No Blood. No Guts. No Glory. 2005

July 2, 2005.  It was supposed to be my last night as a manager in professional wrestling.  I was ready to pull out all the stops.  I was ready to fade quietly into the darkness.  At the time, I had managed on and off for 7 years.  I had worked with a ton of big names and a lot of up and comers that would go on to bigger and better things.  What more did I have to do?  Ian Rotten vs. Jim Fannin for control of IWA…a feud that had raged on and off for 7 years was finally coming to a head.  2 rings.  3 teams.  15 men.  War Games.  Team IWA Mid-South (Ian Rotten, Brandon Thomaselli, Axl Rotten, Bull Pain and Chris Hero) vs. Team NWA led by Ed Chuman (Vito & Sal Thomaselli, Chandler McClure, Eric Priest and Tank) vs. The Fannin Family (Eddie Kingston, BJ Whitmer, JC Bailey, Mark Wolf and Steve Stone).  Winning team captain (Ian, Chuman or myself) would gain control of IWA Mid-South.  The fans had grown tired of seeing the same old same old between Ian and myself.  However, in independent wrestling, it is hard to maintain storylines because wrestlers come and go.  They build up a name for themselves and then other companies start offering more money for them to come and work for them.  So many storylines would have to get vacated because of egos, money, politics.  So what is the standby?  Ian vs. me.  We could count on us being there.  We could count on us seeing it through to some sort of conclusion and leave it to fester and boil up again when it may be needed.  But 7 years was long enough.  It had to come to a conclusive end.  We had to throw away the crutch because it was broken.  It still baffles me to think back to the guesses being made on the IWA message board leading up to the match.  Even though the Fannin Family hadn’t won a match in forever that involved the feud, the vast majority of fans were thinking that I was going to win the company.  Hell, even when I branched outside of the feud with Ian Rotten, Trik Davis was beating every one of my guys.  We were a glorified collection of jobbers at that point.  Ian & partner won every match against Steve Stone & partner.  Highland every month.  Bit shows in Bloomington, Noblesville, Evansville, Vincennes and other BFE towns in Indiana that I can’t  even remember the names of.  Loss.  Loss.  Loss.  Loss.  Yet the fans believed that I was going to win control of the company?  I guess we were doing something right that the losing wasn’t affecting our status but with tremendous talents like Eddie Kingston and BJ Whitmer and all the titles and tournament wins in the past, we were believable threats.  Anyway, back to the night in question.

I decided that I was going to go all out for my last night.  I deserved it.  I also wanted to do something cool for my guys that have given so much to IWA.  I went out and rented a limo for us to ride around Valpo in and shoot some promos because I thought it would be a cool addition to the DVD.  You don’t get many limos in independent wrestling so it was something unique.  The DVD begins with that limo ride and a basic rundown of the angle and history of the feud to fill in the gaps for those that would buy the DVD to watch CM Punk’s last match and tribute extras.  One of my favorite TV episodes of wrestling was a Smokey Mountain Wrestling episode where the entire show was Jim Cornette reviewing his feud with Bob Armstrong.  It caught me up on what was going on and made me interested in trying to find some of the stuff mentioned and wanting to see what would happen in the future.  So I decided to do this promo in that fashion.  At the time, we had Jimmy Jacobs join us in the limo because JC Bailey hadn’t shown up yet and I had just managed Jimmy the night before in a match against Ian in Salem, Indiana.  Everyone on the team was begging Ian to let Jimmy replace JC on the team especially since we didn’t know if he was even going to show.  It’s no secret that I couldn’t stand JC anyway so replacing him, even though it would mean changing the planned finish of the cage match, was of great importance to me.  It was my last night as manager and I wanted to go out on my own terms and working with people I wanted to work with.  Anyway, we returned to the Valparaiso Armory because we had one more thing to do.  One of my favorite angles in wrestling history was when the Four Horsemen followed Dusty Rhodes and then did the parking lot attack where they tied him to a truck and went to hit him with a baseball bat as the video fades and you can hear Dusty say “make it look goooooooooooooooooood” in one of the poorer editing jobs ever done.  Hahaha.

Four Horsemen Parking Lot Attack on Dusty Rhodes

As we were waiting for Brandon Thomaselli to arrive so we could do the parking lot attack, marks waiting outside to be let in for the show kept yelling “JBL” towards the limo since he had been coming to the ring on Smackdown or whatever damn show he did in a limo.  We got a big kick out of that while waiting in the limo that fans thought JBL was going to an IWA show in Valparaiso at a National Guard Armory.  At least it would make for a nice surprise when it was the Fannin Family that got out of the limo and did the parking lot attack.  Finally, it was time and Brandon starting walking through the gathered crowd towards the building.  Jennessa (a female fan that came to the shows and wanted to break into the business so I started referring to her as the secretary of the Fannin Family) approached Brandon and distracted him.  The Fannin Family left the limo and did the attack laying out Brandon Thomaselli before the match to give us an advantage.  At this point I was having a lot of fun on my last night.  I was channeling my inner Ric Flair mark by being a limousine riding parking lot attack giving wheel dealing son of a gun.  The only thing missing was jet flying and kiss stealing (but I don’t think Jennessa would have agreed to kiss me so I didn’t bother even asking lol).  After we entered the building, we did more pleading to have Jimmy Jacobs replace JC in the cage match and to come up with another finish.  (How ironic that I wanted to work WITH Jimmy Jacobs so badly huh?)  A little while later, JC showed up and dashed my hopes of going out my way.

It seemed like the night took forever (oh wait it was an IWA show so it did take forever!) before it was finally time for the main event.  I did something that I rarely did and I greatly regret not doing more frequently now, I stopped and asked for a picture to be taken of The Fannin Family before we went to the ring.


I should have so many more pictures from my 12 years in wrestling than what I do.  But too late to do anything about it now.  I should have taken pictures with everyone I managed and went against and kept some kind of notes like how Hero would write down everything.  Now most of it is gone from memory or just a blur.  A sure sign that I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have while it was happening because these things don’t last forever.  Anyway back to the story.

We went to the ring and I knew it was my last time and it seemed like the match went in slow motion.  I had the best seat in the house for the bloodbath that was happening in the ring.  I can’t even put into words the respect I have for the guys that would get in there and bust their ass on a nightly basis and the things that they would do to their body.  I never had the guts to do it more often than once in a blue moon.  After Chuman’s team was eliminated, it was down to Team IWA vs. Fannin Family and the crowd was lost in the moment.  Desperately wanting Ian’s team to win and fearing that I was going to get the company.  With 5 less guys clogging the rings, the action was able to pick up some and the violence was especially horrific.  Then came the finish with JC turning on me.  I never thought it made sense for me to trust JC or for JC to trust me leading up to the event with as much hatred as everyone knew that I had for him in real life but the fans bought the finish and that is all that matters.  I blew a gasket and started yelling and screaming.  I picked up a chair and flung it at JC as he sat on top of the cage.  The ref went running for his life and ran right into the falling chair.  1st time I had ever busted anyone open and it happened on a fluke and to someone I liked.  Caleb had blood POURING out of the cut on top of his head and I felt about an inch tall.  I kept asking him why he ran in the direction that I threw the chair but it was my fault for not grabbing ahold of him when I saw him take off in that direction.  Thankfully, the wrestler’s duct tape (super glue) closed the cut up in no time and stopped the bleeding.

Ian cut a promo after the match as he always did and put me back into the good graces with the fans by talking about all my hard work and dedication to the company and letting the fans know that I would still be around in a backstage capacity helping out and wouldn’t be fired.  I thought I was done being a manager but 4 months later, Jimmy Jacobs would throw the IWA title in the trash at an AAW show and cause me to come back to managing to feud with him for the next four years.

If you are interested in buying the DVD of No Blood No Guts No Glory 2005 to see the Fannin Family limo promo, parking lot beatdown, War Games cage match and all the CM Punk matches and extras, you can go to Smart Mark Video and get a discount on the DVD and tremendously fast service by going here:

Good day.


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