Blog Archive (2016-2017)
The Evolution of a Podcast
When I first decided to start The Wrestle Talk Podcast, I never dreamt it would become what it is today. What started as a 30-minute podcast with hardly any listeners, has now grown into a podcast that generates more and more people every week.
To start at the beginning of the Wrestle Talk Podcast, you must go back to the year 1987, with me, as an 8-year-old child, sitting in my living room watching WrestleMania 3. I’m watching wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, and Randy Savage, just to name a few, and at that moment, I became a pro wrestling fan and am still a fan to this day.
Jump forward to Nov 2012, I had just finished listening to the podcast of my favorite youtube’r, named Kid Behind a Camera, and a thought came to my head about how I had not really heard of any podcast related to pro wrestling at the time. I figured hell, if he can do a podcast about random stuff, why can’t I do one about pro-wrestling?
So, I started my 30 day trial with Blog Talk Radio, and started my 30-minute pro-wrestling podcast called Wrestle Talk, to no one’s surprise it bombed! I figured out quickly that this would be way more difficult than I had imaged it would be. I realized then, that if I wanted to become more successful with Wrestle Talk, I need some help to get there. That’s when I decided to pick up my First Co-host, JB.
We decided to leave Blog talk, and start our own YouTube show, which seemed to work. We started to get more and more views than I had before by myself. I even created a character for the show, called Mr. Lance, who was a straight heel, and always gave JB a hard time. The mixture of comedy and talking about pro wrestling, made the show enjoyable to watch as well, and it worked. It worked until issues with availability led to JB stepping away from Wrestle Talk, leaving me to do things on my own, once again.
I stuck to doing YouTube shows for a while, and had some success; however, after a while, I decided to venture back to Blog Talk just to see if I would be able to be a little more successful than last time.
I flew solo on Blog Talk until I got a call from Rick Rose, a friend of mine, about bringing Wrestle Talk to his internet Radio Station called, No Whinners Radio.
Making the move to No Whinners Radio proved to be a huge move towards the success of Wrestle talk, as the viewership skyrocketed with each episode, and the combination of Rick and Myself seemed to be a talented team for the show as well. I give Rick a ton of credit towards the success of the podcast as he did a ton of work with promoting it, and him bringing me on, led us to become more successful than we had ever been.
We stayed with No Whinners Radio for a while, until we decided to step away and venture to Blog Talk Radio again. Now, I had mixed emotions about doing this, as it would be my 3rd trip to Blog Talk Radio, but Rick convinced me it would work.
I agreed, and we made the move to Blog Talk Radio, and it proved to be yet another great move for the show, as the show started to gain more and more attention with each episode.
We started to promote a local wrestling promotion named Covey Pro Wrestling from my home state of West Virginia. We had talent on the show just about every week in the form of Justin Time, who went from being just a guest to becoming part of the show, along with Richie White, and they would join us every week to go through everything that happened on Raw the previous night. At one point, Covey Pro even invited us to their show in Gettysburg,WV to do a live show, and it became the first of many live shows for the podcast with Covey Pro, with the biggest being their All or Nothing Show in April 2015.
On one show Rick brought in a couple guys from a Fantasy Wrestling group, called The Fantasy Wrestling Worldwide Chapter, or FWWC for short.
We started working with them on a regular basis, in particular with a guy named Rene Martinez aka The Knight Owl.
Bringing on the FWWC was something I am very proud of, as it continues gives the members a chance to give a voice to the characters they play in the group every week, and now the FWWC has their own podcast every week (sponsored by the WTP), but we still make time every week on the podcast for them.
Rene became one of my best friends, and shortly after helping me out with a show that Rick could not do due to travel, I brought Rene on as a third host, which, in my opinion, was the smartest thing I have never done for Wrestle Talk.
Rick stepped away due to contractual obligations with his Ghost Hunting team, and the show was left to myself and Rene, and we rolled with it. We changed everything about the podcast. Renaming It the Wrestle Talk Podcast, and changed the format of the podcast as well.
Since then, we have had the honor of having some big wrestling stars on the show, such as The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase, Manny Fernandez, Mark Mero, and many more!
We have had the honor of being invited to Natsucon in Collinsville, IL, and had the pleasure to talk not just to wrestlers, but the fans as well. We have a working relationship with Dynamo Pro Wrestling as well, and have become great friends with Luke Roberts, who continues to be a big part of the show to this day.
There are so many people that deserve credit for The Podcast being as successful as it is, and I thank each and everyone one of them, because without you, there may not be a Wrestle Talk Podcast today.
Big Daddy P- Brother, I was not sure about doing the prayer segment, but you proved me wrong, and it has become a huge part of the show, and thank you for everything for the show.
Luke Roberts- Brother you are amazing, and we thank you for everything you have done for us, day in and out
FWWC- What can I say? You all are a bunch of crazy people, but you help make the best damn segment there is, each week
And I thank you Rene, as it’s your love for the podcast, and the time you spend on the podcast, that has helped us to become what we are today, and I am blessed to say that I can call you a friend. I know I drive you crazy, and make you want to pull out your hair, but you are my best friend, and have even opened your house to me, and I love you brother.
And to everyone else I may have missed…. Thank You!
In a Nutshell, this Podcast has grown into something I never dreamed it would be, and I’m amazed everyday with how it has grown. A podcast that went from hardly any views, to more views than we can count, and that is an amazing feeling.
