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Is Shane Goode Tough Enough?

December 11, 2014 BigAssXmasBash351

I attended my first real independent wrestling show in January of 2014. I was hooked from the opening match, and as fate would have it, the first man to enter that match is now one of the most viewed videos on WWE’s Tough Enough website. Shane Goode’s video has caught the eye of fans across the country and the WWE because of his intensity and ring presence. Midwestern fans who know him as “The Iron Demon” Shane Mercer have seen a star in him for a long time.

Goode was hooked from the age of two, when he saw Hulk Hogan vs. the Ultimate Warrior on a rented VHS tape. Years later, he did a search on Myspace and connected with Zodiak, a fellow Kentucky wrestler who invited him and a friend out to a barn where they held wrestling shows to learn some of the basics. “We did a lot of backyard high spot stuff and got a standing ovation, but it didn’t go over well with the boys. They told us we were killing the card.”

Goode credits Bull Pain and Todd Morton for teaching him psychology and how to properly work a match. “I almost got in a fight with Bull over going with the crowd and calling him old man. He hated it and threatened to beat my ass with a bat, but I didn’t back down. I think he understood I didn’t know any better. They took good care of me from there and took me under their wing.”

Goode is typically one of the main attractions on the card these days, but he remembers well how hard it was to break out of the lower card. “A lot of promoters don’t want to give you the chance, or they put you with someone green as Hell and want you to shine from it. One of the early matches that helped me was my debut at D1W against Simon Sezz. It was my first match in a unknown fed full of bigger names, and we tore it up. I got a ‘Please come back,’ chant and, ‘This is awesome.’ Goosebumps moment.”

Goode had similar goosebumps moment wrestling Jason Kincaid at Pro Wrestling Freedom. As a member of the IWA Mid-South roster, he points to matches against Michael Elgin and Hy Zaya as the ones that put him over with the fans. “Hy Zaya and I fought in a cage match that really helped me shift the tide with the fans. I was a heel at the time, and I garnered a lot of respect for the brutality we put on. Humbling and awesome experience with both men.”

So what does Goode hope the WWE sees when they look at his video? “I hope they see a talent that can be groomed, who is still hungry and willing to learn. I have the body strength associated with wrestlers much larger than me. I’ve always had a no nonsense approach in promos, but I can adapt to what’s needed. It would be interesting to expand out of my comfort zone on any level but especially WWE.”

Shane Goode has a great physique and the look of a rising star. He is quick and agile off the ropes, and his feats of strength reminds you of Cesaro. (The photo above shows Shane lifting John Wayne Murdock and Kongo Kong – more than 500 pounds – on his shoulders.) His matches never disappoint, and he leaves it all in ring every single night. What’s more, Goode is one of the good guys, a favorite with the fans as well as the locker room. I’ve never heard a cross word said about the man. The WWE would do well to give him a look, but even if they don’t, you can rest assured the Iron Demon will still be fighting and winning fans somewhere on the independent scene.

Click here to view Shane’s video and please share it!!!

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Kill Owens Kill!

Indy wrestling fans have been telling WWE fans for years they were missing out. Last night, Indy fans were able to rise up and say, “See?? I told you so!”

Owens is only the latest to crash the WWE party. Bryan, Rollins, Ambrose, Harper, Zayn, Cesaro, Balor, Itami, Bayley, Emma, Neville. These are not pre-fabbed stars made by the WWE machine. All of these rising stars got to the WWE after years of busting their butts on the Indy circuit.

There’s more great wrestling to discover, possibly right down the street from your house. That’s why I wrote Eat Sleep Wrestle. That’s why you need to get out and see an Indy show.

Head over to Smart Mark Video to get a sample now. Look up CZW/WSU, PWG, OVW, IWA Mid-South, CHIKARA, Rockstar Pro, CWAI, Empire, Shimmer, AIW, or take a look at what Jeff Jarrett’s putting together at GFW.

If I left out your favorite promotion, please please enter it in the comments below.

A revolution is coming.

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A review of WWE Shop Express

I took a friend of mine to WWE Live in Louisville Saturday night. My friend is disabled and gets around in a wheelchair. He’s a huge wrestling fan, and whenever the WWE comes to town, he has to go, and he has to get a new John Cena shirt.

Saturday afternoon, I received an email about WWE Shop Express. This is a new service the WWE offers at live events that allows you to order merchandise on your phone and pick it up at a separate table. I considered using the service right then, but as I couldn’t decide on a shirt for myself, I decided to take my chances on the regular merch table.

When we got to the arena, the T-shirt table was jammed. There was no way I could maneuver him in safely in his chair and get him and myself shirts. I spotted the Shop Express table nearby, a short distance from the crowd, and I decided to give it a try. The website promised a simple, three step process. Pick your merchandise; pay online; wait for the email to tell you your order is ready. I’m happy to say it really was that simple.

The order process, including setting up an account (because your wwe.com account won’t work on this site) took barely five minutes. I hit the pay button and instantly received an email confirming my order. I looked over at the Express table and saw our shirts being pulled at that very moment. Less than two minutes after completing our order, we had our shirts and were on our way to our seats.

WWE Shop Express does not offer all the same shirts available at the venue, which isn’t entirely bad news. There were several shirts on the regular merch table that were not available through Shop Express, but Shop Express had several shirts not offered on the merch table. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns were not in Louisville, but their shirts could be had through Shop Express. Shop Express also offered T-shirts for NXT stars Finn Balor and Kevin Owens, and after an afternoon of deliberation, I finally went with Owens.

WWE has always been very good about being accessible to folks with disabilities. I remember being very impressed with the extra care they took at Wrestlemania Axxess in 2011 to accommodate those with special needs. I don’t know assisting the disabled was part of the idea behind Shop Express, but it was a huge plus for us. I can’t recommend WWE Shop Express enough for that reason alone.
As a final thought, I want to say THANK YOU to all the WWE fans who were so kind and considerate with a fellow fan who needed a little extra help. WWE events always have a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and Saturday was no different. To everyone who held doors, cleared the way, and offered a hand – thank you.

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Meet Crazy Mary Dobson

1797971_699268903502709_2186941647616043393_nWe are two days from Girl Fight at the ArenA in Jeffersonville, and today’s introduction features the hometown girl who has taken the wrestling world by storm.

Some kids get into wrestling because of their Dad. Crazy Mary Dobson got into wrestling because of her Grandma.

Growing up, Crazy Mary was surrounded by boys, so she mostly did what the boys did: play video games and wrestle. She started watching wrestling on TV with her grandmother and in 2011, she went to her first Juggalo Championship Wrestling show. That’s where she saw Mad Man Pondo for the first time.

Shortly after the JCW, Mary decided that wrestling was for her. She reached out to Pondo on MySpace and asked him how she could get her start. “He told me that Mickie Knuckles could train me, if I could get to Charlestown, Indiana. I wrote him back and told him, ‘I live in Charlestown, Indiana!’”

Mary has since traveled the world, wrestling and training any place that would have her. She’s been to Japan, England, and Germany. She’s been in barbed wire death matches and mixed gender tag matches. She’s even attracted the attention of the WWE, where she’s been a Rosebud, Miz’s makeup girl, Kane’s boss, and most recently… Becky Lynch’s opponent on NXT, Sarah Dobson.

Crazy Mary is a high flier, an energetic performer who loves getting dropped on her head as much as she loves leaping from the top rope. “Lufisto told me she loved me because I like getting dropped on my head as much as she does!”

She has a pin fall victory over Amazing Kong, and she’s the co-owner of the JCW Tag Team Championship with Mad Man Pondo. At Girl Fight, she goes head to head with the daughter of a legend: Tessa Blanchard.

If you’re in the Louisville area, this is a can’t miss opportunity.

Nothing’s for sure in the world of wrestling, but Crazy Mary may very well be on her way to the top of the industry. We’ve been spoiled rotten in this area the last few years, watching her grow and mature into one of the must see attractions in independent wrestling. This could be your last chance to be able to say, “I saw her before she became a legend!”

You can follow Crazy Mary on Twitter @crazymarydobson. You can also read more of her story in Eat Sleep Wrestle.

Keep your eyes open; you’ll likely see her on WWE television again very soon.

(Photo credit: Ichiban Drunk.)

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Must Read for Andre Fans

As You WishThis is going to seem like an odd recommendation for a wrestling blog, but it makes sense when you know why. I just read Cary Elwes’ memoir As You Wish: Inconceivable Takes From the Making of The Princess Bride. It’s a must read for any fan of the movie, but also for any fan of Andre the Giant.

The Princess Bride has been described as a film with everything you could want in a fantasy: pirates, giants, fencing, chases, escapes, true love. Not only does As You Wish deliver everything a fan of the movie wants, it delivers everything you want in an Andre the Giant tale.

Andre the Giant is best remembered outside the ring for his drinking, his smile, his humor, and his zest for life. Elwes gives you all that… and he gives you one heck of an Andre fart story to boot.

As You Wish will make you want to watch the movie again and again, and if you’re a fan of Andre, it’ll have you combing the WWE Network for memories of the Eighth Wonder of the World as well.

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One step closer…

11150237_998391110194268_8290898454189391646_nMad Man Pondo posted a few photos on Facebook tonight, and I had to pass one along. That’s Becky Lynch on the right, who just became the number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship last night. On the right is one of the featured stars from Eat Sleep Wrestle, Crazy Mary Dobson, whom they billed as Sarah Dobson.

The WWE has shown a lot of interest in the Southern Indiana native, and this has to make her fans around the world very excited. Fingers crossed the WWE brass saw what indy fans have known for some time: Sarah is awesome.

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Can You See Her Now?

LuFisto’s one of my favorite wrestlers. Not female wrestlers, I mean wrestlers. She’s more than tough enough, and she has the titles and battle scars to prove it.

I’d love to see that happen, but I’m posting this for another reason. If you’re a wrestling fan, you need to see LuFisto. Watch her on YouTube. Watch her in Shimmer or WSU. And go see her live. She’s one of the best, and she’s a threat to steal the show on any card.

UPDATE: #GiveLuFistoAChance is trending on Twitter. Keep it going, LuFisto fans!!

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Updated: Help Kenny Bolin Tell His Story!

bolin1Kenny Bolin has written a memoir.

Let that sink in for a moment. Kenny Bolin, the Starmaker, sworn enemy of Jim Cornette, mentor and manager to John Cena and countless other stars, has written his life’s story.

Actually what Kenny has done is rather unique. He’s told his story, but he’s allowed those who were there to share their stories as well. Jerry Jarrett, Rico Costantino, JBL, Sylvester Terkay, the Prince Christopher Bolin, Mark Cuban, Dean Hill, even Jim Cornette have shared their favorite memories of the King.

And now, Kenny wants to include you.

Yes, Kenny Bolin wants your stories, memories, and thoughts about the King to be published in his book, I Probably Screwed You Too: The Mostly True Story of Kenny Bolin. For a limited time, the floor is open for fans to send in their own stories  and comments about Kenny, Bolin Services, and the Bolin legacy.

For the price of $79.95, Kenny will publish your comments, uncut and uncensored, in his book alongside the illustrious names listed above.

UPDATED: You will also receive a numbered, signed copy of the book; a DVD copy of “A Decade of BS” featuring six hours of Bolin Services highlights from 1998 to 2008; and (while supplies last) a pair of Buds by Bolin earbuds.

Here’s how you can submit your tale:

1. Go to Facebook and look up Kenny Starmaker Bolin.

2. Send Kenny a message, telling him you have a story to share.

3. Send payment to Kenny through his Paypal address, which he will provide.

4. Message Kenny again with your story, comment, etc.

The first 35 submissions will go into the book, in the order that they are received. (Number 1 was already claimed before Kenny could make the big announcement!) And if you’re really lucky, Kenny will respond to your story.

This is a chance to not only own wrestling history but play a role in the telling of a legend. Find Kenny on Facebook and secure your place in the book today!

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The Champ

Never ceases to amaze me how Cena rolls with the hate.

I was one of those singing “John Cena sucks” at Mania a few years ago, before it truly took off with the crowds. And yeah, I was a mocker of the “five moves of death” and a bit sick of the Super Cena persona.

But let’s be honest. No one works harder to entertain the fans than John Cena. He works every TV and every house show, and he gives his best at both.

And no one sells tickets like Cena. Whether you’re buying a ticket to cheer him or boo him, you’re buying a ticket because of him.

Very few men can match Cena in the strength department. Cena’s a monster in the gym, and people tend to over look just how powerful he is. Look closely the next time he’s in the ring with another big man. Cena’s a very, very strong guy.

And if we’re really being honest, Cena is more than five moves. Go look on YouTube at some of his matches from OVW. Cena can do a lot more that he does in a typical Cena match. Cena’s a student of OVW’s Rip Rogers, and Rip has always taught his students that less is more. Why go off the top rope if you don’t have to? Why go off the top of the cage if it’s not going to sell a few more tickets? Why do a Shooting Star Press every night when doing it once will make you immortal?

(Okay, yeah, didn’t work out for Brock, but see Snuka and the leap off the cage for an instance where one big bump DID work.)

Do your job, take care of your body, don’t do more than you need to in order to get over and sell tickets. That’s what Cena was taught. That’s why Cena’s endured physically.

Could he use a character change? Sure, everyone needs to evolve. Should he do a heel turn? Maybe, maybe not. It would not be a hard thing for him to pull off. Again, go to YouTube and look at his OVW work. He was the most hated man in Louisville when he was the Prototype. I’d love to see that side of Cena one more time before he retires.

Cena’s one of the very best, not just of his generation but all time. I believe that time will be kind to him and so will the fans.

That said, I don’t know that “Cena sucks” will ever go away. I don’t think it has to go away, and I don’t know if Cena wants it to go away. The more people chant, the more he perseveres. The more he perseveres, the more “Cena sucks” becomes a term of endearment.