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Archive for October, 2008

Respect the Legends: Stanislaus Zbyszko

Posted by Admin on October 17, 2008

Stanislaus Zbyszko
An MWR “Respect the Legends” Special Feature.

by Josh Ray

Stanislaus Zbyszko is an original pro wrestling legend.

Stanislaus Zbyszko is an original pro wrestling legend.

Most pro wrestling fans rarely go back more than twenty-five years in history to name “legends”.  Anything earlier than that is some how off a fan’s radar.  Going back twenty-five years from press time would make the year 1983.  Harley Race was nearing the end of his run in the National Wrestling Alliance and would soon be headed to the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment).  But, who trained Harley Race?  Who was a wrestling legend to a young Harley Race as he was making his way into professional wrestling?

That man’s name is Stanislaus Zbyszko.  He also trained a long time tag team partner of Race, Johnny Valentine.  He was born on April Fool’s Day, April 1, 1879 in Krakow, Poland and was one of the top European wrestlers in wrestling history.  He’s a former world heavyweight champion (twice) and a member of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame (2003), the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (1996), and The National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame (1983).

His real name was Stanislaus Cyganiewicz, but his childhood friends gave him the nickname “Zbyszko”, which was a fictional medieval Polish knight from the novel “Krzyzacy” by Henryk Sienkiewicz, due to his bravery.  Although he was born in Poland, he grew up in Vienna, Austria.

He was always naturally strong, but he developed more strength as well as an imposing muscular appearance in the Vindobona Athletic Club while in college, standing 5’8″ and weighing in at a massive 260 pounds.  Where most wrestlers in early American professional wrestling made names for themselves by defeating the citizens in various towns for the circus, Stanislaus Zbyszko actually made his name by defeating an experienced grappler at a circus in Poland.

At this time Zbyszko followed in the established footsteps of Europe’s top wrestler, Georg Hackenschmidt, and made his way into the world of professional wrestling with Polish wrestler Ladislaus Pytlasinsky as his mentor.  He gradually made himself known as Europe’s fastest-rising Greco-Roman wrestler.  He competed in many tournaments and was ranked at the top of European rankings, eventually taking on the name “Stanislaus Zbyszko” as his official wrestling name.

He continued gaining steam in Europe but was surrounded by controversy in the early 1900s when a man he defeated in a series of matches was revealed to have been employed by Zbyszko.  He was involved in one of pro wrestling’s earliest revelations of “sports entertainment”.

Zbyszko began competing more and more in both England and the United States, making the transition to the catch-as-catch-can freestyle wrestling over that period of time.  He was billed as the top European wrestler, but was established as a top talent in the entire world when he wrestled the already legendary Frank Gotch to a one-hour draw in 1909 in Buffalo, NY.  In a rematch, Gotch suckered Zbyszko in the opening handshake, pinning him in 6.4 seconds.  The two never wrestled again, possibly due to Zbyszko’s anger over the entire incident.

His next big challenge came in the form of India’s Great Gama.  Great Gama was an undefeated champion and had tried many times to get Frank Gotch to wrestle him to no avail.  He was a feared man, but Zbyszko took the challenge.  In the first match between them, Gama took Stanislaus down with ease but was unable to pin him.  The two wrestled to a tremendously long 3-hour draw.  Zbyszko became the first man to be able to escape a match with Great Gama without a loss.  The second two meetings were less impressive for Zbyszko, losing one match by forfeit and the second one in only 42 seconds.

Zbyszko left another legacy in 1925 at the ripe age of 47.  After defeating Ed “Strangler” Lewis for the World Heavyweight Title in 1921 and losing it to him neraly a year later, he was supposed to lose a match for the heavyweight title to an ex-football player with little or no wrestling experience by the name of Wayne Munn.  A rival promoter paid Zbyszko to pin Munn repeatedly until the referee had no other choice but award him the belt.  He then dropped the belt to the rival promoter one month later to complete the scheme.  While the ploy worked, it set a precedent for pro wrestling booking.  From that point until decades later, wrestling promoters were reluctant to have a champion that couldn’t hold his own if a match turned into a legitimate fight.

He retired a few years later in 1928 after a rematch with Great Gama in India in front of a reported 60,000 fans.  The match was 18 years after their first match that went to a three hour draw, and only lasted 30 seconds with Gama winning.  He then scouted wrestling talent in South America, discovering another pro wrestling legend, Antonino Rocca, before settling in St. Joseph, MO on a farm.  He and his brother discovered and trained Harley Race and Johnny Valentine on that farm.

During his retirement, Zbyszko appeared in two movies.  One was “Madison Square Garden” in 1932 and the other was a film called “Night and the City” in 1950.  He played a professional wrestler in both, with “Madison Square Garden” being the one that he played himself in.

On September 23, 1967, Stanislaus Zbyszko died of a heart attack at age 88 in St. Joseph, MO.

Stanislaus Zbyszko, a world reknown pro wrestling legend.  He settled in the heart of the Missouri Wrestling Revival coverage area, and we here at MWR pay respect.

Respect the legends.  Respect Stanislaus Zbyszko.

[Author’s Note:  I personally recommend reading Harley Race’s book “King of the Ring”.  In the book, he talks about his early training under Stanislaus Zbyszko.  MWR does not currently have this book in the online store but check back, as we will have it soon!]


Bao Nguyen: “I want to make wrestling my career.”
MWR September 2008 Awards
MWR Book Review: Headlocked
MWR July and August 2008 Awards
Amy Hennig’s Pro Wrestling Debut

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Combat Tested, Mother Approved

Posted by Admin on October 16, 2008

What Happened to the Writing Competition?

by Josh Ray

Over the summer, I attempted something different on behalf of Missouri Wrestling Revival.  I wanted to find some of those people out there in the MWR coverage area who are truly passionate about professional wrestling and encourage them to get more involved.  All they needed to do was submit in writing their ideas for “Improving the Midwest Wrestling Scene”.

In addition to that goal, I wanted to raise money for the continued operation of the site and The Wounded Warrior Project.  Wounded Warrior Project is a very worthy cause that helps wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan receive any and all help that they need.  I knew that most wrestling fans supported the troops, but I wanted them to be more specific and support the wounded troops.  I know for a fact that people forget about these soldiers upon their return due to it being inconvenient to think about them.  The Wounded Warrior Project is invaluable help for these forgotten warriors.

I lined everything up for the writing competition.  Wbsites were covering it, radio stations were mentioning it on their sites and in broadcasts, and some individuals were making committments to send in submissions.  It was still months away from the entry deadline, but things were looking very positive for the event.  There was a buzz.  As the days crept closer to the deadline, things looked even better.  All American Wrestling shot me a message pledging DVDs for the event, Elite Pro Wrestling committed to put the writing competition in a link for their upcoming newsletter, and All American Pro Wrestling promised to mention it at an event.  The problem was simply that entries were not being submitted.

I had a 25 entry minimum for the competition as a way to set a goal, not to make money.  I had nearly $500 invested in prizes and advertising, but the 25 entries would have only netted me about $225 after donations to the Wounded Warrior Project were sent in.  The whole competition was a way for interest to be created and measured, and interest was high at first.  Actual participants fell way short of 25. 

The competition was cancelled due to lack of interest.  The cancellation was a huge blow to my motivation and confidence at the time, but I eventually decided to chalk it up to a valuable learning experience.  I had a marketing plan, money to invest, initial interest from the public, and even some sponsors.  The one thing I feel I was lacking was the trust of the wrestling community in the area.

The lesson that I took from the writing competition was that I’ve got a great reputation in certain circles outside of pro wrestling, but the very nature of the business (which I admittedly am still learning more about) is similar to Missouri’s nickname…  I’ve got to “show” themwhat I’m about.

It’s difficult.  I’ve been responsible for the lives of high-level officers and my soldiers in Iraq.  I’ve lead troops in convoy security operations and investigated attacks on coalition troops.  I’ve trained nearly a thousand troops on riot control tactics.  But, I’ve got to adapt my abilities to something else that I’m passionate about.  I’ve got to prove myself all over again in a new environment.  One much less life threatening than some in the pro wrestling community make it out to be…  independent pro wrestling.

I’m definitely not complaining.  I feel I’ve already made great strides toward my goals and I’m in this for the long haul.  Those that write for the site can vouch for me.  I’m a man of my word and I’m not all about making myself look good.  It truly is a team effort.  The great thing is that everyone that helps with the site has the same mentality as I do.  They want to help indy pro wrestling in the MWR coverage area grow.  I have met many wrestlers, promoters, and staff that think the same way, and realize that MWR is a tool for the betterment of wrestling in the area.

One in particular really hit home the other day when he told me, “I can tell you are trying to make this area a legitimate territory again.”  That statement sums it up, really.  I can not succeed in that without the success of pro wrestling in general, and in specific this area.  I want to be a part of that success.

Feel free to say what you want in the comments or the message board about the state of wrestling, me, the MWR site, or any of the articles!  I love feedback.

Until next time, this has been the latest edition of “Combat Tested, Mother Approved”!



Contact MWR
Abu Colossus (MWR Spotlight)
LWA’s Circus Maximus (Your Trip to Space Mountain)
FIST Combat Returns
LWA on June 28, 2008 (MWR Event Report)

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MWR in Photos

Posted by Admin on October 15, 2008

MWR in Photos
Some of the best MWR photographs around.

Ms. Naturals last night as WLW Ladies Champ.  She lost the title that night to Stacey OBrien (April 25, 2008 in Lebanon, MO).

Ms. Natural's last night as WLW Ladies Champ. She lost the title that night to Stacey O'Brien (April 25, 2008 in Lebanon, MO).

Dinn T Moore lets a fan know that he does not suck, regardless of the chants (WLW in Eldon, MO in June 2008).

Dinn T Moore lets a fan know that he does not suck, regardless of the chants (WLW in Eldon, MO in June 2008).

Michael Strider dishes out a headache to Marc Godeker in this one on one match (WLW in Eldon, MO, June 2008).

Michael Strider dishes out a headache to Marc Godeker in this one on one match (WLW in Eldon, MO, June 2008).

Joe Hennig in a WLW ring in the great state of Missouri for this undated photo by Brian Kelley.

Joe Hennig in a WLW ring in the great state of Missouri for this undated photo by Brian Kelley.

Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin, known collectively as the Motor City Machine Guns, in LWA.  Photo by Brian Kelley.

Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin, known collectively as the Motor City Machine Guns, in LWA. Photo by Brian Kelley.

Superstar Steve Fender puts the pressure on international superstar Low Ki in this CSW match on May 12, 2008.

"Superstar" Steve Fender puts the pressure on international superstar Low Ki in this CSW match on May 12, 2007.

Two of the best brawlers on the indy scene go toe-to-toe outside a CSW ring on May 12, 2008.

Two of the best brawlers on the indy scene go toe-to-toe outside a CSW ring on May 12, 2007.

The NWA Missouri Champ Dingo and the NWA Central States Champ Michael Strider go chop for chop on June 2, 2007.

The NWA Missouri Champ Dingo and the NWA Central States Champ Michael Strider go chop for chop on June 2, 2007.

3XW Champ Gage Octane at his nastiest versus Anarchist Arik Cannon at 3XWs Final Countdown (Des Moines, IA on May 16, 2008)

3XW Champ Gage Octane at his nastiest versus "Anarchist" Arik Cannon at 3XW's Final Countdown (Des Moines, IA on May 16, 2008)

Gage Octane wears down Anarchist Arik Cannon (May 16, 2008).

Gage Octane wears down "Anarchist" Arik Cannon (May 16, 2008).

Shane Hollister reminds Egotistico Fantastico that they have a match against each other and he isnt leaving until they fight (3XW in Des Moines, IA on May 16, 2008).

Shane Hollister reminds Egotistico Fantastico that they have a match against each other and he isn't leaving until they fight (3XW in Des Moines, IA on May 16, 2008).

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MWR Spotlight: “Vietnam Phenom” Bao Nguyen

Posted by Admin on October 14, 2008

Bao Nguyen
“I want to make wrestling my career.”

By Josh Ray

A young Bao Nguyen.

A young Bao Nguyen.

On April 25, 2008 in the hometown of Missouri Wrestling Revival, a match between Brian Breaker and “Vietnam Phenom” Bao Nguyen turned a few heads.  The apparent underdog, Bao managed to secure a victory over his larger and more experienced opponent.  I approached him after the match to tell him how impressed I was and was shocked to learn that this was only his fourth match as out of training.  The fact that he was that good in such a short time out of wrestling school resonated in my mind.

“This guy is somebody to watch, for sure,” I thought to myself.

At the time, I wasn’t the only person to take notice.  While the crowd definitely enjoyed him and the match as a whole, my wife and sister took immediate notice of the “Vietnam Phenom” as their favorite wrestler.  Out of all of the wrestlers who appeared that night, my sister wanted a picture with only one: Bao Nguyen.

My sister Becky, Vietnam Phenom Bao Nguyen, and my beautiful wife Sara.

My sister Becky, "Vietnam Phenom" Bao Nguyen, and my beautiful wife Sara.

I’ve had the opportunity to see him twice since then, and he hasn’t disappointed.  When I heard his story, it was easy to understand why he’s as good as he is at this stage in the game.  He’s not afraid of listening to others, and he’s not afraid of hard work.  His first break into the business happened due to his hard work and competitive drive.

“I started out in 2004 as a referee in Sacramento, CA for a promotion called Supreme Pro Wrestling.  After going to a few practices, I wanted to become a wrestler due to my competitive nature,” Bao said.

At the time, Bao was in college.  This didn’t stop him from pursuing a career as a professional wrestler, but it also didn’t keep him from studying hard and finishing college.  Where most young men might leave one for the other, Bao Nguyen chose to tackle and succeed at both.  He trained for a year for Supreme Pro Wrestling, before moving back home to the San Francisco Bay Area.  It was there he had his first exposure to Japan’s Pro Wrestling NOAH when he resumed his wrestling training, this time for Pro Wrestling Iron.

During this time, Bao stayed active with the Cauliflower Alley Club (CAC), a nonprofit professional wrestling organization that emphasizes friendship through pro wrestling.  The CAC puts a well-deserved focus on the wrestling legends, and that fact says even more about Bao’s character.  It was at a CAC function that he learned about Harley Race’s pro wrestling training camps that are held each year.

“I’ve known about Harley Race’s wrestling camps because I stay active with the Cauliflower Alley Club.  In 2006 I went to the camp and really enjoyed how Superstar Steve taught.  I had no doubt that I would be able to hone my skills in that atmosphere,” Bao said.

Going to that camp was fate, it seems.  Pro Wrestling Iron closed downshortly later and left the “Vietnam Phenom” without a place to train.  Once again, Bao’s desire to get better and his willingness to work shined through.  Where some might stick around the area and find just any place to train, he looked for the best place to train.

“I wanted to go somewhere where I would have more opportunities to work in Japan and for WWE.  Since Pro Wrestling Iron already had a relationship with Pro Wrestling NOAH through Donovan Morgan and Michael Modest, I wanted to go somewhere that could keep me exposed to them (NOAH).  I chose the Harley Race Wrestling Academy,” said Bao.

After choosing where he would train, he concentrated on getting there.

