Filed under: Article, Press Release, Upcoming Events, Wrestling News
by Drew Archer
“I attended and graduated from Kansas State University in December of 2009. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology.”
Sociology is defined as the study of human social behavior, especially the study of the origins, organization, institutions, and development of human society. As any pro wrestler can tell you, being able to understand humans and their social behavior, actions and reactions is a necessity to becoming a superstar in a business that is predicated on making a connection with the fans in the arena and making your mark on the wrestling community at large. Most wrestlers get their knowledge of sociology and psychology and how to stir up a reaction from a live crowd from listening to the vets in the business that know every trick in the book. For Luke Langley, one half of the KC Wolves, his college degree also adds to his overall pedigree as a pro wrestler and gives him a step up from most in that department.
But for Langley who was born in Fort Worth, Texas but spent most of his life in Overland Park, Kansas (just south of Kansas City) his interest and desire to get in the pro wrestling business started way before he got to college. “I think everyone in this business started out as a fan. Pro wrestling was a part of my life since I was in elementary school. My first wrestling memory is seeing Sting with his old-school face paint. In 5th grade I started amateur wrestling, mostly because I thought it would be like what I saw on TV. At my first practice I put another kid in a Boston Crab. I continued amateur wrestling through high school. I also played seven years of football,” Langley said.
After school and still looking to fulfill that athletic itch, Langley decided to pursue his lifelong dream head on. “I started training in February of 2011. The man who introduced me to the business was a wrestler named Angel Skycall. He showed me some of the basics and was kind enough to allow me to travel to a few shows with him. I would not be where I am in this business without his initial guidance.
“In April of 2011, I started training full-time with ‘The Good Reverend’ Chad Sullivan at his Rings and Cages training center. This time constituted most of my formal training and I credit The Rev with really giving me my real start as a performer. About a month after I started training with Chad, a young blond kid named Graham [Bell] joined the school. I would have my first match on June 4th, 2011,” Langley remembered.
The training with The Rev, combined with Langley’s own athletic past makes for an impressive combination in the ring. “I feel that I have a pretty well-rounded style that helps me compete with any opponent. I guess you could call it ‘American Cruiserweight’ if we need to have a label for it. My amateur background definitely shows in my mat game. Being technically sound has always been very important to me, but it would be a mistake to label me as a purely scientific wrestler. You need to be able to do it all to a certain extent. I’m always adding new strikes and high-flying moves to make myself more dangerous to any opponent.”
Langley’s “American Cruiserweight” style was also molded after one very important international star. “First off, Steve Austin will always be my all-time favorite. I’m sure that’s a very common answer. His connection with the audience is something we all aspire to in our craft. My first favorite, however, was Ultimo Dragon. I always loved his well-rounded, fast-paced style. The flashy costumes and his killer moveset in the ‘WCW vs NWO World Tour’ video game didn’t hurt either. And as you can probably tell from my entrance jacket, I’ve always loved the Road Warriors.”
Like Ultimo Dragon, Langley wrestles a high impact, dangerous style. And although Langley has been lucky and not suffered any serious injuries it’s a reality that every pro wrestler has to deal with. “There’s always the threat of something catastrophic happening. It’s something you have to put out of your mind in order to perform.”
Langley’s biggest hurdles to leap over so far have been when it concerns his friends and loved ones and the time management that every wrestler must juggle. “The travel and time investment is the biggest thing for me. It puts a strain on your relationships outside of wrestling. Even if the people you love understand why you can’t always be there, it still changes your relationship with them. It forces you to make the most of the time you are able to set aside for those people. All of these challenges test your mental toughness.”
Langley’s mental toughness is matched by his physical toughness as he and his tag team partner Graham Bell offer the wrestling audience a diverse style, with various methods and approaches all meshed into one cohesive unit.
“Our tag finisher is called Kirisute Gomen. I hold the opponent up in a fireman’s carry, Graham superkicks their head, and I drop them with a Death Valley Driver. The name is a reference to a samurai’s right to cut down anyone who challenged their honor. We chose it as a reminder to never back down from any fight. Literally translated it means ‘Don’t mind me while I cut your head off.’ In singles competition I use a Death Valley Driver onto my knee. It’s called the Manhattan Project,” Langley added.
Langley’s take on singles versus tag team wrestling sheds some light on the different mindsets that most fans don’t even notice when a match is going on. “They’re totally different. They’re almost separate sports. I don’t think either of us expected to be a full-time tag team when we were training together, but it’s something I’ve really grown to enjoy, especially in the last year. Tag wrestling requires you to worry about so much more in terms of positioning and ring awareness. It’s way more complex than just adding two bodies to the match. It’s a lot more mentally taxing, but it’s that much more rewarding when it’s done well. Singles matches are a lot more clear-cut. Win or lose, you have no one to blame but yourself. The things I loved about other sports in my past I get to enjoy in pro wrestling. Camaraderie and teamwork, learned and loved in football, used in tag wrestling; individual effort and grit, used in singles matches.”
