It All Came Down To Persuasion

by Scott Eiland

(as published on

In the end, all that was needed to reunite a family was a little Persuasion.

When Kevin Phoenix defeated Justin Flash in May to become the #1 contender to T.R. Superstar’s AIWF Mid Atlantic Heavyweight Championship, many ringside observers were shocked by Superstar’s overconfidence. Kevin Phoenix was hungry, on a tremendous roll, and primed for greatness. His relationship with his “father,” Rob “The Boogeywoogieman” McBride, seemed to provide a psychological and technical edge to the young upstart. A “Kings Hot Dogs” commercial took the pair to regional prominence, and it seemed like nothing–not even T.R. Superstar and his the Starr City Rollers (Jimmy Jannetty and Jody Osborne) — could stop him.

Almost without warning, everything seemed to unravel in July. An audio tape of an inebriated Kevin Phoenix surfaced in which Phoenix admitted that the birth certificate he presented to McBride last spring was a fake, It also revealed that he had initially been plotting with T.R. Superstar’s “Gentemen;s Club” (his stable that includes Jannetty, Osborne, and Jenny Jannetty) to lure McBride in for nefarious reasons.

When news of the audio tape hit McBride, he was understandably angry and, worse, disappointed. Phoenix, who had in the months after lying to everyone about who his father was actually developed a strong love for his “paw,” apologized valiantly and convincingly, to no avail. He told McBride in front of a packed Mount Airy audience that Rob McBride was the closest thing he had ever had to a father. He begged for forgiveness, but the BoogeyWoogey Man did not yield. An almost inconsolable McBride was seen leaving Mount Airy in mid-July clearly angry and distraught over the situation with Phoenix, to the point that he rebuffed this reporter’s request for a comment. Yes, Rob McBride told me to go away, and left in his pickup truck a thoroughly defeated man.

I didn’t notice at the time that Persuasion, McBride’s retired valet and now-wife, was watching everything with a passive interest.

Fast forward to Deal With the Steel August 16. Rob McBride’s team won its War Games match against a short-handed “Trust,” (Phil Stamper, former AIWF World Champion Steven Hayes, Stephen Niles, and the soon-injured Ty Tyson) with Persuasion shocking everyone by returning to the big man’s corner. While Phoenix was slated to face T.R. Superstar, McBride hadn’t said a word to him or approached him all evening, choosing to get ready for his own match with his teammates Sergeant Stryker, Scrapyard Dog,and Jacob Ryan. Phoenix was forced, for the first time in months, to prepare alone. This would be a daunting task on this, the biggest match of his young career.

The steel-cage main event Phoenix-Superstar match began with less fanfare than anticipated, as fans wondered openly how Kevin Phoenix would perform without McBride’s considerable support. A seesaw affair looked to be on the brink of disaster for Phoenix when TR Superstar locked him in a crossface submission maneuver 23 minutes into the match. It looked as if Kevin Phoenix’s amazing run was going to fall short against one of the region’s toughest opponents.

Enter Persuasion. The valet emerged from the locker room, pulling a reluctant Rob McBride to the ring, cajoling her husband to come to Kevin’s aid. McBride wanted no part of the match; while he routinely lambasted T.R. Superstar as a fraud, the rift that developed over Phoenix’s past actions seemed too much for him to overcome. He started to go back to the locker room.

Persuasion stopped him, pulled him back toward the ring, and asked the crowd for encouragement. All Kevin Phoenix needed, she later surmised, was Rob McBride’s forgiveness. And, while Phoenix’s initial motives were indeed less than genuine, his subsequent affinity for the McBride family seemed to make salvaging the relationship between the two men a more important pursuit. She was dogged and unyielding, a character trait she had displayed since McBride’s “Rob the Bull” days. Finally, with the crowd screaming for him to forgive Kevin Phoenix, with his wife’s tenacious insistence that he forgive Kevin Phoenix, and with his own pride finally succumbing to the pressures of the moment, Rob McBride reached his hand out to his prodigal “son” and forgave him, grasping his hand through the steel cage.

