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Posts Tagged ‘CSW’

MWR’S Referee Roundtable with legend Dave Hebner

Posted by flairwhoooooo on August 14, 2010

I have been working on this article for the past couple of months. This feature is designed to know more about the one guy who is often forgotten but vital to a matche’s success. That man is the referee. An often heard cliché is that the best ref is one that is not seen. That statement is true but there is no doubt that you will see the ref at one point during the contest and most definitely during the final seconds of the match.

I personally got to see first hand the importance of a referee during a short “ booking” period last fall for an upstart promotion. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the best talent in the game today so I could have picked names out of a hat and felt good that the card would come off good.

Little did I know how hectic being the booker was (that story is for another day) but two people that many may not notice plays a big part in making the show a success and I am speaking about the ring announcer and the referee. I was lucky to have two men who take great pride in their work on those two shows, Eric Davis and Luke Roberts. Both of these guys could have sit back and let me drowned but they stepped up to the challenge and the show was much better for it. I saw on those occasions as “booker” how important each mans job was and for that I am forever grateful for these two’s talent.

In this roundtable of professional referees around the Midwest I am joined by some of the best today. First we have Martin Thomas, Thomas, I had the pleasure to check out in action many times at CSW in Kansas. Steve Biley from Iowa was one of the founding fathers of 3XW, a company that won the 2008 Promotion of the Year and is always a popular choice from MWR fans to check out. Eric Davis is one of the most recognized referees in St Louis working for just about every promotion in the STL. Brandon Schmitt, Jeromy Robb and Mark Wilson are all students of Harley Race and can be found throughout the Midwest at other promotions as well. Last but not least we have David Switzer who is in his very first year represents my friends from IWA Productions and  David has a desire to become one of the best.

There is no doubt that most referees have a true love for the sport and I always look forward to speaking to each of these fine men who have became good friends of mine to boot about their experience’s inside the squared circle.

Now MWR Fans I hope you enjoy MWR’S Referee Roundtable at the end of this feature we are joined with one of the ALL-TIME GREATS in the sport Dave Hebner. Hebner and his twin brother Earl have been involved in some of the greatest matches and angles in sports history from WWE’S Wrestlemania to today’s TNA. Dave is the only current referee with his own branded T-shirt (White with black stripes with the writing “Yes I did it“)

A true legend in his profession we are honored to have Dave Hebner be a part of this feature.

Brian Kelley
MWR Owner .

1) Lets start out by letting the fans know how long each of you have been a refer and how you got your start in the sport?

Martin Thomas

I’ve been a referee for 10 years now. I hate to admit it but I got started by breaking my ankle and having a midlife crisis. I was recovering from ankle surgery, realized I was out of shape and getting worse, so I started bugging Michael Strider about training for Central States Wrestling. I wanted to be a wrestler, discovered my body thought I was too old for that, so I went into refereeing instead.

Steve Biley

Well, I have been a ref for 4+yrs. I was one of the original owners of 3XWrestling in Des Moines. Just like many pro wrestling fans, I wanted to be part of the action growing up. After starting 3XW with Todd Countryman and Dave Andersen, we all thought that maybe I could ref to help with the budget, since I was free. Brian Ash and others would show me things and give suggestions. The rest is history

Eric Davis

I started in the summer of 2005, and well I went to a show with a friend that had been wrestling for a little while, and they needed a ref so I said that I would do it and I got a crash course in the business and then luckily met up with the right people and got the training and from there to here I’m a zebra through and through

Brandon Schmitt

Refs can find themselves in a bad spot just by trying to do there job as Brandon Schmitt finds out in this three way match between Trent Stone, Trevor Murdoch and the Cancun Kid (Photo Credit Bill Smith

I had my first show on September 21, 2007 in Eldon, mo. I’d been friends with the first graduate of Harley Race’s Wrestling Academy, Matt Murphy for a number of years when i approached him about doing a fundraiser for my old high school in oct.’06. I helped set one up in ’06, and one in March of ’07. I was invited by Harley to a couple of shows that summer to just sit back and observe the refereeing side of the matches. I started training at Harley’s school a few weeks later. A couple of shows ago, in Council Bluffs, IA, I officiated my 500th match.

Mark Wilson

Lets start out with letting the fans know how long each of you have been a referee and how you got your start in the sport? I began attending the Harley Race Wrestling Academy in January 2009. I refereed my first match in Bolivar, MO on March 28, 2009, which was a WLW Ladies Title match between Amy Hennig and Stacey O’Brien. After the match, Mr. Race told me I had done a good job. That meant more to me than I can express. After a show in Slater, MO, both Mr. Race and his wife, BJ, told me that I had done an excellent job. That vote of confidence from them made me extremely happy. As of this writing (June, 2010), I’ve had 28 shows since January 2, 2010, which averages to a little more than one show a week, none of which would have been possible without Harley and BJ Race.

Jeromy Robb

 I completed my ref training in 2007 at the Harley Race Wrestling Academy.

David Switzer

 I’ve been a ref for about a year now. I got started almost as a fluke. A couple friends of mine, Alex Castle and Christian Rose (Project Mayhem) told me one night that the regular ref at IWA-Productions in Olney, IL had advanced far enough in his training that they were going to let him start wrestling. This left them without a regular ref. They asked if I wanted to give it a try. The following Wednesday, I showed up early for a crash course in reffing, they gave me one squash match to work, they liked me, and I’ve been their main ref ever since.

2) What promotions have you worked for?

Martin Thomas

Martin Thomas gives former WLW Women’s Champion Stacey O’Brien the rules prior to her match with Amy Hennig (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

CSW, NWA Dynamo, Metro Pro Sports Wrestling, WLW, PWP, TNA, and probably a few I’ve forgotten, no offense intended.

Steve Biley

3XW, NWA-No Limits, NWA-Central States, PWP. Worked a joint 3XW/IPW show. Worked for a couple others not really worth mentioning.

Eric Davis

The ones that I work regularly are IHW, LWA, PWE, and HVW. I’ve also worked ICAW, RPW, RCW, IWAI, CJTPAAW, HCW, FTW, and a few others I can’t remember.

Brandon Schmitt

Harley Race’s World League Wrestling of course. NWA Brew City Wrestling, AWA in Milwaukee also. Central Empire Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Phoenix, Metro Pro Wrestling. I know I’m probably leaving out some–I apologize. (Going to have to dig out my notebooks!)

Mark Wilson

WLW, of course, Maximum Wrestling Alliance in Spavinaw, OK, Compound Pro Wrestling in Tulsa, OK, Mid South Wrestling Alliance in Midwest City, OK, and Arkansas Pro Wrestling in Siloam Springs, AR.

Jeromy Robb

Ricky Kwong is warned for excessive choking in the ropes on Evan Money at MECW from Jeromy Robb (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

World League Wrestling (Camera Man), 3XWrestling (Ref, Camera Man),Metro East Championship Wrestling (Ref), Metro Pro Wrestling (Ref)

David Switzer

My primary promotion is IWA-Productions in Olney, IL. We do weekly shows on Wednesdays, and a Saturday show about every six weeks. I also have reffed an NWA show in Streator, IL. And I’ve done some shows for ICAW in Anna, IL. I will work at my first New Midwest show in Springfield, IL on July 10. EDITORS NOTE: Switzer has since worked for NMW and PWE since he turned in his answers) I’m still new enough that I am not at all well known, but promoters are starting to find out about me.