The KC Wolves have cut a swath or excellence across the heartland of America as they have collected numerous championships and left their mark on every promotion they have ever stepped foot in. “Graham and I have been Tag Champions in Kansas Championship Wrestling, Steel Rage Pro Wrestling, and United Wrestling Entertainment. We were also voted Tag Team of the Year in Oklafan’s 2013 year-end awards, which was pretty cool. We’ve had an opportunity to wrestle in Falls Count Anywhere, Ladder, and TLC Matches, all of which were uniquely special.”
2014 is shaping up to be the KC Wolves biggest year ever as they are already vying for the IZW Tag Team Titles (the envy of the whole territory) in less than a week at “Violent Valentine” on February 1. For some, the pressure of taking on What Wrestling Should Be (Jermaine Johnson & Jordan Jacobs) is a daunting thought, but Langley remains calm, cool and collected when talking about their upcoming scrap. “Our very first match in IZW was against them [WWSB], and I think we showed we’re not a team to be taken lightly. We almost defeated the Tag Champs in our debut, and we’re going to prove it wasn’t beginner’s luck. I also have a singles win over Jordan Jacobs, something I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten.”
Langley believes IZW is the perfect home for the KC Wolves as there are multiple challenges up and down the roster and IZW offers a platform that no other Independent company can match.
“IZW has the deepest roster of talent of any promotion we’ve been a part of. I feel like I can have a great match with anyone in the locker room. Its production is fantastic, virtually without peer at this level of wrestling. The most admirable aspect is the way ownership consistently makes changes to keep improving the product. IZW has a bright future because they are never satisfied with the status quo.
“As a wrestler, you want your work seen by as many people as possible. Literally anyone in the world with a computer can watch IZW [on GFL.tv]. That alone should be reason for anyone to want to work here,” Langley added.
There is a synergy with the KC Wolves, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which makes them a cut above the rest. “Graham is an absolute delight to team with. We’re similar in lots of ways in terms of in-ring style, but not remotely clones of each other. He has more natural athletic ability in his little finger than I do in my whole body. He gets labeled as the team’s high flyer while I’m usually pegged as our ground attack. To some degree that’s true, but we’re both well-rounded enough to make us a difficult match-up to prepare for. Honestly, I probably spend more time on the top rope than he does. He just does springboards, flips and other things that require grace and balance, whereas I tend to just climb up top and then fall with style. You’ll see him use more agility-based moves, while I tend to use a bit more power in my arsenal. Our double team moves have been our bread and butter, and it’s because we seem to have a natural knack for timing and positioning with each other. I don’t even think about what Graham is doing, I trust him to be in the right place at the right time.
“Outside the ring, we’re actually quite different. He tends to be the more outgoing of the two of us. My personality is more reserved. Sometimes he’s quick to shoot his mouth off and I have to be the voice of reason, but he always means well. I help reign in his goofier side and he helps to coax me out of my shell. Sometimes it almost feels like I’m his older brother in some ways. Our taste in almost anything pop culture is usually quite divergent. I made him listen to an entire Avenged Sevenfold album, one from before they sucked, during a 17 hour road trip and I’m sure it was hellish for him. Ultimately, we’ve spent enough time in a car together to find that we usually agree on the important things in wrestling and in life. As an added bonus, it’s great to have a partner who is always working so hard to improve himself, because it forces me to elevate my game even further,” Langley added.
For those who want to learn more about Luke Langley and the KC Wolves there are plenty of social media sites to connect with.
“We’re past the point of ‘making an impact’ or trying to establish ourselves. We aren’t just happy to be here. We’re a well-oiled tag team machine and we expect gold around our waist soon. Some might call that cocky, we call it confidence. With the support of The Pack, the sky’s the limit for us in IZW.
“Join the Pack! Reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Tell us where you want to see us next and what kind of KC Wolves merch you guys want and we’ll make it happen. Also, whatever Graham tweets or posts is solely his opinion, so don’t come asking me for an explanation,” Langley joked.
Filed under: Article, Past Events, Press Release, Wrestling News
by Drew Archer
In PART 2 of my interview with one half of the KC Wolves, Graham Bell, we delve into Bell’s career highlights, IZW and much, much more.
When the subject of tag versus singles wrestling comes up, Bell holds both crafts in high regard and believes they both have a place in the sport. “Oh man, there’s such a world of difference between the two I couldn’t even begin to describe the differences. At first I didn’t care for tag team wrestling as much, but the more I learn and the better I get, the more I love it. I don’t think I have a preference though because it’s such an apples to oranges thing. They’re two completely different beasts.”
Although Bell is fairly new to the IZW World, he has worked in the Mid-South area and surrounding territories where he has picked up a multitude of titles both with tag team partner Luke Langley and as a singles wrester. “Luke and I have won the KCW, SRPW, and UWE tag team titles. The KCW belts were the very first titles for either of us, and we got them only nine months into our career. I’ve also held the SRPW United States title. A lot of the highlights aren’t title related though. There are a few milestones that stand out. Our first hardcore match in La Cygne, Kansas against Chris Wyco and KC Kyng, The Midwest Marvels. Our first ladder match. Growing up watching the Hardys, Edge and Christian, and the Dudleys made this a bucket list thing. It was extra cool, because it was three teams just like they had. Then we had our first TLC. It was good to get some revenge, because we beat the team that screwed us out of victory in the ladder match. It was also where we won the UWE tag team belts.
