My Memories of Wrestling Legend Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Bobby The Brain HeenanBobby “The Brain” Heenan has passed away at the age of 73. He suffered from throat cancer for the last 15 years of his life, which ironically hindered his ability to communicate verbally. His verbal wit is what his fans love the most about him.

And I was one of them. He, along with one of my uncles, inspired my sense of humor as a child and an adult. For the people who I know and annoy with my one liners, zingers and puns, that’s what I got it from mostly. I enjoyed listening to him on commentary as the bad guy contrast to Gorilla Monsoon & Tony Schiavone.

I was also entertained by his antics as a kid, whether he was a manager, broadcast journalist (a job title he made famous in my mind) or even in the ring wrestling on occasion. The older I got, the more I appreciate Bobby Heenan for all facets of his work even when he was serious.

Some of my favorite Heenan moments include commentating the 1992 Royal Rumble, him saying that he could do a body slam when reversing a leapfrog like Rick Steiner during the Steiner Brothers’ debut match in the WWF & how out of left field most of his comments were towards the good guys.

I also read both of his autobiographies Chair Shots and Other Obstacles: Winning Life’s Wrestling Matches & Bobby the Brain: Wrestling’s Bad Boy Tells All. I’ll have to reread them at some point since there’s a lot I learned from them the first time around and now would put to better use in my wrestling career.

RIP and thank you for everything.

8-Year Career Evaluation & 1st Singles Championship Win Thoughts

WrestlePro ChampionshipSeptember 9, 2017 will be a day that will forever live in my mind as one of the happiest of my life. That’s because it was the day I became WrestlePro Champion.

Winning the WrestlePro Championship is the culmination of 8 years of hard work and putting up with nonsense in companies that are irrelevant or completely nonexistent.

I intend on running with the ball as champ both at WrestlePro and as a champion-caliber wrestler at other companies I wrestle for. My goal is to better myself and any company I wrestle for by doing whatever I can to do so in & out of the ring.

That goal has always been that, but my next goal is to wrestle for some more prominent places on the independent scene. I also want to make the opportunity for myself to be seen on a bigger company’s TV in the next 12 months.

I always felt like I could run with that chance, but hindsight tells me I was never truly ready to succeed in said chance until this past year. I’ve grown more in my personal and professional confidence.

In terms of career evaluation, this has been my best year yet in terms of both performance and win/loss record since I did not get pinned or submitted this year. But I’d like to have more matches next year to better myself.

I’ve sacrificed a lot personally, more than most people will know, to achieve my pro wrestling dream and I look to make Year 9 even more worth losing those things. I intend on living up to my potential.

TL;DR: best year yet careerwise, goals = keep on bettering myself, more matches, even better companies, get on TV

Upcoming Event: WrestlePro at the Edison Fall Family Spectacular on September 23

WrestlePro Edison Fall Family SpectacularWrestlePro continues its annual tradition of having a pair of events during the Edison Fall Family Spectacular. And WrestlePro Champion Chris Avery Queling will be in action during the festival, as will:

  • Former NXT superstar Bull James
  • GFW Impact Wrestling stars KM (Kevin Matthews) & Fallah Bahh
  • “The Boricua Badass” Dan Maff
  • And more wrestlers on the WrestlePro roster

The address of where the WrestlePro ring will be is 1009 Amboy Avenue in Edison, New Jersey (right by the Subway). There will be an autograph signing from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 2 shows: one starting at 1:30 pm and the other beginning at 5:30 pm.

This event is absolutely free, so come on down & see some wrestling! But the Edison Fall Family Spectacular is not just about wrestling. The festival is open from 11 am to 11 pm and attendees can enjoy:

  • 25+ food vendors
  • 100+ exhibitors
  • Beer Garden
  • Kids Korner
  • Pony & kiddie rides
  • Petting zoo

A 605 Superpodcast Name Drop & a Lost Japan Booking

605 Super Podcast Episode 74

Part 2 of an interview with Tony Myers aired on Brian Last’s 605 Superpodcast where he spoke about his time wrestling in Japan and his relationship with Mr. Pogo.

At around the 3:30:40 mark, Last asks his final question where Myers mentions CAQ’s name as someone who Pogo wanted to bring into his promotion WWS for a gaijin (foreigners) tournament.

It has been said that Pogo enjoyed CAQ because of the “People are Strange” theme song (as Pogo liked the Doors while in America) and being all go in the ring. Unfortunately, Pogo passed away before this could come to fruition.

Disappointment

When I heard about this, I have to say that I lost out on the opportunity to wrestle in Japan for one of the more recognized wrestlers from that country.

It’s more disappointing that Pogo passed away from surgical complications that could have been avoided, but that’s a whole different topic.

I’m just happy to know that I was regarded so highly by a wrestling legend halfway around the world. That is humbling to me.

I hope to get the opportunity to wrestle in Japan at least once before my wrestling career ends. For now, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and look to open more doors for myself.

Listen to Episode 74 of the 605 Superpodcast at http://605pod.com/2017/08/26/episode-74-memory-full/

My Memories of Nigerian Nightmare Aaron Gainey

Nigerian Nightmare Aaron GaineyIt always hits home harder when someone you’ve met and interacted with passes away. Even if it’s been years since you’ve seen the person.

That’s the case of Aaron Gainey, who wrestled on northeast independent companies as one of the original Nigerian Nightmares. I feel badly that I don’t know his exact wrestling name, but I know the tag team name has more of a legacy.

And that may have been intentional since other wrestlers teamed with Aaron or his partner on various indies. I was lucky enough to work with the original duo and their manager, who was one of their wives.

Let’s go back to 2009 when I first started doing ring crew on rentals. My first impression of watching Aaron wrestle was that of awe since he flew through the air like someone who was 200 lbs lighter.

It gave me inspiration as a student knowing that I can be agile, too if I put my mind to it. I really trained hard to be as flexible as possible and jump as high as I could.

Months later, I got to officially meet Aaron in the locker room when I was reffing as Chris Green. I got to referee a tag match with the Nigerian Nightmares against two small wrestlers, one dressed as a goat and the other like another animal.

I listened to him, playing scared and going along with their African savage gimmick. I remember that match distinctly because I had to carry the goat back to the locker room.

Distinguished Gentlemen vs Nigerian NightmaresI was supposed to defend the NDIW Tag Team Championship against the Nightmares a couple years later, but they were unable to be there that day. I was disappointed since I wanted to wrestle the Nigerians based on my experience with Aaron and his partner. I felt the savage vs snob match would have been entertaining.

Aaron was always friendly to me in the few times I met him. I know he inspired other bigger guys like me, so I thank him for that and the advice he gave me early on before I ever had a match.

It’s clear that Aaron Gainey was loved by many and I hope he’s able to rest easy.

Upcoming Event: WrestlePro in Rahway NJ on Saturday September 9th

WrestlePro Rahway NJ September 9 2017WrestlePro returns to their home at the Rahway Rec Center (275 East Milton Avenue) on Saturday September 9 with a huge lineup that features CAQ and a number of big-name stars and top independent wrestlers.

The theme of big-name vs big-independent star resonates throughout this event with the following matches:

  • GFW’s Bobby Lashley vs Colt Cabana in probably the most unique match of the night
  • Former WWE superstar Ryback vs AR Fox in a clash of sizes & styles
  • Former WWE & ECW star Tommy Dreamer vs Joey Janela which should be a hardcore brawl given these 2 men’s histories

Speaking of hardcore, Pat Buck and Dan Maff have been in a blood feud throughout 2017. It will culminate on this night inside of a steel cage!

More Global Force Wrestling stars will be in action as KM (Kevin Matthews) will battle Johnny Clash and Fallah Bahh & Mario Bokara team up against The Heavenly Bodies.

Also scheduled for this card are:

  • Former WWE superstar Swoggle in action
  • WrestlePro Champion Bobby Wayward
  • WrestlePro Tag Team Champions Habib & CPA vs Apple Corps of Matt Macintosh & Valerio LaMorte
  • Maria Manic
  • And more!

Tickets and photo op packages are available at http://www.wrestleproonline.com/9917.html. The meet & greet starts at 5:30 and matches begin at 7:30 pm.

Upcoming Event: WrestlePro Rumble For the Blue on August 10

WrestlePro Rumble For the BlueWrestlePro returns with another event on a Thursday night, this time on August 10. They will present Rumble For the Blue, a fundraiser for the NYPD at 1435 Travis Avenue in Staten Island.

The event will feature matches with NYPD police officers and pro wrestlers Chris Payne & Chris Romano. On the opposite side of that, Chris Avery Queling will also be in action.

Other WrestlePro roster members & wrestlers currently scheduled to be in matches include:

  • WrestlePro Champion Bobby Wayward
  • WrestlePro Tag Team Champions CPA & Habib
  • Global Force Wrestling star Fallah Bahh
  • The Heavenly Bodies
  • “Bad Apple” Matt Macintosh
  • Anthony Bowens
  • “Man of Steel” Mike Verna
  • Maxwell Jacob Friedman
  • Taboo Crew
  • And many more!

Matches will be announced in the near future.

 

ATTN Wrestlers: People Remember More Than You Think They Do

I was inspired to write this post by an event I heard about and saw a YouTube video of this past weekend containing people I know, people I’ve heard of and people I don’t know.

There are 3 things that people remember the most about you: their first impression, your accolades/mistakes and the last thing you’ve done. It’s a lot easier to make a bad impression than a good one, even if you’re not trying to.

Every choice you make could impact your career, whether you don’t shake someone’s hand, take time out to give advice (rightly or wrongly) or start a fight in and out of the ring. That’s because you never know who’s watching or will become an influencer down the road.

The one that most commonly sticks out is when you feel personally good or bad about someone due to how you interact with them. I’ve done things like help out extra during events, lent people athletic tape, carried bags and been friendly in the locker room.

I’ve even lent a sock to Mick Foley on a show I wasn’t on… My sock got booked and I did not.

I’m sure I’ve done things to rub people the wrong way for various reasons, unintentionally of course. But it’s our actions that people see and our words they hear, not our intentions.

That’s where you have to be careful since the right thing in your brain could be the wrong one in reality. Sometimes, apologies aren’t enough to reverse an impression. Forgiveness is different then forgetting and I’ve let things go but still held onto the thought.

People from years ago have wronged me and I’ve moved on, but that memory comes flooding back once their name is mentioned or I’m in their presence.

And that’s what I remind myself of every time I interact with people.

4th of July Flashback: Big Ben Cromwell vs The Patriot in a Flag Match

The 4th of July is a day to celebrate everything America, including pro wrestling. That’s why I wanted to feature a Flag Match I had as Big Ben Cromwell against former WCW/WWF star The Patriot at UPWA Battle of Morris County on 5/10/14 in Morristown NJ.

The Flag Match is (typically) done to culminate the feud between a proud American and an evil foreigner from any country, even one that’s an ally of the US like Big Ben Cromwell’s motherland: England. That or it being a gimmick to attempt to reach a wider audience. There are 2 types of Flag Matches: one where the wrestler getting the winning fall gets to raise their flag or one where the wrestler who climbs up and takes down their flagpole first wins (like capture the flag).

This contest was the latter, unlike my only other Flag Match to date when the Japanese Assassin took on The Patriot was the former. Both times, the US flag was raised high at the end.

For this match, Cromwell hit The Patriot with a sneak attack, but the tables turned and Patriot attacked Cromwell. That was until an attempted bulldog was thwarted and Cromwell gained the advantage. Eventually after both got some advantages and some flag grabbing attempts, a double clothesline occurred that turned into a race for each wrestler’s respective flag. Cromwell slipped and that enabled The Patriot to win the match.

Chris Avery Queling’s History in 6-Way Pro Wrestling Matches

6 Way Pro Wrestling Match

There have been several small battle royals that I’ve been in with 7 or 8 wrestlers in certain companies (ECPW). Even more chaotic than that is the 6-way match in pro wrestling. That’s because 6 wrestlers battle at the same time with no restrictions. Typically, the first person to get a pinfall or submission will win.

On Thursday July 13 at WrestlePro’s Freedom Fest State Fair event, Chris Avery Queling will be in a 6-way match against:

  • Impact Wrestling star Mario Bokara who CAQ has wrestled once before in singles action as Big Ben Cromwell & faced off with in a recent rumble match
  • Dan Maff who has a very similar hard-hitting style to CAQ
  • Anthony Bowens who CAQ had an intense rivalry with and wrestled in singles competition earlier this year
  • Chris Payne who CAQ has teamed with on one occasion in a 10-man tag team match
  • Mike Verna who CAQ has never faced or teamed with before

This will not be my 1st 6-way match, as he has had several back when he was the Scranton Strangler. Here is a list of the 6-way pro wrestling matches that I’ve been a part of.

Scranton Strangler vs Brian XL vs The Drunken Swashbuckler vs The Revolting Blog vs The Lifeguard vs Habib From the Car Wash

My maiden 6-way match took place on Halloween night 2014 in Rahway, New Jersey. The Lifeguard replaced CPA who suffered an unfortunate head injury earlier in the day. This match started off fast and furious with a dive followed by the Scranton Strangler mask getting ripped off of my face. I wound up getting it back on, but upside down. After moving out of the way of a Revolting Blob dive, the match broke out into some action until the Strangler was on the bottom of a Tower of Doom… chokeslamming Brian XL and Swashbuckler who were superplexing Lifeguard. Right after, Habib delivered his knees to me for the win.

Scranton Strangler vs PJ Black vs Brian XL vs “The Lifeguard” Mike Del vs Bobby Wayward vs Johnny Howl

I replaced Shynron who was out with an injury on February 21, 2015 in Rahway NJ. This was an honor for me since this was one of PJ Black’s first independent matches after he left WWE, where he wrestled as Justin Gabriel. Mike Del was managed by former WWE diva Ashley Massaro, who did not get involved in the match. After getting a basketball thrown in my face and getting dived on by PJ Black & Brian XL, more action came about until another Tower of Doom where I helped deliver a stacked superplex. Afterwards, I mistimed a move and fell head first onto the ring stairs, so I was on the floor when Bobby Wayward made Johnny Howl submit via a stretch muffler.

Scranton Strangler vs Bobby Wayward vs Anthony Bowens vs CPA vs Delroy vs Nikos Rikos

This match happened outdoors on July 25, 2015 in Union NJ. At one point in the match, I pulled CPA in the ring by his throat, but got thwarted by him. I also remember wrestling around with Anthony Bowens (who will be in the 6-way match CAQ is in on July 13) and Delroy who I also remember double teaming Nikos Rikos on. Eventually, Bobby Wayward used the stretch muffler to make CPA submit.

Scranton Strangler vs Kyle Reynolds vs Starman vs Bobby Wayward vs Anthony Bowens vs Valerio LaMorte

The most recent 6-way match I took part in September 26, 2015 at the Edison Fall Family Spectacular. I know Valerio LaMorte had bought his spot from Nikos Rikos. I don’t remember many details of the match, but I know the Starman won via a brainbuster on Valerio LaMorte. This was actual the Scranton Strangler’s last match before he got transformed into Dr Acula on Raven’s Restler Rescue.

I expect the upcoming Chris Avery Queling vs Mario Bokara vs Dan Maff vs Mike Verna vs Chris Payne vs Anthony Bowens 6-way match to be the most exciting one I’ve been in yet. Come on down to the Freedom Fest State Fair in Allentown, New Jersey that opens at 5 for some carnival rides and then head to the wrestling that starts at 7 pm. Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/professional-wrestling-featuring-ryback-cody-rhodes-and-hornswoggle-tickets-34150804977.