“I saved everything I could for seven months and took the long trip to Eldon, MO to start training,” said Bao. “I’m always trying to get better and I’m willing to learn from people who are willing to teach, so I think that has helped me develop as a wrestler.”

The Vietnam Phenom in action.

The "Vietnam Phenom" in action.

This hard work paid off recently at World League Wrestling (WLW) show.  At the end of the annual training camp that Harley Race’s conducts with Pro Wrestling NOAH, there is a big joint show that features some of the best from Pro Wrestling NOAH, WLW, and the trainees who attended the camp.  On September 19, 2008 in Eldon, MO as part of the show, Bao was rewarded by being featured in the main event tag team match.  The main event featured two reknown wrestlers from Japan, as well as the son of a pro wrestling legend.

“To tell you the truth, I was pretty surprised when they picked me to be in the main event with Takeshi Morishima against Marufuji and Steamboat Jr. (for the WLW-NOAH show on September 19, 2008).  It was definitely the highlight of my career at this point, and I worked as hard as I’ve ever worked.  I hope that I did well enough for them to offer me something,” Bao said.

While he recognizes that he doesn’t hold the magic card that can get him closer to his goal of wrestling in Japan or for WWE, he’s not afraid to put in the work needed to get there.  No get rich quick schemes for the “Vietnam Phenom”.  He’s more than happy to pay his dues and diligently work toward his goals, saying, “It’s up to NOAH as to whether or not I ever tour with them, but I’ll continue to work hard and become a total wrestler to improve those chances.”

He summed it up by adding, “Basically, I want to make wrestling my career.  That would be my ultimate goal whether it be NOAH or WWE.  I’ve just got to work hard and maintain my focus.  It will happen when I am ready.”

Tyler Cook, me, my beautiful wife Sara, and Vietnam Phenom Bao Nguyen.

Tyler Cook, me, my beautiful wife Sara, and "Vietnam Phenom" Bao Nguyen.


Respect the Legends: Stanislaus Zbyszko
MWR September 2008 Awards
Singles Rankings (Updated Frequently)
Your Trip to Space Mountain (WLW Event in Sedalia, MO)
Amy Hennig’s Pro Wrestling Debut

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Kari Williams MMWA-SICW Recap

Posted by Admin on October 13, 2008

MMWA-SICW October 4 Recap

By Kari Williams

On October 4 at South Broadway Athletic Club, MMWA-SICW, many exciting events occurred, but none more important or prestigious than the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame grand opening at the club.

Former MMWA-SICW Heavyweight Champion Jeremy Lightfoot took on Bobby D in the main event. In the back and forth contest, both men had their moments where it appeared that they would pick up the victory. Within the first couple minutes, D and Lightfoot made their way to the outside, where they exchanged chops. However, after numerous two-counts Lightfoot connected with his signature Lightfoot Driver for the win at 5:20.

During the bout, Jaysin Static reported that The Connection attacked him, preventing him from competing at the event. He had this message: “Connection, you took me out, watch your back, [and] you’ve got what’s coming to you.”

Tony Casta made the previous title match due to Junior Heavyweight Champion A.J. Williams’ request. Williams came to the ring fueled by anger and relentlessly attacked Tommy Knight. As Knight slowly regained focus, he locked Williams in a devastating submission hold, but Williams’s determination caused him to break the hold. After blasting Knight with a flying clothesline, Williams went for a splash in the corner, but missed. It seemed as though Knight would regain control, but Williams landed a superkick and a 360 splash to retain his title.

At the conclusion of the match, Knight announced that he will no longer wrestle with MMWA-SICW. This was his last match at the South Broadway Athletic Club and Oct. 11 was his final match with the company. The Connection also announced Dave Vaughn as Knight’s replacement.

The newest Connection member took on the fan favorite, Shaft, in an excellent display of athleticism on Vaughn’s part. Aligning with The Connection appeared to speed up Vaughn’s progress in the ring, as he dominated nearly the entire bout. However, Shaft did have a few key moments where his strengths shined through. When it appeared that Vaughn would nail Shaft with the spear and seal his fate, Shaft wisely sidestepped the maneuver. Using his opportune moment, Shaft hit Vaughn with the turnbuckle-walk bull dog and decisively defeated Vaughn.

Heavyweight Champion Kevin X took on his most formidable ally in “Night Train” Gary Jackson. Each competitor had his reasons for either retaining or earning the title, which the competitive nature embodied in their performances proved. At the five minute mark, X controlled the match up and delivered vicious blows to Jackson’s lower back. Nonetheless, Jackson regained his composure and used his quick wit to pull out a win while holding the tights. After the match, Jackson told X that he “wanted his belt back.” X offered his hand for a congratulatory handshake, then followed up with malicious kicks to the new champion.

Just before the title match, the fans in attendance witnessed the unveiling of the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame at the athletic club, which rested in the Pro Wrestling Shirt Shop for the past year or so. Many special guests appeared for the ceremony including former Wrestling at the Chase referee Lee Warren, former Wrestling at the Chase ring announcer Mickey Garagiola, and former MMWA-SICW manager Big Daddy. Warren spoke of his experiences as a referee and proclaimed that by coming to an MMWA-SICW show he saw true wrestling again. Garagiola echoed the same sentiments, saying, “This is wrestling here, not those stars you see on TV. This is where it is.” Big Daddy, who is now a hair dresser, complained about his picture not among those in the Hall of Fame. He even went so far as to proclaim that he was a better manager than even Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.

