Can’t Spell WWE without I-N-D-Y

Dear WWE and NXT Fans:

I’d like to introduce you to a few people.

This is Aaron Williams, “The Baddest Man Alive.” Aaron had a great weekend because he just won the Pro Wrestling Blitz Heavyweight Champion.

These are my pals Eric Emanon and Thomas Brewington. They had a great weekend as well. They are now the New Phoenix Gemini Tag Team Champions.

And this is the King of Dayton and proud member of Ohio Is 4 Killers, Dave Crist. Dave had a great weekend too. He pinned John Wayne Murdoch clean to become the new IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Champion.

Why am I telling you about these gentlemen? Because I want you to know them. I want you to follow them. I want you to support them.

As a WWE fan, I know you are aware just how many independent wrestlers have become part of the world’s largest wrestling promotion. A.J. Styles, Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Cesaro all had stellar careers in the indies before making it to NXT and WWE. If you’re also following NXT, then you’re already following the rise of Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Cassius Ohno (aka Chris Hero), Ruby Riot (aka Heidi Lovelace) and the other indy “darlings” the WWE has snatched up recently.

I want you to know that the independent wrestling promotions that Gargano, Ciampa, Hero, Lovelace, and the others left behind are not dying off like the old territories the WWF killed in the 1980s. They are thriving. They are growing not only in popularity, but in quality. I want you to know this because I want you to become a fan.

Yes, it is true, the independent scene is full of green wrestlers, spot monkeys, and guys who only care about getting their s*** in, but there are many men and women and tag teams still working the independents who could easily fill any spot on the NXT or WWE roster right now.

Independent wrestling is growing. There are more promotions in more places than there have been in a generation. Your local promotion(s) may run monthly or weekly, which means you can see live wrestling far more often than you are now with the WWE.

True, the crowds and venues are smaller in the indies, but that also means tickets are more affordable, and your access to the wrestlers is greater. You’re closer to the action and at a much better price, and the heels can actually hear you when you call them names.

And here’s the best part: you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to meet your favorite stars. The T-shirts at the gimmick tables are half of what you’ll pay at a WWE show. Everyone is happy to shake your hand and take a selfie – except maybe Mr. Darius Carter.

I’m not telling you to give up the WWE. I enjoy the Network and NXT as much as any fan. But make no mistake: the WWE and NXT would not be what they are without the INDY scene that has come to be. I’m offering you the chance to see more live wrestling. I’m asking you to give guys like Aaron, Dave, Eric, and Thomas a chance. I want you to get out there and discover other guys like Matt Riddle, Ron Mathis, The Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim, Desmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz, Gary Jay, Chip Day, Murder One, Timmy Lou Retton, Matt Cross, Michael Elgin, Menace, Facade, Jake Crist, Sami Callahan, and Jimmy Rave. I want you to discover the other ladies who fueled the “women’s revolution,” like Kelly Klein, LuFisto, Su Yung, Samantha Heights, Leva Bates (remember Blue Pants?), Mickie Knuckles, Rachel Ellering, Taeler Hendrix, Candice LeRae, Veda Scott, Mia Yim, Allisin Kay, Jessicka Havok, and Jordynne Grace. I want you to discover the amazing tag teams packing houses across the country including the Hooligans, Viking War Party, War Machine, OI4K, and the Carnies. You can even find comedy wrestlers, guys like Colt Cabana, Space Monkey, and the notorious party animal, Joey Ryan.

There’s never been a better time to get into independent wrestling than now. Search a few of these names on YouTube. Find and follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Then find a promotion running in your area. I’m not asking you to trade one for the other. Just get out and support the superstars of tomorrow, today. They will not let you down.

Sincerely,

A converted, die-hard indy wrestling fan

Indy Expansion: PWF and AWE Join Forces

14947657_1210551835690034_5367452111594581714_nIn what could be an interesting sign of the times, two promotion separated by two states have begin a “working relationship” between their two companies. Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment, headed by Stan Robinson and Joshua Von Wheeler, announced their newly formed alliance with Pro Wrestling Freedom’s Jimmy Feltcher and John Norris.

PWF and AWE have already been sharing talent over the past several months, with AWE mainstay “Do or Die” Chip Day being crowned the first PWF Champion in September. AWE’s Murder-1, Adrian Armour, and Jimmy Rave have also made themselves at home in the Southern Indiana promotion, while a handful of PWF talent have made their way down south, including Mickie Knuckles, Gary Jay, Tripp Cassidy, and the current Georgia Crown Tag Team Champions Team IOU.

The open agreement means that titles from both promotions can and will be defended in either promotion. It also means more talent from Atlanta will be headed to Indiana and vice versa. Aaron Williams, a PWF regular from Ohio, was quick to announce his desire to work Atlanta on Facebook.

PWF and AWE can both be found on Facebook as well as Twitter. Follow them at @ATLWrestlingEnt and @pwfofficialpro, respectively.

