Kevin Knight Interview with 2xzone.com - WWE, TNA, and Independent Wrestling News 24/7
Question and Answer Interview: Knight is Rightby Ashvin Kumar
Posted: November 1, 2011
I interviewed Kevin Knight at the IWF Centre for my High School project. Kevin is a wrestler and trainer at
IWF (Independent Wrestling Federation).
you start training to wrestle?
It was in 1996,
I was working as a radio station sportscaster and the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) came to town and had an angle with The Iron
Sheik and myself as the radio host where I was trying to swing his Persian Clubs. So I trained from that
point on. After that, I opened the IWF to continue my training.
When did you open the IWF?
started doing town to town live events in March of 1998, and then we opened the IWF Centre in 1999, and we've stayed
here ever since.
When did you start training other
I opened the school in 1999 because
wrestling was at an all-time high, and WrestleMania was as big as the The Super Bowl. So I figured this could help kids
with their dreams.
I know that there have been
a lot of famous wrestlers who taught classes here, can you name a few?
We had Ricky Steamboat, The Honky Tonk Man, JBL, Dr. Tom Prichard and Tito Santana. JBL and The Honky Tonk
Man were amazing.
Backyard wrestling was becoming
more and more popular, what did you think about it?
are going to do that kind of stuff, as long as it isn't that extreme stuff, then it isn't that bad. But a lot of it
is pretty bad.
Who were your most successful students?
Darren Young who is in WWE and was in the original
Nexus, Robbie E who was a TNA X-Division Champ (TNA is the second biggest wrestling company), and Flex Freeman who recently
signed with the WWE.
Is there a reason the IWF
Centre is in New Jersey?
Its where I live, its
just easier for me.
Who were your inspirations
I liked Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan,
Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Barry Windham.
you think of today’s wrestling? Who do you think is the best wrestler today?
Its all talk and I don't watch it much because if I want to see people talk then
I'll watch Jerry Springer. I'm not really a big fan of it anymore, and when I get home the last thing I want to think
about is wrestling. But, Randy Orton is the best and I keep up with Darren Young. I think UFC is going to replace
wrestling, just like wrestling beat boxing.
you want to work for the WWE?
Only behind the
scenes. I don't like how it’s so scripted. I prefer calling it in the ring and playing off the crowd’s
So what else do you think makes you successful?
You need a good look, natural talent, a good gimmick won't hurt either, and you have to have mic skills to make it
What are the chances of making it in the
I've had five hundred students
and five made it big, so there is a 1 percent chance you will make it. It took Darren Young 6 years, Rob 10 years,
and Flex 11 months.
Who was your best student?
Darren, he was the most talented and the most dedicated.
Do you have any goals left?
Not really. I don't think I'm going to stick around much longer haha.
The IWF is as far as it will go, and my last goal was to get Flex signed.
Knight Interview About IWF Wrestling School Grad The Shore Robbie E
Fighting Spirit Magazine
Posted: December 19, 2010
When did you start working as a trainer?
I started as a trainer when the doors to IWF Wrestling School opened 11 years ago in December 1999. I really wanted to learn as much as possible about the business,
inside and outside of the ring. Even though I was the trainer, I always considered myself a student. My
training I received stunk, as the "schools" that were around then in the late 1990's were a disaster.
I dreamed of opening a school to learn, more so than teach. I brought in WWE superstars and legends like Honky
Tonk Man, Tom Prichard, Tito Santana from day one to help teach me and the students. Since then, we've also had
John Bradshaw Layfield, Young Stallion Jimmy Powers, Ken Shamrock and Ricky Steamboat. I knew with the knowledge I received
from these legends would provide a recipe for success for those who wanted to achieve greatness.
have you trained?
Over the past 11 years, IWF Wrestling
School has seen a few top graduates sign with major professional wrestling organizations. In addition to Robbie
E, I have trained WWE Raw Superstar Darren Young. Also Fady The Arabian Bull, known as Fahd Rakman in FCW. And former
WWE diva Dawn Marie. Dawn trained to learn wrestling skills after she was a valet in the original ECW.
the things you emphasize as a teacher?
Be on time,
stay in shape, work hard, and if you don't have a passion for professional wrestling then you need to find something else
to do with your spare time. It's all about desire, dedication, and hard work. If you don't have a true passion
for this, you will fail.
When did you first meet Rob?
I believe I
first met Rob in early 1999, as he used to attend IWF Live Events that were held in Central New Jersey at the time.
When IWF Wrestling School opened in December 1999 in Northern New Jersey, he was one of the first people
to inquire about the school. I think he was our first email. He was only 16 at the time, and began training in
June 2000 at the conclusion of his junior year in high school.
What were your first impressions of him?
Rob was determined from day one to achieve success. That's what I remember most vividly. From finding
a way to attend IWF Live Events at the age of 15, to being one of the first people to call the wrestling school, to finding
a way to car-pool to the school three to four days a week when he was only 16.
he pick things up quickly in training?
he did, he was a natural from day one. In his class were fellow stand-outs Damian Adams and Josh Daniels.
They all started at the same time in June 2000. He was in good company. They all graduated IWF Wrestling
School together and have held many IWF championship titles.
He’s a charismatic guy.
Was that always evident?
wrestling, you either have it, or you don't. He had it. In-ring skills, speaking skills, a good look.
Our fans loved him from day one.
Did you help him develop his character (what was his initial gimmick?)
The students and graduates at IWF Wrestling School basically come up
with everything themselves. It's our own personalities turned up on full blast. You have to be comfortable as yourself
Can you talk about (err, write about) your first match with Rob in IWF?
Well, I wrestled against Rob many, many times in class at IWF Wrestling School.
I think I wrestled Rob for the first time on an IWF Live Event in 2001. We did a few singles matches and a few
tag team matches. I don't remember specifics, but he was always very easy to wrestle, a pleasure to work with, and always
made me look good haha.
What do you think his main talents are?
Rob can do it all. Mat wrestling, technical wrestling, aerial wrestling, speaking skills. He is the complete
Have you worked much with Becky Bayless?
I have not.
Were you familiar with the Jersey Shore program that Rob’s gimmick is based
Yes, I saw all the highlights and heard
about all the hype. But I never watched a full episode, I couldn't take it any longer after 5 minutes. Rob
does look like he would fit right in, but he is far more intelligent than all of those "actors" combined,
which is why when the Jersey Shore TV program ends, Rob will continue to succeed for years to come.
do you feel his TNA run is going?
I finally had a
chance to catch up and watch most of his matches and interviews on the Internet. He is getting quality TV time
for interviews and for his matches. You can't ask for much more than that. I'd say so far, so good.
you think TNA will use the character to its full potential?
So far they have. He is the X-Division Champion already. A great honor after only a few months after
his debut. They are giving him a chance to shine. He will take the ball and run with it.
you have any predictions for Rob’s future career?
Rob will go as far as he wants. He works hard, studies his craft, knows the business inside and out, and he
will make some noise for a long time to come. I am very proud of him and wish him continued success.
Kevin Knight - Squashberry Interview
by Anthony Lora
November 18, 2010
It is often said that the wrestling
business is perhaps the hardest profession to find substantial success particularly when it relates to operating a respectable
training facility where most fall victim to the phrase: "Here today and gone tomorrow." However, joining me
at this moment is Kevin Knight, founder of Camp IWF to briefly discuss his involvement with one of northern New Jersey’s
best training ground on Spotlight 7!
1) 11 years ago the birth of Camp IWF came to fruition. What were
your initial thoughts the minute you decided to open the doors of this school of hard drops? (to sort of innovate a phrase)
The doors opened in December 1999, and my original thoughts were for me to learn as much as possible and make the
school the best it would be. My training I received stunk, as the "schools" that were around then in the late
1990's were inept, dirty, unprofessional, and run by "used car salesman" type people. I dreamed of opening
a school to learn, not to teach. I brought in WWE superstars and legends like Honky Tonk Man, Dr. Tom Prichard, Tito
Santana from day one to help teach me and the students. Since then, we've also had John Bradshaw Layfield, Young Stallion
Jim Powers, Ken Shamrock and Ricky Steamboat. I knew with the knowledge I received from these legends that I could run
a better school than anyone else, provide a recipe for success for those who wanted to achieve greatness.
2) On that note, given the school’s geographical location,
do you feel you are at an advantage or disadvantage?
I'd say we are at an advantage. Being in Northern
New Jersey, we are close to all the major highways that link us to NYC, Eastern PA, Southern CT. And just 30 minutes
from Newark Airport. Overall, we have had students from 20 states including Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware,
Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
3) What are the benefits of being a wrestling school that also runs monthly functions including the yearly
teen camp and as opposed to just strictly running a school?
We are all things wrestling. Our Youth Clinics,
which we do every July, August, October, November and December are a great two-day session where kids between the ages of
12 to 17 can live out their dream and have an opportunity to step inside a ring and have some fun. I began IWF Youth
Wrestling Clinics in 2001 to safely show kids some moves and holds in a friendly-environment. IWF Monthly Live Events
have six or seven matches, two hours of non-stop wrestling action, and we blind you with our light and laser display to help
enhance the persona's of the wrestlers. We use more fog than a cemetery on Halloween, and we will dazzle you with our
video screen. Myself and the IWF try to give our students and fans an "experience" they will never forget.
We also host kids Birthday Parties as well.
4) Camp IWF is the institute responsible for furthering the
careers of former independent wrestling stars such as Fred Sampson who now wrestles as Darren Young in the WWE. Two other
IWF regulars who are also experiencing significant transitions in their careers, I am referring to both Rob Eckos (see: TNA’s
Robbie E) and Fady The “Arabian Bull” (currently signed to a WWE developmental deal). Would you say that
the “winners train and losers explain” mentality played a major role in their success ? Or was it the effective
combination of talent and timing?
It's a combination of both. Most people make excuses, and that's not
just in wrestling. In the end, you either have what you want, or the excuses as to why you don't. Over the past
11 years, IWF Wrestling School has seen 5 of our top graduates sign with major professional wrestling organizations.
When Darren Young entered the School in 2002, I pretty much knew that if he worked hard and stuck with it, that he would make
it to the top. He was a fast learner and just had "it" which is one-in-a-million. With Fady The Arabian
Bull, now known as Fahd Rakman in FCW, it took him a little longer to pick things. He started in 2007, but things clicked
at the beginning of 2010. The Shore Robbie E in TNA also graduated from IWF School, as did former WWE diva Dawn Marie.
Robbie has tremendous skills, and Dawn trained to learn wrestling skills after she was a valet in the original ECW.
5) I may be wandering off a bit into politics
and with good reason. The very same town in which you operate your training facility has received a gimmick change not too
long ago from being known as West Paterson to Woodland Park. (sounds like a heel turn to me-lol ) How did this change of name
effect you in any way?
They wanted to change the name of the town from West Paterson to Woodland Park
for at least the past 20 years. They finally changed it to Woodland Park at the November 2008 election, and then they
had a vote to change it back to West Paterson in November 2009, but it lost by only a few votes. So its now officially
Woodland Park, but everyone still calls it West Paterson. It makes no difference to IWF.
6) One interesting
fact that sets Camp IWF apart from other pro-wrestling schools is the fact that you have yearly wrestling clinics conducted
by well- established veteran wrestlers. Do they sometimes serve as talent scouts for the day?
hosts Seminars and Clinics with stars and legends. John Bradshaw Layfield, Hall of Famer Tito Santana, former Intercontinental
Champion Honky Tonk Man, WWE developmental coach Dr. Tom Prichard, Young Stallion Jim Powers, Hall of Famer Ricky Steamboat,
former UFC Champion Ken Shamrock, Stevie Richards, Nunzio, and Dawn Marie hosted clinics. Some have made recommendations.