Two Broadway attractions, Mr. Bibbs and Phil E. Blunt competed earlier in the evening. Bibbs dictated the pace of the match, controlling everything. Then a masked cowboy who has made inconspicuous appearance as of late ventured to ringside. Blunt spotted the man and appeared confused by his presence. Unfortunately, the confusion did not cost Blunt the victory, as Travis Cook handed him a chain, which Blunt used to knock out Bibbs and steal a victory.

The first title match of the evening consisted of Junior Heavyweight Champion A.J. Williams wrestling the number one conntender, Young Aladdin. In the most technically sound match, Williams and Aladdin gave fans a delectable treat. Blow for blow and punch for punch, each man demonstrated why he should earn the title. Both men had many nearfalls, which only added to the excitement of the match. At one point, Aladdin smashed into Williams with a frogsplash from the top rope and gained a two-count. Williams turned the tide after further beatings from Aladdin and planted Aladdin for a two-count. The current champ kept the ball in his court, so to speak, as he snuck in a quick roll-up and the three-count.

Waco battled Lumberjack Abe in what one can only describe as a brawl. The burly men traded blows throughout the entire stint, but Abe gained control within the final moments, securing victory at 8:26.

Lumberjack Gabe kicked off the evening against the Battle Royal Champion, The Big Texan. With their respective teammates, Abe and Waco, neither man had the upper hand in regards to outside interference. By the five-minute mark, Texan dominated his opponent, but Gabe regained his focus shortly thereafter. Despite multiple meddling by the extra presences at ringside, Texan picked up the win at 12:21.

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MWR 3rd Quarter 2008 Awards!

Posted by Admin on October 12, 2008

MWR 3rd Quarter 2008 Awards

With Halloween just weeks away, MWR and Midwest wrestling fans move into the fourth and final quarter of 2008.  The third quarter is over and done with, so let’s reflect on the biggest winners of July, August and September as voted on by the MWR Awards Committee:

Wrestler of the Quarter

“Delicious” Devin Carter

3XW Heavyweight Champion Delicious Devin Carter

3XW Heavyweight Champion "Delicious" Devin Carter

1st Runner Up – Hunter Matthews
2nd Runner Up – Tyler Black
3rd Runner Up – “The Future” Donovan Ruddick

Others receiving votes: KC Karrington.

Tag Team of the Quarter

Zero Gravity (Brett Gakiya & CJ Esparza)
[Scott County Wrestling]

1st Runner Up – Northstar Express (Darin Corbin & Ryan Cruz)
2nd Runner Up – Feature Presentation (Blake Steel & Eric Ruffington)
3rd Runner Up – Gentlemen’s Club (Gage Octane & Mark Sterling)

Others receiving votes: LONRs (Darrien Sanders & Mark Sterling).

Woman of the Quarter

Stacey O’Brien
[World League Wrestling]

WLW Ladies Champion Stacey OBrien

WLW Ladies Champion Stacey O'Brien

1st Runner Up – Alexis Lightfoot 
2nd Runner Up – Amy Hennig
3rd Runner Up – MsChif

Promotion of the Quarter


1st Runner Up – Lethal Wrestling Alliance
2nd Runner Up – World League Wrestling
3rd Runner Up – Pro Wrestling Phoenix

Personality of the Quarter

Gary Giaffoglione
[Pro Wrestling Phoenix]

1st Runner Up – KL Snow
2nd Runner Up – The Mad Conservative Crimefighter
3rd Runner Up – Tiffany LaFane

Others receiving votes: Todd Countryman.

Match of the Quarter

8-Man Survivor Series Streetfight:
Submission Squad vs Ego Express & Bearded Men from Space Station 11
[Lethal Wrestling Alliance]
(July 12, 2008 in O’Fallon, IL)

1st Runner Up –

AAW Heavyweight Title Match:
Jerry Lynn vs Tyler Black
[All American Wrestling]
(July 12, 2008 in Berwyn, IL)

2nd Runner Up –

Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Keith Walker & Oliver John
[World League Wrestling]
(September 19, 2008 in Eldon, MO)

3rd Runner Up –

Cage Match for the SCW Heavyweight Title:
Shane Hollister vs Marek Brave
[Scott County Wrestling]
(September 12, 2008 in Davenport, IA)

Others receiving votes:

Nosebleed Seats Undisputed Heavyweight Title Match:
Mississippi Madman vs Bobby Houston

[Mid Pro Wrestling]
(September 27, 2008 in Decatur, IL)

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Respect the Best of the Midwest

Posted by Admin on October 10, 2008

Respect the Best of the Midwest
Tyler Cook and Shane Hollister kick off MWR’s Midwest Best Series

by Josh Ray
Sure, “Missouri” is a key word in the name Missouri Wrestling Revival (MWR).  For pro wrestling fans, however, the most important portion of MWR’s name should be “Wrestling Revival”.  A wrestling revival is exactly what MWR aims to bring to the Midwest and beyond through the cooperation of the wrestlers and promoters in the MWR coverage area.