“Probably my favorite match so far though has been the KC Wolves versus The Work Horses: Jon Cross and Chris Fury. When we started making a name for ourselves in Oklahoma a lot of people drew comparisons between us and them. It was a match we wanted, they wanted, and the fans wanted. We honestly weren’t sure it was ever going to happen, because independent wrestling is so unpredictable. The stars finally aligned last June though. It was a pretty incredible match, and I’m still proud of it. We’re all waiting for the rematch though. It ended in a time limit draw and nothing was settled. Just having the match was a huge highlight for me though.
“Oh! And, we beat out a certain tag champs for the title of Oklahoma Tag Team of the Year. That’s pretty sweet,” Bell added.
That certain tag team is IZW Champions, What Wrestling Should Be. Not only the top two teams in IZW, but the top two teams in the Sooner State are less than two weeks out of what could very well be the best tag team bout in all of 2014. Bell is amped up for the match and believes he and Langley are ready for the challenge.
“Ya know there have been some scheduling issues and the KC Wolves haven’t been able to make it down to Lawton in a few weeks. So you can imagine I was a bit surprised when I saw the commercial for ‘Violent Valentine’ and saw we were named the #1 contenders to the tag team titles. I’m giving credit to [Co-Commissioner] Shawn McHale for this one. I’m guessing he wants to see if we can live up to being Oklahoma Tag Team of the Year, and I assure you, we will. Those belts are comin’ home to KC with us,” Bell promised.
As Bell sets his sights on the showdown with WWSB at “Violent Valentine” on February 1, and the biggest match of his young career, he looked back at some of the sacrifices it took to get to where he is. As a pro wrestler still working his way to the top of the sport, it’s a daily grind and takes a toll on each and every individual in the business. “Just be smart about your money. I accepted a long time ago that I don’t get ‘runnin’ around money’ anymore. Everyone cent I have goes into wrestling in some way. That might be paying for a seminar. It might be buying new gear. It might be replacing the water pump on my car, because I have to be able to travel. And there’s always unexpected expenses so any extra money I end up with I hang on to.
“Man, it’s expensive. Being an Indy wrestler takes money. When you’re startin’ out you take bookings where ever you can, and you go with whoever will take you. A lot of times that means driving three or more hours for no pay. But you have to be willing to take those chances to get a foot in the door. I’ve worked for some pretty awful places for no money, but everything I’ve done has lead me here [IZW],” Bell said.
As for IZW, Bell puts it bluntly. “How big of a deal is it that WWE broadcasts around the world? It’s a huge deal [IZW and GFL broadcast partnership]. Name three other independent promotions that broadcast there product globally. From top to bottom it’s ran like a promotion should be. Its future looks pretty bright to me. They’ve got the most complete roster in the state. There are no weak points or underachievers. That makes for some very competitive, and therefore entertaining, matches. And that’s what fans want. With IZW’s roster being as stacked as it is with great talent that’s harder than it’s been anywhere else. The KC Wolves welcome that challenge though. We don’t wanna grow complacent, and we wanna show everyone that no matter where we go we are the very best. We’re still getting our footing and proving ourselves at IZW, but winning the tag team titles at ‘Violent Valentine’ will be a good start to that.”
Part of Bell’s confidence going into “Violent Valentine” and challenging WWSB (Jermaine Johnson & Jordan Jacobs) is because of the assurance Bell has in his partner, Luke Langley. “I think we’re a very good Yin Yang. We’re two very different dudes, but we’ve got a good chemistry. It’s hard to describe. Like, if we had met outside of wrestling I don’t think we would have become friends. We’ve got different backgrounds, have different personalities, different tastes in music, and different in ring styles. But training and traveling together has definitely built a bond. Once you kinda get underneath the surface with us you find that despite all our differences we’ve got a pretty similar world view. That bonds us, and our differences complement each other very well. It’s apparent in our in ring style. He’s much more grounded and technical than me, and I fly a lot more than him. He can tie a guy up all sorts of different ways and hold him there. That’s when I come flying in with a big move. His holds may not always be potential submissions, but he takes the risk out of some of my high risk and we both benefit.
“It translates to backstage too with our personalities meld. He’s a quiet reserved guy, and I’m loud and out there. I’m usually the one who will speak first and talk with people and get us bookings. On the other hand, I tend to be a real smart ass sometimes, and I don’t mind calling people on their bull$h!t. Luke’s had to reel me in a couple times and be the voice of reason, and because of that we’ve still got connections in places we might not if he hadn’t made me keep my mouth shut,” Bell chuckled.
“It affects everything though, and that’s why we’re as good as we are. We’re a team in the ring, backstage, on the road. We talk about moves, strategy, what places we should and shouldn’t work at, and we’ve been very successful because of it. He’s probably gone places and tried things he wouldn’t have if it weren’t for me, and I’m sure his voice of reason has kept my ass out of a lot of trouble. Like I said, we’re a very good Yin Yang,” Bell said.
