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Pollo Del Mar On Jay Lethal, Jeff Jarrett, OVW, Kratos

ON HEELS (Digital Edition) for 03-09-23


TAKE THIS AS literally as you like, but I never saw it coming.

I certainly didn’t foresee JR Kratos heinously attacking me during a recent National Wrestling Alliance broadcast. Likewise, I could never have predicted the outpouring of fan support that followed.


On a February episode of the flagship program NWA Powerrr, “The Thrillbilly” Silas Mason again faced Kratos. It was the second match in a rivalry that kicked off amidst the NWA’s Champion Series.

During the first encounter, my loyalties were divided. Naturally, I wanted Silas to win. But, as Captain’s Assistant for Team Brickhouse, NWA World Women’s champion Kamille forced me to cheer on our team member Kratos. (Silas won anyway … yay!I)

When they again squared off, there were no distractions, as I rallied Knoxville behind its homegrown hero. In a rare moment of emotion, I slid into the ring, urging the ref to check Silas. That’s when the former NWA World tag team champion struck. It was violent and uncalled for; a thoroughly disgusting and unprovoked assault.

After pouncing me clean out of the ring, showing exactly the kind of Durn Dirty No-Gooder he truly is, Kratos secured a tainted victory. But that’s not where the story ends—not by a long shot!


At NWA’s Nuff Said in Tampa, “The Most Feared” became “the most bloodied!” When my baby sidestepped a huge splash attempt in the corner, Kratos knocked himself silly on a turnbuckle he exposed. In a pool of blood center-ring, Silas secured a gruesome, yet glorious, TKO victory to teach him a lesson!

Naturally, everyone loves a winner—and, with each match, it’s blatantly obvious we’re one step closer to NWA gold. Next in our crosshairs: cowardly NWA National Champion The Great Cyon and his geriatric father Austin Idol.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter if fans support our journey or not. Most are fickle and selfish when showing love. Someone wise once said, “Your approval is neither required nor desired.” And truer words have never been spoken.

However, I can understand the sudden about-face. “Big Daddy Thrill” and I are undeniable, the epitome of must-watch programming. How could anyone in NWA take their eyes off “6’6” Of Oooooh Yummy, Honey” and “The Lovely” Pollo Del Mar? The answer is simple: They can’t … and never could.

With that in mind, the sudden affection is easy to comprehend—but it’s equally clear the only thing that’s “changed” is how folks see us.


As one of today’s longest, continuously running promotions, Ohio Valley Wrestling saw greats like John Cena, Batista, Randy Orton, and Cody Rhodes long before most of the world.

Now, between its popular YouTube series and extended streaming and broadcast agreements, more eyes than ever are on the hallowed halls of Davis Arena! The company’s recent growth was arguably built on the well-defined back of Jessie Godderz.

Whether for two reigns as IMPACT World tag champion or as a contestant and ongoing talking head for TV’s Big Brother, “Mr. PEC-tacular” is a name known to many. Those paying attention, though, recognize him as OVW’s crown jewel.

For much of 2022, Godderz and manager Shannon “The Dude” plotted to regain OVW’s National heavyweight title from “The Indian Lion” Mahabali Shera. Having finally succeeded, the dastardly duo devised a delightfully devious defense. Taking a page from greats of generations past, Godderz aligned himself with some of the company’s most established and promising competitors.

Flanked by multi-time OVW champion Adam Revolver, well-traveled veteran EC3, and upstart “Certified” Luke Kurtis, “The Dude” even convinced former rival Shera to join their “Godderz Gang.” With a protective phalanx of beef, Godderz and the belt seem very secure!

Together, these men have run roughshod over opponents, collecting myriad titles and dishing out punishment along the way. Not since Josh Ashcraft’s long-since-dismantled Legacy of Brutality has an OVW faction proved so devastating.

For Godderz, perhaps it’s a means to an end: protecting that coveted gold. For others—notably Kurtis, who, as OVW’s impressive Rush division champion, shines exceptionally bright in the mix—I suspect it’s a launching pad for much, much more.

For the promotion, though, it’s a testament to its motto. With OVW, you truly do “See The Superstars Of Tomorrow Today.”


It’s taken far too long for Jay Lethal to find his footing in All Elite Wrestling. The Ring of Honor legend floundered amid less-than-compelling outings upon his arrival. His partnership with Sonjay Dutt and “One In A Billion” Satnam Singh also seemed questionable.