We went from just a 30-minute podcast, to a 2-hour podcast, with guests every week, and added our own Website, Facebook, Twitter etc. We do all this, not for us, but for each one of you.
We do this to give the local Indy Wrestlers a platform to get there story out there each week and that will never change because the wrestlers and the Wrestle Talk Family are and always will be the life blood of that show and for that we will forever be thankful.
Joe “Nightmare Jones” Lance
Land of the rising sun shines in America
So you’ve may have heard of New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) but you may not really know about it. It has, in a short period of time, become popular among casual wrestling fans here in the United States in a short amount of time. There have been matches that New Japan has had that has recently captivated the attention of the casual American wrestling fan. There are two matches that stick out in my mind that have taken place in the last year. The first being Ricochet vs Will Osperay and then Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada. These matches are considered classic matches in wrestling history!
Let me make it known that New Japan has been around since 1972 and was founded by Antonio Inoki.
Some of the greatest superstars of wrestling have been in a New Japan ring. Men from my childhood like The Great Muta, Masahiro Chono, Jushin “Thunder” Liger (who is still active), and Kensuke Sasake who are all Japanese wrestlers but there are also a plethora of wrestlers that made their name in America that have wrestled for New Japan. Men like Andre the Giant, Owen Hart and Kurt Angle just to name a few. (for the younger fans reading this, Daniel Brian, Neville and Finn Balor have been a part of New Japan also.)
The thing that I as a wrestling fan loves about the New Japan style is that you don’t have to know storylines or watch promos to understand what is going on in the ring. The matches may be a little longer than what one may be used to on American television, however, the story that is told in the ring by these athletes transcends the language barrier (for those of us that do not speak Japanese.)
The man formerly known as C.J. Parker, went to New Japan and reinvented himself and has a large female fanbase in Japan. Those of us that grew up during the Attitude Era may remember a man by the name of Prince Albert. He journeyed to Japan to become The Giant Bernard and became a huge star. (No pun intended.) Wrestlers like Michael Elgin that are big names on the indie scene are wrestlers in New Japan.
The versatility in styles that you see in New Japan are second to none. There are all types of matches on every card. For a little under ten dollars a month you can watch New Japan on demand and watch a ton of wrestling and not have to watch commercials and just do what wrestling fans want to do……Watch wrestling and enjoy it!
Author – Brandon E. Lewis @Wrestle_Tech
Editor – Rene Martinez @WrestleTalkCast
Let’s leave the dirt(sheets) in the garbage..
Recently I was doing my usual every-other-five-minute scroll through Twitter, when I see a fellow wrestling fan tweet the following; “I’ve found that not reading pro-wrestling dirt sheets have made watching wrestling much more enjoyable for me.” Contemplating that tweet, I can see his point. Not long ago, I myself made that same declaration because if you know me, you already know that I am straight-up when I talk. Haha, but for real, I have to ask, have we as pro-wrestling fans lost our connection and become jaded with the very sport we know and love? When is “being in the know” about pro-wrestling too much?
Like any argument there are two sides otherwise you’re just talking to yourself. Which I find myself doing quite a bit.(sarcasm)
It’s been said that the 80’s-90’s generation of fans are considered the last generation that had the privilege to know what it’s like to be entertained and wowed by the millions AND MILLIONS of wrestlers that crossed our television screens. Being dazzled by what they can do in the ring, the great feats they can accomplish and then honored in the Hall of Fame. Suddenly though, before we could even notice, that reality had been warped and changed.
Sadly as all things do, we as fans also have evolved and become older and our view of professional wrestling is now more then ever heavily influenced by technology and has been infiltrated by media and pundits of all sorts. Bloggers, reporters, and photographers are just the start. The worst of which are called “Keyboard Warriors.” You know, fans that only remember what they hated about the show and not much else. For example; they will tell you how a match should’ve been booked and claim that anyone who doesn’t agree with their way of thinking is simply a dumbass. Leaving in their wake many average and even non-fans with little hope of ever seeing how great pro-wrestling really is if you simply take it for what it is. These “Keyboard Warrior’s” just give small glimpses (really just overly imaginative and negative opinions) and recounts of what they’ve heard about what’s “really going on” behind the scenes and why what they are watching could be soooo much better if they were in charge and making the decisions. So with these kill-joy’s lurking around what is the average fan left to do???
1) Memorize the show week after week
2) Notice patterns
3) Get tired of it
4) Go online and complain about it
I boldly tell you, “JUST SAY NO” to that negative outlook on pro-wrestling! Because this is what happens if you say yes to that garbage, you may see a TMZ report or even from a locally branded non-legit dirt sheet commenting their theories and opinions on the “quality of a show.” All this “expert opinion” coming from people that really have never truly done any work in wrestling except maybe for setting up a few chairs at a show because they showed up early enough to help. The result of all this negativity is what…?
Fans no longer enjoying pro-wrestling because of the constant negativity, instead of taking it for what it is, you become bogged down to the same ol’ rhetoric, judgmental know-it-all fans critiquing every little thing instead of simply enjoying for what it all is…pro-wrestling SHOW!
“The other side” (fans who enjoy the show for what it is) can be seen enjoying the product much like you or I would look at a magic show, a movie, or even a football game. For us regular Joe’s and Jane’s (the average fan), who have grown up watching and incorporating this escape from reality into our everyday lives, we wouldn’t chance our perspective for anything! It has become our lives, reality, in short… IT’S STILL REAL TO US DAMMIT and we love it just the way it is.
So fellow fans, we cannot and must not ruin that for those who are still on the fence about pro-wrestling but most importantly for ourselves. Our 12 year old selves are screaming from the inside of each and every one of us telling us to not ruin it by pulling back the veil too much. Simply put, pro-wrestling is so much fun without all the extra BS. Sure it can make interesting conversation to speculate and have a strong opinion but it should solely tie to the sport itself and not the personal lives of wrestlers or cast judgment and opinions on stuff none of us really know about. Anyone can be caught up in the BS but just know all it will do is stress you out. So now say you’re watching Smackdown, Lucha Underground or whatever and now you feel like it’s worth watching because you saw some rumor on twitter or instagram that a wrestler broke up with his girlfriend or maybe a wrestler kicked a goldfish out the window (I don’t know how that would be possible, but that’s beside the point, lol) the point is, you are no longer watching it for enjoyment, you are watching it to judge the person based on a rumor instead of actually enjoying the show.
As fans we must learn to do like Ghostbusters and not cross the streams. Stay in “fan mode” fans! Go to the dirt sheets all you want, feel free to watch recaps, satirical recaps, at any time.
Personally, I watch The Mark Remark and listen to the Wrestle Talk Podcast all the time and that’s ok but remember, the key is to not let go of your passion and enjoyment for pro-wrestling! Be sure to enjoy the matches you watch across any and all promotions large and small! You say you love professional wrestling right, and you don’t care what people say or think, right? Then close you laptops, hit the X on that twitter tab and start acting like it! Trust me, your doing us all a favor but especially yourself. I’m sure you’ll be back to thank me for the advice so, your welcome.
Until then Space Fans!
Written by: Brandis Outlaw @Love90Lady
Edited by: Rene Martinez @_The_Knight_Owl
One off my bucket list: WrestleMania 33
By Dejuan Mills
Imagine for a minute gathering all of your dreams and desires into a pile. Given the option to pick one dream out the pile, one per year, and having it come true. What seems impossible no longer is impossible. What once seemed out of reach is no longer out of reach. For me, that pile is very high and in that pile are years and years of things I’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance to do so. But this past weekend I had a chance to pull from my pile of dreams. This past weekend I chose Wrestlemania33.
As a wrestling fan of nearly 20 years, I’ve always wondered what it would be like attending a Wrestlemania in person. The grandest stage of them all. The Super Bowl of Sports entertainment. The pinnacle of everything Professional Wrestling stands for. A personal favorite Wrestlemania of mine has always been Wrestlemania 22 in Chicago. Great matches, a few surprises, and everything that Wrestlemania stood for. But as the time change and technology became more advanced, Wrestlemania evolved into something different. Sure it was the same principle. Top matches with top superstars going balls to the wall for one night. But the Stadiums got bigger, the crowd grew larger, the lights became brighter and the desire to attend Wrestlemania in me grew at an uncontrolled rate. I didn’t know when. I didn’t know how. But one day I was going to Wrestlemania. Because I had to. I had to experience the energy. I had to experience the excitement. I had to be there in person to receive the justice it rightfully gave.
I’ll never forget the day when I bought the tickets. It was a cloudy November day and my Brother Clifton and I went half on our Wrestlemania tickets. A pretty large price to say the least. But it was worth it in our minds. The opportunity to see this live and in person outweighed any cost that was in front of us. Simply because our dreams were coming true.
The days leading up to our Wrestlemania trip our excitement could not be contained. Our bags were packed, our housing in Orlando was ready, and we were set to go on the biggest trip any of us has taken. The crew consisted of Myself, Clifton, Cardon, and Nene. Guys I’ve known for some time now are fellow WWE fans. We all knew that something special was happening this weekend and we was ready for it.
One thing that I will say about when Wrestlemania comes to town, they take over and considering this was my first Wrestlemania it came to me as a shock. The entire town of Orlando Florida was overrun by Wrestling fans!!! Not just fans of WWE but pro wrestling fans from all over the world. WrestleCon was in town also so that added to the already large crowd. Ring of Honor had an event that weekend and that along brought in 3000+ plus fans. So the culture in Orlando was welcoming and it felt right. Not only did we feel comfortable in our skin, we belonged there.
The Day of Mania was insane. Traffic, police, security, and over 75,000 fans in one place at one time. Camping World Stadium was the sight of the crime and legit I think we walked over 20 mins to the stadium and that was the “close parking.” LOL! Mind you it was hot too. But none of us cared because something we have been dreaming about our entire lives was about to happen.
As we entered the stadium I got goosebumps. The crowd outside of the stadium was best described as an angry mob willing to knock down walls to get in and see what the WWE prepared for its fans. And believe me, they didn’t spare any expense. The 80 plus yard ramp to the ring alone was the most impressive thing about Wrestlemania! The set that paid homage to Universal Studios was unique in its own way and brought out the culture of Orlando, Florida to a head. This was indeed the ultimate thrill ride for any and every WWE fan in attendance and watching around the world.
Our seats were at the very top in the crows nest. Not the best view but we was happy to be there. But due to a technicality, something amazing happened. Picture yourself. Your very first Wrestlemania or even your very first concert you are attending of your favorite artists. And out of nowhere, you are told that you will be upgraded to floor seats. Too good to be true right? Ha!!!! Makes me chuckle. But yet it happened! And at Wrestlemania 33 myself and my friends got to watch the entire show at eye level to the ring. Incredible does not even begin to describe how we felt. We legit was like kids on Christmas morning receiving the gift we have been wanting all year.
The card itself was stacked. Too many matches to explain here but what I can say is the Pyro man stayed busy all night. Fireworks rang throughout the night as WWE superstars graced us with their presence and talents. And I will say I was most impressed with Brock Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg. Believe me, if you saw the WrestleMania 20 disaster between these two you would understand my reservations. Overall the action of the evening was non stop and surpurb on all levels.
The highlight of the evening unfortunately was not anyone in a attendence or watching on TV expected. Roman vs Taker was moved to the main event and sadly most of us knew exactly what that meant. We didn’t wanna believe it but we knew in our hearts what was gonna happen. But on the level that it did, not of us expected. In front of 75,000 plus The Undertaker had his last match at Wrestlemania. A legecy of over 2 Decades had come to an end. For me it was emotional. My grandmother who was a Undertaker fan till her dying days. I know she was watching from somewhere in the heavens as tears of joy and sorrow fells from the sky and the faces of those in attendance. To see that in person put a lot into perspective for me as a fan. You never know when the end will be for anyone in their career. But to be able to say you saw it is something that no one can ever take from you.
As I am writing this I am on the plane heading back to Kansas City leaving from Orlando. WrestleMania weekend I got to see things I never thought I would see and experience things that never in a million years I could ever thought I would. I am blessed that I had the love and support from everyone in Kansas City who watched our adventures from back home. I only pray that next year I can bring even more with me. Yes Wrestlemania33 was on my bucketlist. But more importantly I got to share this with people I love and care about. And at the end of the day that’s what life is about. Peak life experiences with people you share the same vision with. Wrestlemania 34 is already in the works and the excitement is already brewing for that. I’m ready to the next thrill ride, but will always be greatful for the first. I’ll be there! Will you?
Written By: Dejuan Mills
Wrestling fan to Warriors Heart Champion,
my career as a FWWC superstar
By: Kyle Douglas
Wrestling fan to Warriors Heart Champion, my career as a FWWC superstar…
Starting from when I was just a little boy I remember hearing stories from my father and my grandparents about the excitement and the thrill of wrestling at The Chase in Saint Louis, MO. I used to sit there and listen intently about such superstars the likes of Harley Race, Dick the Bruiser, Ric Flair, and the Cowboy Bob Orton and from there a wrestling fan was born. I remember growing up watching the WWF and idolizing the likes of the Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan and having matches in my room with “wrestling buddies” and dreaming of the day I would step foot into the ring on the biggest stage of the them all Wrestlemania than holding up that World Heavyweight Championship at the end of the night.
Now due to some physical issues and the cost to train as a professional wrestler, I was never able to achieve that dream. But a couple months ago that all changed. I found a place where I could live out what was thought to be the impossible and become one the biggest superstar in sports entertainment. The FWWC (Fantasy Wrestling Worldwide Chapter) is a fantasy organization where all walks of life can come together united by a love for professional wrestling! They cut promos, talk-trash and compete in matches during Monday Night Raw, Smackdown and of course WWE PPV’s for bragging rights and real championship belts! How I got involved is kinda of a funny story, it all started when a friend of mine Kenny aka Massacre who was ready in the fantasy wrestling group came to me and told me about the FWWC. Kenny and I have always shared a love for wrestling, it’s kind of what brought us together to begin with. He then told me that there was a whole group of people who shared the same love for wrestling him and I did, so I had to check it out and thus my career as the heavy metal loving, thrashing and bashing Metal Maniac Corbin Slater was born!
I could finally live out my dream of being a professional wrestler and it started with cutting my first video promo then another and another, which much to my surprise for me helped me find my true self. Somewhere I could be myself and finally overcome my fears of being in front of a camera. Promos lead to matches, matches lead to rivalries and rivalries lead to me to making a name for myself as Corbin Slater in “The Chapter.” Later, I found myself forming a new tag team with Mason “The Mechanic” Murray, the Mechanical Maniacs. We then quickly rose to the top of the UXT division. Match after match and promo after promo I finally got one of the biggest opportunities in my FWWC career, the chance to show that in my short time in The Chapter I deserved a shot at the most prestigious title in the FWWC, The Warriors Heart Championship! I earned one of the five available spots at the Royal Rumble PPV and the ultimate chance to live out a childhood dream to win the biggest title in the FWWC and I DID JUST THAT!
At the Royal Rumble I outlasted 5 other men including a legend, the then Warrior’s Heart Champion and the man that had done it all, La Familia’s own Jimbo Slice aka Big poppa Kirk. As the match came to a close and I was announced as the winner I couldn’t help but jump up and down (literally) in my living room full excitement! Finally knowing how it felt to be on top without ever actually stepping foot into a real ring was amazing to me and now I get to main event the biggest event in the group’s history, UniverseMania3! Incredibly this is just the beginning of the story of Corbin Slater and only time will tell what else is in store for the Metal Maniac. The Chapter as we call it, has given me an outlet to live out my wildest dreams and fantasies as well as form new friendships with people from all walks of life and all around the world. This isn’t just any group, it’s a community of fraternity of brothers and sisters who will go out of their way to help you improve and get better, a group of people that are happy to see you succeed as much as themselves. I have made life time friends in this group and the best part of all is they are a bunch of wrestling nerds just like me. So for anyone who can relate to my story and thinks they have what it takes to take my title away from me, well here is your open invite, “COME AND GET IT!” Just know that if you do, you must be prepared to “GET CAUGHT IN A MOSH!”
