I dabbled in the wrestling business going as far back as 1997 when I launched the now-defunct wrestling news and information website called JimmyVan.com; through my years working with independent promotions in the U.S. and Canada; and now coming full circle with Fightful. I’ve amassed a bit of a photo collection through the years and decided to start sharing them via a weekly Flashback Friday feature.
I took this photo at an independent event in St. Ignace, Michigan in September of 2000. I was at this show because I secured a tryout for a Canadian indy wrestler named Mark Miller, aka “The Custom Made Man”. I also did writing and photography work for the promoter and got shots of every talent that worked the event that day for the company website. The show itself was pretty lackluster as it took place outdoors on a rainy day on the property of a casino. But in retrospect it turned out to be an interesting day in terms of wrestling’s future as it included an appearance by a 21-year-old kid who was still a couple of years away from the start of his ROH career, much less his big run in WWE – a newcomer from Chicago known as CM Punk.