Cool to wake up this morning and see OVW and The Black Panther Jim Mitchell mentioned in the weekly email newsletter from the Frazier History Museum.
A few years ago, I donated some items from my personal Jim Mitchell collection to the Frazier. They’ve got programs, photos, posters, and even a pair of Mitchell’s boots, as shown in the video below.
Brian West, a teaching artist at the Frazier, does a wonderful job recapping the history of wrestling in Louisville before delving into the Netflix series, Wrestlers. If you haven’t watched it already, The seven-part doc us available to watch on Netflix, and if ratings are high enough, a second season is a distinct possibility.
Wrestlers has made Haley J, Cash Flo, Amazing Maria, Mahabali Shera, and more bigger stars in the wrestling world and the reality TV world. It’s exciting to see so many long-time friends getting screen time, seen by millions of Netflix subscribers around the world.
The Frazier History Museum is a wonderful place to visit if you love history. Some highlights of their collection include a pair of pistols that belonged to General Custer and Teddy Roosevelt’s “big stick” hunting rifle. Visit Frazier’s website for more information.
You can read Brian West’s write up in the newsletter by clicking here.
If you want to get the feel for what OVW was like in the WWE Developmental hey day, you better get over there now. If you can get tickets.
Somewhere around 2001-2002, right after the first class of OVW (Cena, Lesnar, yada yada) left for the main roster, OVW was electric every week. Fans lined up early and packed the house because you literally never knew who you might see. Kurt Angle in the main event. Or Bradshaw and Ron Simmons. Or the Big Show. Maybe Shelton Benjamin might come back for a one off match, or Batista. Or maybe Eddie Guererro would put in an appearance.
It was the unannounced drop-ins, even more than the WWE prospects Superstars, that made it so exciting. Jim Ross might show up. Molly Holly might make a surprise appearance. Anything could happen at OVW. In Louisville. In tiny Davis Arena.
Let me be clear: OVW, the company, was really no different tonight than the OVW I’ve been attending regularly for 14 months now. They advanced their storylines, slowly, deliberately. Old School. They put on terrific matches. The Outrunners energized the crowd. Luke Kurtis bumped like a maniac in a killer opening match with Tony Gunn. Shaloncè Royal was, as usual, totally unappreciated for her musical genius. Will Austin pulled off another move that made even his biggest haters gasp. And yes, Joe Mack and Gracie called each other babies.
What was different was the crowd. Netflix has made superstars of the men and women, veterans and young kids, who just happened to be at the right place and the right time in 2022. People who forgot OVW was here, and people who never heard of OVW, are clamoring for tickets. Tonight, during a commercial break, Eric Cornish asked if anyone had come from beyond Indiana and Kentucky. There were two from Michigan. A half dozen from North Carolina. And a pair from Los Angeles.
Tonight’s show sold out on Sunday, and the people who filled the seats came to have fun. They cheered. They booed. They roared with an intensity I have not seen or heard since the Developmental days. Every man and woman who set foot in the ring tonight felt it and fed off it.
The Outrunners were more jazzed and energized than usual, which is really saying something. Luke Kurtis had an extra bounce in his bumps. Cash Flo grinned ear to ear cutting his promo, introducing his tag team partner for the Nightmare Cup on the October 21 PPV – which, incidentally is sold out.
And then came Shera.
Cash Flo, Al Snow, and Haley J have received the biggest pops since Wrestlers debuted on Netflix a month ago, but the fans have been dying to full-on cheer Mahabali Shera. When he came out on the 14th, the night after the Netflix premiere, they cheered him. He was still a heel. He had Shannon the Dude at ringside. But everyone wanted a high five, a fist bump. Shera couldn’t help smiling.
Shera did not appear on the 21st, the night of the first sell out. A week later, on the 28th, they teased a babyface turn. Last week, October 5, they confirmed that turn.
Tonight, the crowd chanted “Shera! Shera! Shera!” even before Cash Flo could introduce him. When he burst through the curtain, the roof blew off the metal building at 4400 Old Shep. It felt like the old days.
But this is a new day. These are not hand-picked WWE prospects with cameos from main roster Superstars. These are long time indie veterans who refused to give up on the dream. These are new, unknown, rising stars whose progress you can literally watch happen week to week. I said it before, I saw it with Luke Kurtis. I’m seeing it with Tony Evans and his boo-inducing “HUSH!” gimmick. I’m seeing it with Will Austin.
The night ended with a test of this new alliance: Cash Flo and Mahabali Shera vs. Dysfunction. Poor Brandon Espinoza got the worst of it. He’s not a small guy, but the two super heavyweights still threw him around like a rag doll. He took it like a champ, and in his own way, he helped send the crowd home happy.
If you come to Davis Arena, you’ll see the famous faces who put OVW on the map. A gallery of beautiful black and white prints by fan and artist Joe Slack line the entryway, paying homage to the past.
Once you get past the ticket window, you’ll be in a new OVW. This is the Netflix era, the era of Cash Flo, Mr. PEC-Tacular, Haley J, Tiffany Nieves, Mahabali Shera, EC3 and the OverMen, Freya the Slaya, Leila Grey, and dozens more dreamers hoping to become your new, favorite wrestler.
No one is happier to see the fans back in full voice than they are.
Welcome back, OVW fans. Whatever happens from here, enjoy the ride.
On September 28 in Davis Arena, four tag teams locked up this week in a Four Corners match. Luke Kurtis and Joe Mack of the OVERmen, the current tag team champions, came out to the commentary desk. Luke put on a headset, while the 6’7″ Joe stood tall behind him looking tough.
Along came Gracie.
If you haven’t seen Wrestlers on Netflix, Gracie is the pint-sized girl leaning out the window of a car telling Joe, “You’re a baby!” Every fan, wrestler, and OVW staff member knows and loves Gracie. She’s one of many kids who love to get high fives from the babyfaces and tell the heels they suck.
My daughter Lydia and I were in the second row behind the announcers this week. To be honest, we didn’t see much of the tag match because we were watching the unsanctioned match happening a few feet in front of us.
“You’re a baby!”
“No, you’re a baby!”
“You’re a baby!”
“You’re a baby!”
The action in this epic war of words began during a commercial break, when Luke, Joe, and the first few tag teams made their entrance. By the time we were back to live action, Gracie had back up. Six kids in total joined in the shouting match, watching signs and thumbs down at Joe.
You could see on his face Joe was struggling to keep it together. He loves this as much as the kids. He was also a bit concerned about not being on his mark, doing what he had come out to do. Still in character, he tried pleading with the kids to go back to their seats, even whining to them at one point like a toddler, “You’re gonna get me in trouble.”
Before it was over, Joe had challenged Gracie to a hair vs. hair match and vowed not to give any of the kids candy if they came to his house on Halloween.
Joe Mack is a stud. He’s got the look. He’s got the size. He’s going to be a star, and he’s going to be a world champion. But when the story of his career is written down one day, the first – and perhaps greatest – rival in his career will certainly be Gracie.
Referee Aaron Grider proposed a slogan: Gracie 3:16 says, “You’re a Baby.”
Here are a few other notes from this past week:
Everybody Hates Tony.
The boo birds came out for the usual suspects all night, but man, “Superior” Tony Evans is not a popular guy. He’s hit on something big with his “HUSH!” gimmick, and his feud with Crixus is far from over.
OVW is definitely not your father’s (or mother’s) OVW, but Tony, Luke Curtis, Will Austin, Joe Mack, and others are proof this company is not done developing talent.
Everybody Loves Cash and Haley J.
Without a doubt, the two most over people in the building now are Cash Flo and Haley J. Cash has delivered two solid, thrilling matches in a row. Haley hasn’t wrestled the past two weeks, but any time she makes a run in to confront the Bad Girls Club, the fans go nuts.
Jack vs. Jessie Was a Classic.
Introductions for the main event started before 8:30 pm. It didn’t last ’til the end of TV time, but Mr. Pec-Tacular Jessie Godderz and The Veteran Jack Vaughn went more than 20 minutes. Either one of these guys could hang with the best in the industry, and it’ll be interesting to see which of the main event talents gets picked off in the coming months.
My money’s on Shera. No spoilers here, but he’s not going to be with the OVERmen for much longer. He’s too popular after Wrestlers on Netflix to keep him as a heel.
I Miss Shaloncè Royal.
No elaboration here. I’m just putting it out there. I miss Shaloncè. She hasn’t been on the show for a bit, nor has her surprisingly over attorney, PJ. I think the world of her as a wrestler and as a human being.
If you missed my interview with her on Slam last year, you can read it here. We talked for over an hour, and less than half of the call was about wrestling. We talked a lot of opera. I really want to see her succeed in the ring, almost as much as I want to hear her sing “Musetta’s Waltz.”
Babyface Turn Masterclass.
If you want to see how you turn the most hated man in the company into a hero, go back and watch the last several weeks of OVW, starting with the August pay-per-view, The Big One. Actually, go back further. To the beginning of summer. Watch how they slowly sow the seeds of trouble between Jessie Godderz and EC3. Watch how things accelerate after EC3 wins the NWA World Championship.
The fans booed, but timidly, the night The Faction turned on Jessie and became the OVERmen.
A few timidly cheered Jessie the next week.
A few more the next.
They exploded when Jessie jumped Jack last night.
Shannon the Dude helped seal the deal Thursday – the same night Jessie showed up at the gimmick tables selling merch.
OVW preaches old school storytelling and psychology. They practice what they preach. The next time Jessie starts up with, “As I was saying…” I expect the fans to say it with him.
For the second week in a row, OVW was a sell out on September 29. Tickets for the next TV taping on October 5 are selling fast, as are seats for the Oct 21 “No Rest for the Wicked” PPV. (Tip: if you subscribe to FITE, the PPV is included with your subscription!”)
Long story short, if you want to see Ohio Valley Wrestling, you better buy seats in advance. This Netflix bump is not ending soon!
For the last year, I’ve watched very little wrestling on TV.
I used to hit the gym every Wednesday and Friday night, partly to catch AEW. It’s not a priority any more. I go when it fits my schedule, and if wrestling’s on I’ll watch it… sometimes.
I watched the Royal Rumble in January. I’ll never miss that. And I think I watched Wrestlemania. The “I think” in that statement shows how memorable it was.
And I watched Forbidden Door this summer, thought more to see the New Japan stars than anything. Daniel Bryan’s got some paybacks coming from Okada…
It wasn’t until recently I realized why I watch so little TV wrestling. I’ve been getting my fix almost weekly at Davis Arena. I’ve been a regular over a year now, and my daughter’s been coming with me for almost ten months. I get two solid hours of live wrestling every week, action that’s good enough, I don’t need another fix.
Wrestling is subjective, and not every promotion is for everyone. The WWE-only Marks and the AEW-only Marks are proof of that. So I get it, OVW is not going to be for everyone either.
But I’m willing to bet it’s exactly what many of you have been looking for.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is not your father’s OVW. This is not a school of wrestling. It’s not developmental. It’s a professional wrestling territory based in Louisville, Kentucky with a worldwide fan base. They’re on lesser-known networks than the big two, but they’re also on more TV channels in more time slots every week than either WWE or AEW.
The roster is not green by any stretch. They have some brilliant young talent for sure, but they’re mixing it up every week with long-time veterans. Cash Flo, Jessie Godderz, Hy Zaya, Mahabali Shera, Tony Gunn, Adam Revolver, Omar Amir, Truth Magnum, Turbo Floyd, Jack Vaughn, Big Zo. Any one of the above could step into the ring and hold their own against the best in the world.
They’re also more committed to women’s wrestling than any major promotion outside Impact. Netflix star Maria James has assembled a tremendous women’s locker room, and there’s huge potential for the future in girls like Haley J, Freya the Slaya, Shalonce Royal, Tiffany Nieves, Jada Stone, Arie Alexander, and Leila Gray.
There are so many more names I could drop, names I want you to look up or better yet, come see in person: Eric Darkstorm, Deget Bundlez, Luscious Lawrence, Crixus, Tony Evans, Luke Kurtis, Joe Mack Gnarls Garvin, Ryan Von Rockit, and my daughters favorite, Kal Herro. I want you to hear the joy in Eric Cornish and Linda Kay’s voices as they introduce each wrestler. I want you to feel the energy at the announcer’s desk radiating from Brian Kennison, Steven Johnson, and Josh Ashcraft.
I want you to come see OVW live.
If you haven’t watched the documentary on Netflix yet, by all means, check it out. It’s a great watch, and a love letter to professional wrestling. You’ll come away with a deeper appreciation for the hard work that goes into running a wrestling territory, especially in modern times.
And I’m betting many of you will want to come see for yourself what Al Snow is cooking down here in Louisville.
If you know any OVW talent, slide into their DMs and see if they have a discount code for your ticket.
Come early, and as I mentioned on Slam, go grab a Cuban sandwich at Mi Sueno on Bardstown Road.
Davis Arena is located at 4400 Old Shepherdsville Road in Louisville. It’s easy to drive past because it’s set back from the road in an industrial area surrounded by similar-looking metal buildings. There’s usually a sign out by the road, but your best bet is to plug it into your Map app and trust Siri when she says, “Turn right into the parking lot.”
Get there by 6:30 so you don’t miss the dark matches. And so you can get a decent parking spot.
Bring money for concessions and merch. You can actually pick up a copy of Bluegrass Brawlers from Miss Becky!
And if you have one, bring a seat cushion. Those metal chairs are pretty stiff.
In the words of OVW legend Dean Hill, “See you at ringside.”
Wrestling fans are going to want to know more when Wrestlers arrives on Netflix next week. Who is Cash Flo? Why does Haley J look so familiar? Can Shalonce Royal really sing? And what’s the deal with those Outrunners?
I’ve got you covered.
Over the last year, I’ve written profiles on several personalities you’ll meet in Wrestlers. Here’s where you can find them:
As I settled into my seat at Davis Arena on a warm August night in 2022, I couldn’t help noticing just how many cameras were around the arena. Normally, OVW has two video cameras at ringside, along with two still photographers, and the hard cam on the same side with concessions. There were more cameras, more cables, and more crew running around the building that night than I had ever seen.
By the end of the night, I’d know why. The extra cameras were for a documentary series being produced by Greg Whitely, whose past credits include Cheer and Last Chance U: Basketball. The crew spent the summer shadowing Ohio Valley Wrestling’s finest in and out of the Arena in preparation for the docuseries launching next week, Wrestlers.
To be honest, it wasn’t a well-kept secret. All of us who were in attendance knew it was coming. The only question was when. We finally got the answer right after OVW’s biggest show of the year, cleverly titled The Big One.
The house was packed for The Big One. Not shoulder to shoulder like it was in January for the Nightmare Rumble, but all four sides of the Arena were packed. Makes you wonder if Al Snow has a plan when the series airs and more fans want to catch the action live.
I’ve been as regular at OVW over as year now. My fifteen year old has been a regular since last November. I don’t watch much wrestling outside OVW, and I recently figured out why. I get my fix at OVW. I’m invested in the people and the stories. I see great matches and surprising plot twists every week. Outside my occasional trek East to see my friends at FTC, OVW is my regular fix!
Check it out for yourself on September 13. Then come join us at Davis Arena. This is not the OVW of old.
The cake was absolutely lovely. Baked by Little Monsters Sweets, the two layer delicacy created for Aaron Grider and Freya the Slaya sat on a table close to the hard cam side of the ring. Opposite the table, AJ McKay waited to officiate the ceremony as the lovely Carolyn Dawson sang the wedding party to the ring.
There was no question on anyone’s mind as to whether this wedding would go smoothly. The only real mystery was who would go into the cake, and would they go face or butt first? This was, after all, a wrestling wedding, and they never end well.
The wedding kicked off OVW’s biggest show of the year, appropriately titled The Big One, and OVW went all out for the nuptials. Aaron and Freya even had a registry on The Knot, which I understand was full of Star Wars toys.
I won’t spoil what happened, because honestly, you need got go watch the whole show on Fite. Suffice to say, the wedding proved to be a great kick off for a fantastic event.
OVW usually packs a number of matches into their two hour TV tapings, but on this night, only four matches followed the wedding. As the name of the show suggests, they were all big ones:
The Outrunners and “The Machine” Doug Basham faced The Destroyers and Josh Ashcraft.
Crixus challenged “Superior” Tony Evans for the Kentucky Boy Brewing Company Heavyweight Championship.
Shaloncé Royal finally got her chance to face Haley J one on one for the OVW Women’s Championship.
And Team OVW faced THEE FACTION in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match.
The crowd was not the largest seen in Davis Arena this year, but the crowd that attended January’s Nightmare Rumble was hard to top. The crowd was red hot throughout the night and thankfully, the building was less hot than it has been the past few weeks, even with all those bodies.
Honestly, the crowd this summer have been more than double what they were a year ago. Word of mouth continues to spread that this is not the OVW of five or ten years ago. This is a new territory, a locker room filled with veterans and leaders who have all come to learn at the feet of the master Al Snow. This is old school, long term storytelling. This is a place where veterans like Cash Flo, Hy Zaya, Mahabali Shera, and more come to teach and be taught.
Again, no spoilers here. Only a very happy wrestling fan urging those who haven’t to check out the action. The Outrunners, as always, delivered a high energy match with two equally talented foes in Gnarls Garvin and Big Zo. Tony Evans proves over and over he is a talent on the rise while Crixus proves to be a force to be reckoned with. Shaloncé and Haley J are very different but stellar talents. And how about Shaloncé’s attorney PJ Jones? There were more signs in Davis Arena directed at him than the infamous Shannon the Dude tonight.
And then, came TLC.
Cash Flo, Tony Gunn, Luscious Lawrence, Omar Amir, and Cal Herro faced off against Jessie Godderz, EC3, Mahabali Shera, Luke Kurtis, and Joe Mack in an absolutely melee. Luke Kurtis continues to prove he’s the best bumper in OVW, but Joe Mack takes the prize for the sickest looking bump not taken by a photographer. And what’s this friction happening between Jessie Godderz and EC3?
Sorry, I said no spoilers, right?
OVW boasts a number of talented performers who may be on the move sooner rather than later. The Outrunners certainly seem bound for a larger spotlight. Kurtis should not be far behind him. He bumps like Dolph Ziggler and Ricky Morton, and he’s an absolutely heat magnet. And Joe Mack? The dude has the look and the size to be something special.
All that being said, OVW sent a message last night. This promotion is no longer content with sending forth the superstars of tomorrow. The whole promotion looks poised for bigger things. Fans who were around last fall and summer have some hint as to what’s coming next for OVW, and it’s clear this roster is ready.
Only question is, is Davis Arena going to be big enough for what comes next?
OVW runs every Thursday night 7-9 pm at Davis Arena, 4400 Old Shepherdsville Road in Louisville. Visit www.ovwrestling.com for tickets.
I haven’t been posting stories to this site very much lately. Part of that is just being busy, but another reason for my lack of content is the opportunity Sam! Wrestling has given me.
Greg Oliver at Slam! has long been a big help to me with research on my books, and over the last year, I’ve begun contributing stories to his website. A number of those stories profiled the stars of OVW, a subject near and dear to my heart. So for those who missed them, here’s where you can catch up:
The calendar said Groundhog’s Day, but love was in the air at Ohio Valley Wrestling – at least for a few folks in the stands, who took advantage of OVW’s Valentines ticket packages that night. A packed crowd showed up to see some outstanding action, including two great hourly main events and another show-stealing performance by The Derby City Destroyers and The Outrunners.
In the time I’ve been a regular attendee at OVW, one of the most exciting things to see is the growth in the weekly crowd. Granted, Tough Love was the promotions “special event” for the month of February, but the seats were packed from one side of Davis Arena to the other for what had to be the third largest crowd of the year after the two Nightmare Rumble shows in January.
Last night’s crowd was particularly engaged and vocal. Maybe it’s the local brew or the local food now being served at the concession stand courtesy of Gorilla Bob’s Grub Shack, but last night’s crowd would chant anything – literally. At one point they actually chanted, “We’ll chant anything!”
The OVW roster gave them plenty to cheer about, from a frenetic rematch between Blanco Loco and Hy Zaya to the Rush Division Speed Rumble won by Kat Herro, to the first in what’s sure to be a classic series between Ryan Von Rockit and Star Rider.
The first hour ended with a long-anticipated clash between Hollyhood Haley J and the “fallen” Shawna Reed. Reed, who found herself stranded in the UK earlier this week, showed no sign of jet lag as she and Haley battled in and out of the ring in a no hold barred, no DQ match. With OVW Women’s Champ Shaloncé Royal on guest commentary, the ladies endured some wicked chair shots and suplexes on the outside of the ring, and when Haley took a face full of red mist from Shawna, it appeared to be over. Haley persevered, so Shawna tried again, this time misting referee Charlene in the face.
Desperate to steal a win from her foe, Haley grabbed Shawna and kissed her hard at the center of the ring. Dazed and stunned, Shawna then got a taste of her own medicine as Haley hit her in the face with mist and scored the win.
A pair of tag matches dominated the second hour action, including a two out of three falls contest between The Derby City Destroyers, Big Beef Gnarls Garvin and Biz Zo, and The Outrunners, Truth Magnum and Turbo Floyd. The Florida boys, most recently featured on AEW Dynamite against The Acclaimed (ahem, Tony Khan, just sign them already!) were taken by surprise before the bell even rang, and the referee awarded them a win for the first fall after Big Beef used a steel chair. A badly beaten Truth Magnum couldn’t even get to his feet after the early attack, and the second fall went to The Destroyers.
