Wrestling School Graduates Receive WWE Tryouts
Congratulations to Justin Adams, Tony Graves & Atkins Brothers!
August 6, 2017
(NEW JERSEY)- Four more
outstanding graduates from Independent Wrestling Federation Training School in New Jersey will receive WWE tryout opportunities
in the coming weeks. IWF American Champion First-Class Justin Adams, former IWF Tag Team Champion Southside Slugger
Tony Graves, and IWF Tag Team Champions Brian and Robert Atkins have a chance to make their ultimate dream a reality.
standout baseball player turned professional wrestler, Justin Adams is the IWF American Champion, having won the title on
June 24, 2017. He is also a former two-time IWF Junior Heavyweight Champion. A native of Staten Island, NY, he
began training at IWF Wrestling School in November 2015, debuted on Live Events in January 2016, and graduated
from the program in June 2016.
After spending nearly seven years in the United States Army as a Specialist,
Tony Graves is one-half of the former IWF Tag Team Champions "The Street Kings." Hailing from the streets
of South Philadelphia, Graves began training at IWF Wrestling School in July 2015, debuted on Live Events in
October2015, and graduated from the program in March 2016.
The Atkins Brothers, former NCAA
Division 1 amateur wrestlers, transitioned flawlessly into the pro game and won the 13th Annual Commissioner's Cup Tag Team
Tournament on June 17, 2017. The duo from Midland Park, NJ, then won the IWF Tag Team Titles on June 24, 2017. They began
training at IWF Wrestling School in November 2016 and graduated from the program in June 2017.
Adams and Graves will
participate at WWE Events including SummerSlam, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, and NXT at Barclays Center in Brooklyn,
NY, August 19 to 22. The Atkins Brothers will participate at WWE Events in the Fall.
Head coach at the nationally-accredited IWF Wrestling School is Kevin Knight, a 21-year professional in the sports-entertainment industry. A total of 44 IWF graduates received WWE tryouts with 11 gaining
full-time employment, both in the ring and behind the scenes. Since its inception
in 1999, home-grown prospects from 20 states and nine countries have competed in matches across the world, with many also
appearing in TV shows and commercials.
Famous graduates include WWE Superstar Darren
Young from Union, NJ, and WWE Referees Shawn Bennett from Butler, NJ and Danilo Anfibio from Woodland Park, NJ.The school is endorsed by WWE Hall of Famers and Legends who serve as Guest Coaches, including Tito
Santana, Honky Tonk Man, John Bradshaw Layfield, Bushwhacker Luke, Dr. Tom Prichard, Rip Rogers and more.
For more Independent Wrestling Federation information,
find IWF on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram @WrestlingIWF.
IWF Graduates Shawn Bennett & Danny Anfibio Referee for WWE
Established in 1999, IWF Wrestling School in Woodland
Park, NJ, teaches hundreds of prospects from 20 states and nine countries. This year marked the 12th Anniversary of
the famous facility, recognized as the premiere training school in the Northeast by countless wrestling and news media outlets.
Fady joins WWE Developmental
Program FCW in Tampa, FL July 2010
Darren Young signed with World Wrestling Entertainment in 2009, and began training at Florida Championship Wrestling.
Kevin Knight as EMT Official on WWE SmackDown, August 7, 2009 @ Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, with CM Punk and Jeff Hardy.
Graduate Fred Sampson wrestles at WWE Raw @ Continental Arena, East Rutherford, NJ (Jan 2006)
with Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels on WWE SmackDown @ Albany, NY (March 2005)
Kevin Knight, Travis Blake, Fred Sampson, Aaron Stride & Roman as
Security Guards w/ Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Batista & Eric Bischoff on WWE Raw (MSG 2004)
Kevin Knight, Fred
Sampson & Roman as Druids for The Undertaker at WrestleMania 20 (MSG 2004)
IWF Wrestlers Appear in 2003
WWE Survivor Series TV Commercial:
John Cena, Ron Simmons, Chris Benoit,
Rey Mysterio, JBL, Big Show, Hurricane, Kurt Angle & Dudleyz take on IWF in WWE Survivor Series commercial. IWF
Wrestlers as Football Players...Kevin Knight (#64), Fred Sampson (#58), Shawn Donavan (Assistant Coach), Roman (#38), Brandon
Posted: September 25, 2003
(Mount Vernon, NY) - Picture it…a
struggling football team needs to be toughened up, so their coach surprises them with a scrimmage against a menacing practice
squad made up of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars.