22 home-grown talents worked with WWE, including Darren Young, Fady the Bull, Dawn Marie, Vladimir Kozlov, Rich Ross, Damian
Adams, Robbie E, Travis Blake, Chris Steeler, Justin Corino, Aaron Stride and others.
7) I am aware that you will be hosting a diva/manager/referee contest
this coming Sunday November 21, 2010. Details please?
It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance for fans
and aspiring superstars to enter a ring and win 6-weeks of FREE Pro Wrestling Training at IWF School! Its a one-day
instructional class that provides adults an exciting opportunity to enter the ring and experience the training methods of
a manager, diva, and referee. The participants will have fun and learn basic skills and speaking techniques. Wrestling
needs the next Bobby the Brain Heenan, Paul Bearer and Sensational Sherri!
Interview with Kevin Knight - courtesy www.FromTheRing.com
Posted: October 22, 2010
Kevin Knight knows the
wrestling business. Almost a 15 year veteran in the business, Kevin Knight owns the Independent Wrestling Federation in New
Jersey. Since its inception, the IWF has proven to be one of the premier training facilities and live event spectacles on
the east coast. Luckily, From The Ring was able to catch up with Kevin.
1.) Since 1999, IWF has built itself from the ground up to become one of the most
reputable professional wrestling schools in the northeast. From talent like Fady The Arabian Bull to WWE Superstar Darren
Young, you've had a lot of talent emerge as of late. As the head trainer, how do you view the success of these wrestlers?
Yes, over the past 11 years, IWF Wrestling School has seen 5 of our top graduates
sign with major professional wrestling organizations. When Darren Young entered the School in 2002, I pretty much knew
that if he worked hard and stuck with it, that he would make it to the top. He was a fast learner and just had "it"
which is one-in-a-million. With Fady The Arabian Bull, now known as Fahd Rakman in FCW, it took him a little longer
to pick things. He started in 2007, but things clicked at the beginning of 2010 and overnight, he developed "it"
which is now two-in-a-million haha. I have no doubt that someday they will both participate at a WrestleMania very soon.
The Shore Robbie E in TNA also graduated from IWF School, as did former WWE diva Dawn Marie. Robbie has tremendous skills,
and Dawn trained to learn wrestling skills after she was a valet in the original ECW.
2.) IWF runs every month in West Paterson, New Jersey with exciting live events.
What do you consider unique about the IWF experience and what has been a key to the promotions longevity?
IWF presents wrestling different than on today's "TV" wrestling shows.
We actually wrestle. Less talking. That's unique now-a-days. We have guys and gals with compelling,
well-defined persona's. We don't insult the intelligence of our fans by calling our wrestlers and athletes "entertainers." I
remember what I liked as a kid and young adult watching wrestling and going to local live events, so I now try to give those
feelings I got as a fan to the people who now attend IWF events.
3.) You're almost a 15 year veteran in the world of professional wrestling.
Are you pleased with what you've been able to accomplish so far?
am pleased. I have nothing left to accomplish, and I have nothing left to prove. About 15 to 20 other wrestling
"schools" in the Northeast have closed their doors during the time we have been open. They were a joke.
There was one "school" that opened in 2001 right down the street from us that literally was open for 2 months, and
was a disaster. They had so-called "big names" as "trainers" haha. They were out of business
quicker than a John Cena movie out of theatres. Why? They were unintelligent, disorganized, couldn't promote, had
a dirty facility. It's not who you are, it's how hard you work and how you present yourself.
What are some of your future goals that you've set for yourself and IWF?
To keep doing what we are doing as long as I have a passion for it.
Change and adapt with the times. Keep on improving myself and the IWF day by day.
5.) Having visited
IWF and having partaken in one of the youth training clinics, I'd have to say that it’s one of the greatest experiences
for teens looking to experience a taste of what professional wrestling is all about. What do you think makes these programs
special and how important is it to teach teens both the dangers and wonders of professional wrestling?
Our Youth Clinics, which we do every July, August, October and December are
a great two-day session where kids between the ages of 12 to 17 can live out their dream and have an opportunity to step inside
a ring and have some fun. I remember when I was 12 years-old, a washed-up has-been wrestler named Larry Sharpe wouldn't
let me get into the ring he was taking down at the Meadowlands NJ Arena after a NWA-AWA card. He was rude to children.
Funny, here we are in 2010 and his "school" has been long sent out to pasture, and I began IWF Youth Wrestling
Clinics in 2001 to safely show kids some moves and holds in a friendly-environment, and I also allow any kid that comes to
an IWF Live Event to come into the ring after my matches. Myself and the IWF try to give our students and fans
an "experience" they will never forget. We get it. Other's don't.
6.) When you
first broke into the business, what were some of your original aspirations? Did you ever dream about opening your own
wrestling school and promotion?
aspirations were to learn as much as possible and be the best I could be. Not to compare myself to others, or try to
reach levels of others. My training stunk, the "schools" that were around then in 1996-97 were inept, dirty,
unprofessional, and run by used car salesman. I dreamed of opening a school to learn, not to teach. I brought
in WWE superstars and legends like Honky Tonk Man, Dr. Tom Prichard, Tito Santana from day one to help teach me and the students.
I knew with the knowledge I received from these legends that I could run a better school than anyone else, provide a recipe
for success for those who wanted to achieve greatness, and run better events than anyone else. I knew I could do it,
but it took time.
7.) Do you believe that MMA is competition for professional wrestling? How much of the
professional wrestling market do you believe are also MMA fans?
Yes, it sure is competition. But it's a different fan base. Adult
men in the key demographic between the ages of 18 to 34 are watching MMA and UFC, and not WWE or TNA. They wouldn't
be caught dead watching 63 year-old Ric Flair, or crippled Hulk Hogan, or a ridiculous midget like Hornswaggle.
WWE and TNA refuse to admit UFC is competition. Now, it's not competition per-say like Coke is to Pepsi as a product,
but they are competition as far as vying for the same audience. I see TapouT and Affliction shirts EVERYWHERE I go.
