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Posts Tagged ‘Griz’

3XWrestling 10th Year Anniversary Filled with Kisses, Chains, Ladders and Chairs

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 26, 2015

By Brian Kelley

For the past 10 years 3XWrestling has been thrilling fans in Iowa with family friendly action with 156 events. During that time they have showcased several of the top young stars in the country, former wrestling superstars and historic matches that have earned them a reputation as a must attend event in the area. Missouri Wrestling Revival was honored to cover the historic 10th year Anniversary event that started off with a chance for the wrestlers around the area to get the opportunity to learn from former WWE Superstar Trevor Murdoch during a pre-show seminar.

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Students in Iowa took advantage of training with former WWE Superstar Trevor Murdoch.

When the doors open the wonderful fans of 3XW filled up so fast that the 3XW crew was seeking chairs for the fans at the arena. When the action started the fans were treated to a stacked night of wrestling that included a Dog Collar match between Maddog McDowell and Ryan Slade, where the loser would have to eat dog food, the first ever matchup between the former two time MWR Female Wrestler of the Year Stacey O’Brien and Malia Hosaka, Marek Brave challenge Kraig Keesaman for the 3XW Pure title, Devin Carter defend his wife’s honor against Rory Fox to go along with an epic dog collar ladder match between 3XWrestling Champion Jeremy Wyatt and Mark Sterling. I hope you enjoy these exciting photos of a night that will be remembered forever.

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JC Slater with the elbow.

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Devin Thomas soars on the way to victory.

Devin Thomas d. J.C. Slater.

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Hype Gotti delivers a punishing blow.

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Classic Double team.

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The power of Nate Redwing is awesome.

-Hype Gotti & Adrian Alexander d. Eli Machete & Connor Braxton.

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Stephen M. King looks to slow down Nate Redwing.

-Nate Redwing d. Stephen M. King.

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Jeromy “Skeletor” Robb prepares the Alpo dog food for the loser of the match to eat.

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Ryan Slade and Maddog McDowell.

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Ryan Slade lands a blow with the steel chain.

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Even though he lost the Maddog sampled a bite of the Alpo, but finds the taste a little dissatisfying.

-Mad Dog McDowell d. Ryan Slade in a dog collar match.  photo 15_zpsusuocmkm.jpg

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The powerhouse Derek Stone comes crashing from above.

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Black Lives Matters attacks Trevor Murdoch and Derek Stone.

-Trevor Murdoch fought Derek Stone to a no-contest.

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Jon West with the big leg drop.

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Ray Stryker punishes Jon West.

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Revenge.

Black Wrestlers Matter(Jon West & James Grizzle) d. Jaysin Strife & Ray Stryker.

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Rory Fox from above on Devin Carter.

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Rory Fox finds himself in a bad spot.

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Rory Fox hides an foreign object from the ref .

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Fox was able to use the trickery to get the win, but the match was restarted once the ref found it on him after the pin fall as he taunted Carters wife.

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-Devin Carter d. Rory Fox.

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Marek Brave

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Kraig Keesaman delivers a clothesline on the cocky Brave.

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After Todd Countryman blinded Kessaman with an unknown powder substance to allow Black to hit the superkick for the win.

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-Marek Brave d. Kraig Keesaman to win the Pure Wrestling Title.

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Malia Hosaka catches O’Brien in the corner with a brutal swift kick.

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-Malia Hosaka d. Stacey O’Brien.

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3XW fan Amanda Elliott and friends thanks Jeremy Wyatt for the memories as he prepared for another war with Mark Sterling.

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Marek Brave interferes on behalf of Mark Sterling, causing the Fittest Wrestler in the World, Mark Sterling to become the new 3XW Champion.

-Mark Sterling d. Jeremy Wyatt in a dog collar/ladder match to win the Heavyweight Title.

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WLW/WWE/Pro Wrestling Noah presented a magical week for wrestlers and fans in the Midwest in October.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on October 25, 2011

By Brian Kelley

For the past 10 plus years the must attend wrestling weekend in the Midwest has been held in Eldon Missouri at Harley Race’s World League Wrestling Academy. Race is considered by many to be the very best wrestler in the history of the sport. During his time as the 8-time NWA World Champion he would travel across the globe defending the title including the very best in Japan. When his career was done those trips and relationships would help build a relationship with Pro Wrestling Noah, one of the top wrestling companies not only in Japan but around the world.

