RISE: It All Begins Here

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting the first class of students to go through the Grindhouse Pro Wrestling Academy at The ArenA in Jeffersonville. This Saturday, the initial class invites you to come see their pro wrestling debut as Grindhouse Pro Wrestling Academy presents… RISE!

Trainers 2 Tuff Tony and Rudy Switchblade have poured their decades of knowledge and experience into the first class at Grindhouse. Now fans can get their first glimpse of the Buffet Brothers when they take on the Armada. They’ll also see Freddie Hudson vs. Toney Gunn, and a student versus trainer match when ZDP – Zach Dayton Pittman faces Rudy Switchblade himself!

Will this be the start of something new? Could the next ROH, NJPW, or WWE superstar be on the card Saturday? The students at Grindhouse are eager to convince you that anything is possible.

Show information is available on Facebook. For tickets, contact one of the students. Better hurry. They’ve hit the streets hard, and seats are going fast.

Evolution Pro Wrestling Returns

Three years ago when I released Bluegrass Brawlers, Evolution Pro Wrestling was one of the first independent promotions to welcome me and allow me to promote my book at their show. Not only did they set me up with a table, they put me right next to Ricky Morton, who put me and the book over to everyone who came to visit him.

Three years later, it’s my pleasure to share the exciting news. Evolution is back!

Evolution Pro was one of the most exciting shows in town during their day, and if the card for their return show is any indication, it’s going to be just as exciting in 2017. Three stellar matches top the card, including a 3-way battle between young stars Corey Storm, Ace Perry, and Mickie Midas; a women’s battle between Brooke Valentine and the always devious Amazing Maria; and a stellar main event featuring Dale Patricks and long-time Louisville favorite, Jamin Olivencia in a first time ever match up!

Other announced matches include Casey Reeves vs Deonta Davis; Amazing Pooky vs Van Martigan; Matt Atreya vs Jay Matthews; and a three way tag bout pitting Nathen Edwards & Aaron Von Baron vs TJ Flexx & Ram Jam vs Lennox Norris & Omega.

Promoter Christian Skyfire used to say, “You never know who will show up at Evolution,” and he’s vowed that motto will ring true when they return to action at the ArenA in Jeffersonville. For show information, visit the official Facebook page.

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.

One of These Days, Everybody IS Going to Die!

On Tuesday night fans will gather at the ArenA in Jeffersonville, where Terry Harper will present an evening of wrestling under the banner Pizza King of the Ring. If his last show is any indication, this will be packed house, and I have no doubt many fans will be going just to see the intergender battle between Leva “Blue Pants” Bates and Tracy Smothers.

This worries me.

For the last few years, Southern Indiana fans have been treating Tracy Smothers with utter disrespect. They’ve chanted, “Tracy sucks!” They’ve cheered for Tracy’s opponents instead of the Smoky Mountain legend. Tracy has been patient with fans because he has yet to make good on his standard threat, a threat that goes like this:

“If I hear ‘Tracy sucks!’ one more time, everybody dies!”

But a man can only take so much, and I fear that one of these days, everybody is going to die.

Will Tuesday be the night? Will “Go, Blue Pants, go!” be the cheer that forces Tracy to make good on slaughtering an arena full of wrestling fans who have disrespected the man who flies the stars and bars for the last time?

We can only pray that Tracy’s patience will hold out long enough for fans to realize they are disrespecting a legend.

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.

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.

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.

Primus Primer: Cash Flo

14199677_1157799777631907_5163760381507081028_nToday’s Primus Primer comes once again from Righteous Jesse of the Kick Out at Two Podcast, who gives you a look at another dangerous veteran in the tournament, Cash Flo!

Cash Flo is walking into The Primus on September 9th with full intentions on winning the PWF championship. A man who has been in the business of professional wrestling since 1997. A man who cut his teeth in hardcore wrestling, Cash Flo is someone who should not be taken lightly.

I’ve seen PWF fliers that mention “Professor Cash Flo’s chop class.” I finally got to witness that in person earlier this year. It sounded like he was fully capable of causing someone’s chest to collapse.
With nearly 20 years of experience, Cash Flo is someone who is no stranger to championships.

Having held multiple IWA Mid South championships and the PWF tag team championships, I would say Cash Flo has a great chance at winning the Pro Wrestling Freedom championship September 9th.

Pro Wrestling Freedom presents The Primus, Friday night, September 9, in Jeffersonville, Indiana at The Arena. For show information and tickets, visit The Primus event page on Facebook

Follow and subscribe to Righteous Jesse and the Kick Out At Two gang on iTunes and Soundcloud

Primus Primer: The Baddest Man Alive

14051698_1143659579045927_8665944391328206031_nLast week word broke that Crazy Mary Dobson, the cover girl on Eat Sleep Wrestle, has signed with the WWE. She might not be the only wrestler from that book cover headed to a major promotion.

Eagle-eyed fans, especially those from Ohio, may have recognized a certain security team member on TNA recently. Aaron Williams, the Baddest Man Alive, not only got some TV time, he got a dark match at the recently revamped promotion and left a good impression with the new management.

“Things at Impact went well,” he says. “Got a lot of good feed back! Everyone I met was very polite and I expect be go back in the future.”

After his injury hiatus in 2015, Williams has been on a tear. He won the Rockstar Pro Championship for the third time. He’s faced several dream opponents, including Sami Calihan, Raymond Rowe, Ricky Shane Page, Al Snow, and Ken Anderson. And he is especially proud to now be a full-fledged member of the Midwest’s most dangerous faction: Ohio is 4 Killers.

Williams is facing Jason “The Gift” Kincaid in the first round of the Primus tournament, and Williams can’t wait to step in the ring with the Ring of Honor star. “I do pretty well in tournaments, and I thrive in that kind of thing. I also don’t really feel like I’ve shown the fans of Pro Wrestling Freedom what I’m capable of, but winning the PWF championship will take care of that for me. As far as Jason Kincaid goes I’m very excited to go one on one with him! It’s kinda a ‘gift’ from PWF to me cause once I beat him in my mind I’ve already won this tournament. Kincaid is as good as it gets once I beat him it’s smooth sailing.”

Will OI4K claim another title? Find out on September 9 in Jeffersonville when Pro Wrestling Freedom presents The Primus.

For ticket and event information, visit the event page on Facebook.

Read more about Aaron Williams, fellow Primus competitor Hy Zaya, and Crazy Mary Dobson in Eat Sleep Wrestle by John Cosper.