For those who want to learn more about Graham Bell and the KC Wolves there are plenty of social media sites to connect with. Join the Pack here:
by Drew Archer
“Everywhere Luke and I have went, we’ve made it to the very tippy top of the promotion. We have every intention of doing the exact same thing at IZW.”
Tag team wrestling has always held a unique position within professional wrestling. Some of the greatest athletes of all-time have made their mark as part of a team gaining more success and accolades working as a cohesive unit than as an individual. But not everyone can do it. Two grapplers that excel in this environment are the KC Wolves, Graham Bell and Luke Langley. As the KC Wolves prepare for their biggest match in IZW, on February 1 at “Violent Valentine” live on GFL.tv where they will square off against the current IZW Tag Team Champions What Wrestling Should Be (“Lights Out” Jordan Jacobs & “Larger Than Life” Jermaine Johnson) I caught up with the duo for a multi-part, extensive interview. Here is PART 1 with Graham Bell.
The KC Wolves have wrestled for IZW on several occasions in 2013 and are getting their chance to shine in 2014. For Langley, a forever free-spirit, pro wrestling was seared into his memory dating back almost two decades ago. “My brother got me interested in wrestling. He’s nine years older than me so he was into it in the early 90’s. I remember he had Warrior and Hogan wrestling buddies. I didn’t know anything about it though until Christmas of ‘97. We got a PS1 for Christmas and some games. One of those games was WWF In Your House. Everything in that game was way over the top. Bats flew out of ‘Takers hands when he punched, Doink shocked people with the Joy Buzzer, and Owen Hart threw razor sharp playing cards at people. One night my brother was like, ‘Do you wanna watch wrestling on TV?’ I was like ‘hell yeah’.
“I remember the very first image I saw was Vader’s head in a plastic trash can. A lot of early stuff is blurry because I had to go to bed halfway through ‘RAW’ so I would miss the main [event] a lot. But our living room was at the opposite end of the hall as my bedroom, so one of my fondest memories is sneaking out of bed and peaking around the corner to watch what I could, and I’d have to duck behind the wall if I thought my mom was coming,” Bell chuckled.
While growing up in Seymour, Missouri, Bell likened the small rural town to a “Bizarro Mayberry” that had its share of peccadillos. While Bell does back to visit family from time to time he swears his hometown was built on a “hell mouth”. Growing up around such peculiar and strange characters only set the table for a life as a professional wrestler in a business full of oddities.
“I started training in the summer of 2011 under ‘The Good Rev.’ Chad Sullivan. I live about two hours south of Eldon, Missouri where Harley Race’s school was based out of. I had just assumed I would get a job and go train there. Jobs were harder to come by then I thought and that didn’t happen. I finally got sick of waiting and went searching for other schools. I called up every place I could find, but they were either too expensive or too far away. I had pretty much given up looking when I saw an ad on a website saying “Rings and Cages Training Center Open Tryouts.” The tryouts were in Bucyrus, Kansas. That was only two and half hours from my house. I went, passed the tryout, and started training. I had my first match after about a month in Ottawa, Kansas. This big dude named Sledge knocked me out,” Bell deadpanned.
“There are so many greats that influence me, but as a kid the ones who really made impressions on me and made me want to be a wrestler were: Goldberg, Jeff Hardy, Stone Cold, DX, and Mysterio. Mysterio was so small, but could do all these incredible things and he never quit. I related to that because I was like the smallest kid in my class. DX and Stone Cold were at two opposite ends of the ‘We-Got-A-$h!t-Ton-Of-Personality’ spectrum. Stone Cold didn’t give a damn. He did what he wanted, said what he wanted, Stunned who he wanted, and he did it all on his own. He didn’t need or want help from anyone. He was so unapologetically himself.
“DX was the same way, but more lighthearted. They were funny, crude, and immature, and they knew it, and they loved it. Ask anyone who knows me, it definitely left an impression. I loved Jeff for the same reason I loved Stone Cold. He was himself, but on a whole other level. He made me feel like it was okay to be weird, and I was a weird kid, and I’m a weird man-child now, so that helped me a lot. Growing up in a town of 1800 and being into Yu-Gi-Oh!, Power Rangers, Star Wars, and D&D you take a lot of $h!t from people. I could look at Jeff and say “Look at this weirdo. He loves what he does and who he is, and the people love him for that. I can just be my weird self too.
“And then there was Goldberg. Goldberg was just the man to me, because in my mind he epitomized what wrestling was. In wrestling the goal is to win, and that’s all Goldberg did. Goldberg won, over, and over, and over. He was big, fast, tough, and mean and I dug it man. He had all these power moves, but he would also throw a Savate kick or something like that in every now and then. I was just crazy about the dude. I think I cried when the streak ended. Actually, I still cry when I think about the streak ending,” Bell added.
Along with the aforementioned names who inspired Bell from afar on the TV screen, Bell also picked up a few pointers from the legends and stars of the sport that also contributed to his unique in ring style.
