In PART 2 of my interview with one half of the KC Wolves, Graham Bell, we delve into Bell’s career highlights, IZW and much, much more.
When the subject of tag versus singles wrestling comes up, Bell holds both crafts in high regard and believes they both have a place in the sport. “Oh man, there’s such a world of difference between the two I couldn’t even begin to describe the differences. At first I didn’t care for tag team wrestling as much, but the more I learn and the better I get, the more I love it. I don’t think I have a preference though because it’s such an apples to oranges thing. They’re two completely different beasts.”
Although Bell is fairly new to the IZW World, he has worked in the Mid-South area and surrounding territories where he has picked up a multitude of titles both with tag team partner Luke Langley and as a singles wrester. “Luke and I have won the KCW, SRPW, and UWE tag team titles. The KCW belts were the very first titles for either of us, and we got them only nine months into our career. I’ve also held the SRPW United States title. A lot of the highlights aren’t title related though. There are a few milestones that stand out. Our first hardcore match in La Cygne, Kansas against Chris Wyco and KC Kyng, The Midwest Marvels. Our first ladder match. Growing up watching the Hardys, Edge and Christian, and the Dudleys made this a bucket list thing. It was extra cool, because it was three teams just like they had. Then we had our first TLC. It was good to get some revenge, because we beat the team that screwed us out of victory in the ladder match. It was also where we won the UWE tag team belts.
“Probably my favorite match so far though has been the KC Wolves versus The Work Horses: Jon Cross and Chris Fury. When we started making a name for ourselves in Oklahoma a lot of people drew comparisons between us and them. It was a match we wanted, they wanted, and the fans wanted. We honestly weren’t sure it was ever going to happen, because independent wrestling is so unpredictable. The stars finally aligned last June though. It was a pretty incredible match, and I’m still proud of it. We’re all waiting for the rematch though. It ended in a time limit draw and nothing was settled. Just having the match was a huge highlight for me though.
“Oh! And, we beat out a certain tag champs for the title of Oklahoma Tag Team of the Year. That’s pretty sweet,” Bell added.
That certain tag team is IZW Champions, What Wrestling Should Be. Not only the top two teams in IZW, but the top two teams in the Sooner State are less than two weeks out of what could very well be the best tag team bout in all of 2014. Bell is amped up for the match and believes he and Langley are ready for the challenge.
“Ya know there have been some scheduling issues and the KC Wolves haven’t been able to make it down to Lawton in a few weeks. So you can imagine I was a bit surprised when I saw the commercial for ‘Violent Valentine’ and saw we were named the #1 contenders to the tag team titles. I’m giving credit to [Co-Commissioner] Shawn McHale for this one. I’m guessing he wants to see if we can live up to being Oklahoma Tag Team of the Year, and I assure you, we will. Those belts are comin’ home to KC with us,” Bell promised.
As Bell sets his sights on the showdown with WWSB at “Violent Valentine” on February 1, and the biggest match of his young career, he looked back at some of the sacrifices it took to get to where he is. As a pro wrestler still working his way to the top of the sport, it’s a daily grind and takes a toll on each and every individual in the business. “Just be smart about your money. I accepted a long time ago that I don’t get ‘runnin’ around money’ anymore. Everyone cent I have goes into wrestling in some way. That might be paying for a seminar. It might be buying new gear. It might be replacing the water pump on my car, because I have to be able to travel. And there’s always unexpected expenses so any extra money I end up with I hang on to.
“Man, it’s expensive. Being an Indy wrestler takes money. When you’re startin’ out you take bookings where ever you can, and you go with whoever will take you. A lot of times that means driving three or more hours for no pay. But you have to be willing to take those chances to get a foot in the door. I’ve worked for some pretty awful places for no money, but everything I’ve done has lead me here [IZW],” Bell said.
As for IZW, Bell puts it bluntly. “How big of a deal is it that WWE broadcasts around the world? It’s a huge deal [IZW and GFL broadcast partnership]. Name three other independent promotions that broadcast there product globally. From top to bottom it’s ran like a promotion should be. Its future looks pretty bright to me. They’ve got the most complete roster in the state. There are no weak points or underachievers. That makes for some very competitive, and therefore entertaining, matches. And that’s what fans want. With IZW’s roster being as stacked as it is with great talent that’s harder than it’s been anywhere else. The KC Wolves welcome that challenge though. We don’t wanna grow complacent, and we wanna show everyone that no matter where we go we are the very best. We’re still getting our footing and proving ourselves at IZW, but winning the tag team titles at ‘Violent Valentine’ will be a good start to that.”
Part of Bell’s confidence going into “Violent Valentine” and challenging WWSB (Jermaine Johnson & Jordan Jacobs) is because of the assurance Bell has in his partner, Luke Langley. “I think we’re a very good Yin Yang. We’re two very different dudes, but we’ve got a good chemistry. It’s hard to describe. Like, if we had met outside of wrestling I don’t think we would have become friends. We’ve got different backgrounds, have different personalities, different tastes in music, and different in ring styles. But training and traveling together has definitely built a bond. Once you kinda get underneath the surface with us you find that despite all our differences we’ve got a pretty similar world view. That bonds us, and our differences complement each other very well. It’s apparent in our in ring style. He’s much more grounded and technical than me, and I fly a lot more than him. He can tie a guy up all sorts of different ways and hold him there. That’s when I come flying in with a big move. His holds may not always be potential submissions, but he takes the risk out of some of my high risk and we both benefit.
“It translates to backstage too with our personalities meld. He’s a quiet reserved guy, and I’m loud and out there. I’m usually the one who will speak first and talk with people and get us bookings. On the other hand, I tend to be a real smart ass sometimes, and I don’t mind calling people on their bull$h!t. Luke’s had to reel me in a couple times and be the voice of reason, and because of that we’ve still got connections in places we might not if he hadn’t made me keep my mouth shut,” Bell chuckled.
“It affects everything though, and that’s why we’re as good as we are. We’re a team in the ring, backstage, on the road. We talk about moves, strategy, what places we should and shouldn’t work at, and we’ve been very successful because of it. He’s probably gone places and tried things he wouldn’t have if it weren’t for me, and I’m sure his voice of reason has kept my ass out of a lot of trouble. Like I said, we’re a very good Yin Yang,” Bell said.
For those who want to learn more about Graham Bell and the KC Wolves there are plenty of social media sites to connect with. Join the Pack here:
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