3) What is the key for a ref to be successful?

Martin Thomas

Stay out of the way and don’t be seen until you’re needed.

Steve Biley

Steve Biley makes sure that Gage Octane is not choking Zach Thompson

Talking to the wrestlers before hand and knowing what they have planned, and keeping alert during the match. Remembering that most of the times you are the complete wimp, but yet still have to maintain order.

Eric Davis

Personally I think its communication with the workers and making sure you know your role in the match to help the workers get their gimmicks over, the standard Indy ref that just stands there and then slowly gets up after slowly dropping down for the count. And above always do your job if it isn’t the finish and the worker’s not listening to the count or doesn’t kick then damn it.

Brandon Schmitt

First and foremost, when you start your training is to SHUT YOUR MOUTH. Watch and listen, because chances are, the ones training you have years of experience in this business, AND YOU DON’T! I hate to sound mean about it, but there isn’t a text book to teach you how to ref, so a lot of what you learn is going to be by making mistakes and learning from them. So when a veteran of the ring is telling you something—-LISTEN TO HIM! No matter whether he’s pulling you to the side or screaming at you to correct you—LISTEN. A referee can make or break a match, and he’s doing his damndest to make sure you can be trusted in some pretty big situations.
I don’t know if I can put this next part into words or not, but here goes nothing:
I can’t imagine NOT doing this for as long as I can. There truly is no better place than inside the ring–in the zone with the boys– lungs burning, flying around the ring during a 30 min tag match– not hearing a word spoken between anyone– everything clicking– a chaos that can’t be explained. Crowd popping’ the whole damn match. Then, still hearing the crowd after everyone has come back through the curtain—-DAMN! Those moments are what I heard the late, great Dr. Death Steve Williams once describe to me as “Cornbread! Ain’t nothing better than that!” I thank God for this business and those moments!

Mark Wilson

The refs are so close to the action that often even they can’t believe the impact that comes from the moves that they take, just like this one that Santana G will sure to feel the next morning from Amy Hennig at WLW in Park Hills Mo. (Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat )

Actually, I think there are several things that separate the best referees from all the rest. Primarily, keeping oneself in good physical shape is a must. Enduring the warm-up at Mr. Race’s wrestling school is a true test of what kind of physical shape you are in. If you referee every match on a six match show, being in top physical shape will keep you as able to do your job in the main event as much as in the first match. Secondly, study, study, and study. I watch as many WWE, TNA and YouTube videos every week as I have time for to pick up different things from good referees and to ignore from the average or worse refs. Before the matches, listening to the wrestlers and what moves or holds they might try to use during the match will give you an idea of where you need to be in the ring to stay out of the way.

Jeromy Robb

Listen, Position, Training and Heart.

David Switzer

To me, the keys are pretty simple. Pay attention. Use your ears when you have your back turned to the action, so you don’t turn around at the wrong time. Crowd reaction is key to timing when you can’t see what is going on and you don’t have a wrestler in front of you to be your eyes. Know the tendencies of your wrestlers. Anticipate where they will end up after certain moves, so if they go for a cover, you are already in a good place to drop down and count. Always know your finishes before you go out, at least when possible. I usually ref a whole show, often with no intermission, so I have to know everything before I step into the ring for the first match. Remain actively involved in the match, but without trying to draw attention to yourself. Nobody is there to see the ref, unless your mother is in the crowd, but if the ref screws up, the whole match is down the toilet. And stay out of the way. If they start running and flying around the ring, anticipate where they are going, and don’t be there. Also, I was told early on that I have one thing going in my favor, and that is that I have absolutely no ambition to ever wrestle. I guess a lot of refs are wrestling trainees who really don’t have their heart into reffing. They are doing it to pay their dues.

4) On the flip side what is some of the most common mistakes that a ref makes in a match?

Martin Thomas

Thomas went from trying to maintain order between two of the most beautiful women to trying to maintain order with two powerhouses in Dinn T Moore and Michael Strider (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Too many refs want to be involved in the match. Not necessarily doing moves but they are too close to the wrestlers, they take attention from the wrestlers by breaking them apart too early or do something to draw attention to the ref. Either that or the ref looks bored and stiff during the match, that drives me crazy.

Steve Biley
Not maintaining order when you are supposed to and not following “the rules” I have seen guys that where reffing and just stand there with there thumb up there a## and make the match look stupid.

Eric Davis
Most common mistakes are not doing their job, like I said before if they are out of the ring and not listen to the count or aren’t releasing a hold before the five count, do not cover for them repeatedly you have to show authority and if its a reason for dq then do it and always count if both shoulders are down, in submission moves either workers shoulders can be on the mat and that is a pinfall, but most Indy refs don’t remember to look for it

Brandon Schmitt
Not taking charge in there. For example— don’t stop your count if a wrestler isn’t breaking a choke-hold. Get in his face and let him know that there are rules to the contest. And if he abuses it again and doesn’t break the hold before you get to 5– DQ him! Let HIM do the explaining when he gets back to the locker room. Another thing referees need to do is– be loud on every count, whether it’s a 1,2,3– a 5 count, or a 10 count. On my very first day of training, Harley told me that no matter if it was a show with 50 fans or 50,000—he wanted the person in the last row of the upper deck to hear the referee slap the mat, and KNOW if it was a 1 or a 2 or a 3 count. Those things there are my little pet peeves when watching other referees through the curtain. In general though, be the ref that the boys can depend on.

Mark Wilson
Staying out of the way, paying attention to everything going on in the ring, moving around constantly to be in the best possible position. If you want, you can be just a fat, dumpy ref with his shirt untucked and who stands in the corner and waits until it’s time to make a count, or you can get yourself into shape, study good referees, be aggressive and let the crowd know that you are the official in the match and that you are going to do your best to make certain you call it as fairly as possible.

Jeromy Robb
Not Listening to the Veterans

David Switzer
Being out of position when a wrestler covers his opponent. It shouldn’t take more than a second or so for the ref to be down and counting. And again, listen for crowd reaction, or for the sound of a wrestler dropping to the mat before you turn around if there is cheating behind your back. Otherwise, you turn around too soon; you see the foreign object in use, and blow the whole match for everyone. I know because I’ve made that mistake. Nothing makes you look bad like seeing something you shouldn’t have and pretending that you didn’t. The fans are smart enough, they don’t buy that.

5) Who in your mind is some of the top refs in the sport today?

Martin Thomas

I have to apologize again, I’ve been retired for 2 years, so I haven’t focused much on wrestling and I don’t watch it on tv.

Steve Biley
Me….absolutely a joke!!! Ya know, I am not always up on names, but I have seen a few of the east coast guys and they are great,

Eric Davis
Bryce Remsburg of Chikara,Shimmer and CZW among others, I think he is a great ref he can fit any match style and help you get your gimmick over, Rudy Charles is a pretty good one, and I like Slick Johnson to he sets himself apart in which ever way he can.

