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10.03.10 17:34 Age: 8 yrs

Damage Gauge 1 - Max in L.A

Hard Knocks in The City of Angels

Well KPW fans, I'm here - in one piece haha - in the City of Angels, Los Angeles! Let me tell you, this place is nothing like back home - the food, the people, the cars (I am on a personal mission to take photos of every Hummer that I see!) not to mention the wrestling! But more on that in a moment.

Damage meets the crowdThe flight was 11 hours from Auckland to Los Angeles - get this, The Axe boards his flight to L.A in Auckland at 3.40pm NZ Time Thursday the 4th of March... and he lands in Los Angeles, 6.35am Thursday the 4th of March! Looks like Chris Delorean isn't the only KPW wrestler who can travel back in time!Jesse Hernandez, trainer at the School of Hard Knocks and promoter of the Empire Wrestling Federation (EWF) met me at the airport to pick me up. I didn't think I would be jetlagged, I am after all the KPW NZ Heavyweight Champion, but turns out long haul flights affect even champions.

Max fight oneThat night was my first training, and I had a taste of what wrestling is like in the States. Wrestling is like a language, and when you know how to speak it, everyone understands you. Jesse taught me the american way to do even the most basic of things, which is fantastic for expanding my knowledge.

I spent the majority of that weekend with a guy from Oregon, another wealth of knowledge in his own right, West Coast Wrestling Connection promoter Jeff Manning and his sidekick, referee Jay Stone. Jeff taught me ins and outs of the business, and he is a great mic guy and educated me in the finer points of the spoken word. We trained Saturday morning, then I was present for EWF's own radio tv show they do every saturday night.Sunday rolled around, and EWF was running a show at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Covina. I was up against perennial favourite El Gran Maravilla, a high-flying technical ace from across the border who couldn't speak a lick of english. Unfortunately, American fans didn't take to me too kindly, so I showed them a little kiwi hospitality. After a hard fought match - see the photos along with this piece - The Axe proved he didn't fly all this way to get his butt kicked, and came out victorious.

Max fight oneOver these past few days, I have already learnt so much and met some great minds - I got to meet and get some great advice from ex-WWE referee Marty Elias, and tomorrow I have a private workout with local independent star Brandon 'Nitro" Gatson. One week away from the tryouts and taking it one day at a time.

Would love to write more, but I've got more training to do!

Love from Los Angeles,

Max Damage

Photos courtesy R P Strickland and the Empire Wrestling Federation