Tagged in: PWF

Pizza King of the Ring Recap

If you missed Terry Harper Presents Pizza King of the Ring Tuesday night in Jeffersonville, here’s a quick recap of some of the things you missed:

Enter Sandman! When you see a legend of the ring, there are certain things you expect to see. If it’s Mick Foley, you want Mr. Socko. If it’s Stone Cold Steve Austin, you want a Stunner. If it’s the Sandman, you simply want to see him make an entrance. Sandman milked the full duration of his entrance music, sharing beers with fans around the ArenA. By the time he reached the ring, the ECW faithful had their money’s worth. The kendo stick beat down of Nick Depp was just an added bonus.

Speaking of Nick Depp… The reigning Prince of the Deathmatches cut the promo of his life on Sandman. Depp held the crowd in the palm of his hand while he tried to convince the Sandman he had an alcohol problem. Sandman let him speak his peace. Then, as mentioned above, he broke his kendo stick over Depp’s back.

Maria is AmazingAmazing Maria continues to prove she’s one of the best heels in independent wrestling. She had an entertaining match against the dark but charismatic Sage Sin, who was led to the ring by a fire eater and two casket-bearing ghouls. Sage walked out of the ArenA the winner. Maria was carried out in the casket.

Sudden Death Tables Match. Kevin Cordell of the Talking the Business Podcast told me to keep an eye on Jake Garvin. Kevin thinks he’s a rising star. I have to agree. He and Calvin Tankman broke four tables in their match. These guys are young, big, and athletic, and they’re only going to get better. The only thing more entertaining was watching them pick splinters out of their arms while they looked over the menu at Spinellis later in the evening.

Mama Bates to the Rescue! The intergender match took a very unexpected turn when Mama Bates, Leva Bates’ mother, leapt to her feet and tried to stop Tracy Smothers’ second Kyle Maverick from choking her daughter on the ropes. Yes, some things in wrestling are staged, but it was very clear Mama Bates was not in on any storyline; she was out to protect her daughter, who came out the winner. Side note: Leva remains one of the friendliest and most down to Earth wrestlers outside the ring.

Lio Rush is the Man. I’ve heard a great deal about Lio Rush in the last year. He exceeds the hype. Rush and Super Crazy capped the night off with a stellar bout that had everything from mat wrestling to high flying to steel chairs. Rush is a mega-star on the rise, and a class act out of the ring as well.

Bottom line: Terry Harper doesn’t promoter wrestling shows very frequently, but he has a formula that works. Harper books people he wants to see in match ups he wants to see. He pairs legends of the past with stars of today in a way that allows casual fans who only came to see guys like Sandman to discover rising stars like Lio Rush and PWF’s Tri-State Champion Tyler Matrix. A Terry Harper show is the perfect opportunity to bring your WWE-loving friends along to see names that they know and introduce them to independent wrestling at the same time. It was standing room only in the ArenA tonight, just as it was for Terry’s last show in November 2016. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Small Child Costs Mr. Grim Debut Match!

The Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim was defeated, flat on his back in the middle of the Jeffersonville ArenA. As the theme music for the victorious Menace faded out, PWF fans jeered him with boos and insults.

“You lost!”

“You suck, Mr. Grim!”

Grim, a 260 pound 6′ powerhouse, took the criticism in stride. He ignored the harsh words as he slid out of the ring and rose to his feet, proud even in defeat. Taking a few seconds to get his bearings, he spotted the one person in the building he held responsible for his loss and made his way to the barrier wall in front of her. She was young, maybe eight years old. And she was responsible.

“This is your fault!!” he screamed at her, shouting in a tone that silenced the fans. “You did this! You’re responsible!”

The child didn’t know what to say. Shamed by the confrontation (and her own undeniable guilt), she hid in her mother’s side, crying.

“Look at me!” Grim shouted. “You did this! You’re the reason I lost!”

Now the fans were vocal again, defending an indefensible young woman who had just spoiled the Maryland-based indy star’s PWF debut. The boos were more intense now than they had been during the actual fight with fans taking the side of the guilty party rather than the wronged wrestler.

A well-meaning but horribly misguided face-painted wrestler named Joe Kerr came out to ringside to defend the little girl who was now in tears. It was a mistake he would regret. Unable to lay a hand on the one who had cost him dearly, Grim took his frustrations out Joe Kerr. After flattening Joe Kerr like a pancake, Grim reached for his metal briefcase and stunned the fans with what was inside.

“Is that a body bag?” said a woman near me.

It was indeed. Grim opened and spread the bag out beside Joe Kerr, still unconscious in the center of the ring. He rolled the young man onto the black plastic and sealed him inside with a zipper. A shower of fresh boos poured over Grim as he slid the loaded body bag off the ring apron and carried Joe Kerr to the back.

It wasn’t the grand debut Grim anticipated in his first Kentuckiana appearance, but as Grim made it clear, it wasn’t his fault. I’m sure the scolded young woman is filled with regret today for whatever she did to cost The Hitman for Hire his bout with Menace, and she’ll think twice about doing whatever the heck it was she did again!

I certainly hope PWF management will take steps to prevent any fan costing Mr. Grim a match again. As harsh as they were with Mickie Knuckles and Randi West after last month’s show, they need to do something! Otherwise it might be a fan leaving the ArenA in a body bag the next time Mr. Grim comes around.

Is Menace Ready for Mr. Grim?

Pro Wrestling Freedom fans (and readers of Eat Sleep Wrestle) are well acquainted with the high flying masked wrestler Menace. The Tennessee star has made an impact at PWF shows over the last year, and he’s a favorite wherever he goes. I’ve known Menace online for a few years now, and I myself am looking forward to finally seeing him in person Friday night.