Brandon Schmitt
Mike Chioda and John Cone. Those two are at the top of their game each and every night. And that’s why they are where they are–WWE. I’ve been fortunate to have worked a few shows that John has attended, and each time he’s been more than willing to critique my matches and answer any questions that I’ve had. For that I am forever grateful!

Mark Wilson
I learn constantly by watching John Cone, Charles Robinson, Mike Chioda in WWE and Slick Johnson and Brian Hebner in TNA. Mr. Cone has given me feedback at the WLW shows he’s attended, and that has helped me out tremendously. I’d say the best referee in the business at this time is Mike Chioda, but my favorite of the current crop of referees is Slick Johnson. He obviously keeps himself in shape, looks like he can take care of himself in the ring if a wrestler tries to intimidate him and makes is calls clear and loudly for the wrestlers and the audience to understand. The greatest referee of all time was probably Tommy Young. I’ve watched as many of his matches from the NWA that I could get a hold of. Carl Fergie was another referee in Mid-South/UWF from that era who was a good referee.

Jeromy Robb
John Cone, Charles Robinson

David Switzer

Switzer keeps an eye out for the action as Zebra Cakes uses legal double teams (Photo Credit

I really enjoy watching John Cone in the WWE. Todd Sinclair in ROH is another favorite. Locally, Robbie McCann is outstanding.

6) What has been your favorite match that have been the official for and why?

Martin Thomas

I’ve got a couple of favorites, (Matt) Sydal/Delirious/Payday Patterson from a few years ago in CSW. Three of my favorite guys to watch and work with. Another match is my favorite just because it’s funny, in a tiny little town, my pants ripped from the crotch to the knee. Embarrassing but funny at the same time. Everyone in the ring had a hard time finishing the match because we were laughing so hard and I had to borrow someone’s sweatpants to finish the show.

Steve Biley

I am not sure I can give a favorite. I have reffed a lot of REALLY fun matches that when I was done, I was like wow!!!! Brian Ash, Gage Octane, NSE, Mark Sterling, Jimmy Rockwell are just some of the guys that I have worked matches with and said WOW when I was done. Sterling vs. Octane was INCREDIBLE to work.
One that I distinctly remember is working with Keith Walker when he held the NWA World Tag title. That big SOB was one guy that legitimately scared the SH#T out of me in the ring.

Eric Davis
Wow that’s a pretty hard one a lot of them have been a lot of fun but I would say Dash Rando vs. Billy McNeil, it was at the first LWA pro wrestling heroes family show in house springs mo and in the match both Dash and Billy went under the ring and I followed and I came back out with bee outfit on over my ref shirt and did the rest of the match like that, the crowd wanted more of the bee costume lol.

Brandon Schmitt
Tough question! There have been some real fun ones, but so far, nothing compares to Go Shiozaki vs. Darin Waid at the Night of Legends II in Waterloo, IA back in the summer of ’08. In front of legends like Harley Race, Bret Hart, Roddy Piper, Baron Von Raschke, among many, many other greats, those two beat the hell out of each other, at 200mph for the entire time limit draw. A beautiful, yet exhausting match that had had the crowd showing their appreciation with a standing ovation after the final bell. That’s when Waid begged myself and the crowd for “5 more minutes.” Once the crowd started chanting, and Shiozaki agreed to the o.t. period, we started an extra 5 min. A couple of minutes into the o.t., Shiozaki caught Waid off the top rope and hit the GO FLASH for the win. And once again, the 2 of them were given a standing-o from the crowd and the legends attending. We had high-flying, brawling (in and out of the ring), and scientific wrestling that told a story, all in one match. Darin and Go had the crowd in the palm of their hands that night, and I’ll always be honored to be a part of that match.

Mark Wilson
I would say that my favorite match to referee so far was the main event of the WLW 10th Anniversary Show in which Brian Breaker defeated Superstar Steve for the WLW title. It was such an honor to be involved in a match of that caliber and to have been in front of some of the greatest legends in the business that night: Harley Race, Bret Hart, Terry Funk, Bob Geigel, Bill Kersten, and the numerous other luminaries present. Members of my family were in the audience, too, and my oldest sister snapped a picture of me handing the belt to the new champion.

Jeromy Robb
Jeremy Wyatt vs. Tyler Black: The Passion these two Wrestlers have is just Amazing.

David Switzer

Dave Switzer counts the pin for a huge match this year as Brandon Aarons went for the win against Ring of Honor World Champion Tyler Black at Pro Wrestling Epic. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

With only about 200 matches’ reffed, I don’t have a large list to pick from. But I really enjoyed a match I did in Vandalia, IL between Matt Cage and Eugene. Cage is a friend of mine and always a pleasure to work with. Eugene was a real pro and great to work with. I had a lot of fun in the match. Eugene involved me in a lot of his comedy routine, which drew from my acting experience. I also took the hardest bump I have ever taken in that match.

7) Now for the fun what was your least favorite match?

Martin Thomas

A hardcore match for a small promotion, it was horrible. I actually asked the manager of one of the wrestlers to hit me so I could get out of the ring for a bit…which he did, thankfully

Steve Biley
Remember the comment about places not worth mentioning….

Eric Davis
honestly almost every match I worked in FTW a lot of bad memories from when I worked there, but I did make some good friends that and wish I could see again.

Brandon Schmitt
That one night when I attended a show where I wasn’t working. If I’d have known ahead of time that it would be SO hard to just sit in the crowd and watch and NOT be in the ring, I wouldn’t have gone. Pure hell, period.

Mark Wilson?
I recently had a match that was presented to all of us as a traditional 3 way match, but it was announced as elimination 3 way match. I asked the wrestlers which it was, and they seemed as confused as I was. Nonetheless, we ended up with one wrestler being “counted out” by me and he was eliminated, leaving the final two wrestlers in the ring to wrestle to a pinfall finish. I guess we made chicken salad out of chicken manure in that one.

Jeromy Robb
Hahahahaha. I’m good :)

David Switzer
A four match gauntlet where DA Morrison had to do 3 singles matches, then a 1-on-2 handicap match, defending his IWAP Club Championship. It was a weird night where we only had about 4 wrestlers at the show. DA did all he could, given the circumstances, but there was no break for him or me between matches and the whole thing was just unnecessary and a bad experience.

8) What Superstars have you been in the ring with?

Martin Thomas

I’ve been very lucky and worked with some of the best indy talent around, bigger name talent working with Harley, and been the sole referee for a TNA house show.

Steve Biley
Jerry Lynn, Tracy Brooks, Malia Hosaka, Keith Walker, Tyler Black, Zac Gowen, Awesome Kong. I know I am missing some

Eric Davis

Eric Davis has refed some of the biggest matches in St Louis over the past few years, here he is the man in order between WWE Hall of Famer Bob Orton and “Bloody” Harker” Dirge at Independent Hardcore Wrestling in Dupo Illinois)

Supersters? Well bigger name Indy people would be Mike Quakenbush, Davey Richards, Claudio Castagnoli, Arik Cannon, Tyler Black, Ian Rotten, Mickie Knuckles, MsChif, Dazie Haze, Delirious, Alex Shelley, and a couple more.

