Wrestlers from the East Tennessee area will get a chance to take the spotlight at a television taping for Great American Wrestling (GAW) on Friday night.
“We are trying to bring wrestling back to the Knoxville area in a major way,” GAW promoter Troy Lowe said. “Expect to see an old-fashioned, southern-style wrestling show.”
Lowe said regional talent will be the very backbone of the wrestling company.
“There will be a strong focus on talent from the Knoxville area and the surrounding communities,” Lowe said. “You can go back as far as the 1960s and see that wrestling fans from the Knoxville area really care about the local wrestlers — some of the biggest names (in the 1960s/70s) were regional wrestlers like Ron Wright and Whitey Caldwell.”
A few legends like Ricky Morton, an internationally recognized tag-team champion, will make an appearance at GAW, yet it is the regional talent that will define the promotion.
“Wrestling fans want to see the local guys on television and in person, and they will have that chance with Great American Wrestling,” Lowe said.
Jason Maxx, half of the tag team known as the Death Row Inmates, has been wrestling for more than 16 years. He believes that local wrestlers need a promotion like GAW for exposure.
“If we don’t support, encourage, and groom our local (talent), we will not have any future world-renowned stars,” he said.
Wrestling personality Vinnie “Funkmaster V” Vineyard said GAW is well-stocked with talent.
“This area is rife with solid wrestlers,” he said. “We have had the talent, we just needed a platform to display it on.”
GAW will also focus on characters, Vineyard added.
“I think fans want to see more than just two (guys wrestle),” he said. “Fans want to see wrestlers with character. I think they want a wrestler they can get to know and (root for). We plan to have characters, interview segments, a little comedy — I think it will blow people away when they see it.”
The television taping will begin airing on WTNZ-TV, Fox 43, at noon on Aug. 29. However, not every match will be shown on television.
“Some of the matches will not be shown on TV,” Lowe said. “Fans should go to the show if they want the full Great American Wrestling experience.”