My wife and I have a huge garden in the back of our house. We’ve got the land to do it, so two years ago, I excavated, getting everything ready. Soil was added and then we put in the seeds. Some mature plants were put in as well to increase the yield. Not every seed sprouted but at the end, we had a great harvest last year and expect to have another one this year.
This past Saturday, I worked with some young, up-and-coming wrestlers at Pretty Boy Larry Sharpe’s Monster Factory, where I was invited to be a guest speaker, hosting a camp on how to speak on camera. On the drive home, I realized the Monster Factory is like my garden, with growth and hope and happiness and disappointment. Just like the seed that doesn’t grow, not every hopeful wrestler will make it but those that are harvested from the Monster Factory will be a hearty crop and the plants will be strong, able to withstand any harsh elements.
Danny Cage is a Monster Factory product who now runs the school. He is a proud graduate who had to give up competing several years ago due to injury but is blunt in his critiques but caring in the opportunities he gives. When I got there, Danny gave me a tour of the school in Paulsboro, complete with photos of the many great wrestlers that Larry Sharpe’s school has produced since they opened in 1983. One famous photo of a match featuring Larry Sharpe and Terry Funk caught my eye. One of dozens that cover the walls. Be sure to ask about that famous picture, if you ever visit the place.
Bell time at 7 and the action was on. Old school show in front of a crowd filled with kids. The tag team champs, AC Roc are so “over”… just a smidge, I sarcastically said to Cage, who had smartened me up ahead of time to the popularity of Marc Cruz and Shaheem Ali. Great, great match against ROH’s Team Benchmark. Fantastic wrestling match with the Battle of the Brutals… ROH’s Brutal Bob Evans vs Monster Factory Champion Brutal Joe Gibson, that saw Gibson turn on the fans, join a villainous trio and leave Evans laying. It’s a shame because Brutal Bob was on his way to becoming the champion.
Speaking of Brutal Bob, he’s one of the veterans that Danny Cage books to come in and help instruct and compete. He’s one of the best trainers in the business. The regular training staff features the Blue Meanie and Wild Bill Wiles. I’ve known Meanie for years but I met Wiles for the first time this past Saturday. Both compliment Cage nicely to round out the training. Wiles, who competed in ECW, is a Monster Factory product and Meanie was trained by Al Snow and has tons of experience in ECW and WWE.
Not everyone that trains at the Monster Factory will make it but one young man is well on his way. NXT’s Steve Cutler is a Monster Factory product and an Afghanistan war veteran who was signed earlier this year and his impressing trainers with his work ethic and dedication. Cage told me it’s not surprising, considering he was the same way when he trained at the Factory. Look for Cutler to make his way to Raw because he’s not going to be denied.
I am proud of what we do in regards to Talent Development in Ring of Honor but the Monster Factory takes seeds and grows crops in a setting that rivals the Performance Center. Everything that is at the Performance Center is at the Monster Factory, except it’s not all shiny and new.
As someone who has personally worked in Talent Development for 15 years, I personally endorse the Monster Factory as a training center.
And the Red Scorpion should have his own reality show. Word.
Want to contact the Monster Factory or learn more? www.monsterfactory.org on the ‘net. On Facebook at The-Monster-Factory and on Twitter @4MonsterFactory.
Any thoughts for me? On Twitter @RealKevinKelly