Before heading to WWE, wrestlers often start on the independent circuit like Reality of Wrestling (Video)

Carter Lee reviews Booker T's new wrestling show, RoW, and talks with Booker and Sharmell. Photo: RoW

HOUSTON, July 20, 2012 — Professional wrestling became popular in the American culture at the turn of the 20th  century, with historic matches at Madison Square Garden between George Hackenschmidt and Tom Jenkins. In the last century, wrestling has grown into a sports entertainment phenomenon that’s engrained in our culture today.

The World Wrestling Entertainment, better known as just WWE, is largely responsible for the growth of professional wrestling, transforming it from an ancient, Olympics sport into sports entertainment, and this million dollar empire is the king of this industry. But before anyone makes it to the WWE, they must start in the independent circuit.

Abel Andrew Jackson photo via: RoW

Some independent wrestling organizations are lackluster at best, others show great potential, and some blow the rest out of the water. I recently had the pleasure of attending an event that defines the latter, when I attended a live taping of the Reality of Wrestling (ROW) event in Clear Lake, Texas. Former six-time World Champion Booker T is responsible for this exciting new program.

Some of the wrestlers that were featured on this program come from all around the world; others are wrestlers who have trained at Booker T’s wrestling facility, Xtreme Wrestling Fitness. These incredible athletes are developing their persona and ring skills, and fans are treated to talent that is perhaps the future of sports entertainment.

One of the many qualities that allows ROW to stand apart from other independent organizations is the additional ingredients that complete these events. Booker T’s wife, Sharmell Huffman, is developing the exciting dance team of the X-Girls, led by X-Girl captain, Strike. Sharmell is a former WCW Nitro Girl (Storm), Miss Black America, professional dancer, and wrestling manager. She lends her experience as the choreographer for this stunning group, which treats fans to a few class act routines in between the matches.

Booker T (Photo via Booker T)

“I have always been a fan of professional wrestling and dancing is my passion. For me now to be working with Sharmell and Booker T is a true honor. They’re both amazing individuals as well as performers, and I feel like I can go to them about anything,” says Strike.

In addition, fans that watch the YouTube shows are treated to an inside look and a sneak peek into the wrestlers lives, along with the entertaining commentary by Adrian Jones and Booker T himself.

Strike, Sharmell, Booker T, Carter Lee

Many independent organizations don’t leave much room for character development, the ROW has no shortage of personalities. There’s the attractive and flashy baby face, The Rockstar; if Vince Neil and Bret Michaels had a lovechild, this would be him. Another interesting wrestler, who is accompanied by his own bodyguard, is Abel Andrew Jackson, whose gimmick is that of a politician, whose aim is to take the politics out of wrestling.

Then there is the classic role of the heel in the persona of Gustavo Mendoza, who takes on the character of an evil Cuban dictator. One of the most charismatic and entertaining wrestlers in the stable is Kelly Kevin; Adorable Adrian Adonis and Goldust have nothing on this guy.

As a former professional wrestler, I can testify that another reason ROW stands apart is that of the locker room, a true inside look at how professional an organization actually is. Often promoters are crafty and greedy, and the negative energy of the wrestlers in the back, is a testimony to that. In this case the energy was so positive that one could sense a nature of “family” in the locker room.

 “Everyone helps each other. Booker is like a father figure and teaches you how to grow…,” says Abel Andrew Jackson. “…he is very honest and approachable, and he gives it to you straight.”

That evening I had the pleasure to get some comments from Booker T and Sharmell.

“Our show, is just that, it’s a show,” Booker T said. “It’s not about one individual; it’s about the fans that come and watch it. Here it’s all about ROW and how much of a professional show we can give our fans that come and support us. It’s the fans that have made this thing work.

“It gives them a chance to see what these wrestlers are really like and how hard they work, and with hard work they may just be discovered. We do this to give back to the industry. Since we started this, Sharmell and I have not accepted one check. It goes back into the company. No amount of money can create that feeling of helping out these youngsters and giving them guidance.”

“My husband has been in this business for 20 plus years,” Sharmell added. “…and he loves it, and the fact that he loves it, he wants to see wrestling continue. So he uses his time and takes his time working with this young talent trying to develop these superstars. What’s exciting is that the fans get to see these wrestlers from day one, and one day these wrestlers may be the future of the industry.”

Kelly Kevin (photo via: Kelly Kevin)


This event also had solid booking. It takes more than just having a roster of talent to put on a good show. It takes a true booker to put the matches together and decide when they should take place within the card for the event to be successful.

I will be covering these shows and giving you the results of the cards of this first class wrestling federation. With the guidance of the legendary Booker T, the unique additions to the show, solid bookings of the matches, and a stable full of talent, the ROW is sure to grow and make an impact on professional wrestling.

Carter Lee is the author of, When Jonathan Cried for Me, President of Innovative Social Dynamics LLC., is a professional speaker, and is the co-host of Really Genius Radio. To learn more about his media appearances, radio show, book, or to schedule an appearance or speaking engagement visit

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Sports Around
blog comments powered by Disqus
Carter Lee

I am the author of, When Jonathan Cried for Me, a story of struggle and redemption. I was once diagnosed with PTSD and depression because of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a pedophile. I have spent the last four years of my life transforming myself from a broken person, into one with complete inner peace and no signs of those afflictions.

For most of my life, my only dream was to be in the sports entertainment industry, which I accomplished in my twenties by becoming a licensed professional wrestler, promoter and booker. After years in that industry – and many injuries later! – I realized that this was no longer my dream. I ventured into stage acting, stand-up comedy, and promoted bands in the local music scenes.

After years of trying to find my niche in life, I discovered my meaning in life, my purpose; I had an epiphany of what I was supposed to do. I started Innovative Social Dynamics LLC. Through my business I educate, inspire and challenge others to obtain positive transformation through the knowledge of the mind, science, and innovative philosophy. The tool for transformation and personal greatness exists inside of everyone. You can read more about me, my business and my book at


Contact Carter Lee


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus