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Best of 2016 with The Carnies

There may not be a hotter faction heading into 2017 than The Carnies. Kerry Awful and Nick Iggy, the tag team formerly known as Team IOU, took the bold and brave step to embrace who they truly believe they are and change their name. It hasn’t hurt their stock one bit; if anything, it’s given them the momentum to take 2017 by storm.

The Carnies are poised to go to war with some of the best of the best this year. Folks like me are already coming up with dream matches. Carnies vs. Indy Card Mafia. Carnies vs. OI4K. These are old school-minded rasslers who live the heel life at every opportunity, making kids cry and eliciting genuine hatred from the fans. They’re exactly the kind of wrestler the independent scene needs to continue the modern indy revolution.

Kerry Awful asked me to share this match from their 2016 campaign at AWE vs. the Kraken, aka Chip Day and Murder One. Watch, enjoy, and start making your list of dream tag matches now.

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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.

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Why every wrestler should Hang with Bob

The independent wrestling scene is not what it once was. Only a handful of guys are making top money, and most are working shoot jobs just to get by.

Brutal Bob Evans has been a part of that scene for a long time. He knows what it takes to make it. He also knows you don’t have to be in the “$100 Grand” club to do it full-time and support your family.

There are many wrestlers training other wrestlers how to work in the ring, but Brutal Bob wants to train them how to work outside the ring. He wants wrestlers to know how to not only make money, but spend it wisely. Simply put, you can’t live like Ric Flair, spending your entire paycheck on wine, women, and food. You have to be smart about your money and take care of your family.

“When wrestling isn’t viable anymore, your significant other will be there for you,” Bob wrote on Facebook last week. “So, protect home. To do this, you must make wrestling a viable option financially. Not immediately, because that’s not realistic. But as soon as you can, practice the business of wrestling.
Again, I’m a firm believer that wrestling can be an art and a business.

“You don’t have to make $1 million either. Think about the stress reduction when you come home with grocery money for the week. When you come home with a car payment. When you come home with half the rent money. This is a very reasonable and realistic goal. A few tweaks and your deep in the business of wrestling.

“If we want to have our head in the clouds, we also have to have our feet on the ground.”

Bob’s training class teaches wrestlers how to be smart about money. He gives common sense advice on everything from travel expenses to self-promotion. With some careful planning and a lot of discipline, wrestlers can leave their shoot jobs behind, pursue their dreams full-time, and take care of their families.

Students of Bob’s workshops are already seeing results, even a few weeks in. In fact it was a testimonial from Kerry Awful of Team IOU on Facebook that bought the workshop to my attention.

“After the weekend I’ve continued to follow his posts and apply the things that I feel work for us. We’ve branded more tshirts, cut costs where we could, and did the drives with a little bit different view point on saving money. This last weekend between merch, work, and after expenses — it was pretty damn cool to see we’ve made more money to invest back into ourselfs and our brand that aren’t coming out of pocket but are its own self sustained thing.

“I don’t think I would have felt the same way or understood this a few months back.”

There’s a reason guys like Lord Leslie Carlton and Baron Leone retired as millionaires. They saved more than they earned. They shared rides and hotel rooms. They traveled with a loaf of bread and a pack of bologna. They invested what they earned so they could retire in style.

Brutal Bob’s workshop is a must for any aspiring professional wrestler today. Regardless of how high you may rise in today’s wrestling scene, Bob’s class will teach you how to make the most of those tiny pay offs so that you AND your family will come out ahead.

As Bob says, “Protect home. Do business. Be business.”

For information on Bob’s workshops, follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. If you dream of being a full-time wrestler, this is a workshop that can change your career and your life. You need to Hang with Bob!

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Team IOU Hates You!

Team IOU does not look like a tag team. They don’t have matching tights. They don’t wear color-coordinated outfits. They don’t wear identical face paint or strap on identical spiky shoulder pads. Nick Iggy and Kerry Awful aren’t brothers, nor were they born in the same state. Nevertheless, the odd couple from Tennessee has found a chemistry that has made them one of the most sought after and hated tag teams in the indies.

Nick Iggy was born in New Jersey but spent most of his life growing up in wrestling-crazed Middle Tennessee. “Growing up with two older brothers, I always watched wrestling, so for as long as I can remember I always wanted to become a professional wrestler. It was while watching The Hardy Boys – Leap of Faith VHS with my best friend, Cas Lush, that I stopped just ‘wanting’ to become a professional wrestler and started telling myself that ‘I’m going to be’ a professional wrestler.”

Nick’s partner Kerry Awful turned to wrestling as an escape at an early age. “I was extremely sick as a child. In and out of the hospital constantly. While most people were out and about with friends, I was at home with breathing machines and professional wrestling. My earliest memories are of old USWA shows and syndicated WWE shows. I remember hiding a towel under the crack of my door as a child so my parents wouldn’t know I stayed up late to watch the entire first episode of RAW. Wrestling’s been there for me from illness as a child, to my parents divorce, to adulthood. I cherish it so much.”

Like Iggy, Awful still remembers the moment he decided to become a wrestler. “It was the first time I saw Owen Hart and Koko B Ware on a Saturday morning show with my baby sitter. The outfits, the energy, the crowd. All of it was just like being a real life super hero. I was hooked.”

Kerry began his training with one of the men he grew up watching, Dirty Dutch Mantell. “I was blessed to learn from a legend like him, and to have grown up watching him and be taught by him was so surreal. I was mentored by Tasha Simone, former three time NWA woman’s world champ and a person who is like a mother to me. Even though we don’t talk often anymore, I would be amiss to not mention Mike Promo — who is an urban legend by this point. I would also be amiss to not mention all the help Wolfie D gave both Nick and I.”

Nick began his training with Reno Riggins and Drew Haskins at the Stadium Inn in Nashville before also falling under the tutelage of Tasha Simone and Wolfie D. “We’ve also had a lot of good people help us and teach us new things over the years.”

Neither Nick or Kerry began their careers in the tag team ranks, and both have had some memorable matches as singles. “We were actually feuding with one another at a promotion in Nashville called USWO run by the legendary Tony Falk. We were finishing up there to go to NWA SAW in Millersville, TN. Our first night there they put us together as a team. We thought it was just gonna be a one off since we considered ourselves singles wrestlers. Our first night teaming, we won the NWA Southern Tag Team Titles by defeating Tim Renesto and Jeremiah Plunkett. We had good chemestry feuding against each other, but found out we had better chemistry teaming, so we decided to start teaming everywhere.”

“There is a long drawn out story of how we became the boy and his dog and an even longer one of how we evolved into the carnies,” says Awful. “It boils down to we were two friends, who wrestled completely different styles, that were destined to adventure this world with a mission statement to be the best tag team we could be, and represent the state of Tennessee to our fullest potential.”

Team IOU has forged a name for themselves as a tag team by staying true to who they are. “We embrace who and what we are: Southern wrestlers who use a smash mouth style to get a point across. We grew up liking so much different stuff from each other that we were able to kind of mesh it into our own thing. I’m proud to say we ‘found ourselves’ and keep trying to push it in new and creative ways.”

Iggy and Awful’s unique partnership has brought them much success, earning them matches against current teams like the Hooligans and legends like the Rock N Roll Express. They’ve traveled all over the Eastern United States, working as regulars for Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment in Atlanta, GA; Pro Wrestling Freedom in Jeffersonville, IN; Saint Louis Anarchy in Alton, IL; New South in Hartselle, AL; and NWA New South Championship Wrestling in Franklin, KY. Their debut for Tier 1 Wrestling in Brooklyn, NY is scheduled for summer, and they plan to announce even more debuts soon.

Team IOU’s initial title win against Renesto and Plunkett was only the beginning of their gold rush. Says Iggy, “As a team, we’ve held the Proving Ground Pro Tag Team Championship, won the 2015 Full Impact Pro Six Man Showcase along with Jake Dirden, and are the current NWA Southern Tag Team Champions. I’ve also held the NWA Mid American Championship, USWO Music City Championship, ATL Tag Team Championship along with Mike Revick, ATL Junior Heavyweight Championship, All Star Wrestling Tag Team Championship with Damien Payne and All Star Wrestling TV Championship.”

Team IOU has a way of making fans sit up and take notice. There’s no ignoring them, in or out of the ring, and they love to push buttons. Sitting a few feet away from their gimmick table at a recent show in Jeffersonville, Indiana, I head Iggy shut down a young fan with a rapid fire put down: “You’re a kid! You don’t know anything! Your mother hates you!”

It was that moment that made me a fan, and it’s that attitude that will take Team IOU as far as they want to go. “The ultimate goal for me has always been the WWE,” says Iggy, “But I’d love to be able to work for ROH and NJPW. Honestly, if I’m able to make a living off of this, I’d be happy.”

“Nick and I have similar mind sets,” adds Awful. “I want to be involved in wrestling some way. Whether it’s in front in the ring or behind the scenes. My dream when I started was to go over seas. Will it happen? Hopefully one day. I would like to just make an impact on the sport. Change the views people have of Southern wrestling. Make more memories and continue to be happy.”

If they’re not wrestling at a promotion near you this summer, you can check out Team IOU on Smart Mark Video, the WWN Wrestling Network, and their YouTube page.

T-shirts are available on Pro Wrestling Tees.