I do not see anyone over the age of 12 or 13 wearing a wrestling shirt anymore, anywhere. Its not cool.
What are your views on the current state of professional wrestling? With IWF having a family friendly product, do you believe
that more professional wrestling companies should try to tone it down or do you think there’s room for everything in
TNA product is sub-par. Its not cool. Its not hip. Its not happening. Its not today. Why?
They don't K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. Wrestling is good against evil, fighting over dollars and championships.
Funny, that's what UFC is. That's what IWF is. What WWE and TNA needs to tone down is the lunacy and ridiculousness
of their product. TNA should be called TNT, total non-stop talking! In 1984-85 when Hulkamania and WWF were hotter
than hell, it was PG. It should be PG. Fathers should be able to watch wrestling with their sons. From 1998
to 2008, they couldn't. That generation of youngsters who are now young adults have discovered MMA and UFC. WWE
missed out on a generation of fans, as proved by the fact that TV ratings and PPV numbers and Event attendance are horribly
at record lows.
9.) Whether it be shooting a commercial for Survivor Series in 2003 to being a druid
for the Undertaker, you've done a lot in your career. What would you say is the most memorable moment in your career on a
at a WWE SmackDown TV event in June 2003 against A-Train in Madison Square Garden in NYC. The match was televised.
I worked hard to get that match, I worked hard to prepare. I got many more WWE opportunities after that match, and it
kicked open a lot of doors for the IWF.
10.) Having seen the impact that concussions have on athletes,
especially professional wrestlers, how important is safety to you and the IWF? Have you taken more precautions as more information
about the effects of concussions has come out?
Safety is number
one. At this level, the wrestlers have jobs, or go to school, or have families. We do not do any wacky flips or
nonsensical dives. They belong at a high-wire circus. Wrestling is about the story of good against evil,
two men settling their differences on the mat, or in a good old-fashioned brawl. All these concussions, and injuries,
and premature deaths mostly come as a result of the human body taking too much unnecessary punishment from flips, dives, chairs,
etc. Now, freak injuries will happen here and there, but no reason to risk your health and well-being with dangerous
risk-taking. For what? For cheers? Stupid.
11.) Lastly, what can a fan going
to an IWF show for the first time expect?
Six or seven matches, two hours of non-stop wrestling
action, and we blind you with our light and laser display to help enhance the persona's of the wrestlers. We use
more fog than a cemetery on Halloween, and we will dazzle you with our video screen.
Interview with Kevin Knight (January
by: Jerry Wiseman
Columbus Pro Wrestling Examiner
1. Your dream
opponent would be?
There are two, and I've been lucky enough to wrestle them many times before, and that's
WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana and WWE Legend Honky Tonk Man. They both serve as guest instructors at IWF Pro Wrestling School
in West Paterson, NJ, and have wrestled on many Independent Wrestling Federation live events.
is your best road story?
Anytime traveling with WWE Legend Honky Tonk Man. Just listening to his stories
hours on-end are priceless.
3. Who is someone you always like to watch wrestle?
its Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Big Show, and Edge. In days gone by, Ted DiBiase, Jake
Roberts, Ric Flair, The Horsemen, Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan.
4. As a promoter who would be in your money
Hulk Hogan versus Stone Cold Steve Austin.
5. Do you think tag team wrestling
is a lost art?
Yes. It's not easy to do and you have guys in wrestling who don't belong and who don't
understand how to do it. As a kid, I loved tag team matches. It was the best part of the show usually. Now, when there are
tag team matches on TV, it's usually with main event singles wrestlers teaming up, and not permanent teams.
If you got the call from New York, would you change your gimmick and to what?
Haha they would change
it for me, and tell me what to do and tell me what to say. But that's not for me.
7. Do you think titles
need to mean something again?
Yes, I couldn't even tell you who any of the current champions are in WWE,
how does one organization have two separate heavyweight champions? There's a Monday night champion, a Tuesday night champion,
a Friday night champion. It's like boxing, too many titles, too many initials, too much confusion. And I don't watch TNA.
Do they even have titles there?
8. You own a promotion, who are the first five workers you hire?
Well, I would start from within with guys we already have or who have graduated from IWF Wrestling School. That
would be Fred Sampson who is now in FCW, Damian Adams, Chris Steeler, and myself (and since you said hire, does that mean
I finally get paid?). The fifth would be WWE Legend Young Stallion Jim Powers, who now serves as guest instructor at IWF Wrestling
School and who wrestles on IWF Live Events. You need a mentor like him who is a solid veteran to help with the foundation.
9. What is the craziest match you have done?
A Ladder Match with Eliminator John
Kronus of ECW fame back in 1999. I escaped alive, that's all I remember.
10. Do you prefer hardcore, traditional
or a mix of the two for your own matches?
Traditional, as it is the only style that holds up over time.
11. Besides yourself, who is the best to ever step into the ring?
Ric Flair and Hulk
Hogan. In my eyes, its a tie.
12. Who is your favorite opponent?
Champion Hi-Definition Chris Steeler.
13. If you could change one thing about the business, what would
I would not allow a microphone near the ring. Less talking.
14. Does wrestling
need a union?
Yes, at the major league level, WWE and TNA. The guy who sweeps up Madison Square Garden
after the wrestling show has more benefits and gets more rights than the guys who actually wrestled that night in front of
15. What drew you into the business?
Watching guys like Hulk Hogan,
Roddy Piper and Ric Flair do their thing in the 1980's.
16. Do you think good and evil characters need
to be clearly defined again?
Yes, they are in WWE. Can't speak for TNA. I watched them once, couldn't
follow it, and won't watch it again.
17. In the annals of wrestling, what do you want to be said about
I was a complete pain in the ass. And because of that, IWF Pro Wrestling School is one of the best
training facilities in the Country.
18. What decade, the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s or 00s do you think best
19. Do you think Internet PPVs would help indie promotions?
Enough PPV's already. Indies should showcase their stuff free online and get themselves "out there".
20. What is one thing you want fans to know about.
You can check out the Independent
Wrestling Federation by visiting our web site at www.WrestlingIWF.com.
Interview (Dec 2009):
by Derek Pivko
Staff Writer, WrestlingIWF.com
Posted: December 15, 2009
How was IWF formed? How did you become involved in IWF?
IWF was formed in early 1998, and the first live
event was held March 14, 1998 in Nutley, NJ. I had been wrestling for two years prior, and was amazed at how inept most of
the organizations were that I wrestled for. I sat back at watched everything they did wrong, and learned from their mistakes.
At the same time, I learned from the mistakes I made in the ring. With the IWF, we wanted to take wrestling back to the old-school,
family-friendly style, and we now begin our 13th year of producing live events. IWF Wrestling School began in December 1999,
so this month of December 2009 marks our 10th Anniversary.
2) How do you compare IWF amongst other
independent promotions in the state of New Jersey?
Easy comparison. We are professional. The others are
not. They are not operated by qualified individuals. Just because you can rent a building and rent a ring does not make you
qualified to produce a live professional wrestling event. I have had top-notch experience in sports, entertainment, media,
and marketing for 15 years. We are full-time, every week, every month, year-round. And these other groups have "wrestlers"
in the ring who are not qualified. Just because you slip a promoter $50 and put on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and work-boots
and you hop in the ring and play around for 10 minutes does not make you a professional wrestler. Our wrestlers are highly
trained, in shape, have great personas, look the part, and are professionals. Once an IWF student or graduate does not live
up to those standards, they are out the door. We want professionals, not weekend warriors.
have had several wrestling clinics involving past WWE superstars. Which wrestler was the most influential during the clinic
I'll narrow it down to four because I can't just pick one. The clinics we have had with WWE
Legend Honky Tonk Man, WWE Developmental Talent Trainer Dr. Tom Prichard, WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana, and former WWE Champion
John Bradshaw Layfield were the most influential. From them, I learned how to teach, and the IWF students and graduates learned
how to be better wrestlers and performers. They showed us how to act inside and outside of the ring. We follow their game-plan
for our live events and the school. The learning never ends.
4) What would you be doing if you weren't
involved in IWF?
Probably play-by-play sports announcing for a professional team, or radio broadcasting.
I went to college for radio and television. But I can still do that when wrestling ends. There really was no second option
besides IWF. I wasn't going to fail. That's all I ever wanted to do. And here we are 13 years later.
What are your goals for the next 10 years?
To keep improving IWF Live Events, keep improving IWF Wrestling
School, keep improving the skills of our students and graduates, and keep improving my wrestling and teaching abilities. With
hard work, desire, and dedication, the sky is the limit, and all goals will be reached.
wrestlers did you admire growing up?
I loved watching Rowdy Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, Bobby Heenan, Jake
Roberts, Ted DiBiase, Honky Tonk Man, and The Four Horseman. I just loved the way they got under the skin of the fans.
7) How did IWF become known through the media. Your promotion has appeared on several news networks,
When you are the best at what you do, people take notice. We have the best Wrestling
School in the Northeast, and we produce the best family-friendly Live Events in the Northeast. We have been featured on every
local TV outlet and national cable channel. Our wrestlers have been featured in almost every daily and weekly newspaper in
8) How many hours a week are you at IWF?
Honestly, I never count.
If you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life. So I don't log the hours. In addition to our 2 monthly live
events, we host children’s birthday parties and provide them with a live event, so we run about 8-10 live events per
month, and we have wrestling school class 3 days a week.
9) How has wrestling changed due to the
I honesty don't follow wrestling on the internet. I have a life haha. My existence does not
revolve around backstage wrestling news. I barely watch wrestling on TV. I don't want to follow any internet trends or copy
anything else. The internet is so over-rated as far as wrestling is concerned. The same people who claim to "be in the
know" because they read internet wrestling rumors are the same people who yell and scream when Hulk Hogan puts his hand
up to his ear.
Interview from "Busted Open"
Radio Show held November 20, 2009 in NYC
Interview with WWE Superstar John Layfield:
Posted: April 2008
(WEST PATERSON, NJ)- Mamajuana presents
John Layfield…Raw Superstar and former WWE Heavyweight Champion…as Guest Instructor at the Independent Wrestling
Federation Training School, West Paterson, NJ. Mr. Layfield hosts a Wrestling
Seminar for IWF students, graduates and indy wrestlers on April
30. WrestlingIWF.com had a chance to talk with John Layfield to get his thoughts on his new Energy products, his
personal pro wrestling training experiences, as well as what participants can expect at his seminar at IWF Wrestling School
IWF: Mamajuana and 418 Energy present a Pro Wrestling
Seminar with John Layfield at IWF School in West Paterson, NJ. First, please tell us how your involvement with
these energy products came about?
JOHN: I WAS
WORKING ON WALL STREET AND HELPED A NUTRITIONAL COMPANY BUY ANOTHER ONE (COMPANY). IN DOING SO, I REALIZED AN OPPORTUNITY
TO PARTNER WITH THE BUYER AND FORM A JOINT VENTURE TO DEVELOP TARGETED NUTRITION...THAT'S HOW LAYFIELD ENERGY WAS FORMED.
IWF: How do Mamajuana and 418 Energy differ from similar products on the market?
JOHN: MAMAJUANA IS A VIRILITY PRODUCT. "LIQUID VIAGRA" I HAVE
HEARD THE ORIGINAL MAMAJUANA CALLED, WE HAVE CREATED SEX IN A BOTTLE. WE HAVE ALREADY AGREED TO NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION
WE JUST HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL PRODUCT IS ON SHELVES IN STORES TO ANNOUNCE IT. YOU CAN BUY IT AT MAMAJUANAENERGY.COM. IT IS GETTING
UNBELIEVABLE TESTIMONIALS. WE WORKED FOR OVER A YEAR DEVELOPING THIS. NO YOHIMBE AND NO GINGKO SO THERE WOULDN'T
BE ANY PROBLEM GETTING PRODUCT LIABILITY INSURANCE, MADE IN AN FDA APPROVED LAB. 418 ENERGY IS MADE FOR GOLFERS,
IT HAS A NATURAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BUILT INTO IT AND COGNITIVE INGREDIENTS...ALLWHAT GOLFERS NEED. THERE IS NOTHING
LIKE 418 ENERGY, WE MADE IT SPECIFICALLY FOR GOLFERS.
IWF: Looking back, tell us about the early
stages of your wrestling career and about your road to the WWE?
JOHN: I WAS
BROKEN IN BY BRAD RHEINGANS...1980 GRECO ROMAN WORLD CHAMPION. I WRESTLED IN TEXAS, JAPAN, MEXICO, AND LIVED IN EUROPE
FOR TWO YEARS WRESTLING THERE. I FINALLY MADE IT INTO WWE IN DECEMBER 1995.
IWF: During your training,
who was most instrumental in your development and what was the most important advice you received?
JOHN: DICK MURDOCH ONCE TOLD ME WHEN I WAS ON MY WAY TO AN INTERVIEW "MAKE
SOMETHING HAPPEN" AND THAT HAS BECOME MY PHILOSOPHY IN LIFE.
IWF: How long did it take you to "get
it" and were there any defining moments that stand out when you truly understood what performing and the business were
JOHN: I DON'T THINK I HAVE IT NOW. I
WENT OUT THE OTHER DAY AND GOT LOST. I AM STILL WORKING ON GETTING IT. I HOPE TO GET CLOSE ONE DAY.
SKANDOR AKBAR INGRAINED IN ME THAT THE MAIN EVENT HAD TO BE SPECIAL...IN EVERYTHING FROM DRESS, TO APPEARANCE, TO
STYLE. JIMMY CROCKETT TOLD ME THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER...IT MADE AN IMPACT.
IWF: At IWF
Wrestling School in addition to yourself, WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana, WWE Trainer Tom Prichard, WWE Legend Honky
Tonk Man, WWE's Steven Richards, WWE's Nunzio, WWE legend Ricky Steamboat, former UFC and WWE Champion Ken Shamrock, and former
WWE Diva Dawn Marie have hosted clinics. How valuable are these sessions for trainees?
JOHN: IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE IT, THERE IS NO EASY ROUTE. I WISH THERE
IWF: This Seminar at IWF Wrestling School marks your first-ever lecture at a training facility
for young hopefuls. What qualities and attributes separate an ordinary "independent" wrestler from a first-class
JOHN: IF I KNEW
THAT, I WOULD MAKE MILLIONS. GUYS WHO MAKE IT HAVE A PASSION FOR THE BUSINESS. THERE ARE A FEW EXCEPTIONS,
BUT FOR THE MOST PART GUYS WHO MAKE IT LOVE IT. YOU HAVE TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO OR YOU WON'T BE GOOD AT IT.
THIS BUSINESS IS NO DIFFERENT.
IWF: Many trainees and young wrestlers expect to make it to WWE after
just a few months or few years of training. What are some things that young wrestlers need to keep in mind during the
early years of their career?
JOHN: YOU HAVE
TO LEARN EVERYTHING...EVERYTHING! TOO MANY THINK WRESTLING IS JUST ABOUT HIGH SPOTS AND PHYSIQUES. I HAVE CERTAINLY
PROVED THAT WRONG AND I'VE DONE FAIRLY WELL IN MY CAREER.
IWF: With about 20 years of experience as a wrestler, you
have seen countless wrestlers come and go. What are the keys to a prosperous wrestling career?
JOHN: STAY HEALTHY AND STAY OUT OF TROUBLE. I DID NEITHER,
SO I GUESS BEING LUCKY HELPS OUT TOO. CONSTANTLY EVOLVE. THE BUSINESS IS DIFFERENT FROM WHEN I BROKE IN. THOSE
WHO CHANGED WITH IT ARE STILL HERE, THOSE THAT DIDN'T AREN'T HERE.
Interview with WWE Legend Honky Tonk Man:
Posted: April 2008
(WEST PATERSON, NJ)- WWE
Legend Honky Tonk Man…the Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All-time…returns as Guest Instructor at
the Independent Wrestling Federation Training School, West Paterson, NJ. Honky Tonk Man hosts a Wrestling Clinic and Seminar for IWF students,
graduates and indy wrestlers on April 16 and April 17. WrestlingIWF.com had a chance to sit down with
Honky Tonk Man to get his thoughts on his personal pro wrestling training experiences, as well as what participants can expect
at his upcoming classes at IWF Wrestling School
IWF: Take us back to the early stages of your
wrestling career and tell us about your training experience?
HTM: I trained 2 nights a week, 3 hours
each session. My training partner was Koko B. Ware. Our trainer was Herb Welch of the famous Welch-Fuller family
of the south. We trained countless hours on holds, and reversal of the holds, takedowns and escapes. I was 9 months
into training before Herb released me for a match. After that match, I realized I knew nothing. I went back to
training for another 3-4 months having matches off and on.
IWF: During your training, who was most instrumental
in your development and what were some of the most important tips you received?
HTM: My trainer, Herb
Welch was the most instrumental. He had wrestled all over the states and was very well respected by all the wrestlers.
He drilled me on fundamentals and taking the business seriously. He hated lazy work!
IWF: How long
did it take you to "get it" and were there any defining moments that stand out when you truly understood what performing
in the ring was all about?
HTM: I took about 4-5 years…somewhere in that time frame to stand back
and say, "I have been doing this all wrong!" Fundamentally I was very good, but the mental part was way behind
the fundamentals. It takes awhile for the mental part to catch up to the physical part.
IWF: At IWF
Wrestling School in addition to yourself, WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana, WWE Trainer Tom Prichard, WWE's Steven Richards,
WWE's Nunzio, WWE legend Ricky Steamboat, former UFC and WWE Champion Ken Shamrock, and former WWE Diva Dawn Marie have hosted
clinics. How valuable are these sessions for trainees?
