Eric Dane’s “Secret Wrestling Project” Pt. 2: The BRAZEN Five

Posted by Lance Warner on 31 Jul 2015


That was always the plan, keep the whole thing real hush hush ‘til we found a few guys that seemed to “get it”... in the end, we found five. Eric Dane, Angus Skaaland, Kelly Evans and myself all sat down for hours in The Only Star’s not oft used office in NOLA with photos and tapes all to find our boys. To find the next generation of DEFIANTS.

The first one, the no brainer was the big corn fed Nebraskan Levi Cole. All-American wrestler out of the University of Nebraska, build like a brick shithouse. Nice kid, good attitude, ready to work. “I had offers from mixed martial arts, I had offers to coach… but I knew deep down I wanted to be a professional wrestler. I watched the NWA and WWA as a kid. Eric Dane, Victor Mandrake, Mike Bell,  London Freemantle. I know there’s a lot of great promotions out there, a LOT… but when Mr. Skaaland called me up and told me about Dane’s project. I couldn't say no.” says the polite collegiate grappler Levi Cole of his opportunity to join up with BRAZEN.

“My parents thought I was crazy, but the opportunity to take what I learned in my collegiate career AND maybe develop some of this indie cred I keep hearing about… not a bad deal.” Cole went on to say. Speaking of indie cred, our next competitor comes with heap loads… according to him, anyway. The mean streets of Austin, Texas is where Texas indie mainstay Butcher Victorious calls home. With a mountain of rejected offers from bigger companies outside of his home state over the years, what exactly made this self proclaimed “rabble rouser and truth teller from the city of the Violet Crown” sign on with Dane and company?

(Pictured: "All-American" Levi Cole and Butcher Victorious)

“It was time, brother, time for somethin’ new. I been kickin’ around down in A-town keepin’ it weird and all that nonsense… “ chuckling in his very McConaughey-esque style of speaking. “When I got the call from Angus and he laid it all out, let me know how this was an underground deal, real rebel yell sort of stuff. I can get down on some punk rock pro wrestling, brother.” … yeah, I’m pretty sure Mr. Victorious was stoned or… something... every time I met the gentlemen. Either way, his skill in the ring is undeniable. An unpredictable risk taking free spirit that is sure to give the DEFIANCE roster fits in the weeks and months to come.

At DEFtv #53, the next competitor was chosen to compete in the very first “BRAZEN showcase” when he steps into the ring with former World champion and two time FIST of DEFIANCE the Bombastic Bronson Box. Most competitors might be terrified at the prospect of climbing into the ring with a superstar the caliber of the Original DEFIANT, but not Reinhardt Hoffman. 

(Pictured: Reinhardt Hoffman and Bronson Box)

The German Gentleman and The Wargod spent years on the European indie circuit together. “It was an inevitability I would end up here in DEFIANCE. Holl… erm, Bronson has always encouraged me to do so. I however, am not… the American idiom escapes me… a type A personality, I believe is the saying? Wrestling is my life, the study of grappling in all its forms is my passion you see.” it was after a conversation with, believe it or not, Eric Dane that inspired Hoffman to finally take the leap.

“I happened to be working out at the Wrestle-plex, having followed Bronson to one of DEFIANCE’s TV tapings. I was all alone, utilizing one of the wonderful rings in the training area when I noticed him standing there… watching me.” being a friend and training companion of one of Dane’s biggest “problem children” one would guess the interaction would be… awkward. “Not at all, he critiqued my work, told me about the project… “ Hoffman paused, a strange smile on his chiseled face “He is a very hard man to say no to.” One has to wonder Bronson’s feelings on this little interaction between his friend and a man he literally tried to STRANGLE to death in the parking garage not all that long ago...

Speaking of current and former compatriots of Bronson Box, our next competitor is also well acquainted with The Wargod… but Boxer isn’t the only mentor “Houston Strong” Felton Bigsby has found within the ranks of DEFIANCE’s main roster. “After Ed booted Bronson the Blood Diamonds fell apart, man. Nobody respected White, dude was a punk ass bitch. Box might be an asshole but least he didn’t take no shit from nobody.” All on his lonesome Bigsby fell off the DEFIANCE map pretty quickly. Green as grass and filled with limitless potential Bigsby was presented with an unexpected offer…

(Pictured: "The Queen of the Ring" Lindsay Troy)

“The guy is built like a tank, Bronson’s loss is my camps gain.” Says current reigning DEFIANCE Trios champion Lindsay Troy. Bigsby started splitting his time between Troy’s camp and Boxer’s Conclave as he toured the country picking up any bookings he could find. Felton Bigsby got real good real fast. “When Angus told me about Dane’s little indie experiment, Felton was the first guy I thought of. The kid’s a little… well, lets just say slow. But he’s a legit monster out there in the ring. Power personified.” Says Troy of her adopted student.

(Pictured: "Houston Strong" Felton Bigsby)

Our last competitor comes to us from the lucha circuit down in Mexico... with something of story to tell. “My father is a pretty well known promoter in Mexico, his plan was for me to take over his businesses, run his school… be a respectable business man.” the masked luchador Mascara De Muerte IV says of his upbringing. “All he ever wanted was to wrestle. As soon as he was able he was brawling into the ring and running the ropes.” DEFIANCE referee Hector Navarro speaking of the young man he had a hand in training “When his father told him no, it didn’t deter him one bit. It only fueled his fire.” 

(Pictured: Mascara De Muerte IV)

He wrestled for years under countless different gimmicks, a hundred different masks honing his craft in secret. “Hector called me about these shows his boss, Mr. Dane, was putting on… it was the perfect opportunity to finally achieve my dream and claim my birthright.” The black and white skull mask and the name Mascara De Muerte has been around since the late thirties… owned by the young man’s promoter father. “I went to my dad with tape of all my matches, all the gimmicks I’d wrestled under for the first few years of my career and the offer from Mr. Dane… he couldn't deny what was right in front of him. The mask, the gimmick, it was all finally mine.” Mascara De Muerte IV debuted soon after, taking the US indie scene by storm by way of Eric Dane and the BRAZEN project.

Now affectionately referred to as the “BRAZEN Five” these men will make their DEFIANCE main roster debuts on the coming tour in a series of “showcase” matches. Watch this space for more info on BRAZEN, DEF and so much more! DEFtv #53 is right around the next bend folks! The Road to Acts of DEFIANCE begins here!

Warner… out!


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