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Hollywood Jeanne Meets Hollywood Elvira

When I was still working on the Elvira Snodgrass biography, I started thinking about who I might ask to write the foreword for the book. Women’s wrestling has come a long way in recent decades, so much so that it is finally rising to the same level of popularity it enjoyed back in Elvira’s day. I considered some independent names, some legendary names, and a few working for one or more of the major promotions of today. One day, while working on the story about how Elvira went “Hollywood” and left her hillbilly image behind, I knew who to ask.

“Hollywood” Jeanne Basone is more than just one of the original Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling. According to creator David McLane, she was the original, the very first hire he made. And just as the Hollywood was willing to do anything to win in GLOW, the Hollywood version of Elvira turned from the sweet country gal into the ref abusing, do anything to win villain.

Jeanne is an accomplished entrepreneur, actress, stuntwoman, producer, and so much more. She’s also an avid fan of pro wrestling history, and the piece she wrote for The Ballad of Cousin Elvira is a wonderful introduction not only to the lady but the world of lady wrestlers. I’m thrilled to have partnered with her on this book.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had “Hollywood” Jeanne ever crossed paths with “Hollywood” Elvira in the ring. Would the old fashioned shooting skills of Elvira make Jeanne submit? Or would the Mando Guerrero-trained Jeanne have the edge? One thing’s for sure. The referee would be lucky to make it out of the ring in anything other than his underwear.

The Ballad of Cousin Elvira can be ordered now on Amazon.com. Signed copies can also be pre-ordered if you click here.

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Now Available!

Never heard of Elvira Snodgrass? Neither had I. She passed away in 1956, and most of the ladies who survived her seem to have simply forgotten her. In her prime she was the number two woman in professional wrestling, second only to Mildred Burke. She was beloved as the hillbilly babyface and hated as the nasty, rule breaking, ref abusing heel.

Elvira Snodgrass has been a fascination of mine for a long time. Her story will inspire you. More than that, it will entertain the heck out of you!

The Ballad of Cousin Elvira is now available on Amazon! Click here to order your copy.

If you want to pre-order an autographed copy, shipping mid-August, click here.

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Wrestle Tea with Mr. Darius Carter

Two days ago, I wrote about Wrestle Tea because I wanted people to see Sam Leterna in action. I am doing so again today because you need to see her first guest.

Mr. Darius Carter is one of the most successful, arrogant, and self-assured wrestlers in the business. His stated goal, as mentioned in this interview, is to be on TV. I have no doubt he will be there sooner rather than later. This man is a throwback in the same vein as MJF. He’s an old school heel killing it in the modern era.

And yes, he’s better than all of you, and he knows it.

Please click play below to watch this interview, and give Sam a subscribe on YouTube if you like what you see!

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Have Some Tea with Sam Leterna

I met Sam Leterna for the first time a while back on one of Mad Man Pondo’s Girl Fight shows. From the moment she walked through the curtain, you could tell there was something different, something new and yet old. Over the last month, I’ve discovered what it is that sets her apart. Sam Leterna is a lady who knows her wrestling history.

As much as some older fans and historians lament the way the business has changed, there are some wrestlers who not only study the past, but keep it alive in the way they do business. Sam was one of the first people to start sharing my social media posts about Black Panther Jim Mitchell in February, so when I had the chance to interview her, I asked what she loved about wrestling history and why she felt it was so important to study the past.

“Everything!” she exclaims. “I feel that anyone actively involved in the industry has to go back at least as far as the 70s and see how different territories operated. There was a simplicity of execution that was so effective back in those days, and I often find myself searching for that ‘lost art’ in today’s product. Too, a big part of wrestling is respect and etiquette i.e. the ever-present hand shake. If you don’t know who someone is because you started watching wrestling in 2002 and have never delved beyond the modern product you are bound to offend someone somewhere down the line. That’s something that is easily avoidable if you actually read about and watch the product from yester year.”