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-Wrestling NOAH Ken Hirayama and Ryu Nakata with Harley Race. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Trevor Murdock has been a star around the world but there is nothing like being home with the ones he loves. Here he is joined with his daughter and Wife before meeting his fans. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

WLW and NOAH would team up to trade talent to allow the best to compete against each other in matches that would prepare one Trevor Murdock to not only be ready to make a run in WWE but flourish with tag team partner Lance Cade to become a 3-time WWE Tag Team Champions.

The WLW school would introduce fans to stars like Matt “the Missile” Murphy, Griz, Derek Stone, Trevor Murdock, Wade Chism, the Drill Instructor, Warcloud and Johnny Jett as they mixed it up with many of the top names in the sport like Meng, Butch Reed, Bobby Eaton, The Harris Brothers, Rick Stiener and Japan’s Takeshi Morishima, Takao Ōmori and Go Shiozaki as they toured towns for fundraisers around the Midwest.

While the school runs year round to season the young talent, the annual WLW/NOAH camp works with WWE as past trainers have been John Laurinaitis, Ricky Steamboat, Tom Pritchard, Takashi Suguira, Go Shiozaki, Takeshi Morishima, KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Kenta Kobashi, Ty Bailey, and many more.

This year’s camp featured Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, William Regal, Kevin Von Erich, and Harley Race along with representatives from Pro-Wrestling NOAH Ken Hirayama and Ryu Nakata as students around the country came to hone their wrestling skills in the ring.

I was honored to be a guest to sit in during the weeks camp as the 40 plus students took part in the camp. During the days that I was there I was impressed with the patience and dedication that each of the trainers gave each of the students.

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Superstar Steve and Pro Wrestling Noah teaches to the students. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Jason Jones and Noah show young Joe Reiling some pointers (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Due to the size of the groups there were two locations for the students, one for the beginners and one for the more seasoned wrestlers. While each group would be able to get great hints on how to work a match, logic, moves and where to be in the ring with hands on from the trainers.

As the camp went on during the week, the Pro Wrestling Noah and WWE representatives wanted to see the wrestlers come up with a match, then perform it in the ring. After the match was done advise was given to each of the wrestlers on what they did right, what they could have done different and how to improve it for the fans.

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Dustin Bozworth (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Dillon Divine (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Jonas Albert Robinson (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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SBC (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

During the Saturday wrestling show I sat down with a few of the students to get their take on the weeklong camp and what they got out of it. One Jonas Albert Robinson from Oregon had already been to Lance Storms camp and been wrestling since 2008 stated honestly “What I learned this week was that I don’t know anything about wrestling. When I walked through the door I thought I knew about 60% of how to have a great match but in reality it was more close to 5%. The trainers at the camp really opened my eyes on how to improve my game and give the fans their money’s worth when I get in the ring. Then I was amazed at the positivity and information that Kevin (Von Erich) provided. In the end he was such an added bonus with Steamboat and Regal.

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The Freebird -Von Erich feud did not get started again at the camp but Freebird Buddy Roberts son Buddy Roberts JR poses with his dads arch enemies sons Marshal and Ross Von Erich. All three took part in the camp. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

While Jonas have been able to be in the ring prior to the week, Joe Reiling has yet to have a match but knew the importance of getting the proper training and the luxury of having Race’s camp so close to his home in Warrensburg Missouri. Reiling stepped up the plate when Regal asked for two young men to get in the ring to work the arms. Though his experience was limited he gave a 100 percent and tried to soak in all the information that his trainers were given him. During my conversations with his fellow peers in the camp they relayed to me that he had earned their respect that week and had improved a ton from day one to the final day. Reiling stated to me that he did not know when his first match would come but the camp added to the fire to learn more to live his dream to be a pro wrestler.

I watched another Oregon native Dillon Divine as he worked under the watchful eyes of Steamboat and Regal. I was impressed with his facial expressions and Divine said it best to be when said “You get what you put out of it. So go for it.