Brandon Schmitt

Brandon Schmitt clowns around with former WWE Star Eugene after a battle royal in Eldon Missouri (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

These men and women are all superstars in my book, but some more well-known names are—- 3 time World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, Roddy Piper, Chris Masters, Rosie, Eugene, NWA World Champion Adam Pearce, Tony Atlas, Joe (Mike McGillicuty) Hennig, Marty Jannetty. That’s just a few off the top of my head.

Mark Wilson
Ritchie Steamboat
was in a three way match for the WLW in Waterloo, IA at the Dan Gable Hall of Fame show in July, 2009 in which I was the official. I reffed two matches in Oklahoma that included Jesse White, son of Big Van Vader. Former ECW star Angel Medina was in a tag team match I reffed in Arkansas. Trevor Murdoch has been probably the biggest star I’ve officiated for.

Jeromy Robb
Several

David Switzer
If, by Superstars, you mean nationally known guys who have been on TV, there aren’t many. Honky Tonk Man, Eugene, Jay Bradley (Ryan Braddock in WWE). The Sheik is well traveled, as is Mike Sydal. That’s about it.

9) Lets us know what is your biggest pet peeve that a wrestler will do during match and what can a wrestler do to make your job easier?

Martin Thomas

Two pet peeves: Wrestlers that don’t want to listen to me in the ring and wrestlers that are only concerned with themselves.

Steve Biley

Honestly, communicate before hand what you want and how you want it. There are so many styles out there that not calling something because most don’t want it, but you do, let us know.

Eric Davis
Biggest pet peeve? hmm thinking that they are a superstar and can get to the venue last minute before the match and expect a 5 star match, promotions have call times for a reason get there when your supposed too, and communication is key and the workers that communicate with refs before and during the matches it helps out tremendously and just listen and respect the ref he is the authority figure in the match make him a joke and no one will think he’s credible when needed to be authoritive.

Brandon Schmitt
I can’t really think off anything right off the bat. I used to hate it when a wrestler would be a dick in the locker room to the referees, but now, I’ve learned that if you want respect, you got to earn it. Have me work one of your matches and you’ll respect me afterwards. I work hard and take the shows seriously. If you’re still wanting to be an asshole to me afterwards—-you’re probably an asshole whether you’re in the locker room or at the store buying groceries.

Mark Wilson
It is more prevalent in Oklahoma and Arkansas for a wrestler or tag team to come to the ring with a “posse.” Excellence Personified, a faction that includes some of the best wrestlers in those two states, constantly are distracting me during their matches. Dustin Heritage, Jack Legacy and Michael Barry are probably the best wrestlers in that part of the country, but they, along with their manager Mike Iles, are invariable grabbing the bottom ring rope, jumping up on the apron or they are pulling some other general chicanery. Though I didn’t catch anything illegal in the match, I’m almost certain that their antics cost Brian Breaker the MWA Heavyweight title against champion, Jack Legacy.

Jeromy Robb
Listen, and Listen (not to just me)

David Switzer
My biggest pet peeve is easy. Chewing gum and spitting it out on the mat during the match. Happens at least once almost every show. I get tired of picking it up. Drives me nuts. Another one is when they take too long to cheat while my back is turned. I hate when I have to turn my back, and they take forever to cheat. Especially when they use the old “remove the turnbuckle pad and cheat while the ref is putting it back on” routine. I once had to turn my back and pretend to tie the turnbuckle pad on for almost a full minute because the guys were too slow behind me. Makes me look incompetent, because in the fans’ eyes, I should be watching the action. That’s what they can do to make my job easier. Cheat fast. And if you use a foreign object, hide it before I turn around. Many times, I miss the cheap shot, but when I turn around. They still have the chain wrapped around their fist and make no attempt to hide it. I just have to play dumb, and that also makes me look bad to the fans.

10) Who is your favorite wrestler to officiate for and if there was any Superstar that you have not been a referee for who would you want that to be?

Martin Thomas

I can’t say that I have a favorite wrestler to officiate for, I’ve enjoyed working with 90% of the wrestlers I’ve been in the ring with and I’d consider that to be a good record. If there was any way I could pull it off, I would love to work with Vader. He’s one of my all time favorite wrestlers.

Steve Biley
Hard question! All the guys I have worked with, Mark Sterling. He has stomped mudholes in me, but the guy is INTENSE!
Ya know, Superstars are fun, but really not a lot different than the great guys I already work with.

Eric Davis

The referes job does not end after the match at times. Here ref Eric Davis (Far left) is joined with Kiwi to assist the destruction caused by the Dixieland Destroyer at High Voltage Wrestling.(Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat )

I have a couple actually that I really like working with Dingo was one, Brandon Arrons, Mike Sydal, Sean Vincent, any incarnation of Billy McNeal is good. I would like to work more of the top Indy guys the ones you can learn a lot from like Mike Quakenbush he’s a great guy to have in the locker room I always enjoy when he’s around.

Brandon Schmitt
My favorite so far would have to be Trevor Murdoch. He can be a handful once he steps through those ropes, but he’s so damn old school that you can’t help but like the guy. A true brawler, yet not afraid to take it to the top rope if it means the difference between a win and a loss. When Murdoch speaks, you better listen up, because that guy loves this business and if you aren’t giving 110%, he’s going to let you know how he feels about it. Still a damn handful though!

Mark Wilson

Brian Breaker. I’ve officiated most of Breaker’s WLW matches in the last year and a half, and, though he constantly pushes the limits of the rules, he almost always finds a way to win. If he isn’t a two time WLW champion soon, I will be very surprised.

Jeromy Robb

Tyler Cook gets the bad news from Jeromy Robb that he was unable to pin Jeremy Wyatt in a very close call at 3XW in their rematch this year. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Mark McDowell. I would like to Ref a match with Mr. Anderson …. Anderson

David Switzer

I have a lot of personal friends who I also ref, guys I knew before I was a ref, and I would like to list them here. But my honest answer would have to be Brandon Walker. I haven’t reffed him for a while, but have done several of his matches in the past. Just a real pro in the ring. A veteran who has the respect of every guy in the locker room. He just makes the sport look good, and would be my favorite guy to ref. As far as a current Superstar I have never reffed, again assuming Superstar means a big name TV wrestler, I would go with Velvet Sky from TNA. More seriously, I would probably say Chris Jericho. I don’t think he is capable of putting on a bad match, and I would love the opportunity to ref him once. More realistically, on a Midwest Indy level, I would like to ref Jimmy Jacobs.

11) What advice would you give someone if they would like to become a ref?

Martin Thomas

There’s too many people who think reffing is just a shirt and count to 3, there’s a whole lot more to it and it shows when you’re the idiot that just puts the shirt on and gets in the ring. A bad ref can ruin a 5 star match.

Steve Biley

A refs job is never easy with a mastermind like Todd Countryman at ringside.

Get trained, don’t think you are EVER smarter than the wrestler who paid a lot of money to learn to do what they do, and just do it.

Eric Davis
Listen to what the vets tell you get to shows early and try to learn everything you can watch people work in the ring work with them, after matches talk to the workers ask if their was anything you could have done or if you where in the way, and always be respectful and be ready for plenty of practical jokes when you are first starting out.

Brandon Schmitt

CARDIO! Better get your lungs ready and your legs ready for some abuse. Let’s just start there.

