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IWF Wrestling School Celebrates 21st Anniversary

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

Registration Underway for Winter Semester this January 2021 in Nutley, NJ

NUTLEY, NJ – Since 1999, men and women from all walks of life travel to IWF Wrestling School three days a week in the hopes of becoming the next Rock or Hulk Hogan. From bodybuilders to accountants to lawyers, IWF makes championship dreams come true for aspiring WWE grapplers.

The nationally-accredited IWF Wrestling School, located in Nutley, NJ, is celebrating its 21st anniversary this December 2020. The program initially launched on December 18, 1999.

Head coach is Kevin Knight, a 24-year professional who teaches students basic holds and maneuvers, while providing the knowledge necessary to be successful in the lucrative sports-entertainment industry.

“Like anything in life, you are born to do certain things – whether it be a world-renowned musician or an NFL quarterback – and professional wrestling is no different,” Knight explained. “You either have it or you don’t. My job is to provide some guidance and pointers to our athletes that already have 'it' and allow them to harness their God-given talent and skills.”

Knight worked for major organizations, including WWE and NWA, battling Hall of Famers like Bob Backlund, King Kong Bundy, Brutus Beefcake and Iron Sheik. He has experience in all aspects of sports, entertainment and marketing, and combines his knowledge into formulating a strategy for success.

“I am fortunate to have learned from the greatest legends in this sport, and I pass along all that key insight to the students,” said Knight. “I still consider myself a student, as I get in the ring and practice at our classes to keep my skills sharp. No matter how long you’ve been wrestling, or playing guitar for that matter, you still need to practice!”

IWF Wrestling School, based in Woodland Park, NJ (formerly West Paterson) from 1999 to 2012, and Nutley, NJ from 2014 to present, had 60 graduates receive WWE, NXT, AEW, IMPACT, NJPW, ROH and NWA tryouts with 15 employed. IWF trains hundreds of athletes from 20 states and 9 countries including Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Puerto Rico and United States.

“Many graduates compete in matches around the world while some branched out into other entertainment genres and appeared on stage and screen in movies, television shows, commercials and theater productions,” Knight added. “From WrestleMania to Broadway…IWF has made its mark throughout the sports and entertainment industries.”

Famous graduates include WWE Superstar Darren Young from Union, NJ; WWE Referees Shawn Bennett from Butler, NJ and Danilo Anfibio from Woodland Park, NJ; NXT Manager Robert Stone from Woodbridge, NJ; and IMPACT Star Fallah Bahh from Bloomfield, NJ.

"Never forget where you came from,” said Darren Young. “Salute to IWF School for giving me my first start."​

"A proper start in pro wrestling is imperative,” Shawn Bennett said. “I am thankful for mine at IWF School."

IWF Wrestling School is endorsed by WWE Hall of Famers and Legends who serve as periodic guest coaches, including Tito Santana, Honky Tonk Man, Tom Prichard, Jim Powers, Bushwhacker Luke, Rip Rogers, John Bradshaw Layfield and more.

“If you want the best school to become a professional wrestler, it’s all about the IWF,” said Tito Santana. “From learning how to wrestle, from learning how to do interviews. There have been many wrestlers who have had the door opened for them in the WWE, why, because they know what they are doing in the IWF. The number one school is the IWF, and I guarantee you, the students do learn.”

The private training program, open to high-performance athletes ages 18 and up, begins a three-month winter semester this January 2021. For information or to apply, visit, or find IWF on social media @WrestlingIWF.

Over the past 21 years, IWF Wrestling School featured by WCBS 2 News, WNBC 4 News, FOX 5 Good Day New York, WABC 7 News, WOR 9 News, PIX 11 News, News 12 New Jersey, MTV, TMZ, TLC, Extra, Nickelodeon, MSG Network, YES Network, FOX News Channel, Telemundo, SiriusXM, 98.7 ESPN Radio, 710 WOR Radio, 1450 WCTC Radio, Media Coverage, TAPinto, Patch,, The Star-Ledger, The Record, Herald News, Compound Media, and Funny or Die.

Established in 1998, award-winning IWF Wrestling produced 709 family-friendly Live Events and Fundraisers with WWE Hall of Famers and Legends in 46 cities throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Each spring, IWF’s anniversary event supports a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with American Cancer Society the beneficiary since 2012. Other events benefited Semper Fi & America's Fund, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Tomorrows Children’s Fund, Twin Towers Orphan Fund, American Red Cross, United Way, Nutley Policemen and Firefighters’ Benevolent Associations, and high school athletic programs in Middletown, New Providence, Nutley, Verona and West Orange, NJ.

IWF conducts autograph sessions and speaking engagements at schools, libraries, hospitals, youth and civic organizations. Food, clothing and supply drives hosted for American Red Cross, United Way, Nutley Family Service Bureau, and Animal Shelters in Montclair and Bloomfield. Toys For Tots drive hosted for United States Marine Corps Reserve.


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