This picture was taken in England in 2008. We found the sparkly blue singlet/swimsuit laying around and I HAD to wear it. After the show the promoter said I could never wear it again... such is life. HATERS GONNA HATE.
First off, I’d like to thank everyone who came out to this weekend’s EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA shows. I talked to lots of people who made the journey out to their very first independent wrestling shows and they all said they had a blast, even though both buildings were about ten zillion degrees Celsius. But it was a great weekend of wrestling, and it seemed like despite the heat everybody had a great time. If there is one thing I will miss most about WWE, it will be the air conditioned buildings... and showers. On Saturday night in Philly I wrestled for close to 30 minutes and I felt like I sweated out 15 pounds. If only I could look that lean all the time, then I could really be a part of TJP’s Abs Crew. Alas, that day will probably never come.
This weekend I’ll be in Reseda, CA on Friday for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) and in Robins, GA on Saturday for Rampage Pro Wrestling (RPW). If you’ve never seen PWG before, I suggest you check it out as its some of the funnest wrestling I’ve ever been a part of. Its often wacky and irreverent, but its carved itself a great niche in the pro wrestling world. People come up to me all the time and talk to me about an interview I did there (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSh2s_lmthI), and I even heard people “buzzing” for me at WWE shows. It always makes me smile, no matter how mean I’m trying to be. I’ll be wrestling my old pal Roderick Strong, who may actually cave my chest in with his chops. Roddy is one of the main contributors to the many scars I have on my chest, and I will be bringing LOTS of Neosporin. I’m also hoping the legendary Lloyd Boner will be able to do some commentating. Saturday will be my first show for RPW and I’m pretty excited because I haven’t wrestled in Georgia since 2001. I’ll also get to meet up with my old pals Jimmy Rave and Sal Rinauro, who are hilarious. If you are near either of these shows, I welcome you to come check them out. Hopefully it won’t be as hot as last weekend!
And finally, the Teddy Bear T-shirt design contest has come to a close. People sent in sooooo many awesome designs, and now I’m in the painstaking process of trying to select one. Its going to come down which design actually looks best on a shirt. I was thinking of having a poll so people could vote on it, but I fail at technology and the thought of doing it intimidated me. Yes, I know, that ranks very low on the manliness meter. Either way I’ll post some of the art on the website soon, as so many of the people who follow wrestling are extremely talented. That’s all for this week and I hope to see some of you at the shows!
P.S. Feel free to send pictures from the shows to email@example.com. I’ll try to get them posted on the website!
Monday, July 19, 2010
Promoters always put the worst pictures of me on the posters!
This past weekend I wrestled for IWA in Puerto Rico. Although I didn’t get a chance to go the beach as much as I would have liked due to the weather (there was even a tornado!), I still had a great time. I beat Q.T. Marshall to become the new Puerto Rican Champion and at the end of the show I brutalized Savio Vega to the point he was gushing blood. My return on August 15th should be very, very interesting.
But this coming weekend is the show I’ve been looking forward to since the day the WWE let me go and it was the first show I agreed to do. EVOLVE (www.evolvewrestling.com) was initially conceptualized by myself and Gabe Sapolsky, the former booker for Ring of Honor. We felt that wrestling needed change, as most wrestling became stagnant and many fans were losing interest. Even though I signed with WWE, Gabe forged ahead with the new product, not quite what we envisioned at first but still a great alternative to what’s happening in the mainstream. EVOLVE 1 had two excellent matches with TJP vs. Munenori Sawa and Davey Richards vs. Kota Ibushi and the EVOLVE 2 main event with Chris Hero vs. Ikuto Hidaka was awesome. The one guy I was especially impressed with, though, was Bobby Fish. I’d known Bobby for a couple years and we’d toured Japan together with Pro Wrestling NOAH. When I saw the first couple DVDs I was amazed by how much better he had gotten and his match with Claudio Castagnoli on EVOLVE 2 was fantastic. I wanted my first EVOLVE match to be against someone I’d never wrestled before, but also someone I knew would push me to the limit. Bobby is that guy. He hits hard and can take it to the mat, which is which is what I love to do. I’m amped and looking forward to creating something completely different from you can see in mainstream wrestling. If there’s anyone who lives in the Union City, New Jersey area, I invite you to come to the show and check it out. It should be really fun.
Speaking of fun, I came up with a new idea for a t-shirt design while I was flying to Puerto Rico because I’ve almost sold out of the other shirts. My idea: me, as a mean looking teddy bear, brandishing a tie as a weapon. I put my idea up on my twitter and somebody mentioned I should make it a contest, so a contest it has become! People pressed me for a deadline so I said Sunday. I’ve already gotten some great submissions, but I thought I’d put it up on my blog and give people another week. You can send your mean teddy bear designs to firstname.lastname@example.org. Whoever wins will get a prize... but what I don’t know! We may have to collaborate on it!
That’s it for this week. I hope to see some of you at the Evolve show on Friday or the Dragon Gate USA show (info at dgusa.tv) in Philadelphia on Saturday, which is my return to the old ECW Arena! It should be a great weekend!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Abs Crew International: Me, TJP, Zach Sabre Jr. & Johnny Moss. I pulled my fat down to expose my abs... Zach didn't even try!
First off, I'd like to apologize to all of the people who ordered shirts over the last several weeks. A mistake was made where the shirts were printed on the wrong color shirt, so it took me an extra week and a half before the shirts arrived. I expected the new shirts last week but unfortunately wasn't able to pick them up until Tuesday. But don't worry, all the domestic orders were shipped out yesterday and all the international orders were shipped out today. Again, I apologize for the delay, but all the shirts are now on their way! Now on to the fun stuff.
Last weekend my schedule went something like this: Depart Las Vegas at 7 am on my way to Atlanta, where I met up with TJ Perkins. Then Atlanta to Dusseldorf, arriving at 8 am German time. Drive an hour to our holding tank where I sleep from 10 am to 12 pm. Then drive from holding tank to the building, arriving sometime around 2:30 pm. Show starts around 5:30ish, so I take a nap. Wake up just in time for my first match, which is the opener. Then wrestle again in the semi-main. Then approximately 3 minutes to the hotel to shower. Then off to find food. No luck finding vegan food, so back to the hotel to eat almonds. Then back out to meet the boys at a "Beach Party." No water, but plenty of sand. We DANCE, German style, until 3 am, then carry the drunkards back to the hotel. Then sleep. Wake up around 9 am. Try to sleep more but no luck. Leave at 12 for the arena, which is 3 minutes away. Wrestle 3 times. Shower. Drive to hotel, arriving at 7 pm. Eat. Sleep. Wake up at 1 am. Read. Leave for airport at 6:45 am. Depart Dusseldorf around 9. Arrive Atlanta, run into Chavo Guerrero. Fly back to Las Vegas, arriving at 5:45 pm. Sleep.
The second show I did, called Ambition (presented by WXW), was fantastic. Unfortunately, mainstream wrestling hasn't evolved much in the last 10 years. Often times its left to the independents to try something new and often times these new concepts fail. Not so this weekend. The Ambition tournament was an attempt to make wrestling more legitimate, and used exclusively men with martial arts backgrounds. It wasn't MMA, nor was it trying to be. It was merely shifting the universe in which pro wrestling existed. New moves were made important, and deeper stories were woven throughout the matches. It's one thing for me to think something was good, but it was clear that the 200 or so people who attended the show had a great time and approved of the new style. WXW told me that they are going to post one of the matches on youtube in a couple weeks and I'll post a link to it on my twitter. Check it out!
And finally, I'd like to give a big shout out to TJ Perkins (TJP), who I wrestled twice this weekend. I've known TJP since 2002, and despite only being 25 he's been wrestling for 10 years. He's one of my favorite wrestlers in the world to watch and is truly unique. I hadn't seen TJP in awhile, maybe 2 years, and was shocked to find out that he'd gotten even better. If you've never seen him or heard of him, look him up on youtube. If you like what you see there, consider checking out the EVOLVE 1 dvd (which can be found at evolvewrestling.com). His match with Munenori Sawa is one of the best matches I've seen this year. That's it for now and I'm hoping to write another blog on Monday!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
“WWE has come to terms on the release of NXT first season rookie Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson) as of today June 11, 2010. We wish Daniel Bryan the best in all future endeavors.”
Posted by WWE.com
Since this statement was released I’ve been bombarded with messages asking me if it’s real, and by now I’m sure that most people know that it is.
WWE is very serious about adhering to their PG guidelines, and apparently my actions during the NXT attack on John Cena, namely choking announcer Justin Roberts with his tie and spitting in Cena’s face, crossed the boundaries of what is considered “PG.” Perhaps the choking was too violent or perhaps the spit was too demeaning. I apologized for both immediately following the incident; but I would be a hypocrite if I apologized for putting everything I have into the attack. I would much rather have gone too far than to come up too short.
As with anyone who gets fired from their job, especially when they feel its unjust, I am angry. Very angry. But I can’t fault WWE for how they handled my release. My contract contained a 90 day no-compete clause in the event I was let go, yet the WWE has graciously allowed me start wrestling again on any show that’s not taped for television or pay per view.
So with the negatives there also come positives. Before I got signed by WWE last October, I worked hard to bring new fans to independent wrestling. But with most of us having little national exposure the only thing we could do was wrestle our hearts out and hope for word of mouth. Now that I’ve appeared on WWE television in front of millions of new fans, things are different. My goal is to garner as much interest in independent wrestling over the next 90 days as I possibly can. I hope that some of the people who enjoyed watching me wrestle on TV will give independent companies such as Evolve, Dragon Gate USA and Ring of Honor a chance. I think most of you would enjoy the intimacy between the fans and the wrestlers and the intensity of the action; if you ask the fans who went to the Chikara or AIW shows I was on this weekend, I’m sure 99% of them had a great time. So if you’ve never been to an independent show, go ahead and dip your toes in... you might find that the water is pretty nice.
As far as what happens after 90 days, nobody knows. I’ve “heard” that TNA is interested. There are petitions going around to get me back into WWE and the last several weeks there have been fans chanting my names at their shows. People have even brought signs showing their support. And though most of the signs get taken away and though WWE may not be listening to your chants or petitions, I truly appreciate all the support over the last several weeks. It is both overwhelming and heartwarming. But regardless of what offers come in, I am in no rush to make any rash decisions. I enjoy my freedom as much as I enjoyed the benefits offered by being in WWE. My future, as usual, is uncertain. But I am enjoying my return to the independents. I’m hoping to see some of you there.