You can follow Nick on Twitter @IggyNJ210 and follow the team @TeamIOU.

Promoters are welcome to email them at BookTeamIOU@gmail.com.

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Kick Out At Two – Your new favorite podcast

I met some cool new friends over the weekend and found a new favorite podcast.

Kick Out at Two is a “traveling wrestling podcast” highlighting indy wrestling of all stripes. Based out of central Tennessee, the podcast team of Jesse, Wilks, and Brittany spend their weekends traveling far and wide to watch their favorites while discovering new ones.

Jesse is a former wrestler himself, a kid who grew up loving it and still can’t get enough. His co-host Chris Wilks was a late-comer to pro wrestling, but once the bug bit, he went back and watched as much of the old stuff as he could. Brittany is the third member of the crew. Like Jesse, she’s a life-long fan whose love for the sport has been rekindled by the podcast.

Kick Out At Two began as a labor of love for the trio, according to Jesse. “We originally just wanted to talk wrestling into a microphone and put it on the Internet. Through friends like Kerry Awful [of Team IOU], we started getting guests and wrestlers actually started to reach out to us to be on the show.”

Jesse, Wilks, and Brittany found their niche as a traveling podcast, which is how the three ended up in Jeffersonville (ten minutes from me) Friday night. “We enjoy hitting the road and ‘making towns’ to get in person interviews with wrestlers that may or may not have a lot of eyes on them,” says Jesse. “We’ll talk to anyone. If we talk to a ‘big name’ one week the goal is to put a ‘lesser known name’ on shortly after that so if we gain new listeners they will learn about the independent talent we’re speaking with.”

The love these three have for wrestling really comes through in the podcast. They do a terrific job of letting wrestlers share their stories, and they’re equally generous highlighting wrestlers and fans who are giving back. One episode from this spring featured a 20 minute discussion of Wrestlethon, a wrestling video game fundraiser for a fantastic children’s charity.

What I love most about Kick Out At Two is their passion for indy wrestling. They love every shade and variation indy wrestling takes, and they, like me, would love nothing better than to see more of the WWE-only fans start supporting the indies.

“The goal is to help wrestling grow and make it better,” says Jesse. “To uplift as much talent as possible and give them a platform that they may not have had before. We live by the saying ‘the more wrestling, the better.’ So we put together sort of a ‘summer tour’ to cover more promotions.”

The summer tour dates are posted below, and if you’re at any of these shows, I encourage you to find these folks and say hello. Meantime, you have some podcasts to catch up on, so head on over to Soundcloud or iTunes and subscribe today. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Pro Wrestling Freedom Delivers

13095793_1069991786412707_6899430250700239435_nPro Wrestling Freedom is new name in the Louisville/ Southern Indiana indy wrestling scene. As crowded as the local market is with wrestling promotions, you’d think there wouldn’t be room for one more, but PWF offers a product unique and exciting enough to set it apart. No one promotion can deliver with every wrestling fan, and from the looks of things tonight, PWF is finding its share.

PWF is anchored by a strong group of Louisville area stars headed by Hy Zaya and his road partner, “The Iron Demon” Shane Mercer. But like the now dormant D1W, PWF also draws some of the top stars from other regions. Murder One and Chip Day were up from Atlanta for tonight’s show, and Rockstar Pro’s current champ Aaron Williams was in from Ohio. The result is a mix of new and familiar faces, all of whom left everything they had in the ring.

It would be hard to pick a standout match from tonight’s show, but the battle between Shane Mercer and Timmy Lou Retton would be a good place to start. Mercer is a beast in the ring, a powerhouse of strength who never disappoints. Retton’s red, white, and blue gimmick is deceptive; while he looks like a comedy act, he truly is a dynamic and gifted athlete who can not only match Mercer with the power moves but surprise you with his tumbling and gymnastic skills.

Aaron Williams and Chip Day didn’t disappoint in the semi wind-up. Their match turned out to be more comedy than I’m used to seeing from Williams, but were well-matched in personality and talent. “I have until five!” became a catchphrase for the fans as well as the grapplers before the night was over.

Jason Saint’s Horrorshow stable made its presence known during the show in a few entertaining matches. Saint is a maniacal presence at ringside who can anger you while also making you laugh. Nick Depp and Team IOU were well matched with the heel manager. Depp was entertaining in his match with the legendary Mickie Knuckles, and Nick Iggy of Team IOU is a heat magnet with his non-stop banter.

The main event was a first time ever confrontation between Hy Zaya and Murder One. A far from some of the more technical wrestling matches on the card, this turned into a brawl. Hy Zaya and Murder One lived up to their top billing with a violent melee that ended in a double count out, setting up a prolonged after show struggle and the main event for next month’s card.