It’s exciting to see promoters coming together for the common good of their fans and the wrestlers. Here’s hoping we’ll see more of these agreements, giving more men and women a chance to follow their dream full-time while giving the fans an even better show every time the bell rings.

Kick Out at Two Episode 50

For nearly a year, the Kick Out at Two Podcast has traveled the US looking for the best independent wrestling. This week marks a milestone, their 50th episode, and they’ve dedicated this week’s show to doing questions and answers from their fans.

The Kick Out at Two Podcast is dedicated to covering independent wrestling, and over the last year, they’ve traveled as far north as New York, as far south as Florida, and as far west as Nebraska from their home base in Tennessee. They’ve also interviewed legends like Jimmy Rave and Chris Hero and up and comers like Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim and Cold Stone Tim Boston. They’re always happy to hear about new talent, new promotions, and new shows, and they are true supporters of today’s indy scene.

I had the privilege of hanging out with Jesse and Brittany last Friday night at PWF: The Primus in Jeffersonville. In addition to seeing a great show, I got to introduce them to Mad Man Pondo and take them out for donuts at a 24/7 shop we have called Jeff’s Bakery. It was great to catch up with them, and I can’t wait to meet up with them again down the road.

Congrats on 50 episodes, gang. Here’s to many more!

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

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: Murder One, Chip Day, and Adrian Armour

Our Primus Primer series continues with not one but three profiles today. The Wilkman from the Kick Out At Two Podcast chimes in with three more reasons to believe the PWF championship will be headed South after Friday night. 

14199677_1157799777631907_5163760381507081028_nOn September 9th someone is walking away with a championship title, and the odds that it will be a resident of Georgia are pretty good.

Murder One, Chip Day, and Adrian Armour are all coming to The Primus with one goal, and that goal will pit them against each other. Each man wants to be champion, some of them need it, and all deserve it. I’ll explain what they bring to the table, and why each could walk away with the championship.

Murder One is THE veteran in The Primus. Wrestling since the early 90’s he has done and seen it all. From being a member of the NWA Wildside roster, to defeating ECW legends including Sabu, to even being a current tag team champion with Chip Day in Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment, Murder has done things that some of the men in this tournament never will. He does not need this championship and that makes him all the more dangerous.

Murder has nothing to lose by leaving The Primus without a championship. His career will move on and he will be as accomplished as ever. That being the case it also leaves him with a “devil may care” attitude. What is there to worry about when you’ve already done everything? This gives him an advantage the others wish they had. With no nerves in play and nothing to prove, his chances of walking away the champion are very good.

Chip Day may be the most deserving of a singles championship. The man known as the Kennesaw Kick Machine has put in more work on the independent scene in the last year than most have their entire careers. At this point his attitude may be that he is owed a championship, and one could not find fault in that assertion.

Day has racked up win after win and proven himself in every town he’s traveled to. He has faced the likes of Cedric Alexander and Tommaso Ciampa, and holds clean victories over Colby Corino and Sami Callihan. He also made it to the semi finals of the Scenic City Invitational falling just short to Chris Hero, only to score a victory over Hero and his tag partner JT Dunn a night later to retain his tag team championship. Both accomplished and able, Chip Day could walk away as champion after The Primus is said and done.

Adrian Armour will win the championship on September 9th. I wholeheartedly believe this. He is the complete package in wrestling, and is not long for the big times. His title victory in September will be just one more stop on his road to greatness.

Adrian has not been in the wrestling business as long as his fellow Georgians competing at The Primus, but he has picked it up faster than most people will in a decade. Already being a technically sound competitor, at some point this summer something clicked inside Adrian and since that time he has been riding a wave of forward momentum that is impossible to ignore. Even in defeat he is not slowed down, and with big names literally stealing from his repertoire, it is hard to imagine he wouldn’t walk out with the title and all the acclaim.

With the inclusion of Jiimmy Rave, it looks like PWF championship may end up resting neatly on a shelf in Georgia.

Visit the PWF: The Primus Facebook page for event information and tickets. 

Subscribe and download the Kick Out at Two Podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud. 

Primus Primer: Jimmy Rave

This is the third in a series of stories about the upcoming PWF: The Primus show in Jeffersonville on September 9. Today, special guest writer Righteous Jesse chimes in on one of the big favorites, Jimmy Rave. Jesse is the co-host of the Kick Out at Two Podcast. He has worked commentary for Jimmy Rave’s home promotion, Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment, and he has good reason to believe the PWF title will be headed to Georgia. 

We’ve all got our picks. Who will win the new PWF championship? We all know why some of these men could be victorious. But here’s a look at why they won’t be.

Jimmy Rave is the smartest wrestler in the game. Instead of being one step ahead, he’s always several steps ahead. He’s familiar with “run jimmy run” chants. They do not phase him. Jimmy knows that he can use the 10 count to his full advantage and even extend the count by rolling in and out of the ring again. It’s the little things like that.

