AS I SEE IT 3/29: ROH-TNA promotional politics, news on the ECWA Super Eight
by: Bob Magee
Here we go again...
Yet one more promotion attempted to keep its talent from working for another promotion...and this time it wasn't the usual fight between indy promotions operating in the same geographical area.
Mike Johnson of PWinsider.com reported last week that NWA-TNA had continued to attempt to get their contracted performers to stop accept bookings from Ring of Honor, a situation he had initially reported on the previous week. Most notably, AJ Styles had been asked initially to stop accepting bookings with ROH and refused.
Johnson stated that multiple sources confirmed that company officials then sat down again late last week with Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles to "discuss the situation". Johnson further stated that other workers, specifically including Chris Sabin had been contacted, and requested not to take bookings with Ring Of Honor.
The issue in question apparently had nothing whatever to do with the Rob Feinstein sex scandal earlier in March. The issue, as reported by Johnson, is that executives from Fox Sports (the national group of regional sports networks that NWA-TNA is negotiating with for a TV deal) had allegedly posed a question of brand confusion with Ring of Honor, somehow viewing TNA contracted wrestlers appearing on ROH shows as giving an appearance that the companies were affiliated.
One also had to wonder if the fact that the Ring of Honor promotion has been able to consistently draw crowds in several markets (with the exception of Pittsburgh, PA), while live crowds for NWA-TNA PPVs in Nashville have been estimated as being 50% papered on average played any role.
Another issue mentioned by Dave Meltzer in this week's Wrestling Observer snail mail edition is that NWA-TNA may consider them competition because ROH markets their tapes nationally, as does TNA. If this were true, using that logic universally would mean that promotions like CZW and 3PW would be at risk at having their use of talent such as Teddy Hart, Jack Evans, and Raven challenged, given the recent national tape/DVD distribution deals of both CZW and 3PW.
After these issues became public... late last week, in a campaign started by Ring of Honor fan Paul Sosnowski and by this writer almost concurrently, many wrestling fans expressed their concern late last week about this potential drain of talent by contacting NWA-TNA, and 1wrestling.com owner/NWA-TNA Director of Administration and Talent Relations Bob Ryder to threaten a boycott of NWA-TNA PPV events if the company continued their attempts to get TNA talent to stop working for Ring of Honor. Fans also let NWA-TNA know that they would be contacting Fox Sports to express their displeasure.
24 hours after the e-mail campaign started, NWA-TNA contacted Ring of Honor to "open the lines of communication between the two promotions".
Ryder sent this e-mail on Friday to those who had contacted him:
"Thanks for your email. We are working with current Ring of Honor management to try to resolve things, and we are all hopeful things will work out favorably for everyone involved. TNA has been supportive of Ring of Honor in the past, and we hope we can continue that support in the future.
Gabe Sapolsky also asked fans to suspend their campaign and let the companies "work things out", after being contacted by TNA.
Even with Ryder and Sapolsky's statements, there's no guarantee that this is totally resolved. Ring of Honor and other wrestling fans should stay tuned as this situation may well continue. It's been suggested by some that just 24 hours worth of e-mails got TNA very nervous, especially the ones that fans wrote to Fox Sports. So did their threats of boycotting NWA-TNA PPVs. Thus, the contact was made to Ring of Honor.
This writer hopes that NWA-TNA understands that if they don't do the right thing in this matter... those very same fans will likely raise at least that much hell. If just 24 hours of e-mails to the right people got NWA-TNA nervous, imagine what a week or a month of them might do...especially to a TV deal.
For those of you who'd like to see the next chapter of a great wrestling tradition...
The ECWA presents its Eighth Annual Super 8 Tournament, on Saturday, April 3rd, at the St. Matthews Parish Center, located at 807 East Newport Pike Maryland Avenue and Boxwood Road in Wilmington, Delaware.
The participants are:
From Canada's Border City Wrestling "Textbook" Tyson Dux
From the New Japan US Dojo and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla...Rocky Romero
From the New Japan US Dojo and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla...Ricky Reyes (with Rocky Romero...The Havana Pitbulls)
From Ring of Honor..."Hurricane" John Walters
From Mexico's CMLL...Nicho El Millionario (aka Psicosis)
From ECWA... Mike "The Shooter" Kruel
The 2000 ECWA Super 8 Champion...from Ring of Honor and NWA-TNA, "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels
From NWA Midwest... NWA Midwest X Division Champion Austin Aries
Hosting this year's Super Eight will be the legendary manager of the Four Horsemen, JJ Dillon.
Along with his time as manager of the Four Horsemen, Dillon had a 17 year in-ring wrestling career, lasting from 1962 (with occasional appearances in the 1980s) to 1989.
Along with the most famous talents Dillon worked ringside for, he also managed such talents as Mongolian Stomper, Abdullah the Butcher, Moondog Mayne, Big John Studd, Angelo Mosca, The Spoiler, Brute Bernard, Ox Baker, Kendo Nagasaki, Bulldog Brower, Ken Patera, and the team of Ron Bass and Black Bart.