“I believe I’m what’s classified as an American Cruiserweight, but I try to hybridize my style. I’ve been fortunate enough to do seminars with people like Bobby Eaton, Harley Race, Colt Cabana, and so on. They all have something different to teach and I try to incorporate a little bit of all of it; whether it’s a move, a tip on psychology, or whatever it may be. It’s harder for people to prepare for you when you don’t have a defined style. I like to be a tool box player. I don’t have a universal preference, it all depends on who I’m going up against. If I’m wrestling someone like Convict I’m gonna stay away from the striking game, just like I wouldn’t try to outwrestle Double D. That being said, if I can stay to the air against Convict I could chop him down. That’s why, like I said earlier, I like to learn from as many different people and have as many tools as possible. That way I can be ready for anyone.”
One of Bell’s many tools he utilizes over and over is his finisher. In fact, Bell has two distinctive moves that he uses to put the nail in the coffin of his opponents. Both require a degree of athleticism and precision that very few wrestlers can pull off inside the ring.
“I used the Sliced Bread #2, but I call it the Bell Tower, and I rotate a little more with it than other people who use it. I chose it as a finish because I can hit it on anyone, and even though it’s my finish it’s not really the move I’m known for. I use a move called the Knuillotine, (like guillotine). You know how a Fame-Asser is a described as a leg drop bull dog? Well the Knuillotine is a knee drop bulldog. The dude’s bent over, I jump up, and I come down with my knee right on the back of his neck and ride it all the way to the mat. It’s pretty vicious. I came up with it while trying to think of more moves to do to the neck. A lot of my offense attacks the neck, I guess I’m just ornery like that, I don’t know. But I was trying stuff out with these GI Joe action figures I use to come up with moves and I had the idea for it. So next chance I got I tried it in a match and it’s become my main weapon.”
In PART 2 of my interview with Graham Bell we discuss the KC Wolves, IZW, career highlights, “Violent Valentine”, Independent wrestling, and more!
BlacKOut Fighting Championship returns to GFL as it presents “BlacKOut Fighting Championship 16″ emanating from Carthage, Missouri on January 18. This event is scheduled to be a mega card with 20 fights and 5 title fights as BFC continues to up the ante with every show.
In the main event, for the Women’s BlacKOut Bantamweight Championship, Champion Blair Patton (2-0) fights Tabby Patterson (3-2). Patton is undefeated and has shown a devastating submission game in the past. Patterson is a feared all-around fighter and can end the fight with a single punch or submission attempt. Expect fireworks from these women as they anchor a tremendous card with gold on the line.
Filed under: Article, Boxing News, MMA News, Press Release
After several weeks of voting from fans around the WORLD the results of GFL.tv’s “1st Annual Combat Sports Awards” are in! Here are the results voted by the fans:
“MMA Fight of the Year”:
Clay Collard SD5 Justin Buchholz II at Showdown 12 – 52% of the voting
2nd Place: Azunna Anyanwu vs Paul Holt at CFFC 29 – 19% of the voting
3rd Place (Tie): Ron Templeton vs Anthony Guido at Dead Serious 8 – 7% of the voting
Rance Foust vs. Mike Breeden at ShoFight 20 – 7% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “MMA Fight of the Year” are: (4th) Phillpe Nover vs Mike Santiago at ROC XLV with 5%, (5th) Cody Stevens vs Corey Mahon at Rocktagon XXIII with 3%, (6th) Chris vallaro vs Monstir Mohammad at EFC MMA Mania, Ryan Ford vs Mike Hill at AFC 19, and Bassil Hafez vs Joe Lowry at XFE 27 all with 2% of the voting.
“Boxing Fight of the Year”
Paul Spadafora UD12 Robert Frankel at TNT Promotions & Roy Jones Jr presents – 55% of the voting
2nd Place: Harry Joe Yorgey vs Julius Kennedy at “War at the Forge” – 17% of the voting
3rd Place: Osumanu Adama vs Grady Brewer at “CFC Fight Night” – 11% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “Boxing Fight of the Year” are: (4th) Teon Kennedy vs Carlos Vinan at Peltz Boxing with 10% & (5th) Jose Marrufo vs David Yanez at “Mayhem in Mesa” with 7% of the voting.
“Muay Thai/Kickboxing Fight of the Year”
Chris McMillan SD Andrew Lewis at Journey Fight Series IX – 26% of the voting
2nd Place: Georgui Samaguin vs Jason Van Oigen at Take On Muay Thai XX – 18%
3rd Place: Will Wong vs Cameron Rozell at Take On Muay Thai XXI – 16% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “Muay Thai/Kickboxing Fight of the Year” are: (4th) Charlie Brown vs Garrett Culpepper at Sparta Combat League “Phenoms” with 11%, (5th) Laurel Holloway vs. Christina Peteraf at Warrior’s Cup XVIII with 9%, (6th tie) Lyman Good vs Stahinja Ivanovic at Warrior’s Cup XVII & Sean Fagan vs Omar Estevez both with 7%, and (7th) Paul Miller vs Ian Hastings at Combat at the Capitale with 6% of the voting.
