Tagged in: nova

Some Traditions Are Better Left Behind

There are many reasons to lament the changes that have happened in the wrestling business in the past few decades, but there are some things we should all be glad to see let go. In the wake of Axl Rotten’s death, former ECW star Nova went on Facebook to praise the current generation of wrestlers for letting the eschewing the old ways of the wrestling business in favor of video games and other, much safer vices. The movement from bar fights to Mario Cart has as much to do with the change in our journalistic culture as anything. TMZ is always lurking, especially if you’re a WWE star. But the truth is the video game tournaments hosted by Xavier Woods and the like are keeping wrestlers out of trouble and away from the dangers that continue to take a toll on the heroes of the past.

I enjoy the wild stories of Johnny Valentine, Dusty Rhodes, Roddy Piper, and the Freebirds as much as anyone. But I am glad that so many of today’s stars have chosen to be a little wiser with their leisure and travel time. Hopefully the coming decades will give us more old wrestlers telling stories and fewer “gone too soon” headlines.

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.

12366318_10153397368292039_3125254760817490924_n

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.

Miss a week, miss a lot

esw coverIf you miss a week of wrestling in Louisville, you miss a lot!

While I was off enjoying a family vacation in D.C., Mitchell Hull won the OVW TV title. Mitchell was just getting back into the business when I interviewed him for Eat Sleep Wrestle in the summer of 2014. Looks like he’s well on his way to making a name for himself in the business.

Not only did Mitch win gold, but Aaron Williams, who is on the cover of the same book, won the Rockstar Pro Wrestling tag belts with Jake Crist in Dayton. These two are as talented a tag team as you’ll find anywhere in the indies and a must-see if they’re on the card.

Then Friday night brought two more surprises at the IWA Mid-South 19th anniversary show. After announcing the Headbangers had dropped out of the show earlier in the week, Ian Rotten surprised the fans by bringing in former WWE star Simon Dean (aka Super Nova of the BWO) and IWA Mid-South legend Chris Hero. Then Reed Bentley (another Eat Sleep Wrestle talent) capped the night by winning the IWA Mid-South world championship, snatching the title away from newly crowned champ John Wayne Murdoch.

For those counting, that’s three stars from Eat Sleep Wrestle winning gold last week.

This Wednesday, OVW is taping television in Louisville and Rockstar Pro is doing the same in Dayton. Pro Wrestling Grind in Jeffersonville has Rhyno coming in for a show at the Arena Friday, and IWA is running a benefit for IWA-MS original Mitch Page the same night.

And oh yeah, Chikara is coming to Jeffersonville October 24.

It’s a great time to be a fan of wrestling, especially here in the Midwest.

The Outlaw Returns

Outlaw Ben Wood was not a native of Louisville, but like many pro wrestling hopefuls in the last two decades, he relocated to the River City to train at OVW in hopes of being noticed by WWE. Wood came in with Mike “Nova” Bucci and a few other East Coast wrestlers and stayed quite a while. He caught the eye of the WWE and even got a tryout offer, but injuries caught up to the promising talent and he eventually had to hang up the boots.

It was my privilege to meet Ben when he was still wrestling, and as a (f0rmer) aspiring filmmaker, I was one of the first people to cast him in a movie, The Last Temptation of Fluffy. Ben found his second calling with film and has since gone on to appear in numbers features and television programs including Escape Plan, The internship, Hot pursuit, NCIS Nola, The Zoo, and Into the Badlands.

Now living in Louisiana, Wood had the good fortune to cross paths with indy wrestling icon Luke Hawx. Hawx told Wood about Wildkat Sports, a wrestling school with an impressive resume that has already produced several WWE developmental stars. The two got to know each other working in numerous films as actors and stuntmen, and during a recent shoot, the conversation turned to wrestling.

“There was a pro wrestling match on the TV show we were filming,” says Wood. “One thing lead to another and some how fate intervened. I said how I missed it wish I could still be a part of the business. Luke told me he had an opening on commentary, and he offered me a tryout. I went and did the best job I could and shortly after became part of the family.”

