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!

 

Twenty Years of Doing It by Their Rules

There’s nothing in the world like an “IWA Mid-South Rules” match. That’s because in an IWA Mid-South Rules match, there are no rules. There’s no disqualifications, and falls count anywhere. And if you see the action coming your way, grab your stuff and get OUT of the way.

IWA Mid-South has been doing it their way for a long, long time. They’ve seen dozens of would-be competition come and go in that time. They’ve been chased out of buildings and entire states. The haters can keep on hating because this Thursday, IWA Mid-South will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Ian Rotten has booked a stellar line up in celebration of the milestone anniversary. There’s no flier online yet, but the line-up, care of IWA Mid South’s Facebook page, says all you need to know:

“Money” MATT CAGE vs “Knockout Artist” CHRIS HERO vs COLT “Boom Boom” CABANA

THE THREEJECTS (REED BENTLEY, JOHN WAYNE MURDOCH & NICK DEPP) & MARK WOLF take on TODD MORTON’s HANGMEN, DEREK NEAL & BULL PAIN

JJ GARRETT defends his IWA World Title against “The Wild Eyed Southern Boy” TRACY SMOTHERS

“Dangerous” DOUG GILBERT vs KONGO KONG

“Fight or Die” COLE RADRICK vs “Callihan Death Machine” SAMI CALLIHAN

4 WAY TAG MATCH: SAGE PHILIPS & TEDDY KING vs THE BROTHERHOOD (BROTHER REED & MICKEY MUSCLES) vs BOMB SHELTER (ZODIAK & JOSEPH SCHWARTZ) vs NVD (HY-ZAYA & SHANE MERCER)

RAM JAM vs ZACH GOWEN

LOSER LEAVES IWA: “Nasty” NATE CROSS w/ DAHLIA vs JC ROTTEN w/ TORI

20th ANNIVERSARY IWA RUMBLE! 2 competitors start, every minute another competitor enters the ring!

DIRTY DUTCH MANTEL is also scheduled to appear!

The show will be at Jammerz Roller Rink in Clarksville, Indiana on Thursday, October 6. First and second row seat holders get early admission at 5:30 PM for a Meet and Greet. Doors open at 6:45 with bell time at 7:30.

Tickets are $30 for first row, $25 for second row, $20 for general admission. Kids 13 and under are $15.

Contact Misty at BestMistyEVER@gmail.com to order tickets.

Congratulations to Ian and the amazing crew who have kept this Kentuckiana tradition going for two decades!