Mark Wilson

Take control of the match is the definition of a good ref, even the 2009 mwr Wrestler of the YeaR Mark Sterling needs to obey the rules of the countout. Mark Wilson is not passive in his warning of the ten count. (Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat )

Study any of the referees on the current WWE and TNA rosters, and look for older matches with Tommy Young, Earl Hebner, Joey Marella, Pee Wee Anderson, Nick Patrick and Gary DeRusha. Attend the best school in the country, the Harley Race Wrestling Academy. It’s worth the investment. Mr. Race’s name will open all kinds of doors for you. Keep your cardio work up and take as many bookings as you can get. Working with a vast array of wrestlers and many different crowds will prepare you for almost anything that could happen in the ring. And, perhaps the biggest thing, realize that you are there to help the wrestlers shine, not vice versa. If you do your job, you won’t get very much credit, but you will have accomplished that goal. People in the business recognize a good referee, and certainly know the bad ones.

Jeromy Robb
Make sure you want this lifestyle and get Great Training I’m Trained at one of the premier training academies in all of North America Harley Race Wrestling Academy and LISTEN

David Switzer

Watch wrestling. Watch a lot of wrestling. Study the refs on TV. Just like the wrestlers on TV, the refs on TV are also the best at what we do. See how they react in certain situations. See how they position themselves. Even though I’m new to the business, as far as in-ring goes, I’ve been watching wrestling religiously since 1981. Most of the guys I ref weren’t even born then. But I understand what is going on in the ring. Work as hard at your part of the match as the wrestlers do at theirs. Get in shape so you have the cardio to get through a whole show. It’s pretty common for an Indy show to only have one ref, and they aren’t going to stop the show because you are tired. And little things like knowing the rules of various matches. I worked a show a while back that had a last man standing match. I didn’t ref it, but the guy who did have no idea what the rules of the match were. As a result, the match went way longer than it should have. He didn’t know when to count and when to stop counting. Really looked bad.

12) Last but not least how can a promoter contact you to be a referee for them?

Martin Thomas

At the age of 43, I’m finally on facebook…and a lot of people are laughing at me right now.

Steve Biley

Well, if they need an old fat guy that does a pretty good job they can just email me @ stevebiley@gmail.com

Eric Davis
Preferably n facebook http://www.facebook.com/Eicdavisref or email at Trow86@hotmail.com after we talk then I give out my number.

Brandon Schmitt
My email is brndnschmitt@yahoo.com. I surprisingly have been found by promoters on facebook, so I do check it a little more frequently now. I love getting as much time in the ring as possible–so get in contact with me—I’M YOUR MAN.

Mark Wilson
My cell number is 417-389-2090. I have a Facebook page under my name, Mark Wilson. I always look forward to every show, whether in a familiar territory or a new one.

Jeromy Robb
I can be reached several ways Facebook (Jeromy Robb), EMail(jeromy2002@yahoo.com), Phone 515-208-3659

David Switzer

My name is David Switzer. I can be found on facebook under my name, or emailed directly at switzr1@gmail.com

http://www.myspace.com/twinrefs

1) Lets start out with letting the fans know how long each of you have been a refer and how you got your start in the sport? I started out in the Richmond Virginia area I have been in the sport for 27 years now. My twin brother Earl and I watched a lot of tapes and matches to try to improve what we could do.

Dave and Earl Hebner . Can you tell who is who ?

2) Who in your mind is some of the top refs in the sport of all time? I would say Tommy Young. I think that Tommy was one of the top men to ever ref. I will always say that the Hebner’s was the best of all time but you can not take anything away from Tommy. Tommy was real good ref.

3) What has been your favorite match that has been the official for and why? I referred Steamboat vs Savage at WrestleMania III and I always thought that was one of the biggest matches in the world and several Hulk Hogan match’s, Harley Race and Ric Flair, we always were the ref for all the big stars.

4) What is something that a ref does that would surprise the common fan? If a guy gets hurt the ref will be important to lead the match where it needs to go.

Dave Hebner (Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat)

5) On the flip side what is some of the most common mistakes that a ref makes in a match? Sometimes they are in the wrong place and at times they are so excited that they will go down and miss the count or be ten miles from the guys shoulder and not even be close and start counting 1-2 . Instead of being hand to hand they will be feet to feet and there feet would be in the way.

6) Lets us know what is your biggest pet peeve that a wrestler will do during match 6d what can a wrestler do to make your job easier?

7) What advice would you give someone if they would like to become a ref? You can do it, though it is very HARD, you have to be in the right place at the right time. When you go over the finish make sure you get it down and get it down right make it look good. I have seen wrestlers go to “hit” a ref and he miss him by ten feet and the ref still takes the bump down, that’s not good, the fans are not dumb.

8) What match recently stands out to you as one that is for the memories and is it still fun for you? It’s still fun to get up there every now and then, right now my legs are all broken up and I can not do what I use to. I still can do a match here or there and do it well. The people enjoy it and love it. You have to be into it, sure and its glory but you still have to keep your mind into the match.

9) Any other thoughts of your time as a ref.?Feuding with my brother was always special, the fans enjoyed it. It was interesting, I remember one night in Richmond with Hermie Sadler’s promotion where Earl took on his son Brian in a loser loses their hair. Brian won and Earl lost his hair and the fans ate it up.

Harley Race, Nick Ridenour, Dave Hebner and Ted Dibiase

10) Any last thoughts for the fans at MWR? I would like to the fans to know that Midwest’s own Nick Ridenour is the greatest referee of all time. He has been trained by the Hebner’s and for that he can be nothing but the best.

Thank you Dave for taking the time to be there with us.Thank you and have a good day

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Pete Sakaris and Brandon Brown win the “Who’s the Superstar in the picture contest”

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 7, 2010

We would like to congratulate MWR readers Pete Sakaris from Nebraska and Brandon Brown from Missouri for answering the “Who’s the Superstar in the picture contest”.

The First question was who in the picture is the son of a former WWE Hall of Famer?

That none other was the son of WWE Hall of Famer Ted Dibiase, Mike Dibiase. Mike’s Brother Ted  is currently a WWE Superstar.

Brandon will receive an autograph 8×10 of Mike’s dad Ted Dibiase.

Ted Dibiase

Before Ted became a household name he put himself up against some of the best in the world right here in the Midwest. Dibiase would capture the NWA Missouri Championship twice in ST Louis, Mo.

Dibiase defeated Dick Slater on August 12, 1977 and would earn his second reign on November 21, 1981 against Ken Patera.

Dibiase would go onto to be one of the most hated/loved wrestlers in this generation as the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase. Pro Wrestling Illustrated would name Ted Dibiase #32 in 2003 in the PWI Years.

The current NWA Missouri Champion is Davey Vega who defeated Dingo in Glen Carbon Illinois last year on October 16th.

The second question was who was the former NWA Central States Champion in this photo?

Pete answered correctly when he named Derek Stone who was on the top nailing Mike Dibiase with the ten punch. Derek Stone became the NWA Central States Champion by defeating Michael Barry, Griz and Gary Jackson in Coffeyville, KS on November 16. 2002

Fun fact: both Mike Dibiase SR and his son Ted would also rein as two time NWA Central States Champion. Mike Sr defeated the Spoiler and The Viking while the future Million Dollar Man pinned Bob Slaughter and “Bulldog “Bob Brown.

The current NWA Central States Champion is the 2009 Missouri Wrestling Revival Wrestler of the Year Mark Sterling. Sterling defeated Michael Strider to become the NWA Central States Champion in 2009.

Pete will be receiving the must have collectable the Mark Sterling MWR Trading Card , which is number two in the set that celebrates the hard working men and women in the Midwest wrestling today.

This picture was taken at CSW in Lawrence Kansas in a three way match between Derek Stone, Mike Dibiase and Mason Hunter. Special thanks goes out to my friend Retro Rick for having information up about this show so I could find some information about it.

I would like to thank everyone for partaking in this contest. Look for exciting information coming from Missouri Wrestling Revival. In the future we have several superstars that will be announced into the MWR Trading Card set, we have some exciting fun promotions in works with our friends at High Voltage Wrestling, Independent Hardcore Wrestling and one with MECW in December that I am thrilled about. Keep checking MWR for all these great announcements

We will also be having more contest, plus we hope to be at these shows to allow you to catch a shirt from a Midwest Superstar at these showsNew Midwest Wrestling on July 9th in Springfield Illinois, World League Wrestling on the17th in Park Hills Missouri, NWA Dynamo on July 24th in Glen Carbon Illinois, MECW in Woodriver Illinois on July 31st and High Voltage Wrestling on August 7TH IN Granite City Illinois.

If you are a promotion or wrestler that would like to include yourself in one of our contest by donating DVD’S, T-shirts, Autographs and other fan collectables please contact me at flairwhoooooo@yahoo.com to discuss how we can work together to give back to the fans while having a little fun.

Coming up in the next couple of days join us for a MWR Awards presentation from 3xwrestling with info for their exciting show coming up this Friday in Des Moines Iowa with the return of the Northstar Express and Arik Cannon  and a main event rematch between 3XW Champion Jeremy Wyatt and Rory Fox in a ladder match, a Dubi meets the fans from Pro Wrestling Epic and the announcement of the MWR Trading card #12.

Last but not least do not forget to join us in Springfield Illinois to catch a shirt from a NMW Superstar and join Dubray in the first ever Dubi meets the NMW Fans. Last night MWR received information on some new exciting matches added to this Saturdays show.

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MWR exclusive interview with Metro Pro Wrestling’s Joe McDonald and Chris Gough

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 12, 2010

 

I am joined today with the men behind Metro Pro Wrestling, former Central States Wrestling promoter Joe McDonald and Chris Gough Last year Chris  produced the wrestling documentary KC on the Mat. Chris is a Mizzou grad with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After college, he went to work as a television writer for World Wrestling Entertainment in Stamford, Connecticut. In 2004, Chris returned to his hometown to begin work as an anchor and reporter for Metro Sports in Kansas City.

Brian -Gentleman good to speak to the both on you today on the exciting news that Wrestling is about to come back to Kansas City. How did this adventure come to be?

Chris– I actually did a documentary last year called KC On the Mat, which looked at the historical look at Central States Wrestling. It aired here in the city and shortly after that I spoke with Joe about running shows here in Kansas City. I produce several shows on Metro Sports, an all sports channel in Kansas City, and eventually Joe and I spoke to the general manager of the station who gave us the green light to put together a wrestling show that will debut at Memorial Hall on June 5th. Two or three weeks after that we will air the Metro Pro Wrestling show on Metro Sports.

Joe –Chris had actually myspaced me prior to me leaving for California for my new job when I left CSW. I kinda blew him off because as a promoter you always get these guys who say “I am a former this or that” and you tend to go whatever. Thankfully in time we did get together.

Brian – Chris, please tell our readers your background in Pro Wrestling.

Chris – I was a lifelong wrestling fan who went to University of Missouri. In 1997 I got an internship with WWE, went back in 1998. After graduation I got full time job with WWE in 1999 where I started with WWE.com as a producer and did a show called Byte This and some other shows on the site. I then went on as a creative writer for WWE’S Monday Night RAW thorough 2003. After leaving the WWE I came home and took a job with Metro Sports as an Anchor/Producer.

Brian – Joe, At one time you were a wrestler tell us about that and how long did you run Central States Wrestling?

Joe – We ran for five years, prior to that I joined a school called the Monster factory based out of New Jersey. I begged my parents’ and they said “as long as your grades stay up”. I trained in 95, my junior year in high school and I didn’t really get a very good training, but I hit the road and did shows in ST Louis for next to no pay. There was also a promotion based out of Wichita Kansas that had weekly TV. That was a lot of fun as Derek Stone and Ace Steel where also there. That tells you how long I have known Stone (LAUGHS).

 I was too young to wrestle in Missouri until July of 1996 because I wasn’t 18.  To be honest I was not a very good wrestler. When I began promoting, I wrestled at times but I didn’t want to put myself over at the expense of the guys. It got to the point where I had to come to terms that I was not nearly as good as the guys I was booking so I stopped wrestling and focused on being a promoter.

Brian – Joe, What have you been up to since you parted ways with Central States Wrestling?

Joe– I went to California working with TV shows and films, like Last Comic Standing and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. At the time I left there were a lot of things going on in my life, including the mentioned once in a lifetime opportunities. Once I got back home, I tried to jump start CSW but I didn’t have it left in me to do so. After the last CSW show I decided it would be best to take some time off and refresh my batteries. I don’t like to say I quit the wrestling business as I have kept up with what has been going on in the wrestling world, I just took a breather. And over the 12 months, Chris and I have been planning on making Metro Sports a successful wrestling promotion.

Brian – Joe, what do you take from your days at CSW?

Joe – There are no instructions on how to run a pro wrestling show. You learn by being on the road, what to do and not to do with the boys, How to treat the boys, the wrestlers always got paid by me. I never canceled shows, I made mistakes all of the time because I just did not know what to do.  I will say that I have learned from all of those mistakes and hopefully I do not make them again.

I take some of the credit of CSW but I cannot take it all. It was a collaborate effort by several hard working people. What I did was give them a place to work and we all relied on each other to get the job done.

Brian – What is the goals of Metro Pro Wrestling?

Chris – The goal for 2010 is to have a TV taping once a month. If it increases then that is great, but first things first get that first show done so that we get enough footage to provide an exciting program. We are hoping to have a 1 hour show each week on Metro Sports, weather or not its four or six weeks of tapings for our show.

Joe– We really don’t want to put the cart before the horse, we know that it will take 3 months before the TV really will provide the full benefit of advertisement. We are currently advertising Metro Pro Wrestling via print, Television, Radio ect , when the second TV taping airs we will have had two weeks of  shows on Metro Sports that will create a buzz and then by the third we will have ran 6 or so weeks of TV. By the fourth week we will hope to see a return on the exposure from TV.

Brian – Will all shows be at the Memorial Hall?

Chris – For the time being that will be where the shows will be ran. Memorial Hall provides us with a great venue with a historic feel for our debut. Excellent lighting and a superb sound system will give the fans at the show that special feel and those watching at home that professional look.  But Brian it’s like all business it comes down to money. If the fans show that there is interest by coming, we would love our shows to be there all of the time but if financially it doesn’t make sense to run shows there we will pull back and find other venues that we have scoped out.

Joe – If we didn’t have TV we would be running an armory or high school gym, to be honest without TV I don’t know if I would have given this another try….well I can’t say that, but it surely wouldn’t be on such a grand scale. Without TV there is only so far that you can go in Indy wrestling.

When I started CSW I borrowed ten thousand dollars. Out of that, six of it went into buying a ring while the other four went towards running shows. I ran for several years on that and then took on a partner. We tapped out at CSW, we got to the point where we had a show with AJ Styles we had four hundred people and that was as big as it got in Lawrence Kansas. Now we are in Kansas City, it’s a lot bigger than Lawrence. We now have a bigger fan base to draw from, TV and two guys that have industry specific background to both wrestling and TV. We most defiantly are not doing this to fail, we feel as if we have all the tools in place to succeed.

Brian – Who should the fans expect to see at Metro Pro Wrestling local and nationally?

Chris – The first show fans will get to see ECW Original’s Tommy Dreamer and “the King of the Streets” Angel,

along with 3 time WWE Tag team Champion Trevor Murdoch. We want to bring in the establish star to bring in the casual fans that don’t follow the Indy’s. It’s always good to bring them in but we also will be showcasing some of the top talent in the Midwest. Joe knows the local talent as well as anyone.

Joe – Yes, I hate to go back to the past but what I set up to do with CSW was to bring up all the local talent from Kansas City, St Louis, Missouri, Iowa, or just so simply the best in Midwest under one roof, just as Ring Of Honor had done. We had a great run with Michael Strider and Mark Sterling.

2009 MWR Wrestler of the Year Mark Sterling (Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat)

This isn’t going to be a CSW retread, certainly we will use some of the guys that I am comfortable with. Mark Sterling for instance is in my opinion one of the best wrestlers in country right now. The man lives and breathes pro Wrestling. Jeremy Wyatt I put him in that category as well.

 I have known Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) since day one and when his brother Mike Sydal told him he wanted to learn how to wrestle Matt told him to go see the guys (Strider and Sterling) in Kansas to learn.

The 2009 MWR Tag team of the Year the Hooligans will make their debut in Kansas City . ((Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat)

The Hooligans, who I have only seen on tape. Chris actually found them on your site and called me and said you need to check these guys out. I looked at a couple of matches of theirs on YouTube. They were awesome, they have that “it” factor. You can attest to that Brian, you have been around them a lot; I have only dealt with them via phone and e-mail. I called Sterling and Wyatt who I trust to get their thoughts on their work. They vouched that they were for real and that was good enough for me.

Angel and Domino Rivera were two guys I had teamed up at last few CSW shows I ran and had big plans for. Chris and I feel like they can make an impact.

The Mississippi Madman (Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat)

The Mississippi Madman is someone that has a ton of charisma we believe that the fans will get behind.

The Ultra talented Jaysin Strife (Photo Credit Gary Giaffoglione)

Jaysin Strife, I have always been a big fan of as well. We are not a closed door company. If we see someone that we feel that the fans will enjoy and can help Metro Sports we will take a good look at them.

Nate Bash and Benjamin Sailer are a tag team that I am excited about being a part of the company. I feel as if we are really stacked in the tag division and have a heavy emphasize in tag teams.

Brian – Let me ask you Chris you have been with WWE who many feel have diminished tag teams in the past few years. Are you excited about tag teams as much as Joe?

Chris – Before we go any further let’s not forget we dragged Michael Strider out of retirement so fans will most defiantly have that to look forward to. That guy is willing to do anything. But he was done. When Joe first approached him about Metro Pro, Strider wasn’t going to do it. He was enjoying his life off the road. But we told him the game plan and it stoked that flame. As far as tag teams go your right it was a pretty dead deal down there. Granted there were some great teams during the Invasion with the Dudley’s, The Hardy’s Edge and Christina with some exciting matches with ladders.  That seemed to be the last real run with teams other than just throwing two guys together.  Anyone growing up in the 80’s remembers how big the tag teams were in the WWE and NWA. Myself I am a big fan of a team when they get together and hit their moves and work as a team, you just done see that in the Big two err one.  

We didn’t set out to focus so strongly on tag teams but it just so happens that we are fortunate that we have talented guys who happen to team up. I believe that many fans on the Indy scene love tag team wrestling so I hope that it will be a big draw for us.

Brian – Chris, what kinda style should fans see at Metro Pro Wrestling? With the debut of Tommy Dreamer will be see old style ECW Wrestling or WWE/ECW? What style do you prefer?

Chris– My background is WWE and that’s the style I worked with, did I agree with everything no but no company is perfect. I know that WWE takes a lot of slack for what they do but a lot of that has to do with over saturation. With WWE TV storylines need to go so fast because of the amount of shows that need to be done. Sometimes it can take away from what you are doing.

Here at Metro will “Extreme” be the norm? No. Will there be guys that have that in their background and at times will that be sprinkled in sporadically. Yes. As a fan I was a big fan of ECW and still have fond memories of them. The problem is that the style trickled up towards the WWE and every match feature blood in the first match, people jumping off 40 foot ladders. Nothing could top it so it meant less.

What we hope to do with Metro Pro Wrestling on TV is character development. I am all for pure pro wrestling in the ring and we will have that but it’s not so much the storyline that matters as much as is it is for the fans to care for the wrestlers to make the storylines mean anything. I feel as if that is what is lacking in wrestling on TV. I am not going to say I know how to do it better than the next guy but I do know going into this that the wrestlers will have an opportunity to shine on TV. From the top to bottom they are going to be able get their name out to the casual fan.

Joe– Too put it in perspective I was once told by a very smart guy and I am sure he was told by another smart guy. Wrestling is like a three ring circus “You have to have your flyers, you have to have brawlers and you need have your freaks. You need to have something for everyone.”  We have to do a little bit of everything for this to succeed. Our balance will be found with the traditional wrestling fan that just likes wrestling but our job is to make the show interesting.

You hear a lot of older fans say that back in my day it wasn’t such a soap opera. But the truth is, it really was. There have always been stories in wrestling. Storylines have just adapted over the years to fit the current world climate. The beautiful thing about early ECW was that you had 2 or 3 matches on their show and the rest was you had advertisements for their next one. During the show you may have had one hardcore match – Tommy Dreamer going hardcore with Raven all over the arena. Then Psychosis and Rey Mysterio flying all around the ring then you had Dean Melenko and Eddie Guerrero in a mat classic.

I would like to see Metro be a little bit like that. You have storylines mixed with wrestling and in the end you have entertainment because of that.

Brian– Any last words for the MWR Fans

Joe – I hope that people give us a shot, come on out and I feel as if their money will be well spent. Come support the guys as we have household names mixed in with some guys we feel will be able to get to the next level. I hope people come to what we hope will become a successful endeavor in the wrestling area. I would also like to thank Martin Thomas for letting us use the CSW Library. That was a really cool thing of him to do.

