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Regarding the “incident” in Iowa, Sunday, July 29, 2012.
I feel obliged to clear the air regarding the accusations against Team Ambition this past weekend. The accusation I’m referring to is that Davey Richards, Tony Kozina, Darren Dean and myself deliberately showed up late to an Indy show in Iowa after demanding to have the card changed, physically threatened the promoter to pay us and left before wrestling. It boggles one’s mind how stories stray from one individual to the next, altering truths and facts into self-fulfilling myths. I admire the passion that is being displayed amongst people obviously outraged by these accusations, and I think it’s tremendous when people stand up for their beliefs on morality. I am simply going to recount the story as I saw it unfold to help shed some light on the matter and perhaps bring forth some clarity to those made ignorant by false claims.
I had my first professional wrestling match in October of 2005, so that would put me at coming up on seven years of having matches. By no means do I consider myself above anybody else or do I consider myself an experienced veteran of the wrestling business. I’m constantly learning and improving to better myself both physically and mentally towards the game. However, I do have a genuine respect for wrestling and those that paved the road before me. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve worked my ass off and sacrificed a lot of time, money, friends and well being of my physical health to get to where I am today. “Mouth shut, ears open” is a saying not practiced enough amongst many “workers” and through practicing this phrase I’ve learned how things operate on the road and what is and isn’t acceptable.
Anybody that has ever worked me, booked me or for that matter met me will tell you that I always wrestle with conviction and with passion regardless of how much money I’m making or how small the crowd is. The same can be said for any member of Team Ambition because we have pride and belief in what our team represents. On the road we find a gym, we train, we show up to the show (not always on time) and we deliver matches that people expect of our work ethic. This weekend was no different.
After a show in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday and a show in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Saturday the Earth’s rotation had brought us to Sunday. Now if you had asked anybody from these two shows about Team Ambition’s work ethic and attitude on these two shows I’m sure most responses would have been satisfactory. Providing the best matches on both nights and delivering an open training seminar on Saturday before the show, which included the attendance of said “promoter/worker” that we supposedly would threaten 24 hours later. No demeaning or insulting comments were made during these shows towards individuals like is what’s now being claimed. An altercation between Kozina and Ryan Kidd happened and it is nobody’s business but Tony and Ryan Kidd’s. They both know why this happened and Tony isn’t a bully, he’s a veteran that was providing a lesson to someone that had disrespected him. I won’t elaborate on the matter because it’s not my place but contact Tony for an account of the unbiased simple truth.
So it was Sunday morning and as per usual we found a gym. Body Masters Inc. Run by a gentleman named David who had also performed on the Magnum wrestling show the previous evening. Ask him about Team Ambition’s “devious ways”, or ask him about the unrequested donation we made to his awesome self-run business. The point I’m getting at is that we are men of routine and consistency and if we are shown respect and generosity we will show it back, plain and simple. Thanks again to Body Masters for the great training facility and I highly recommend it to anybody living in or traveling through Omaha, Nebraska.
Following my match the previous night and our training session that morning, my back had been giving me a lot of grief. After a full weekend of wrestling, and a full schedule of upcoming appearances, we decided amongst ourselves it would be best for everybody involved if we got our singles matches changed to an 8 man tag team match for the show. By no means was this an excuse to call it in and have a lazy match, this was simply a way of evening the work load and still putting his guys over clean in an outstanding 30 minute match. This request was met with hesitance from the promoter, claiming that his fans had expected specific singles matches from us and that he couldn’t come to an agreement with us on the matter. After several back and forth attempts of an agreement, he simply told us we were then cancelled off his show. “You can’t just cancel us like this” Tony replied, “I just did” was his response. Let me remind you we are in the middle of a cornfield laden highway in friggen Iowa and we’re being told that we no longer have a booking for today and to just go home.
Davey Richards and myself make a living from wrestling, being told to turn around and just drive home was insulting and disrespectful. At that moment, canceling us completely meant he owed us the full amount of pay whether we showed up or not. It’s understandable that he wanted specific matches and we were willing to work with him on the matter but cancelling us then and there shows a level of immaturity and ignorance. So after getting lost we finally arrive at the show an hour after bell time, which admittedly, isn’t unusual for us. This is where we supposedly threaten him. According to the promoter himself and one witness that was with him. Davey basically reiterated everything I just wrote about regarding our lives, how we wrestle for a living and how disrespecting Tony, a guy who trained us and paved the road is unacceptable. Davey just said it in his own words, which can come off as extremely intimidating and were obviously misconstrued as threats. We DO NOT threaten people unless it’s a matter that makes it completely justified like a fucking rapist is stalking your girlfriend. People with legitimate backgrounds are usually the last to threaten or hurt others. I spend almost every day being humbled by legitimate fighters who tap me out constantly, which is basically me admitting to them that they could have killed me but I tapped out so “please release the choke”. And they’re all cool as shit, the people who fulfill their own self-righteous agenda are the ones who pretend to be something they’re not and are more often then not bluffing and hiding something.
So after dealing with all of this we continue to negotiate some way for us to wrestle and make at least some of the money that we were promised. I’m starting to feel bad for the guy as he clearly has no idea how to run a wrestling promotion, (bear in mind I have no idea either). He then has the audacity to say and I quote:
“Well nobody here really knows who you guys are anyway…”
Well which way is it?! Do you have fans expecting certain singles matches out of us that you promised or do they not know who the fuck any of us are and it doesn’t matter if we do a damn 8 man tag?! It’s all well and fine if the 25 people there don’t know who we are, but don’t tell us something and then completely change your words. That statement was the breaking point for Davey and Tony. So we agreed to work a tag, Davey and myself against 2 of his guys, who I wont mention because after all the shit talking they’ve done in the last 24 hours they don’t deserve any more publicity. We take a pay cut, yet still enough to cover our gas and all of our food for the day, put our gear on, got paid and walked out the back door.
Was what we did wrong and unethical? Perhaps. Was what we did completely justified and reasonable? Perhaps. The fact of the matter was we felt disrespected and so “give and you shall receive”. The point being that sometimes you have to be the bad guy and stand up for what you believe in. I’ll be completely honest in saying the entire thing made me feel really uncomfortable and I felt a sense of guilt. Am I going to apologize? Absolutely not, because you have to live and die by the sword. Regardless of regrets, one must stand by their decisions and at the end of the day a guy disrespected two of my close friends that I look up to and that’s simply, morally wrong.
The majority of you reading this is probably in complete disagreement with me on the matter and thinks what went down in Milo, Iowa yesterday was a crime. Most of you reading this probably have a strong dislike for me, being my wrestling style, my selling, my promos and character ability (or lack there of) or just you know me and personally dislike me for whatever reason. I’m okay with that. Hopefully this whole incident won’t affect anybody’s desire to book me or Team Ambition. However, if it does that’s okay because I’m a man of honour and regardless of what you say or think I’m going to continue being the best possible professional wrestler I can be. I’m standing by the decision that was made whether I regret it or not. It’s in the past and to those people who are hiding behind a computer screen “Wishing Team Ambition would get in a car wreck and sustain career ending injuries” just makes me sad for you. You live everyday through other people’s successes and mistakes and you feed off it to just have something to talk about amongst your pro-wrestling sewing circle. To anybody making an overly elaborate blown out of proportion attempt to create hateful energy towards myself you can stop wasting your time. Go and read a book, put on some “Beatles”, smoke a fat joint and try to incorporate a little love and positivity in your life. Focusing on negative aspects only dumbs everyone around you down, get over it and move on. XOXO
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