While many of the Harley students took part in the camp one young wrestler fans at MWR are aware of is the 2010 MWR Future Star recipient Sir Bradley Charles.

The award is given not only to the wrestler MWR feels has the talent but the dedication and work ethic to become better, to be the best that they can be. SBC had been to Lance Storms camp, wrestled outside the country and is a rising star at Metro Pro Wrestling, 3xwRESTLING , NWA Dynamo and SICW but he once again proved that he is deserving of the award by seeking out more training to be the best that he can be.

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Ryan Drago looks to slow down Lee Walker. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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SBC receives a punishing blow from Dustin Bozworth. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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OUCH (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Jeff Strong stretches SBC. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Jeff Strong, Ryan Drago and Dustin Bozoworth with the win. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

At the end of the week SBC debuted for WLW as he teamed up on the Saturday show with Lee Walker. & Ethan H.D in a tough loss against the team of Ryan Drago, Jeff Strong, & Dustin Bozworth. Even though SBC did not get the “W” the skills that he learned this week will give him that much more a chance to become a star around the world.

In what was one of the most surprising moments for me during the week the students were all smiles as they told me that Regal had invited them to his hotel room on the final night to discuss wrestling in a special Q and A on the week’s events, his opinions and stories from one of the most traveled wrestlers from the past twenty years. What an invitation from a man who could of easily of stayed to himself during a time that he was not required to but instead respects the sport so much that he wanted to give back to the students who took the opportunity to take part in the camp. To say that with that bit of information from the students didn’t move Regal up on my favorites of all time would be a lie.

The week would not be complete as WLW would bring the action and love to the fans. A great night of wrestling as always added with a request from Regal to actually wrestle on the card. His opponent former WLW wrestler who has worked at WWE and ROH as well as a two time WLW Tag team champion with Matt Murphy and Superstar Steve Fender respectably.

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Steve Fender meets the fans. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Ms Natural and her fans. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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This lovely grandmother brought her granddaughter to the matches. They were so adorable that a picture had to be taken. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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MWR Dubray Tallman poses with friends from ST Louis Kyle Valle and Joe Bates. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Everyone wants to talk to the WLW Champ Brian Breaker. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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For 5 hours Kevin Von Erich signed autograph after autograph then took photo after photo. One of the nicest guys MWR has ever met.

The night started off with the fans having a chance to meet the stars of WLW as well as Ricky Steamboat and Kevin Von Erich.

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Is Kevin Von Erich Teaching the WLW Women's champ Lucy Mendez how to do the claw? (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Ricky Steamboat was in high demand. Bringing smiles to fans young and old alike. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

I had the honor of meeting a true Superstar on the night when I spoke to the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Karl Lauer.

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Master Sgt Ira Scott, 87 yrs young and served in WW11, Korea and VietNam total over 30 yrs

He introduced me his “hero” Master Sgt Ira Scott, 87 yrs young and served in WW11, Korea and VietNam total over 30 yrs. was in the US Air Force and done everything from crew chief on fighters, to copters to bombers to medical attention in emergency and sewed up guys so would not bleed before the medics go to um. A very remarkable man and what a real hero is really all about. 5″6″ about 145 lbs and sharp as a teen ager. Later in the night WLW announcer Dan Gier would introduce him to the fans. Out of respect everyone in attendance gave the man a well-deserved standing ovation.

As fans took the time to get their autographs and pictures taken with the stars, The personal highlight of the night for me was to have a few fans come up to introduce themselves stating that they visited the site and enjoyed it.

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Here I pose with a fan of MWR, a great guy who we hope to see in the matches soon.

I have many friends that I know visit the site but it truly makes it worth it when I meet new friends that check MWR out so that they may know when WLW will be back in action or an interview with an up and comer.

One of my very childhood best friends Billy Howser came up for the show on the night with his friend Steve. Billy showed great taste in women once again when the love bug hit him for the “Catholic Schoolgirl” Stacey O’Brien.

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Every schoolboys dream is now every wrestling fans as Stacey O has the boys hearts in the palm of her hands. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

Billy bought him an 8×10 of her and wanted to know when I thought she would be at in the future as I stated that she is a star as well for Metro Pro Wrestling.