He currently has a website detailing his career and travels at (what else) JJDillon.com.
Here is information on the eight participants in this year's Super Eight:
Tyson Dux is 5' 10", 185 pounds and is from New Castle, New Brunswick in Canada. He's a seven year pro, who was trained by Joe Hitchen, Scott D'Amore, and Terry Taylor.
Dux works a technical style mixed with martial arts and uses a DDT and Cradle Brain Buster as finishers.
Dux has worked for a number of Ontario independents including Border City Wrestling and Neo Spirit Pro Wrestling as well as the Michigan-based Maximum Pro Wrestling. He's held a number of Ontario titles including being the three time Border City Wrestling tag team champion.
Rocky Romero is 5' 7", 175 pounds, is from Havana, Cuba, and best known as one of the Havana Pitbulls. He's worked for Mexico's AAA and CMLL as well as New Japan Pro Wrestling and their US dojo, and many California based independents including Ultimate Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Millennium Pro Wrestling. Romero is a six year pro who was trained by Kevin Quinn, Jesse Hernandez, Bill Anderson and received additional training with: Antonio Inoki, Shinya Makabe, Negro Casas) and has worked programs with Ricky Marvin, Virus, Volador, Jr. and the Ballard Brothers.
His finishers include a jumping armbar, Lady of the Lake into Romero Special #2, and a jumping knee kick. He's held a number of titles including the CMLL Super Ligero Championship, the UPW Tag Team Championship, and the Millennium Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championship.
The second member of the Havana Pitbulls, Ricky Reyes, is from Havana, Cuba and is 5' 9", 192 pounds. Reyes is a six year pro who was trained by Kevin Quinn, and received additional training with: Antonio Inoki, Shinya Makabe, Negro Casas) and has worked programs with NWA-TNA's Frankie Kazarian, Ricky Marvin, Virus, Volador, Jr. and the Ballard Brothers.
His finishers include a German Suplex, Avalanche Style Brainbuster, and a Rolling Kimura Lock.
Reyes has worked for Mexico's AAA and CMLL as well as New Japan Pro Wrestling and their US dojo, and many California based independents including Ultimate Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Millennium Pro Wrestling. He has held the UPW Light Heavyweight Championship and Tag Team Championships. the UPW Tag Team Championship, the Millennium Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championship, and was four time EWF Tag Team Champion.
"Hurricane" John Walters is 6 feet and 222 pounds, and is from Boston, MA. Walters is a four year pro, trained by the legendary Killer Kowalski and by Mike Hollow and has worked programs with Luis Ortiz, Vince Vicallo, and Xavier. He's worked for a number of New England and northeast-based independents including Chaotic Wrestling, New England Championship Wrestling, Assault Championship Wrestling, Jim Kettner's own East Coast Wrestling Association, Ring of Honor, Jersey All Pro Wrestling and Jersey Championship Wrestling.
Walters is noted for a mat based technical wrestling style, utilizing a hurricane DDT and sharpshooter as finishers. He has held nearly every title in Chaotic Wrestling, including two Chaotic Wrestling heavyweight championships, the Chaotic Wrestling Television Championship, the Chaotic Wrestling Tag Team Championship.
Mike Kruel is 5' 11" and 225 pounds and is from Brooklyn, NY. Kruel is a three year pro, trained by Body Guard for Hire and ECWA's Jim Kettner. He's worked for many independents in the New York and Philadelphia areas including, Jim Kettner's own East Coast Wrestling Association, USA Professional Wrestling, East Coast Professional Wrestling, 3PW, Jersey All Pro Wrestling,
Phoenix Championship Wrestling, Jersey Championship Wrestling, Chikara Wrestling, and Long Island Championship Wrestling. He's worked with many different programs including notable ones with Christopher Daniels, Little Guido, and Low Ki.
Kruel works primarily a mat/submission wrestling style and uses a cross chest arm-breaker as a finisher. He has held the ECWA Heavyweight Championship, was a three time USA Pro United States Championship and held the USA Pro Tag Team Championship.
"The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels is likely the most well-known independent wrestler in North America. The eleven year pro is 5'11" and 210 pounds, and is from Los Angeles, CA. Originally trained by Sam DeCero of the Chicago-based Windy City Wrestling School, he's worked overseas for the UK's Frontier Wrestling Alliance, Japan's New Japan Pro Wrestling and Michinoku Pro Wrestling, as well as nearly major American independent, including NWA-TNA, ECWA, Ring of Honor Wrestling, Windy City Pro Wrestling, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, as well as the California-based Ultimate Pro Wrestling, All Pro Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.
Daniels won the 2000 Super Eight Tournament, defeating Scoot Andrews. He has has worked programs with many wrestlers nationwide, including Low Ki, CM Punk, America's Most Wanted (as part of the TNA XXX group), Jeff Jarrett, Michael Shane and Mike Kruel. His in-ring style can be described as a crisp, fluid American style with Japanese and lucha influences, using the "Last Rites" and "Angel's Wings" finishers.
Daniels has held more titles than can be named, with the following list only a partial one: two times NWA Tag Team Champion, ROH Tag Team Champions, the FWA Heavyweight Championship, the ECWA Heavyweight Championship, the Michinoku Pro British Commonwealth Jr. Heavyweight Championship and the UPW Heavyweight Championship. He currently co-holds the New Japan Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles (working as Curry Man) with American Dragon.
Nicho (formerly known as Psicosis) is one of the best known luchadores in the United States, is a 12 year pro from Tijuana, Mexico and stands at 6 feet tall and 205 pounds. Trained by Rey Mysterio, Sr. in a lucha style, his most notable programs have been with Rey Mysterio, Jr. and El Hijo del Santo. He uses a top rope senton as a finisher.
He has performed for Mexico's CMLL and AAA, Japan's WAR, and the following North American independent promotions: NWA-TNA, XPW, UPW, as well as World Championship Wrestling and ECW, and has held WCW Cruiserweight Championship, CMLL Triple Championship, and the AAA Welterweight Championship.
The final participant on the Super Eight, Austin Aries is 5' 9" and 202 pounds, a three year pro coming from Milwaukee, WI, who showed his in-ring work in the Northeast for the first time at the recent Ring of Honor show in Elizabeth, NJ.
Trained by Eddie Sharkey, Aries is equally skilled in high risk, high flying or mat submission styles and uses various finishers including the 450 Splash, Macho Neck Snap, Tornado Plancha, Pendulum Elbow, Corkscrew Splash and Tornado Forearm. Aries has worked for Minnesota-based independents including Minnesota Independent Wrestling , Pro Wrestle America, Neo Pro Wrestling, and Steel Domain Wrestling, as well as Wisconsin's Mid American Wrestling, IWA Mid-South Wrestling, Revolution Championship Wrestling and Iowa's Midwest Championship Wrestling.
Aries has held various cruiserweight and light heavyweight titles in the Midwest including the MIW Cruiserweight Championship, Neo Pro Cruiserweight Championship, MWCW Light Heavyweight Championship, MAW Junior Heavyweight Championship, MIAW Cruiserweight Championship. Aries is currently the ACW-NWA Midwest X-Division Champion.
In addition to the seven matches of the Super Eight...ECWA features its annual Tag Team Summit featuring all the ECWA stars with the winning team to wrestle the ECWA Tag Team Champions Billy Bax and Rob Eckos, "The Valedictorians".
Tickets are $14.00 each for the Super Eight, and available at the door or at these ticket locations:
Alpha Pizza, 1402 E. Newport Pike, Newport, DE - Call (302) 995-6995 for information.
Mike Womer's 1614 Fitness Center, Fox Run Shopping Center, Bear, DE - Call (302) 832-1614 for information.
Jack's Kickboxing Gym, 106 Albe Drive, Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, DE - Call (302) 731-3775 for information.
New York's WrestlingBusTrips.com will return to the Eighth Annual Super 8 Tournament on Saturday April 3rd with bus stops at:
The Modell's behind the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst, Queens!
The Manhattan Center in Midtown Manhattan (West 34th Street and 8th Avenue)
The Rexplex in Elizabeth, NJ
You may send requests for payment information via Paypal.com to AGENTCLPT@aol.com.
For those driving, here are directions to St. Matthew's Parish Center:
Follow I-95 southbound. Take Exit 5B (Route 141 North/ Newport exit). Take Route 141 northbound about one mile to Exit 4 Route 4 East (Newport exit). At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Route 4 East. On Route 4, go through 4 lights. Between the fourth and fifth lights, St. Matthews Parish Center will be on your left.
From Delaware and Maryland:
Follow I-95 northbound. Take Exit 5-B (Route 141 North/ Newport exit). Take Route 141 north about a mile to Exit 4/Route 4 East (Newport exit). At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Route 4 East. On Route 4, go through 4 lights. Between the fourth and fifth lights, St. Matthews Parish Center will be on your left.
From New York:
Take I-95 south through Pennsylvania to Delaware. After crossing into Delaware, take Exit 5B/Route 141 North (Newport/Lancaster exit). Follow Route 141 north for 1 mile. Take Exit 4 Route 4 East (Newport exit). At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Route 4 East, and follow Route 4 East through 4 lights. Between the fourth and fifth lights, St. Matthews Parish Center will be on your left.
Follow New Jersey Turnpike (or I-295 below Trenton) to Delaware Memorial Bridge. Cross over Delaware Memorial Bridge (stay to the LEFT, following signs for I-95 south.)
Just before merging onto I-95 southbound, take Exit 5B/ Route 141 North (Newport/Lancaster exit). Follow Route 141 north for 1 mile. Take Exit 4 Route 4 East (Newport exit). At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Route 4 East, and follow Route 4 East through 4 lights. Between the fourth and fifth lights, St. Matthews Parish Center will be on your left.
Until next time...
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