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Posts Tagged ‘WCW’

Breaking News!!! At CCW March Malice 3 on March 23rd, Making His CCW Debut Is Former WCW Star, Glacier

Posted by flairwhoooooo on February 24, 2019

More info to come.

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Scott Steiner to Team with Kyle Roberts this Saturday vs Steve Fender & Brandon Espinosa

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 5, 2018

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Ron Simmons is on His Way to Richmond, Missouri on August 12th

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 6, 2017

From the office of World League Wrestling

The next big announcement comes NOW as are happy to announce that with the plans of making Richmond events happen more often, we are working with THIS major superstar – Ron Simmons AKA Farooq – of WWE/WCW fame will be coming to the Richmond Community Center! This will be a first that he will be appearing for WLW, and is looking to see what the hype of World League Wrestling is all about!

Tickets will be on sale starting next week on http://www.harleyrace.com!

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Metro Pro Wrestling Ricky Morton Meet and Greet By Debbie Chmidling

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 22, 2016

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Ricky Morton, famously one half of the Rock ‘N Roll Express (with Robert Gibson) was on hand to add stories and answer questions about his time in wrestling. He opened by stating, “I am not a Saturday Night Special, this business is what I love.” He is 59 years old, has seven kids, seven grandkids and still wrestles. He said he still doesn’t know he’s old until he sees a recent photo of himself. He wrestles and teaches wrestling because it is all he knows. He said he quit smoking and started using a vaporizer about 2 years ago and now completely stopped and gained 35 pounds. Morton has chosen his last match and it will be Ric Flair in February 2016 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The last time he wrestled in Kansas City was 1989 at Memorial Hall and it snowed like hell. The dressing rooms weren’t heated and they had to trudge through deep snow to get to the building. It was Rock N Roll Express vs British Bulldogs. He said he never did get warm that night. He was surprised it wasn’t snowing when he got to Kansas City this time.

On the origin of Rock N Roll express, he was in South West Championship Wrestling with his partner Ken Lucan. He had wrestled in Memphis when Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Lawler were working together. Lawler and Jarrett had a falling out, so Lawler invited him back to Memphis and paired him with Robert Gibson. Lawler bought their wrestling gear at a flea market. The first ring gear bought by Gibson was from Frederick’s of Hollywood. (Now we know how spandex got into wrestling.) Rock N Roll Express were the first to come to the ring to music. Morton and Gibson were partners for 33 years.

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Talking of gimmick matches and high-risk moves, Morton contends “It’s just part of the job.” When asked about the chloroform match, Morton stated the Bill Dundee and Bill Watts came up with the idea. He said territories, bookers and other wrestlers depended on each other and the same gimmicks and ideas were used from one territory to the next. 1994 saw one of the best angles in Memphis when Macho Man Randy Savage put him through a table. Morton “…laid there like I couldn’t move, but did not get hurt.” He is still kayfabe. He says he “tries to teach the magic, to make the fans believe.” When asked how many drinks to agree to a scaffold match, Morton said the first time was in Shreveport, Louisiana. He said “There were no drinks involved, we just did it because it was something different. We liked to be innovators.”

When Vince bought out all the territories and bought up all their videos, he started uploading them to the WWE network. No wrestlers in these matches were paid royalties for the matches Vince uploaded. They have uploaded videos of some of the bloodiest matches Morton ever participated in. There is no contract and there are no royalties. Doug Summers sued the WWE for royalties, lost the suit and now has to pay WWEs legal fees.

When Rock N Roll Express were members of the York Foundation at WCW they were scheduled to wrestle in Knoxville, Tennessee. There were no contracts and they were facing Doom. Gibson had been injured at home prior to the match. Morton told him to just get to the ring and stay on the apron. When Gibson tagged in, he fell to the ground and Time Warner paid for everything for a year.

Smokey Mountain Wrestling was owned by Ricky Rubin of Black Crows. It closed because Jim Cornette was leaving to go to WWE. Nash and Bischoff were at WCW and put the company $600 million in the red. Goldberg, Kevin Nash and Bret Hart still had three years on their contracts. They sat and collected the money without ever working.