Rave is a world traveled wrestling superstar who has held several championships throughout his career. This will be another one added to the resume. He’s seen it all. He’s done it all. He has the strategy, and on September 9th at The Primus, Jimmy Rave will be the new PWF champion.

For more information on PWF: The Primus, visit the official Facebook event page

Download the Kick Out at Two Podcast with Righteous Jesse and the Wilkman every Friday on iTunes and Soundcloud

Primus Primer: Hy Zaya

Over the next two weeks, Eat Sleep Wrestle will be spotlighting the competitors for Pro Wrestling Freedom’s upcoming show, The Primus. We begin today with Local fan favorite, Hy Zaya. 

There may not be a more independent wrestler in the country than Hy Zaya. At the end of 2015, Hy Zaya and his travel partner Shane Mercer had build a mini-territory for themselves, with three strong promotions booking them weekly. By the end of January, all three promotions were shut down.

Hy Zaya didn’t quit. He branched out. He made new contacts, connected to new promoters, and committed himself to learning a few new things, not the least of which is television.

Hy Zaya has become a break out star on the newly revamped OVW. He’s working heel in a few places after 18 solid years as a babyface. He’s imparting his own wisdom on the students at OVW, and he is still learning everything he can.

“One of the strangest things was learning not to post about the show after TV tapings,” he said. “I have to wait until Saturday to see how the show airs before I can say anything. The cool thing, though, is that on Saturday mornings, my Ninja Babies can wake up and see me on TV!”

In spite of his success at OVW, Hy Zaya considers himself a true free agent, freer than he’s ever been in the business. With no home promotion to tie him down, he’s able to go and work any place he wants. Everywhere he’s been, he’s left the fans begging for more.

Hy Zaya is one of twelve men vying for the new PWF championship at Pro Wrestling Freedom: Primus on Friday, September 9 in Jeffersonville, Indiana. He’s a strong favorite, given that PWF is in his backyard, but he knows he has his work cut out for him with his first round opponent, Jimmy Rave.

“I’m going to be watching a lot of Jimmy Rave video the next two weeks,” he says.

For event and ticket information, visit the PWF: The Primus page on Facebook.

Hy Zaya’s story can also be found in the book Eat Sleep Wrestle, available in paperback and on Kindle and Smashwords.

Two Guests on this week’s Kick Out At Two Podcast

Righteous Jesse, Wilkman, and Britt are getting ready for next weekend’s Scenic City Invitational in Chattanooga, and this week’s episode will get you ready with two featured guests.

Ace Rockwell is a 6′ native of North Carolina. The 13 year veteran is a regular for Empire Wrestling but has traveled all over the country.

Jimmy Rave is the current GWC Champion with Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment. Trained by Murder One, Rave has worked for TNA and Ring of Honor and is currently signed with Global Force. He’s a favorite of the KOAT crew, and both he and Rockwell are entered in the 16-man Scenic City tournament August 5-6.

Download the Kick Out at Two Podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud, then click over to Facebook to learn more about the Scenic City Invitational.

The Ted Petty Invitational Returns

The rumors you’ve heard are true.

Yes, IWA Mid-South is hardcore.

Yes, the fans live for blood and gore.

Yes, they were so violent back in the 90s, they were kicked out of Kentucky.

But if you think IWA Mid-South is all blood and guts, think again.

This Friday, IWA Mid-South is resurrecting the “other” tournament it is famous for, the Ted Petty Invitational. The tournament began in 2000 as a showcase for the best technical wrestlers in the world, and in 2002, it was named in memory of Ted Petty.

If you’ve never heard of Ted Petty or the tournament that bears his name, here’s a look at the participants from the 2002 edition.

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Pictured in this photo: Christopher Daniels, Jimmy Rave, Matt Stryker, Colt Cabana, Spyder Nate Webb, “Sick” Nick Mondo, M-Dogg 20 (Matt Cross), AJ Styles, Ace Steel, Chris Hero, BJ Whitmer, Tarek the Great and CM Punk.

Not pictured: “All That” Matt Murphy, “Kamikaze” Ken Anderson & Super Dragon.

Other past participants include Nova, Mike Quackenbush, Jerry Lynn, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, Nigel McGuinness, Samoa Joe, Matt Sydal, Hallowicked, Kevin Owens, Delirious, Davey Richards, Ricochet, Low Ki, Tracy Smothers, and Sami Callihan.

Not enough name dropping for you? How about Sara Del Ray (the woman behind NXT’s Four Horsewomen), Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, and Daniel Bryan?

Yes, IWA is hardcore, but it is much, much more than that.

Some of the IWA Mid-South faithful say this year may prove to be the best tournament ever. With names like Kongo Kong, Chris Hero, Reed Bentley, Hy Zaya, Shane Mercer, and Masada on the card, they may be right.

The action kicks off Friday night at the Colgate Gym in Clarksville, Indiana. Click here to go to the event page for ticket information. 

You’re welcome.