That is why MWR is sponsoring the Midwest Best Series.  The Midwest Best Series is a series of highly competitive matches set to be featured across Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Kansas.  These matches will feature the absolute best that the Midwest has to offer.

It’s about action.  It’s about respect.  It’s about innovation.

What better way to kick the series off than a 3XWrestling Pure Title match?  On October 17, 2008 in Des Moines, Iowa at inPlay, the Midwest Best Series begins with a bang in a match for the 3XW Pure Title.  It is a featured match on 3XWrestling’s “BAM-O-Ween” card.  Go to www.3XWrestling.com for more on

The current 3XW Pure Champion is one of the top young talents in the industry, wrestling for such promotions as Lethal Wrestling Alliance in the St. Louis area, Harley Race’s World League Wrestling in middle and western Missouri, and NWA Central States Wrestling in the Kansas City area.  His name is Tyler Cook.  He’s invaluable to any promotion that he is a part of.

His challenger, and the other half of this first ever Midwest Best Series match, is Shane Hollister.  Hollister is the current Scott County Wrestling Heavyweight Champion in the Davenport, Iowa area and until last month was one half of the Chicago area’s All American Wrestling Tag Team Champions.  He is undoubtedly part of the promising future of professional wrestling.

At press time, Cook and Hollister are ranked 14th and 2nd in MWR’s 2008 Wrestling Revival Cup, respectively.  This might lead some to believe that Cook is the underdog in this encounter, but the competive nature of both men ensures that this is anyone’s victory to pick up.  Any person fortunate enough to witness this match live is certainly in for a treat.

One of the great things about this bout is the respect that already exists between Cook and Hollister.  When asked about the upcoming match, both men expressed a genuine excitement about meeting each other in the ring for the first time. 

“I’ve been looking forward to working with Tyler Cook for a long time.  I feel that it is a great match and we are really going to entertain the fans,” said Hollister.

Cook concurred in a later meeting with MWR staff, saying “I want to face the best and Hollister is definitely among them.”

If you can not make it to 3XW’s “BAM-O-Ween” to see the match live, have no fear.  3XW plans to release the card in its entirety in the future, and MWR will release a Midwest Best Series DVD in 2009. 

Tyler Cook versus Shane Hollister for the 3XW Pure Title as part of Missouri Wrestling Revival’s Midwest Best Series!  Yet another way that MWR is giving back to Midwest pro wrestling!

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“Midwest Best Series” Match 2 Announced

Posted by Admin on October 9, 2008

Midwest Best Series Match 2 Announced
Two top tag teams go one-on-one!

by Josh Ray

Missouri Wrestling Revival (MWR) jump starts the “Midwest Best Series” on October 17, 2008 in Des Moines, IA with 3XW Pure Champ Tyler Cook facing Shane Hollister with the title on the line.  The Midwest Best Series is sure to get off to a good start, but the match following is sure to live up to the hype.

The number one ranked Northstar Express (Darin Corbin & Ryan Cruz) take a trip to Council Bluffs, IA on October 25, 2008 to face the Pro Wrestling Phoenix Tag Team Champions, the LONRs (Darrien Sanders & Mark Sterling)!

More information will be released in the near future at www.missouriwrestlingrevival.com, but until then here is the rundown of the rest of the PWP card that day:

PWP Heavyweight Champ Abu Colossus defends the title against the #1 ranked wrestler in the entire MWR Coverage area, “The Rebel” Jeremy Wyatt!

Tony Cortez and Jaysin Strife square off in a grudge match!

Hype Gotti vs Vic Victory!

Top Midwest star “Anarchist” Arik Cannon vs PWP’s own Zac James!

“#1” Brett Young accepts the challenge of Chris Havius!

All this and more!
National Guard Armory
2415 E. Kanesville Blvd.
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Doors Open at 6:30
Show Starts at 7:00

Front Row: $15
General Admission: $12


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Combat Tested, Mother Approved

Posted by Admin on October 9, 2008

Combat Tested, Mother Approved!
MWR vs WWE vs TNA?

by Josh Ray (MWR Owner/Editor)

A day or two ago I began thinking to myself about the vice grip that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has on professional wrestling here in the United States. Sometimes it gets frustrating for me to see talented, believable wrestlers left out of the mainstream simply because they aren’t the son or daughter of a former pro wrestler or aren’t a clone of Randy Orton. I understand that WWE is doing smart business, but smart business can sometimes be the undoing of the business, too.

In addition to the glass ceiling that keeps many wrestlers from reaching full potential, the exit door can be very unforgiving, too. WWE owns the wrestlers’ names in many cases, or changes the names so that when the wrestler returns to the independent scene his name value and drawing power is greatly diminshed. If a wrestler is an independent contractor, they should be able to retain the name when they no longer compete in WWE. It’s actually really sad that WWE conducts business that way.

Total Nonstop Action (TNA) has started conducting business in this way to a lesser degree. I completely understand not letting the wrestlers compete on the independent scene while they work for the respective company, provided they are being adaquetly paid. However, once they are done they should be allowed to retain the name of the character that they have bled and sweat in order to get over.

I’m off on a tangent, I know, but it all leads (sort of) to the point I wanted to make in this post. MWR. WWE. TNA. A face off.

