Three years of living my dream

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“In my life, I’ve been a movie star, a rock star and a sports star all wrapped into one and worked harder at it than anybody else,”

– “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair

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There are moments in your life that you will never forget. 

Some of those include your getting your first job, high school graduation, the births of your children, the loss of a closed loved one or maybe realizing you’ve met that special someone meant for you.

I’ve been through all of those. There so many moments that I don’t think I will ever forget. I accepted my dream job five years ago on March 9, 2016 when I made the decision to come back and be publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle.

I always had another dream job that I wasn’t sure I would ever have the chance to do. I wanted to be involved in the professional wrestling business in some form or fashion. Being a writer for World Wrestling Entertainment was something I always dreamed about. For about a decade now, I think WWE has needed me much more than I’ve needed them. 

I cannot go into all of the details of how it happened, but three years ago, I had the opportunity to become owner of a local wrestling company that I renamed New Era Wrestling. I had no idea how I would be received by the fans, the workers or the talent. I was a guy from outside the business coming in to build something different than people had ever seen in our area. I was shocked to be welcomed with open arms, and now, three years later, I have built some relationships in the wrestling business that I treasure. The NEW locker room is a family. The only person I really don’t like is a guy named Greg Dotson. He has been a thorn in my side for three years now.

The first show was at Parrish High School in April 2018, and we have since held most shows at Swann Gym in Jasper but also performed in front of people at Dora High, Lupton Junior High and the Townley Community Center. One of the things I love to hear most is when people who attend every show come up afterwards to tell me it was the best one yet. Fans are always so appreciative of the work that goes into our shows. It is the best entertainment in our area, and we even received votes in the Daily Mountain Eagle’s Readers’ Choice Awards that had us named the third best event behind established events such as Foothills Festival and Art in the Park. Neither of those took place in 2020, so I’m claiming we were the best event of that year.

New Era Wrestling events are a team effort. I’m just the figure head. I pull my share of weight, but there are so many other people who make it happen. I won’t try to name them because I will leave someone out They know who they are and how much I appreciate them.

NEW has grown into a statewide phenomenon. We have fans flocking to Walker County each month from as far ways as Georgia and Tennessee. We bring in wrestlers and their families from all over the country. All those folks purchase gas and eat food here in our community. Many of them shop here on a day of a show. We feel we now have an economic impact on our community as well as providing incredible family entertainment.

I have even been able to step into a ring a couple times as a wrestler. The last time was about a year ago, and a riot just about took place during my match. I like to joke that my nickname should be “The Draw,” but that’s really not the case at all. The draws are the athletes that we bring in. Many of our mainstays are people who have been featured on WWE, AEW, Impact or Ring of Honor promotions. We have also had hall of fame caliber wrestlers such as Tommy Dreamer, Rhyno and Shane Douglas on our shows. On our anniversary show in April, we will have one of the best wrestlers in the world, Impact X-Division Champion Ace Austin. We also have homegrown talent like Bubba Cagle, Dawson Kimbrell, Cody Windham, and even Greg Dotson. 

Anniversary III is our next show. It is scheduled for April 17 at Swann Gym in Jasper. Look up New Era Wrestling – Alabama on Facebook to find out more information. 

Some wrestling companies like to point out they are the best in any given area, but at New Era Wrestling we say that we are simply the best at what we do. What we do is put on incredible shows.

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James Phillips is a stylin’, profilin’, limousine-riding, jet-flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ ‘n’ dealin’ son of a gun. He is also editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at 205-221-2840 or james.phillips@mountaineagle.com.