–Kyle Douglas aka Corbin “The Metal Manic” Slater–
Editor-in-Chief: Rene Martinez @_The_Knight_Owl
Your Time Is Up, His Time Continues…
In any company, you always look for the perfect ambassador. In the wrestling industry, the first names that would come to mind would be Ric Flair, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
In 2002 the WWE was ending what was known as the ATTITUDE era. This was the Era of wrestling where the WWE (Formerly Known as the WWF) skyrocketed itself into pop culture with Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Kurt Angle, and DX as it main attractions. WWE Champion Kurt Angle was riding an all-time high as champion and Issued an Open Challenge to anyone in the back that. Out comes one of the recent Power Plant Grads John Cena and takes on the challenge by uttering the words “RUTHLESS AGGRESSION”.
From there John Cena has become the Standard bearer of the WWE and all its Interests. With His first WWE Championship Reign coming at Wrestlemania in 2005 by defeating the longest reigning WWE champion at the time in JBL. Steve Austin once said “To be the guy you have to be the guy that all women want to sleep with and the guy every guy wants to have a beer with.” Cena has bucked that trend entirely by being the guy that every young fan wants to be.
One would think that a kid would want to be Superman, Batman, or the Flash. Kids want to be John Cena. His wristbands and bright colors have become a staple at all WWE shows. The Never Give Up, Never Quit moniker has captivated children around the globe. Cena has made sure that the WWE is an integral part of the Make – A – Wish foundation by making the most wishes of children come true than any other person to be asked by the organization. This includes Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Lebron James.
As an in-ring performer Cena has garnered the rap of burying talent. The most recent claims would be the Wrestlemania match with Bray Wyatt where Wyatt lost to Cena. Cena has transformed himself from the upstart to the Veteran who is showing the newer guys the way. Most recently John Cena lemania match with Bray Wyatt where Wyatt lost to Cena. Cena has transformed himself from the upstart to the Veteran who is showing the newer guys the way. Most recently John Cena treaded hallowed ground by tying the 16-time World Heavy Championship Reigns tying the Legendary Ric Flair at Royal Rumble with a match of the year Caliber match with AJ Styles.
Cena recently lost the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber by being eliminated by eventual Winner Bray Wyatt. What’s next for the polarizing John Cena? Taker at Wrestlemania? Becoming Mr. 17 and Solidifying Himself within The Pantheons of Greats? Or something more? All we know is their time is up his time continues.
…And now I’m in the wrestling business
…And now I’m in the wrestling business (by Scott Kessler)
A few weeks ago, my friend Rene Martinez contacted me about an opportunity to do color and play by play commentary for a small local wrestling company called Kansas City Xtreme Wrestling (KCXW). The company holds shows once a month at the Alamo Drafthouse, and features young wrestlers just starting out, many still in training at KCXW’s wrestling school. After the first recording session, our individual characters began to emerge, with Rene representing the Babyface side of the commentary, as I represented the Heel contingent. As we work-argued back and forth, peppering the soundtrack with attempted zingers, we called the matches with a bit of confusion. By the end of the next session, we felt we had found our rhythm, and our dynamic.
I’ve been a wrestling fan for over thirty years, and never imagined I’d be involved with pro wrestling at any level. I’d never confuse myself for “one of the boys,” and I’d never make assumptions about how accepted I am by the workers themselves. It’s simply surreal to find myself calling wrestling for several hours at a time, like the guys I watched growing up. I don’t mean the flat, boring, generic style of current ringside commentators like Michael Cole (ugh), JL (Gag), or David Otunga (Boring As Fuck), or the comically bad like Don West (Moron), or Ed Ferrera (God Help Us). I’m talking about Gordon Solie, Jesse Ventura, Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon, Tony Schiavone (Pre Ass-Kissing-WCW Drone), Jerry Lawler, and the great Jim Ross.
I stole as much as I could from my memories of the above mentioned, punctuating high spots and stiff strikes with loud exclamations, like the sound effects in a comic book from the seventies. When the matches slowed down, we were instructed to build and put over the backstories of the guys in the ring, and we spoke about it as though we had been present to the entire angle. We helped to build the story, which in this case was the finally of a nearly yearlong program, and also helped it come to a thunderous climax, without the help of the very, very quiet crowd, who seemed unsure of what to expect.
Overall, the action in the ring ranged from decent to good to excellent, in terms of the main event (the undefeated Marksman vs. ROH’s Donovan Dijak). Rene and seem to have found…maybe even stumbled…into our own small corner of “The Business”. It’s very hard for me to say that. It makes me feel like an impostor…on the other hand, I won’t/can’t squander the chance to do this, and the chance to do my very best. Time will tell, and so will the audience.
Written by: Scott Kessler – FSKessler@aol.com
Edited and published by: Rene Martinez @_The_Knight_Owl
“Indie-Wrestling boom in the Midwest!”
Hang on, we’re going for a ride! Let’s call it “Indie wrestling boom in the Midwest!”
It’s a perfect time to be alive as a fan of professional wrestling there’s so much to do, so much to see. Nothing is limited, except the literal black curtain at a wrestling event, today’s modern fans have access to keep up with every aspect of pro wrestling through social media, TV, etc.
Living in the Midwest particularly smack dab in the middle it, felt like there has been a bit of a drought, sure there was little stuff going on in places like Texas, Oklahoma, Southern Missouri and Illinois but there’s never felt like a serious boom. No promotions with true awareness that people were hungry for a consistently good product.
For years Independent wrestling had a stank stigma in our Midwestern wrestling communities that if it wasn’t World Wrestling Entertainment, FCW (prior to NXT), OVW, Ring of Honor, TNA, Global Force Federation and top famous wrestling schools that held events then basically you were classified as a backyard wrestler living a pipedream AND BOY ARE PEOPLE WRONG!
To be brutally honest I too felt the same way, and I’m so humbled and blessed that my mind changed when I started attending independent wrestling shows here in the Kansas City area. We must though take into consideration that as wrestling fans this time of only seeing mainstream, well-known companies is becoming compromised and the spectrum of pro wrestling is broadening. So for the average fan that has solely watched WWE, TNA, and Ring of Honor for years it’s harder for them to be impressed.
That’s because they have willingly or unwillingly bombarded themselves with all of the companies, production, scope, scale, and talent. So that if they compare it to their local promotion without knowing about it, it’s a potential loss for that local company, all due to lack of understanding.
But how great is it to see the walls of this stigma starting to fade away? Even though it there is and always will be a ton of bureaucracy and red tape to go through, it now looks like a melting pot is converging in my backyard! Some talent will continue going from place to place all over the country and all over the world unless they’re exclusively under contract with a specific promotion but it looks like Kansas City and the Midwest is starting to become a hot spot for wrestling and I’m happy to be right in the middle of it.
This revival has brought a ton of business, great future home-grown stars and promotions to the Midwest and like a kid during last year’s Christmas season, Midwest wrestling today is a wrestling fans version of Hatchimals in 2017 and going forward!
The arrival of The National Wrasslin’ League has created a ripple in Kansas, Missouri and has started spread all over the country. Now right in our region, companies are making comebacks and stepping their game up.
And so are the fans, we are chomping at the bit to see what NWL, GWF, KCXW, Dynamo Pro, WLW, SICW and PWCS and other promotions come up with. Finally, we can flip on the autopilot and cruise through the year with non-stop action, compelling storylines captivating us and enjoy how they will send us through a whirlwind and torrential downpour of emotional stress both happy and angry. Crowning and losing championships, humiliation of the characters through unrequited love, desire to become great, proud, famous and all they back all within the year. Pro wrestling fans are you ready for this kick ass year of Professional wrestling? Hold on to your pro wrestling tees and Dean Ambrose asylum coffee mugs, 2017 is going to be one hell of a ride. Happy New Year!
Brandis Outlaw, Wrestle Talk Podcast’s resident blogger
@Love90Lady – Twitter
[Editor-in-Chief: Rene Martinez]
Metro Pro Wrestling: It’s so hard to say goodbye…
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.
It was good while it lasted huh fans, this past Saturday Metro Pro Wrestling has closed their doors for the final time at the Turner Rec Center.
Unlike back in 2013 when Metro Pro went on hiatus only to return a few months later with a once every other month show. To just wave it off and say oh another one will come along is taboo it’s a wrestling home for so many, it’s a place for both wrestlers and fans alike to have a place of belonging and comraderies.
My own personal experience is growing up with no wrestling friends and support being interested in what I love so much and that’s professional wrestling.
Back in 2010 Metro Pro Wrestling premiered at Memorial Hall for 6 hours although Chris Gough owner of Metro Pro said that it was way too long and was not what he had in mind some fans enjoyed it. But it was a growing pain and lesson to get over and now we journey to compelling matches and story lines that led to Strider vs. Wyatt matches, guest appearances from Tommy Dreamer, Matt Striker, Christopher Daniels, Honky Tonk Man, Jim Cornett, and Rhyno it’s amazing to think that this promotion gained resounding respect and delivered the greatest matches in the region.
I showed up after looking at a story done about a talented wrestler in Ink magazine giving Metro Pro a sensational review. I was shocked at how much the ticket price was, $15 cheap but what kind of quality would be expected for such a fair price. Before I went to a show I shelled out $100 tickets to WWE shows only and of course I bought the merchandise so let’s round it up to $200 dollars.
Not expecting much because I was paying a $15-dollar ticket going 30-minute commute over to my sister state Kansas gave me a mid- level to high anxiety (another story for another time). By that point I’ve only watched YouTube videos and it looked legit yet in the back of my mind I still had my doubts.
Stepping in and seeing the ring was dare I say love at first site, “anywhere but the front row” which didn’t matter to me because I was still unbelievably close and to see these men and women come out and do what they do best, athletically entertain. What instantly won me over was the fact that I could take a photo with Steven J Girthy and The Iceman, and the first people I ever saw was Jeremy Wyatt and Adam Pearce fight. Although Girthy isn’t involved anymore Iceman and Jeremy Wyatt is reading this,
I just want them to know that no matter where they are or who they decide to be in the ring I thank you for re-igniting the fire in me to achieve this lady’s passion for professional wrestling and cheer/booing you in and out the ring (because I can’t ever decide lol).
Everyone has said it over and over ever since Metro Pro has announced it’s transforming into Metro Pro so I suppose I will fall in line right along with it and agree it’s so terribly sad for it to go but we must, I implore every fan who loved it so much to look towards the future for incredible feats with NWL.
National Wrasslin’ League will give us something we haven’t seen before so close at home here in Kansas City and Saint Louis. I’m so excited perhaps this will finally give me the kick in the ass to get up and go to another promotion in a different city. This town is desperately thirsty for great quality production with characters to love and hate immensely and connect with. Ladies and gentlemen we’re gathered here today in celebration of a new promotion called NWL.
Brandis Outlaw, Wrestle Talk Podcast’s resident blogger
@Love90Lady – Twitter
[Editor-in-Chief: Rene Martinez]
All Aboard The Kayfabe Time Machine
For those of you who don’t know me…and I assume that’s most of you…I’m Scott Kessler, the director of Wrestless: The Metro Pro Documentary, and I’ve been a professional wrestling fan for over thirty years. In that time, I’ve seen the fall of Kayfabe (and with it, the end of emotional investment in the sport for all but the most diehard of fans), the rise of boring,cookie cutter storylines, and wrestling personalities so uninteresting that a team of writers now create scripts for promos that once upon a time the athletes would create on the spot. I’m not going to beat you over the head with my rant (not this time, anyway). Instead, I want to returnyou all to the golden years of the WWF (not the fucking “WWE”), and share with you my memory of the single greatest match I’ve ever seen in person, up close and with my own two eyes.
When I discovered wrestling, quite by accident in the summer of 1984, I became an overnight mark, often times skipping out on my early teen social life to stay home on Saturday night to watch WWF Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions World Wide Wrestling, followed the exploits of both territories like a religion.
I bored my poor mother and many of my friends by regaling them with details about the latest matches, my opinions and dream matchups, and my predictions about future bouts and ongoing storylines. I was Kayfabe as fuck, and would argue to the death with anyone who dared to challenge the reality of it all. By the time I was 15, all I cared about was wrestling, Heavy Metal, and comic books. All I wanted was to watch wrestling 24 hours a day, and then go out into the yard and kick the shit out of my friends (and myself) as a backyard wrestler, long before that was a thing. In the summer of 1985, the WWF began to hold monthly house shows at Selland Arena in Fresno, California, where I lived at the time. I would scrape, save and con to get the money for monthly tickets (cheap seats went for eight bucks, ringside seats for twenty). I became a fixture there, along with a group of regulars who emerged every month to see the best that the WWF had to offer: Steamboat vs Savage, Steamboat vs Jake the Snake, Hulk Hogan vs King Kong Bundy, Valentine & Beefcake vs. Windham & Rotundo, Orndorff vs. Big John Studd, Jake the Snake vs. Savage, Terry Funk vs. Junkyard Dog, Savage vs. Piper, and the list goes on and on. I attended virtually every show, and saw many of the old school greats in the process.
In the fall of 1986, I attended a thoroughly mediocre card, headlined by a tag team battle royale.
For those of you who don’t know (and never had the misfortune of sitting through one), a tag team battle royale dictates that if one member of a team is eliminated, that both members must exit the match. As I looked over the program, I was bummed to discover that the undercard promised ten matches, but I knew from experience that all of the prelims would feature tag team wrestlers in meaningless singles matches that would go nowhere. Despite being a die-hard fan, I was underwhelmed by the show to come, and honestly wondered if I could have spent my money more wisely.
After sitting through a number of duds (Demolition Ax vs. Big Machine…who at the time I didn’t know was Blackjack Mulligan, one of the Rougeaus vs. Iron Sheik, B. Brian Blair vs. Jim Neidhart, and other misfires), the tag team battle royale began…in the middle of the show. I sat in boredom as a grip of teams entered, including all the major superstar teams of the era. Although I’m a huge mark for tag team wrestling, I didn’t care about a stupid battle royale (and until the advent of the Royal Rumble, I could honestly say that battle royales were far and away my least favorite type of match), and I could tell the wrestlers didn’t either. In the end, Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik won over the Rougeau Brothers…and I still didn’t care.
I was about ready to go home and write off the card, when the final match of the night was announced, and made me sit down with a fire burning in my guts. My heart rate picked up, and I knew that this single match could redeem the entire miserable, boring night. I had never seen either of the competitors work in singles competition prior to that night, but my respect for their work was boundless, and I knew I was in for a treat…a treat that could rival Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage as the best match I had ever seen in person. That match was The Dynamite Kid vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Although both men were hugely accomplished singles wrestlers everywhere else in the world, neither had been featured in singles matches in their time in WWF. Hart was one half of the Hart Foundation (with Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart), and Tommy “The Dynamite Kid” Billington was one half of my favorite tag team of the time, The British Bulldogs (with Davey Boy Smith). Although I would argue that The Road Warriors are my all-time favorites, the Bulldogs would be a close second, and of the two members of the team, I was a gigantic mark for Dynamite. I had no idea at the time that the two were brothers-in-law. I had no idea that they were family, as close as blood. I had no idea that they had probably put on this match a thousand times in Calgary. Most importantly, I didn’t care.