At that moment, the crowd erupted. Phoenix seemed to have his energy restored, and with the crowd’s assistance, powered out of T.R. Superstar’s crossface. With a near-capacity crowd almost lifting the roof off the building in raucous cheers, Kevin Phoenix pinned T.R. Superstar to win the AIWF Mid Atlantic championship.

After the cage was unlocked and with the fans on their feet cheering the new champion, Rob McBride and Persuasion entered the ring to embrace their forgiven — if not biological — son, The new champion accepted the accolades of the crowd and tearfully wrapped his arms around McBride.

At Deal with the Steel, a new champion was crowned. A new era was born. And a family was reunited. All thanks to “Persuasion.”


The 5th Annual Krazy 8!

This Saturday night at the National Guard Armory in Mt. Airy, NC, the 5th Annual AIWF Krazy 8 Tournament is back! See 8 men square off to see who the 2014 Champion will be! Former AIWF World Heavyweight Champion Kyle Matthews, former AIWF World Heavyweight Champion Justin Flash, current AIWF World Cruiserweight Champion James Anthony, current AIWF Mid Atlantic Cruiserweight Champion Court Montgomery, former AIWF Mid Atlantic Cruiserweight Champion Phil Stamper, Canada”s Greatest Export TJ Cannon, the Vietnamese Warrior Matt Saigon, and the South”s newest superstar Kameron Kade.

If you didn”t think this was big enough, we have more! MT Hawks and Robbie Evil have been at each other”s throats as of late, and this Saturday night they will settle the score in an arm wrestling match! Since Hawks isn”t a “Wrestler” as he said, he accepted Evil”s challenge. Will Evil prove just how weak Hawks is?

And as our featured non tournament match, Ring of Honor”s Bravado Brothers return home to the AIWF rings as they will take on Kevin Phoenix and a mystery partner! Phoenix will announce his partner this evening on his Facebook page, and if anyone has watched the son of Rob McBride since his Mid Atlantic debut, this match will be an incredible showing just like last year”s featured match of Justin Flash and Sonjay Dutt!

Tickets are still available in limited quantities at our sponsor locations of The Pie Factory and Eddie”s Zip Foods in Mt. Airy, or at the door.

Come out early at 6pm for our special Meet and Greet with all of the superstars! Upgrade to Ringside seating at the door and meet all of the superstars! Regular doors will open at 6:45pm, and we expect a sell out crowd in the National Guard Armory so get there early and get your seats!


AIWF Mid Atlantic presents Capital Punishment!

2014-02-22-mtairyAfter the 22nd AIWF Anniversary show this past weekend, we at AIWF Mid Atlantic are planning BIG BIG things for Capital Punishment! Look at this incredible lineup!

In the Main Event, see two men collide when TR Superstar gets his chance against Justin Flash for the AIWF Mid Atlantic Heavyweight Championship! These two men have been all over the place as of late, and the only thing they haven”t gotten ahold of is each other in that ring! What will happen when these two collide?

Returning to the Mid Atlantic rings is Canadian Wrestler The Best Around TJ Cannon. TJ saw in ring action twice in 2013, first appearing in the Money in the Piggy Bank match then in an one on one encounter with Justin Flash. TJ is coming back to Mt. Airy on February 22nd, and his open challenge was answered by newcomer Kevin Phoenix! Phoenix had an impressive Mt. Airy debut in December against Justin Flash, and this time he is out to show the Mid Atlantic he has what it takes to compete with the hottest wrestling in the Carolinas! What type of match will these two have, and will we find out more information about Kevin Phoenix and his dad Rob McBride?

Natural Born Playa and Sgt. Stryker have been at each other”s throats since losing the AIWF Mid Atlantic Tag Team Championship, and these two men will do battle at Capital Punishment! This isn”t just a match, it”s personal between these two men, and one will have to wonder if the two ladies outside the ring will have anything to do with the outcome of this match!

Phil Stamper is returning to take on Court Montgomery for the AIWF Mid Atlantic Cruiserweight Championship. Phil wants his title back, and Court wants to prove why he is the champ. These two are also no strangers to each other, and have requested a unique concept for a Cruiserweight matchup, a street fight! Yes you heard that right, a Street Fight for the title. Does Stamper have what it takes to defeat Montgomery, or can Montgomery hold on to the title one more time? What will prevail, youth or experience?

