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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.

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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.