Category Archives: Pro Wrestling

The Pro Wrestler Part 6 (The Real Story, Not a Hollywood Story)

Part 6 in the series

By: Mr. Holmes

It was January 18th 2000, or there about, in Sault Ste Marie, MI at the Kewadin Casino where my first match took place. My trainer, Mike Shaw, was asked to be the booker on a couple of big shows.  The first was at the Kewadin in the Sault and the second was in Marquette,MI at the High School.  I had been training for only three months, but Mike told me I was ready for my first match in front of people.  I was excited–I would be wrestling my buddy the Irish Luchador Billy Mcneil.  What I was even more excited about was my mom was coming to my first match, and all my friends made plans to take a trip to my second match in Marquette.

kewadin casino

Kewadin Casino

The first match was scheduled for Saturday; the second obviously on Sunday.  My boys came up to Marquette on Friday to spend a couple of days in Marquette and party at the club I bounced at.   My friends got to Marquette late Friday. They were gonna pick me up and I was gonna stay with them at their hotel for the night; then I was off to my first ever match while my friends would stay behind party for the day. Then on Sunday I would meet back up with them and hang out for a while before the second show started in Marquette.

I would be wrestling Billy both nights and Mike told us we would be splitting the victories and he did not care which one of us won where.  I thought it would be cool for my friends to see me win for the first time so I told Billy I would do the job (lose) in the Soo and go over (win) in Marquette.  Billy was cool with that; quite frankly, neither of us gave a damn who won we just wanted to get in there and hopefully perform well. mshs1

My friends got to my house at around 11:00 on Friday night. As I looked out the window I saw the van doors open up and smoke of all kinds billowed out. We went to their hotel and of course chaos ensued.   I did not partake in any of the festivities of course as I was nervous about my debut the next day.   Within the first couple of minutes at the hotel, the ironing board was completely destroyed by my friends performing flying maneuvers off their beds onto it (the power of alcohol).  Said ironing board had its serial number removed and sent down the elevator by itself.   As the party wound down around 4AM my friend Jason and I were the last two up in one of the adjoining rooms. I was up because I was nervous about the day coming up and Jason was up because he couldn’t stop talking about how sweaty his hands were as he fought off the urge to puke (he did battle and win, by the way. Nice job, Jason). In hindsight it may have not been the best way to prepare for my first professional wrestling match. The weekend would be a success but more hilarity ensued, which I will get to next time.

Jason held his puke like a champion that night. That is my championship belt Jason has on and I had the bruises to prove I earned it. That is another story.

By the way, for those who have been asking (and there have been literally one or two of you) I am currently no longer wrestling for UPW in Michigan or anywhere for that matter.   In the coming blogs, I will continue my story as a pro wrestler, but next time I will take a break from my story of how it all started and tell you the story of how it all ended.

To be continued…


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The Pro Wrestler Part 5 (A Real Story, Not a Hollywood Story)

Part 5 in the series

By: Mr. Holmes

So, I left off my last post explaining how I met my best friend in pro wrestling, Supreme Brett Powers.   Like many of my good friends in pro wrestling, I met him after he beat the shit out of me.  It’s funny, you meet a guy in wrestling, and the more you beat the shit out of each other, the more money you make, and the more money you make the better friends you become.  Weird, huh? That is pro wrestling.

I started working with Brett early on in my training and he threw the most devastating clothesline I have ever felt–it could crush concrete.   I quickly figured out, however, that Brett was just like all of us–still learning and did not mean any harm.  Brett is, personality-wise, my perfect friend, the yin to my yang.   I have known him since 2000 and have never had one cross word with him.  Early on, though, I was very shy with all the other students in the school. We trained together and that was it.  I was and still am a very private person and it takes a while for me to get comfortable and open up with new people.  So, we trained together but then I was quickly paired with the Irish Luchador Billy McNeil.

Wrestling-wise me, and Billy clicked right away. Our chemistry in the ring as opponents was fantastic, so Mike kept us working together.  To be honest, Billy and I progressed quicker in the school than anyone else and were just more comfortable working with each other.  Mike would often give us more practice time in the ring than everyone else because he could see potential in us right away.   We were allowed to train extra days or come in a few hours before the school started and get extra work in.   Early on I became very good friends with Billy and we hung out quite a bit after a while.

