Established in 1999, IWF Wrestling School in Woodland
Park, NJ, teaches hundreds of prospects from 20 states and nine countries. This year marked the 12th Anniversary of
the famous facility, recognized as the premiere training school in the Northeast by countless wrestling and news media outlets.
Kevin Knight appearance as EMT Official on WWE SmackDown, August 7, 2009 @ Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, with CM Punk and Jeff Hardy.
IWF Graduate Fred Sampson wrestles at WWE Raw @ Continental Arena, East Rutherford, NJ (Jan 2006)
Sampson with Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels on WWE SmackDown @ Albany, NY (March 2005)
Kevin Knight, Travis Blake, Fred Sampson, Aaron Stride & Roman as Security Guards w/ Randy Orton, Ric
Flair, Batista & Eric Bischoff on WWE Raw (MSG 2004)
Fred Sampson & Roman as Druids for The Undertaker at WrestleMania 20 (MSG 2004)
IWF Wrestlers Appear
in 2003 WWE Survivor Series TV Commercial:
Cena, Ron Simmons, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, JBL, Big Show, Hurricane, Kurt Angle & Dudleyz take on IWF in WWE Survivor
Series commercial. IWF Wrestlers as Football Players...Kevin Knight (#64), Fred Sampson (#58), Shawn Donavan (Assistant
Coach), Roman (#38), Brandon Young (#28).
Posted: September 25, 2003
(Mount Vernon, NY) - Picture
it…a struggling football team needs to be toughened up, so their coach surprises them with a scrimmage against a menacing
practice squad made up of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars.
That's the premise of the upcoming television
commercial to promote the WWE "Survivor Series" pay-per-view, slated for November.
On September 10, Independent
Wrestling Federation (IWF) wrestlers Kevin Knight, Roman, BoneCrusher Fred Sampson, Shawn Donavan and Brandon Young participated
as members of that struggling football team in the film shoot to create the commercial at Memorial Stadium in Mount Vernon,
WWE superstars who took to the gridiron opposite the IWF'ers were Kurt Angle, The Big Show, Chris Benoit, The
Dudley Boyz, The APA, John Cena, The Hurricane and Rey Mysterio.
"This commercial shoot was definitely a tremendous
learning experience for me and a very enjoyable one at that," said Roman. "I was overly impressed at the attention
given to every detail of the production and when a scene was not quite good enough, there was an effort to immediately shoot
a better scene."
Back to the commercial. After the coaches' locker-room pep talk falls on deaf ears, the struggling
football squad hits the field only to see the larger-than-life WWE grapplers salivating at the chance of dishing out some
unnecessary roughness. At kickoff, all hell breaks loose.
The carnage sees Roman fall victim to Kurt Angle's ankle-lock.
Sampson and Young receive a double choke-slam courtesy of The Big Show. Roman gets caught in Chris Benoit's crippler cross-face
while John Cena hits the FU on Donavan. Faarooq blindsides Sampson with a shoulder tackle at the water-cooler, while Rey Mysterio
takes out Roman with a head-scissors. Last but not least, Knight feels the wrath of The Hurricane's reverse neck-breaker.
"Having the opportunity to work with Ron Simmons (Faarooq) during the scene where I was getting water on the
sidelines and received his patented football tackle was great," said Sampson. Of course, Simmons is a former collegiate
all-American football star from Florida State.
However, the most devastating scenes saw Brandon Young receive the
clothesline-from-hell by Bradshaw, and a 3-D through a table from The Dudley Boyz at the 50-year-line.
the stunts difficult was the fact that the IWF performers were dressed in full football gear and had to receive the moves
on a grass field that was slightly softer than concrete. But the production crew and WWE superstars made sure that safety
was a top priority.
"These guys always present themselves in a professional manner in everything they do,"
Shawn Donavan commented. "Getting to do this was incredible because you get to learn how things work behind the camera."
A production crew and support staff of about 35 individuals spearheaded the 12-hour day of filming, and the footage
will be edited down into a thirty-second commercial that airs world-wide starting in mid-October.
WWE does is first-rate," said Knight, who plays the role of the quarterback in the commercial. "From their wrestling
product to their television production, the WWE is arguably the best entertainment company in the business."
Brandon Young offered a similar observation after the shoot, saying "I'm that much smarter about the business as a
whole because in a way, I saw why WWE is so successful, and that's because they go the extra mile to make all the little things
count in everything they do."
As far as using this experience as a learning tool to make it to the next level,
Sampson added, "All of the WWE superstars are in phenomenal shape and witnessing that first-hand gives me more motivation
to train harder in the hopes that I get to work with WWE again soon."
Behind-the-scenes footage of the commercial
as well as interviews with WWE and IWF wrestlers will air on an upcoming episode of "WWE Confidential" on Spike
The IWF is pleased to continue its working relationship with WWE. In June, Knight and Roman wrestled
at the Raw and Smackdown TV tapings at Madison Square Garden. Knight and Roman are slated to compete at the Raw TV taping
October 21, 2003 in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and at the Smackdown TV taping October 22, 2003 in Albany, NY.
Kevin Knight & former WWE Diva Dawn Marie
during her first-ever match after training @ IWF Wrestling School (Feb 2001) Courtesy: Star-Ledger