GM: When did you get started in pro wrestling?
JF: Well I officially became the promoter of the IWA in the beginning of April 1998. I had been actively involved with the company helping set up the ring and things like that since about late October/early November 1997.
What promotions do you work for and have worked for in the past?
JF: I have only worked with the IWA and Ian Rotten. I am very indebted to Ian for giving me the opportunity to live out my dreams. Therefore, all my free time devoted to wrestling is solely for the IWA.
GM: The IWA is probably the most violent promotion in the US today but some people dont know a lot about you guys, who are your biggest stars and what kind of matches have taken place there?
JF: Well the biggest name in the IWA is definitely Ian Rotten. We also use Doug Gilbert, Flash Flanagan, Bull Pain, Axl Rotten on a regular basis. We have Mad Man Pondo, Ox Harley, Cash Flo, Chip Fairway, Rollin Hard, Harry Palmer, American Kickboxer and Suicide Kid almost every week. At one time we had Tracy Smothers in weekly. We have had Terry Funk, Tommy Rich, Ricky Morton, Al Snow, Reckless Youth, Rocco Rock, Sal Sincere and Buddy Landell. We brought in Dan Severn and Terry Gordy for the Eddie Gilbert show earlier this year.
As for the kinds of matches: our early stuff involved barbed wire, fluorescent light tubes, chars, thumbtacks, fans weapons, tables, stop signs etc. The most violent that we had were 4 corners of pain matches with barb wire, mouse traps, broken shards of glass and light tubes. We also have had a spiderweb barb wire death match. Ox Harley has been powerbombed thru flaming tables and a big screen tv!!! Last October, we held a King of the Death Match tournament that was just unbelievably violent.
GM: What got you interested in pro wrestling?
JF: I used to watch Georgia Championship Wrestling when I was 4 years old and marked out big time for Tommy Rich before he even won the NWA World title. I always wrestled with the kids when I was growing up and I just never outgrew my love for wrestling. Unfortunately I'm not graced with the size, the talent or the intestinal fortitude to be a wrestler so being an office guy is as close as I can get to my dream. But I'll take it!!!
GM: Is there any thing you would like to plug? sites, shows, etc.
JF: Thanks for letting me get in a couple of plugs. We have an IWA newsletter that is free of charge that can keep you up to date with everything going on in the IWA from results to rankings to just general discussion amongst the fans. Email Carsyn at IWAList@aol.com to be added to the mailing list. We also have a dedicated crew that maintains an IWA webpage for us at http://www.mindspring.com/~dshaffer/iwa You can also call the official IWA hotline to get news on us at (502) 254-8045.
GM: Does it get hard for some of the guys do give it there all night after night when sometimes the crowds are very small?
JF: We have guys that love wrestling and they give it their all every time out. We have had only one guy come in and not go all out and that without naming any names, he was never brought back. We had almost 450 every week when we were doing the hardcore before the commission stopped us and just last week we had 260. The crowds are there and the guys know that if they don't go all out that the crowds won't be there. It is harder for the guys to give it their all because of being banged up and hurt than because of crowd turnout but when they got in the ring and heard the fans in the Madhouse of the MidSouth cheering them on or booing them, the pain went away until the match was over. I hope the fans stick by us while we hunt for a new home and that they turn the new place into a bigger Madhouse than the Arena ever was.
GM: What has been your favorite moment in IWA history?
JF: There has been far too many great moments to name just one but the most recent favorite moment had to be meeting Tommy Rich Thursday night at the show. It took me back to being the 4 year old in front of the tv cheering wildly as he feuded with Michael Hayes and Harley Race.
GM: Would you like to make your email address available to the fans?
JF: Sure thing. Anyone that has any questions or comments or want an IWA tapelist please feel free to contact me at IWAPROMOTR@aol.com. Thank you, Jim