6. December, 2012


1 comment



Next Level Training Facility
11210 Outlet Dr
Knoxville, TN 37932

Devin Driscoll  865-789-2830

WHEN: Saturday, December 15, 2012.

TIME: 1-4 PM

Ah, Knoxville in December.  The last five years I spent in sunny Tampa and now I am getting adjusted to the milder weather of East Tennessee again.  And taking advantages of the opportunities in front of me…

Devin Driscoll is a young man I trained years ago during my “interruption of service” and was living in Sevierville at the time.  He sent a Fed Ex letter to my unlisted address asking to be trained.  He sent 5 other “Tom Prichards” the same letter.  I didn’t realize there were that many of us in the area but apparently there were.

I admired his gumption and made arrangements to train him and some other ‘hopeful prospects.’  Devin eventually earned a developmental contract with WWE but circumstances beyond his control found him back in Knoxville, opening up his own gym and training area athletes.

He is expanding his gym to 21,000 square feet to include a wrestling ring and a separate boxing training, along with new gym equipment and turf areas. Devin asked if I would be interested in opening a wrestling school and adding it as a course for people coming to Next Level Training.  I am grateful and welcome the opportunity to be a part of the NL team.

As an added bonus (and challenge) we will be filming a reality show in conjunction with training.  I know everyone and their brother have tried to do reality shows, live events, a regular weekly TV show and on and on…But hopefully this will be different.

We are looking at people who want to go for their dreams and learn the art of professional wrestling. Interesting people who can be themselves on camera and willing to learn how to perform and enjoy themselves at the same time.  If you are in or near the Knoxville area I’d like to invite you to come out and see if you have what it takes to be on a reality TV show.  It’s an open casting call for men and women, with experience, no experience; it doesn’t matter.    Come to Next Level Training and we will put you in front of a camera, ask you some questions and see if this is for you!

We plan on having an open house January 3, 2013 and the first class will be January 7.  There are limited spots available so if you are interested, make your plans now!

On December 2, I had the pleasure of wrestling George South on a special card to raise money and awareness for “Amelia’s Law” in Maryville, TN.  Amelia Keown is Dutch Mantell’s granddaughter who was killed after being hit head on by a car driven by a habitual felon out on parole, high on drugs running from the police.

It was great to see the community come out and support Dutch and his family. It was also great to be in a dressing room that seemed to go back in time where people were laughing, talking and actually having fun!

Wolfie D, Shane Williams, Jimmy Golden, Beau James, Joe Cazana, David Young, Sigmon, Misty James, Violet Adams, Jake Manning, Caleb Klonley, Jeremiah Plunkett, Mark Andrews, Elliott Russel, Johnny Meadows, Paul Lee, Menace, Cody Cantrell, Lex Lee as well as referees Mike Sledge, Tommy Weeks and Jason Stinnett were great to work with and be around for what turned out to be a crowd pleasing card.

‘The Dirty White Boy’ Tony Anthony was kind enough to be in my corner while I wrestled George.  I was thinking I was going to be a heel on this night but I think Tony changed that by being the ‘hometown favorite.’  George made sure the locals would boo him once he grabbed the mic and let everyone know he was from South Carolina and reminded them all what a horrible place Tennessee is!  So much for Tony or me being heels now…

I’ve crossed paths with George a few times through the years but this was my first time wrestling him and it was a pleasure.  He is a true pro and you don’t find that too often these days. I hope I can do business with George again sometime in the near future….

I didn’t recognize Joe Cazana at first.  I last saw Joe about six years ago and he had longer, blonder hair back then.  Joe’s grandfather John was the promoter in Knoxville from the late 1940’s -1974.  I’ve always liked Joe and we had a good time catching up.  Jimmy Golden seems ageless and it was great listening and telling old war stories from our Continental days.

Beau James and Joe Cazana teamed up against David Young and Sigmon and proved that ‘old school’ wrestling is still appreciated in some corners of the country! The vibe in the dressing room was positive and everybody wanted to go out and put on a great show.  Didn’t come across any bruised egos and the crew was anxious to go out and perform in front of appreciative ‘wrestling fans.’

Funny thing about the south and Tennessee in particular…The people who come to the smaller shows (although this was one of the bigger small shows) seem to know and appreciate when the guys work hard.  They reciprocate with yelling, cheering, clapping, booing and having fun!  Anybody who’s ever stepped in the ring will tell you that’s what they live for.  Those few precious moments that they have to entertain the crowd.  And having a packed house with appreciative fans makes it all worthwhile.

All proceeds went to helping Dutch and his family with getting Amelia’s law passed as well as her funeral arrangements.  It was nice seeing everyone work hard for the love of the business.  That’s become a rarity these days as well…

I am refereeing a match between Kyle Matthews and the Southern States/Southern Champion Eric Darkstorm Christmas night in the Mt. Carmel, TN. Armory.  I’m looking forward to being around wrestlers and fans who are passionate about wrestling and love what they do.

I’ve missed that. It took me a while to understand what was missing.  I think I figured it out. I thought what I knew about pro wrestling was extinct.  It’s not.  It might be on life support, but as long as there are some that are passionate and want to get better, I have hope…

Thanks for reading.

Comments back to Homepage