Testimonials

Gabe Sapolski
Evolve Wrestling Executive

“When I hear someone has trained with Les Thatcher I always pay extra attention to them. Les always instills a high level of professionalism, best viagra skill and fundamentals in any talent that has the privilege to work with him. Les is a true credit to the wrestling business. We can all learn from him.”


Elliott Russell
One Half of the NWA World Tag Team Champions – Heatseekers

The best way to describe Les Thatcher is that he’s that cool, funny, bad a$$ uncle we all have. Your parents can tell you something and you pay it no mind, but when Uncle Les Thatcher tells you…you straighten up real quick! He is “tough love” personified.

I’ve been honored to have attended 3 separate Les Thatcher seminars (which I recommend for every dream-chasing wrestler out there) and it was worth every bump! Anytime I need advice psychology wise, Les Thatcher is the first man I message. It’s the subtle, little details that he gives that make me realize how smart this man truly is. Les has watched probably a dozen of my matches and picked them apart from bell to bell. What did I do wrong? What did I do right? What needs work? How do I correct this/that? He doesn’t HAVE to answer these questions, but he does because he loves PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING and because that’s the kind of mentor/friend Les is.

Much love and respect to you Les Thatcher…you have done so much for me, I owe ya!
God Bless.


Steve Anthony
2 time NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion

I’ve had the honor and privilege to train under Les Thatcher many times and I always walk away learning something new. Les has help mold me into the wrestler, champion and man I am today! If you are in the business or want to be make it a point to attend one of his seminars! Do it for yourself and your career, it will be well worth it!


Jessie KayeJessica Kaye
“Winner of the 2014 Reid Flair Memorial Scholarship” at the Mid-Atlantic Legends Fanfest

Les Thatcher is always teaching. The first time I even saw Les he was surrounded by a group of wrestlers trying to soak in his knowledge. He’s immediately someone I gravitated towards to learn from, pilule and he’s not intimidating about it. He’s willing and anxious to give you his knowledge if you just LISTEN. If you have questions he’s just an email away, hospital and he WILL get back to you.

He’s like a member of your family from the moment you meet him in every way. He will tell you how it is; if something sucks he will tell you it sucks. If it’s great, he will tell you it’s great. If it’s almost there then he will tell you what to do to fix it to make it great and he’s encouraging along the way.

He has such a vast knowledge of history but isn’t ignorant to today’s characters and how the business operates today. He applies wrestling to real life and how the younger generation can grasp and relate to it. Above all, he just truly cares about wrestling but also the younger generation that is trying to live the dream that he has already lived. I am honored and privileged to know Mr. Les Thatcher and always look forward to learning from him every time I have the opportunity to see or speak with him.

I also owe him a few lunches for the simple words, “come on.” 🙂



sheldon goldberg
Sheldon Goldberg

Northeast Championship Wrestling (NECW) promoter

A huge thank you to Antonio Thomas for his hospitality at the Les Thatcher seminar he hosted at his Ringsport Wrestling Gym. I must share with you what a remarkable individual Les Thatcher is and why any pro wrestler should attend his seminars wherever they are held. At the tender age of 74, Les is as passionate, knowledgeable and articulate about pro wrestling as anyone you will ever meet. He is not just a wealth of historical information and experience but is totally tapped into the pulse of the business right this moment. A Les Thatcher seminar is worth going way out of your way for. On a personal note, I really enjoyed seeing Les, who I have not seen in several years. The man is a treasure.


antonio_thomasAntonio “The Promise” Thomas

Former WWE Superstar

I have known Les for only a few short years, but during that time I have had the opportunity to grow and improve immensely by training, learning, and working for Les. I have had the opportunity to train all over the world under some of the best trainers this sport has to offer and Les is right there at the top of that list. Any wrestler regardless of their experience or skill level will come out a smarter, better, and more polished worker through Les’ training and seminars. I am proud to train, work, and learn under Les, but more importantly, I am proud to call Les a friend. There is the old adage that you can’t teach experience, well Les has over 53 years of it. I suggest any serious worker looking to hone their craft should take the opportunity to learn and train under the legendary Les Thatcher.”

 

 


adamcole2

Adam Cole
Former ROH Champion

“I’ve had the honor and privilege of training under Les Thatcher on multiple occasions, and too say that he helped me grow as an athlete and a man would be an understatement. His willingness to help out the young talent is both admirable and motivational. There is no way I would have received the opportunities I have had and grown as a wrestler the way I have if it wasn’t for guys like Les. I can only hope that more people get the chance to learn a little something from this man, because I have certainly learned a lot.”

