Like many before him and many after him will follow Sam Johnson was able to live the dream of many current independent wrestlers right now when he was signed by the WWE to a Developmental contract. Sam Johnson is better known to wrestling fans as Sami Callihan. Sami began in wrestling back in March 2006 apart of Les Thatcher's Heartland Wrestling Association which was at one point the developmental territory of the WWE. Sami's career really didn't start picking up until he debuted in Combat Zone Wrestling in 2008. While in CZW he actually would form a Tag Team during his time in the company with future WWE star Dean Ambrose aka Jon Moxley.
During his time on the Indies Sami in my book may have been best known for his distinctive in-ring style, but based on his title wins he was known as one of the top Junior Heavyweights on the US Independent Circuit. Sami has competed in various promotion and for the most has been able to attain championship gold in them all. Some of the companies he has been apart of are: ROH, AIW, ICW, PWS, PWG, and a large number of others. Maybe a year or so prior to him signing with WWE is when I really started to pay attention to Sami so around the time he was feuding with Adam Cole and later on DJ Hyde in CZW, which especially his with Adam Cole are some of the best matches I have seen from the Indies.
In October 2013, Sami was signed by the WWE to a developmental contract, but because of maybe lack of direction and a bad leg injury Sami didn't debut on television for NXT until earlier this year. Sami now known as Solomon Crowe with a Hacker gimmick is poised to take not just NXT, but WWE also by storm and show the world the talent that everyone has known he's had for years. Below is showing Sami then and Solomon now:
Local Independent wrestling Emerge Wrestling which is based in the great state of Indiana looks to be trying to offer something different as a product and still help the community around them. Now though, I don't know much about Emerge Wrestling, what I do know is that they are a good independent wrestling company that has the ability and the will to do right by their community and their fans alike. I can tell you some of the talent in the company though: Anthony Lee, Ace Perry, Ricky Ruckus, Jay Maddux, and other young up and coming talents.
It is awesome to see local companies getting the news for good reasons like this, because as I have said before I don't believe that Indy wrestling gets as much attention as it should. Articles like not just help the company get more exposure, but also the wrestlers who work for said Indy company. Below is an excerpt from an article I found on http://www.tribtown.com/
"Nowadays, a lot of professional wrestling consists of inflated egos, scandalous back stories and ridiculous characters.
BottoEMERGE Wrestling aims to break the stereotypical mold and return to the roots of the sport while also helping out the community."
For the Full Article visit: http://www.tribtown.com/view/local_story/Company-with-local-ties-looks-_1424838160
Now in this business the hardest to do is to when it's time to hang it up and move on. But in the wrestling business even a fan we know that wrestlers don't always get a say in when they're in-ring careers end and sometimes they do. However, most people view you as very lucky if you can decide when you leave, and if you can stay away from the business.
Last week I was saddened to find out that top independent wrestler Tim Donst may never wrestle again after finding out that he has a tumor on his kidney. Now Tim was supposed to challenge for the AIW World Title and make his debut for CZW this past weekend, but you know Tim words might be better to use than my own for this so: "A few days ago I was rushed to the ER because I had collapsed with back pain. It felt as though I was getting stabbed with a hot knife. After several tests it was revealed that a tumor is located in my right kidney."
For the Full post from Tim Donst Visit: http://www.donst.com/
Bottom of FormBackground of Tim Donst:
I think Mick Foley said it best “I'm guessing not too many of you reading this are familiar with the name Tim Donst.” This plays into the idea that I have been echoing for years and that is an independent wrestling doesn’t get enough attention. Now I will admit that I have been a fan of Independent wrestling for years and I do know of Tim Donst, but I don’t know a lot about Mr. Donst. The company I most know Tim from is Chikara which is a company that are masters in my opinion of mixing the art comedic style of wrestling with the pure style of wrestling. I also know that Tim was trained by Indy wrestling legend “Lighting” Mike Quackenbush. Speaking of Chikara, Donst was at one point the Young Lions Cup in the company. This is basically a championship the company has for rookies or young wrestlers to fight for. Tim has also been apart various other promotions, including Absolute Intense Wrestling in Cleveland, OH and debuting for Dragon Gate USA in February of last year. Tim is also known for his amateur background which is a big part of his gimmick.
Truth of the Matter and Support:
The outpouring of support and well wishes for Tim has been incredible and these are the types of moments that make you very proud to be a wrestling fan. From Mick Foley to a tremendous number of wrestling, showing their support for Tim is very heart warming. Getting a reality check like this is something that changes people’s perceptions of life. We here at Wrestlingexpress.net would love to wish Tim a speedy recovery and hope he knows how many people are pulling for him and can’t wait to see him back in the ring. Best of Luck Tim and Get Well Soon!!!
Best of Luck Tim and Get Well Soon!!!
To show your support for Tim Donst find him on Social Media:
Now I know I put up a post about Joe leaving TNA in the TNA section of the site, but their is a lot more to talk about regarding Joe leaving TNA then just saying that and keeping it broad. Because before he became the "Samoan Submission Machine" in TNA he was the ass kicking bad ass on the Independents and now after 10 years it looks like Joe may finally be able to go back to the Indies. Here we will take a look at Joe's career before TNA and now after TNA.
Samoa Joe's Career Prior to TNA:
Joe actually started in wrestling as a job guy or unnamed enhancement talent for the WWE's B-Show's in the late 90's, he would actually be an enhancement talent for WWE on and off for three years. Before long Joe signed on with the former WWE Developmental Territory called UPW (Ultimate Pro-Wrestling) while in the company Joe would become the companies longest reigning World Champion ever. He also would be a part of a feud with future WWE mainstay John Cena. Following his departure from UPW he would go on a tour of Japan with the Pro-Wrestling Zero-One Promotion, he would even team with former WWE star Kenji Sakoda while in the company.
By the time the fall of 2002 rolled around Joe returned to the States and joined the new East-Coast wrestling promotion called Ring of Honor. Within less than a year of his arrival in ROH Joe defeated then champion Xavier to win the ROH World Title. Joe would hold the title for a resounding 21 months, while holding the championship Joe would have a series of matches with CM Punk over the summer of 2004 which saw the second match in the three match series get rated 5 stars by Dave Meltzer. (That match was the first match in North American to get a five star rating in Five years.) Joe would go on to lose the championship to Austin Aries at Final Battle 2004. A close second to being the longest reigning World Champion in ROH in my mind would be getting the honor to face Japanese Legend Kenta Kobabshi at the event named after the match...... Joe vs Kenta. This match also received a 5 star rating from Dave Meltzer giving Joe two five star rated matches in the span of a little over a year. On January 31st, 2007, Joe officially announced that as of March 4 he would longer be a full-time wrestler for ROH. In Joe's last match for Ring of Honor he fought his long time rival Homicide and was the victor in the match leaving on top.
Samoa Joe's Career Post TNA:
The fact is Joe just left TNA yesterday, so it would hard to figure that companies would already have him booked for appearances. However, I think after a certain amount of time has passed Joe will have absolutely no problem finding work for Independent companies. I know I said this in the first post about Joe that his leaving TNA is a good thing for both him and TNA; well it's also a good thing for the Independent companies as it gives them a fresh face to book who has been in the limelight for the last 10 years. I also believe that with Joe back on the Indies for the time being it increases the health of Independent wrestling ten fold because of who Joe has become over the last decade. Though he might now be in his mid 30's I think Joe still has a bright future ahead. Joe can end up anywhere right now it's hard to predict, but this is Samoa Joe's fresh start in wrestling.
A few months ago one time UFC fighter and former Ultimate Fighter contestant Matthew Riddle walked away from the MMA to begin training to be a pro-wrestler. Riddle was let go from his contract with the UFC after failing two drug tests, testing positive for marijuana. Following his release from the UFC, Riddle tried his luck in two other MMA promotion, but had not much success in either company.
Soon after he was taken out of his scheduled fight against UFC legend Jose Landi-Jons due to injury, Riddle has been training to become a pro-wrestler and selected the "World Famous" Monster Factory in Paulsboro, NJ to learn the art of pro-wrestling. Very recently Matthew made his in-ring debut, which is the video featured below:
Late last year reports and rumors were all around the "internet wrestling sites" that new information would be coming out early in 2015 regarding GFW. Well we have that information now after Jeff's interview with V2 Wrestling Podcast we found out the timetable of the next announcement. Though Jeff made sure to not be specific we did find out that within the next 4-6 weeks we should be getting an announcement of some form from Jeff about the future of GFW.
Over the couple of weeks Jeff has been spending the time trying to building up GFW as a standalone brand. I hope that the announcements that he will be making around WrestleMania will be something that furthers GFW as a standalone brand and that it isn't something like GFW co-promoting Triplemania in North American with AAA like they did with NJPW and Wrestle Kingdom.
This is a new series I will be starting and doing here and there which will highlight the past of certain WWE stars who were top independent wrestling stars before arriving at WWE. Now before you say this is just like all of those other people who complain about Indy guys getting name changes and not being the same guys they were on the indies well that's not why I am doing this series. I am doing this series for one reason and that reason is to celebrate the reason why they got signed by WWE and that is their work on the indies. I am doing this series to celebrate the past of some of the top stars in WWE right now and some of the guys aren't even Wrestlers anymore.
After doing the post I did yesterday highlight the fact that WWE put up an article speaking about Drake Younger's past in the wrestling industry. Now they didn't mention any company by name they just let Drake talk about his past as a death match wrestler and even took a quote from Drake's old rival Dean Ambrose. (Jon Moxley) For those unaware of who Drake Younger is you might have noticed this man below refereeing some matches down at NXT over the last year or so:
This man featured above is indeed Drake Wuertz or known to independent wrestling fans as Drake Younger. Now let me just say that yesterday I said it in the post and I will say it again that I have been a fan of Drake's for a long time and though I would have loved to see him wrestling for WWE, I am still extremely happy for him that his hard work and dedication have paid off. Now onto somewhat the reason for the post below are two matches which highlight Drake's past on the Indies: Enjoy!!!
Though not as in depth as the last report I heard about this company it still is proof that another wrestling company is within the development and that Shane Douglas is a part of it. Now the last report gave us some executives and a layout of what to expect from the company this year and next year. Though none of it was really confirmed by Douglas in this short interview, I did get a sense that unlike Shane's time with Extreme Rising Shane maybe staying away from certain aspects of the company that he might not have stayed away from with Extreme Rising.
I hope that Shane views Extreme Rising as a learning experience of what not to do when running a wrestling company and if it means taking less of a hands on approach with this company than I hope that he does so for the health of the company. But once again that is my opinion of what I saw in the video with Shane. Shane also noted that more announcements about to say company will be announced soon leading us to believe that "his project" is staying on track. The last thing that I heard about in this video was Shane says something that excited me, but also scares me because I don't know what to expect. Shane says his ultimate goal is posing a threat to the current major companies; his goal is not to put either company out of business.
Shane states that he would love to see the wrestling business get back to how it was in the late 90's and that's the part that scares me because I don't think it can. Shane seems like he is ready to step aside, meaning he seems to be willing to not be an active wrestler or an on-air talent and he is ready to help and to do whatever is best to keep life in his project and help it grow.
Below is the video I hope you enjoy:
Though this might be an old documentary it does a really good job of showing how accurate the struggle is to be an independent wrestler and run an independent wrestling company in this period. After the economy crashed in 2008 people became more protective of their money and started scaling back, this hurt all businesses including pro-wrestling. Watch as we see not only what it takes to run and independent wrestling company, but the struggle that comes when people don't show up. Also watch as two veterans of the independent circuit one being a former WWE developmental talent struggle to find their big break in the wrestling industry. Enjoy this great documentary.