During this time, Brett was progressing, but wasn’t quite at my or Billy’s level.  I was always friendly with Brett, but he lived in Escanaba and I lived in Marquette so we never hung out while I lived in Michigan.  Very early on in my career, Brett and I were friends but not how we would become later on.  Trust me, in my coming blogs Brett will be prominently featured. (Hope you read that Supreme)

I got a pretty nice break meeting and getting to work with Billy McNeil early in my career.  My first week training at the school he wasn’t there; he was on the road in Wisconsin having one of his first matches with someone named Judge Jesse, which of course is interesting because as I type this, the current UPW Tag Champions are Mr. Holmes and, you guessed it, Judge Jesse.  There was a buzz with the other students about how good Billy was and I was getting nervous waiting to meet the top student. I never seen him and did not know what he looked like.

About a week or so after my first days of training, I was getting comfortable with everyone at the school, and then Billy walked in with his then-girlfriend Rachel.  Billy was all of 5’10” and about 140 pounds. But I was intimidated none the less.  I figured since I just started and was so huge, surely I would not be working with the top student right away.  Of course Mike saw something in me early and within minutes I was in the ring with the top student practicing spots and immediately we clicked in and out of the ring.    He would be my very first opponent in front of a crowd.

Come check out UPW Wrestling Nov 3rd at the Delft Night Club in Escanaba, MI

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The Pro Wrestler Part 4 (A real story, not a Hollywood story)

Part 4 in the series

By: Mr. Holmes

Needless to say I was very nervous walking to the school; so many thoughts were running through my head.  I thought if I could just get in the ring and take that first bump maybe I would be ok.  The school started at six. Of course, I got there at 5:30 as I had no idea how long it would take for me to walk down there.  Mike was not there and neither were any of the other students. But, who was there was all the muay thai students setting up the ring at the gym.

It was my first day so I did not know who to talk to or anything. So, I was standing there waiting for Mike when this asshole comes up to me and says, “Get out of here you fat fuck.”  At this point, I kind of freaked. I was a young kid and not very confrontational so I just said “fuck this” and left.  I have become much harder since then and if that same thing happened today I probably would be in jail for assault.  What saddens me is that I never ran into that guy again for the whole year. Maybe he died or maybe he moved. In all the time of me going to that school I never saw him again.

I walked home like a little girl and started to pack my bags when there was a knock on my door. It was Mike; I explained what happened to him, (I left out the part of the muay thai guy shaming me) telling him I was there and nobody else was so I told him I thought I went on the wrong day.  He said he was just running late that day and I should start tomorrow at six.  In a very odd way, Mike Shaw always had the ability to calm me down and make me believe in myself without ever being an asshole. I think he knew my psyche right away and knew what I was going through.

The next day, I got to the school the same time Mike did.  We talked for a while and we walked in the school.  Some of the other students were there and already in the ring warming up taking different moves.  Some were working on hip tosses.  A hip toss is when one person sticks his arm underneath the armpit of another and flips him over so one person is lying flat on their back.  The person taking it basically does a front flip with the person giving the maneuver guiding them over.  I thought, no way my 380 pound (at the time) fat ass could flip over; boy was I dead wrong.   I barely touched any of the other students that day.  Mike got in the ring with me and started showing me the very basics like locking up, running the ropes, taking bumps, and basic chain wrestling.  I would see and learn later on that this was very rare for Mike, as he hardly ever physically got in the ring. The first day went very well; I was kind of a natural at it.

I was a natural at it because of countless hours of studying wrestling tapes from all over the world.  I watched all wrestling shows and tapes twice–the first for entertainment as of course I was a huge fan, the second in slow motion to study how they did things.   I was ahead of the game before I even stepped foot in the ring.   I studied all information on the internet, television or in magazines on pro wrestling in preparation for wrestling school.

Before I get back to the story, I owe thanks for much of my early prep to the person who is (besides my wife of course. Don’t get mad honey!) my best friend in the entire world, my first cousin Steve.  When we were little kids growing up we would “fake wrestle” at the backyard of grandparents’ bar, Joe’s Lucky 13.  Steve was the best athlete that I had ever seen.  He was an outstanding amateur wrestler and played varsity baseball as a freshman. The list goes on and on. He loved watching pro wrestling.  He got me into it.  He was five years older than me and we were both only children at the time, so I was his de facto little brother.  He terrorized me for years when we were kids, making me fake wrestle all the time with him when I didn’t want to.   I got the snot kicked out of me by Steve when we were kids but I never hated him. He was my hero and my role model when I was growing up and in writing this I am so happy he did that.  He made me into a man and developed my love for pro wrestling.  He taught me how to play every sport and to be tough.  I just want to thank him here and say I love you.  I could not have had this amazing story and fulfilled my dreams without youimage.

So, I was a natural on day one. Then I got my clock cleaned taking a clothesline from this 5ft 11′ blond haired kid who weighed maybe 160 pounds at the time.  I thought to myself, who is this asshole and by god does he know this is entertainment?!  He called himself Supreme Brett Powers and he talked like he was a game show host.  Needless to say I was not fond of him the 1st day I met him.  Given time, though, I became so close to him that he stood alongside me the day I was married.  That story comes next week…thanks for reading!

October 6th, come to Escanaba, MI at the Delft Night Club for UPW Pro Wrestling featuring the King of the U.P. tournament and watch as Judge Jesse and Mr. Holmes take on Romeo Valentino and Vito Von Guido in a Police Brutality Match (handcuffs and nightsticks are legal) for the UPW Tag Team Championship. Doors open at 6:00p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Check out UPW’s page for more info:

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The Pro Wrestler Part 3 (A real story, not a Hollywood story)

Part 3 in the series

By: Mr. Holmes

I get home from work and get the mail and there it was: finally a reply from Mike Shaw and his pro wrestling school.

Shamrock Bar a popular hang out for students at NMU now closed

He had all the information I always needed. He helped me get an apartment and a job working as a bouncer at this college nightclub called the Shamrock in Marquette, MI.  We set everything up in a couple weeks.  My parents helped get me a U-Haul for my few items, and before I knew it the day was there. I was 20 and moving out, and not to go to college or to live with a girl or a buddy.  I went from living in a town of 365 people to moving to a different state that I had only visited once.  I knew absolutely nobody, and I never really lived on my own so it was going to be tough.  I remember saying goodbye to my mom. She was crying, which of course made me cry too.  I had to do it though; I was chasing my dream.

I got to my apartment on a Saturday, and my lovely landlords didn’t have the power turned on. After my step-father at the time (a real loser by the way) left it all hit me.  Here I am in a different state by myself in the dark with no power.  I found the local store, bought a Gatorade and some batteries for my radio and cried myself to sleep.

The next day I went and found the wrestling school. I noticed the bus station was right across the road, I thought about just buying a ticket and going home.  You have to realize I wasn’t prepared to live on my own. I never paid all my bills, bought my own food, or got the power and phone turned on. Plus, I had horrible anxiety about having to go to this wrestling school in a few days, not knowing what to expect.

The next day I stayed at the local Ramada because I needed fax machines and copy machines to get stuff together to get my power turned on.   That day, Kelly Shaw, my trainer’s wife, stopped by the hotel to pick up the $500 deposit for wrestling school.  I was so nervous I could barely look her in the eye.  She told me some time later she thought for sure I would never make it in the school, and I would never be a pro wrestler because I was so shy.

The next Monday morning I was told by the power company I had to come to their office in person to get it turned on.   I begged them to let me give me the info over the phone because I did not drive at the time (we will get to that later) and had no idea how the buses ran and was too shy and nervous to ask someone for help. So, I walked it.  From the hotel to power company then back to my apartment was a 15 to 20 mile round trip.  I started out early morning, and when I got to the power company of course it took 30 seconds of giving them information I could have given them over the phone.  I got home late in the afternoon, but now I finally had power.

So far my experience had not been fun.  There was a make or break moment coming, though. I was going to wrestling school the next day. With the experience I already had in Marquette, this was it. If that first day did not go well, I was on the first bus home.

Mike Shaw

Rest in Peace Mike Shaw. You will be missed.

P.S. This blog and my life is all due to the Shaw family, especially my trainer Mr. Mike Shaw. Mike died two years ago yesterday, September 11th 2010.  RIP Mike. I hope this and everything I have done in wrestling has made you proud.