HTM: It is very important for the students
to get a chance to listen to and to ask questions of these veterans of the business. The trainees get a better insight
into the big picture. Sometimes the trainees think the teacher is full of nonsense when he tells them how things really
work and the need for doing certain things the trainees might think are boring and mean nothing. The outside veterans
can help shore up the trainees' confidence in the trainer.
IWF: You conducted many clinics at IWF Wrestling
School since 2002. Since that time, 17 different IWF graduates performed with WWE. What qualities and attributes
separate an ordinary "independent" wrestler from a first-class "professional" wrestler?
HTM: It all goes back to the training, the trainer, and the atmosphere of the wrestling school itself. If the training
is professional, the trainer is professional, and the school is run professionally, then the students who graduate and move
on will in turn be more professional. The IWF does all of the above and each of the graduates are professionals when
they go on to the next level. The groundwork that is laid at the IWF camp is one of the best I have ever seen.
Some of the "run of the mill ordinaries" are just that,"ordinary." They will never move to the higher
level simply because they do not know how to take it to that level.
IWF: Yourself, Tito Santana and Tom
Prichard among others, have been credited for the success of IWF Wrestling School as a result of your roles as guest instructors.
The common theme is basics, fundamentals and storytelling. To some young wrestlers, this seems boring when compared
to stunts, dives and barbed wire. Any idiot can do a stunt, a dive or fall into barbed wire, but it takes a skilled
professional athlete to master the basics and tell a logical story. Why are these the most important elements for a
wrestler to learn?
HTM: As you stated, anyone at any given time can do a stunt move. Guys and girls
do them during Spring Break all the time, whether they are sober or drunken to the gills. Being able to put it all together
to captivate and audience is a different kind of skill. It is a skill, as I said before, that is not just physical, but it
is a mental thing. You have to be able to control the audience's emotions. High-flying stunts, barbed wire, fire,
blood, and dives off the rafters are exciting to watch, but they have to be put into a storyline that will control emotions.
IWF: Today, with the short attention span of society in general and instant gratification expected, many trainees
and young wrestlers expect to make it to WWE after just a few months or few years of training. What are some things
that young wrestlers need to keep in mind during the early years of their career?
fundamentals, fundamentals! Without these elements you are a lost ship on the ocean. When all else fails, the
fundamentals you have learned will always bail you out of trouble. Short attention span is something we have "given
in to." I think given the right circumstances on any given day, we can, if we are fundamentally sound and have
a good understanding of the mental aspects of a good versus evil storyline, any of us can control the audience's emotions
for any given amount of time. Top rated movies go for over 2 hours. Where is the short attention span there?
IWF: With almost 30 years of experience as a wrestler and having performed in four WrestleMania's, what are
the keys to longevity?
HTM: Staying healthy. Doing those things in the ring that you are comfortable
doing. Never push the limits the body has set forth. The mind might say go for it, the body says I can't do that.
Listen to the body. The longer you stay around, the more chances you have to be prosperous.
Exclusive IWF Interview with WWE Trainer Dr. Tom Prichard:
Posted: August 1, 2007
PATERSON, NJ)- Independent Wrestling Federation sat down with WWE Developmental Talent Trainer Tom Prichard of Florida Championship
Wrestling prior to his WWE Seminar, Clinic and Tryout in 2007 at IWF Wrestling School. Prichard, a former Tag Team Champion with The Heavenly Bodies and The Bodydonnas, spoke
about his role as a coach, and what it takes to make it as a successful wrestler...
tell us about the early stages of your wrestling career and about your training?
TOM: I am a lifelong wrestling fan and have watched my whole life. From the
time I was 4 years old I knew I wanted to be a professional wrestler. I started watching on TV in El Paso, TX and there
were great workers like The Funks, Harley Race, The Infernos, The Von Brauners, Nick and Jerry Kozak, Grizzly Smith, Rickey
Romero, Gory Guerrero, El Santo and many other top names who I didn't know at the time were top names pretty much everywhere
they went. Or, they were being groomed for a top spot. West Texas was run by the Funk family and they were very
smart in how they did business. When I was 10, we moved to Houston and got acquainted with a whole new crew of wrestlers;
Wahoo McDaniel, Johnny Valentine, The Spoiler, Gary Hart, The Great Malenko, Fritz Von Erich, Jose Lothario, and Dory Funk
Jr. just won the NWA World championship before we moved so he was now a touring champion, going from territory to territory
so I was able to still see some of my favorites from West Texas. Paul Boesch was the promoter and we were able to go
to the matches every Friday night at the Sam Houston Coliseum in the 70's. I made it a point to be around the entrance the
guys arrived at in the coliseum and would try to talk to some while other times I just watched. I finally introduced
myself to Paul and told him I wanted to wrestle. Of course at 11 years old I was told there’s no way but I was
persistent and never gave up. From the time I was 10 up until I was 20 years old I was at the matches every week and
in between those years I managed to work in the Houston office during summers, referee, second and set up rings. I was
a gofer and did anything I could to be a part of the business. I never gave up my hopes and dreams. There wasn't
a lot of encouragement to go around either but I wasn't going to let that stop me.
your wrestling training, who was most instrumental in your development and what were some of the most important tips and advice
TOM: The most influential person in my early
training and development was my karate instructor, Bill Gray. About the same time we moved to Houston, my brother and
I took karate classes and that’s where I met Bill. Bill brought a speaker to class one night who said, “There
are 3 kinds of people in the world: Those who ‘try’. They'll never make it because when they don't they
say “Well, at least I tried.” Those who ‘give it their best shot’. They'll never make
it because when they don't they say “Well, at least I gave it my best shot.” Then there’s that third
kind of person who says ‘Whatever It Takes.’ There is no denying these people because they will not stop
until they accomplish their goal. There is no ‘try’ or ‘best shot.’ I thought that was
the most profound thing I ever heard. What’s possible is done, what’s impossible will be done. How
true! I was told I was too small, couldn't wrestle, didn't have ‘it’, blah, blah, blah. I knew what
I wanted to do and while I wasn't sure exactly how I would get there I was going to get there! I took a lot of risks
and made a lot of mistakes but that’s life. I just couldn't see myself doing anything else. Paul Boesch
letting me work in the office and train with The Iron Sheik on Friday afternoons in an empty coliseum was a big help as well.
Paul was a great influence and inspiration to me too.
IWF: How long did
it take you to "get it" and were there any defining moments that stand out when you truly understood what performing
and the business were all about?
TOM: The rule of thumb
when I had my first match (1979) was you had to be working for at least 5 years before you would be allowed to call a spot
or anything in the match. Back then you were put with a veteran every night and you listened to him. That’s
how you really learn this business is on the job training and experienced veterans pass down their knowledge. I think
I finally ‘got it’ when I turned heel in Louisiana. Then I was able to try things and try my hand at calling
a match. It was right around my 5 year mark after working 5-7 nights a week for 5 years! It’s next to impossible
to fathom that today. There’s just no where to go and do something like that. Going to the Pensacola/Alabama
territory really gave me the freedom to try my hand at some ideas and get comfortable about who I was as a performer.
But then again, going to WWE it was like starting all over again! The great thing about this business is it’s
constantly changing. And the bad thing about this business is it’s constantly changing!
IWF: In 1996, you began a new career as a trainer and coach for WWE. It is well known you
had a hand in preparing The Rock, Kurt Angle and Ken Shamrock among others for their careers What were the qualities
and attributes that separated those that made it to the big dance from those who didn't make it?
TOM: The biggest qualities these guys all have is they are students of the game.
They kept looking for improvement and new ways to do things. It wasn't “just doing moves for the sake of doing
moves.” In the case of Rock and Angle they both became extremely entertaining on the mic and in the ring.
Shamrock had a lot of talent as well. They all had the “Whatever It Takes” attitude!
Knight opened IWF Wrestling School in 1999 because there weren't any quality schools in the area. His role was also
that of a student as he began brining in countless stars and legends to conduct clinics. In addition to yourself, WWE's
Steven Richards, WWE's Nunzio, WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana, former WWE Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man, WWE legend
Ricky Steamboat, former UFC and WWE Champion Ken Shamrock, former WWE Diva Dawn Marie, former WWE star Tom Brandi, former
ECW Champion Steve Corino, and TNA's Simon Diamond have hosted clinics. How valuable are these sessions for trainees?
TOM: The hardest part starting out today is finding a reputable
school and coach who knows what he’s doing. To be able to hear it from the people who have “been there,
done that” is immeasurable. No two people have broke into the business the same way but the successful ones with
longevity know and understand what someone must do in order to follow some direction. No one knows everything, therefore
it is good to hear a different point of view as long as the information is constructive and helping the students attain their
goals. You never know when you might see or hear that ‘one thing’ that inspires you or answers that burning
question nobody else seemed to have the answer to. Too many times trainers give answers they “think” is
right because they read it in a book or magazine.
IWF: Kevin Knight formulated his coaching
style for IWF Wrestling School by combining all the valuable knowledge gained during these superstar clinics. Who was
influential in helping you to develop your coaching style?
Once again, Bill Gray. His method of teaching kept things fun, interesting and informative. I actually learned
and wanted to learn more. You must have a passion to learn the business but I also feel a good coach must have a passion
for coaching. A good coach must also be willing to change and adapt as things change.
IWF: You conducted many clinics throughout the country, including developing a relationship with
IWF Wrestling School in 2002. Since that time, 16 different IWF graduates performed with WWE. Now, there are thousands
of independent wrestlers in the country. What qualities and attributes separate an ordinary "independent"
wrestler from a first-class "professional" wrestler?
Too many guys think it’s all about how many moonsaults or huracanranas they can do. Stone Cold Steve Austin has
NEVER done a moonsault! Less is more! The real pros understand it is about quality, NOT quantity. This is
a business and it should be enjoyed. The object is not to kick each other as hard as you can. It’s to give
the impression you are beating the hell out of each other! Pros understand this. Indie/Outlaws don't!
IWF: Yourself, Honky Tonk Man and Tito Santana among others, have been credited for the success of IWF Wrestling
School as a result of your roles as guest instructors. The common theme is basics, fundamentals and storytelling.
To some young wrestlers, this seems boring when compared to stunts, dives and barbed wire. Any idiot can do a stunt,
a dive or fall into barbed wire, but it takes a skilled professional athlete to master the basics and tell a logical story.
Why are these the most important elements for a wrestler to learn?
We can teach moves. We can't teach charisma or passion. How much talent does it take to do 15 huracarranas, 12
moonsaults, go thru 20 tables and still get up and do a flying dive off the cage? I'm sure it takes something but the
object again, is to tell a story and entertain people. The Rock will still get more of a reaction by raising his
eyebrow than some 165 pound guy stapling a dollar to his tongue.
IWF: Today, with the short
attention span of society in general and instant gratification expected, many trainees and young wrestlers expect to make
it to WWE after just a few months or few years of training. What are some things that young wrestlers need to keep in
mind during the early years of their career?
about having a solid foundation before worrying about “getting my tattoo on my trunks and ring jacket!”
Without knowing the BASICS and having a solid foundation you will go nowhere fast! Ask veterans who have been where you want
to be for advice! Become a student of the game and live this business 24/7. Don't live your gimmick…live
and understand the demands and sacrifices required of this business.
IWF: With almost 30 years of
experience as a wrestler, trainer and coach, you have seen countless wrestlers come and go. What are the keys to longevity
and a prosperous wrestling career?
Understanding ones strengths and weaknesses. Learn everything you can about everything connected to the business.
It won't last forever. Are you thought of or capable enough to pass down what you learned? Longevity means WORKING
SMART! That doesn't mean be lazy, it means work smart so you don't get a serious injury and aren't able to make a living