Now I’m not talking about some fantasy rehash of the Monday Night Wars. I’m merely speculating on some of the great matchups that could be over the years if there was more of a 1990’s way of doing things.

Here are ten that I’ve been thinking of the most:

10. Phoenix Twins vs Motor City Machine Guns vs London & Kendrick.

This match would have all the ingredients of a great, fast-paced tag team bout. Personally, I wouldn’t have a favorite in this. Whoever won would be completely fine with me.

9. Northstar Express vs Ted DiBiase Jr & Cody Rhodes.

What could be better than two guys from the WWE who think they are “Priceless” squaring off against one of the most accomplished tag teams in the Midwest? I’d love to see the mind games being played between both teams as each tried to gain an advantage.

8. “Future” Donovan Ruddick vs John Cena.

John Cena is the symbol of success in professional wrestling in the modern era. Personally, I feel like “The Future” symbol of success, Donovan Ruddick, would be up to the task and would make this a very interesting match.

7. Dingo vs Kurt Angle.

The NWA Missouri Champ has proven time and time again that he can adapt to any style to bring pro wrestling fans the absolute best. If Kurt Angle was healthy, this match would be match of the year candidate.

6. Mark Sterling vs William Regal.

Sterling has mentioned in the past that he’s a student of the Regal school of wrestling thought. Personally, I can see it. Sterling vs Regal would be hard-hitting and vicious, with old school ring psychology that makes me more than happy.

5. Michael Strider vs Fit Finlay.

I’ve seen Strider have some great brawls but with all due respect to each and every opponent he had in all of them, this would be the best. Finlay is nearing 50 years old and can still go like nobody else. There is no doubt in my mind that this one would be a classic.

4. Jeremy Wyatt vs Samoa Joe.

They don’t get any tougher than “The Rebel” Jeremy Wyatt. Samoa Joe could put his toughness to the test, but it would leave a great taste in the mouth of wrestling fans with no prior exposure to one of the MWR coverage area’s greatest talents.

3. CM Punk vs AJ Styles vs Tyler Cook.

Mark my words: Tyler Cook will be in WWE or TNA before all is said and done. My faith in this guy as a wrestler would be rewarded if this match was allowed to take place. AJ Styles and CM Punk are no strangers to the indy scene, and their styles would work well with Cook. In addition, Cook has the fitness level to make this match a 30 minute match… or more. The anticipation would nearly kill the audience, and I wouldn’t be surprised to here Tyler Cook’s name announced as the victor.

2. 3-way Rumble (elimination rules):
Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Lance Cade, Chris Jericho & Edge
“Superstar” Steve, Trevor Murdoch, Wade Chism, Dangerous Derek & Haku
Christian Cage, Sting, Booker T, Christopher Daniels & Eric Young

This match is purely a crazy thought on my part. What if we took 5 of WWE’s top guys and matched them up with a team of Harley’s top guys over the years? What if we then added a team from TNA consisting of three top veterans and two of there most successful originals? There are so many stories that could be told in an elimination styled brawl. This one here is probably the least likely to happen, but also one of the most intriguing.

1. Derek Stone & Mason Hunter vs Cryme Tyme.

Most people do not understand how much of a huge fan I am of the Derek Stone/Mason Hunter tag team. I’ve watched a lot of their work and have always enjoyed the antics in the ring and the continuity they had as a tag team. The dynamic of pitting them against thugs who like money and steal things… awesome!

These are just some of the matches I can think of off the top of my head. Hit me up at inadvertent.nerd@gmail.com and let me know some of the matches you’d like to see. I’ll put your name and the match you chose in my next installment of “Combat Tested, Mother Approved!”

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Stranglehold on Tag Team Wrestling in the Midwest

Posted by Admin on October 8, 2008

Stranglehold on Tag Team Wrestling in the Midwest
My sit down with the Northstar Express

by Josh Ray

Ranked at the top of all tag teams in the MWR coverage area, the team of Darin Corbin and Ryan Cruz, collectively known as The Northstar Express, has dominated nearly all competition that the area has to offer. They are multiple-time tag champions for All American Wrestling where some of the best tag teams in the Midwest make their home, including the Motor City Machine Guns. They also hold the distinction of being the longest reigning 3XWrestling Tag Team Champions at 20 months. Make no mistake about it, The Northstar Express are for real.

There are few tag teams in the world, much less in the Midwest, that operate as a unit the way that Corbin and Cruz do.  Both could be contenders in singles competition for any promotion in the area, but somehow they’ve managed to take their skills individually and multiply them by forming such a successful tag team.  With a match versus the LONRs for Pro Wrestling Phoenix, an immenent showdown with the tag team that Pearl Harbor’d them out of the 3XW tag belts (Gentlemen’s Club) and a highly anticipated match against Johnny Vinyl & Davey Vega for Lethal Wrestling Alliance on the the horizon, not to mention the AAW Tag Team Titles to defendin one of the toughest tag divisions around, The Northstar Express has an unprecedented opportunity to show they are the best of the best.

On October 1, 2008, both members of The Northstar Express made their way down to MWR Headquarters in Lebanon, MO to talk with me about some of the pressing issues facing them for the remainder of the year and beyond.  It was explained to me before the interview that Cruz was preparing for his grudge match against Mark Sterling at 3XW’s “BAM-O-Ween” on October 17, 2008.  He wanted to focus on his mindset leading into the match, so his partner Darin Corbin did all of the talking.

