“The Number 1” Shawn McHale from IZW
by Drew Archer
“I do accept tips when I walk to the ring, so don’t be afraid to fan out those dollar bills and hand them over.”
The life and times of “The Number 1” Shawn McHale are filled with more ups and downs then the most feared rollercoaster known to man. McHale is a rock-solid veteran in the professional wrestling world and his been involved with the business for the better part of a decade and a half. By this point in the game, McHale has earned the trust, respect and admiration from fans, wrestlers and promoters alike for what he can do on the mic and in the ring as the premier manager on the Independent circuit
What many fans don’t know is that McHale originally got involved in the business to be a wrestler but when real life responsibilities stepped in and then later a life-changing injury occurred, McHale took his passion for the squared circle, tweaked his approach and became one of the most entertaining and engaging individuals on any wrestling program anywhere in North America. That drive and determination to succeed started off at an early age for McHale growing up in Clinton, Oklahoma.
“I grew up as an only child with a single mom, who busted her ass to make ends meet. I played baseball, football and wrestled. I always watched wrestling, in fact I don’t remember when I started, I just know I always have. I always wanted to be a pro wrestler as long as I remember,” McHale recalled.
“I trained to be a wrestler 14-15 years ago with Tom Jones, but I had a daughter and wasn’t making enough money to support her and a dream, and when I didn’t get paid for my first show, I put my dream on hold. Fast forward five years later, got in with Gary Tool, Bryan Cruize, Brad Michaels and Angel Williams. I knew I needed more training and ring time; I knew the importance of protecting myself and really getting properly trained before I went out and tried to start wrestling again. Mainly because I didn’t want to look like crap and I didn’t want to kill no one,” McHale said.
Unfortunately, in an ironic twist of fate, it wasn’t McHale’s opponent that he had to worry about. “I took a back drop in training, landed at a weird angle and damn near paralyzed myself. The first thought was I’ll never get to hold my daughter again. Luckily it was a stinger, but it weakened my neck and scared me enough to just walk away again.”
With ten years of on again off again involvement in a business that is always evolving, McHale took one more swing at his lifelong dream and connected full force hitting it out of the park. “Fast forward about five years later. I saw an ad for a wrestling ring announcer needed for an Indy promotion, I went out got the gig and met my three best friends in the business that night; Damien Morte, Damon Windsor, and Rage Logan.”
From landing that initial ring announcer gig to parlaying that opportunity into a weekly role with the leading Independent wrestling organization in the country, IZW, where McHale wears a few hats for the Lawton, Oklahoma based promotion including; color commentator (working side by side with play by play man Big DA), manager to several high profile wrestlers, de facto Commissioner (under Brandon Bishop’s Impact Inc. stable while Bishop was away from the Impact Zone) to most recently becoming Madam Commissioner Erica’s right hand man as part of Impact Elite. McHale has turned into an institution unto himself in IZW as you will rarely watch a Saturday night show on GFL.tv and not see or hear McHale adding something important to a feud or wrestling match.
“By far, IZW is the best place to be, there is nothing compared to it around here,” McHale added.
For McHale, being able to be an integral part of a wrestling program, while taking away most of the physical confrontation that professional wrestling usually demands from its performers and athletes, is a big plus for McHale. But there are still those moments that give would give any father pause. “Balancing wrestling with family and my job outside of wrestling is tough. My neck is always a concern for me when doing physical stuff. I have had a couple moments when getting knocked around where my hands and arms start tingling. It hasn’t happened in a while, but it’s still a concern for me.”
Right now, McHale is busy managing the most physically imposing tag team to ever step foot inside an IZW ring, Big Business (“The Big Picture” Damon Windsor and “The Image of War” Kevin Morgan) who look to reclaim their IZW Tag Team Titles at Violent Valentine. Asking McHale what the highlight of his career is you can see by his answer why he is such a coveted manager as his team and their success is always on his mind. “Big Business! My most memorable feud is with Big Business and The Old School Suckas.” McHale, known for his quick wit and back and forth sarcastic approach also has a typical answer for what his finisher is. “I actually do have a finishing maneuver it’s called ‘Big Business just beat your ass for messing with me or BBJBYAFMWM’. Sometimes it’s quicker just to say it out than to use the acronym.”
But McHale is an overachiever and one of the most resourceful people in the whole business. McHale always seems to have more than one iron in the fire and he will once again be pulling double duty at Violent Valentine as not only will his tag team Big Business be going for Tag Team gold for the second time in a Triple Threat Match against current Champions Team Remix (Cody Jones and Copycat) and The Old School Suckas (Randy Price and Bryan Cruize), but McHale has also become a fixture in the ongoing engagement and soon to be wedding ceremony of “The Bronze Bull” Aaron Neil and The Golden Goddess Venus dubbed “The Golden Wedding” also taking place on February 16.
“I’m looking forward to Violent Valentine and the Golden Wedding. Little known fact, I’m the Wedding Planner. Little known fact two, ‘The Bronze Bull’ has spared no expense for this wedding. Little known fact three, we have blown way past ‘The Bronze Bull’s’ initial budget he set for me. Little known fact four, ‘The Bronze Bull’ has no idea, but I’m sure all is good as it’s for him and the Super Dynamically Gorgeous Venus,” McHale said.
As to his nickname “The Number 1”, it’s a name that has a long history and keeps evolving into whatever McHale is asked, needed or required to do.
“‘The Number 1’, it just kind of happened organically really. I was with Brandon Bishop when he was the Commissioner here at IZW and he and I hit it off from day one. Being with Brandon made me a better performer, because he was such a good talker, I had to step my game up. He was living in Colorado and doing other things too. He couldn’t make every show and needed a right hand man. I came into the picture to fill that role. When Brandon was in the building, I stayed by his side and assisted him. When Brandon was not there I was running the whole damn thing; because that’s what the ‘The Number 1’ does. When Brandon left unexpectedly and Madam Commissioner Erica took over, I became her ‘The Number 1’, but since she has been in charge she never leaves so I’m always running errands for her, or doing crazy tasks for her. She’s always like ‘if you fail, you’re out’. I’m like ‘whatever, I’m The Number 1, ain’t a task I can’t complete.’ Where there is a will there is away, if you believe you achieve. ‘The Number 1’ is Madam Commissioner’s ‘Magic’. That’s right, she thinks she waives her hands and things just happen by magic. Well she’s right, because I make it happen for her. See what I mean? I’m her ‘Magic’.” McHale replied.
Fans and detractors alike have to give McHale credit. He has managed the superstars of IZW and Impact Inc. as well as the megastars of Impact Elite. From Nemesis (Damien Morte and Rage Logan) to “The Bronze Bull” Aaron Neil, Jordan Jacobs, and now Big Business, what do all of these wrestlers have in common besides being managed by Shawn McHale at one time in their career? All have been to the mountain top and crowned champions.
“My only goal is helping my guys win Championships. Shawn McHa1e brings results; it’s a fact that can’t be denied. Oh yeah, rule # 1, I’m ‘The Number 1’.”