Perhaps Jeremy Prophet doesn’t need an introduction to many of you, but perhaps he does need one for so many other pro wrestling fans out there—those that don’t always pay attention to the independent scene of an industry that has shattered expectations and become quite the global phenomenon.
Indy wrestling is in essence the lifeblood of the industry, and yes, the main rosters of the biggest companies you watch from day to day…it’s the independent scene that pumps the heart of those main rosters with the blood it needs to survive….
AEW’s Tony Khan understands this. Heck even WWE’s Triple H understands this, hence the NXT brand and the stars its seen pass through its doors over the last few years. And yes, there is home grown talent at each of the major promotions just mentioned, but mostly it’s the stars that shine out there on the Indy scene, and for little money, that make up those rosters and are in fact the future of this industry. Enter Jeremy Prophet…
He’s been at this for a very long time, and has had both opportunity and obstacles thrown his way, but as I learned as I spoke to him, he and I had a lot in common…an affinity if you will: We both refuse to take ‘no’ as an answer.
Currently, he is in Atlanta training at the Nightmare Factory as part of 4 Lutte Academie Winners selected by Jacques Rougeau, as we wrote last time. He’s coming off quite the matchup, he was paired with Jessika Neri, also from Montreal, to face none other than Penelope Ford and Kip Sabian. The match was a masterpiece, Matt Menard on commentary even comparing Prophet to the late, great Owen Hart.
All that happened in Toronto with AEW’s first foray into Canada. What’s to follow now is a two-month long (as of this writing) training period with the Nightmare Factory, a school owned by Cody Rhodes, QT Marshall and, Glacier…Rhodes owning and being at the school despite his being signed with WWE right now, although he is recuperating from his torn pectoral injury.
I asked Jeremy how things were going there in Atlanta…
“I am doing good yeah…still getting adjusted to being in a different country and all…different schedule totally…wrestling every day, and the days that we have off, it is you know still wrestling, training; some days it is twice a day, so weekly there’ll be a class in the afternoon and then there will be another one at night, and then somewhere in between we got to find the time to fit in getting a workout; days off it is still a lot of the same, it is being able to go work out if we are not you know going to a show to you know maybe try to be a part of it…watching wrestling tape, study, so it is pretty much seven days a week wrestling, what we are doing here, and I would not have it any other way…”
I asked him about AEW’s QT Marshall and his being involved in the training…
“Yeah he is there every day that there is not TV, so pretty much unless there is like Dynamite or Rampage, he is there with us showing us what to do; very hands-on, always willing to give a lot of his time…we are very grateful for that.”
And what about WWE’s Cody Rhodes?
“He is there pretty often…I mean you know they are there; they are accessible to us, and they are imparting their knowledge on us so it’s not like there is like a barrier between us and them, it is very hands-on you know; anyone who goes to the Nightmare Factory, you are not going to kind of get a sampling of being around them; they are your coaches; there is no middle man…”
And so where is all of this going…the opportunity on AEW TV, the training? For some out there, perhaps it’s just a shot in the dark; for Jeremy Prophet, who never does anything halfway, this is serious business and he means to make the most of it:
“I can only speak for myself because it might be that the other winners maybe they have a different goal, but for me, the end goal is to secure that contract with a major company with AEW; that is the end goal for me, and being there gets you around the people who can potentially help to open that door for you…I think that there is no better place to be…we are the guinea pigs of this; we are the ones who are going on this journey that no one has from Canada…we will see how far we can go…
No doubt that we are talented enough; there is no doubt that I have the determination to fight through any obstacle, any adversity that is put in front of us, but yeah you know there is only so many things that are in your control in the world of professional wrestling, so it is about timing and it is about doing the work, so I am committed to doing my part and making sure that everything in my control is as immaculate as it needs to be to be; be able to secure that job with the company, and we will see how the rest falls into place.”
As stated above, it was AEW’s Matt Menard on commentary during that episode of Dark, who would compare Prophet to one of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of wrestling boots, Owen Hart.
“Oh yeah it is a great compliment; I will take it, you know the Harts are legends when it comes to Canadian wrestling, so that comparison I think is tremendous. I personally believe that Owen was the best of all the Harts, so if there are some parallels there between me and him, yeah I will gladly take it and you know, I have known Matt for a long time, even shared the ring with him on a number of occasions, so it does not surprise me that he would be favorable to a fellow Montrealer…”
Penelope Ford, who definitely has been getting her reps in, was involved in Jeremy and Jessika’s match on Dark, and frame for frame, the match outshone many of the matches that later were shown on the rest of that card…the pacing and timing was on point, and it was physical in all the right places, and a story was told. Kip Sabian is in the greatest shape he’s been in in a while, as Paul Wight on commentary also noted, and he and Jeremy had some outstanding spots.
A step in the right direction for Prophet and Jessika Neri for sure, and what an impression was made…. About Sabian and Ford, he had this to say:
“Absolute professionals, and you know we were able to I think establish a very good chemistry in a short amount of time, and so that is always something that is extremely important in professional wrestling, but also I was very appreciative of the fact that we were entrusted with being the first AEW match to ever take place in Canada …I do not think they could have made a better choice than having myself and Jessika go out there with two AEW originals, and to you know go out there and showcase what we had to offer…”
So about that possible contract…about that possible spot on the AEW roster, Tony Khan needs to see what all of Jeremy Prophet fans see (this writer included in that fan base), and that is that he is a viable option and an add-on to that roster that isn’t only logical, but in the end, it’s the only way he should go if he wants to further break and tap into that Canadian fan base market…
We must call a spade a spade: AEW was hit hard with the fallout from the events that occurred at All Out. Taking ex-WWE wrestlers did not work out in favor for AEW in the long run, or to be fair, up to this point. Tony Khan always thrived on what I mentioned above, which was, to be able to tap into that aforementioned lifeblood of the industry…the Jeremy Prophets of the world. The Indy scene… what other kind of message does signing the Indy sensation, Willow Nightingale, send to one and all? It seems as though Khan has realized this.
There are no more shocking debuts–not for a while now– no more spots focused on one wrestler without the inclusion of others, and AEW originals are finally getting air time. Something has changed and is changing and an AEW from 2019 is starting to surface once more it seems or should. Toronto was example of this.
Signing the likes of Jeremy Prophet and even Jessika Neri can only further boost the company, and in the end elevate the game of everyone on that roster…
“I went up Tony Khan after the show was over and personally told him just how thankful I was…walked right into the production area, walked right up to him, shook his hand, and told him I was very grateful for that opportunity, and it was pretty cool too, because you know he shook my hand; he was kind of talking to another member of the production team and he walked away and then he stopped, and it was just he and I in the hall, and he turned back around to me and he said, ‘Hey you know I do not mean to be blowing you off, you know I really appreciate you doing that,’ and I said yeah, and I said ‘You know I am training at QT’s school now, at the Nightmare Factory, and my goal is to be here full time; you are going to be seeing a lot of me pretty soon.’ …
He was very nice, very approachable you know; I hope I am not dispelling the image of the big scary boss. I have always seen him as someone who you know is kind of like me, who has been a life lifelong fan, who you know, just took it to the next level, and had the resources to build something that was incredible, and gives us all a great place to aspire to work, and so you know for me I think yeah, it would be an honor to be able to work for them, and it is cool that it is you know someone of my generation doing something to create something that is going to be able to rival (other promotions out there)…and give you know the to be run for their money.”
