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Posts Tagged ‘Earl Hebner’

SICW Promoter Herb Simmons Still Having Fun After All These Years

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 4, 2016

By Promoter Herb Simmons

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Is it WRESTLING or RASSLIN, that is the question that has been asked for many years, and it depends on who you are talking with. Years back they pronounced it RASSLIN, in the good old days of “Good Versus evil” as time went on it became Wrestling. Today after forty one years of that debate, I call it fun. Yes and this past April of 2016 that is just what we did at SICW All-star WRESTLING. I had the honor of being invited back to Las Vegas to the CAC where all the greats of the WRESTLING business attended, among the talented upcoming workers to the legends that are still with us. Legends like Paul Orndorff, Sgt Slaughter, Ricky Steamboat, JR Ross, Mean Gene Okerlund, Howard Fnkle, The Killer Bee’s, Ken Patera and a host of others. My main reason for returning this year was spend time with my friend, one of the greatest of all times, Terry Funk. Terry and I was in Vegas last year along with Stan the Lariat Hansen and Barbara Goodish the widow of the late Bruiser Brody.

I wanted to make sure this year that I met up with Terry because the following weekend he was coming to SICW All-Star WRESTLING in East Carondelet to make an appearance. The main attraction that weekend was the “Terry Funk Title Tournament”. It was to be several matches to see who became the number one contender for the SICW Classic Championship that was currently held by Flash Flanagan. I wanted to make sure Terry remembered he was going to be a big part of the double weekend shot, you see not only was he and another Legend, Cowboy Bob Orton appearing in East Carondelet Illinois, the next day they were traveling for SICW to Cape Girardeau Missouri for not only a WRESTLING show, but during the day a Comic Con.
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Well just as it was back in the days of RASSLIN, you always expect the worst and hope for the best. My lovely wife Mickey and I returned home on that Thursday and immediately began the final steps of preparing for the first ever SICW Friday Night Event. That’s right, in all the forty plus years I never remember doing a Friday night, yes it was scary. You may ask then why, well as I stated above, my friend Ken Murphy from the Cape had his annual Comic Con scheduled and he wanted Funk and Orton along with Ron Powers, Kahagas the Tokyo Monster, and Earl and Dave Hebner from the WWE referee era to participate.

So I arranged to move our monthly Saturday night event to a Friday to help accommodate the Cape show. And as you can figure we were all ready for the Friday night action, Terry Funk, Cowboy Bob Orton, Larry Matysik and all the SICW stars were ready, the capacity crowd was fired up, we were ready for some good old WRESTLING or RASSLIN.

Shortly before the sound of the first bell one of those wrenches got thrown in to the game plan, our Champion Flash Flanagan, who I knew was having shoulder issues informs us that it’s not only one should that needs repaired but both of them. Being the true professional that he is, he wanted to go out and compete to help give the fans the best show possible. After a long discussion with Larry Matysik, Terry Funk Bob Orton , it was determined that it wasn’t in the best interest for Flash to wrestle that night.
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So, as during the history of this crazy business we call WRESTLING or RASSLIN, we went to a plan B, yes Plan B that in a matter of a few minutes it was determined that instead of naming the winner of the “Terry Funk Title Tournament” the number one contender, the winner would become the SICW All-Star Champion. Simple right, you got it, the event went on and the action was great as always. The new champion was named, Ron Powers recaptured the gold and the celebration with him, Terry Funk and Cowboy Bob Orton took place in the ring.

 

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Look for a recap of the exciting night of wrestling soon at this very website

After being jet lagged from the trip from Vegas and making sure Terry got in town on time, the night was long and I must say my wife and I was a little tired. We ended taking Terry to the hotel. We dropped him off at midnight and told him we would pick him up at 7am, what another true professional, no complaints at all. We arrived home around 12:45 am. As always after a show I need to unwind, I laid down around 4am.

As the sun came up I knew it was going to be a long day. Even though I was looking forward to my two and half hour drive with Terry Funk, it was still stressful, new territory, hadn’t ran a show in Missouri for many years. We arrived shortly to find Terry Funk standing outside the hotel waiting on us. As the true veteran he is, he was bright eyed and bushy tailed. I must say there isn’t anything more rewarding than to spend a couple of hours in a car with such a legend as Terry Funk. We talked about everyone and everything pertaining to the WRESTLING or RASSSLIN business. The stories that man has could have kept me entertained for hours. I thought that with him flying in late, then being at the show all evening and getting in to the hotel late that he may fall asleep on the drive to Cape, boy did he fool me. The only smart one was my wife, she curled up in the back seat and took advantage of my driving.

Terry talked about how the business was back in the day, how guys he helped get into the business, like our late friend Bruiser Brody. He talked about how it was in Japan and how guys back then respected the business. I must admit, the guy has a memory, he talked about the show in the high school gym we did years ago when Greg Valentine, Orton, Spike Huber and Chris Adams who were are working with us. He talked about the first time Brody told him about our small independent promotion. He stated the name of Larry Matysik and Herb Simmons is known way beyond the St. Louis area, I must admit I wasn’t surprised about Larry, but me, big old Herb Simmons that had just been fortunate to be in the right place and the right time and have a friend like Larry to introduce me to Sam Munchnick, Brody, Murdoch, Valentine, Dory, Dibiase, Ox Baker, Jerry Blackwell, Dick The Bruiser, Bulldog Bob Brown, Harley Race and man the list could go on for a long time. It has been a real treat to be able to say I have done what only some other have dreamed of. I truly owe a lot to not only Larry, but to my wife who allowed me the time to live this dream.

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The Walking Dead Actor was excited to come see Terry Funk after meeting his fans at the Comic Con earlier that day.

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After spending the day in Cape Girardeau with Ken Murphy and standing for hours while Terry and Bob signed pictures, I must say the day seemed like it was never going to get over. There were hundred’s of fans that wanted to get a picture and talk with the WRESTLING or RASSLIN legends. They began signing a little after 9:30 and only for about an hour from 3-4pm when they did a Q&A, did they take a break from meeting and talking with the fans. Around 4:30 we went to lunch, Terry, Orton, Kahagas, Ron Powers, my wife and I. Again sitting with that crew was another experience, they had all worked together and they all had the stories. Around 5:30pm we headed to the AC Brase Arena, the building that was home to the ICW, operated by Angelo Poffo, Randy Savage and other legends from back in the day. It was a beautiful building and upon our arrival fans were already standing in line, see Terry and Orton and the boys were scheduled to do another Meet & Greet. So not only was I scheduling that, I had to get the card ready for the night. My right hand man, Dr. Drew, SICW ring announcer and Television Play by Play guy was a life saver. He jumped in and help get it lined up. Between him, Ron Powers and Gary Jackson the show went off great. The crowd was in to all the action and our friend Ken Murphy was pleased.

I lucked out that after we got the ring down my good friend Gary Jackson decided he would stay in town and take Terry Funk to the airport early in the morning. It was midnight when we left Cape, so it was good for me and the wife not to worry about getting back down there to get him to the airport. My wife repaid the favor for me driving down, she drove home. It was a great weekend both in East Carondelet where the best WRESTLING or RASSLIN fans are, and then to meet new fans in Cape was just as good. The talent worked hard both nights and without them and great fans there is no show.

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So I hope this painted the picture of two shows in April, back to back with two Legends, Funk and Orton, and all the other great SICW Stars, oh, and did I mention, the next morning we started on working on the third show for April that was scheduled for the last Saturday in April in Millstadt Illinois, my point is in this business its run run run, and fun fun fun. Until next time we meet at the matches take care and be sure to support independent wrestling and also Check out MRW (Missouri Wrestling Revival) for all the greatest information on WRESTLING or RASSLIN.

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Missouri Wrestling Revival honors Referee Dave Hebner

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 10, 2011

Missouri Wrestling Revival was recently in Caseyville Illinois for HVW at the VFW for a great night of wrestling. During the intermission we had the pleasure to present Dave Hebner with a MWR Lifetime Achievement award along with our good friend Nick Ridenour.