“MMA T/KO of the Year”
Justin Buchholz KO1 Gordon Bell at Showdown Fights 11 – 47% of the voting
2nd Place: Brandon Barrett TKO1 Silvio Santos at ROC XLIV – 30% of the voting
3rd Place: Jon Delbrugge TKO1 Neil Johnson at XFE 27 – 10% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “MMA T/KO of the Year” are: (4th) Johnny Curtis TKO1 Chris Birchler at CFFC 28 with 7%, (5th) Mike Hayes TKO3 Jeff Monson at Cage Warrior Combat 9 with 3%, (6th) Trent House TKO2 Brandon Shorter at AFC 20 with 2%, (7th tie) Todd Duvall TKO1 Jay Bleeker at Xtreme Combat & Sijen Smith KO1 Rob Gamble both with 1% of the voting.
“Boxing T/KO of the Year”
Dusty Hernandez-Harrison TKO5 Eddie Soto at Champion Class – 45% of the voting
2nd Place: Amir Mansour TKO1 Jason Gavern at “Amir Mansour vs Jason Gavern from the Dover Downs” – 42% of the voting
3rd Place: Jerry Odom TKO1 Drew Morais at Broadway Boxing – 3% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “Boxing T/KO of the Year” are: (4th tie) DeCarlo Perez TKO5 Julius Kennedy at “Dhafir Smith vs Anthony Caputo Smith”, Ivan Redkach KO1 Sergio Rivera at Broadway Boxing & Franklin Lawerence TKO2 Mark Brown at “Friday Night Fights – Mansour vs Alexander” all with 2%, (5th tie) Lionell Thompson TKO2 Chuck Mussachio at Peltz Boxing & Vinny Maddalone TKO3 Richard Carmack at Rockin Fights 8 both with 1% of the voting.
“Women’s MMA Fighter of the Year”
Rachael Cummins – BAMMA USA – 49% of the voting
2nd Place (tie): DeAnna Bennett – Showdown Fights – 17% of the voting
Rebecca Heintzmann – CFFC – 17% of the voting
3rd Place: Katy Collins – ShoFIGHT – 7% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “Women’s MMA Fighter of the Year” are: (4th) Shannon Culpepper from Spartan Combat League with 6% and (5th) Jen Lopez from EFC with 3%.
“Women’s Muay Thai/Kickboxing Fighter of the Year”
Gianna Smith – Take On Muay Thai & Warrior’s Cup – 44% of the voting
2nd Place: Jessica Ng – Take On Muay Thai – 35% of the voting
3rd Place: Katie Allen – Warriors’s Cup & Take On Muay Thai – 11% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “Women’s Muay Thai/Kickboxing Fighter of the Year” are: (4th) Angela Chang from Take On Muay Thai with 5%, (5th) Laurel Holloway from Warrior’s Cup with 4%, and (6th) Laura Dejean from Warrior’s Cup with 1%.
“MMA Submission of the Year”
Frankie Roberts Sub3 James Cordero at Dead Serious 8 – 39% of the voting
2nd Place: Charlie Brenneman Sub3 Kyle Baker at CFFC 28 – 34% of the voting
3rd Place: Ryan Cafaro Sub1 Ryan Holmes at XFE XXIII – 15% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “MMA Submission of the Year” are: (4th) Joshua Rector Sub1 Brandon Collins at BFC 13 with 5%, (5th tie) Noah Ali Sub1 Mike O’Neill at AFC 20 & Deivioas Taurosevicus Sub2 Guillermo Servent at ROC XLIV both with 2%, and (6th tie) Louis Taylor Sub1 Eric Hammerich at APFC11, Justin Ellis Sub1 AJ Sewell at Ultimate Reno Combat 41, & Anthony Lapsley vs Gerard Meerschaert at Rocktagon MMA XXIII all with 1% of the voting.
“MMA Fighter of the Year”
Jordan Stiner – CFFC – 37% of the voting
2nd Place: George Sullivan – CFFC – 29% of the voting
3rd Place: Charlie Brenneman – CFFC – 12% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “MMA Fighter of the Year” are: (4th tie) Paul Felder from CFFC & Clay Collard from Showdown Fights both with 9% and (5th) Ryan LaFlare from ROC with 4%.
“MMA Prospect of the Year”
Anthony Terrell – XFE – 38% of the voting (788 votes)
2nd Place: Eddie Lenoci – ROC – 38% of the voting (787 votes)
3rd Place: Travis Wynn – CFFC – 12% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “MMA Prospect of the Year” are: (4th) Jonivan Webb from CFFC with 11% and (5th) Leodegario Muniz from ROC with 1% of the votinng.
“Boxing Fighter of the Year”
Dusty Hernandez-Harrison – 43% of the voting
2nd Place: Amir Mansour – 41% of the voting
3rd Place: Harry Joe Yorgey – 12% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “Boxing Fighter of the Year” are: (4th) Yuri Foreman with 3% and (5th) Lionell Thompson with 2% of the voting.
“Boxing Prospect of the Year”
Wilkins Santiago – 61% of the voting
2nd Place: Hasan Young – 10% of the voting (101 votes)
3rd Place: Omar Douglas – 10% of the voting (100 votes)
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “Boxing Prospect of the Year” are: (4th tie) Louis Cruz & Damon Allen Jr with 3%, (5th tie) Derrick Webster, Louis Rose, Khalib Whitmore, Brandon Brewer, Ivan Redkach, & Patrick Day with 2%, and (6th) Lamar Russ with 1% of the voting.
“MMA Reporter of the Year”
Breanna Armstrong – 34% of the voting
2nd Place: Skippy Cohen – 17% of the voting
3rd Place: Steph Daniels – 14% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “MMA Reporter of the Year” are: (4th) Brent Brookhouse with 10%, (5th) Ariel Helwani with 7%, (6th) Chris Gregory with 4%, (7th) Ben Fowlkes with 3%, (8th tie) Mike Fagan & Matthew Roth with 2%, (9th tie) Mike Sloan, John Morgan, Gareth Davies, Jordan Breen & Trevor Ducek with 1%.
“MMA Website of the Year”
MMAMadHouse.com – 31% of the voting
2nd Place: BloodyElbow.com – 22% of the voting
3rd Place: MMAJunkie.com – 11% of the voting (131 votes)
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “MMA Website of the Year” are: (4th) Sherdo.com with 11% (125 votes), (5th) Middleeasy.com with 6%, (6th) BJPenn.com with 5%, (7th) MMAMania.com with 4%, (8th) MMAWeekly.com with 3%, (9th tie) MMA_Topics.net, CagePotato.com, & MMANews.com with 2%, and (10th tie) MMAtorch.com, MMATKO.com, & 5thRound.com all with 1% of the voting.
“Boxing Reporter of the Year”
Percy Crawford – 50% of the voting
2nd Place: Elie Seckbach – 6% of the voting
3rd Place: Dan Rafael – 5% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “Boxing Reporter of the Year” are: (4th tie) Kugan Cassius, Chris Robinson, Gabe Montoya, Jenna J, & Luis Sandoval with 4%, (5th tie) Steve Kim, Doug Fischer, Paul Mango, Benny Henderson Jr all with 3%, (6th) Ryan Burton with 2% and (7th) Ernest Gabion with 1% of the voting.
“Boxing Website of the Year”
RingNews24.com – 28% of the voting
2nd Place: FightHype.com – 22% of the voting
3rd Place: BadLeftHook.com – 15% of the voting
Rounding up the voting for GFL.tv’s “Boxing Website of the Year” are: (4th tie) Boxingscene.com & Fightnews.com with 7%, (5th) WorldBoxingNews.net with 5%, (6th) RingTV.com with 4%, (7th) Queensberry-Rules.com with 3%, (8th tie) Eastsideboxing.com, Maxboxing.com & ThaBoxingVoice.com with 2%, and (9th tie) Boxingsocialist.com, Fightersrated.com, and Boxingpulse.com with 1% of the voting.
G-Unit recording artist Prodigy (Mobb Deep), Tony Yayo & more to perform at “Big Apple Boxing” LIVE WORLDWIDE at 7pm EST on GFL.tv!
Tonight at the “Big Apple Boxing” card LIVE around the WORLD on GFL.tv the following artists are going to perform:
Joel Diaz Jr is back on 50 Cent’s “Big Apple Boxing” LIVE around the WORLD on GFL.tv at 7pm EST TONIGHT!!
Filed under: Article, Press Release, Upcoming Events, Wrestling News
The third and final installment of my interview with “The Butterscotch Stallion” Mark Wilson covers his career highlights, memorable IZW feuds, and IZW at large.
Very few individuals in the wrestling business have had the varied experiences inside the squared circle as a referee, manager and now a competitor like Wilson. Wilson has rubbed shoulders with tons of international stars and matched their professionalism and intensity every step of the way.
“I have had the opportunity to officiate matches involving some of the biggest stars in this business. Mickie James was a delight to work with and is an exceptional wrestler. Tommy Dreamer gives everything he’s got in every match. I once refereed a match between Lance Hoyt (Lance Archer in WWE) and Chris Masters. Both are talented performers who have worked on the biggest stage in our business, and it was an honor to work with both of them. Hacksaw Jim Duggan was always great to work with. At nearly sixty years old, Duggan still gives 100 percent every time he enters the ring. I once heard a crowd of 500 sound like thousands when Hacksaw came stomping to the squared circle. I also officiated a match which involved the most dynamic tag team in wrestling history, The Rock ‘n Roll Express. What a treat to be in the ring with a tag team I watched as a teenaged Stallion.
“On the management side, I guided TCW owner Matt Riviera to victory over former WWF Superstar B. Brian Blair in Las Vegas in April 2013. However, my personal favorites have been ensuring that What Wrestling Should Be, Jermaine Johnson and Jordan Jacobs, have regained and retained both the IZW and MSWA Tag Team titles. Both of these men are tag team specialists and are blue chip prospects who, quite honestly, don’t get the recognition they deserve.
“And while I’ve only had a dozen or so matches, I would have to say that the pinnacle of my wrestling career and perhaps my entire career in the business was defeating Johnny Z in a No Disqualification match on October 5, 2013. Z had backed me into a corner and made certain I would have no help during the match. I was certain going into the match that I was going to lose, but I had determined that I wouldn’t go down without a fight. Fortunately for me, Damon Windsor was able to escape the trap that Impact Elite had set for him and help me get the win. I’m certain that Windsor regrets that now,” Wilson replied.
