s a funny story, looking back, but when he had me in that headlock, it wasn’t quite so funny!”

Stu Gibson’s story can be read in the book Louisville’s Greatest Show, now available!

Corey Hollis on the Kick Out at Two Podcast!

Friday’s guest on the Kick Out at Two Podcast is Corey Hollis. Corey is a native of Alabama currently signed with the NWA. He currently holds the WrestleForce Tag Team Championship with Adam Page and is a former PWX Tag Team Champion.

Download the Kick Out at Two Podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud, and be sure to follow them on Facebook.

The Kick Out at Two gang will be at Pro Wrestling Freedom: The Primus tomorrow night! Come see the 12 man tournament featuring Jimmy Rave, Murder One, Chip Day, Hy Zaya, Shane Mercer, Aaron Williams, Jason “The Gift” Kincaid, and more. And be sure to say hello to my wrestling loving friends from the heart of Tennessee!

Primus Primer: Aaron Epic

14199677_1157799777631907_5163760381507081028_nThe final installment of the Primus Primer comes from Bonnaroo Brittany from the Kick Out at Two Podcast, who gives you her take on “Deathproof” Aaron Epic. Pro Wrestling Freedom presents The Primus this Friday night in Jeffersonville at the Arena! 

Hailing from Bayside, NY, “Deathproof” Aaron Epic leaves an impression that is just that- Epic. Working on his craft since 2001, he has a wide variety of cards up his sleeve.

Hellbent on winning the PWF Championship, he’ll pull every punch to reach his goal. Epic will use his knees, kicks, chops as his resources, and a vicious pile driver that is an exclamation point on most matches. He’ll even “fish hook” his opponents then taste their spit. A disturbing site to most, but it’s just Epic’s way of adding insult to injury, and probably a way to remind himself what defeat tastes like.

Whenever you see Aaron Epic’s name on the card there’s a great chance he’s going to put on a hard hitting match that might leave you feeling sorry for his opponent. But mostly, it’ll leave you wondering if he is in fact, Deathproof.

For information on Pro Wrestling Freedom: The Primus, visit the event page on Facebook

Download the Kick Out at Two Podcast every Friday on iTunes and Soundcloud

Primus Primer: Cash Flo

14199677_1157799777631907_5163760381507081028_nToday’s Primus Primer comes once again from Righteous Jesse of the Kick Out at Two Podcast, who gives you a look at another dangerous veteran in the tournament, Cash Flo!

Cash Flo is walking into The Primus on September 9th with full intentions on winning the PWF championship. A man who has been in the business of professional wrestling since 1997. A man who cut his teeth in hardcore wrestling, Cash Flo is someone who should not be taken lightly.

I’ve seen PWF fliers that mention “Professor Cash Flo’s chop class.” I finally got to witness that in person earlier this year. It sounded like he was fully capable of causing someone’s chest to collapse.
With nearly 20 years of experience, Cash Flo is someone who is no stranger to championships.

Having held multiple IWA Mid South championships and the PWF tag team championships, I would say Cash Flo has a great chance at winning the Pro Wrestling Freedom championship September 9th.

Pro Wrestling Freedom presents The Primus, Friday night, September 9, in Jeffersonville, Indiana at The Arena. For show information and tickets, visit The Primus event page on Facebook

Follow and subscribe to Righteous Jesse and the Kick Out At Two gang on iTunes and Soundcloud