Sunday, September 30, 2018

Climbing to success

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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The very first time the Legacy Title was on the line it was in a ladder match. It happened in Pinckneyville, Illinois when Jerry Travelstead beat Tony Flood in the tournament finals. Now, nearly two years later the belt is on the line again, in a ladder match and in the same exact place, Community Consolidated School District 204.

This time, Wraith faces three men; Arron Brooks, Jay Spade and Wraith's sidekick Ryzer. All four men have had issues with one another all summer long. It all started after Brooks won the number one contendership for the belt at Stride Goes Steel. Spade and Ryzer started an issue not long after that. In fact, Ryzer prevented Spade from regaining the Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Title from Tony Flood. So now, GM Sam Hunter is forcing all four guys to work out their differences in a match that has the potential to steal the show Saturday night.

I don't think I'm speaking out of turn, but I believe this is the first ladder match for all four men, at least here in Stride. That I know for sure. We've seen Ryzer, Brooks and Spade all climb that top rope and even scale the cage at Stride Goes Steel. There's no fear factor among anyone involved here. Plus, each man wants a piece of the championship pie. Ryzer and Brooks have never held gold here while Spade has been a tag team champion in addition to the Heavyweight champion.

What I'm looking forward to seeing is how Ryzer and Wraith work together. Ryzer has been a flunkie of sorts for Wraith since they paired up in March. He's a huge factor as to why Wraith still holds the Legacy Title. Case in point, the video above. Will Ryzer still help Wraith win no matter what, or could he have an appetite for gold? And what personality will Brooks bring to the ring with him that night?

Find out this Saturday night. CCSD 204 in Pinckneyville is the place to be. Bell time is 6:30 (come early for a meet and greet with Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee Abyss) Learn more here

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Three men, one belt

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Heath Hatton is the new Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion. He started his second reign after beating Tony Flood. And he's not wasting any time defending the belt. He'll take on two men he's teamed with and feuded with over the years.

Ax becomes champion
Ax Allwardt is the first man to lay claim to the Stride Championship, winning a fatal four-way match at the very first show. He and Hatton have a storied history that dates back many years, long before Stride was even a thought. Earlier this year, the two put their bitterness to the side and formed a tag team. The duo won the Stride Pro Wrestling Tag Team Titles twice. Even though they're not teaming up anymore the two are still friendly with each other.

Hargas vs. Red Daniels (RIP)
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
Chris Hargas rounds out the match. He has had classic battles with Hatton in SICW. The big man recently had a change of attitude and is now managed by Ax's former manager J. Wellington Beauregard. He picked up a win over Allwardt at the last show. That victory gives Beauregard extra momentum in his feud with Ax as he's eliminated his former charge in a battle royal and pinned him in a recent tag team match. Can that luck carry on next week and result in a championship win for Hargas?

Hatton on his way to gold
Hatton will no doubt be ready for each man and as you know from past triple threat matches, the champ is always at the disadvantage. Whoever scores the first pin becomes the champion, whether Hatton is the one pinned. The show is a fundraiser at Community Consolidated School District 204 in Pinckneyville. Be there!

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Friday, September 28, 2018

My monkey Mondo

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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My 1-2-3 Cents was created eight years ago this month. Nearly four years ago, I introduced the world to the official mascot, a monkey. I went with a monkey to fall in line with the other mascots on the Jittery Monkey Podcasting Network. Artist Joe Dodd did an amazing job capturing the attitude and essence of the shows. 

About two years ago or so, I started a mission to name the monkey. I figured it would come in handy for marketing and branding purposes. I still have visions of toys, shirts and other merchandise. A name would make this all a little easier. However, after opening up the process for a name, I couldn't settle on anything. So, I put the idea on the back burner for a long time before getting the itch to take the branding effort to the next level.

After creating a store on Pro Wrestling Tees and having some design ideas that require a name to be a part of the effort, I turned to those who support the cause to ask for help. A ton of suggestions came in, but at the suggestion of Sam Banks, I wanted to go with something that sounded Lucha, since the monkey wears a mask. I scoured the internet for legends of Lucha trying to find inspiration without being a ripoff. 

