Congratulations to Justin Adams, Tony Graves & Atkins Brothers!
August 6, 2017
(NEW JERSEY)- Four more outstanding graduates from Independent Wrestling Federation Training
School in New Jersey will receive WWE tryout opportunities in the coming weeks. IWF American Champion First-Class Justin
Adams, former IWF Tag Team Champion Southside Slugger Tony Graves, and IWF Tag Team Champions Brian and Robert Atkins have
a chance to make their ultimate dream a reality.
Former standout baseball player turned professional wrestler, Justin Adams is
the IWF American Champion, having won the title on June 24, 2017. He is also a former two-time IWF Junior Heavyweight
Champion. A native of Staten Island, NY, he began training at IWF Wrestling School in November 2015, debuted
on Live Events in January 2016, and graduated from the program in June 2016.
After spending nearly seven
years in the United States Army as a Specialist, Tony Graves is one-half of the former IWF Tag Team Champions "The Street
Kings." Hailing from the streets of South Philadelphia, Graves began training at IWF Wrestling School in
July 2015, debuted on Live Events in October2015, and graduated from the program in March 2016.
Atkins Brothers, former NCAA Division 1 amateur wrestlers, transitioned flawlessly into the pro game and won the 13th Annual
Commissioner's Cup Tag Team Tournament on June 17, 2017. The duo from Midland Park, NJ, then won the IWF Tag Team Titles
on June 24, 2017. They began training at IWF Wrestling School in November 2016 and graduated from the program in
Adams and Graves will participate at WWE Events including SummerSlam, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live,
and NXT at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, August 19 to 22. The Atkins Brothers will participate at WWE Events in the
Head coach at the nationally-accredited IWF Wrestling School is Kevin Knight, a 21-year professional in the
sports-entertainment industry. A total of 44 IWF graduates received WWE tryouts with 11 gaining full-time employment, both in the ring and behind the scenes.
Since its inception in 1999, home-grown prospects from 20 states and nine countries
have competed in matches across the world, with many also appearing in TV shows and commercials.
Famous graduates include WWE Superstar Darren Young from Union, NJ, and WWE Referees Shawn Bennett from Butler, NJ
and Danilo Anfibio from Woodland Park, NJ.The school is endorsed by WWE Hall of Famers and Legends who
serve as Guest Coaches, including Tito Santana, Honky Tonk Man, John Bradshaw Layfield, Bushwhacker Luke, Dr. Tom Prichard,
Rip Rogers and more.
For more Independent Wrestling Federation information, find IWF on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram @WrestlingIWF.
IWF Grads Shawn Bennett & Danny Anfibio Referee for WWE
WWE Ref & IWF Grad
Shawn Bennett at IWF School - July 3. 2014
IWF Ladies on WWE RAW Hartford & Money in the Bank Boston - June 2014
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.
Continental Arena, East Rutherford, NJ (Jan 2006)
Sampson with Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels
SmackDown @ Albany, NY (March 2005)
Travis Blake, Fred Sampson & Roman Zachary
as Security Guards on WWE Raw (MSG 2004)
Kevin Knight, Fred Sampson & RomanZachary
as Druids for The Undertaker at WrestleMania 20 (MSG 2004)
IWF Wrestlers in 2003
WWE Survivor Series TV Ad
John 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
Posted: September 25, 2003
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, NY.
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.
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.
Making all 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.
"Everything 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 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 TV.
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: