Eric Dane’s "Secret Wrestling Project"

Posted by Lance Warner on 28 Jul 2015

When DEFIANCE founder Eric Dane handed the day to day running of the promotion to his longtime girlfriday Kelly Evans many began speculating what Dane’s role would become within the company… well, beyond owning the place. Time rolled on, with Edward White locked away “who was in-charge” became less and less important. As Dane showed up on shows around the country many thought that was that, he was hitting the circuit for one last lap. While that was certainly part of it, there has been rumblings of a dual purpose to The Only Stars “last ride.”

It’s common knowledge the Wrestle-plex’s enormous gymnasium and training area has been utilized since day one to further train and polish many of DEFIANCE’s most recent best and brightest before they debuted on DEFtv full time. But with his schedule now a little more open Eric Dane wanted to take the whole operation a step further… he wanted a system to find and refine the next crop of DEFIANTS.
Taking a page from his last wild idea, the Guerilla Grindhouse world tour, Dane decided to get back to his roots and book some “GORAM wrestling shows”... his words. The first few months the promotion (if you can even call it that) didn’t have a name. Dane didn’t even advertize he was involved. It was armory’s and high school gyms. It was local talent looking for that first big break. It was down and dirty, “get out there and get yourself over kid” old school blood and knuckles indie wrestling.
“After all that horseshit with White and Dusty I needed to get back to the one goddamn thing that doesn't make me want to put my first through a door. Touring the country and booking some kickass fucking wrestling.” And that he did.
Mostly guys from the south east. A few imports, some pet projects of Dane’s and others within Eric’s inner circle. All the people that make DEFIANCE tick loaned talent from their own camps and acquaintances. As the roster grew, so did the noise the little group was making. Eric Dane’s “secret wrestling project” was given the name “BRAZEN” by some of the more noisey recurring characters that frequented the underground “word of mouth” wrestling events.
(BRAZEN… DEFIANCE… get it? Anyway… )
(Picured: FDJ and his "cousins")
With no titles or… well RULES. The shows slowly became a huge gang war, with several dominant factions holding sway over the “promotion”... the most dominant being one lead by a very familiar face to the DEFIANCE faithful. Frank Dylan James and his Southern Bastards have been in attendance at each and every “BRAZEN” event. I say in attendance because I’d say thirty percent of the time they’re just there to sit in the crowd and drink beer. Vikings (*1), deathmatch specialists, super juniors, catch technicians, spot monkeys… BRAZEN has something for literally everyone.
“Oh, holy shit, yeah. When Rich, Petey and myself heard about these weird rowdy BYOB, underground shows Dane was runnin’ we were totally on board.” Says perennial DEF jobber Don Hollywood of he and his Angel City Express crew. As of the writing of this article BRAZEN (now the official name of the project) has an enormous rotating roster of regulars. Some on pay per appearance contracts with DEFIANCE… some just eager blue chippers looking for that first big break.
(Pictured: The Angel City eXXXpress Don, Rich, Pete)
“We’ve developed an incredible pool of talent.” Dane’s boots on the ground partner Angus Skaaland told us “We’ve locked a few guys down to contracts already. We’re bringing up a handful to the main roster for a tour, see how they do with the world watchin’... trial by fire, baby.”
Collegiate all-American wrestler from the state of Nebraska Levi Cole. The “Keep It Weird” Austin native Butcher Victorious, a self proclaimed “free spirit” indie wrestler from Texas. The German technician and training partner of Bronson Box, Reinhardt Hoffman. Generational lucha sensation from Mexico City, Mascara De Muerte IV. Former Blood Diamond henchman, the hardheaded “Houston Strong” Felton Bigsby.
(Pictured: Cole, Butcher, Reinhardt, MDM4, Felton)
“It’s a solid group of guys. Whatever the fuck happens with the Southern Heritage title, that poor schmuck is going to have these five young guns trained riiiiiight on their ass. Hey... even if this whole thing ends up a trainwreck, it’ll make for great TV.” Skalland continued. A fine group indeed… but what of the Southern Bastards? What about the Gulf Coast Connection. Osaka Hate Crime. No Justice No Peace. What about Howlin’ Joe Wolfe and Flex Kruger?
They’re all still out there on the road, maybe headed for a town near you. Still promoted mostly by mouth out of armories, bars and high school gyms all the way from northern Florida up through Georgia. Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana. Even as far east Texas and the Gulf Coast. The show goes on all over the DEFIANCE heartland. Keep an eye out for fliers in your local comic and games shop, you never know when Eric Dane will get a hankering to “book some GORAM wrestling shows… “ again, his words.
(*1) “Wait… “ you’re probably asking yourself after reading this article. “Did you say... Vikings?” That’s a funny subject that. Very early on in its existence the BRAZEN events started getting frequented by a man named Cul… and his Viking War Cult. Cul and his friends are the only talent ever BANNED from Dane's underground shows.
(Pictured: Cul, Floki, Ivar, Torvald and Cul's "Lord of Bones")
But that’s a story for another article.

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