That's the premise of the upcoming television
commercial to promote the WWE "Survivor Series" pay-per-view, slated for November.
On September 10, Independent
Wrestling Federation (IWF) wrestlers Kevin Knight, Roman, BoneCrusher Fred Sampson, Shawn Donavan and Brandon Young participated
as members of that struggling football team in the film shoot to create the commercial at Memorial Stadium in Mount Vernon,
WWE superstars who took to the gridiron opposite the IWF'ers were Kurt Angle, The Big Show, Chris Benoit, The
Dudley Boyz, The APA, John Cena, The Hurricane and Rey Mysterio.
"This commercial shoot was definitely a tremendous
learning experience for me and a very enjoyable one at that," said Roman. "I was overly impressed at the attention
given to every detail of the production and when a scene was not quite good enough, there was an effort to immediately shoot
a better scene."
Back to the commercial. After the coaches' locker-room pep talk falls on deaf ears, the struggling
football squad hits the field only to see the larger-than-life WWE grapplers salivating at the chance of dishing out some
unnecessary roughness. At kickoff, all hell breaks loose.
The carnage sees Roman fall victim to Kurt Angle's ankle-lock.
Sampson and Young receive a double choke-slam courtesy of The Big Show. Roman gets caught in Chris Benoit's crippler cross-face
while John Cena hits the FU on Donavan. Faarooq blindsides Sampson with a shoulder tackle at the water-cooler, while Rey Mysterio
takes out Roman with a head-scissors. Last but not least, Knight feels the wrath of The Hurricane's reverse neck-breaker.
"Having the opportunity to work with Ron Simmons (Faarooq) during the scene where I was getting water on the
sidelines and received his patented football tackle was great," said Sampson. Of course, Simmons is a former collegiate
all-American football star from Florida State.
However, the most devastating scenes saw Brandon Young receive the
clothesline-from-hell by Bradshaw, and a 3-D through a table from The Dudley Boyz at the 50-year-line.
the stunts difficult was the fact that the IWF performers were dressed in full football gear and had to receive the moves
on a grass field that was slightly softer than concrete. But the production crew and WWE superstars made sure that safety
was a top priority.
"These guys always present themselves in a professional manner in everything they do,"
Shawn Donavan commented. "Getting to do this was incredible because you get to learn how things work behind the camera."
A production crew and support staff of about 35 individuals spearheaded the 12-hour day of filming, and the footage
will be edited down into a thirty-second commercial that airs world-wide starting in mid-October.
WWE does is first-rate," said Knight, who plays the role of the quarterback in the commercial. "From their wrestling
product to their television production, the WWE is arguably the best entertainment company in the business."
Brandon Young offered a similar observation after the shoot, saying "I'm that much smarter about the business as a
whole because in a way, I saw why WWE is so successful, and that's because they go the extra mile to make all the little things
count in everything they do."
As far as using this experience as a learning tool to make it to the next level,
Sampson added, "All of the WWE superstars are in phenomenal shape and witnessing that first-hand gives me more motivation
to train harder in the hopes that I get to work with WWE again soon."
Behind-the-scenes footage of the commercial
as well as interviews with WWE and IWF wrestlers will air on an upcoming episode of "WWE Confidential" on Spike
The IWF is pleased to continue its working relationship with WWE. In June, Knight and Roman wrestled
at the Raw and Smackdown TV tapings at Madison Square Garden. Knight and Roman are slated to compete at the Raw TV taping
October 21, 2003 in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and at the Smackdown TV taping October 22, 2003 in Albany, NY.
Kevin Knight & former WWE Diva Dawn Marie
during her first-ever match after training @ IWF Wrestling School (Feb 2001) Courtesy: