I posed that question to several of this year’s competitors. Here’s what they had to say.
John Wayne Murdoch: “It would mean everything to me, I have worked so hard and put my body through so much. This is a must win moment for me.”
Reed Bentley: “King of the Deathmatch for me would be equal to winning the IWA World Title. I pride myself on being a hybrid wrestler, someone who can truly do it all and do it well. So I need to win that deathmatch title to prove I’m the best in a different way than I did when I won the IWA World Title three times.”
Rickey Shane Page: “There’s only one guy in history who has won Tournament of Death and King of the Deathmatches in the same year, and that’s Matt Tremont. I’m looking to make history. I’m looking to do the same thing.”
Dale Patricks: “Everyone who comes to see King of the Deathmatches will see a new champion crowned, and that’s me.”
Josh Crane: “There’s no place I’d rather be than IWA Mid-South with the people that love what I love: some of the best technical wrestling, some of the best strong style wrestling, some of the best hardcore wrestling in all the world… I’m coming home, my home. King of the Deathmatches. And I think this time, I’m going to take it home.”
Joseph Schwartz: “I’m here to make a point. I’m going to King of the Deathmatches, and I’m going to win, because my legacy is written in blood.”
Deadly Dale: “I’m going to come home with that bloody crown clenched in my first, and you people will remember who I am. You will remember Deadly Dale!”
Jeff Cannonball: “Everywhere I go, my peers they have one goal, but my goal was never their goal. My goal is death. My goal is to win King of the Deathmatches.”
Matt Tremont, two-time defending King of the Deathmatches: “King of the Deathmatches probably means a lot to a lot of people for various reasons. I now have won KOTDM twice: 2014 defeating Josh Crane in the finals and last year defeating John Wayne Murdoch in the finals. I was the first person ever to win back to back King of the Deathmatch tournaments. It means a lot to have my name on the history list and even more to do it twice. This Saturday I have the chance to make even more history by winning three years in a row. It was an overwhelming feeling in 2014, humbling in 2015, and it would be the same this year, as many don’t see it coming… It’s a prestigious tournament with a field of 16 this year, and I can’t wait for the violence.”
King of the Deathmatch begins August 6th at 3 PM at Pride bar + lounge, 504 State Street in New Albany, Indiana. Front row is already sold out, but seats are still available for $25. Email [email protected] for ticket information.
Special thanks to Righteous Jesse of the Kick Out at Two Podcast for his assistance on this story!