As we gear up for the first ever MWR Yearbook, I have called on friends to help me add some special features for the book. One of them is famed artist ICON who work includes the world renowned painting The Gods of Thunder painting, as seen at WWE Magazine January 2011.

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Kevin Von Erich with my friend Icon. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

When he told me of his newest project called “Fantasy Warfare” where he will be drawing two wrestlers from different eras going to war. The first one he did was former WWE Champion the Ultimate Warrior taking on current WWE Star and former WWE Champ Sheamus. I quickly asked to have a special one drawn for the 2011 yearbook and when he asked me who I would like to see go to battle I chose two of my very favorites of all-time, Harley Race vs. Kurt Angle. A match that I think could have won multiple awards throughout the years. Fans be sure to look for this great feature in the book to see who got the edge in this exclusive feature from ICON.

We had posted the importance of Kevin Von Erich coming to the Midwest prior to the show at MWR but little did we know how friendly the man was. All night long he posed for photos giving the fans the famed Von Erich Claw and signing autographs.

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Young Jalen Ray will never forget having the claw put on him by a true master of the move Kevin Von Erich. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

One friend came up to me and was impressed on how respectful his sons Marshall and Ross were to them when they asked for a photo. Their comment, Kevin raised them kid’s right. Marshall and Ross by the way took part in the camp as they look to make a name for themselves. Their dad Kevin, proudly told me how talented they were in their high school sports during a special interview with MWR.

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Corey Dunken leans on Jason Jones. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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The Prince Jason Jones wins once again in 2011. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

An exciting night of action started off with one of the hottest wrestlers in the country as “The Prince” Jason Jones continued his momentum with a win against young Corey Dunken. Jones would have been a real threat for the NWA JR title if he would have been able to get in the tournament for the vacated title left by former champion Craig Classic.

The WLW women’s title has not been as red hot since Malia Hosaka and Brandi Alexander went to war for the championship.

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Ms Natural delivers a punishing move on O'Brien. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Payback from Stacey. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

With Ms Natural, the most decorated champion in the company’s history back in the game the fans got to see a classic as Champion Lucy Mendez showed her heart to win a match that also featured former MWR Female of the year Stacey O’Brien.

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Lucy keeps the WLW title much to the delight of the fans in Eldon. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

In a WLW Classic match it would be ALL THAT Matt Murphy teaming up with Steve Fender to meet Trevor Murdock and Bull Schmitt in tag action. Each of these men have been able to take the skills taught to them by Race to make multiple trips to Japan and WWE in years past and their battles have always had a special place in the WLW faithful’s hearts.

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Welcome back to wrestling Matt Murphy says Trevor Murdock. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

During the match Murphy looked to have a leg injury and would not be able to continue. It looked so bad that Ricky Steamboat who was watching in the bleachers with Ms. Natural came to ringside to assist Murphy.

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Steamboat shows some heart to help the "injured" Murphy. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Murphy was proud of himself as he taunts the former NWA World Champion Steamboat. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

When out of the blue, Murphy showed his true colors and attacked Murdock and Schmitt to the shock of Steamboat and the fans.

Murdock and Schmitt would be able to recover to get the win in what many fans said was one of the most special moments in WLW History. Out of respect each men hugged one another to end the match.

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RESPECT. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

This past spring WLW Stars Trevor Murdock and Brian Breaker toured Japan for Pro Wrestling Noah. While the two stars were on the plane tragedy struck when Hurricane Katrina exploded on Japan. The country was left in shambles and many lost loved ones during one of the saddest moments of 2011. During intermission Harley thanked his friends at Pro Wrestling Noah for their support throughout the years. In response Pro-Wrestling NOAH Ken Hirayama and Ryu Nakata spoke to the fans. They spoke about the promises of many countries to stay and help the country during the aftermath but when it came time for action many was no where to be seen, while Switzerland and the USA were front and center with support for Japan. They then thanked the fans and the country while starting a USA Chant out of respect for the men and women of the USA for their help.