First of all, I want to thank you both for talking with me today. There is a growing buzz surrounding The Northstar Express in the MWR coverage area, but people want to know what brought you two together as a team. What brought Darin Corbin and Ryan Cruz to the tag team party?

Darin Corbin: Well, we’ve actually known each other since we were in 1st grade, so it’s only fitting that we would end up as a team. I mean, we used to wreak havoc from when we were 7-years old all the way up through school, so why not do it in the ring? I guess you could say it was just fate.

I’ve heard you both make a bold claim to a tag team title from some promotion I’ve never heard of. The interplanetary something or other. What’s the name again?

Darin Corbin: We are the Intergalactic, Presidential, Transcontinental, Atlantic to Pacific, Extreme Tag Team Champions of the Universe. And there is a reason you’ve never heard of it, its not a promotion. It was an honor bestowed upon us by the United Galaxy of Wrestling when we became the first team to win tag titles on another planet. Let’s see any other team boast that. Plus, we have the belts to prove it.

Ah, yes. Anyways, how did you come about winning these belts?

Darin Corbin: Simple, we beat the best that the Universe had to offer. How else would you win tag belts? Huh?

What are your thoughts about pro wrestling in the MWR coverage area (Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois), particularly the tag team scene?

Darin Corbin: Well, I must say that having publicity is always a great thing for pro wrestling. It’s good to see that people’s efforts are acknowledged. And I do believe that we are number one tag team in the rankings, so that can’t hurt right? Anything with the Northstar Express on it turns heads. That’s what we do. But in all honesty, the more the merrier. MWR is definitely covering wrestling positively and you recognize talent when you see it. Keep it up.

Thank you.  Recently at a 3XW event in Des Moines, IA, your 3XW Tag Team Title reign was ended by the Gentlemen’s Club (Mark Sterling & Gage Octane) in dastardly fashion after over a year as champs. Care to give your thoughts?

Darin Corbin: A 20 month reign, to be exact.

Well, anybody can come out and win a match when it’s 1-on-2, and they (the opponents) have already had to wrestle another match prior to that and one of them is injured and can’t walk. Pretty stacked deck if you ask me. However, do I just sit here and think about how terrible it was, and say, “that’s not fair guys, give us the belts back”?  No. We win them back. That’s what we do.

Imagine this, Northstar Express versus Gentlemen’s Club: no previous matches; both teams at one hundred percent… Come on!  There is no way that those too buffoons will keep those belts.

At the same show, you were injured with a possible ACL tear. Care to give the fans an update?

Darin Corbin: Well, the good news is that there was no ACL tear. I thought I was going to be out for eight months to a year originally. Since then I’ve been out of action, and I’ve been to five doctor appointments… nobody has told me what EXACTLY happened. So here’s what I’ve been doing: just waiting. Do you know how hard that is when all you want to do is wrestle?

I’ve got goals to accomplish when I come back. So until then, I’m just waiting patiently getting back to 100%.

What does this injury do for the Northstar Express’ future plans?

Darin Corbin: Well, its not like Ryan Cruz can’t handle himself.

(Corbin points at Cruz, who just simply nods his head once.)

Obviously I’m there for moral support, but you haven’t seen the last of me or the last of the NSE… not even close. Just wait, when we get back together it will be like I never left and we never hit this little snag.

You’re slated to make your debut for St. Louis’ Lethal Wrestling Alliance on October 24, 2008 against a tag team that has gained a reputation for being ruthless in their pursuit of victory, Johnny Vinyl & Davey Vega. First, will you be able to compete as a tag team for that show? Secondly, what are your thoughts on Vinyl and Vega?

Darin Corbin: Hmm… good question. Will I be ready? Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll be at one hundred percent, but I want to be there. It wouldn’t be a show without The Northstar Express now, would it?

So you describe Vinyl & Vega as ruthless? You know what…I’m pretty ruthless myself. I injured my knee and took myself out of action! If I would do that to myself, imagine what I’d do to others. 

(Corbin laughs.)

 Now that my friends…is ruthless.

Here’s a question for you. Is this Vega from Street Fighter II? Because that would be sweet.

No, I don’t think he is.

Darin Corbin: Bummer.


Darin Corbin: Seriously.

Now that we have that out of the way, who do each of you feel is the toughest tag team in the Midwest, other than yourselves?

Darin Corbin: I would have to honestly say the Phoenix Twins. You know what the hard part is about identical twins… they look alike. It’s confusing.

Past or present, what tag team do you feel you’d need to beat to be known as the all-time greatest?

Darin Corbin: Well, I think the best thing we could do is establish ourselves by beating an undefeated team that headlined a major PPV during the wrestling boom.. and once we beat DDP & Jay Leno, I don’t think that anybody can argue with us being the top team in the industry. And then we could get our own late night show.

Final question, guys. Ryan Cruz vs Darin Corbin. Who wins?

Darin Corbin: Unfortunately this match would never take place because the universe would collapse in on itself. Actually, talking about it puts us at risk… let’s end this interview.

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