 

 

 

 


 

Brutal Bob Evans“Brutal” Bob Evans
ROH Manager/Wrestler/Promoter/Trainer

I’ve known Les for approximately 10 years.  During this time he has offered me his time, effort, and advice for which I am eternally grateful.  I look upon him as one of my “top-tier” mentors who has really accelerated my career when I was smart enough to listen.  If you are a promoter or run a wrestling school, I would not hesitate to seek Les out for his 50 years of wrestling expertise.  You will greatly benefit.  The man is a game-changer.

 

 


Kassius OhnoKassius Ohno
WWE Star (former ROH star Chris Hero)

I started wrestling in the fall of ’98.  After a year of “on-the-job” training, I found my way to Les Thatcher’s camp in the Cincinnati area.  I soon discovered that despite the dozens of independent promotions I had been working for and the hundreds of independent wrestlers I had worked with, my knowledge of wrestling was practically non-existent.  My mind was blown as Les put me through a crash course of the mental and physical (particularly the mental) aspects of professional wrestling.  Here I was, assuming that I had a solid base to build on, and I couldn’t have been more wrong!  Thanks to Les, I was then able to lay down a proper foundation for my wrestling career which holds strong even ten years later.

Les gets a bit of flack for his ‘tough love’ approach of coaching.  The truth is, to be a success; you need that voice of reason to direct you.  Unnecessary sugarcoating lulls so many wrestlers into a false sense of security regarding their potential careers.  If you wish to be a success in professional wrestling, you need to take matters seriously and that means finding an honest perspective.

Through the years, Les has continued to keep a modern eye on wrestling and has kept up with the changes to our business.  I now find Les to be an invaluable resource when it comes to asking for advice or looking to discuss wrestling in general.

Had I not stepped into Les’s gym in the summer of ’99, I don’t know how my career would have progressed.  However, I do know that I wouldn’t be where I am today and I am thankful for that.


Nigel McGuinnessNigel McGuinness
ROH Match-Maker/Former ROH World Champion
(former TNA star Desmond Wolfe)

Les started me out in the wrestling business a little over a decade ago.  He took a skinny kid from England with nothing more than a dream and a never-say-quit attitude and gave him the first inklings of respect for the business, understanding of psychology, and appreciation for the art form.  He pulled no punches and minced no words, but created a genuine desire in me to give everything I had to be successful.  In fact, when I first started wrestling, all I ever wanted was to, one day, make him proud.  Things have come a long way since then, but I still hold with me the desire to succeed and be the best I can possibly be, which in no small part came from Les.  He has seen a lot in the wrestling world, and the real world too.  Given the chance, he’ll give you insights into both.


Davey RichardsDavey Richards
Former ROH World Champion

Les Thatcher has been and continues to be what dedication, education, and professionalism is all about as pertaining to pro wrestling.  The knowledge he posses along with his passion to improve not only the wrestlers he comes in contact with but the wrestling business as a whole is unmatched anywhere in the world.  Any professional wrestler – untrained or veteran – would benefit tremendously from Les’ unmatched knowledge of the sport.

 

 


Tommaso CiampaTomasso Ciampa
ROH star (formerly Thomas Penmanship, Boston, Massachusetts)

I went to my first ever EPWT camp, which was held in North Carolina.  The camp was excellent.  When looking at the list of legends who would be training, on paper the decision was a no-brainer.  Once arriving in North Carolina, after about a 15 hour drive, I was instantly assured that it was well worth the trip.  Anytime you have the chance to learn from Steamboat, Dr. Tom, Tracy Smothers, Terry Taylor, and Les Thatcher, you know you will leave a better wrestler than you entered.  The camp I attended was half in-ring training and half lectures.  To listen to the trainers talk about the business was eye-opening.  I suggest that anyone who goes to a camp be sure to have a notebook.  As far as the in-ring training goes, the camp is a terrific way to learn the psychology of the business from some of the best.  I would suggest that any wrestler who is looking to make an impact in this business attend the camp.  You will certainly leave the camp a better wrestler than you enter.  As if all that is not enough, you also get to make some terrific contacts and meet some amazing people.  Good luck to all and continue to train hard.


Tony KozinaTony Kozina
ROH Star & Former 2x NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Champion

I sat with Les Thatcher in Dayton, Ohio for 45 minutes during an ROH event and I walked away with a completely new vision of how to approach my wrestling matches, and that was AFTER I had been wrestling for 12 years!

Many people have knowledge, but a great teacher is one who can deliver that knowledge in a manner that is clear, understandable, and easy to grasp.  Mr. Les Thatcher is the definition of a great teacher, and I will never forget that one simple 45 minute talk.  That’s how good he is.

 


Krissy VaineKrissy Vaine
Greensboro, North Carolina

Hi!  This is Krissy Vaine and I just wanted to take the opportunity to give credit where credit is due.  I just signed a developmental deal with the WWE.  I have only been wrestling a few years but I was able to learn and be trained by the best in the business.  Every time that EPWT came to NC I tried to always make sure that I took part in the camps.  I had already been to wrestling school and was “trained” but I knew the knowledge that I would receive from Les, Ricky, Harley, Dr Tom and whomever else may “drop” by would be priceless.  By taking part in these camps, I was able to learn so much about ring psychology and really hone my own skills.  The camp was very one on one and I received a lot of individual attention.  Just because I am a chick didn’t mean that I didn’t do every drill that all of the boys did.  I formed friendships not only with the wrestlers but also the trainers, though they were tough on me (especially Uncle Les).  I value so much the knowledge that I received from being able to train with these legends and I really believe that by taking part in this extra training I furthered my career at a faster pace.  Whether you are brand new or have been at it for a while you should never think that it’s ok to stop learning.  Believe me, you will learn at EPWT and you will be learning from the best in our biz.  So, if you have the opportunity take part in these camps!!!!  They are well worth the time and money.

Krissy Vaine attended the November 2004 seminar in Spindale, North Carolina, said:

My experience attending my first EPWT camp this weekend was amazing. I have been working on the indy circuit as a wrestler for only about a year and 1/2 and I jumped on the opportunity to train and learn from legends such as Rick, Les and Tully (Blanchard)– who made a guest appearance on day one and stayed for the day. I learned more in three days about this great business than I did in 6 months wrestling on the indys. From ring psychology, to tweaking moves, to adding character and intensity to my ring presence I feel like with the knowledge I received this weekend I will be a step ahead of those who I know that did not attend. I received plenty of one on one interaction and advice from all three of trainers. This is an experience that is priceless and should be taken advantage of by every wrestler on the independents who wants to advance to the next level or be at the top of his or her game. My only regret was that Harley was unable to make this seminarand I was unable to learn from him also. If I have the chance to attend another EPWT camp I will jump at it. This was a great experience and my most sincere thank you’s go out to Les, Rick, Harley and Tully( for attending the camp in Spindale). What you guys are doing and giving back to this great business is appreciated so much by myself and everyone else who ever attends one of your camps!!! You guys are the BEST!!!!


Lance NevadaVance Nevada
CNWA Wrestling (Alberta, Canada)

What separates Les Thatcher’s Elite Pro Wrestling Camp from any other program on the market comes down to two very important elements, which, when combined, create a very powerful impact with students…Experience and Passion.

Not only does Les demonstrate his experience by breaking down fundamentals and psychology of wrestling in a context which is easily absorbed, but his genuine interest in the success of each student in the camp (whether they are bound for stardom or will live out their days on the undercard on the independents) shows through.  His feedback to every student in the camp gives them encouragement and direction to fulfill whatever goals they have set before themselves.  I would highly recommend this program to any wrestling promotion or camp which aspires to present the best talent and overall product possible.  We will definitely schedule this program again in the future.


Dany Only“Human Hand Grenade” Dany Only

I wanted to take a moment to speak about the NWA Excellence/Elite Pro Wrestling Training camp that I attended (March 19-21, 2009) at the NWA Anarchy arena in Cornelia, GA.

I thought that I knew a little bit about wrestling, having been a fan for 20 years, around it for 8 years, and in it for 5 years.  Something dawned on me when listening to Les Thatcher talk about wrestling.  I didn’t know shit!

To say the camp was a valuable experience does no justice at all.  There is really no way to categorize the knowledge that I feel I have gained in just three days working with, and listening to Les.  Not once was he disrespectful, he did not berate anyone, and he never once had to raise his voice.  His position and demeanor spoke more than his words needed to and people knew when to shut up and listen.  Brutal honesty is something that few people can handle.  If something you did sucked, Les let you know.  But it was not left at that.  He let you know why it sucked and what you needed to do to improve on it.

So many people in wrestling today are comfortable with their position.  They do not need to train to get better and they do not need to listen to anyone’s advice.  I feel that people like this drag the business down.  There are people who know “there is no such thing as too much ring time” and there is always room to improve.  These are the people that I look up to.  To stop trying to improve makes you a weaker competitor day by day.  Some think that they can get a wealth of knowledge looking at tapes, however, if you do not know what to watch for, watching tapes does you no damn good.  People think that they are in good enough shape, some are sorely mistaken.  Some wrestlers believe that they can get by on fancy gimmicks and interesting poses alone, or simply on their physiques.  These are a dime a dozen.  Les teaches you the one thing that you need to know, you need to know how to work.  You need to know how to work with anyone, how to adapt on the fly, how to listen to the crowd without having the crowd dictate the match you will have.

