The 2013 Ted Petty Invitational goes down at the Colgate Gymnasium in Clarksville, Indiana, on the 13th of September. Two things have come to my attention:
1. Gary Jay of the Submission Squad wants to be in the TPI
2. Gary Jay is not already booked for it, and people have to actually request him be in it for him to get in
Knowing those two things, let me right some ridiculous wrongs by explaining to you exactly why Gary Jay should be in the 2013 TPI, and why you should take a second of your time to patronize their Facebook page and say “what’s wrong with you, do this obvious thing to make your show great.” Here are five solid reasons why Gary should be in this thing.
1. He’s the best kept secret in wrestling.
Well, amongst people who think of him as the guy in the bird costume from the Wrestling Is videos, at least. Gary’s got a pretty off-putting look about him, so a lot of fans are just like, “oh, that’s the barn owl guy” and write him off as one of those locals you’d see setting up the ring at a show for nobody in the backwoods somewhere. The truth is that barn owl or no, Gary’s got at least a small piece of everything that can objectively make somebody GOOD at pro wrestling, and he’s able to show that to anybody willing to watch him with an open mind and a pair of opened eyeballs.
2. No, seriously, he can do anything.
I have the luxury of watching Gary on a semi-regular basis down here in Texas, and I’ve seen the man have a good-to-great match with such a broad spectrum of wrestlers I can’t even explain it. Earlier this month I watched him have a bloody dog collar match with “Showtime” Scot Summers at the Mohawk in Austin for Anarchy Championship Wrestling. At the same time, I’ve seen Gary tear the roof off the building (which as you’ll see if you google it, is roofless) in decidedly NOT-bloody affairs with ACH. You know, that guy on ROH TV. I’ve seen him do comedy with Pierre Abernathy. I’ve seen him get an outdated windbreaker over as a life-or-death occurrence in front of a jaded audience of jerks. I’ve also seen him have multiple, killer matches with Akira Tozawa. TOZAWA. If Tozawa was like, “let me be in the TPI,” the other 23 guys would backup with their hands up and let him do whatever he wanted. Gary can hang with Tozawa, and I’ve seen it. More than once.
On top of that, Gary The Character can be pretty much anything you want him to be. I see him in Austin as the rudest, scummiest, most hateful guy on the planet. Several months ago I got up to DFW for a show where Gary was wrestling in front of a fresh crowd, and he had the crowd clapping along with him and eating out of the palm of his hand. Some guys are born as great bad guys. Some guys you can’t help but cheer for. Gary’s both.
3. He WANTS to be in it.
I told TMC founder Danielle Matheson that I was going to write this up for the site, and her response was, “They still haven’t booked him for that? Seriously?” I’m not going to throw shade at anybody else announced for the show (except for Justin Credible … I’m going to throw all of the shade at Justin Credible), but come on. Gary doesn’t live that far from Indiana. He wants to be there. You know that whole “passion” thing that gets thrown around in wrestling all the time? Book the guy who spends 16 hours in a car every month so a bunch of a**holes in Austin can see him chop the sh*t out of somebody.
4. He’s a great match for every single person announced.
Gary vs. Davey Richards? Richards spends a lot of time in one of Gary’s home promotions, St. Louis Anarchy. Gary vs. Elgin? Go to an AIW show sometime. Gary vs. Kingston? I know you’ve seen the Squad popping up in Chikara at King of Trios and maybe-sorta-possibly being the Black Racer to that promotion’s existence. Gary’s traveled so much and seen every one of these dudes somewhere or other. If he hasn’t ALREADY gotten an awesome match out of them, he could do it at the TPI. SHOULD do it there.
5. The Squad makes your show better (no matter what the Internet says)
If I’m in charge of the TPI, I’m not just booking Gary, I’m bringing in Evan Gelistico and Davey Vega, too. Like I said, I get to see these guys 10 feet in front of me on a regular basis, and regional bias be damned, they’re the truth. Vega is an absolute ace in the ring. Gelistico is one of the best in-ring storytellers ACW’s ever had. Gary’s a little bit of both, and that’s sorta what makes him special. He’s also got a touch of that wonderful absurdity (and knowledge) Pierre brings to the table. He’s the crazy one, the violent one, the one who bleeds and spits and curses and kills himself to make me happy month after month.
So yeah, if I can write “hey TPI, stop being wishy-washy and put Gary on the show” as a thank you for that, I’m gonna do it. Book Gary Jay on your show, TPI types. You’ll have at least one more paying customer for it.
(And like I said, head over to their Facebook page, share this link and tell them you want to see Gary on the show. If you’ve never seen Gary or think he sucks or whatever, do it as a favor to me.)
Brandon Stroud is the Editor of With Leather, a contributor/co-founder of Progressive Boink, and a dude who really knows what he’s talking about.