What took place for the next ten minutes was the most mind boggling display of ring skill, timing, and grace that I have ever seen. This was before “The Excellence of Execution”, and five world championships, and before the internet, so I had never seen Japanese wrestling, Stampede Wrestling from Calgary, or Lucha Libre. I had only the words and details supplied by Bill Apter and Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and ya know what? I didn’t care. All I knew was that Hart was aligned with Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart, that they had tried underhanded and devious tactics and double teams on the Bulldogs, that they meant to derail my team. I respected the Hitman, as it was impossible not to (and in later years, he would become one of my favorites), but I idolized The Dynamite Kid (and of course, had no idea that he was a horrible human being until years later), and wanted to see him whip the Hitman’s ass.
The bell rang, and Dave Hebner indicated that the match had begun…Vertical dropkicks six feet in the air, from a standing position. Tilt-a-whirl armdrags. Snap vertical suplexes. Springboard bodypresses. Planchas. Sentons. Aerial machinations that defied anything else I had ever seen, including the insane skills of Jimmy Snuka and Ricky Steamboat, and mat wrestling that made Hulk Hogan’s endless reign as “champion” seem embarrassing, and forced. That this orange-skinned oaf was elevated above wrestlers like these two, that he was sold as unstoppable and superior in light of skill such as this, was disgraceful.
The match ended when Hart climbed to the top rope to execute…something…and Dynamite caught him in mid-air, turned the dive into a flying belly-to-belly suplex, and planted him center ring for the 1-2-3. I jumped to my feet, and roared (not unlike the way I ROAR at Metro Pro Wrestling shows…and in many ways, completely unlike that). I think it was that night that I realized that wrestling was real, in ways that the naysayers and haters could never take away from it, in a way that showed through the passion and intensity of the two men who had just validated all of my hours of markdom, had just paid me back for my loyalty, for my own intensity, for my belief, and for my love of professional wrestling. I left greatly pleased that I had come to the show that night, that I had had the pleasure of seeing such a match, and equally pleased that I was the only one who seemed to appreciate it such as I had.
If only the WWE could step back in time, before wrestling was taken over by sculpted bodybuilders who can’t string together an original thought, before packaged matches, before microwave storylines and the three match cycle, before HHH took over and remade wrestling in his own image, and just watch that match…maybe it would remind them what wrestling is supposed to be. Maybe it would remind them that storytelling is inherent in the matches themselves, and not in a twenty-minute monologue, or a scripted rant. Maybe it would remind them of Ric Flair, of Jim Cornette, of Terry Funk, of Nick Bockwinkle, of Freddie Blassie, of Larry Zybyszko, of Kevin Sullivan, of Dusty Rhoads, of Sting, of Bill Watts, of Stan Hansen, of Jake the Snake…and help us forget Eric Bischoff, Kevin Nash, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Disco Inferno, Goldberg and Vince motherfucking Russo. Maybe then, they would remember integrity. Maybe then, they’d remember who they’re supposed to be, and what they could mean again.
[Editor-in-Chief: Rene Martinez]
Gimme The Gimmicks With Wrestling On The Side
I went to a show in the early part of October and saw a young talented man debut at this promotion. He came out simply ready for a fight, no flash, no flame, colorful attire, or snappy comebacks blowing smoke, just ready to fight!
The young man did win his match and I had to make it a point to tell him how he did; he completely made the night worth coming to see. I walked up to him during intermission and said, “Your match was fantastic! You kicked ass!” He appreciated the comment and I then added, it’s so good to see not every wrestler come out with a gimmick/characterization and just do damage and become so over with the crowd! He appreciated it and agreed with me.
It made my night.
I simply love all facets of wrestling from the ticket booth at the front door to the janitor cleaning up in the back, and I love seeing the different backgrounds and characters that grace the ring to amp up the crowd. But it appears that there are countless self-proclaimed bad-asses, prissy whining princesses, pop culture referenced individuals, brutal brutes, know it alls, ignorant naive assistants. Is there anyone out there who just wants to have a good time or want to just fight, with pure humble beginnings? There’s rarely a clear cut down the middle of who’s who.
To simply put, the talent switches the kayfabe so much that fans aren’t able to focus on the match that the wrestlers put their bodies through for fans, but what they say when they speak or wrap themselves in the fan interaction.
To give an example I’ve seen many talents spend so much time on glitz and glam, props and costumes and making insulting comments to fans but when we see a promo or a match the moves look super dangerous and not well thought out and the promos that are cut can be wack.
No, I don’t expect perfection from everyone. It’s a constant learning experience whether you’re a fan or a wrestler. But it becomes redundant throughout most promotions today to see matches booked where it becomes a shouting match instead of a wrestling match.
Bet your bottom dollar that I’ll shout and make comments like the rest of them. Yet at the same time it’s a growing trend to heavily concentrate on the entertainment side instead of the sports side.
But it can help grow and strengthen a wrestler and establish who they are in their career and where they want to start or make change. I can’t help but notice the shifted balance and personally it ruins the fun of watching sometimes. What do you say? Are you noticing it across the board or are things staying the same where you are? Just something to think about.
Brandis Outlaw, Wrestle Talk Podcast’s resident blogger
@Love90Lady – Twitter
[Editor-in-Chief: Rene Martinez]