Upon being asked if he envisioned ever going into the Hall of Fame, he spoke of Rock ‘N Roll Express being brought to WWE by Jim Cornette where they made a mark, especially with Midnight Express but they didn’t stay for long because people weren’t taking care of each other and were getting hurt. He doesn’t think he, or Rock ‘N Roll Express will ever go into the WWE Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t bother him. Morton said “The real hall of fame, The Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame is in Waterloo, Iowa and I was voted in in 2014.”

When asked about Michaels and Janetty stealing their gimmick, Morton said it was a compliment. Michaels patterned himself after Morton. During the time Gibson was injured, Morton and Flair were tearing it up around the country and they wanted to put the belt on Morton. Morton declined because he didn’t want Gibson left behind in the shuffle.

He doesn’t watch wrestling, but as soon as class starts, they catch him up pretty quick.
He was well acquainted for the Von Erichs. He said he knew them all and has a great deal of sadness for Kevin as his mother recently passed away. He said “…they were all into crazy stuff as kids and it just caught up with them.”

Morton told a story about Lawler and his artwork. They were doing a show in a Catholic School when they saw a nun coming toward them. She asked if they knew any artists and he started raving about the talents of Jerry Lawler. The nun took them to the bathroom where they saw artwork on the door. Mickey had Minnie bent over…

When he was in ECW he was wrestling Bam Bam Bigelow and there was a fan calling for spots. Morton turned to the guy and said, “The heel calls the match. Sit down and shut up!”Morton owns the School of Morton in Chuckey, Tennessee. He said, “I gave my life to this business and I’m still out here!”

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MWR was thrilled to have Debbie Chmidling share with us this great recap of the meet and greet with Ricky Morton from Metro Pro Wrestling. Be sure to check out Debbie’s great recaps in the upcoming MWR Yearbook that will also feature this one as well as ECW Legend Tommy Dreamer and Jim Cornette.

Metro Pro Wrestling returns to Turner Rec Center in Kansas City, KS, on Saturday, January 30, for our first event of 2016! Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now!

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– Metro Pro Championship Match: Jeremy Wyatt (c) vs. The Beer City Bruiser. As always, if Wyatt loses, he’s fired.
– ECW/SMW/NWA/WWF star Tracy Smothers vs. The Math Magician
– Brass Ring Challenge – The Winner gets a Metro Pro Championship title shot whenever they wish! Jake Dirden vs. Mark Sterling vs. Devin Thomas vs. Kraig Keesaman
– Women’s Tag Team Match: Angelus Layne/D’Arcy Dixon vs. Lucy Mendez/Miss Natural
– Metro Pro Tag Team Title Match: Kobra Kai Dojo vs. The Riegel Twins
– “Yoga Monster” Mike Sydal vs. Jon Webb
– Also in action: Central States Champion Ace Steel, Kansas Champion Redwing, The Commission, The King Brothers, the KC Wolves, Kiyoshi Shizuka and more!

Front Row: SOLD OUT
General Admission: $15
Kids 5-12 (Does not count front row): $10
Under 5: Free

Tickets on sale now!

Metro Pro Wrestling on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KCMetroPro

Check out Metro Pro Photos on Facebook: Metro Pro Wrestling Photos

Metro Pro Wrestling airs every Saturday night on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel at 11 p.m. The show replays several times during the week! Check local listings for details.

Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is a regional 24-hour sports network, and it is the ONLY place you can see Metro Pro Wrestling! Catch us on:

• Time Warner Cable SportsChannel – Channel 30 & 323
• Time Warner Cable SportsChannel 2 – Channel 324
• Time Warner Cable Nebraska
• Comcast Cable Channel 44 & 258
• WOW! Cable – Lawrence 37

Turner Rec Center is located at 831 S. 55th St, Kansas City, KS.
For more information, call Metro Pro at (816) 974-7160.

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MWR Trading card Series Two #12 Gary Jackson

Posted by flairwhoooooo on June 22, 2013

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Gary Jackson- Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat

Gary Jackson is one of the most recognizable and respected wrestlers in St Louis for the past three decades. Bruiser Brody nicknamed him Night Train, he will be the first one to tell you that he is “Gorgeous”, but everyone agrees that the nickname “The Great One” is truly appropriate.

Since 1984 Jackson has been thrilling fans with top matches in St. Louis and around the country including WWE, NWA, WCW, and the now defunct USWA. You would think that this card is featuring a guy who has been out of the sport with all the accomplishments that he has had but there is no sign of him slowing down. Jackson overwhelms his opponents with true power and strength that is unbelievable for a man his age with no signs of slowing down. With the heart of the champion Jackson has been in main events for the MMWA Heavyweight title as well as the Classic Wrestling Championship at SICW.

Pick up this card that features a classic retro photo of Gary Jackson on the front and a great bio on the back that also features his 4 rules.
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Be sure to pick up your very own Gary Jackson card today.

MWR Trading card series set #2

#1 Kyle O’Reilly

#2 TJ Perkins

#3  “The Alternative” Brandon Gallagher

#4  Nikki St John

5 “The Big Hurt” Abu Colossus

#6 Darin Corbin

#7 The Iceman

#8 Shooter Spotlight presents ‘American Fury’ Jonathan West

#9 Shooter Spotlight presents Jake Dirden

#10 Shooter Spotlight presents Jimmy Rockwell

 #11 Pete Sanctions

To purchase MWR Trading cards:

1) Catch the star at a show to have them autograph the cards personally

2) Contact them via facebook or myspace

3) Send $1.50 in money order or check for each card at *

Brian Kelley

305 West 3rd Salisbury Missouri 65281

or Paypal at flairmwr@yahoo.com

*Checks will take longer to clear than money orders so expect time for that to happen. Make sure you list exactly what card you are wanting to have.

Please note that when purchasing MWR Trading cards from the wrestlers, that they decide the prices for their cards. We highly recommend that you get them from the stars themselves and let them know that you enjoy MWR.

These cards are limited and are not mass produced making them highly collectable.

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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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Lars Manderson – Working hard to live the dream of a Pro Wrestler.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 22, 2011

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By Kenneth Scott

Well wrestling fans after about a year hiatus from writing and wrestling I am back. I have gone through a lot of rosters from shows around the Mid-West and I have decided to get to know Lars Manderson a little bit better.

When Lars was a kid he was captivated by wrestling at a very young age. His first live show that he can remember was a WCW (World Championship Wrestling) house show that was held at the Shrine Mosque in Springfield, Missouri. After seeing all the action packed matches he was hooked on wrestling. The characters were larger than life. He never thought that he would be big enough to some day be one of them.

Growing up as a kid him and his best friend would have matches in the backyard. They spread couch cushions all over the yard and they would do high flying stunts like elbow drops of the deck. Like all kids that are wrestling fans they had al the latest WCW or WWE (well back then it was WWF) video games. They spent many wasted hours between wrestling video games and Mortal Kombat.

Now one of the the things fans want to always know is how Lars got started in the wrestling business. Well when he decided that he really wanted to be a wrestler he had no clue where to start or even how to get in it, so he signed up for Harley Race’s Wrestling Camp. A few days after signing up for the camp his mom found an article in a magazine about a pro-wrestler from the area he was from. That wrestler was going to be signed by the WWE. This pro-wrestler was currently in the WWE training camp for up and coming wrestlers called Ohio Valley Wrestling. After reading that he put it out of his mind and thought nothing about it.

A few months after this had happened Lars was working at the Powerhouse Gym, as a trainer. While working a moderately large man with long hair walked into the gym. He knew the man looked familiar, so he went and grabbed the magazine he read about the star that was going to sign with the WWE and sure enough it was him, “Mr. Saturday Night” Michael Barry. Lars approached him introduced himself and told him he was interested in the business, so they set-up a time to sit down and talk.

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Lars Manderson and fellow up and comer The Hoodlum realizes that to get to the top that they have to go all out every during every match.

