Independent Wrestling Federation
Interview with WWE Legend Honky Tonk Man from WrestlingIWF.com
Preview of Upcoming Clinics at IWF Pro Wrestling School in West Paterson(WEST PATERSON, NJ)- WWE Legend Honky Tonk Man…the Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All-time…returns this spring as Guest Instructor at the Independent Wrestling Federation Training School, West Paterson, NJ. Honky Tonk Man hosts an informative Pro Wrestling Clinic and Seminar for IWF students, graduates and indy wrestlers on Wednesday, April 16 and Thursday, April 17, from 6:30 to 10 pm both nights. Honky Tonk Man also hosts a fun-filled Pro Wrestling Fans Fantasy Clinic and Seminar on Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19, from 1 to 5 pm both days.
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 Pro 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 he 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?
HTM: Fundamentals, 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.
IWF: Thanks for your time. Registration for the Honky Tonk Man Clinics at IWF Wrestling School is underway. Pre-registration is required by April 14. For information or to register online, visit WrestlingIWF.com. Honky Tonk Man also appears in the Main Event at the IWF’s 11th Annual Reckless Abandon Anniversary Events on Friday, April 18, 8 pm and Sunday, April 20, 4 pm at IWF Centre, West Paterson, NJ. For information or to purchase advance tickets online, visit WrestlingIWF.com.
WWE Legend Honky Tonk Man Returns to IWF Wrestling School:
Pro Wrestler Clinic April 16-17 & Fans Fantasy Camp April 18-19
(WEST PATERSON, NJ)- Independent Wrestling Federation is pleased to announce that WWE Legend Honky Tonk Man, the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time, returns as guest instructor at IWF Pro Wrestling School, 32 Willow Way, West Paterson, NJ.
Honky Tonk Man conducts a two-day Pro Wrestling Clinic on Wednesday, April 16 and Thursday, April 17, 2008, from 6:30 to 10 pm. Clinic includes seminar, in-ring drills, basics, fundamentals, promos and evaluation. Pro Clinic open to IWF students, active graduates, and youth clinic participants of all experience levels with a $75 fee; and non-active graduates, indy wrestlers, managers and referees with at least one-year of experience with a $100 fee. This clinic is a must for all wrestlers and students to have an opportunity to get coached by a true living legend.
Honky Tonk Man also conducts a two-day Pro Wrestling Fan Fantasy Clinic on Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19, 2008, from 1 to 5 pm. Clinic includes seminar, in-ring basics, interviews, free IWF shirt, Reckless Abandon Live Event ticket and autographed 8×10. Fantasy Clinic open to fans and aspiring wrestlers ages 18 and older in good health with a $199 early-bird fee before April 10, or $225 fee after April 10. No experience required. Live out your dream with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the Fantasy Clinic and enter the ring with Honky Tonk Man.
This marks the fifth time Honky Tonk Man has served as guest instructor alongside 13-year pro Kevin Knight at IWF Wrestling School. Enrollment for both clinics is underway. Pre-registration is required by April 14. For registration information, call 973-345-7745 or visit www.WrestlingIWF.com. Those that participate in this clinic receive a discount for the John Layfield Seminar on April 30.
Honky Tonk Man will also be featured in the Main Event at IWF Reckless Abandon Live Events Friday, April 18, 8 pm and Sunday, April 20, 4 pm in West Paterson, NJ.
Established in 1999, IWF Wrestling School trains hundreds of wrestlers and managers from 16 states and six countries that perform in bouts around the globe. IWF Commissioner Rich Ross recently joined the management team at USA Network & NBC Universal, partnering with WWE supervising Raw and ECW programming. Former WWE Diva Dawn Marie trained at IWF and had her first-ever match with us in 2001. Former IWF Tag Team Champion Marc Verow works for the UFC Event Production Staff. Damian Adams is training in Ohio Valley Wrestling, and IWF graduates make frequent appearances on Raw, SmackDown and Heat. So far, 17 home-grown IWF talents made WWE appearances.
IWF Wrestling School hosts periodic Clinics with current stars and legendary performers. In addition to Honky Tonk Man, WWE’s Steven Richards, WWE’s Nunzio, WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana, WWE Developmental Trainer Dr. Tom Prichard, WWE legend Ricky Steamboat, former UFC and WWE Champion Ken Shamrock, former WWE Diva Dawn Marie, former WWE star Tom Brandi (Sal Sincere), former ECW Champion Steve Corino, and TNA’s Simon Diamond hosted clinics.
Independent Wrestling Federation produces family-friendly live events and hosts children’s Birthday Parties. IWF Pro Wrestling School, recognized as the premiere training facility in the Northeast by countless media outlets, hosts Open House Tours every Saturday and Sunday afternoon and Tuesday and Wednesday evening.