John LaRocca talks A.J. Kirsch and Eric Watts post-Tough Enough
This past Saturday I booked AJ Kirsch and Eric Watts as a tag team as a special treat for the All Pro Wrestling (www.allprowrestling.net) fans. This was all set up when AJ Kirsch was attacked by The Carnival Of Shadows heel stable members, Corvus and Omega outside of the APW locker rooms shown on our APW Gym Wars TV show on YouTube (www.youtube.com/allprowrestling). Kirsch and Watts jelled together really well and the match got over great with the APW fans.
I have personally known AJ since we met in late 2005 when he came to APW. At the time AJ had only been wrestling for 6 months and he was good for his limited experience. What AJ made up with his lack of experience, he made it up with his charisma. AJ's idol growing up was Shawn Michaels and you could see it in his early work. The APW bookers at the time put AJ in a tag team with APW veteran Nate Rulez, and managed by me. I gave the team the name of E.G.O (Excellence, Gorgeous, and Outrageous) and the bookers quickly put the tag team titles on us. For two years we went up and down road together and it was a great time. In the summer of 2007, AJ simply lost his passion for the business after really the bad booking and the bad environment created from the previous bookers. He decided to only take bookings with an indy promotion close to him in the Yuba City/Oroville area. AJ still got his wrestling fix while he pursued his other interests like music.
After the 2011 WWE Tough Enough, AJ contacted me about returning to APW. Since I was the booker now of APW, he new it would be fun again and the hostile environment of the past was now long gone. AJ came back and the crowd exploded for his surprise return. AJ had the fans hanging on every word in his promo, just like how he impressed The Rock on Tough Enough. AJ still had that charisma, but now his confidence brought it out even more. In his first match back at APW, he looked great in the ring carrying a very green worker named Levi Shapiro to a very good match. You could tell AJ soaked everything up like a sponge from his Tough Enough trainers and the WWE experience. The passion was burning again in AJ, but this time it was a wild fire.
I never met Eric Watts until this past Saturday. We had a few conversations on Facebook and he was set to make his APW debut on January 14th. He was very excited to team with AJ who he bonded with on Tough Enough. What stood out to me right away with Eric was he is now in tremendous shape. He looks very athletic doesn't seem to have much body fat on him. Another thing that stood out to me was Eric is a really good person. I enjoyed working for him. He was up for anything. After the show, I asked for some baby faces to help in passing out free APW shirts to the fans after the show. This was mainly a job for the local APW talent like Mikey Jay, Matt Carlos and others. As I was handing out the payoffs, I decided to look out to see how the T-shirt give away was going and Eric was out there helping out along with AJ. Both where going above and beyond then what was asked of them.
During the match I was really impressed by his ring work. You could tell like AJ, he soaked up everything like a sponge from his Tough Enough trainers. Most indy wrestlers when they are in tag matches and on the outside waiting for a tag, just sit there with no emotion. Eric was working the crowd, getting them to chant for AJ, working with the referee, and simply doing everything right. Eric also has a lot of charisma and energy and the APW fans loved him. Eric really exceeded all my expectations.
I want to write this article because I wanted the WWE to know how much AJ and Eric took from their training on Tough Enough. Both of these talented workers have what it takes to be WWE Superstars. WWE wants charismatic people, AJ and Eric are. WWE wants talented in ring performers, AJ and Eric are and getting better with every match. WWE wants workers who talk on the mic, AJ and Eric can. WWE wants quality human beings who will not be PR nightmares, AJ and Eric both are well spoken and intelligent young men who will represent the WWE with great respect and dignity. WWE wants people who passionate about this business and make sacrifices for it, AJ and Eric have that fire burning in them and are willing to make that sacrifice.
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