Friday, June 26, 2009

Coach's Corner: "Eric Wayne - Road to Legacy or Path to Self Destruction??"

----As I take a look at the path of the Eric Wayne’s career, I would like to first say I have no dog in this race. Wayne has been referred by more than one worker to me as - “your boy”. The truth of the matter is that Wayne and I are not friends. We have never gone out to eat together or talked for hours on the phone. I can’t say that about some workers in this area, because I talked to some of the guys in this area at least once a week thru e-mail, texts or calls. Eric has always been very cordial and very respective to me – like many of the young guys in this area. Not only am I the “web site guy”, but to many of the young guys I am an “old timer” and get that respect. I am also still a fan at heart and love to see a kid with talent that seems to have a huge future in this business. And that brings me to this column. Is this guy headed for a long future with success in this business or will he fall by the wayside because of his attitude, his mistakes and because he is the son of Ken Wayne??

-November, 2006

“West Memphis, AR had the debut of Eric Wayne last night. I was told his match with Kevin Nikels, who was also making his pro debut, was very good. It was said that you could not tell it was their first bout.”

-February, 2007

“Kid Nikels and Eric Wayne being trainees of Ken Wayne. I am being told that Eric and Nikels also work on Friday nights in Humboldt, TN for NWA Mid-South. They have got to work guys like Motley Cruz and Don Bass, so these guys can only improve. I look for them being two strong candidates for “rookie of the year” in 2007.”

-September, 2007

----Wayne spent most of 2007 working for MEWA in Batesville, AR feuding with other trainees. His first title win of his career was the MEWA Title. The crowds were really good for the shows [shows were free], but I was told the matches were not always the best. The trainees were some of the top on the crew working each other aside from Ray Ray and Tommy Wayne.

-November, 2007

-----MEWA closed shop with Kid Nikels and Matt Justyce still recognized as champions. Wayne worked the opening match of that show.

-February, 2008

----After watching the Graduation Match – Kid Nikels vs Eric Wayne – I wrote the following…

“This is really nothing against RRO 2007 Rookie of the Year Ramsey Cahill, but both Nikels and Wayne were robbed when it came to that award this year.”

----From the Coach’s Corner “The Future’s So Bright I Got To Wear Shades..”

----Eric Wayne has some of the same characteristics as Nikels in work ethic and learning. He has the most potential of this crew at being the best all around worker and wrestler. I see Wayne getting the chance to work ROH and possibly Japan in the future. Will he ever be a big star in the US?? He might at the level of say Bryan Danielson, which is not bad. He has a “leg up” than most of the guys – he is a third generation worker and that will sometimes have doors open that would not have opened. It might sometimes hinder him though – expect too much from him. Some of you reading this are too young to know this, but not only is Eric the son of a worker, but he is the son of a VERY GOOD worker.

-October, 2008

----Below is what was written after a few shows of NEW…

“A group of die hard smart fans that just sit there and marked out for not really the people – we marked out for the TALENT!!! I think the main reason most people have wondered “why is Tramel putting over these trainees” is because there is a certain level of a trainee that in this area that we have become accustomed to – green as shit and can’t work. Believe me – for shoot – these “trainees” can out wrestle 80% of the boys in this area.”
-November, 2008

----After the first four NEW shows, Eric Wayne was getting rave reviews after competing in four bouts over [***]. Dustin Starr comments, “He’s been overly-praised, in my opinion, on…”

-December, 2008

----Wayne kicks Scott Fury in the face. Many were saying he was careless and others thought it was just Fury coming into Wayne’s foot too quick. Wayne talks about kicking him in the face the next week on an interview. Fury never returns calls or returns to NEW.

----Wayne was featured on The Starr Treatment with an “Eric Speaks” column. It really didn’t paint Wayne in a good light with people in this area. Others said Eric was just “working” his heel persona, but isn’t that what all workers say when they don’t come out looking good??

“There are always those certain few people out there that feel a need to hate on a person for whatever reason. Whether it’s your own jealousy because you can’t perform at that same level or feeling like you deserve more or WHATEVER the case may be. The bottom line is this, I have worked very hard to get to where I am today. I’m also not stopping because my name is on the tips of so many people’s tongues either. Big deal that you don’t like me, dont watch me. I think Dustin might be one of these people that feels that where I have gotten in this business in just two years is undeserved.”

“There’s a difference between the boys liking you and the office liking you. To my knowledge, I’ve never had a company tell me or my dad that they don’t want me back because of my poor attitude. I’ve always gone out and given my best efforts in every match. I will apologize if my worst effort is better than some of the best efforts put out by the guys in this business now though.”

----Gene Jackson commented on the kick…

“The kick in question in the corner just happened and I really think the backlash from this was a bit overblown. Perhaps it was a bit reckless but clearly accidental, though if I was Scott Fury I still probably would've been pissed also.”

-January, 2009

-----RRO Awards 2008 are announced - Arena Report Match of the Year: Kid Nikels vs Eric Wayne [****1/4] West Memphis, AR 2.10.08 and Horizon Award winner: Eric Wayne.
-March, 2009

----I start getting comments like “Your savior of wrestling” is fucking up and He will not listen to anything in matches.” Other things like, “I like Eric, but I don’t like Eric the worker.” And, “damn, he whines all the time.” And finally, “they [kid/Eric] are not as good as you say.”

-May, 2009

----Wayne kicks Greg King Jr in the face. This is what I wrote about it that night...

“King is then kicked in the face [LEGIT] and goes to the outside of the ring in agony. “

“Not only did we get a US JR Champion last night, but the biggest story coming out of the show will probably be the kick to the face from Eric Wayne to Greg King Jr. It was a loud sickening thud and King went down and rolled out of the ring in agony. King was screaming and at that point everyone knew something went wrong. King was in some extreme pain. I learned this morning it looks like there are two broken orbital bones and a broken sinus bone. That match had to be called and now let the controversy begin. I know its all part of the business [it is not Bingo guys], but Eric Wayne is starting to get a rep of hurting people. A big part of the business is taking care of your opponent and not maiming them also. Even though they promote a stiffer style, nothing about his is a good thing. This kind of thing is not something they will want in the big time. Greg King’s mother was real upset and can you blame her?? I also was told that Kid Nikels and Wayne had words after the show about it.”

“King’s mom was very upset and even felt like an ambulance should have been called at one point. She was also vocal in saying, “He [Eric] just does this stuff all the time.” She was upset and you can’t blame her – it was her son. The storyline was having Ring beat King for Ring to advance against Wayne. King’s injury did not affect the actual booking of the show…King did come out and introduced to work Ring, but storyline had Ken Wayne stopping him from working”
“I have been told by other workers that the guys from Ken’s school do not work as good outside of the school. In the sense that the NEW building is their “comfort zone”. They also have their best matches against each other – that is all understandable because that is what happens when you train with someone. I have heard that criticism mainly about Eric/Nikels/Justyce with King being apart from them on this.”

“After the King incident, Wayne came out to the main event and had very little reaction. He also made some comment about, “I will do to you what I did to Greg King,” to Ring during the bout that just got a groan from the crowd.”

----Wayne was called careless by Dustin Starr for this and many starting saying he was hurting too many people. Even guys from the school were showing up with marks on their heads with them saying Wayne did it.

----From The Starr Treatment..kingjester wrote the following…..

“As someone who is close to the King family, I am as outraged as everybody else. His folks are taking Greg Jr. to the doctor today. Who knows? Surgery might be required. In between the two times you mentioned, Eric also busted Kid Nickels head open “accidently”. Whether this is a result of Eric having an entire promotion basically built around him, a lack of skills, or a personality issue, this has to stop now. If this keeps up, nobody will want to go to work for NEW. And if NEW folds, Eric will have problems because his reputation will proceed him.”

----Wayne did compete for the finals in the JR Title tourney and ranked a [****] vs Dustin Ring, who beat him for the belt that night.

----Starr wrote the following..

“The fact of the matter is this – when someone steps in the ring with you, they trust you with their body. When you kick a guy’s teeth out… then turn around and break bones in another guy’s face – you’re doing something wrong. You’re being careless, reckless and you do not respect them or their body. If I were Ken Wayne, Eric’s father and trainer, I’d keep Eric out of a wrestling ring until he learned how to protect his opponent.”

----I had to agree with Dustin Starr 100% here. It was time to sit Eric out for a few weeks for either punishment or out of respect of King.

----During a match with “Picture Perfect” at EWE, Wayne took Christian Jacobs outside the ring and suplexed him on the hard part of the ring apron. I was told, “Eric does not listen and just has his own agenda.” I am also being told constantly that they don’t look as good as they do at the school. Excuse being given is that the talent is not as good at EWE; what??

----NEW opened the next week with an angle out of the Greg King Jr angle. That angle has been dropped because King has stopped returning their calls also. Do we see a pattern here??

----Wayne receives a cut on his nose at EWE Mayhem. He did show it to me backstage, but many people said he was whining about it that night and days after it.

----Downtown Bruno wrote the following in this debut column…

“I’ve known Eric basically all of his life and can honestly say that he has paid his dues in the business. I’ve seen the busted fingers, black eyes ,swollen elbows,etc.”

“Anyway, my point is that “3-G” Wayne is another example of the "promoter’s son" who gets an unfair shake by some nay-sayers who don’t stop to look at the big picture. The kid works his ass off, takes a lot of punishment without bitching or crying about it and comes back week after week to do it again. He does it for not a hell of a lot of money, but the experience is priceless. The learning is invaluable and the dues are being paid in full - week after week.”

-June, 2008

“Eric Wayne, Kid Nikels and Dustin Starr were all in Birmingham, AL today. They worked out in the afternoons and it seems to have been a positive experience for all of them. They were watched by Dean Malenko, Jamie Noble and Fit Finley. They were not used in an on camera capacity. They will all be in Memphis, TN tomorrow night for Smackdown. Good luck guys!!!”

----I was told that Wayne and Nikels were both told things to do to improve their appearances and skills. That is a pretty much a norm for this kind of meeting. It was reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter than Wayne got a look backstage and none of the other trainees were mentioned. This reminded me of the comments about him getting better treatment.

----The story coming out of the session was from Memphis, when Wayne was introduced to Randy Orton. Starr reported pretty much a “tongue-in-cheek” version that got him tons of heat. It was a story making the dressing rooms for a few weeks. Starr wrote the following…

“Orton, “What did you go and do that for?” Stumbling and stammering over his own words for a moment, Eric tries to explain. For some reason, things just don’t come out right. So, Eric finally tells Orton, “Well, he deserved it!” “

----Orton walked away with his head down. This comment was inexcusable. It was a big rumor all over the dressing rooms with it being confirmed by a few in one form or another. Derrick King, Dustin Starr and I even ribbed Wayne a bit about it at the Tank Benefit show. Overall it was a very stupid thing to say and no respect for King or his family. Kingjester commented the following on The Starr Treatment..

“Wow. Just Wow. How did Greg Jr. deserve this, Eric? Did he deserve it because he chauffeured you and the rest of the guys to your matches because you guys didn’t have cars? Did he deserve it because he taught the younger guys for your Dad for no pay? Did he deserve it because he was at the school everyday working his butt off to achieve his goals? One thing I know, this young man deserved the opportunity to be in front of the WWE in Birmingham and Memphis. He lost that opportunity because of you. Intentionally or unintentionally. This goes way beyond Classless.”

----The story makes, which is an UK based wrestling site injunction with the world popular The Sun. RT of wrestlingglobe tweeted..

“Funny story on Randy Orton tooling an indy worker backstage at Raw a couple of weeks ago”

----Wayne commented with the following..

“You stupid motherfucker! Before you go saying shit why don't you make sure you got you're fucking story right you goof?’

----Seth Knight went on to tweet the following…

“If you don't want someone to tell a "bogus" story about u or anyone else the only way to prevent it is to tell the "real" story first. True?”

----After the Tank Benefit I was trying to say “thank you” to as many people as I could. I walked in to inform Eric Wayne and Kid Nikels that we raised over $600 for Tank. Eric’s response, “Well we will get a payoff then.” And my respond was, “this was a benefit – no one is getting paid.” Eric said, “We drove from Memphis.” And that made me mad. It pissed me off. No one was getting paid for this show and everyone knew it. I have since learned that not all benefits are like this, but this one was a freebie to help Tank’s family. If Eric did not know that, then it was his fault – he should have asked someone. Everyone was booked on this show thru a lot of “word of mouth”, but it was clear to everyone that there would be no payoff. I did tell a few people about this, because as I said, I was pissed me off. One local guy said, “You should have asked him about all those guys drive to West Memphis from Dyersburg for free or almost free.” Another worker said, “You guys should do a book with Eric – the many ways to kill your wrestling career.”

----Wayne did participate in the main event at the Tank Benefit show and had a good showing. He took some really stiff stuff from Crazy Train and worked hard to do his part.

----Chris O’Neal is injured and everyone starts calling me pointing fingers at Wayne. Starr had this to say..

“Also, if you go to RRO News, you’ll see the true video and a few quotes from Brian Tramel, himself (linked below). He says, “Apparently O’Neal told Wayne to look out for his bad knee before they went out and then by the video it looks like Wayne went right for that knee?? Is this another case of Wayne being careless??“ Wow. Very gutsy to point the finger at Eric. Especially, considering Chris had a bad knee to begin with. Chris was told to have surgery a while back and refused. I like that about him. However, Eric did roll into Chris’ knee from what I can see on the video.”

----I have to give Eric the benefit of the doubt on this one as it looked like a freak accident. He also had a good match that night in a brawl with Christian Jacobs.

---Starr reported on The Starr Treatment the following…

“These daddy’s think they have to call me to protect their sons from bad-doing. Whether it’s in the ring, in the locker room or even on this blog – these daddy’s feel VERY intimidated by the power that I hold. “

----Was he working or shooting here?? Is it possible that Ken Wayne has called Starr about the blog reports?? Who else could he be talking about??

----I guess being a son of a famous wrestler in this area can not be easy. “Nightmare” Ken Wayne’s name was spoken in the same breath as Bobby Eaton and Ric Flair when I was talking with Ricky Morton earlier this year. Will we continue to write about all the bad things that Wayne is doing?? Is he getting a bad rep for no reason?? Will this kid be mentioned in the same breath as Shawn Stasiak and Brian Christopher?? Or in the same breath as a guy like Randy Orton, who was trouble for years and came out of it?? Will he even get that chance to get even at the level of a Stasiak?? Or will he just be a good worker that only makes it because he is being pushed in his dad’s promotion?? My advice to him would be to do what the WWE told you to improve yourself. Keep your mouth and listen. There are a lot guys in this area that will help, but you have to listen. You have to remember that just because your dad was a great wrestler, it doesn’t mean you will get the respect from the boys in this area – you have to earn that. And if you could care less about what people think in this area or your fellow workers or what the WWE is saying to you – you will just keep going down the same path.