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My Relationship with Wrestling: How the Monster Factory Saved My Fandom


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Here's something I wrote in the VOW forums I'd like to share with you


April 25th, 2015, my first day stepping foot inside the World Famous Monster Factory. To be honest, I was falling out of love with wrestling at this point of my life. I was doing a “This Week In Wrestling” type show called “Get in the Ring” at Montgomery County Community College and wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Trying to hard would be an understatement on what I was trying to do to get listeners. At the time, Montco Radio, the college’s internet radio station, had another show called Completely Damaged Radio with Cameron “RC” Hall, Matt Porter, and Fearon Derry; they would have guests from the local independent scene on the show. Two of their regular guests were Danny Cage, owner of the Monster Factory, and Ian Riccaboni, now ROH lead commentator but at the time was the lead commentator at the Monster Factory. My first impression of Danny Cage was a hard ass but I knew he was smart and savvy towards the wrestling business. My first impression of Ian was that he was a very humble and nice guy who wanted to succeed and I knew he would. One of the weeks Ian was on and I was already Facebook friends with, asked him if he would be on my show. He said yes and I interviewed Ian on my live Get in the Ring show but what changed my life was the conversation after the show.

At the time, I was finding it difficult to get into wrestling and nothing really excited me about the business. Sure I was going to shows around my area and what not but it wasn’t the same love I had before it. Another contributing factor was I helped out at 2 CZW shows and things didn’t go well for me there, so I was skeptical about coming back to wrestling. What I really wanted to do was work in the production side of wrestling and felt that my door was shut because of what happened at CZW. So after I talked to Ian on my show and stopped recording, I asked him his advice on becoming a production person inside of the wrestling business. He said, send Danny an email telling him who you are and what you want to do.

That afternoon I sent Danny an email expressing interest to doing production at the Monster Factory. I thought he was going to shrug me off and tell me no but he didn’t, he said come by the next event and I’ll do something with you. I go there on April 25, 2015 with an open heart and mind to what could happen at the Monster Factory. Boy was I glad I did that. It has led to me being there for the past 2 and a half years with experiences and meeting people I will have a lifelong bond with. Some examples include timekeeping for Nigel McGuinness for his drills. talking to Joel Gertner about the business, and other experiences. The people at the Monster Factory from Danny Cage on down to the new trainees didn’t treat me as some mark trying to get into the business without taking a bump. Part of the curriculum at the Monster Factory emphasizes the production elements of wrestling and how to wrestle for TV. I never felt that I was a step lower than anybody else. I felt I belonged and was grateful to be where I was.

The moment I truly knew this became a part of me was a couple of weekends ago at the MF Supercamp. Before I felt like I belonged but doing radio would be my true passion since I interned at a local rock station and loved doing that. This past weekend, the MF Supercamp was not only one of the greatest experiences I had in wrestling but one of the greatest experiences I had in life. Wrestling has shown me the discipline and the structure I need in my life because I have Aspergers which is a high functioning form of autism.

This weekend I made a connection with one of the coaches at the camp that I’ll surely never forget. Kevin Kelly, NJPW commentator and former producer of WWE and ROH, showed me great respect and admiration. We had a conversation Saturday morning that really changed my view on how people perceive me and other people with Aspergers. We talked about the similarities that me and his older son had and how we were almost mirror images of each other. That really humbled me because I hold Kevin in such high regard based on his work and to be reminded by a guy like him that I’m not alone speaks volumes to his character and as a human being.

The moral of this story is don’t give up on dreams just because you or other people feel that they don’t make sense. I feel that sharing my everyday struggles can help and inspire other people to make them feel what Kevin Kelly made me feel. Anybody can belong in the place that they dream of and can strive for whatever they want. Just keep trucking along and don’t let people step over you.

The Monster Factory hasn't only given me the inroads of experience to the wrestling business, it has given me a template of how to live my life and what passion people have for something they love. It has helped me through good times but also through the bad times. I was hospitalized a couple of months ago with issues for depression and rage, I called Danny Cage almost every night I was in the hospital and he answered every time.People don't realize how people can change your life for the positive and the Monster Factory has done that for me.

I’d like to thank Danny Cage, Ian Riccaboni and every person I met through the Monster Factory for making me step out of my shell into a place I call my second home.

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That's awesome man! I know the whole wrestling thing, even on a small level can be intimidating as hell when you are on the outside looking in. When I started doing the ring announcing for the local feds around me, I had the same fear that I would be viewed as "some mark trying to get in the business" and it always amazed me that the only people I ever got that from were some of the other nobody local/regional workers. The "name" wrestlers who came in like Shane Douglas, or the Barbarian were always the nicest, most respectful people. You mentioned Nigel McGuiness in your post, and man, what a fantastic guy he was to work with.


But seriously, good on you for following your dream and not letting fear, your condition, or anything else stand in your way. That takes balls, and a lot of people would have just stayed at home in their comfort zone.

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