Hearing Wilson’s account of the biggest match of his whole career makes it that much more startling to know that only a few weeks later, Wilson did an about-face and joined Johnny Z. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense that Z would pick the one person no one would ever suspect as an Impact Elite collaborator and shock everyone when the time was right. And that’s just what Z did.
“In between the time of that match and ‘Halloween Hangover’, Johnny Z approached me with a once-in-a-lifetime offer: to join Impact Elite and dispose of Damon Windsor. How could a pass up the chance to be with the most diabolical group in wrestling? This leads me to believe that, perhaps, the best days for The Stallion are ahead,” Wilson added.
There is no doubt that as a member of Impact Elite, Wilson finds himself front and center with all things IZW as his faction is embroiled in numerous feuds. But even before Wilson hooked up with IE, he was eyewitness to numerous feuds and rivalries throughout the storied history of IZW. But one stands out in particular for Wilson.
“I must say that the matches I enjoyed the most as an official were the numerous clashes between Double D and Johnny Z. Being front and center to a feud that was both professional and personal and, at times, vicious and emotional, was something I will never forget. And I know that the hatred between these two still simmers. Z has put that kid through hell and taken everything from him, including the IZW Title, and yet Double D keeps bouncing back. Of course, if D was smart, for the sake of his career and mental and physical safety, he would simply retire and ride off into the sunset with what little pride he has left.”
As “Chaotic Christmas” is less than a week away, Wilson is unequivocal on what his duties are for the mega iPPV. “My focus right now is seeing to it that the IZW title, the Impact Division title, and the IZW Tag Team Titles stay with Impact Elite forever. When you think about it, titles and trophies and money are the bottom line in this business. I couldn’t be in a better position than with the title holders of every major championship in our area, and I intend for it to stay that way.”
Wilson will have an even bigger role to play than normal in the IZW Tag Team Match as he will be joining “Larger Than Life” Jermaine Johnson to defend the IZW Tag Titles against Team Bull (The Bronze Bull & “The Brass Bull” Bobby Starr) as Johnson’s normal partner, “Lights Out” Jordan Jacobs still recovers from shoulder surgery. Expect Wilson to have an impact up and down the card on December 21.
As “Chaotic Christmas” closes out 2013, Wilson believes the future is bright not only for himself but for IZW as a whole.
“I’ve lost count of the number of wrestling companies for which I have worked that have put up a ‘Closed for Business’ sign. As I said earlier, running a promotion is a taxing undertaking. The time, the money, booking matches, bringing in talent, it’s all a non-stop job. And it’s not for everybody.
“And yet, IZW has continued to grow and improve each and every year. Name another promotion that is running weekly, with high definition television, in one location, in front of a live worldwide audience, with periodic PPV’s, for ten plus years? I’m still waiting for an answer.
“And the future is only getting brighter. International distribution, improvements to the Impact Arena, innovative matches, a roster that from top to bottom is second to none with a crowd that fills the venue. No other company can boast what IZW can,” Wilson said.
Wilson compares the synergy between IZW and GFL.tv to some of the biggest efforts in the wrestling industry. “How big of a deal is it [broadcasting on GFL.tv]? How big of a deal is ‘WrestleMania’ or ‘SummerSlam’ to the WWE? Each and every pay-per-view is built carefully through the weekly shows. And then, when the big day comes, everyone on the IZW roster goes out and gives more than they ever thought they could. At ‘Halloween Hangover’ this year, the crowd was into each and every match from start to finish. And a worldwide audience had the opportunity to see it. And if you missed an IZW PPV, well then, it’s your loss. You missed something truly special and memorable. I think many of the IZW superstars even surprise themselves on these huge cards with their effort and performance.”
I decided to give the always outspoken “Butterscotch Stallion” one more opportunity to give his opinion on a variety of topics so we had a rapid fire word association exchange near the end. Here’s what Wilson had to say.
DA: Johnny Z
MW: I’m going to break the rules here, because I can, and not limit myself to one word for each. Johnny Z, the most intelligent man in wrestling
DA: What Wrestling Should Be
MW: Best tag team in the country, perhaps of all time
MW: Phenomenal and tougher than most men
DA: Kevin Morgan
MW: Untapped power
MW: Innovative in his approach to wrestling, foolish to think he can defeat Johnny Z
DA: Damon Windsor
MW: Tremendously powerful but not smart enough to capture the IZW Title
DA: Team Bull
DA: Mark Wilson
MW: OBNOXIOUS, to the point that you’ll pay for a ticket to give me your phone number if you’re a woman, or watch me get my clock cleaned if you’re a man.
Of all the interviews I’ve done throughout the years, Mark Wilson stands out as the cream of the crop. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but he would be the first to admit that. I gave Wilson one final opportunity to self-promote and he did just that.
“I am very easy to find on Facebook under my name, Mark Wilson, and I’m currently working on a Facebook fan page under the name ‘The Butterscotch Stallion’. I’m also on Twitter under the handle @bsstallion.
“Mr. Drew Archer, I can say with assurance that the pleasure has been all yours, the IZW World, and the wrestling world at large. ‘The Butterscotch Stallion’ has only begun to make waves in IZW, and Impact Elite will continue to dominate this sport because CHEATERS ALWAYS WIN, DADDY!!!”