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Journal 14
by Tony Kozina on 2000-10-17

Hello to all. I just got back from Nashville, TN. yesterday afternoon, and I head back out tomorrow evening to tour through BC for the rest of the week, so things have been busy to say the least. I figured now is a good time to tell some stories...

I caught the plane to Nashville at 7am on the day of the NWA 52nd anniversary show. Why they flew me in on the day of the show is beyond me, but what is even more beyond me is why I didn't pack until 10 pm the night before!!! Once again I believe it to be too many chair shots, but that's another story.

I manage to pack and catch about 4 hours of sleep, fly out Saturday morning, and I'm already a bit grumpy because I know it's off the plane and to the arena. The flights went well. I am slowly getting used to this whole flying thing. Smooth as silk I land in Nashville, make a call and get a ride from none other than NWA VP Bill Behrens. I like Bill. He's a straight shooter- cuts right through the BS, and is full of wisecracks which entertains me. Bill takes me to the hotel to check in where I meet NWA Michigan Jr. Heavyweight Champion Nate Matteson. I talked with him briefly and he seemed really cool. Unfortunately I wasn't able to hook up with him again because the weekend was just run, run, run, go, go, go...

I also met up with two of the coolest wrestling fans I've ever known who have come to be known as the "Storm Chasers". These guys- Shawn and Eric flew their carcasses all the way from Seattle to see me wrestle. On top of that they have been really cool to be around and are very respectful about the wrestling business. I actually met them a few months ago and thought they were joking when they said they were coming to Nashville. Anyways...

We all head to get some eats before the show and then it's to the arena- The Nashville Fairgrounds that I've heard so much about. Actually it's a great facility for wrestling. There I got a chance to see a lot of the fellas I have met from Charlotte, Pittsburgh, and the UK. It was really good to see those guys again.

My match with Vince Kaplack was near the end of the show, so I did get a chance to just sit and rest for a bit. The match itself was really good, I thought. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Vince knows his stuff very well. He got the clean pinfall after reversing a top rope frankensteiner with a sunset flip. Can you picture that??? Anyways, I was happy to shake his hand, but also told him that I was coming back soon for that belt. I was also glad that many of the NWA promoters were sitting at ringside during my match, because without patting myself on the back too much, I think that Kaplack vs. Kozina is a match that can tear the house down all across the country. Hopefully the promoters feel the same way. We'll see...

Now... Neither Dave Republic or I, the Storm Chasers, or even Howard Brody bothered to rent a car, so getting back to the hotel presented a bit of a challenge. Actually, Shawn and Eric had met the guys from NWA New England and unbeknownst to me flew the coop before the show even ended for extracurricular activities as it were. So there I am stranded at the arena, but ended up having a nice discussion with Howard, Dave, and NWA World Champion Mike Rapada. Eventually we all realize that we have no ride, but once again Bill Behrens saves the day after we scramble to find somebody hanging around.

I ended up having dinner and sharing some good thoughts with Dave Republic and Howard Brody about the NWA and where it's heading. Believe me- if everyone works together the NWA can be a HUGE wrestling force. In fact, now that I think of it, with the direction that things are going in the wrestling world, if indeed the NWA works together we could end up with the WWF and NWA as the two top groups just like the 1980's. AND it would prove the theory that I've heard from Matt Borne and Abdullah the Butcher that everything goes full circle in the wrestling business. Interesting....

Now where was I???

Oh yes, I had a great conversation with Brody and Republic. You know, I was pretty tired as we walked into the Denny's restaurant. Once the conversation started however, I ordered some coffee because I didn't want to miss a beat. Plus, anyone who knows me knows I always have my two cents to put in, so with those four cups of coffee I probably ended up putting in a buck and a quarter.

Needless to say I slept like a mad fool. Now Sunday is the NWA showcase of talent and I was looking forward to watching the action of the guys I have only read about on the net. I didn't realize, however, that the show started at 1pm. So my thoughts of having a nice leisurely afternoon of lying in bed and watching TV were crushed when I walked into the lobby only to have Bill Behrens inform me that we are "heading to the fairgrounds" and to "get the others". So the madness continues....

The showcase was interesting. I'd say the finest performances were from Johnny Moss and Jon Ryan who wrestle for NWA UK/Hammerlock Wrestling. I met those guys in February when I was there and we all quickly became friends. Actually I knew Johnny Moss from the Charlotte NWA Anniversary Show last year. I know, I know.... does it really matter? Probably not, but when I write my book in the future I suppose I should have all of my facts in place.

Nate Matteson- that is "Amazing" N8 Matteson also cranked out a fine performance I thought. I'd really like to wrestle him sometime. After the showcase show I finally had a chance to get together with the fellas. I had met the four guys from NWA New England- Jason Rumble, Beau, Chris, and Chris the day before but had yet to really talk with them. So a bunch of us met up at Hooter's for dinner. The UK guys, Chris Champion who is a really good guy, Shawn, Eric, and the four New England guys. We all ate there and then hung out for awhile at the hotel. The next day I flew home...

Now as you all may know by now, I don't really like flying that much. I think however that I've discovered the secret to keeping me sane on the plane. You see, to fully explain myself, I'm a bit of a nut. I'm worried about everything and I'm certain that I get this gift from my grandmother. So with my flight leaving Nashville at 7:15am I am worried sick that I'll oversleep and miss my flight. "Well Tone", you might ask, "just have the desk ring you when you need to leave". Nope. Can't trust the desk. Remember- I'm a nut. So the only certain solution I could come up with was to stay up all night, sitting there waiting to go. And that's EXACTLY what I did. Now, the great thing about this is that by the time I got seated on the plane I was so delerious that I could have cared less if we did 3 rolling backflips and plunged into Rocky Mountains upside down and on fire. My friends... It is thoughts like these.... It is revelations of this magnitude that I'm sure can only be reached when a person is at the threshold of lunacy that make me proud of myself for reasons unknown.

And with that I bid you all a fond farewell for now, and wish you all the laughter in the world

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Quotes from the boys: Moondog Manson says "The key to success in the wrestling business is by being humble, respectful, and paying your dues. With out these you will fail.".
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