Honestly, the quick two falls felt like a cheat, but the action in the deciding fall made up for the quickness of the first two. As I mentioned on Twitter last night, I’ve seen OVW do homage to the famous Eddie Guerrero chair spot before, and last night, as before, they did it with a twist. Turbo Floyd shared video of his clever tactics on Twitter last night:
The Outrunners won the deciding fall, and Turbo scored a huge laugh with his ref massage, but it was Big Zo who got the biggest pop of the match. As Zo waited his turn to tag back into the match, the vociferous crowd taunted Zo about a slight wardrobe malfunction: “Fix your wedgie! Fix your wedgie!” Zo must have had his eye on the monitors because as soon as we went to commercial, he grabbed the spandex on his rear cheeks and pulled his trunks even tighter into his crack. The crowd ate it up. Zo didn’t even crack a smile as he adjusted himself in plenty of time for the feed to go live again. Mad respect to the big man.
The main event of the evening pitted Cash Flo against two members of OVW’s newest heel faction led by the infamous Jessie Godderz. Godderz himself took the ring with EC3 to face Cash and a partner of his choosing. Fans were elated when Tony “Don’t Call Him Mudd” Gunn made his long-awaited return to Davis Arena for the match.
Gunn was force to watch for most of the match as Cash took on both men, though not by choice. Godderz and EC3 cut the ring in half and gave the big man a rough go, keeping Gunn in the corner by refusing to allow the tag. With Shannon the Dude at ringside, the heels employed plenty of dirty tricks to keep the odds in their favor, but Cash was eventually able to spring free and give Gunn a chance to throw hands with EC3 and his bitter rival, Jessie Godderz.
Alas, a happy ending was not in the cards for Tough Love. This new faction, which also includes Mahabali Shera, Luke Curtis, and Adam Revolver, is proving to be almost unstoppable. Right after EC3 and Godderz got the win, Godderz took to the mike to run down the crowd and send them home even angrier. Then EC3 got on the mike, taunting the fans, asking where they were going and why they were so sad.
OVW truly stands out for their ability to tell a long term story, and much as the fans HATE this new alliance, they’re not going away any time soon. They already own three belts, and they’ve got their sights set on claiming all the gold. There are tag team titles to be won, along with the Country Boy Brewing Kentucky Championship. The tale of Haley J and Shawna Reed might – and I stress MIGHT – be over, but this new tale of domination from six dirty, cheating heels is just ramping up.
OVW is live every Thursday night at Davis Arena in Louisville and on FITE.
“You need to learn to play Luscious Lawrence’s theme song.”
My son Sam went to OVW last night for the first time. He’s a phenomenal musician who, so far, has picked up keyboard, guitar, bass, trombone, and saxophone. On the way home, his sister Lydia began telling him, not for the first time, that he needed to learn Lawrence’s signature saxophone-driven theme.
This led to a discussion of OVW theme songs in general, and an interesting observation: by an large, the wrestlers of OVW all have great theme songs. To be more specific, they have actual songs that are easily distinguished from one another and tell you a great deal about each character.
Luscious Lawrence has that smooth, almost sleazy saxophone with the lounge keyboard and bass underneath.
Tony Gunn’s theme is driving rock with a screaming vocal that demands fans sing along.
Jack Vaughn sounds like he’s walking out to the theme song from a local 1980’s wrestling television program.
The Outrunners sound like they’re making their entrance to some primo outtakes from the Miami Vice soundtrack.
Words fail me to describe the operatic diva Shalonce Royal’s new theme, other than to say it is quite uniquely her.
I could go on an on.
My dear friend, the late Hurricane JJ Maguire, wrote many of the classic WWF themes from the 1980s with his writing partner Jimmy Hart. They and Jim Johnston set the standard for what a wrestling theme should be.
It needs to be clearly recognizable within the first few notes or sounds.
It needs to tell you a story, specifically, who the wrestler is.
It needs to be as unique and distinct as the wrestlers themselves.
This isn’t a post meant to denigrate any of the big companies who spend way more money on theme songs than independent wrestlers can afford. This is just to share an observation by my kids. OVW wrestlers have great theme songs. They are as distinct as the wrestlers themselves, and they are highly enjoyable. It’s an old school way of doing business, and it still works.
Lydia’s only been a handful of times with me, but on the way to the show, she didn’t just tell her friend and brother who were tagging along what to expect. She sang about it.
“You’re also going to see, Shotgun Tony Guuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnn!”
When it comes to pairing songs with wrestlers, right now, the OVW roster might truly be “The Best There Is.”