One name that stood out early on was Mondo. It's used in reference to something very striking or remarkable of its kind. So after a Twitter poll and Facebook poll; voters made their voices known. Mondo wins. Thanks to Sam and Josh Petro (yes, I'm acknowledging him) for making the suggestion. Thanks to everyone who voted and will continue to support My 1-2-3 Cents and Mondo.

My 1-2-3 Cents the shoes
Thanks, Tom Harness
Look for more efforts to brand not only with the t-shirts and my custom suit from Shinesty but also my new Mondo shoes gifted to me by my buddy Tom Harness. 2018 has been good but 2019 will be even better. Thanks again. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

ISO: A new home for Stride Pro Wrestling

Stride's early 

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Fans of Stride Pro Wrestling know the company was born and bred at the Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion. I'll admit I was skeptical of having a wrestling company set up in a mall, but it quickly became the right place to be for us. We have been fortunate since the start in early 2016 to have a spot where the ring can stay set up and trainees and trainers can workout. 

However, the mall has had its up and downs in recent months. In fact, December 2016 marked the last Stride Pro Wrestling show at the mall. Issues with the plumbing and other safety concerns forced mall officials to restrict access to the facility. Plus there is a laundry list of other circumstances that I won't get in to here. The bottom line is, we're going to have to find a new place to do shows and training.

Ideally, we'd like to stay in Williamson County but venturing into Franklin or Jackson Counties is an option too. The facility would need to be at least 25x50 with a 12-foot ceiling, adequate parking, reasonably priced and indoor plumbing. We'd like to find a place soon so we can continue to have shows, help worthy causes and develop young wrestling talent. If you have any info, please let me know. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Breaking up is hard to do

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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One thing in pro wrestling is inevitable. Friendships come crumbling down more often than not. In the 80s the Mega Powers implosion was one of the great breakups in the history of the business. Shawn Michaels throwing Marty Jannetty through the 'Barbershop' window is a defining moment in WWE history. And the Shield has had more breakups than Brock Lesnar has had title defenses in 2018.

The same theory applies to the world of indy wrestling. Stride Pro Wrestling has seen its share of tag team partners split up. A year ago Scott Phoenix betrayed his tag team partner Ax Allwardt as the duo lost the tag championships. Fast forward to this past weekend and the very man Phoenix helped gain the gold has parted ways. 

Former champs
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
Dexter Roswell and Phoenix made a great combination. But it was clear in recent months the two were growing apart. They started arguing in public a couple shows ago before the miscue Friday night and Roswell kicking Phoenix out of the DR Party.

I enjoyed the team of Roswell and Phoenix. However, it's time for both men to explore new opportunities as singles stars. They trained together at the Stride Pro Wrestling School a few years ago and graduated together. Sometimes to prove yourself you have to step away from those who supported you most.

Roswell will continue to work to make Stride great again. He's evolved a lot since debuting in 2016. Phoenix continues to grow and develop as a performer too. It'll be good to see what he can do on his own. I have faith neither man is going to disappoint the Stride Pro Wrestling fans.

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Open for business

New shirt, woo-hoo

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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About a month ago, I opened a store on the Pro Wrestling Tees site. I've been debating making the move for years. At one time, they had an option for podcasters to have a store if they had a combined following of 5,000 people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As I was nearing that mark, the requirement doubled to 10,000 OR a $75 fee. 

The first customer, Jim 'Rhino' Reincke
Seventy-five bucks did not seem like much but for some reason, I put off the decision for more than a year. I've already declared 2018 the year of branding and marketing My 1-2-3 Cents. Over the summer I invested in a customized 'monkey suit' from Shinesty. It was money well spent as I've worn the suit out several times and attracted attention for the brand. 

Right now the store is small. I have one shirt design but have sold a handful of shirts already. So far all the purchases have been from friends of mine. I can have up to four designs right now until I sell 25 or more shirts. I'm working with my brother and niece on more as we speak. I'd love for someone I've never met to buy a shirt. I'm also exploring other ways to market the shirts via influencer marketing. 