Sam Leterna has steeped herself in the traditions of the past, so much so that even her ring name has roots that run decades deep. “While I was in Calgary training with Lance Storm, I read “Sisterhood of the Squared Circle” back to back in search of character inspiration. At the time I was looking to change my ring name. I stumbled upon a wrestler named Clara Mortensen who called herself ‘the Eternal Woman.’ I loved the moniker so much that I dubbed myself ‘Leterna’ which translated from Spanish means ‘the eternal one.’ It is my homage to the women who made it possible for me to be a part of this business today, their legacies being eternal in my heart.”

You can see a lot of her heroes in the way she performs and the way she draws heart. “I love the Von Erichs, Freddie Blassie, Nick Bockwinkel, Gino Hernandez, Susan Sexton, and Roddy Piper. I’m a sucker for a good heel!”

Leterna first became a fan back in 2002 after stumbling upon wrestling by accident. “My first ever dose of wrestling was the King of the Ring 2002, the year Brock Lesnar was crowned king. At the time, my mom had one of the illegal splice cable boxes and it just so happened that the PPV channel was available. I accidentally tuned in and never looked back!”

At the age of 14, Leterna attended her first live show, the 2008 Royal Rumble at Madison Square Garden. It was there she realized she wanted to be a professional wrestler herself. “The energy when the show went live was emotionally overwhelming and it filled me with this sense of belonging I had never felt towards anything else.”

In 2016 Sam began training with the legendary Johnny Rodz at World of Unpredictable Wrestling in Brooklyn, New York. A year later she made the trek to Calgary, Alberta, Canada to train with Lance Storm at world renowned Storm Wrestling Academy. “It was the single best experience of my life to date. Training five days a week five hours a day really helped me up my game athletically and also have a more fundamental understanding of how to put a match together.”

Sam is a showstopper in the ring, a superb athlete and a despicable heel, but in 2020 she’s pursuing a new venture outside the ring. It’s called Wrestle Tea, and it’s Sam’s way of giving back and supporting others in the wrestling community.

Wrestle Tea is a video content channel for wrestlers by wrestlers,” she says. “I want this to be a platform for wrestlers to get out there and creatively express themselves through different segments along with interview content.”

Sam envisions Wrestle Tea as a place where emerging talent can get over with the fans. “Talent on all echelons of the wrestling totem pole are welcome as everyone has something to contribute that fans can bite their teeth into.”

Sam already has some amazing guests on film including one of my favorite heels, Mr. Darius Carter. And while everyone is welcome, Sam does have a list of dream guests. “I’d love to have Randy Orton, Jordan Devlin, Orange Cassidy, MJF, Lita, and Beth Phoenix. Also a huge fan of NXT UK wrestler Jinny’s work and would love to have her on the show. Kevin Von Erich would also be a dream interview for me as I love everything WCCW.”

One would think Sam would attract more guests with coffee than tea, but that’s just not her cup of… okay, I won’t go there. Nevertheless, Sam has her reasons for choosing tea. “Tea, has two meanings. Of course we all know what the herbal beverage tea is. However, many people use the word ‘tea’ in reference to getting a scoop or a bit of juicy gossip. Thus, Wrestle Tea!”

And just out of curiosity, how does Sam like her tea? “My go to is matcha green tea! As long as it isn’t too cold outside, I serve my Matcha over ice with a bit of coconut milk and honey. Matcha has caffeine for a good mid-day boost but doesn’t cause you to crash later on like coffee because it is rich in antioxidants.”

Sam’s got a love for the business, past and present, that is infectious, and Wrestle Tea promises to be a great opportunity for her and her guests. Wrestle Tea launches March 20th on Youtube. You can subscribe to the Wrestle Tea Youtube channel to catch the show. And be sure to follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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Well, That Was a Busy Year

So 2019 was a busy year. During the last year Eat Sleep Wrestle published seven books:

Two novels with the Bomb Shelter: A Scattered Timeline and Curse of the Undead Bride.

A novel with Charlie Kruel.

A novel with Ella.

I wrote and released wrestling music impresario Hurricane JJ Maguire’s autobiography.

I wrote and released Grappling by Gaslight, a short story collection about wrestling in the late 1800’s.

And I finally released the biography of wrestling’s first African American superstar, The Black Panther Jim Mitchell.

In addition to all that…

I attended my first Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion and presented Dr. D David Schultz with the Male Wrestler Award.

I got “Colonel” Stu Gibson inducted into the New Albany High School Hall of Fame.

And unrelated to wrestling, I released a science fiction novel I really, really like called Die Alan Die.

2019 was busy.

2020 is already looking to be just as busy. There may not be as many books, but there will be a lot happening. I’ll post more about that in a few days. In the meantime, you can save 20% on your entire order when you shop here and use the coupon code “2020” at checkout. Coupon code expires January 10.

Happy New Year, wrestling fans.

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Heather Reckless is Coming!

Heather Reckless knows how to make an impression.

Her height alone makes her stand out in a crowd. Not that she’s the biggest, mind you. The Seth Rollins protege only 4’9”. But she wrestles with all the fury of someone twice her size.

Indie wrestler gets absolutely launched out of the ring with a high cross from r/SquaredCircle

Many fans got their first look at her in a video that went viral last month, where another wrestler literally flings her overhead, out of the ring, into a crowd. The first time I saw her was in Vegas last spring. One of the other ladies in a triple threat match tried to toss her out of the ring and sent her face first into the middle rope. Her neck snapped back, and she fell awkwardly out of the ring. It was a simple misjudgment, probably due to her short stature, but Heather was in her feet and walking it off in no time.

As soon as I got home, I told Pondo about her. I told him Heather Reckless is tough as hell, and he needs to bring her in. I was thrilled to see her on the card for the Wisconsin show a few months back, and I’m very excited she will be in the house on January 14 when Girl Fight moves in to Malice Manor.

Girl Fight’s We Rule the World show has a card that will not disappoint, from the hard-hitting strong-style power of Heidi Katrina to the death-defying antics of Heather Reckless. This is a show you won’t want to miss.

Visit the event page on Facebook for event and ticket information.

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The Fight Goes On At Girl Fight

Girl Fight shouldn’t be running a show next week. As a matter of fact, Girl Fight should have ended just fifteen shows in.

It’s no secret that Girl Fight was created to help a current WWE Superstar who was once involved with founder Mad Man Pondo. It was intended to be a vehicle to help her network with other ladies in the wrestling business while getting experience working with some of the best veterans in the independent ranks. When said WWE Superstar ended her relationship with promoter Mad Man Pondo, he was ready to call it quits. He didn’t want to carry on.

Then Su Yung spoke up. The former Girl Fight Champion and Impact Wrestling Women’s Champion told Pondo that what he had done for his ex, he had also done for others. Yes, Girl Fight began as an opportunity for one young woman, but over the last several years nearly 200 young women have benefitted from the promotion. Su urged Pondo not to quit. She urged him to continue the promotion for her and for the other girls who had found value in this crazy idea. Other ladies chimed in and said the same. Thirty eight shows later… here we are.

Midnight Girl Fight 4: Pick Your Poison will be a show unlike any Girl Fight has presented. It’s a mixed tag team tournament featuring young stars like Ella, Charlie Kruel, and Billie Starkz as well as the return of the always unpredictable Mickie Knuckles. At the same time, Girl Fight is more of the same. By the same, I mean it’s a place where the girls can meet, network, and learn as they do battle with one another. It’s a tradition that has spanned more than a dozen states now and continues to win new fans with every outing. It’s not going anywhere, and 2020 is going to be a big year for Girl Fight.

You can buy tickets now by clicking here and purchasing direct from Mad Man Pondo. Or buy your tickets at the door. Remember, doors open at 10 pm WEDNESDAY evening, November 27, with a bell time of 11:59 pm.

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Mickie Knuckles Returns At Midnight Girl Fight

Two weeks from tonight, someone will pull the short straw. Someone wearing black and white stripes is going to go to the ring, stand next to the ring announcer and hear her music play. Some poor soul, tasked with making the competitors fight fair and play by the rules, is going to have the unenviable task of calling a match featuring Mickie Knuckles.

Mickie Knuckles likes to hurt people. She loves to torment her opponents, and she can’t help but constantly push the boundaries of fairness and good sport. At least one individual will be put in the position of constantly having to tell Mickie to get out of the ropes, to let go of the hold, and please, please stop with the spit and the boogers and other bodily fluids.

