Backstage at the Indies – “It Hurts, It Hurts!”, WWE Stomping Grounds Wrap-Up

Evan Ginzburg (associate producer for the Oscar-nominated film “The Wrestler” and the exceptional wrestling documentary “350 Days“) pulls no punches here in the latest edition of Ginzburg’s Gab. He shares his recent experience being a part of an indie show at the storied Elks Lodge in Queens, New York, he gives his take on this past Sunday’s WWE Stomping Grounds pay-per-view, and he opens up about former wrestler and manager Rocky King who is in dire need for our support.

Ginzburg’s Gab – June 25, 2019 Edition

Welcome to Ginzburg’s Gab, a feature here at Pro Wrestling Stories on all things wrestling- then and now. In these columns, I’ll endeavor to give you insight into my current projects and my often old-school thoughts on both the good old days and the current scene in wrestling.

Step Backstage at the Indies

You see wrestling from a very different perspective when you’re backstage at an indie show preparing for a match. As “The Chauffeur” for Team Splendid I worked the hallowed Elks Lodge, former home of ECW in Queens, New York Saturday night (June 22, 2019) for New Evolution Wrestling.

Team Simply Splendid - Personal assistant Jeeves (Bill Pierce of ECW and the WWF), The Chauffeur (Evan Ginzburg), and 'Simply Splendid' Bobby C
Team Simply Splendid, early 20018- Chris Michaels of ECW and the WWF (then known as Personal assistant Jeeves), The Chauffeur (Evan Ginzburg), and “Simply Splendid” Bobby C

Team Splendid is a rotating entourage featuring “Simply Splendid” Bobby C, former ECW tag team champion Chris Michaels as Simply Sensational Fabio-lous, Ronald P. Borden as “The Bodyguard”, Ariel Vittini aka Don Dinero (an old school heel manager), and we will have Bella Salua early next year, a female wrestler from the Dominican Republic, and various others.

Team Simply Splendid in 2019 - 'Simply Splendid' Bobby C alongside former ECW tag team champion Chris Michaels as Simply Sensational Fabio-lous
Team Simply Splendid in 2019 – “Simply Splendid” Bobby C alongside former ECW tag team champion Chris Michaels as Simply Sensational Fabio-lous

Before our match, we were waiting to go on, primed to heel on the two hundred or so fans when suddenly one of the wrestlers from the previous bout hobbles in, collapses on the locker room floor, writhes in pain while holding his knee, repeating mantra-like, “It hurts…it hurts…” It was at that point where we all realized just how serious this all is.

Soon later I was relieved when Chris Michaels voiced, “Nobody touches Evan, he’s not a wrestler,” yet you nonetheless walk out there knowing at any moment your friends can be gravely hurt. Hell, folk have been paralyzed or even killed in the ring. So after putting on a quality match, getting the heat, and unwinding after the match you breathe that sigh of relief and say to yourself, “Job well done.” Until the next show…

WWE Stomping Grounds Pay Per View wrap-up

Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch at WWE Stomping Grounds pay-per-view, June 23, 2019

When the pre-show’s 4-star match with Drew Gulak/Anthony Nese/Akira Tozawa absolutely blows away everything on the main card, methinks the brain trust have it ass backwards. The silly, overbooked Rollins-Corbin main-event was far removed from what old school moi envisions a championship bout to be, and was everything that’s wrong with WWE sports entertainment. When it crosses the line into circus-like antics with “Ref’ Lacey Evans and no longer feels like either a sport or title match, they’ve thrown the baby out with the bath water. The live crowd lambasted the match throughout with chants like “This is stupid” and “Boring” and they couldn’t have been more correct.

Ironically, Rollins is on social media doing his version of “I’m the best there is…” spiel only it’s just not true with Okada, Omega and Ospreay (who he’s personally knocked), putting on far better matches than him most nights. It’s not about quantity Seth, it’s about quality, champ.

While the Ricochet-Samoa Joe and Kofi-Ziggler cage match were “just fine” (code for they didn’t blow me away), my frustration at the squandering of the great Kevin Owens and Daniel Bryan in meaningless tag bouts leads one to realize they yet again wasted one of the most remarkable talent rosters in the history of this business.

In short, I doubt any of the wrestling journalists who write about last night’s WWE PPV with great gravitas will acknowledge the great service WWE provides. In the “give the WWE their due” department, about midway through most of their pay-per-view, this numbness overtakes me and as you head towards the main-event your brain functions slow down to a slow crawl. Already battered by the announce team’s inane ramblings (Sure, Michael Cole- that match was yet again “incredible!”) and as that Blackhole of anti-charisma Baron Corbin walks in, you lose your will to live. Drained by the whole experience, you fight to summon the energy to walk to the bedroom and collapse into a deep, deep slumber. And in the morning, forgetting almost all of the pablum you’ve seen the night before, you feel refreshed and rise anew. They’re the ultimate sleep aide.

Help for a friend – Rocky King

On a more serious note, William Boulware (AKA Rocky King) is one of the over 115,000 individuals on the national waiting list of patients waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Rocky is waiting for a kidney transplant at Emery Transplant Center in Georgia. At this point, time is of the essence. If you are or have considered being a living kidney donor, please consider our friend Rocky.

Rocky King with the Four Horsemen
Rocky King with the Four Horsemen

King was associated with the Dudes With Attitudes in 1990 during their feud with the Four Horsemen. King later got a gimmick change and became Little Richard Marley, manager of Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin, the new Fabulous Freebirds. He worked with them in their feud with the Southern Boys. At 1990’s Starrcade, he inadvertently cost the Freebirds their match against Tommy Rich and Ricky Morton and was then attacked by the Freebirds. King became a WCW referee, finally retiring in 1998.

Rocky King as Little Richard Marley, manager of Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin, the new Fabulous Freebirds
Rocky King as Little Richard Marley, manager of Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin, the new Fabulous Freebirds

Rocky went on to create BWA Professional Wrestling. He also founded Boulware Wrestling Association. The BWA runs shows for churches, non-profits, and various other organizations. He partners with both Bill Heard III to operate Kids Nite Out, a program to keep kids off the streets, and Frank Aldridge’s World Wrestling Alliance 4 (WWA4) to run hundreds of wrestling shows every year.

In short, he’s a charitable man who now needs our help. Kindly spread the word about Rocky’s pressing need for a kidney. We remain a wrestling COMMUNITY and scenarios like this are where we can all come together to help one of the good guys. For more details, you can call the Emory Transplant Center (+1-855-366-7989) and/or Robert Semler (+1-917-742-0428).

WATCH: Rocky King vs. Ric Flair in May 1985 on NWA World Championship Wrestling

YouTube video

This Sunday is another indie wrestling special on The Evan Ginzburg Show with indie stars on the couch plus great live music in studio. It’s an eclectic mix that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. And with #350Days now available on. I-Tunes in Australia, we’re using noted publicist Greg Tingle from to get the word out there. If you haven’t seen Bret Hart and three dozen other legends in #350Days, you’ve missed a truly independent film that’s from the heart. That’ll about doing it for yours truly.

Hope you enjoyed the gab. Until next time…

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Evan Ginzburg is the Senior Editor for Pro Wrestling Stories and a contributing writer since 2017. He's a published author and was an Associate Producer on the Oscar-nominated movie "The Wrestler" and acclaimed wrestling documentary "350 Days." He is a 30-plus-year film, radio, and TV veteran and a voice-over actor on the radio drama Kings of the Ring.