Hunter Woodworth & Jamie Woodworth-Myers
Stride Pro Wrestling (and My 1-2-3 Cents) Superfans
As we enter the final quarter of 2018 next week, I'm sprinting to the finish line. I'm excited to see what's next for the brand. The support has been amazing. If you'd like to pick up a shirt, shop here. Thank you to everyone.

This week's podcast

Saturday, September 22, 2018

New champions crowned in Stride Pro Wrestling

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Wow, I picked the wrong Stride Pro Wrestling show to miss. There were three title defenses Friday night and two-thirds of them resulted in new champions. It may be the first day of fall, but things are certainly heating up for the company.

New champ

First, Heath Hatton has regained the Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Title. He beat Tony Flood for the belt with Jerry Travelstead as the special guest referee. Hatton first won the Stride Championship in November 2016, beating his former tag team partner Ax Allwardt. He held the gold until Roger Matheus won Stride's first ever TLC match. You can see the history of the championship below.

Hatton and Flood have a storied history. Just a year ago they exchanged the Legacy Title twice over the course of eight days. Flood will no doubt want a rematch. However, it seems he has taken issue with T-Dog once again as well. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Stay tuned as Stride heads to T-Dog's home turf of Pinckneyville on Oct. 6.

Beauty & The Bean
The brand new team of "Farmer" Billy Hills and Stringbean are the Stride Pro Wrestling Tag Team Champions. 'Beauty and the Bean' as some are calling them formed for the very first time Friday night. The duo outlasted three other teams, including the defending champions, the rWo (Redneck World Order), The DR Party and K2 Brothers in an elimination style match. The DR Party first eliminated the Kellis Brothers. Farmer and Bean beat the rWo and then the DR Party after a miscommunication between Dexter Roswell and Scott Phoenix. That lead to their breakup.

The new champs will have a list of contenders looking for a shot. Between the abovementioned teams (except Roswell & Phoenix) and others like the Midwest Monster Hunters and new variations of the DR Party; Farmer and Bean will have a full plate of defenses. I'm looking forward to the upcoming months. It's always a great time to be a fan of Stride Pro Wrestling, but right now things are getting intense. 

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Isn't that special

Jerry Travelstead, referee
Courtesy: Steve Belcher

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Tonight (Sept. 21) is the night. Stride Pro Wrestling heads to Gallatin County School for a big fundraising event. You can see the preview of matches in the previous blogs posted this week. Today's post is about some of the special guest referees Stride has had over the last couple of years.

Jerry Travelstead is going to be the referee in tonight's main event as Tony Flood defends the Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Title against Heath Hatton. Despite T-Dog having issues in the past with Flood, I have no doubt he'll call the match right down the middle. Jerry has worn the stripes a few times in Stride and each time he's been fair and square. I have no reason to believe the same won't happen tonight.
Brandon Tolle & Pete Dunn
Popular independent referee Brandon Tolle will be on hand tonight too. He was part of a show in December last year. Tolle is the head referee of the World Wrestling Network. He's also a ref for Impact Wrestling and has been around the world. He along with T-Dog and Stride's senior ref Lane Austin will all do an amazing job with the action in Gallatin County this evening. 

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat is the most famous special guest referee Stride has had. The WWE Hall of Famer came in last year and was the enforcer for the Paddle Match between T-Dog and Dexter Roswell last October. Like Travelstead, Steamboat is an honorable man who fairly called the match and enforced the rules.

Me as a referee
Someone who maybe wasn't as fair is me. I'll admit when I called the match in April between Roger Matheus and Cash Borden I did some things I should have. I kicked Roger in the jewels after he put his hands on me. Then I may have been a little quicker in my cadence when I counted three on the former Stride Pro Wrestling Champion. 

These are just a few of the men in stripes of Stride Pro Wrestling. It's an important job and I'm glad to have been a part of this elite group of talent. We'll see you tonight at Gallatin County School. Bell time is 7 p.m.