That said, I’m concerned I may not get the chance. Menace is up against one of the top rising stars in the business, The Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim. Mr. Grim is a rare talent who combines a power game with high flying. Very few of his opponents leave the ring on their own power. Most disappear to the back in a body bag.

I asked Menace if he was ready for this week’s challenge, and he certainly sounds confident.

“This is a first time meeting between the two of us. I’ve studied video of Mr. Grim, and I think we were matched well for this fight. How hungry is he?? Menace is always hungry when stepping into a ring. Some may even say starving. Menace wrestles with a purpose. Mr. Grim and PWF will see come Friday night.”

Louisville area fans can get their first look at Mr. Grim when he faces Menace Friday night at the ArenA in Jeffersonville. This is a show not to be missed.

A Classic Rivalry Comes to the Arena

Every great hero is defined by the greatness of his enemies. Superman is great because of Luthor. Batman is great because of the Joker. Spider-Man is great because of the Green Goblin.

The same can be said for the legendary men and women of the squared circle. Careers are often defined by the rivalries that made them great. Flair vs. Steamboat. Rock vs. Austin. The Rock N Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express.

One of the greatest rivalries in modern times is headed for the Arena in Jeffersonville. Fans of Pro Wrestling Freedom have already come to expect greatness from both Chase Owens and Jason Kincaid, but they’ve yet to see the two go head to head in the Arena. That changes on Friday June 9.

Owens and Kincaid have battled each numerous times around the world. Theirs is a rivalry that helped to define a promotion, specifically NWA Smoky Mountain. These two men know each other inside and out, and their battles in Tennessee and beyond are legend to the fans who were there.

Take a look at the promo video put together by NWA Smoky Mountain chronicling this storied rivalry. Then head over to Facebook and get your tickets for PWF: The Crucible, Friday June 9 at the Arena in Jeffersonville.

Tell Me Again Why Women’s Wrestling Is No Good?

Women’s wrestling matches in the WWE were once called popcorn matches. It’s the match you got up and left to get popcorn and a drink or use the bathroom so you wouldn’t miss the next match. In all fairness, women’s wrestling in the WWE was, for a long time, not that great. It was exhibition, not wrestling, and thankfully, that era is over.

That said, the WWE is far behind the rest of the wrestling world when it comes to women’s wrestling. Women are in the main event more often than men. Women wrestle toe to toe with the men in many places. And some women, like Mickie Knuckles and Randi West, are consistently stealing the whole show wherever they go.

The clips below are from a PWF show two weeks ago. The ladies are currently “suspended” from the promotion due to what happens in the video below. Apparently, they picked the wrong car to mess with. It takes me back to one of the first indie shows I ever attended, when I saw Heidi Lovelace (Ruby Riot) and Jordynne Grace destroy each other in the parking lot during a “Falls Count Anywhere in Clark County” match at IWA Mid-South.

The clip does contain some language. Give it a look, and tell me you’d get up and go to the bathroom when these two ladies take the ring. I dare you.

Something GRIM is coming!

The Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim has been making an impact everywhere he goes. Once the Northeast’s best kept secret, Mr. Grim has been making his way deeper into the US and Canada in the first four months of 2017. On Friday, June 9, Mr. Grim will make his first appearance ever in Indiana and his debut for Pro Wrestling Freedom in Jeffersonville!

Mr. Grim is the man who caught the eye of the Kick Out at Two gang during their first trip to New York. There were much bigger, more established names on the card the night they met Mr. Grim, but the young grappler made such an impact, Righteous Jesse and the gang shocked the promoter when they told him, “We want Grim!”

Mr. Grim is a dual threat: a big, strong style brawler who can also fly. He carries a briefcase to the ring that contains something ominous for his opponent. When the bell sounds and his opponent lies prone on the mat, Mr. Grim opens the case and pulls out a body bag. The victim gets zipped in the bag and carried out by the Hitman for Hire.

Mr. Grim is a consummate student of the game, always watching other wrestlers and learning from everyone he meets. “I spent eleven days in Canada with Chase Owens, ACH, the Beer City Brawler, and Tony Kozina,” he told me in a recent phone interview. “Those guys taught me a lot about ring psychology, selling, self-promotion.”

Mr. Grim has had some high profile battles recently with Lucha Underground star A.R. Fox and Joey Janela. “It was a clash in styles, working with Janela, but it really worked out great. He and A.R Fox are my two favorite matches to date.”

Mr. Grim has two title belts in his possession. He won the Nova Promotions Apex Championship in November and the GXW TV Championship in December. The rising star has already seen his June 9 opponent in person, but this will be a first time ever encounter when Mr. Grim faces off with PWF veteran Menace.

“We were in a battle royal once. I saw some of his stuff. I’ve seen a lot more since, watching film on the Internet. I’ll be more than ready for him.”

Mr. Grim is all over the Internet and social media, a fact that saved him some trouble during a recent police stop. As told on the Kick Out at Two Podcast, Grim was pulled over on suspicion of aiding and abetting a crime he had nothing to do with. The police stop might have ended after they checked his ID and registration, but the police asked him to open the trunk, where they discovered the briefcase and body bag.

“The police had their hands on their guns, asking me what this was all about. ‘Do you have a phone?’ I said. ‘Go to Google, type in Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim.'”

It was a tense few minutes, watching the cops looking at the smart phone, but Mr. Grim was finally able to relax when he heard one cop exclaim, “Holy s— he just put that guy in a body bag!”

Grim added two more fans to his Facebook page that day, and he invites you to join them. The best place to find him is on Facebook, but he is also on Twitter and Pro Wrestling Tees. Or just go to Google and type in The Hitman for Hire Mr. Grim.

Mark you calendar for June 9. Mr. Grim is coming to PWF.

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: 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.

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.