Aaron Williams is one of the wrestlers who made me an independent wrestling fan. That’s one reason why he’s one of the featured stars on the cover of Eat Sleep Wrestle. He’s racked up a number of credits on the resume since I started following him. He’s been a solo champion and a tag champion for numerous promotions. He’s been a competitor in CZW’s Best of the Best. He’s been a main event performer since I first met him in 2014. And he’s currently the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Champion.
Last night Williams added another accolade to his career. He is your 2017 Ted Petty Invitational Winner.
Congratulations to the Baddest Man Alive. Wishing you even more success in 2017 and beyond.
Professional wrestling has been called a man’s soap opera. This is true in the ring and backstage. Any place you find there drama of wrestling in a ring, there’s bound to be drama in the locker room.
The Louisville/ Southern Indiana area is flooded with wrestling promotions right now, and right now, at least two of those promotions are in turmoil. Time will tell if any of the small promotions running in Southern Indiana will last. Time has already spoken for IWA Mid-South.
I am not “Kool-Aid” drinker, nor an apologist for Ian Rotten. Ian has his flaws, but he has always been kind to me. He has also done a lot of good for the sport of professional wrestling. He’s been in business for 19 years, and he’s helped just as many rising stars as Ohio Valley Wrestling. Ian has won and lost many battles in and out of the ring, but while dozens of indy promotions have come and gone, he is still in business.
Ian posted the following on his Facebook page last night. It may sound harsh, but I know him well enough to believe he means every word of this without any malice.
“So, it’s two days from Christmas which means the New Year is just right around the corner, so I have to take the time to get this out.
“I need to explain to the many, many promotions that are running in my area (I know this will get to you from either your wrestlers or your fans)… with the exception of OVW you could put all of your shows together and it wouldn’t equal half as many of the shows I’ve ran, so listen to me when I say this. Some of you will be offended by this, but all of you shouldn’t be. Believe me when I say this… I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU. I do not consider you a threat. I do not consider you a competition. I don’t have quote-unquote heat with any of you. I wish each and every one of you the best in business, and you should take the time to stop worrying about everyone else and worry about your own business, your own fans. I hope all of you can last as long as I have, but remember, I’m still here out of pure stubbornness and an incredible dedication and love for this business. To so many of you young wrestlers out there, I will say this – to get booked, show up early and leave late. Prove that you have dedication to your craft and are willing to pay dues. This gets you over a lot more to me than, ‘Yo, when you gonna book me?’ When yo! I don’t even know who you are! In the end, care more about your business than other peoples business.
“Hope everybody has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!”
Ian’s not looking to put anyone out of business. He knows that competition is a good thing, and he wants to see independent wrestling grow. But unlike his would-be rivals, Ian is not fighting to build an audience. He has an audience. Some have been with him from the beginning. They left only when he had to shut his doors, and they were back the moment the doors were open. They followed him from building to building and across state lines for decades, and they’ve embraced the men and women who came through the doors as their own.
Ian built a brand people care about. He established three events – King of the Deathmatch, Queen of the Deathmatch, and the Ted Petty Invitational – that have helped to launch the careers of indy and WWE stars. He doesn’t stoop to the level of those who wish to talk trash on social media because he knows the moment you mention your competition, you put yourself beneath them. (Please take note of this advice, young promoters!) IWA Mid-South alumni are fiercely loyal, and he is loyal to them in return.
No, Ian is not perfect, but he loves wrestling with every fiber of his being. He wouldn’t be where he is if he did not love the business, and IWA Mid-South would long have become a memory.
Ian is hosting a huge show this Saturday, the day after Christmas. It’s a benefit for the family of Shane Goode, aka “The Iron Demon” Shane Mercer. The talent line up for this show is outstanding, and some faces you don’t normally see at IWA-MS will be there in support of Shane. It’s a great chance to have a look at a promotion that has defied the odds and stood the test of time. Click here for details on the Christmas benefit show.
Yes, they were so violent back in the 90s, they were kicked out of Kentucky.
But if you think IWA Mid-South is all blood and guts, think again.
This Friday, IWA Mid-South is resurrecting the “other” tournament it is famous for, the Ted Petty Invitational. The tournament began in 2000 as a showcase for the best technical wrestlers in the world, and in 2002, it was named in memory of Ted Petty.
If you’ve never heard of Ted Petty or the tournament that bears his name, here’s a look at the participants from the 2002 edition.
Pictured in this photo: Christopher Daniels, Jimmy Rave, Matt Stryker, Colt Cabana, Spyder Nate Webb, “Sick” Nick Mondo, M-Dogg 20 (Matt Cross), AJ Styles, Ace Steel, Chris Hero, BJ Whitmer, Tarek the Great and CM Punk.
Not pictured: “All That” Matt Murphy, “Kamikaze” Ken Anderson & Super Dragon.
Other past participants include Nova, Mike Quackenbush, Jerry Lynn, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, Nigel McGuinness, Samoa Joe, Matt Sydal, Hallowicked, Kevin Owens, Delirious, Davey Richards, Ricochet, Low Ki, Tracy Smothers, and Sami Callihan.
Not enough name dropping for you? How about Sara Del Ray (the woman behind NXT’s Four Horsewomen), Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, and Daniel Bryan?
Yes, IWA is hardcore, but it is much, much more than that.
Some of the IWA Mid-South faithful say this year may prove to be the best tournament ever. With names like Kongo Kong, Chris Hero, Reed Bentley, Hy Zaya, Shane Mercer, and Masada on the card, they may be right.