PWF is running in The Arena in Jeffersonville. The next show is June 3, and all the details will soon be posted to their Facebook page. A street fight rematch between Hy Zaya and Murder One is already booked, and it looks like Chip Day and Shane Mercer will be a go as well.

Indy wrestling is alive and well. Buy a ticket, buy a T-shirt from a wrestler, and support the men and women keeping the tradition alive.

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PWF Comes to Jeffersonville April 8!

12952768_10153893671035339_2100030830_oThe Arena has been a hit since the day 2 Tuff Tony opened the doors on the Jeffersonville wrestling venue. Friday night, a pair of seasoned promoters bring their act to town as Pro Wrestling Freedom presents a stellar card of indy wrestling action.

Founded in 2012 in Corbin, Kentucky, PWF has made its name by booking the best young talent possible. “In the beginning, we brought in a few names at first such as Vader and Dutch Mantell,” says co-promoter Jimmy Feltcher. “However what we discovered along the way is the fans were paying to see the Independent talent, not being entertained by the past.

The Kentucky version of PWF folded in 2013, but Feltcher and his partner John Norris (Father Fear) decided to bring it back in early 2016. True to their roots, PWF is bringing in a loaded card featuring Hy Zaya, Shane Mercer, Roscoe Eat Lisa, Menace, Gary Jay, Cash Flo, and Team IOU.

“There will be something for everyone,” promises Feltcher. “Hard hitting violence, high flying, and everything in between. When you come to a PWF show, Our goal is take you from your reality and into ours.”

Children are welcome, and PWF strives to create a family-friendly atmosphere, but Feltcher cautions fans to use their discretion. “Remember, these are grown men, who are beating the hell out of each. Tempers flare, and sometimes the vocabulary can be less than desirable.”

General admission seats are $10. First row is already sold out. Doors open at 7 PM Friday, and bell time is at 8 PM. For more information, visit the event website on Facebook.

Hy Zaya and Menace are all featured in the book Eat Sleep Wrestle by John Cosper, available on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon.

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A new Hoosier promotion EMERGEs

11778164_545071125644092_819899590_nPromoters and wrestlers in the state of Kentucky refer to Indiana as the “wild, wild west.” You see in Kentucky, professional wrestling is heavily regulated by the state athletic commission, where in Indiana (thanks to Dick the Bruiser), pro wrestling is considered entertainment. Consequently, while you have only a handful of state-sanctioned promotions on one side of the Ohio River, you can find wrestling just about everywhere in the Hoosier state.

Columbus, Indiana is known for its world famous architecture, while nearby Seymour, Indiana is best known as the home to the world’s first train robbers, the Reno Gang. Now, Dave Dynasty is hoping to put the area on the map in the growing independent wrestling scene.

EMERGE Wrestling opened its doors on January 10, 2015 in Seymour, Indiana with EMERGE1 where a tournament was held and “The Mastodon” JD Mariani was crowned the first ever EMERGE champion. Successive shows were been held monthly in Columbus, Indiana as well as Seymour, and most of those shows have been sell-outs, averaging 350-400 fans.

“EMERGE Wrestling is unique because we strive to be fresh and cutting edge,” said promoter Dave Dynasty. “We promote a highly athletic and entertaining product with high production value and presentation. We strongly utilize social media and an online presence to promote our product and stay in constant contact with our fans.

The core roster includes the current EMERGE champion “The Main Attraction” Donny Idol, the current EMERGE Outbreak champion “Warfare” Jeremy Hadley, Ricky Ruckus, “The Mastodon” JD Mariani, Khris Kaliber, “Diamond Cut” Ace Perry, Joe Pittman, and “The Next Level of Entertainment” Owen Travers. “We also feature tag team regulars including the current EMERGE tag team champions B.A.D. and the 8bit Punks,” adds Dynasty.

EMERGE is also attracting guest performers from across the Midwest, including “Poison” Appollo Starr, “Beautiful” Bret Havoc, and the tag team Team IOU. This September they’re bringing in their biggest attraction yet when Donny Idol will defend his EMERGE championship against “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels.

“Our goals for the future include containing to promote high quality events and increase our attendance,” says Dynasty. He adds that EMERGE will soon enter the DVD and video on demand market and hopes to offer iPPV’s and webshow in the future.

True to their mission, EMERGE is easy to find on the web on all social media platforms. And if you’re in Seymour/Columbus area, about half way between Indianapolis, and Louisville, Kentucky, they’d love to have you stop in for a visit.

WEBSITE: www.emergewrestling.com

FACEBOOK: /emergeprowrestling

TWITTER: @emergewrestling

INSTAGRAM: /emergeprowrestling

YOUTUBE: /emergeprowrestling