Back to action the man who is the current WLW Champion Brian Breaker would defend his title against fan favorite Jack Gamble. In what I thought was the match of the night, Gamble took a beating but refused to lay down to the champion Breaker. It looked as if the speed of Gamble may pay off but Breaker was just to good as his moves of crushing power was too much for Gamble.

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Jack Gamble took a beating throughout the match but never once backed down. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Jack Gamble can exploded at any time during a match. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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DROP!! (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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WWE'S William Regal.

In the main event it would be a wrestling clinic as Steven Regal and Ace Steel would go old school as they traded moves and punishing blows that could have been a headlined anywhere in the country.

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Sit back and watch a classic wrestling match in front of your eyes as Regal goes against Ace Steel. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

Regal would be able to capture a hard earned win on Ace Steel to finish the nights.

Once again World League Wrestling proved that they provide the fans with moments that will be cherished for a lifetime. For the aspiring wrestler , they gave them a chance to become better and be seen by WWE and Pro Wrestling Noah Scouts and for the fans a chance to meet their favorites and watch wrestling the way it was meant to be.

If you missed this years event be sure to keep an eye out at MWR for info on all WLW shows and as soon as we know more about the 2012 WLW/WWE/NOAH camp we will post it here.

Editor’s Note: We would like to thank Harley Race, Pro Wrestling Noah for their hospitably to bring allow us to bring you the fans this awesome look at one of the most important weeks of the year. WLW for over the past 10 years have been dedicated to giving back to communities through fundraisers of their exciting family friendly wrestling shows.

Thank you to the wrestlers of WLW and the students that attended the camp for working with MWR for photos and comments for this story.

Last and most importantly thank you to the fans for their support of MWR and your local wrestling promotion.

Hope you enjoyed this feature and we hope to see you at the matches real soon.

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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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“World League Wrestling original Matt Murphy remembers 10 years of WLW”

Posted by flairwhoooooo on September 23, 2009

{Missouri Wrestling Revival would like to thank World League Wrestling original Matt Murphy for taking the time to reminisce on the early days of WLW to honor their 10 years of greatness. MWR is proud to announce that Matt Murphy will have his own feature article on the site every Monday starting next week. }

With World League Wrestling’s 10th anniversary event just a couple weeks away, I’m sure I’m not the only old-timer whose mind keeps wandering back to the beginning a decade ago.

In July 1999, the Harley Race Wrestling Academy began holding tryouts and classes at Lewis Boxing Gym. It was a small space crammed in along a line of old brick buildings in a bad neighborhood in Springfield, Mo. There was no air conditioning and it reeked of weed, the severity dependent upon which Lewis brother was in the office. The boxing ring was manufactured in the depths of hell and sent to Springfield to punish me for my future transgressions.

There were six of us then: I was the first full-time student; Trevor Rhodes (Murdoch) came a week later along with his brother, independent veteran Johnny D; and the trainers were Derek Stone, Griz, and referee Skippy Johnson. We lived together in a small two-bedroom house and trained between six and eight hours every day.

Meanwhile, Harley and Dave Marquez built World League Wrestling from the ashes of World Legion Wrestling, a promotion I watched on syndicated television that had featured Sid Vicious, Big Sky (Tyler Mane, who played Sabertooth in X-Men, Michael Myers in the new Halloween, and the oil driller who beat up the lead character and then caught fire in Joe Dirt), “Atomic Dogg” Steve Sharp, Luminous Warrior, and the champ, “Sheik” Derek Stone.

After Marquez and the trainers traveled to Lake of the Ozarks to meet with Harley, Derek announced that the school was moving to Eldon. “Where?” I asked, still half-asleep on the couch.

Eldon, for those who’ve never been there, is not much different from every other small town in Missouri: a little backward at times, a little boring at times, but really not a bad place to live. Its population is between 4,000 and 5,000 and rent is cheap enough.

We were local celebrities when we first moved to Eldon, making personal appearances and doing radio and newspaper interviews regularly. And we were all with Harley Race, so if a half-dozen gorillas walking into a restaurant didn’t get their attention then Harley’s presence did.