Midnight Girl Fight on November 27 will be an absolute treat for fans. Mickie has had some of her most memorable runs in Girl Fight, including as the promotion’s champion. She’s a showstopper. She’s a can’t miss, mist see attraction. It’s an absolute win for the fans who will stay up ‘til the early morning hours on turkey day to see if she and partner Mad Man Pondo can win it all.

It’s a nightmare for whomever has to call her opening round match. What if she gets mad? What if she comes after the ref? Worst of all – what if she advances and that poor bedraggled ref has to call her match not once, not twice, but three times in one night?

The doors open for Midnight Girl Fight at 10 PM on Wednesday, November 27 at the Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Click here to find Mad Man Pondo on Facebook and order tickets now!

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Midnight Girl Fight Returns Thanksgiving Eve

As soon as Halloween is over, I’m ready for Christmas. I was jamming to “Christmas in Hollis” right after I dropped my kids at a friend’s house to go trick or treating last Thursday night. I’ll have Christmas decorations sorted next weekend, my outside lights hung (but not yet lit) the following weekend, and five full sized Christmas lit and decked the weekend after that. And yes, I’m already rolling with purchasing Christmas presents.

That’s not to say I am overlooking the last week of November. No way! I’ll be up at 9 am Thanksgiving morning, watching the Macy’s Parade and preparing the creamed corn, the sweet potatoes, and the pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner at my in-law’s house. But before that happens I’ll be staying up late Wednesday night to catch this year’s edition of Midnight Girl Fight.

“Pick Your Poison” is the theme for the second ever Thanksgiving Midnight Girl Fight, and the eight ladies competing on Wednesday November 27 beginning at 11:59 pm have all chosen a male tag team partner for the occasion. Eight intergender teams will compete in a winner take all tournament, and the lineup is stellar.

The Bomb Shelter will be in the house, with Randi West bringing husband Joseph Schwartz as her partner. Charlie Kruel has teamed up with Akira, and Girl Fight’s current number one contender Ella will be teamed up with Titan. Teen sweetheart Billie Starkz has chosen her IFHY stablemate Jonathan Wolf as her partner, and Wolf’s regular partner Shawn Kemp will be tagging with Allie Kat.

The newly crowned Shimmer champion Kimber Lee will be making her long-awaited return to Girl Fight for Pick Your Poison. In her corner is current Impact star and a member of the Rascalz, Zachary Wentz. Joseline Navarro has to be considered a heavy favorite given that her partner is none other than the powerful heavyweight Calvin Tankman, but it’s the final pairing announced today that will no doubt get the most attention. Girl Fight founder and Deathmatch Hall of Famer Mad Man Pondo has teamed up with a true Girl Fight legend. Making her long awaited return to the ring, after a year’s absence, it’s former Girl Fight champion Mickie Knuckles!

It’s anybody’s guess which poison paring will claim victory, but it’s a sure bet you will miss all the action if you wait until after the turkey is done to show up at the Arena. Midnight Girl Fight begins Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving, at 11:59 pm. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Mad Man Pondo on Facebook. Click here to visit his page and send him a message now!

 

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Two new releases for October!

It’s October. It’s Halloween. And two of the creepiest ladies in independent wrestling want you to read their stories!

Charlie Kruel: Escape from VHS Hell is now available to pre-order, and all copies ordered through Eat Sleep Wrestle will come signed by Charlie Kruel and John Cosper. Escape from VHS Hell is the story of two horror fans who accidentally unleash some of Hollywood’s notorious serial killers in real life thanks to a cursed VCR. Their only hope is to bring one more psycho killer to life to defeat these monsters: the ahead-of-her-time VHS horror queen Charlie Kruel!

Ella: Wrestling with Madness is a chilling ghost story about an aspiring wrestler named Ben who is on the verge of signing with the biggest wrestling company in the world. But a chance encounter with a beautiful girl named Elizabeth plunges him into a terrifying ghost story filled with jealousy, revenge, and murder.

Charlie and Ella will both have books for sale at a show near you by the end of the month. Once again, you can pre-order Charlie’s book signed by Charlie and John right here at eatsleepwrestle.com. Click here to order.