For some the night was marred only by what transpired with Athena Palmer and Jody Threat. The internet and some others, perhaps blowing it out of proportion Jeremy suggests:
“I mean I can only speak about what I saw, because you know I was in the backstage area going over everything with the people back there; from what I saw in the monitor, it looked like a great match. I heard that the reaction of the live crowd, they seemed very into it…just when I went on twitter, I saw that this became some kind of a big blow up, and like everyone was talking about it, and they were saying that there was people going off script or shooting on each other…I did not see anything…I did not see anything aggressive in back…I thought it is a really good match and that is not even me giving the political answer; that is literally because you know me, I am a straight shooter, and like that is legitimately you know if anyone else we’re to ask me, I would tell them, I was there at the monitor with my buddy Marq Quen from Private Party, (Threat) got way more of a chance to showcase her offensive and defensive game than I did, so you know it is weird that you go on Twitter and then all of a sudden people are saying a bunch of crazy things about it when you know being there live I had a totally different feeling watching it.“
And what about what he’s done…the accomplishments and the accolades he achieved in the long years since he’s been lacing up the boots. His titles…. He currently holds the IWS tag championship alongside his tag partner, Karl Jepson. Together, they are Black Quebecois. Included in that list of championships—all current—are the CRW World Championship, MWF National Championship, The GNW Canadian Championship and so many others. He runs the indies like a man on a mission…that mission quite clear: To make a statement no one will ever forget and, to grab that brass ring.
He’s had run-ins and matches with some of the greatest to ever do it. And speaking of greatest, how about hall of famer, Scott Steiner?
He had three matches with the legend, and each experience was different from the other—all good though. He stated that Steiner trusted him so much each time they worked together, more and more, he wanted Prophet to lead the match.
“Having a hall of famer recognize your ability…amazing; I had a similar experience when I wrestled Bobby Lashley, where you know, he was all about ‘I want to do your kind of stuff; I want to do the things you want to do…’
It is an honor, it is one of those things where you know people can say what they want; a lot of people may have a negative opinion of me, and that is good and fine, because when people like Scott Steiner and Bobby Lashley, and you know people who have actually made a dollar in this business, and have had great longevity, you know they have faith and confidence in me, then that is what makes it easy to just shrug off any kind of negativity from bottom feeders…”
And he has had the support from other epic legends in the business…
“Chris Jericho, who you know gave me his award in 2021; a great Canadian like Lance Storm, who was a guest on my podcast on Jofo In The Ring, and you know had great things to say for me, and the things that I am doing to help Canadians and helping to even the playing field for Canadian wrestlers, so that we have the same opportunities or people like you know my good friend of a long time TJ Wilson, one of the producers in WWE, Tyson Kid, you know who also recognize what we are doing here as Canadians…Blazing a trail for the next generation…no one hates the guy who is on the bench every game; they hate the guy who is starting in center field and batting cleanup… you know anyone who is not running this race as fast as I am, this race, the sprint, this marathon, whatever you want to call it, if you are not out in front of me, then you know you are probably behind me, and you are trying to catch up by just trying to drag me back but I’m too fast for.”
The fight to be recognized is a hard one and one I understand wholeheartedly from my own career in writing. I saw Jeremy’s plight and understand it so much more because of my own experiences.
If anyone out there ever tried to do something, be the best at something, Jeremy Prophet’s story is one to inspire…and this is one that deserves to make it folks…he’s a natural born star and an epic athlete that you want to root for and be entertained by, which in the end is what professional wrestling is all about.
He has the charisma of a Dwayne Johnson, the athletics of a Kenny Omega, and the in-ring talent of even yes, an Owen Hart.
What else is there? Opportunity, that’s what…and it seems to be something he’s hell bent on achieving, and he’s almost there, folks…. Stick around for this one, dear readers…watch this man, and keep your eyes on him, because this is about to become a pro wrestling story for the ages…the Jeremy Prophet story, and I for one, intend to buckle up and be there for the whole thing—every spectacular moment of it. But I’ll let him finish off this piece, cutting a promo the way only he knows how. So take it away, Mr. Prophet…
“You match up Jeremy Prophet against any of the so-called best in the world, you will find out that the real best in the world is the guy who is speaking to you right now on this conference call…
It’s been an uphill battle, but you know, there is always going to be that light at the end of the tunnel. You know, I am not the kind of person to get complacent or get discouraged by anything…
We are going to make this count. We are going to make the most out of it, and I do not doubt that maybe we will be having this conversation a year from now, looking back on this, and you will be able to see that I called my shot, and I made it happen.”