March 22 was a good day for independent wrestling in Memphis and the surrounding area.
For six months, I was the go-to “ear” for Quenton “Pokerface” Williams as he prepared to promote his first-ever wrestling event, Millington Mayhem at USA Stadium in Millington, Tenn. Poker’s a veteran wrestler and has served as a booker many times, but he often doubted his abilities to pull off running his own show, even after deciding to give it a shot.
Let me first say this. The crowd wasn’t huge. However, it was a vocal crowd and a satisfied crowd by night’s end as there has been a lot of great feedback coming out of the event. Everyone on the card and behind the scenes busted their asses, nobody lost money on the event and, from all any of us have heard, everyone had a great time. I absolutely consider the event a success and want to congratulate Poker, who worked HARD to both promote the show and take care of his people. With this experience and a few lessons learned, he can now build from here.
Having my own things to deal with that afternoon, I didn’t get to see everything on the show, but I do know Reno Diamond and Jon Alan kicked off the show on an amazing note with a fantastic match. Poker told me he wanted these guys together in a match and I pushed for them to be in the opener from the start, because I knew what they could do. They didn’t disappoint, as you can see in the video below.
Additionally, I was very impressed with Juduz, who came across as a monster and a star as soon as he headed toward the ring. Additionally, Vic Vicious gave one hell of a performance in the main event against Poker and I’m proud of him for really stepping up.
I mentioned having my own things to deal with at the event. Well, from the event’s inception six months ago, I knew exactly what Poker had in store for me: I was gonna get my ass kicked by women.
About four years ago, Poker did some booking for a promotion in Jonesboro, Ark., and hit me with a surprise one evening. After serving as an announcer for about five years, I had just started my first managing gig for a tag team called the Gorillas – who were both HUGE guys and brand new to the ring – and went out there on a weekly basis looking absolutely absurd in my not-quite-safari-ready getup. I had a lot of fun doing that and I soon started managing Poker a little bit, as well.
One night, I showed up and found my name on the white board. In a match. With one of the ladies who worked the show. I had NEVER before done anything resembling wrestling. A handful of singles and a couple of tag “matches” involving three different female workers and managers later, I had been knocked all over the ring. “Iron” Mike, as Poker called me, was born.
After the Jonesboro show closed, I did one more managing appearance in the spring of 2011 before taking a couple of years off. About a year ago, Reno and I began working for Southern Premier Wrestling – a new promotion in Selmer, Tenn., – and I was back at ringside managing him.
Anyone who’s been around me for very long knows I’m a certifiable idiot. I can be loud (some may say obnoxious … and that’s OK) and a goofball and I don’t operate with much of a filter. I’m pretty much a clown by nature. I’d like to think that in my time in Jonesboro and the year-plus at SPW, I’ve proven that I have no problem looking like a fool as long as the people are entertained.
Hell, even as an announcer I had to look like a fool a few times. Former Memphis-area manager Boss Winders ran a promotion in Ward, Ark., about eight years ago and had me read “The Night Before Christmas” on the promotion’s central Arkansas television show, while all the babyface wrestlers were lying in the ring on blankets and sleeping bags. Team player right here.
Last Saturday, however, I might’ve outdone myself in the looking like a fool department.
With a singlet (YES, a singlet) hidden underneath a set of gym clothes, I interrupted the announced Dani Perry/Nicole Bourne match, which was being officiated by local Fox 13 meteorologist Brian Basham. After thoroughly lambasting all who were involved in the match, I pretty much sickened those in attendance by breaking out my wrestling gear before quickly having my head kicked in by both ladies.
While much of the scene is a blur to me, the crowd seemed to actually enjoy it all and I’ve gotten some great compliments from people on the show, as well as fans, which I really appreciate. I’m not a wrestler, so I knew the match wasn’t going to be pretty. I also knew it didn’t have to be. It just needed to be entertaining and I think we pulled it off. “Iron” Mike counted the lights (or clouds in this instance), yet again.
It’s my understanding that both Dani and Nicole are still very new to in-ring action and I have to give them both major props for everything they did as a part of the match. I’m super proud of them and grateful for their help. Ladies, you should be proud of yourselves, as well.
To everyone who was involved in the behind-the-scenes stuff for the event, thank you for what you did. To all the workers (Juduz, Reno, Jon, Mike Anthony, Joe and Steven Bourne, Moe Stegall, Dan Matthews, Logan Adams, Alan Steel, Poker, Vic, Blalok the Blazer, Antwane Wise, Rottn Randy, Dani, Nicole and referee Lenso), thank you for the work you put into making the event memorable for the fans. Kudos to everyone. Let’s do it again soon.