Bad mistakes

CM Punk held a screening of his brand new DVD, Best in the World, tonight in his hometown of Chicago.  I really wanted to go to the event as I have really been into his BITW character lately on RAW and because of the fact that the DVD has IWA Mid-South footage on it including myself on commentary.  CM Punk worked pretty much weekly and sometimes several times a week for IWA from 2000-2003 and then periodically in IWA in 2004-2005 before being signed by WWE.  I was able to co-manage CM Punk for a few months in 2001 when the Gold Bond Mafia of CM Punk and Dave Prazak joined forces with my Super Heroes group of Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno), BJ Whitmer and “The Rugby Thug” Trent Baker.  Much more frequently, I got to manage against CM Punk when he feuded with Chris Hero, BJ Whitmer and then a hilarious 8 man tag match involving Punk, Ace Steel, Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne), Claudio Castagnoli (Antonio Cesaro), Chris Candido, Nigel McGuiness, Danny Daniels and Steve Stone.  In other words, I had plenty of opportunities to form a good friendship with one of the guys that would go on to rule the wrestling world.  That’s not what happened though.  Now when I see CM Punk at a Cubs game or elsewhere, he will shake my hand and exchange some pleasantries with me.  I probably don’t even deserve that.

I’ve been out of wrestling for over 3 years now and it has given me a lot of time to step back and realize what an unbelievably stupid asshole I was for 12 years.  My entire career in wrestling is filled with similar themes.  This is my lament about the scorched earth that I left behind in my wake due to all the bad mistakes that I made.

When I broke into wrestling the day before my 21st birthday, I was certain that IWA Mid-South would succeed.  The shows were so much fun.  Packed houses at the old KMart building on Dixie Highway in Louisville, Kentucky every week.  Outdrawing the USWA shows held the same night at the Louisville Gardens every week.  IWA was taking all the top guys away from Jerry Lawler: Tommy Rich, Doug Gilbert, Tracy Smothers, Dutch Mantell, PG-13.  USWA closes down.  How could IWA fail?

Fast forward to surviving near extinction ourselves to move into our own building in Charlestown, Indiana.  Weekly shows going well.  Outdrawing OVW on the same night just a couple of miles down the road.  We have CM Punk, Colt Cabana, Chris Hero and BJ Whitmer to go along with the hardcore guys like Mad Man Pondo, Ian, Bull Pain, Mean Mitch Page, Rollin Hard, Necro Butcher and Corporal Robinson.  How could IWA fail?

Fast forward to surviving several near extinctions to move on to Highland, Indiana and put on shows that had CM Punk, Chris Hero, Colt Cabana, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan, Jimmy Jacobs, BJ Whitmer, Delirious, Evan Bourne, Dusty Rhodes, Terry Funk, Chris Candido, Abdullah the Butcher, Necro Butcher, New Jack, Ian and on and on and on.  How could IWA fail?

At no time from 1997-2004 did I ever try to get on to other shows outside IWA.  At no time did I network with these guys or try to be friends and hang out.  Shit, from 12 years in wrestling, I can count on 1 hand the wrestlers that I still interact with on a regular basis without it being a chance encounter.  As a matter of fact, Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown would be able to count them on one hand and have some left over.  Mean Mitch Page. There are a few others that I converse with on the internet periodically but don’t really see anymore like Mark Wolf, Glasses Jones and Mickie Knuckles.

That is pathetic and there is no excuse for that.  I was an angry, bitter, hateful, F the world SOB.  I held grudges sometimes over the pettiest of shit imaginable.

I saw Glasses Jones the other day at a Cubs game as she asked if I ever thought about getting back into the business.  I’d be lying if I said the thought had NEVER crossed my mind.  I then told her though that it wasn’t like I could call up Danny Daniels and say “bring me in baby!” because I employed the “F*$! diplomacy” strategy most of my life.  The scorched earth that I left behind leave me with no options even if I did want to get back into the business.

So here is some unsolicited advice for new guys trying to make it in the business.  Do the opposite of everything that I did.  Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.  Work everywhere.  Work everyone.  Shake those hands.  Introduce yourself.  Network.  Make friends.  Don’t hold grudges.  Pursue the dreams that you have so that even if you fail, you fail with no regrets.

There is no worse feeling that sitting at home and watching CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro on television every week and saying “I worked with those guys.  I managed those guys.  I never made any kind of an effort to become friends with those guys.  Now they are some of the biggest stars in the business and I’m just someone that they used to know.”


One response to “Bad mistakes”

  1. Eliava Avatar

    really? AJ Styles Vs Brian Danielson is garbage wiltserng? I must admit, the new IWA:MS in 2011 is ultraviolent shit, but 200-2004, is pretty damn good. Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Chris Hero, Chris Sabin, and some of the best wrestlers in the world today came from IWA:MS So what was that about Cena doing a good match? JOHN CENA CAN’T WRESTLE, ACT, OR EVEN SELL A MOVE CORRECTLY! Besides, The best match ever is CM Punk VS Samoa Joe. XD

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