Enter Jeff Jarrett.

Despite their performances as Ric Flair’s seemingly hand-selected final opponents, I was initially skeptical. Now, with time to gel, the pairing is hitting its stride in an apparent quest for the highly competitive division’s tag team gold.


On the February 22 Dynamite, Jarrett and Lethal earned a multi-team shot at champs The Gunns, which took place at Revolution on March 6. As challenging as it is for anyone to truly stand out in AEW, Lethal and Jarrett are masters of the game. Having each won countless titles across nearly every promotion going today, both should have felt like major individual acquisitions for AEW in their own right … yet neither did.

But now, together, they inch closer to a deserved AEW spotlight with each outing. When all is said and done, the partnership just might be a stroke of genius for both.

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On Heels: Wardlow, Samoa Joe, GCW’s Kevin Gill

Samoa Joe lets out a war cry at Full Gear in Newark, NJ, November 2022

ON HEELS: Wardlow, Samoa Joe, GCW’s Kevin Gill


THOUGH I’M MOST comfortable guiding my talents to victory from the safety of ringside, never take the fact that I don’t enter the ring as meaning I can’t!

No, I am not discussing the countless uncalled-for instances where wrestlers have laid their hands on me as I work my managerial magic. Unfortunately, that occurs far more than I care to admit. Last spring, Mia Yim knocked out my tooth … and Jacob Fatu broke my ribs just months later!

More than once in 2022, however, my hand has been forced—requiring me to defend myself.

Early this year, during Game Changer Wrestling’s San Francisco debut, Joey Janela took apparent offense to me cheering on DARK Sheik during their match. He violently assaulted me even before the bell.

After regaining my composure, I exacted a modicum of revenge—powerbombing “The Bad Boy” through a table. Doing so in seven-inch platform heels seemingly shocked many, leading to a “Moment Of The Year” nomination in the annual Outsports QWI Awards.

Most recently, though, I put the heels aside and climbed between the ropes to wrestle. On Halloween Eve, at Underground Wrestling Alliance Devil’s Night 17, I led The Agenda into eight-person action against The Circus of Sin.

Our place as the most dominant faction in UGWA’s storied history—and, for that matter, all of California—was challenged by Funnybone, Super Beast, Abigail Warren, and vile leader KP. Months of skullduggery and ceaseless, unprovoked attacks against my glamour, beauty, and managerial genius led to one epic night.

Once KP and I were face-to-face—and my earrings came off—their fate was sealed! Like glitter you simply can’t get rid of, I was all over that frightful cretin as we brawled into a corner. Eventually, they, too, felt the wrath of my “Pollo Bomb”!

Even The Circus of Sin grew tired of KP, as each member ultimately delivered beatings to their hapless former ally. Who am I to be swayed by such misfortune? I offered a final, devastating elbow drop to the doughy dumbass and secured the pin!

That same night, UGWA tag team champions Money Power Re$pect (Marco Mayur & Fabuloso Fabricio), “Link to the Future” Anton Voorhees, and I continued our celebration. We gathered ringside as DARK Sheik regained the UGWA Championship of Sharks.

Once again, we reign supreme. Everyone in California, and soon beyond, will know: You’re either with The Agenda … or you’re on our agenda!


Samoa Joe lets out a war cry at Full Gear in Newark, NJ, November 2022
Pollo Del Mar applauds the return of Samoa Joe’s killer instinct in All Elite Wrestling, which led him to become a double champion at Full Gear 2022. (PHOTO BY JAYLEE MEDIA)

Did Ring of Honor Television champion Samoa Joe attacking AEW TNT champion Wardlow on a recent episode of Dynamite make sense to me?

Not particularly, but I certainly didn’t cry over the dissolution of the all-too-brief WardJoe partnership. Frankly, it gave me something I have waited far too long to see!

Few AEW debuts inspired the excitement I felt for Joe’s. Criminally underutilized by WWE, where he unquestionably should have been World champion, injury nearly robbed him of all opportunity to rectify that elsewhere.

In AEW, I hoped Joe would emerge as a killer poised to right that wrong. (Re)capturing the ROH TV title teased the possibility … but when? After a few matches, Joe disappeared from the very television he purportedly represented and faded into an afterthought. (Not uncommon in the bloated AEW, it seems, where sidelined or underutilized talents exceed even most larger-scale Indie rosters.)

All that changed at Full Gear! In front of a sold-out crowd, the devious Samoan snatched victory from Wardlow, putting away Powerhouse Hobbs in triple-threat action to become the new AEW TNT champion.

