I’ve known Dalton Anthony for a few years now, first hearing him on the Podzilla 1985 Pro Wrestling Unscripted podcast. Then he and some of his co-hosts came to a Stride Pro Wrestling show as fans. But it wasn’t long before that fandom turned into Dalton stepping through the ropes.
This week on The Interview, Dalton shares his story. You can listen to the podcast here.
With the fate of WrestleMania still in flux and so many of us at home for the weekend and potentially for the next several weeks, I thought it would be fun to talk more about past WrestleManias. So I posed the question if you built the Ultimate WrestleMania, what 12 matches would you put on the show.
Turns out this was a bigger challenge than I anticipated as there are hundreds of matches to choose from. The other caveat, no duplicate Superstars for me. But you construct your list however you see fit. These aren't necessarily the best matches of all-time, just ones that entertained me.
Oh, my list is in no particular order, other than the first, which is my all-time favorite Mania matchup.
💪Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage: WrestleMania VII
💪Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista: WrestleMania XXX
💪Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels: WrestleMania XXIV
💪Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant: WrestleMania III 💪Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis: WrestleMania III
💪The British Bulldogs vs. The Dream Team: WrestleMania II
💪Trish Straus vs. Mickie James: WrestleMania XXII 💪Undertaker vs. CM Punk: WrestleMania XXIX
💪Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart: WrestleMania X
💪'Stone Cold' Steve Austin vs. The Rock: WrestleMania XV
💪Chris Jericho vs. Edge vs. Christian vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Benoit (MITB): WrestleMania XXI
💪Doink the Clown vs. Crush: WrestleMania IX (yes, I'm serious, I love how this played out.)
Because I limited myself on one Superstar only, I would have had other matches as well. So let me know your card.
Last week Stride Pro Wrestling celebrated four years of business with the annul Strideiversary Show. Because of COVID-19 and some other circumstances, we ended up having to make some big changes to the show. One of them was to live stream the event. Then at the last minute, I was asked to do commentary while the stream was up. Because we didn't have a wireless mic that night, I was tethered to the table where the sound system was set up anyway so I wasn't getting in and out of the ring. This made a perfect scenario to stay put and call the matches. I happened to luck out and the second half of the show ended up recording onto my phone so the glitchiness of the live stream doesn't show on this video. I think my best calls that night happened during this match too. I took my phone and tripod and followed the action as it spilled to the floor. So please, check out Ax Allwardt (c) vs. Cash vs. Red Daniels. I would love your honest feedback on my commentary as well. If you'd rather message me your thoughts, please email email@example.com. Thanks, and enjoy it!
In March 2016, Stride Pro Wrestling was born. The company not only provided pro wrestling once again for this region but also a training school for aspiring wrestlers. In the first several months, several young men and women enrolled. A handful emerged, including someone I only knew as Luke Chambers.
Luke Chambers vs. Scott Phoenix
Luke was as Bill Demott used to say, greener than goose shit. But really, all the trainers were. I mean, they literally had five or six months of training under their collective belts before climbing through the ropes in front of a paying crowd. The first match I remember with Luke might have been his only. It was November 2016, the first Redbird Rumble. He was involved in a fatal four-way that his future tag team partner and fellow classmate Scott Phoenix won.
Dexter Roswell's debut with Brian Richards
A month later, Chambers had traded in his oversized pants and headband for a shirt, tie and suit coat. He also changed his name to Dexter Roswell. The character came on the heels of the Presidential election. Between that and the unsettling political environment in Springfield, Roswell was the perfect heel.
Phoenix and Roswell win gold!
Through the years, Roswell's work in the ring improved. But so did his character development. I'm not going to give a year by year report on him but it's been quite a metamorphosis. In the past several months we've seen shades of Roswell's persona in Cape Championship Wrestling shine through. Finally on Saturday night at Strideiversary, Dexter emerged in a bloody white suit and his face half painted.
The new-look worked as Dexter (he's dropped Roswell), beat Bo Sawyer for the Stride Pro Wrestling No Limits Championship. Sure, he cheated but the victory marks Dexter's first singles championship run. I'm excited to see what the future holds for this still growing and emerging performer. By the way, if you'd like to learn more about the man behind the Dexter character, give this episode of the My 1-2-3 Cents podcast a listen. He speaks very candidly about being a gay man in the world of pro wrestling.
You can support Stride Pro Wrestling and the My 1-2-3 Cents brand by shopping on Pro Wrestling Tees! Shop here for your swag!
Give me a hell yeah! For the first time, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin's Broken Skull IPA is now available in Kentucky. That's only an hour's drive from my home in southern Illinois, so this week we are Wrestling Under the Influence with this iconic beverage on 3:16 Day. It worked out perfectly!
When I got involved in independent wrestling in 2011, one of the first people I met was Mike Masters. He had been wrestling for years at the time and literally that first meeting was on TV as I was interviewing Chris Hagstrom, the new executive producer for All American Pro Wrestling's new show Collison. That meeting ended with me whacking Mike across the back with a metal folding chair. Take a look below...
I didn't know it at the time but the seeds were being planted for me to have a match against Masters at AAPW's Main Event show (which was recorded and distributed on DVD). Masters was a true pro to work with the entire time. I honestly didn't want to get into the ring and wrestle when the idea was first proposed because I HATED the Michael Cole-Jerry Lawler feud. I just didn't think announcers belonged in the ring.
However, I was convinced and loved every minute of our match, except for the ending. An errant chair shot resulted in Mike requiring six staples to close the wound. However, Masters was a true pro through it all and never once pointed the finger of blame at anyone involved. His willingness to 'put-over' a middle-aged news anchor and commentator still means the world to me more than eight years later. He never complained or scoffed at the idea and took great care of me during the course of the match. I believe the success of this encounter is what enabled me to go on and have a handful of other matches. So if you hate my work in the ring, blame Mike. :)
Masters & his son Courtesy: Jamie Myers
I'm writing this post today though because Mike Masters has retired from the ring. Last year, he returned to the ring for one last run with Stride Pro Wrestling. Along the way, he re-established himself as one of the greatest bad guys on the local indy scene. There's just something about Mike that gets fans to boo him.
After it was announced that Saturday's show would be Mike's last, the fans stopped booing and started cheering. That's the true sign of a professional. No matter how much you hate a character in the ring when you realize he or she is a real person, you can't help but respect them. Wrestlers make many sacrifices, not just with their bodies but with spending time with family and friends and all for little or no money.
Courtesy: Jamie Myers
So again, I thank Mike Masters for our time together in AAPW as well as his many years of wrestling and entertaining fans here in southern Illinois. Any young wrestlers or anyone wanting to break into the business, I recommend following Mike's example. He's a true pro in every sense of the word.