After talking to Barry it was time to get busy and start training. While training to become a wrestler you have many obstacles to overcome and one that stood out the most for Lars was being close to a ring to actually train in. He had to travel 70 miles or more to get any kind of training in. Every time Michael Barry was booked somewhere he had to be there a few hours early and hope to get some ring time in for his training. He remembers quite well early in his training having to drive to a show in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a thirteen hour drive to get there. When he got there the promoter let him have about 15 minutes of ring time to train. After the event was over he drove straight back through Colorado, Kansas, and back home to Missouri. I know as well as anyone else that 15 minutes of job training isn’t very much but to get any training in at all I’m sure was a blessing. Lars also expressed that the other bad thing about being the rookie or the young guy is that you do all the driving. So three days with no sleep for just fifteen minutes of training to get your foot in the door is hard to do.

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Big Elbow from Lars would lead him towards a victory at Metro Pro Wrestling (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Lars had a lot of inspirations to keep training but the one that stuck out in his head the most was his dad. You may think an inspiration would be someone or something that is positive and gives you positive feedback and tells you to keep going. Well his was not the way you would think inspiration would be. His dad hated the fact that he wanted to wrestle. His dad thinks that wrestling is trashy and couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just be happy staying at home doing nothing. Every time his dad would tell him what a mistake he was making it would make him work that much harder just to prove him wrong. Lars also had the inspiration that God didn’t always bless everyone with the size, brains, and athletic ability to be successful in pro-wrestling, but was so glad that he did give him all those. “I just try to use it to the best of my ability and not waste it,” Lars said.

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He has taken on some of the very best including some hard hitting matches with MR Saturday Night Michael Barry. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Many times when we are working so hard at something sometimes it gets so hard and so tough you just want to give up and just forget about it. Well Lars went through something like that during his training to become a wrestler.

During the second year of wrestling Lars had to quit for about 9 months to rehab a shoulder injury. This also was a time when he was having relationship problems with his wife. At this time wrestling took the brunt of the hits when it came to arguments. His wife thought that wrestling was replacing her. The worst part is that he loved his wife and at the same time he loved wrestling and both made him happy. “It was probably one of the darkest few months of my life, I was extremely depressed and fell off the face of the wrestling world for a short time,” Lars stated. Lars finally realized that there was nothing wrong for being the way he was and that to be happy he would have to be the person to try for outlandish things. Lars said, “it is better to try and fail than to never try at all.” He also said, “You will never know your limits if you don’t hit them.” Lars didn’t want to have any regrets and said, “I don’t want to become an old man and think ‘I could’ve done this,’ or ‘I could’ve done that too.’”

Lars like many other aspiring wrestlers has the same goal to be on top of the business at the highest level possible. “That doesn’t necessarily mean championships to me,” he said. He wants to be working in New York and wants to be the most loved or hated wrestler on the roster.

As a wrestler to gain popularity and also earn respect from other fellow wrestlers and wrestling companies you have to travel a lot and go to many different venues. That is no different to Lars working in promotions in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Arkansas, and Missouri. One thing that stands out to me the most about Lars is when I asked him if he has held any championships and he told me that he doesn’t want a title unless the company wants or needs him to hold one. “I see a lot of guys that need a title to get over with the crowd, I never want to be that guy,” Lars told me. I don’t know about you but seeing Lars in person he enters the stage you just know that he wants and loves the business. He also told me, “If I can’t get a crowd to boo me or cheer for me without flashing a title around my waste then I don’t need to be in this business, a title is a prop to too many people.”

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Look for Lars moving up the ladder in 2011.(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

In wrestling each wrestler has a role they play either face (the good guy) or heel (the bad guy). Lars is a natural face. He tells me that it is more difficult for him to play the heel because his heel characteristics don’t quite fit his body type. He loves being a face because it comes so much easier to him. He sad “if I put the energy out there from the moment that I hit the curtain I always seem to get a good response from the crowd.”

Lars hasn’t been exposed to many tag-team matches, he tends to be more of the big singles wrestler. He prefers to do singles matches than tag teams. He does respect tag teams though especially when they do it right and look good doing it. “A well oiled tag team is a thing of beauty,” Lars said. One of his favorite tag-teams to watch is the Jetsetters (Dustin Heritage and Jack Legacy). He says they work great together and says the way they work together should be studied by most of the young and up and coming tag teams.

Now in this next section I have asked wrestlers that either Lars has wrestled or know him what they think about Lars.

“Lars is a great young talent that will do good in this business.” Michael Strider

“Mr. Saturday Night” Michael Barry has this to say about Lars, “Lars is undboubtedly one of the quickest learners I have ever came across in the ring and with the politics in the back. The kid’s got a great head for the business bottom line. Looks, charisma and a desire to be the best (secondary to me with all of those traits, of course) The only limit is gonna be himself on his future in the business. One had perhaps better pack a pair of sunglasses with this kid, because his future is bright.”

In closing I want to thank Lars Manderson for taking out the time to put up with my constant hounding through email and bugging him at a show or two. I also want to thank Missouri Wrestling Revival (https://missouriwrestlingrevival.wordpress.com/) for their help and putting this article on their website.

One more thing from Lars Manderson:
In closing, to the fans. Every wrestler deeply appreciates your cheers, your boos, every reaction that you give us. We love the autographs, the pictures, and the appreciation that you show us. Keep coming to the shows, keep getting louder, because without you we are just grow men in spandex and leather boots pretending to fight each other. You make it real. And if you’ll indulge me, I don’t care if there are 10 or 10,000 it is all the same, each and every Manderfan will be chanting my name
“Man-der-son, Man-der-son, Man-der-son” from the moment I hit that curtain, until my opponent hits the mat.

All of my Manderfans will party long after that.

So when I come to your town get to your seat and bring all your friends,
cause when Lars is in the ring the show never ends.”

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Scott Hall comes to St Louis April 30th

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 14, 2011

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415 N Long St
Caseyville, IL 62232-1019

St Louis fans one of the original NWO members, Scott Hall will be in St Louis for a wrestling spectacular that you will not want to miss on April 30th.

Scott Hall has been a former AWA Tag Team Champion with Curt Hennig, and then exploded at the WWE as Razor Ramon. As Razor Ramon he would be a prominent figure during the Attitude era.

He would go on to defeat Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania in a Ladder match, in what many still consider the standard for that type of match to this day.

During the Monday Wars it would be Scott Hall who would invade WCW along with Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan as the NWO changing wrestling as the world knew it.

Since then you have seen him at TNA Wrestling, Juggalo Championship Wrestling and host of the his very own internet show  Last Call with Scott Hall .

You will not want to miss a true rebel of Pro Wrestling on April 30th .

Plus

The Midwest Sweetheart Santana G making her way back home from thrilling fans in Flordia. One of the most popular young wrestlers in Florida she has been improving with each match while taking on many of the best in the sport including Becky Bayless(Cookie on TNA) MsChif, Roxxie Lottalove, and Jessika Haze.

Fans of the big men will love the massive monster known as Rick Fuller. Fuller has been in the ring with Hulk Hogan, Booker T and Jeff Jarrett.

A man who defies gravity is the man Jonathan Gresham. Gresham is one of the most exciting young stars in the game today. Recently seen on Ring Of Honor on DirectTV on HDNet.

The bad boys of the Midwest the Kansas City Killers will be in the house as Mark Sterling and Jeremy Wyatt are always worth the price of admission.

St Louis’s own The Lumberjacks Abe and Gabe have been looking for someone to step up for some time now. Who will be that team to take on one of the most decorated tag teams in ST Louis’s history ?

Brandon Espinosa has impressed the fans from city to city and will look to pick up a huge win at VFW Pro Wrestling Showcase.

Dave Vaughn “The wrestling machine” had a great 2010 and been heating up in 2011. Vaughn will be in action with his no nonsense

The powerhouse known as Nation will be coming to St Louis. Trained by former WWE Superstar MR Hughes, you will not want to miss Nation tear it up on April 30th.

Wrestling fans this event is shaping up to be a great one, Mark your calendar to meet one of the best ever in Scott Hall along with the top young stars of the Midwest on April 30th.

More to be announced.
Card Subject to change

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Meet the Original Diva Sunny at Pro Wrestling Next on October 22

Posted by flairwhoooooo on September 14, 2010

 

PWN is proud to announce that on Friday, October 22nd, the original WWE Diva Tammy Sytch (Sunny) will be making a special appearance to meet fans and sign autographs! Tammy who has also appeared in ECW and WCW will be available before the show and during intermission to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

Plus

PWN Championship Tournament Match
Mark Sterling vs. Davey Richards

Live @ The Institute of Therapeutic Massage in Davenport, IA, Redefined will feature the start of an 8-man tournament to crown a new PWN Champion and the first match announced is NWA Central States Champion, Mark Sterling taking on Ring of Honor and NJPW star Davey Richards. Highly considered to be the “Best in the World” today, Richards looks to make a splash in his PWN debut again one of the midwest’s most established stars.

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Matt Murphy thoughts on Ricky Steamboat: The Life Story of the Dragon 3-Disc DVD Set

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 17, 2010

 

By Matt Murphy -Courtesy of Matt Somebody-The Online Home of Writer and Former Wrestler Matt Murphy

Memories of my childhood idol and thoughts on the recently released DVD set.

WWE takes a lot of heat from traditionalist wrestlers and fans, but the company has certainly shown a commitment to keeping professional wrestling’s rich history alive in recent years.  They’ve done through their annual WWE Hall of Fame inductions and the release of classic video footage via WWE Classics and DVD collections.

There have been dozens of WWE DVD sets released and I hope there are many more.  While I like to watch the matches, I love watching the documentaries.  The stories about wrestlers and promotions, featuring video clips, photos, and interviews, are sometimes more interesting than the in-ring action.

In 2008, I sat quietly in the Harley Race Wrestling Academy while the WWE documentarian interviewed Joe Hennig for The Life and Times of Mr. Perfect and then covered a lot of different topics with Harley Race for what I assume found its way onto several DVDs and WWE Classics features.  It was interesting to watch the way they blacked out the windows, unplugged all telephones, closed the gym next door, rearranged everything in sight, and experimented with different lighting schemes.

When I learned that WWE was going to release a Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat DVD set, I was thrilled. Steamboat was my childhood idol.  To illustrate my feelings for Steamboat, here’s a piece from the revised edition of my autobiography (available in 2011), now titled, THE SOMEBODY OBSESSION: A JOURNEY FROM THE WELFARE LINE TO THE SPOTLIGHT:

My love for wrestling grew to an obsession in late-1986. During a challenge for the WWF Intercontinental Title, Steamboat suffered a “crushed” larynx at the hands of the defending champion, “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Watching Steamboat gasp for breath while paramedics and WWF officials scrambled to save him, I was first paralyzed with fear. Then I cried. A lot. Steamboat was sidelined for several weeks. I forgot about my own problems and my world revolved around the weekly updates on Steamboat’s condition. During this time, WWF aired an interview with Steamboat’s doctor, who said that “the Dragon” should never step into the ring again, and a vignette in which Steamboat went through speech therapy. On January 3, 1987, Steamboat guest-starred on an episode of Sidekicks, a crime drama starring Ernie Reyes Jr. Later that night, on Saturday Night’s Main Event, Savage was about to injure George “the Animal” Steele the same way he’d injured Steamboat weeks before. “The Dragon” came to ringside, restrained by several WWF officials, and saved his friend Steele.

That was it; I was hooked. My future was decided — I was going to become a professional wrestler just like my idol, Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat. I immersed myself deep in the mysterious world of wrestling, worshiping Steamboat. He was tough, exciting, and he represented good (me) overcoming evil (all the sources of my childhood angst). When Steamboat beat Savage for the WWF Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania III, he did it, I thought, just for me.

When I got into the wrestling business, everyone, it seemed, listed Steamboat as their wrestling idol.  I couldn’t help but feel a little annoyed by it–growing up, everyone around me was a Hulkamaniac and my love for Steamboat had set me apart from the rest of the pack.  Now, I was just another Steamboat fan.

I had the pleasure of meeting Steamboat during an autograph signing before a WLW show in 2004.  I had met countless stars and never asked anyone for an autograph, a fact in which I took a great deal of pride.  But when I met Steamboat, I couldn’t resist getting a Polaroid taken and signed.  B.J. Race, who knew how I felt about “the boys” asking for pictures and autographs, gave me a confused look.  I explained to her that Steamboat was the man who inspired me to become a wrestler.  I’d love to say that the Polariod of me and my idol is prominently displayed in my writing den, but the truth is I was so damned caught up in the moment that I left the picture behind.

I met Steamboat a second time while I was a manager at a bar & grill in Lake Ozark.  He came in with a friend of his and ordered dinner after he appeared at another one of Harley’s shows.  The server placed his check on the table and I hurried to pick it up.

“This one’s on me,” I said.

“Why’s that?” Steamboat asked.

I looked over my shoulder.  I didn’t want to draw attention to him. “Please.  It would mean a lot to me.”

He thanked me and shook my hand. On his way out the door, he waved goodbye and said, “Thanks, Matt.”

The bartender recognized Steamboat and I shushed him long enough for my idol to pull out of the parking lot.

The third time I met Steamboat was before a Ring of Honor show in Dayton, Ohio.  I rode there with my friend Ace Steel, who Steamboat knew well, and we picked him up at the hotel.  He was cordial to me and he chatted away with Ace about Ritchie, Steamboat’s son, who was racing trucks at the time.  I just sat in the back seat and kept my mouth shut, dying to shoot the breeze with Steamboat but shy as a schoolgirl.

Two years ago, Ritchie came to Eldon to train at the Harley Race Wrestling Academy.  We hung out a couple times and he seemed to be a likeable guy, but I hated to see people treat second- and third-generation stars different from the rest of the students and I knew that I wouldn’t treat him the same as everyone else.  How could I?  Soon after Ritchie was born, there was an article in WWF Magazine with pictures of my idol and his newborn son.  Because I was a first-class wrestling nerd with a big imagination, the eight-year-old version of me thought that I would be the guy who’d bridge the gap between Steamboat generations; I imagined that I’d learn the ropes from Ricky as his tag team partner during the last years of his career and then team with Ritchie during the last years of my career. That, of course, didn’t happen, and memories of my wrestling weirdness haunted me when I was around Ritchie.  Somehow, it just felt right to keep my distance from him.  He’s now training with Florida Championship Wrestling in Tampa and is under developmental contract with WWE.

Last year, Steamboat was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.  The next night, at Wrestlemania, he participated in a handicap match against Chris Jericho.  I couldn’t watch it live.  I’d seen too many legends perform past their prime and I couldn’t stand to watch my idol embarrass himself.  After I read a report of the match on the Internet which described his great performance, I bought the replay and watched it.  Then, the next night, he participated in a 10-man tag team match.  I’m about as emotionless as they come, but there’s a chance that a couple tears trickled down my cheeks while Steamboat battled once again and the crowd chanted, “You’ve still got it!”

The 3-disc DVD set, titled Ricky Steamboat: The Life Story of the Dragon, was released last Tuesday.  I bought it that morning, brought it home, and watched the entire documentary and a few matches.

The documentary was awesome.  It featured interviews with Ricky, several current and former stars, and even Ritchie.  While I watched and listened to “the Dragon” talk about his career, I thought about how he impacted my life and I wished that I could have told him that during any one of our three encounters.

There are a thousand different matches that could have been added to the DVD set, but I’m happy with their selections.  One that I’m especially glad they included was the WCW World Tag Team Title match from Clash of the Champions XVII, a match in which Steamboat made a surprise return, teaming with Dustin Rhodes to beat Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko for the championship.  When the match originally aired, it brought me a lot of joy at a time in my life when that was an emotion I seldom felt.

A couple days after Steamboat’s DVD was released, he was hospitalized with serious medical issues.  While I tried to process the information I’d just read, I walked into the living room, where my four-year-old son, Hunter, was holding the Steamboat DVD set.

“Can we watch Ricky Steamdragon?” he asked.

“You mean Ricky ‘the Dragon’ Steamboat?”

“Uh-huh.”

I put in Disc 3, sat down, and made room for my son.  Together, we watched the Iron Man Challenge Match between Steamboat and Rick Rude from Beach Blast ‘92.

“I like Ricky Steamdragon,” Hunter said a few minutes into the match. “He’s my favorite.”

This time, I was happy to hear someone else say that.

For more Matt Murphy check out his website here.

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