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The Pro Westler Part 2 ( A real story, not a Hollywood story )

By: Mr. Holmes

Continuing on, the night before I was set to make the big trek to Cleveland, I got hammered with all my boys. I was so excited; I had around $1500 in my pocket to get me started and hopefully fulfill my dream of becoming a pro wrestler. I did not drive at the time, so the next day my step father drove me the eight hours down to Cleveland while I slept off the previous night.

I was so young and dumb at the time it was scary. I was so new to the real world. I grew up in this small town bubble and this was my first taste of life outside of Wisconsin. As soon as I arrived, I found the school; it was in the middle of the ghetto in Cleveland, houses and businesses were boarded up and there were homeless and trash on all the streets. It was too much of a culture shock to me.  Remember, I did not drive, so I planned on walking every place I had to go. I was not mature or ready enough for where I was.

I got the clincher that night. The person who was gonna train me called me to see if I had arrived. He then informed me I would be the first person he was ever gonna train. He had lied to me and presented himself as a real wrestling trainer. The next morning, as my step father was getting ready to leave, I told him to hang on because I was going back with him. I felt so dumb that I fell for this man’s shit. I knew enough about the wrestling business that I didn’t want to start my career off like this, to be poorly trained by some shmuck.  I felt horrible leaving. I felt like I let all my friends and family down. There was this big build up and then 24 hours later I am home. I felt like a failure before I even started. I know secretly most of my family and friends probably thought that would be it, that I would get a normal job or go to school and move on with my life. But I was determined to try again!

I was depressed about the situation. I still felt horrible, and plus I wasted the money I had saved drinking with my friends. I finally shook the feeling, and a few months later, by the grace of god, I met George and Sharon Thorne.

George and Sharon owned a rental property and appraisal business in the Green Bay area.  My step father and uncle were working there, and one day I went to a temp agency to find a job. I didn’t drive of course, so after the temp agency appointment I went and waited at the office where my step dad was working.  He was training to become a real estate appraiser at George and Sharon’s. There were a few hours before it was time to go home.  I was bored and the people in the office were swamped and asked if I could help out by doing a small task; I said sure. George took a liking to me, and a day or two later he called and offered me the job I so desperately needed.

If it wasn’t for the Thornes I would never have become a wrestler. They offered me a non-physical job in the office where I could save up money to try the wrestling thing again. I would work for him for the next nine months. I know they may never see or read this but I want this in writing: thank you George and Sharon for letting me live my dream. They will be integral in my future as well.

Meanwhile, I was sending out letters again to find a wrestling school. I sent another one to Mike Shaw in Marquette, MI.  About a week later I received a letter from Mr. Shaw that would change my life forever.

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The Pro Wrestler (A real story not the Hollywood version)

By: Mr. Holmes

I have always been “different”.  I have been big all my life, but have been able to do things athletically.  In baseball I was the fat kid, but I stole the most bases. In football I was a 300 lbs. kicker. I was never conventional.  So the first time I saw pro wrestling as a kid I was in awe.  These guys were all freaks, large men that moved gracefully telling the story of good vs evil.  I was instantly hooked. When it came time to pick a career in high school as a probable cry for attention and to get noticed by the girls I told everyone I wanted to be the next, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, HHH, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. In short I was going to be the next big thing in wrestling.  Little did I know being a pro wrestler would never and I mean ever “Jericho” help me with the ladies.  I got some attention at school and I did love pro wrestling so it was what I went with.  The funny thing is the more I thought about it the more I thought I could do it.

Well how does one become involved in pro wrestling, I was a 350lbs tub of shit at the time so it wasn’t like I was gonna run into someone at the gym.  I bought all the information I could on how to contact wrestling schools and what to ask. I remember sending one to a former WWE and WCW pro wrestler Mike Shaw aka Norman the lunatic, Bastion Booger among others characters in Marquette, MI .

Norman the Lunatic aka Mike Shaw

Bastion Booger aka Mike Shaw

He advertised a pro wrestling school where you could possibly live the dream.   I lived in Green Bay, WI at the time so it was the closest place.  The year was 1998 I was 19 yrs old waiting for a return letter from Mr Shaw that wouldn’t come.  I must of sent it to the wrong place.

I had sent out a few letters and got some reply’s, one from a school in Florida, and one from a place in Cleveland, Ohio.  I chose Cleveland, closer to my family.  What I didn’t know is that it would last all of 24 hours.

Mike Shaw 1957-2010


Next installment to come Soon

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