Friday, December 29, 2017

Fun Fact Friday: Jerry Travelstead

Jerry Travelstead
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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I've met a lot of great people through Stride Pro Wrestling. One of them is Jerry "T-Dog" Travelstead. He's an educator turned pro wrestler who has achieved great success inside and outside the ring. Jerry is the first ever Stride Pro Wrestling Legacy Champion, winning the company's first ladder match. It was a grueling contest and a well-deserved honor for T-Dog. This week I wanted to learn more about Jerry, so here are some fun facts about him.

1. On most Sundays, you'll find Jerry behind the pulpit. He serves as a supply preacher. That means he's a substitute preacher when a church either doesn't have a preacher or their's is on vacation. 

2. He became the youngest school superintendent in the state of Illinois in 2004. Jerry was 25 at the time. He's still serving as both the principal and superintendent at Community Consolidated 204 in Pinckneyville.

3. While in college Jerry had a 74-yard punt. But he quit school mid-season and there's no record of it. He then attended Rend Lake College and paid for school on his own. While at RLC he earned a scholarship to SIU and got two Masters' degrees. 

Courtesy: Steve Belcher
Jerry admits he's made a lot of mistakes in his life, but he's always learned from them. He has been blessed with a pretty interesting life and has the attitude of "Why not?" when it comes to dealing with situations. His favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. The phrase he truly lives by and believes in is "Anything worth doing is worth doing well."

That sums up Jerry. He does everything with 110%. I'm glad to know him and that he's a regular part of Stride Pro Wrestling. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2018 holds for him. Be sure to check out Stride Pro Wrestling's return on Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Monday, December 25, 2017

Centy Claus is coming to Stride

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Centy Claus is one of the many characters I came up with when doing regular videos on the My 1-2-3 Cents YouTube channel. He shows up every year around Christmas. This year, he's left some gifts for the men and women of Stride Pro Wrestling.

For new Stride Pro Wrestling Champion Jay Spade: An injury-free run as champion. You've worked hard to get to where you are and prove that the size of a person's heart is just as important as their stature. 

For former Champion Roger Matheus: A rematch for the heavyweight title. You were the most dominant champ in Stride's history. Don't let one loss judge the reign of this wrestler.

For Legacy Champion Chris Hargas: Continued momentum after winning both Buried Alive and the Legacy title within a week of each other. You are ending the year on a high note after surviving one of the most physical matches we've seen in Stride.

For former Legacy Champion Tony Flood: A bigger pair of brass knuckles. If you're going to resort to cheating, you're going to need a bigger pair against Hargas.

For Dexter Roswell: An endless supply of hand sanitizer. You're going to be shaking a lot more hands as Stride continues to grow in popularity.

For Scott Phoenix: A lifetime supply of whatever shampoo it is that makes your hair the envy of the Stride Pro Wrestling locker room. And one lucky lady to actually accept your digits.

For J. Wellington Beauregard: Protective gear. You continue to make men like Ax Allwardt, Heath Hatton and Jerry Travelstead angry. You're going to need something to protect yourself. 

For Ax Allwardt: Five minutes alone in the ring with J. Wellington Beauregard, without the abovementioned protective gear. Also, a tag team partner who can appreciate a cold beer, loud 80s music and a thick steak from time to time. 

For Heath Hatton: Baby oil and someone with warm hands to apply it. But on a serious note, the continued respect and admiration from fans and colleagues for bringing indy wrestling back to southern Illinois.

For Frank Wyatt: More money from J. Wellington Beauregard to make up for the beating you took at the hands of Heath Hatton in Woodlawn.

For Arron Brooks & Joey O'Riley: A shot at the Stride Pro Wrestling tag team championships. 

For Brian Richards: A face mask to keep your beardless face warm since losing to El Magnifico.

For El Magnifico: A pinata that won't break.

For Aaron Edwards & Nathan Brag: More respect from the leader of your "party". 

For Bull Bronson: A welcomed return and a championship opportunity. 

For Jerry Travelstead: Continued success with the fundraising efforts you get behind with the Stride shows. Your efforts are appreciated more than you know.

For the fans of Red Daniels: Peace and understanding in the wake of this month's Buried Alive match that led to Red's demise.

For "Farmer" Billy Hills: A clean bill of health from the doctor and the wisdom to mend some broken fences. 

For Sarah Summers: More opportunities.

For JD Wilk: A healthy 2018 and a shot at the Legacy title.

For Shane Lauder: Determination. You've been trained by some of the best in Stride Pro Wrestling, keep working hard and aiming high.