Dave Hebner along with his brother current TNA referee Earl  is known around the world, as the two had been involved arguably with the biggest angle in the 80’s when the evil Hebner cost Hulk Hogan the WWE title to Andre the Giant.

Who can forget the Montreal Screwjob? The Hebners once again cost another champion the title as Bret Hart was the victim this time as Shawn Michaels took home the belt.

Dave Hebner has refereed around the world, on the biggest stage including Wrestlemania, as well as TNA.

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Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat

Hebner has spent a considerable amount of time in St Louis supporting a Pro Wrestling shop in the past, made appearances with promotions MMWA-SICW while taking the time with each and every fan he has came across.

The Hebners are truly worthy of a WWE Hall of Fame induction but till then we are proud to present Dave Hebner with a MWR Lifetime Achievement award.

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Dave had his head worked out trying to maintain order between the world Champ and then NWA Central States Champ. *Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat*

Dave also took part in refereeing two of the biggest matches that night when Mark Sterling took on former AWA Champion Larry Zbyszko while Santana G returned home to St Louis to meet the former MWR Female Wrestler of the Year Stacey O’ Brien.

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Stacey O and Santana G met for the first time ever but not the last we hope.*Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat*

Dave Hebner was the fourth person to receive a MWR Lifetime Achievement Award with
2008 Harley Race
2009 Larry Matysik
2010 Mike Chapman

We are looking forward to presenting Mike Chapman with his MWR 2010 Lifetime Achievement award later this summer.

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Big Rick Fuller *Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat*

MWR was also very proud to have “BIG” Rick Fuller wear the MWR Shirt during his match with Alexandre Rudolph and later in the night winning the battle Royal featuring stars around the Midwest last eliminating Brandon Espinosa.

You may have seen Rick Fuller in a cameo appearance in the great movie “The Fighter” based on the Life story of boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward and his trainer brother Dick Eklund, chronicling the brothers’ early days on the rough streets of Lowell, Massachusetts through Eklund’s battle with drugs and Ward’s eventual world championship in London. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and , Amy Adams look for Fuller as a bouncer that tries to stop Mark Wahlberg character Mickey Ward.

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Fuller a former WCW and star of Japan made a rare appearance in the Midwest for a great night of wrestling action.

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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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A Reporter’s Reflections

Posted by Admin on November 10, 2008

A Reporter’s Reflections
TNA Commentary for the October 25, 2008 House Show in St. Charles, MO

by Kari Williams

I have waited a lifetime for the chance Josh Ray and Mark Bland gave to me in the last weeks of October. Josh called me and said that Mark had two extra tickets for the TNA Live show in St. Charles on Oct. 25. I planned to meet Mark outside of the front doors to retrieve the tickets, not knowing how good the seats would be. Once I finally found my way to them with help from attendants at the arena (you see, I am not very good a directions) I could not have been more pleased.

Noticing that I still had over an hour until bell time, I decided to take stroll around the arena—that is, until I saw “Future” Donovan Ruddick talking to Mark. After some contemplation, I made up my mind to talk to him about a profile for Missouri Wrestling Revival. So, be looking for something about the most dominant LWA champion in recent history.

At the show, I ended up sitting with Chuck from Slamzone and his daughter, who were a blast to hang out with. While making small talke before bell time, Chuck asked me when I would start wrestling. He said he figured I would be wrestling at Broadway by now. I jokingly replied that I plan to start training once I got to SIUE.

Soon, the lights dimmed and I began to witness my first-ever TNA show. Jeremy Borash came to the ring and welcomed everyone to the show and helped get the sub par crowd pumped up.

The first match was a three-way X-division match pitting “The Guru” Sonjay Dutt against “Maple Leaf Muscle” Pete Williams and Shark Boy. Shark Boy’s whole persona was a complete rip-off of Stone Cold’s, including the entrance music, where a crashing wave substituted the shattering glass. The match was good, but I thought more high-flying antics would ensue. Shark Boy appeared as the fan’s pick to win, but, nonethless, everyone rejoiced as the Canadian Destroyer put Dutt down for the three count.