Wood is thrilled to be back in the business, and he sees bright things on the horizon for Wildcat. “This is a training school first, but they run the biggest shows around. I honestly believe by 2016 some form of weekly event should be in store. The talent is top notch with a strong fan support and world wide talent base. Top stars and big promotions are working with us. Every show is sold out and worth the price of admission.”

Wood is eager to contribute in any way he can to Wildcat’s growth. “I do anything to help them grow, be that commentary, training advice, promotional work, even writing. I have a passion for it all. I love this industry. It restructured my life, and I would take even the worst moments again if I could still relive the best. 

If you want to give Wildkat Sports a look, you can find them on their website, Facebook page, and Twitter.

Ben Wood can be found online at his website, IMDB page, and Facebook.

The Bolin Bio Is Here!

11416754_1440107446310822_276061912_oOne of the most enjoyable interviews I did for Bluegrass Brawlers was with Kenny Bolin. You may not have heard the name if you’re not familiar with Louisville wrestling, but you have Kenny to thank for launching the careers of many of today’s biggest WWE Superstars. He managed dozens of WWE hopefuls in the decade when the WWE used Ohio Valley Wrestling as its training ground, and all of them went on to get a shot at the WWE – not the least of which was John Cena!

Kenny’s story is one of those wrestling tales that has to be heard to believed, and even after you hear it, you won’t believe it. I can tell you with absolute confidence this book is mostly true, but good luck sorting what’s what. The stories that are 100% true are easily the least believable in the book.

It’s been a pleasure getting to know Kenny as a friend and help him bring his story to life. You’ll hear Kenny’s story in his own words along with the words of Jim Cornette, Dutch Mantell, Jerry Lawler, Jerry Jarrett, JBL, Nova, Mark Henry, Damien Sandow, Dean Hill, and many more who crossed paths with the Louisville legend.

His book is available on Amazon.com, but why buy from them when you can order from the man himself and get it signed? Contact Kenny on his Facebook page to order your copy in one of three collectible covers today.

Bolin’s Bio Is Almost Here!

bolin1On July 4, fireworks will light the sky. Men and women will enjoy a cold one. Families will gather together to celebrate America… and the release of the long awaited Kenny Bolin autobiography, “I Probably Screwed You Too: The Mostly True Story of Kenny Starmaker Bolin.”

Kenny’s will be the most entertaining wrestling story you will read this year and one of the funniest you have ever picked up, and Kenny’s telling his tale with the help of a few friends. Now I know it’s not nice to name drop, but since we all know Kenny has no shame, here’s a quick list of people who contributed stories to this upcoming epic.

“The Prince” Christopher Bolin
“Crybaby” Chris Alexander
Bill Apter
Rick Brady
Mike “Nova” Bucci
Jim Cornette
Rico Costantino
Mark Cuban
Tim Dennison
Mark Henry
Dean Hill
Jerry Jarrett
Jim Kurnau
Jerry “The King” Lawler
John Bradshaw Layfield
“Dirty” Dutch Mantell
“The Sinister Minister” James Mitchell
Bishop Jason Sanderson
Terry Garvin Simms
Christian Skyfire
Al Snow
Aron “The Idol” Stevens (aka Damien Sandow)
Sylvester Terkay

The book will be available on Amazon.com, but the best and cheapest way to get it (believe it or not) is through the man himself. Contact him on Facebook to get your copy ordered as soon as they are available.

Louisville’s Greatest Matches: Nova vs. John Cena

Crybaby Chris Alexander told me about this match when I was working on Bluegrass Brawlers. I honestly am not sure why this story did not make it into the book, other than I simply forgot about it.

Cena was “The Prototype,” an unstoppable monster heel who had run over every challenger in OVW. Nova was the new guy, a veteran of ECW looking for a new start with OVW and the WWE. His first night at OVW, he got a shot at the champion.

Alexander was backstage that. Danny Davis walked over to him, wearing a big smile. “Hey Chris,” he said, “Do you want to know how to put a new guy over in one night? Just watch.”