Fans can whine and complain about Joe’s underhanded tactics. They can bemoan Wardlow losing his belt without actually being defeated. Say whatever you like; it does not change facts.

Samoa Joe is a former ROH and IMPACT World champion, can brag about carrying major title belts around the globe, and now joins a select few to become a double-champion within AEW. Joe has finally reclaimed all that was nearly taken from him, and I, for one, love to see it.

Indeed, I’d love to see even more. Perhaps it’s time AEW crowns its own Samoan Dynasty.


How verrry dare you, Kevin Gill?!

After decades as a West Coast-based hype man, the pro wrestling vocal legend has packed it in! No, he’s not retiring, but the man known to fans worldwide as “The Voice Of GCW” and beyond announced his shocking decision to leave the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The O.G.” briefly discussed this relocation during a recent appearance on Busted Open Radio. There, he joined host Dave LaGreca and Thunder Rosa to share his lifelong love affair with deathmatch wrestling and how today’s Game Changer Wrestling—where Kevin’s commentary is an experience-altering must—continues that tradition.

I don’t care that Kevin’s move is fueled by golden intentions! What do I give a damn about some bleeding heart softie’s desire to be closer to and better able to support and assist loved ones in times of need and crisis?!

Kevin never shook the New York, which is obvious to any who have heard him call matches from Kansas to Korakuen Hall. And yet, the West Coast had stolen one of the best play-by-play men not signed to a major company.

And now this?!

Oh, Kevin Gill, you will rue the day you turned your back on California. And I might yet be the one to personally make you pay!

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Full spread (dual cover) of April 2022 PWI

FROM THE DESK OF … [April 2022 PWI; A Plea To MJF]

Full spread (dual cover) of April 2022 PWI
Back/front cover of PWI April 2022 issue

TEMPTING AS IT is to use this space to reminisce about 2021, that’s not what I’m going to do here. At the risk of seeming biased, I’ve instead got some things I’d like to say about Maxwell Jacob Friedman.

This year, MJF took home PWI’s notorious Most Hated Wrestler of the Year Award in what amounted to a landslide. He received more votes for Most Hated than any winner in any other category. He’s ably played his job as a villain, although he’s crossed a few lines that some of us wished he wouldn’t have. (That comment about Melanie Pillman? C’mon, Max.)

Friedman has made a choice to be detestable, and it’s mostly working out. As much as he claims to be “Salt Of The Earth,” he’s been pretty much untouchable in AEW. And, when I say “untouchable,” I mean that literally. Over the last 12 months or so, MJF has talked a much bigger game than he’s played, leaning heavily on his cohorts in The Pinnacle or, just as often, choosing not to compete at all.

And I get it. After all, it’s pretty easy to boast a high win-loss percentage when you take most weeks off from competition.

At press time, MJF has wrestled about a dozen-and-a-half times in 2021. Compare that with 2019, when he signed with AEW—and wrestled 84 matches. Sure, it’s important not to burn yourself out, but Friedman enjoys a relatively light schedule compared to the other “Pillars Of AEW.” For instance, Jungle Boy has wrestled 52 matches in 2021, as of this writing.

It’s certainly not because MJF can’t go. He’s in incredible shape; has remarkable stamina. He’s proven that he’s a great mat wrestler, showcasing technical ability that rivals his ego. His talents between matches—his vicious promos, his singing voice—are proof positive that he’s not only gifted, but willing to put in the work. And yet … he trades verbal insults far more than holds.

Deep down, I’m convinced MJF doubts his own merit. Though he appears confident, he’s taken shortcut after shortcut to win matches, and he’s made opponents, like Chris Jericho, jump through hoops merely for the chance to punch him in the mouth.

And that mouth. Whew! There’s no denying MJF has a unique ability to talk fans into seats, and foes into encounters they may not be quite ready for. The guy, for all his faults, has “Future World Champion” written all over him. But he’s not going to get there unless he allows himself to be vulnerable—to take the chance that he might actually get his butt kicked more often.

Max, if you happen to read this—and I have a feeling you might—please realize you won’t get where you want to be by coasting. Get out there and wrestle. Wrestle at least half as much as you talk. And rely on your actual abilities inside the ring. Because, at the end of the day, you’re good enough to be the star you already say you are. But, first, you need to get out of your own way.

Kevin McElvaney

Pro Wrestling Illustrated