After giving out a Lockdown 2007 DVD, Borash announced that the next match would be a Knockout Tag Team match—Velvet Sky and Angelina Love (The Beautiful People) v. Roxi and ODB. Having never seen either team compete, I was very impressed. The Knockouts have incredible athletic ability and each has a unique persona that they adapt to nicely. In this instance, ODB got the pin for team against Angelina Love.

The other portion of The Beautiful People emerged in the form of Kip James, as he battled “The War Machine” Rhino. Kip looked to stall the match, but Rhino would have none of it. He was hellbent and determined to succeed. At one point, Kip went for the fame-asser and Rhino countered, connecting with a punishing gore, prompting Kip’s cohorts to come to ringside.

Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm and Robert Roode), accompanied by Miss Jacqueline, planned to take on a no-name tag team because they thought no worthy opponents would face them. Storm and Roode proclaimed that they were “establishing themselves as the best of all time”—that is, until Borash announced Team 3-D as their opponents. Fans cheered and chanted, “We want tables!” in unison, as Beer Money, Inc. demanded respect or they would never wrestle in St. Louis again. They tried to escape with titles in hand, but referee Earl Hebner said that Roode and Storm had until the count of 10 to get back in the ring otherwise they would forfeit the titles. For obvious reasons the two men rushed to the ring by the count of eight, and nearly lost the belts, but due to Miss Jacqueline’s interference, they had just enough time to regain their bearings and sneak away winners.

TNA gave out numerous backstage passes and told fans that following intermission portions of the night would be recorded live for tnawrestling.com and the next week’s television show on Spike TV.

X-Division Champion Sheik Abdul Bashir wrestled one of the best athletes in TNA, “Phenomal” AJ Styles, in what I considered the best match of the night. Bashir told the fans that they were American scum and that they did not deserve to witness him wrestle. He went to say that he would not wrestle someone wearing red, white, and blue on their body, which prompted the American-clad Styles to toss his TNA t-shirt to the crowd. The heated bout gave fans everything they could hope for an more, including fighting their way out of the ring, through the barricade and into the crowd. After the Styles Clash, Styles secured himself a victory and as a beaten and bruised Bashir made his way to the back, Styles shouted, “That’s how we do it in America!”

Prior to the main event, Borash announced that TNA is looking to make St. Louis a city that has held two TNA pay-per-views.

The moment I can safely say everyone in attendance had waited for finally arrived—Christian Cage vs. Kurt Angle. Having not seen either man live since they were in WWE, I was anxious to see the two men go at it. They delivered a classic main event match as only they could. In the end, Angle’s tenacity won out as he forced Cage to tap to the ankle lock. Angle went one step further as he got on the mic in the aftermath of the match and said, “Every time I wrestle I know I’m the best damn wrestler in the world.” He then went on to name wrestlers such as Shawn Michaels, Triple H and The Undertaker and proclaimed that Cage is the best of all of them.

Just as I thought this amazing night would end, Borash said that a few of the wrestlers would come to ringside for pictures and autographs, and that for only $20 you could step in the ring and get your picture taken with Kurt Angle. I was ecstatic! I made my way to ringside and met Roxi, Shark Boy and Jeremy Borash. Attempting to promote MWR, I quickly wrote down information about the site and gave it to Borash as I got my picture taken with him. I doubt that he will do anything with it, but I figured what better way to promote the site?

With much unnecessary contemplation, I decided to get in the ring with the Olympic hero, who I also gave information about MWR. When I approached him and gave him the slip of paper, he looked at me like I was not even old enough to write for a website and said, “Thank you, honey!”

Once I got out of the ring, I just happened to glance back at Angle, and he still had the paper in his hand. He then looked from one side to the other and put the slip in his singlet.

So ended one of the best live show experiences of my life. A lot of people may not like TNA for one reason or another. I myself am not an avid viewer, but I will say this. They make their live shows seem like a big deal, like if you would not have been there for one reason or another you know you would have regretted it.

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