I’ll never forget the first World League Wrestling event, held during a middle-school assembly Sept. 24, 1999 in Caledonia, Mo. Griz and I squared off in the main event and, due to ring announcer Steve Murphy’s claim that I was a “19-year-old rookie sensation making his professional wrestling debut” (I was 20 and I’d had three matches for East Coast promotions prior to training with Harley, so it was just a small fib), the crowd loved me. The three-match afternoon event was held during school hours with hopes that the kids would go home and beg their parents to bring them back for the full evening show. It was a flop: we had a crowd of about 60 that night.

We had some solid guys back then. Derek Stone was one of the best workers who never had a contract with a national promotion. Griz and “Tiger” Treach Phillips, Jr. were two solid veterans and great assets to their young opponents like me and Trevor. We really didn’t have a weak link on the card. We had other veterans like Johnny Jett, the Drill Instructor, Nasty Bill, Blade Boudreaux, Lance Jade (that’s not a typo, and Jade also had a contract with WWE for a year or two), Malia Hosaka, Brandy Alexander, T.S. Aggressor, Mr. Destiny, Johnny D, and Luminous Warrior.

I always wanted to do two things with my life: become a professional wrestler and make a positive impact on others. Within seven months of our first show, we were wrestling every weekend, usually doing two or three fundraising events. I was living my dream as a professional wrestler and I was part of a group that helped countless non-profit organizations raise funds to make the world a better place. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked for more, but I did.

Like every wrestler, I dreamed of becoming a WWE Superstar. I didn’t make it because I made stupid choices and didn’t earn it. I spent too much time dreaming and not enough time working. But when Trevor Murdoch, who I grew up in the business beside, called me to tell me he signed with WWE, I felt the same inexplainable feeling of pride that I imagined when I used to sit around dreaming about getting a contract with WWE myself. When his first vignette aired on Monday Night Raw, I was thrilled. I sat on the edge of my seat during his debut match. While my dream, as I envisioned it, never came to fruition, I got to go along for the ride while one of the best friends I’ve ever known lived out our dream. That was all the satisfaction I needed.

Times have certainly changed in the past 10 years. WLW talent, other promotions, and crowds have come and gone. Trevor and I were two boys in a locker room full of men, both living our dreams. Now, we’re two old-timers, sitting on the porch talking marriage and fatherhood and barbecue grills. Still, the olden days seem to find their way into most of our conversations.

In the earlier years, there seemed to be more children in the crowd. Many of the kids who were my biggest fans a decade ago have become adults. Some of them still remember me and others seem to have forgotten me. Some still smile when they see me and others seem to resent me. I’d guess it’s because I was somebody they saw as larger-than-life—as a star—when they were kids and now they feel duped when they see me grocery-shopping with my family.

The last time we performed at the Eldon High School gymnasium was one of our greatest events. It was in late-April 2000, with WCW stars Meng and Disco Inferno as the special guests. Disco Inferno pinned me that night in a singles match and then my team beat his in an eight-man tag match later that night. In the main event, Meng lost the WLW Heavyweight Championship to Trevor (with an assist from me). It was our first great event and still one of the best WLW events ever. It’s appropriate that WLW will celebrate its 10th anniversary by returning to the gym. I wish I had the desire, if not physical ability, to get back into the ring one last time for the anniversary event, but I’m proud the worker I became and I wouldn’t dream of getting into the ring at a level below that.

Since my in-ring career ended, I’ve worked with WLW off-and-on in various roles. While I’ve had my ups and downs with WLW, they will always be family.

Congratulations, World League Wrestling, on ten years of bringing exciting, family-friendly entertainment to Small Town, Missouri for good causes. Thank you for giving dreamers a place to learn and practice their chosen trade as they pursue stardom.

Matt Murphy

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You will not want to miss the opportunity to support 10 years anniversary on October 3rd. Along with the current Superstars of WLW, fans will be able to meet former greats Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Akio Saito, Bob Geigel, Betty Nicoli, Bill Kersten, Mike George, Roger Kirby and of course the greatest of them all Harley Race.

Show at
ELDON HIGH SCHOOL GYM
101 S PINE ST ELDON MO 65026

Ticket Outlets
WLW HEADQUARTERS
EAGER BEAVER
ELDON CITY HALL
SWEAT GYM

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