Fans saw Chris Shosmoove Lea debut in Mt. Airy back in December at Seasons Beatings against Court Montgomery. Lea is a DJ at 102 Jamz in Greensboro, and the Traffic Anchor on WXII12 news at 5pm, and showed the Mt. Airy crowd he also knows how to wrestle! Although he came up short against Court Montgomery, he is coming back to give the fans another awesome match when he takes on former AIWF Mid Atlantic Cruiserweight Champion James Anthony! James has taken a few months off to regroup, and is a new tynian person in 2014 he says. Will James prevail, or will Chris be able to get the upper hand on James and get his first Mid Atlantic victory?

The Star City Rollers return to action in February, as they take on a new team of Colt and Remington, the Young Guns. Does this standout team from Western NC have what it takes to get the pin over the Star City Rollers, or will the veteran duo of Jimmy Jannetty and Jody Osborne outsmart the Young Guns to get the victory? The winning team will get an AIWF Mid Atlantic Tag Team Title shot on March 29th, so you know both teams will be ready for the fight of their life!

AIWF Mid Atlantic Tag Team Champions The Silver Fox James Allen & Foxy Roxy will be in tag team action against a mysterious duo. We say mysterious because we don”t even know who it will be, but one thing is for sure, Robbie Evil was seen in Mt. Airy this past Saturday night talking about this match and chanting WINNERS! Is he referring to his new found friendship with Kid Kourageous, or does he have someone else in mind?

The new match to start out Capital Punishment is the Riot on Cell Block A (taking a Punjab shot at the WWE) matchup. With recent match innovations such as the Money in the Piggy Bank (Yes Vince that”s a shot at you) Match at Deal with the Steel, the AIWF Mid Atlantic offices tend to keep these new match concepts a secret until the matches happen. What type of match is this? Who will be in it? We have learned that there will be returning superstars in this match as well as current superstars, so stay tuned here for more information on this huge match!

Fans make sure you get there early! The last few Mt. Airy shows have seen standing room only so you want to make sure you get there and get your seats!

Tickets are just $8 at the door, and kids 6 and under are free in General Admission seating only.

As the AIWF begins 2014, we are beginning a new trend in pro wrestling. With 22 years under our belt, it”s time for the AIWF to give back! Check out our local sponsors (they will be posted on this page soon) for FREE General Admission tickets! That”s right, if you go to those local sponsors listed, you can receive a free General Admission ticket. To set on the front 2 Ringside rows will be a $5 upgrade, but visit our sponsors and support them, and set in General Admission for free. This is our way of giving back, so let”s all plan for a great 2014! If the Anniversary show on Jan. 18 was a sign of what is to come in Mt. Airy, get ready fans, because the HOTTEST WRESTLING IN THE CAROLINAS.. just got HOTTER!


22nd Anniversary Show

2014 is already shaping up to be a huge year for the AIWF and AIWF Mid Atlantic, and what a better way to start off the year then with our 22nd Anniversary show!  It all started in January 1992 in Mt. Airy, NC, and continues to this day!  See which superstars of yesteryear will show up, which superstars from around the AIWF Affiliate program will be coming, and what Mid Atlantic stars will be in the house as well!

Admission to this event is quite simple.  Take 5 Non Perishable food items to our sponsors beginning on January 1, 2014 (The Pie Factory and Eddie”s Zip Foods in Mt. Airy) and receive your free ticket.  At the door bring 8 non perishable food items or $8 and you can get it to enjoy the action!

Doors open at 6pm for this historic event where you can meet the superstars of the AIWF in person, take pictures, sign autographs, and so much more!

At 7pm the Hall of Fame Ceremony will begin, with this year”s inductions including members of the Family:  Brian Danzig, Daniel Mayes, Bad Brad, Pagan, and Enigma!

At 7:30pm the bell will ring and what a night it will be!  12 teams will vie for the AIWF Heritage Cup, the AIWF World Tag Team Champions will be in action, and so much more!


The official Facebook Event page for this event has been created:


Trust in Phil?

It”s obvious that Phil Stamper thinks he can outsmart both the fans and wrestlers in Mt. Airy.  After cashing in the Money in the Piggy Bank back in February 2013 against an unconscious Bobby Yela, Stamper won the Mid Atlantic Cruiserweight Championship, even outshining James Anthony after his grueling Ladder Match against Yela.  He kept the title for months, dodging Anthony, Court Montgomery, and many other challengers until finally he lost the title to James Anthony.  Stamper disappeared shortly after, only to return with a shirt and tie, a vendetta against Court Montgomery, and another shot at Anthony for the Cruiserweight title.  Sadly his vendett with Mongtomery got in the way, as it was Court who was victorious in this Triple Threat matchup, but Phil still sticks by his motto, Trust in Phil.  What does Stamper have in store for the fans in the Mid Atlantic?  Exactly how smart does Stamper think he is?  Keep watching and find out soon what Stamper has in store for you!


The future is here

Or at least TR Superstar would like you to think that. The ring veteran returned to the AIWF after not being seen since the late 1990″s to help long time friend Jimmy Jannetty, but this time he decided to stay.
Defeating former friend Drake Tungsten in October, TR was set on a path of destruction throughout the Mid Atlantic, but no one knew what he was after. November would reveal just that though when he went to Justin Flash’s merchandise table insulting Flash’s girlfriend, and demanding a title shot.
After Tim Dolan agreed to give him that shot, he wasn’t done just yet. After Flash’s match with TJ Cannon, TR attacked, and an all out brawl ensued. Luckily for Flash he was able to one up the vet, but this is far from over. When will TR get his shot at the Mid Atlantic Heavyweight Championship? Does he know how to beat the on fire Flash?


Flash reigns supreme… For now…

12 months ago, Justin Flash was a thing of the past.  Missing from the AIWF rings for over a year, regular fans of the AIWF had forgotten about the competitor.  That all changed on Friday January 18, 2013 in Mt. Airy, NC, as the former AIWF World Tag Team Champion, former AIWF Hardcore Champion, former AIWF No Limits Champion, and former AIWF World Heavyweight Champion returned for the AIWF”s 21st Anniversary show with tag team partner Jason Blade to celebrate the heritage of the AIWF.  Making quite the splash, he came back the next night and lost to Aaron Vaughn from then AIWF Affiliate company HVW in Asheville, NC.  What we saw though was the fire, the fire was burning, and Flash was about to turn up the heat!

February came and gone, and March at the Krazy 8 Flash took on former TNA and ROH Superstar Sonjay Dutt.  In what most would think was the Match of the Year in the Mid Atlantic, Flash came out victorious and impressed the AIWF brass.  The next month he was entered into a mini tournament for the AIWF Mid Atlantic to become their contender for the AIWF World title, which was vacated.  Flash made quick work of his opponents, and went to Blue Ridge, GA on May 25th for his shot against Kyle Matthews, Salem Sinner Sixx, and Justin Overstreet.  In the end, the former champion felt the odds of the numbers game and was eliminated.  His quest was not over.

In August, Flash was named as a participant in the Money in the Piggy Bank match at Deal with the Steel.  This match pits 5 competitors against each other in a steel cage, with the winner being the lone person to climb the ladder and get the Pinata with a title contract in it.  Flash won, and quickly left the crowd in yet another Match of the Year Candidate.  Emerging approximately 20 minutes later, Flash tossed the Pinata in the ring to Senior Official Darren Ceran, scaled the cage, and took a leap of faith onto JD Anderson, defeating him in seconds to become the new AIWF Mid Atlantic Heavyweight Champion.

With all eyes on Flash, the challengers began to emerge.  In September Flash was successful in defending the title, then was ambushed by Kyle Styles.  Defeating Kyle in October, his next challenger emerged in TJ Cannon.  In yet another Match of the Year Candidate, these two men done battle again in a Steel Cage, with Flash narrowly defeating his “soul mate in the ring.”  Out of nowhere, TR Superstar comes out and attacks Flash, laying his claim to the title and wanting his shot at the gold.

Can Flash maintain his championship and his respect of the locker room?  Everyone is gunning for him, but the question remains of how long can he hold on?  Does TR Superstar have his number?  One thing is for sure, Flash is on a tear lately, and he is bringing the AIWF Mid Atlantic back to the top of independent wrestling in North Carolina!