Monday, November 26, 2018


First you jump....then you RUN!

You will not get many opportunities to make the jump and do what you love to do. I did it and still struggle with coming to grips. The issue for me is defining what work is. For me it was always going to a place, clock in, and get to work before the boss says anything. Sound familiar? Now it's up to me.
I don't have motivation issues. My issue is upstairs in my head. Trying to tell myself that watching wrestling videos is work because I'm researching an article and not screwing around. When I had days off from my job this was what I did. Trust me I love doing this, but it's not work. Setting up the store, writing posts, none of it is work, but I've also made no money.
This wasn't one of the problems I anticipated, and maybe classifying it as that is an overstatement. However, it has brought unnecessary anxiety and I have enough of that right now. Worrying about what you're doing and whether or not it's acceptable as work is fruitless.

Where is the fix? You run with it. Run until you can't run anymore,. Until your last breath is exhausted. I spoke to a friend last week who drives for Uber, and has some small investments. He was considering taking a job in another state because he wanted the comfort of a regular job. My advice was simple; You're already working on your own. You are paying your bills and doing good for yourself. I also said that you work for yourself now, and there is no set schedule with a nagging boss who sets unrealistic expectations.
I told him that this is something you may never have again. Making the jump and running isn't an opportunity you will always take, so when it's there go for it. You can always go and get a job. Now I try to enjoy it each day. I'm sure it will get easier, but right now I think of what I said to my friend that this is the time. First you jump....then RUN!


Gary Vaynerchuk's Life Advice Will Change Your Life (MUST WATCH) | Gary ...

Friday, November 16, 2018

Matt Riddle - King of Bros

NXT’s King of Bros, Matt Riddle, looked the part of a king in dispatching tough Luke Menzies in his NXT debut. The former Evolve champion and NXT newcomer came to the ring with chants of bro from the Full Sail crowd and a star was born. Sometimes the lights are too bright even in NXT for some wrestlers and they go back to the independent ranks sometimes never to be seen on the big stage again.
Matt Riddle is different. He was comfortable and relaxed with the spotlight. He stood on the turnbuckles and soaked in the adulation like a drug. Speaking of…. I first saw Riddle in the Ultimate Fighter and I rooted for him to win because his carefree attitude was infectious. The future King of Bros always smiled and was happy to be there. His UFC career ended after a couple positive marijuana tests.
Riddle has found significant success in pro wrestling in a short time prior to signing with NXT. He was the Evolve champion, WWN champion, and one half of the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla tag champs with Jeff Cobb when they were known as the Chosen Bros. Riddle won the Evolve strap with a win over current NXTUK grappler Zach Sabre Jr at Evolve 102. He held the belt for 121 days before losing to Shane Strickland at Evolve 108.
After a dustup with Kassius Ohno last week, Riddle has been booked with Ohno at NXT 478. Ohno will be good opposition for the youngster. He is strong and agile for a guy who looks like he spends more time on the couch than in the wrestling ring. It’s a good matchup for Riddle. The 32 year old billed from Las Vegas certainly could make a run at either one of the NXT belts in the near future.
There are plenty of great options for the bro after Kassius Ohno. The NXT talent pool is deep and Tomasso Ciampa’s belt has a huge target on it. Riddle has the makings of a giant superstar. After a lot of seasoning in NXT he could make a run in WWE. The athleticism is there to be able to compete with bigger guys the way two-time WWE champion AJ Styles does as well as current champ Daniel Bryan.
The threat of the submission makes him dangerous against wrestlers of any size, so he is capable of winning a title from anyone. Riddle is green on the mike, but he has the raw skills, and the in ring skill is there. He is an exciting prospect that will be fun to watch going in 2019.

Armchair Promoter opens tomorrow...

Armchair Promoter goes live tomorrow. It’s exciting and terrifying. What if nobody goes there? I ask myself that question often. I know that I should change the thought with something positive, but that’s what inspires me, the possibility that nobody shows up. If nobody shows up then we’ll change the plan to get there. We’ll find a way. There has been way too much time, work, and love that has gone into this company.
Napoleon Hill wrote in his classic, Think and Grow Rich “If the thing you wish to do is right, and you believe in it, go ahead and do it! Put your dream across, and never mind what “they” say if you meet with temporary defeat, for “they,” perhaps, do not know that EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT SUCCESS.”
There have been wins and losses because very little has gone the way we expected. Some of it bad, but some of it has been good. Since my head is clearing from the Walmart responsibility there are ideas that have come from the ether that I didn’t anticipate. We’ve also had to fire an artist because they weren’t meeting expectations and it was someone we expected to be a part of our future. Our video guy bailed out after the first meeting. Both of them told me several times they were 100% committed.
We have changed the plan more than once. Don’t be afraid to operate fluidly. Here’s the thing if it’s been a month and we haven’t made a sale that’s ok because I know we will continue to produce content, develop ideas, work hard, and follow the process to build our business.
I’m happy there are people I know that don’t expect this to work, and they’re the same ones who tell me how proud and happy they are for me. I could care less. The people I push for are the people that I know support me and this company. Not the ones who anticipate my failure.
My girlfriend who kept pushing me when I got nervous and gives me all the time I need to work. It’s her and the friends of mine that check in that I know are rooting for us. I get inspiration from the people that believe in me. They’re the reason Armchair Promoter is opening up tomorrow, and I am grateful for those people.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Lou Thesz vs. Verne Gagne

The Midnight Rockers vs Buddy Rose & Doug Sommers (09/02/1986)

Pro Wrestling is Real

My first exposure to pro wrestling was in the early 80’s when I came across the AWA. I was turning the dial to find something to watch on one of the five channels and there it was, the American Wrestling Association. If my memory serves Jerry Blackwell was wrestling one of Sheik Adnan Al Cassie’s guys. With Blackwell the match was far from fast and furious, but entertaining enough to continue watching. As I said we had five channels, so the content in those days was a bit light.
 I had never watched a sport like this before, but I was enamored. The discovery remained a secret for a few weeks until I broke the news to my mother who is also a sports fan.

Our conversation went as follows,
Me: I found a new sport on TV.
Mom: What’s that?
Me: Professional wrestling (smiling).
Mom: You know it’s fake right?
Me: (no longer smiling) what do you mean it’s fake.
Mom: It’s fake. They know who’s gonna win.

Long time wrestling fans have heard the words, “you know it’s fake” more times than we care to count. It was a moment in my childhood I’d like to have different. Mom could’ve waited before telling me right. Did she have to smash me immediately? I don’t think so. She had no trouble stretching out the Santa Claus charade. I digress. After watching it sparingly upon the “fake” news, I was invited to attend live matches with a family friend. They were at the Showboat Sports Pavilion where the AWA filmed their TV.
Four weeks of shows were shot that week. Similar to the way some indies shoot their TV today. I was enjoying the wrestling and I walked over to the heel locker room where Doug Sommers was standing outside. He was watching the proceedings sipping from a cup that we’ll assume was water. Still not convinced wrestling was fake I said hello to him and his exact words were, “get out of here”.
I remember going that night, but the only memory that stuck about my first wrestling show was the interaction with Summers. He did his job because after that I hated him. How could he say that to me? I was just an innocent kid who wanted to say hi. I wanted that Mean Joe Green moment. Maybe he would’ve thrown me a towel.
Nope, he said, “get out of here”. Message sent. When the Midnight Rockers chased him and Buddy Rose for the AWA tag belts I was invested because I wanted Sommers to lose. I was sitting two feet from the television when the Midnight Rockers got the belts, and I jumped for joy all over the living room. It was a euphoric feeling, and one I’ve experienced on several occasions when my favorites have won.
I am not always happy with pro wrestling, but that is what a sport does. There are times you really enjoy it and times when you threaten to boycott. I think pro wrestling fans are the ones who have it right. We invest our time, energy, and emotions just like any other fan.
Mom was wrong,
Pro wrestling is real.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Hulk Hogan Signs with WWF

When Hogan went to the World Wrestling Federation it changed the sport, and was the beginning of the end for the AWA and the territories. Hulk Hogan became THE MAN! He was the headliner and the main eventer. I saw the headlines and watched the matches. That could have been the AWA. They could have sold out the old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis with Hogan as the main event. Other wrestlers would have been drawn to the AWA and the Hulkster would have had a laundry list of challengers for the belt.
One of the reasons the WWF was able to poach so much talent was because they had Hogan. The buzz was real. Folks wanted to be a part of what was happening.
Even Gagne himself could have gotten in the ring with Hogan. Instead Gagne chose not to make him champion and then let him walk. Multiple times he booked Hogan to win only to have the title taken away at a later date. Gagne blamed Hogan saying he was too greedy, and wanted too much from royalties. Hogan is a businessman. He saw the writing on the wall and believed in the potential he had.
Verne Gagne had a very big ego and that is what I believe was the actual issue. The reason Verne Gagne started the AWA in the first place was so he could be the champion. I don’t think Gagne wanted anyone to be bigger than him, and he knew Hogan would be. The fact Hogan isn’t a traditional wrestler played a role, but the fans loved him. They pay the bills, not tradition.
Was Hulk Hogan trying to cash in on his fame. ABSOLUTELY! Why wouldn’t he. The guy was so over and would have made a great title run in the AWA.
Hulk Hogan going to the WWF and Vince McMahon changed wrestling as we knew it with Rock N Wrestling, Wrestlemania, Saturday Night’s Main Event, and so on. Hulk Hogan was the main event. If you told someone you were watching wrestling they asked who Hulk was fighting.
The Chairman saw what Hogan brought to the table and capitalized on it. Something Verne Gagne and the AWA failed to do.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I am Scared

When I was preparing to leave my job I was worried about a million different things. My girlfriend could tell I was worried and asked me what was wrong. I didn’t know if she would get where I was coming from. She had never started a business. I was wrong.
She said, “Yes I understand. When I was walking and staying in shelters with my kids. It was also scary going to different houses trying to eat and sleep. We were cold and had no place to go”. I felt small. She went on to tell me her ex-husband would kick her and the babies out of the house. They would be forced to wander the streets trying to survive until he let them come back. Damn! Why was I scared?
 It gave me perspective.
You never know where the wisdom will come from. I wouldn’t be able to do this without her.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

When Do You Know???

A friend asked me “When did you know it was wrestling you were going to do?”
 “I didn’t,” I said.
That was the truth and to be honest I still don’t. I know that this is where I’m starting, and this is where all my energy is focused. I don’t know if this is the business I will be in for the rest of my life. That was my hang up so often when I wanted to start a company. I would spend so much valuable time trying to decide if this was the business to run and would eventually talk myself out of it.
Pro wrestling was certainly not it. I am a fan of the sport and have been since I was a kid. When I was 12 I had my own wrestling promotion with the old AWA action figures. The matches were booked and my mom let me put posters on the wall when the Super cards were scheduled. However, when my moms friends questioned why I was playing with “toys” the World Wrestling Alliance closed it’s doors.
Then I discovered Champions of the Galaxy which is a wrestling card game that lets you start your own promotion. So I did. I kept it to myself because I was over 40 for crying out loud. Who does this when they’re over 40. Like my buddy said to me, “Do it because you think it’s cool.” SO I did. I didn’t worry what people thought.
It sprung from the simple action of playing a card game. I loved the creativity and I have found the more I play the more my imaginative mind works. It keeps the creative juices flowing. If you had told me that five years ago I would’ve laughed in your face. Now I understand the value.
My business began with the idea to create my own game edition and has now evolved into much more. The point with the mini bio is that if you have an idea to sell one picture frame then sell it. Put it on eBay or Shopify. Then when you sell that find another one to sell. The first step is truly where it all begins. It doesn’t matter where you start  as long as you do.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Fritz von Erich vs Scientific Bobby Brown 1950's Buffalo professional wr...

Lou Thesz vs. Buddy Rogers

People Don't Care....Get Over it.

When I started Fight CLL in 2010 I thought my friends and family would think the cause was great (wife had leukemia), and since it was so close they would all get behind us. Nope…not really….and it’s unfortunate. We want our idea to inspire those closest to us so we can start a family empire and all will raise their hands in victory. Maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I always got upset when I would talk to people and they would tell me what a great idea I had, and they were happy for me.
Then I ask if they want to help and you get the collection of excuses. People are excited and supportive as long as they don’t have to do anything. Many folks have busy lives, but many settle. I thought since I was starting a wrestling company that people I know that enjoy wrestling would want to get involved. Nope…not really…and it’s unfortunate. For them it is. I think these guys have settled for working in a job they hate.
It doesn’t matter to me anymore if people don’t want to get involved. The people I want to be part of Armchair Promoter are with us and I like our team. Don’t take it personally. They can be happy for you and not want to help. I have friends who don’t like wrestling, but they’re happy for me.
Now some people are willing to help when you get to the position of needing help. They don’t necessarily want to help you set up the whole thing, but will help you move things forward. Those people are valuable. Don’t ignore the resource just because they weren’t interested in the start. Are you interested in every idea immediately?
I start chopping and remember what Jim Rohn said, “Success isn’t something you pursue, it’s something you attract by the person you become.”


Monday, November 5, 2018

Billy Corgan's 20 Year Plan for the NWA

In Ten Pounds of Gold #13 Billy Corgan answered critics and said he has a twenty year plan for the National Wrestling Alliance. Pundits have asked why the Smashing Pumpkins front man purchased the National Wrestling Alliance last year. If you watch Ten Pounds of Gold you see why. Corgan loves wrestling and he has a bitter pill to swallow with Impact Wrestling and how he was sent away.
I think he wants to prove he's a legitimate wrestling guy and not some rock star who wants a toy to play with. Ten Pounds of Gold proves otherwise.

Corgan said that wrestling returning to the wild west is what's best for fans. He wants to see wrestlers from all promotions competing on other shows. Including WWE. With what we've seen in 2018 I don't think it's far fetched with Impact vs Lethal reports and Cody vs Aldis 1 & 2. Another is the show itself.

The documentary series Ten Pounds of Gold is very well done. It's a series about the championship, the man who holds it, and the title defenses. It takes you back to what happens in the ring which is the place we all became fans. We became fans from watching the matches. Too many promotions build their stories outside of the ring with drama that has nothing to do with wrestling.

The NWA is trying things and taking risks. They're trying unconventional models, and I think it's good. They are highlighting the tremendous history of the NWA World's Heavyweight Championship and it's relevance on the big stage. This is all well and good, but not without some drawbacks.

Seeing the "worlds" champ defending the title in high school gyms and Theaters doesn't make the belt look important. You expect the worlds champion defending the title in a larger venue than that. The level of competition isn't real strong with a couple exceptions.

Nick Aldis certainly looks the part of heavyweight champ and his in ring skill is strong. The quality of his competition improved when he faced Cody at All In. Aldis is using this title run as a stepping stone. He could end up on NXT or even WWE in the next couple years, and age is still on his side.
The NWA worlds heavyweight title is going to be a stepping stone for the immediate future as they regain their footing. Is it possible? Now I believe it is.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ambrose Heel Turn was a Classic

A real good heel turn is tough in the internet age. Wrestling fans watch for them and try to sniff them out months before they happen. Guilty. Internet spoilers give you so much advance storyline that you know when the turn is coming before the promoter does. The Ambrose heel turn is top 2 behind Hulk Hogan’s and I don’t know how that one will ever be topped. This was close.
Here’s why. We knew it was coming and still got fooled. I was waiting for this turn before Dean got hurt. Then Roman comes out. Leukemia! WTF! The Shield with a nice moment on the ramp and I looked at Dean and said, “well he isn’t turning heel tonight.” Boom!
 Didn’t see it coming…. AT ALL. Not on Roman’s night. If we honestly believed that in our hearts, then we don’t know Vince McMahon. He worked with Eric Bischoff, after Bischoff tried to destroy his company. I remember the Monday Night Wars. It was Roman’s night? How stupid are we? Vincent Kennedy McMahon has been stunned, hit with chairs, frogsplashed, punched, and busted open. Do you think he cared about Roman’s night? For McMahon it was perfect and Ambrose delivered.
The only clue I had was when the victory hugs continued a little long, but then it happened. Dirty Deeds. Down goes Rollins. What made the turn incredible was how much heat Ambrose was getting and he had the audacity to walk through the crowd. Fantastic! The surprise and the delivery were outstanding. Now let’s see what happens. Will the WWE Universe come back and cheer for him or will the heat continue?

Friday, November 2, 2018

How to be an

When I was getting ready to leave Walmart I had different ideas of what it would be like to work for yourself. The first two weeks I learned that you have to re-learn everything. At least from the standpoint of my workday. When I was at the store I had a routine. I always knew what I had to do. Despite the fact I've been planning this and know what my plan is I sit at my desk and ask "where do I start? Then I go through this freak out moment and think "WHAT THE F*** HAVE I DONE!" I don't know where to begin and I stress out. OK, freak out is fair. My heart pounds and I worry.
The positive self talk begins and I do my best to fight the demons away for as long as possible. In those situations I just put my head down and chop. I just keep chopping. You have to love the process of building.
Once I'm moving at a normal clip again there was another thing I didn't expect. As I work blogging, making videos, researching wrestling, and such I have to tell myself what I'm doing is work. What I do now is what I always did on my days off. I never considered it work. I've caught myself thinking I was goofing off the last few hours reading and writing about wrestling. The thoughts and feelings are so different than I expected. I know the routine will come as they develop. It's a different experience that is taking more adjustment than I expected.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Impact vs Lethal

The report today by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is that Impact champion Johnny Impact will face Ring of Honor champion Jay Lethal in a title vs title match leads me to believe more than ever that something is brewing among Impact, ROH, and the NWA. The Cody vs Aldis matchups, Aries on ROH shows, and now this.
If this is a legitimate title vs title match and Jay Lethal starts showing up in the Impact arena it’s a good thing. This is eerily similar to what they tried in the early 80’s to combat the WWF onslaught and talent raid. The AWA of Verne Gagne, Dallas’ Jack Adkisson (Fritz Von Erich), Memphis’ Jerry Jarrett , and Jim Crockett of WCW and NWA shared talent and even held joint cards like SuperClash, but there was constant strife between the promoters which meant that real unity never materialized.
These three are the biggest indies, and if they can work together it’s great for the sport. Many wrestling fans including myself have complained about lack of options, but that is changing. I want to see these three and others work together to bring fans more choices to go to live matches, and watch on television, and give some of the great talent on these rosters a chance to shine.