For Sam Hunter: A lifetime supply of fish sticks and the ability to enjoy them without the ridicule of J. Wellington Beauregard. 

For referee Lane Austin: Those pecs you've been pumping so hard for and a night without Hunter yelling "Lane sucks". 

For Jim Kelton (the sound guy): A new laptop.

For Stride Pro Wrestling fans: A happy and healthy 2018 and more appearances by past guests like Ace Hawkins, Brandon Espinosa and Daniel Eads.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Fun Fact Friday: Arron Brooks

Arron Brooks
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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In October, Arron Brooks made his return to Stride Pro Wrestling. Fans around the region probably best remember him as AT Brooks. But with his reemergence, he's undergone a bit of name change. He and Joey O'Riley have formed a successful tag team and will soon be earning a chance to win the Stride Pro Wrestling tag team championships. I wanted to learn more about Arron and share those fun facts with you.

Brooks vs. JD Wilk
Photo by Steve Belcher
1. Arron has done martial arts since the age of eight. He got started with his uncle who owned a martial arts academy. Not only did it help with his athletic skills, but Arron says martial arts also taught him discipline and manners. He holds a third-degree black belt in Jiu Jutsu, Muay Thai, kickboxing, karate and some Aikido. You can see some of these techniques in the ring.

Joey O'Riley, me and Arron Brooks
2. He's collected comic books since the age of five. Deadpool, the Green Arrow and Power Rangers are his favorites. That's why he has a green arrow tattoo on his right forearm and the Cantonese symbol for ‘survive’ on his chest. (Both references are from the Green Arrow.) He loves Power Rangers because of the martial arts they perform. The White Dino Thunder ranger is his favorite. Mighty Morphin' is always a favorite, too.

Cosplaying as White Dino Thunder Ranger
3. A visit to Disney World and Universal Studios inspired Arron to get into cosplay. He enjoys visiting comic con events around the country in costume. His top cosplays right now are the White Dino Thunder Ranger, Deadpool and Kylo Ren.

Keep up with Arron's cosplay and wrestling on social media. Follow @brookskickedme on Twitter and @arrowbrooks on Instagram.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ladies' night at the Royal Rumble

Courtesy: WWE

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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I realize I'm a few days late with this, but I did want to weigh in on the announcement from Monday night with the all-women Royal Rumble match coming up next month. 

As mentioned in this week's Pro Wrestling Unscripted podcast it's a great move by WWE. But the execution of the announcement was nonsensical. A brawl involving several of the women on the Raw roster was interrupted by Stephanie McMahon. She announced the history-making match and the ladies all seemed to be overcome with the news and stopped their fighting. In fact, they all celebrated in the ring.

We've talked about an all-female Rumble before. Earlier this year, listener Devin Dinkins posed the question on an Ask My 1-2-3 Cents podcast. It's a great move by the company, which has done women matches in the Hell in a Cell and Money in the Bank. The Royal Rumble only makes sense.

I'm not going to speculate yet on a winner until all the competitors are announced. Early favorites have already picked Ronda Rousey. I don't have a problem with that as I believe a match between her and Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania could actually be the main event. Main eventing WrestleMania will be the last major accomplishment for the women's division. 

There are plenty of talented women on the current roster, including NXT and from the Mae Young Classic. There's also a lot of Legends and indy stars who could and should be included in the Royal Rumble. Something else to note, I'm a believer that champions should be in the Rumble match too. In my 1-2-3 cents, it's logical that the Universal or WWE Champion or in this case the Raw or SmackDown Live Womens' champions to want a shot at their counterpart for the gold. I know for the time being WWE will not unify any championships and the champ in the Rumble wouldn't have to win. I'm just speaking from a logic standpoint. 

Who do you think will enter and win the first Women's Royal Rumble match? We'll discuss more on the podcast and here on the blog in the coming weeks.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

New champs crowned

Two new champs
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Another weekend of wrestling has come to a close. Stride Pro Wrestling held two shows in December. Buried Alive a week ago and last night a benefit show at Woodlawn Grade School. Both shows were amazing and history-making. I'll go into all the details in this week's My 1-2-3 Cents podcast. But for this blog, I wanted to congratulate Stride's two new champions. 

Chris Hargas captures the Legacy Title
First, Chris Hargas ended the second Legacy Championship reign of Tony Flood. These two put on an amazing match. Hargas, the bigger and stronger of the two, took it to Flood, who never disappoints in the ring or on the mic. Flood injured his shoulder during the course of the match and Hargas wisely worked it throughout. He captured the champion in a cross face (the same move he knocked Red Daniels out with at Buried Alive). Flood, who was in a lot of pain, could do nothing but tap out. 

The crowd went nuts as Hargas was handed the Legacy Championship. The win marks Hargas' first championship reign in Stride Pro Wrestling. However, we know he's held god in other companies around the region. With 16 years of experience, Hargas brings a lot to the Stride ring and will continue to make the Legacy Championship a meaningful title just as Flood did. I congratulate not only Hargas but Tony as well. Both men should be applauded for the match they put on.

Spade wins!
Stride Pro Wrestling has a new heavyweight champion too. Jay Spade, the literal underdog, overcame the odds and beat Roger Matheus in a Last Man Standing match. The two spent about 30 minutes beating the crap out of each other. Cookie sheets, chairs and even a plastic "Wet Floor" sign were used as weapons during the match. Both men also deserve a lot of respect and admiration for the efforts they put forth. 

Spade's victory and emotional response gave me goosebumps as I announced him as the champion. I've known Jay since 2011 in the early days of All American Pro Wrestling's run on television. My first impression was he's a little guy, but he has a big heart. His match against Eric Wayne sticks out to me because Spade was willing to do whatever it took to put on a great match, which included climbing the balcony and jumping from it.

Spade proved Saturday night you don't have to be a giant or a muscle-bound monster beat a bigger foe. His tenacity and intestinal fortitude have finally landed him his first singles championship in Stride. I'm proud of him and what he's accomplished through the years.

Keep up with all the happenings in Stride Pro Wrestling right here. Look for our next show, coming up on Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion.

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Lookout Woodlawn, here comes Stride Pro Wrestling

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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In just a few hours, Stride Pro Wrestling will be laying the smackdown in Woodlawn, Illinois. We're doing a fundraiser show at the grade school there. I've talked about some of the matches announced so far, here's the rest of the card and the entire show as it stands now. But as always, remember *card subject to change.

JD Wilk and Ace Hawkins will team up against Joey O'Riley and Arron Brooks. This will be a phenomenal tag team match. Last week we saw the groundwork being laid for this as Wilk faced Brooks. O'Riley got involved in the finish, which saw Brooks win. Wilk came back and cost O'Riley his match for the Legacy title. Now Stride guest Ace Hawkins will get involved. This has the potential to be the match of the night.

Tony Flood defends the Legacy title against Chris Hargas. This is the first time these two have battled in a Stride ring. I'm looking forward to it as well.

Dexter Roswell and Brian Richards face Ax Allwardt and Jerry Travelstead. Too many bitter feelings are involved here for this to be nothing less than a fight.

The monster Frank Wyatt will try to take out Heath Hatton.

Woodlawn's athletic director Jan Peterson and a mystery partner will face Aaron Edwards and Nathan Brag of the DR Party. I'm sure J. Wellington Beauregard will be involved in some underhanded tactics too.

Jay Spade challenges Roger Matheus for the Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match. This is the first time Stride has done such and match and I expect it will be nothing short of brutal. 

Remember, come out tonight to Woodlawn Grade School. Bell time is 6:30 p.m. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Fun Fact Friday:The Legacy Championship

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Stride Pro Wrestling has three championships. The heavyweight and tag team titles were established in the early days of the company. The first Legacy Champion was crowned in November 2016. Sometimes so-called secondary championships are overlooked, but the Legacy Title is a valued and well-defended championship here in Stride. Here are a few facts about the title.

Jerry Travelstead gets the gold
1. The first person to hold the Legacy Championship was Jerry Travelstead. He won a tournament and beat Tony Flood in the finals at Community Consolidated 204 School in Pinckneyville. This was Stride Pro Wrestling's first ladder match as well. 

A fabulous win for Flood
2. Even though Tony Flood is technically the second man to win the Legacy Title, it was El Fabuloso who pinned Travelstead for the victory. Moments after the win, Fabuloso unmasked and revealed himself as Flood.

Hatton with the title
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
3. Flood has been Legacy champ most of 2017. He lost it for a week to Heath Hatton but regained it after some help from Dexter Roswell. Now he faces a big challenge from Chris Hargas. On the heels of winning Buried Alive against Red Daniels, he's getting a shot at cementing his 'legacy'.

Bell time is 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Woodlawn Grade School. We'll see you there.
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Old school is in session

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The rivalry between Jerry Travelstead and Dexter Roswell has been well documented. In October you may remember Roswell lost a paddle on a pole match to the school administrator turned pro wrestler. You'd think that experience would have straightened up Roswell, but the DR Party leader has only been up to more hijinks in the months that have passed.

He cost Heath Hatton the Legacy Championship and along with Scott Phoenix and manager J. Wellington Beauregard screwed over Ax Allwardt and won the Stride Pro Wrestling tag team championship. Huge mistake. Ax is out for blood now and nearly got his revenge earlier this month.

However, Stride General Manager Sam Hunter is giving Ax and Jerry an early Christmas gift. The unlikely duo of Old School Discipline will team up to face Roswell and his party's enforcer, Brian Richards. Because there are multiple members of the DR Party, the "Freebird" or "New Day" rule will apply to title defenses, especially as Phoenix continues to recover from his shampooing injury.

Revenge will be sweet no matter what, but I know Ax really wants to get his hands on Phoenix when he returns. Battering Richards and Roswell should bring some smiles to an otherwise grumpy Allwardt. And T-Dog will enjoy whipping the DR Part members again. Old School Discipline has much to gain Saturday and I'm not so sure the tag titles matter as much as teaching their younger foes a lesson or two in old school wrestling. 

The tag team title match is one of many matches set for Saturday's show in Woodlawn. The event is a fundraiser for Woodlawn Grade School. Bell time is 6:30 and tickets are $15 for ringside and $10 for general admission. See you there. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Jay Spade's last stand

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Stride Pro Wrestling's 'David & Goliath' story comes to a close this weekend. Jay Spade challenges in Roger Matheus for the heavyweight championship one more time. This contest will be a Last Man Standing match, following up on the previous two matches Matheus and Spade have had. 

Spade soars
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
It's been well documented Matheus is the larger of the two athletes. He towers over Spade when they're face to face and nearly doubles his challenger's weight. However, Spade has the heart and passion of that has helped this underdog achieve success in the wrestling business for several years.

At the contract signing last week, Matheus faked a bum knee only to attack Spade with a crutch. Matheus himself started the ten count, only to see Spade spring up to his at eight. Just as Spade was ready to give Matheus a taste of his own medicine, the champ turned tail and left the ring, promising Spade and the fans he'd be ready Saturday.

The rules of a Last Man Standing are quite simple. Beat the hell out of your opponent and render him unable to answer the referee's count to ten. If Spade uses his speed and gets Matheus to chase him, he could wear down the champ and take advantage. However, if Matheus uses his size and strength it could be an early night for the challenger. Either way, it's going to be a fight you don't want to miss.

Don't forget, Saturday's show is a fundraiser at Woodlawn Grade School. Bell time is at 6:30 and tickets are $15 for ringside and $10 for general admission.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Beauty vs. the Beast

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Stride Pro Wrestling is hot off the heels of Buried Alive and is now headed to another big event this weekend. The show is a fundraiser at Woodlawn Grade School. Several great matches have been announced, including one that pits former Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion against Frank Wyatt.

Wyatt in May 2016
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
Fans may remember Wyatt from his appearances last year in Stride. He and "Homicidal" Steven Davis were known as Damage Inc. and were the first Stride Pro Wrestling tag team champions. But after losing the belts, Wyatt soon disappeared from the company. His manager J. Wellington Beauregard never mentioning where the beast had gone.

Fast forward to Buried Alive and Wyatt barreled through the youngster Shane Lauder. But that's not the big story. During the Heath Hatton-Dexter Roswell match, Wyatt appeared out of nowhere. He pummeled Hatton in a Pearl Harbor job similar to King Kong Bundy's attack of Hulk Hogan leading up to WrestleMania II. 

Old friends reunite
Courtesy: Jamie Myers
Moments after the beat down, it became clear that once again J. Wellington Beauregard's deep pockets covered the cost of the mugging. It appears at least for now there is once again a relationship between Beauregard and Wyatt. And Stride Pro Wrestling General Manager Sam Hunter was quick to sign the match for Saturday's (Dec. 16) show. 

There are few guys that can manhandle Hatton on the Stride roster, but Wyatt made it clear that he is one of those who can. Despite being battered and bruised, Hatton will no doubt go into this match ready to go. He showed a pretty aggressive side in the match against Roswell, doing what was nearly a perfect Superman punch against the DR Party leader. I wish I was able to capture that moment on camera as it was something to see.

So don't forget, we're hitting the road and headed to Woodlawn Grade School. Be sure to join us. Bell time is 6:30 p.m. and we're raising money for the school's athletics department.