For all your updates on Metro Pro Wrestling add their website here to your favorites

 Be sure to catch Metro Pro Wrestling’s debut television taping on Saturday, June 5, 2010, inside Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. Tickets available now at MetroWrestling.com, TicketMaster.com or by calling the Memorial Hall ticket office at (913) 549-4853.

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MWR Spotlight: Luke Roberts (Part 3 of 3)

Posted by Admin on May 17, 2008

Luke Roberts (Part 3 of 3)

by Brian “Flair” Kelley


As far as wrestlers and the St Louis scene are concerned, we will start with the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. Have you had any past interactions with “The Legend Killer“?

I have had some indirect contact with Randy through his father. However, as far as direct contact, I have not had the privilege of working with him. He came to South Broadway about a year after I left to wrestle on the St. Louis wrestling scene.

How do you feel of his work as a wrestler?

As a wrestler, Randy Orton is coming into his own as one of the best “bad guys” in the sport. He has developed an attitude that incites professional wrestling fans to hate him. Given the right opportunities, I feel that Randy will be at the top tier of the WWE for years to come.

Let’s stay with the Orton family and talk about his father “Cowboy” Bob Orton, who I met at an OSWA show a while back.

I have had several run-ins with “Cowboy” Bob Orton. Every time I work with him, I always have a great time. Even though he may not be in his prime, he still can provoke a crowd to hate him. From working with him, it is easy to see that many of the skills that Randy Orton has are genetic.

St Louis has been represented well here recently with Delirious, MsChif, and Daizee Haze wrestling in LWA for the Michael Johnson Benefit show on May 3rd. Matt Sydal and Dingo have also made a splash. Which one has surprised you the most with their success?

If I had to choose one, I would have to say MsChif. The successes of the men notwithstanding, to excel as a women’s wrestler is a much more difficult task. Right now, she holds two of the most recognized championships in the world. That, combined with her athletic skills and her attitude, is the reason why I would choose MsChif as the St. Louis wrestler who has surprised me the most.

Who would you say in the past 18 years was the most underrated wrestler in the St Louis area?

In my career, the most underrated wrestler was John Blackheart. This man was technically sound and knew what it took to get a reaction out of the fans. He could go out and fly with the light heavyweights, brawl with the brawlers, manipulate the rules in the world of tag team wrestling, and do things behind a referee’s back that were pure gold. John Blackheart could go out to the ring with anyone and have a good match. He was just that good.

Who do you feel is the best tag team ever in professional wrestling?

The best tag team in professional wrestling, in my opinion, would be Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. They thought and wrestled in almost perfect harmony with little to no communication necessary.

Who do you feel is the best tag team in St. Louis in the past 20 years?

That’s easy! Billy Bob and the Techno Kid! Just joking! Seriously, the answer to this question will stun a lot of people. From all of the tag teams that have wrestled in St. Louis on a regular basis, I would say that the Ego Express is the best tag team that I have seen in the past 20 years. They know what the other one is thinking at all times. They genuinely seem to like and trust each other. Their knowledge of the rules and how to break them is outstanding. Also, they have a manager/valet that fits their plans perfectly. The Ego Express, whether you like them or not, has all the tools to hang with any tag team in professional wrestling.

Is there anyone that comes to mind that never got the chance, but really deserved it?

I feel that “The Punisher” from the MVWA never really got his time in the spotlight. In his heyday, he could drive a crowd to almost riot status before he even entered the ring. If he would have had a company like an MMWA, GCW, or LWA to sign him and he could have stayed healthy, he could have been huge.

At the moment, you have the chance to become LWA President. You are running against Jacob Dangle, Steven Miller, Bavarian Boy. For those who have not been a part of LWA, tell us what that is about.

Since Yuletide Terror 2007, the LWA has been without a president. Management has decided that someone needs to take control of the LWA before chaos destroys the company. Seeing that I have refereed and ring announced for the LWA, a friend of mine tried to convince me to run for the LWA presidency and I brushed it off. Yet, as time went on, I heard that Steven Miller had found a loophole and weaseled his way into the election process. Once I heard that he was running, I knew that I had to give serious thought about running for LWA president.

Steven Miller thinks that, if Bavarian Boy or Jacob Dangle is elected president of the LWA, he can use his influence with Donovan Ruddick to intimidate them into doing what he wants. However, Mr. Miller knows that I am not, nor will never be, scared of anyone. I know that since I am running for LWA President against Steven Miller, if I lose, I will probably be out of a job.

The fans of the LWA need to make their opinions known. I recommend that everyone goes to www. lwawrestling. com and vote for who you think should be the new LWA president.

Let’s go to Word Association

South Broadway – lacking originality

MECW – professional

LWA – talented roster

UWA – rebuilding

CSW – tradition

AAPW – dedicated to its fans

WLW – Harley Race

SLAMZONE – hardworking

SHIMMER – true women’s wrestling

FTW – The Independent Icons

RCW – misunderstood

NWA – territorial professional wrestling

WWE – cheese

TNA – innovative

ECW – WWE light

ROH – True Professional Wrestling

St Louis Hall of Fame – tribute to St. Louis wrestling history

Best pro wrestling book – “Hooker” by Lou Thesz

Hulk Hogan – all about “the Benjamins”

Ric Flair – legend

Ultimate Warrior – joke

WrestleMania 24 – lackluster

HHH – heart of the WWE

Samoa Joe – class act

Kurt Angle – machine

Motor City Machine Guns – great people

Davey Richards – tough as nails

“The Future” Donavan Ruddick – monster

Michael Strider – crazy

Shorty Biggs – the “fifth”

Gary the Barn Owl – Bearded Men from Space Station 11

Brian James – “It’s All Good”

Scott Murphy – true friend

Stacey O’Brien – future of St. Louis women’s wrestling

Sean Vincent – Canadian superstar

Cameron Cage – funny, funny, funny

Cabal – Chewbacca

Edmund “Livewire” McGuire – outstanding

Adam Raw – intense

Pierre Abernathy – Submission Squad

Playboy HH – hides behind his stable

Austin Aries – quiet

Pete Madden – Trainer

“Atomic Dog” Ali Stevens – Powerhouse

Steven Miller – power hungry

Phoenix Twins – Tag Team Specialists

Brandon Aarons – Hollister

Mephisto – psychotic

Douglas O’Shea – hated everywhere he goes

Evan Gelistico – Zero Gravity

Jeremy Wyatt – The Rebel

Shaft – the heart of MMWA

Tyler Cook – underrated

Awesome Kong – brutality personified

Mark Sterling – intimidating

Trent Stone – impact player

Billy McNeil – death-defying

Lightfoot – Lightfoot Driver

Brandon Espinosa – No Fear

Johnny Greenpeace – Tree

Dingo – dedicated to professional wrestling

Ego Express – “old school” tag team wrestling

Johnny Vinyl and Davey Vega – arrogant

Eric Davis – versatile

Justin Wade – throwback

The Lumberjacks – tough

Dorian Victor – Must Be the Money

The Connection – Bullies

Editors Note: This has been the third and final installment of MWR’s Spotlight on Luke Roberts. Luke is a key piece of the pro wrestling puzzle in the St. Louis area, and I am proud that he chose to sit down and give us a little of his time. Hopefully we can chat again with him sometime soon.

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