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Prepare to have your fancies struck

J. Wellington Beauregard's 'Striking Your Fancy'
Courtesy: Steve Belcher

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Striking Your Fancy, hosted by Stride Pro Wrestling manager J. Wellington Beauregard, has become an entertaining way to kick off most of our shows. This Friday night will be no exception. The scheduled guest is the reigning Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Tony Flood. You may remember, Flood and J. Wells teamed up at the last show and beat Heath Hatton and Ax Allwardt. 

Courtesy: Steve Belcher
I'm sure Flood and Mr. Beauregard will use the forum as an opportunity to gloat over that victory. Flood will also likely take the opportunity to run down his challenger for the evening, Heath Hatton. Remember it was one year ago Hatton beat Flood for the Legacy Title and lost it right back eight days later. These two have a special chemistry in the ring against each other and it'll be a special night for sure.

J. Wells also has something special. Even though he disrespects the fans and the good guys on the Stride roster with his words, he at least does so in an entertaining way. He has become one of Stride's top 'guys you love to hate.' I mean that as a compliment. 

Eliminating Ax
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
His nearly year long war with Allwardt shows no signs of stopping either. After a demoralizing experience on Billy Hills' farm over the summer, J. Wells picked up a little revenge by eliminating Ax from the Stride Rumble and pinning his former charge. That victory came with some help from Chris Hargas and I'll be interested to see what the relationship is now between the former Legacy Champ and the manager.

You can find out what's up this Friday night (Sept. 21). Stride Pro Wrestling will be on hand for a fundraiser at Gallatin County School. Bell time is 7 p.m. We'll see you there. 

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tag team turmoil in Stride

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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The Stride Pro Wrestling tag team titles have changed hands quite a bit so far in 2018. The DR Party dropped the belts to Heath Hatton and Ax Allwardt in March. That duo was beaten by the Midwest Monster Hunters who then lost them back to Hatton and Allwardt only to regain them. Now the Redneck World Order holds the titles.

Cole James & Hollywood Redneck
Hollywood Redneck and Cole James actually won the titles, but there's a third member of the rWo who will likely be used to defend the belts much like the Freebirds and the New Day have done. The champs will see action this Friday night (Sept. 21) as they defend their titles at Gallatin County School. It's the rWo going up against the Midwest Monster Hunters (Jason Tiller and Bo Sawyer), the DR Party (Dexter Roswell and Scott Phoenix) and the newly formed tandem of Farmer Billy Hills and String Bean.
Now for some analysis on each team:

rWo rules
The rWo is a fresh change to the tag team division. Their championship victory on September 8 was the first time we'd seen Redneck and James wrestle together. This new duo took advantage of a situation in the ring and scored the most shocking victory in the history of Stride Pro Wrestling. It was a chaotic triple threat match. But with a fatal four way, things are going to be even crazier. The champs are obviously at a disadvantage in this situation. 

The Midwest Monster Hunters
Sawyer and Tiller are the biggest team in this contest. They're over 600 pounds and will have the size advantage locked in. They're also the most seasoned of the four teams competing. They've already won the tag team titles twice here, but for some reason, they can't seem to hold on to the belts. Their experience in other companies coupled with their size and strength make them a favorite to win.

Phoenix & Roswell
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
But don't count out the DR Party. Scott Phoenix shocked fans when he turned on his partner Ax Allwardt late last year and helped Dexter Roswell win the tag titles. Their run came to an end in March and they've struggled to regain their footing since. There have even been a few instances where Roswell and Phoenix have argued in public. For now, I'll chalk it up to all friends have disagreements from time to time.

Farmer Billy Hills & String Bean
String Bean and Farmer Billy Hills are the greenest (pardon the pun) team in this match. They've never teamed in Stride before but seem like a perfect fit. String Bean recently returned to Stride and Farmer has been hunting for a championship win since day one here. He and Sarah Summers and Cowboy Bob Orton have competed for the tag titles before here in Stride. Will the third time be the charm for the popular star from Mudlick, Kentucky?

Don't miss the action. It's happening Friday night at 7 p.m. at Gallatin County School. 

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