King of the Independents
There have been few professional wrestlers that have cultivated the sport in a way Reckless Youth has without being a star in a major wrestling company. The Reckless Youth character was cultivated by returning to a lost period of time in wrestling where wrestlers traveled all over the country, many times at their expense, just to make a name for themselves in the business. Reckless Youth was able to build a grass roots “cult-like” following at a time when the internet just began to play a major part in wrestling (1995 – 1996). He found his niche bringing together various styles from different areas in the world into his own approach (Japanese, Mexican, American, and European Hybrid) that was later duplicated by wrestlers making their way up or into the business in later years. He has been credited with ushering in the era of the light heavyweight division into American Independent Wrestling prominence. Few have made the mark on professional wrestling as Reckless has especially considering that he was never a national star. The results of that influence can still be felt to this day.
Performing in Texas
Performing in Delaware
Performing in Ring of Honor
Every story has a humble beginning
Reckless began his official wrestling training at Larry Sharpe’s Monster Factory in Clementon, NJ in 1994 but had loose training going as far back as 1992 between Johnny Rock’s Rock Shop in Philadelphia, PA and Dick Woehrle’s training center in Voorhees, NJ. His first official professional wrestling match was against Mark “The Shark” Schrader in February 1995 at the Clementon, NJ WWA wrestling center. Between the middle of 1995 and through much of 1996, through a close friendship with D-Lo Brown, Reckless was able to frequently train at Al Snow’s facility in Lima, OH. that shaped much of the character.
History has shown us the importance of names and Reckless would be no exception.
King of the Independents
The “King of the Independents” moniker given to him was born out of a well publicized “NWO type” feud between some East Coast wrestlers referred to as the ECI (East Coast Invasion) and a Michigan company known as the Northern States Wrestling Alliance (NSWA) run by the late Dan Curtis. Reckless’ manager, Dave Prazak, began to refer to him as the “King of the Independents” during promos and the label stuck. The label was easily justified by his appearance on independent wrestling shows throughout various areas of the United States by that time.
We are just starving artists trying to sell our paintings.
During the career of Reckless Youth, he competed in 31 of the 50 United States many times working several in weekend booking loops. The Reckless Youth name could easily appear in the top ten rankings of many different regional independent companies featured in wrestling publications such as Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler. It was not at all uncommon for his name to be referenced in a feud or as an inspiration in the “Introducing” articles of up and coming professional wrestlers during that time. The hard work was recognized in 1998 when he was ranked in the number 50 position in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500.
Long form interview with Paul Ponte at Indy Handshake
Long form interview with Bret Lynn for Gird Your Loins