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Why every wrestler should Hang with Bob

The independent wrestling scene is not what it once was. Only a handful of guys are making top money, and most are working shoot jobs just to get by.

Brutal Bob Evans has been a part of that scene for a long time. He knows what it takes to make it. He also knows you don’t have to be in the “$100 Grand” club to do it full-time and support your family.

There are many wrestlers training other wrestlers how to work in the ring, but Brutal Bob wants to train them how to work outside the ring. He wants wrestlers to know how to not only make money, but spend it wisely. Simply put, you can’t live like Ric Flair, spending your entire paycheck on wine, women, and food. You have to be smart about your money and take care of your family.

“When wrestling isn’t viable anymore, your significant other will be there for you,” Bob wrote on Facebook last week. “So, protect home. To do this, you must make wrestling a viable option financially. Not immediately, because that’s not realistic. But as soon as you can, practice the business of wrestling.
Again, I’m a firm believer that wrestling can be an art and a business.

“You don’t have to make $1 million either. Think about the stress reduction when you come home with grocery money for the week. When you come home with a car payment. When you come home with half the rent money. This is a very reasonable and realistic goal. A few tweaks and your deep in the business of wrestling.

“If we want to have our head in the clouds, we also have to have our feet on the ground.”

Bob’s training class teaches wrestlers how to be smart about money. He gives common sense advice on everything from travel expenses to self-promotion. With some careful planning and a lot of discipline, wrestlers can leave their shoot jobs behind, pursue their dreams full-time, and take care of their families.

Students of Bob’s workshops are already seeing results, even a few weeks in. In fact it was a testimonial from Kerry Awful of Team IOU on Facebook that bought the workshop to my attention.

“After the weekend I’ve continued to follow his posts and apply the things that I feel work for us. We’ve branded more tshirts, cut costs where we could, and did the drives with a little bit different view point on saving money. This last weekend between merch, work, and after expenses — it was pretty damn cool to see we’ve made more money to invest back into ourselfs and our brand that aren’t coming out of pocket but are its own self sustained thing.

“I don’t think I would have felt the same way or understood this a few months back.”

There’s a reason guys like Lord Leslie Carlton and Baron Leone retired as millionaires. They saved more than they earned. They shared rides and hotel rooms. They traveled with a loaf of bread and a pack of bologna. They invested what they earned so they could retire in style.

Brutal Bob’s workshop is a must for any aspiring professional wrestler today. Regardless of how high you may rise in today’s wrestling scene, Bob’s class will teach you how to make the most of those tiny pay offs so that you AND your family will come out ahead.

As Bob says, “Protect home. Do business. Be business.”

For information on Bob’s workshops, follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. If you dream of being a full-time wrestler, this is a workshop that can change your career and your life. You need to Hang with Bob!

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Kick Out at Two Presents Jeff Cannonball

Kick Out At Two Podcast returns this week with CZW’s Jeff Cannonball. The 29 year New Jersey native is a death match specialist. Let’s hope Righteous Jesse, the Wilkman, and Britt can get out of this one with no visible scars.

Give Jeff a look in the match below, then go to iTunes or Soundcloud to download the Kick Out at Two Podcast.

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Fred Yehi on Kick Out At Two Podcast

My friends at the Kick Out at Two Podcast have a guest this week who came within a three count of reaching the inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Classic. Watch Fred Yehi in action below, then hear the amazing life story of Fred Yehi on KOAT, available on Soundcloud and iTunes!

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Why I’m not going to NXT

I am an NXT fan. I have been since the second day I had the Network, the first time I saw the show. I rarely miss NXT. When I do, I watch it the next day, or later that evening. So why am I not going to see them when they come to Louisville?

Let’s do the math.

Floor seats for NXT are $79. “Cheap” seats are $44. “Cheap” seats at the older Broadbent Arena are more expensive for NXT than they were at the Yum! Center for WWE.

NXT is the hot ticket in wrestling these days, and with good reason. But do you know what that $44 will buy me? I do.

Three tickets to IWA Mid-South.

Four tickets to Pro Wrestling Freedom in Indiana.

Five tickets to UWA Throwdown or KDW.

Seven tickets to OVW’s Wednesday TV tapings.

No, it’s not apples to apples, but every one of the promotions I mentioned offers a different spin on the same product you’ll find at NXT. And for the price of one NXT ticket, you can check out all of the above and find a favorite local promotion.

I love NXT and will continue to enjoy NXT, but I also know the stars of NXT came from. Support indy wrestling wherever and whenever you can.

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Kick Out at Two: Guns and Beer

Kick Out At Two has another treat from the Midwest on this week’s podcast, the tag team of Guns and Beer. Here’s a match featuring the beer swilling duo vs. Team Lariat at Magnum Pro Wrestling.

You can follow the Kick Out at Two Podcast on Twitter and Facebook to hear this and other great interviews. You can also find them on SoundCloud and iTunes.

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Dillinger is a Dangerous Man

12933098_1025587454178766_7331987619498914413_nI first saw the man known as Drew Dillinger when he was training with Mitchell Huff under the watchful eye of Apollo Garvin. He was a big guy, and he didn’t have a trim, athletic physique, but even at that early state, he was surprisingly athletic. As he worked a match with Huff, I could see an intensity in his eyes, a determination to prove to himself and all watching that he belonged in the ring.

Time has proven that impression true. Dillinger came into his own as a member of Southern Indiana’s UWA promotion, and after a brief injury hiatus, he is now back with NWA Supreme. Dillinger is no longer a young man with something to prove. He’s a monster, a quick, agile, powerful wrestler with a hard-hitting style.

Being in the ring was a life-long dream for Dillinger, going back to the second grade. “I wanted to be on the stage. I wanted to suplex people like Angle and Benoit did. I wanted to chokeslam people like Kane. I wanted to be a larger than life character that was feared so much I was respected for it like Undertaker.”

After training with Apollo, Dillinger continued his schooling by attending seminars with Rhyno, Jerry Lynn, Tracy Smothers, Bill Dundee, and Tito Santana. Over time, he began to adopt a ring persona as dark as his heroes, Kane and the Undertaker.

“Drew Dillinger is literally just me, with no filter and the volume and intensity cranked to 11. There have been small tweaks to my presentation and in ring style every now and then to try and stay fresh and always have something new to bring to the table, but when I step through those ropes, I get to drop all of my professional and social filters and behaviors, and, hell I’ll admit it, drop my insecurities, and just be my self and actually have some fun.”

Dillinger’s career was sidetracked for a few months by an injury, but he learned some hard lessons while waiting to return. “I learned the cold hard truth that the show must go on. The business doesn’t owe anyone anything, and it waits for no one. I watched people I considered close friends fade away slowly but surely because I was no longer in the locker room. But it is nice that most of them bring truth to the saying that close friends are always there even if you don’t talk regularly. We don’t reach out often, but we’re there for each other, and as real as it gets with each other to this day.”

Dillinger has had a number of favorite matches with big names as well as the close friends who have come up with him. “I think the matches I remember enjoying the most while in the ring would be, my match with Rob Conway, a match with Kevin Lee Davidson, my last man standing match with Waffle, a bull rope match out in Madison, Indiana, and last but far from least, my knock out only, loser leaves town match with Matt Atreya. We made a huge statement that night.”

Dillinger cites the Undertaker as his dream match, a dream he admits will never likely see the light of day given where Taker is in his career. For now, he’s got his sights set on making a name for himself so he can one day work at Full Sail University. “My dream is to lock horns with the best of the best in NXT. I want to get to the cutting edge of wrestling today, and from where I’m sitting, NXT looks like the main big goal. The next few years look really bright for me, and I’m going to conquer every obstacle thrown at me.”

Dillinger can be found wrestling for NWA Supreme in Madison, Indiana weekly, and he will soon be on the roster with another Southern Indiana institution: IWA Mid-South. You can follow him on his Facebook page to learn more and contact him for bookings.

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A new day for Kentucky wrestling?

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin surprised the wrestling world yesterday when he announced the creation of a new governing body dedicated to expanding fight sports in the Commonwealth. The Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Authority (KBWA) will oversee boxing, wrestling, MMA, and other full-contact sports. The new website for the KBWA states the group’s purpose as follows:

“Our mission is to encourage the growth of professional boxing and wrestling in the Commonwealth, while protecting participants and spectators of the sports. We strive to improve the sports by thoughtful, reasonable and fair regulation and monitoring.”

Early reaction to the announcement was largely positive. One of the stated goals of the KBWA is to attract major wrestling events – i.e. WWE – back to Kentucky. WWE has not held a Raw taping in Louisville since 2010, and the last WWE pay-per-view held in Louisville was Judgement Day in 2000.

While the possibility of attracting a major WWE show is exciting, many are wondering what impact this new commission will have on independent wrestling. It’s no secret that Kentucky is one of the most restrictive states in the nation when it comes to regulating wrestling. Kentucky is one of the few states that governs wrestling as a legitimate sport, and the red tape involved with promoting and wrestling in Kentucky is staggering.

“The hardest challenge in getting licensed in Kentucky isn’t finding a venue,” says Rick Brady, owner of D1W. “It was putting up a $5000 bond to throw a show. Since I had insurance, I was never sure why was the bond necessary. Second, I had to fill out an application and wait for them to decide to even give me a hearing to get a license. Third, I had to go to the hearing, and even if I posted the $5000 bond, I was still not guaranteed they would approve me for a license.”

The Kentucky Athletic Commission is notoriously stingy about handing out licenses to promoters. Brady contends that the Commission will not allow two promotions to run in the same territory, much like the old days of the NWA, and no one is allowed to move in and compete with the licensed promoters.

Kentucky regulations are equally cumbersome for the wrestlers, and anyone who wants to work in the business. Anyone who steps on the other side of the barrier wall from the fans – wrestlers, managers, valets, ring announcers, time keepers, and more – is required to have a license, and everyone who has a license is required to pass a physical and be subject to random drug testing.

“There’s nothing random about the drug testing,” says Brady. “[The Athletic Commission] intrude in the locker room and disrupt the show by having guys randomly pee tested. There are no restrictions on this. They can test you 2 or 3 times a week, and they are very biased on who they select. One wrestler, who I will not name, refuses to wrestle in Kentucky because of the harassment he was receiving from the Athletic Commission. After being suspended in 2013, he cleaned up his life and was drug free to my knowledge. When he returned to Kentucky in 2015, he went through the application process and was granted a license. Then at every show he wrestled, he was forced to take a drug test. After doing this five weeks in a row, and passing every time, he never returned to Kentucky.”

If you’re curious why WWE, TNA, and other promotions generally give Kentucky a pass, it’s because these regulations and more (including one that states a match must stop immediately if there’s any blood) apply to every wrestling show in Kentucky.

“I think Louisville and Lexington are gonna push for relaxed rules on wrestling to get bigger events,” says PWF’s Jimmy Feltcher. “At the end of the day, money talks, and so will it be in this case.”

The new KBWA will likely cut away some of the red tape in order to incentivize the WWE to bring a major event to Louisville or Lexington, but the question remains: will the independent wrestlers and promoters see any relief? Wrestlers I’ve spoken to are largely optimistic, but the promoters remain skeptical.

“I’m curious to see committee treats the little guys because it seems like a play to bring WWE back to the city,” says UWA’s Eddie Allen. “WWE and TNA both left OVW as a development area. Plus Louisville Gardens becomes instantly attractive to a bigger fish group of people if red tape on events is cleared.”

“If Bevin wants to change it, change it,” says Brady. “Gut the current commission and let the new guys have a fresh opportunity to revitalize wrestling.”

It’s worth noting that the promoters I spoke with all run or have run promotions in Southern Indiana, immediately across the river from Louisville. At the present time, there are more than half a dozen promotions running in the Louisville area north of the river, including PWF, UWA, KDW, and one time Kentucky promotion IWA Mid-South. Odds are one or more of these groups would happily move South into Kentucky. We might even see wrestling return to the Gardens, if the stars align for the right investor and the right promoter.

It all depends on how the KBWA does it’s job. At the very least we may soon see some major WWE events come to town, bringing the money and visitors the governor hopes to attract. At best the KBWA has the opportunity to bring Kentucky into the 21st century, positioning wrestlers in the Commonwealth to join the independent wrestling revolution already sweeping the country.

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Wrestling Dad – A new comedy short

Well, this was bound to happen.

For those who don’t know, I was a short film maker for more than a decade before I became a wrestling writer. After seeing Portia Perez’s Shoot Job on Youtube, I got inspired. Happy that my friend Marc Hauss and my the brilliant George Robert Bailey were willing to come along.

Eat Sleep Wrestle presents… Wrestling Dad. Enjoy.

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Eat Breakfast with Bolin… and Jimmy!

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About a year and a half ago, I had the privilege of eating lunch with Kenny “Starmaker” Bolin and his life long adversary Jim Cornette at Clarksville Seafood. Stories were shared about their childhood, their life together, and their days in the ring. Many of them made their way into Kenny’s book, but some details did not. It was an incredible time listening to two of Kentucky’s biggest wrestling legends banter back and forth, and it was arguably one of the funniest conversations I have ever had in my life.

On May 21 Kenny wants you to join him and Jim for a similar experience at the Golden Corral on Taylorsville Rd in Louisville! Breakfast with Bolin is a once in a lifetime chance to have breakfast AND lunch (yes, you read that right) with the Starmaker and the original Louisville Slugger.

The conversation, complete with questions from you and other fans, will be filmed for future release as a DVD and distribution on the INC Network on Roku.

The date, time and location are now confirmed: May 21 at 10 AM at the Golden Corral on Taylorsville Rd in Louisville. Kenny is now selling tickets direct through his Facebook page. $29 is the price that gets you two meals and a seat for one of the most entertaining days of your life. What’s more, Golden Corral has decided to make this a charity fundraiser, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the sons and daughters of veterans to enable them to go to summer camp.

If you’re a wrestling fan in or near the Louisville area, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Jim has traveled the country doing Q&A’s and giving talks on his career, but Kenny does NOT do this. If you’re one of the many who only download Jim’s podcast when Kenny is on, you will not want to miss this chance.

Please visit Kenny’s Facebook page to get in touch and book your spot before it sells out!

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The Louisville Slugger Comes Home

12992332_10205236963237924_1683786514_nAustin Bradley is home and started on the road to recovery. Hoping that his doctor’s visit goes well next week and he can get back in the ring quickly. Here’s a note from the flight home.

“As I am on my flight home and reflect on the month I spent In Japan, I have mixed feelings. I am so happy for the experience. At the same time I am not happy about having to leave early due to this injury. I know I will be back and better than ever. The Zero 1 office made the call and although I was not happy, they were right in sending me home to heal. The fact that I was invited back makes this easier.

“It is amazing to me how much I was able to learn in such a short time. It was defiantly a culture shock but with the help of some of the gaijin vets I learned slowly but surely the ways of the Japanese culture. I owe a big thank you to Sean Guinness, Buffa and James Raideen for putting up with my ignorance to the culture and styles and for having my back and teaching me. Nothing but respect to you guys, and I look forward to coming back and seeing you guys again.

“I’m headed back to Louisville to family and friends, but now its crunch time. I will heal and train and continue to grow as both a wrestler and a person. I want to once again thank the Zero 1 office and wrestlers for the experience and the lessons learned. Also a thank you to Sei Ozawa for being and amazing person. Thank you to DANO, Mad Man Pondo, John Clark, Ozzy Sufi and Allison Blevins for being the best friends a guy could ask for. Thank you to my lady Brittany for staying by my side and being so supportive.

“Last but certainly not least, my family. I love you guys and to my number one fan My mom thank you for supporting me in my dream since day one, you have been an inspiration my entire life and I love you. To my Dad you put up with more than anyone and I am thankful for all your sacrifices and tough love you have showed me. If I can ever be half the man, father and husband you are I will be happy. My brother Collin you are my best friend and I hope one day we will catch this flight together. Thank you to all my supporters. This is a bit corny and long winded, but I want to show my thanks.”

Follow Austin on his Facebook page.