In short, I have a lot to learn, and I will continue to train and listen in attempts to get better.  I hope that I am able to attend another of these camps in the near future.  If anyone in the wrestling business wants to improve their game, then they NEED to attend one of these camps.  Sit down, shut up and listen. You will be amazed at what you learn.

Almost EVERY person at the camp that has improved.  It is weird to say that three days had such an effect, but everyone who was at this camp, JT Talent, Drew “Money” Pendleton, Tyler Smith, Andy Alexander, Shaun Tempers, Bo Newsome and Kareem Jamar to name a few, are looking better and better.  The way they think in the ring when going over a match, when in the gym…everything has improved.  Something was “awakened” in these guys, in all of us.  We want to try harder, push ourselves harder and be the best damn wrestlers that we can be.

Thank you again, and come back soon!


Bobby WohlfertBobby Wohlfert
NWA Excellence

I’ve finally had a little time to sit down to write this and I wanted to thank you so very much for the wonderful seminar & the many lessons you taught us (March 19-21, 2009) at NWA Anarchy.  It was very insightful.  I try to use what you taught us every time in the ring, and pass along that same knowledge to wrestlers I work with.  Your vote of confidence after the entire seminar, your great words of wisdom after every drill and the 3 way match on the final day inspired me.  I hope to do you and the rest of the trainers proud for the remainder of my wrestling career.  I am humbled by your graciousness & giving as a trainer, and look forward to another seminar/training camp in the future!  I just hope I’m not deployed (United States Marine Corps) at the time.

Also, I want to say that you also reminded me of a man I greatly respect and admire from my past.  You have the same philosophy & mentality as my former high school wrestling coach, for whom I owe everything in my life to.  His name was Duane Wohlfert and I have named myself after him in the ring to pay my respects.  He passed away in June of 2006, one week after I was deployed in Iraq.  He wrestled for Michigan State University and was considered one of the greatest coaches in Michigan wrestling history.  Your methods and techniques reminded me greatly of him.  In a way, I was trying to make him proud him; and for that, I can’t thank you enough.

Thank you again for your time in reading this, as I wanted to personally convey my gratitude and couldn’t while everyone tried to get your ear before you left on Sunday from the arena.  I look forward to seeing you again.


Dan Wilson“The Reverend” Dan Wilson
NWA Anarchy Wrestling

I’d like to take this opportunity to once again sincerely thank Les Thatcher for the knowledge, wisdom and experience he lent our crew for our first ever EPWT/NWA Excellence Camp.  The talent who were lucky enough to attend this camp all have progressed five or more steps ahead from where they were when they went into it.  It was amazing to see some of them put to use the things they’d learned in that one day of training at the television taping that night.  We had talent from four states come to Georgia for this experience, not to mention a sizeable group of our regulars.  If you think you want to be or think you are a professional wrestler, or compete on the independent level, this camp is not something I “just recommend.”  No matter your experience level (there was one individual with a TNA contract in attendance), no matter your size or shape, this camp is an absolute necessity.  If every Indy show brought Les in for a camp a couple times a year, I think we’d see a reshaping of the entire independent scene, and in the most positive way possible.  Not to mention as merely a bonus, if you run TV, you can listen to those legendary golden pipes on commentary once again.  Thanks again Les, we are eternally grateful to you, and can’t wait to do it again….


Curtis StoneCurtis Stone
Owner & Founder of Warriors 4 Christ Wrestling (W4CW)

Warriors 4 Christ Wrestling (W4CW) had a recent 3 day seminar scheduled with Les Thatcher and as the owner and founder, the best way to explain the seminar is WOW!!!  After 25 years in the business, I still learned a tremendous amount.  I learned on four levels: how to improve my shows as a promoter, how to improve my Warriors’ skill as a trainer, some serious do’s and dont’s as a wrestler, and as a fan of Les’s for so many years I learned he is the “REAL DEAL”.  He personally got in and trained with each wrestler and took time to explain everything with such precise instruction.  ANY promoter, wrestler, trainer or fitness school can learn so much in three days.  We will use Les as follow up and several times a year…Thanks Les for helping out W4CW!!


The Ground Xero Wrestling

We at Ground Xero cannot express our gratitude enough for sharing your wisdom and experience with us.  Across the board, EVERYONE learned so much from the time you were with us.  We STILL get calls from those participants thanking us for hosting your seminar.

Not only did you reinvigorate our own training program, you lit a fire under the backsides of some of our trainees and other local talents.  You were able to support our training by reinforcing the messages we have been sharing with them since day one.  And there is no better person for anyone to hear any message in the world of professional wrestling from than you.  And there’s also no one better to tell it as directly as Mr. Thatcher can.

We plan on bringing Mr. Thatcher back in the future, not only for the opportunity for more of our students and local talent to gain valuable training from, but for those who have participated previously to continue their own refinement even further.  We can’t wait to have our students and talent who have continued to implement the lessons they learned from our weekend with Mr. Thatcher to show off the improvements they have accomplished.

We greatly appreciate the time and talents you shared with us.  Here at Ground Xero, we cannot thank you enough.  To any other promotion, training center, or wrestler, if you do not have EPWT or Les Thatcher as a part of your experience, you are missing out.


Rich Tate
Webmaster of Georgia Wrestling History website

If anyone wants to SERIOUSLY learn about this business, and if there ever was ONE person who could teach it to you, his name would be LES THATCHER.  I have seen him working with some of the younger guys before, and the passion and energy he brings to the table is inspiring.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity if you can help it.


MinotaurBrian “Minotaur” Falcon

I attended your meeting at Percy’s (Percy Pringle’s Gulf South Wrestling ) school in Mobile, Ala.  Also met you at the Gulf Coast Reunion.  I took to heart what you said about being out of shape and trying to make it in this business.  I purchased the book (The Professional Wrestler’s Instructional & Workout Guide) and have been following the weight workout program you have in there since that weekend.  Since then I have dropped 40+ pounds!!!  I started on a strict diet and been hitting the treadmill about 30 minutes a day.  All I need now is a ring close to here where I can try that cardio workout (The 5-5-5) that everyone is afraid of!!!!

I just wanted to say THANKS for opening my eyes!!  I even feel confident enough to take the damn muscle shirt off!!!


Julius Augustus
AWA-CWF Mid-Atlantic

Les Thatcher, Tom Pritchard, and Tully Blanchard, wow what a group!  I had the privilege of learning from these three “wrestling gurus” in November 05′ at the Spindale, NC camp.  Les Thatcher exuded that father-like care to all of the trainees.  He was full of countless stories and “old school” wisdom that is, and will always be invaluable to the future of professional wrestling.  You can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.  There is a reason why Dr. comes before Tom Pritchard’s name.  Tom was breaking down and analyzing all of the finer points of wrestling psychology.  His tag team psychology is “priceless.”  Dr. Tom gave us a lot of insight into what it takes to make it to the “big time.”  Tully gave us a lot of info on wrestling psychology as well as how we should approach this profession.  He talked about growing up in pro wrestling.  He talked about learning the “ropes” firsthand and early.  My advice to any wrestler out there that is serious about improving their overall game, attend one of these camps.  I give you my word, you won’t regret it!


VenusVenus

It is with great enthusiasm that I highly recommend this camp to anyone who is serious about the wrestling business.

If you are looking for that edge in the ring, are stumped and at odds as to what your next step should be, the best thing to do is to get in front of the people that can help you and give you logical advice for optimum results.  The camp covers an entire wrestling career in three days!  I believe that it can shed years of trial and error from your learning and professional wrestling experience.

I will begin by breaking down the camp and exactly how it benefited me.

The trainers deal with all of us at an individual and personal level, taking time to single each and every one of us in private.

In-Ring Ability: What you can and cannot do from both a psychological and physical point of view.  It is neither hurried nor slow; everything is covered at the pace of each individual student.  If you need to slow down (such as I do!) if you require more intensity, not only are you told what to do; you are challenged to figure out other ways to execute a story.

Look and Physical Appearance: Not only do they explain where you are strong and what you are lacking in look and appearance, but also they give you the necessary tools to make these changes.  In my experience I was told what my physical strengths and weakness were; given a list of the exercises that would improve my problem areas, and to top it off a meal plan that would make the whole thing a NO BRAINER!

Charisma/Personality: Trust me when I say that they will not hold back!  They ask you to convince them of your passion and heart for this business, because when times get hard you need to have the heart to stick thru the tough times.  They ask you to convince them that you are really in the ring fighting for your life, and if you are a baby to garner the compassion from the audience by relying not on the usual “Indy” stereotyped behavior but your own characters appeal; through facial expression and ability to convey emotion.

I know that this camp prepared me mentally, emotionally and physically to seek out the next step in my career. Before this camp I wasn’t confident in my role as a female wrestler.  For one I felt that my appearance was lacking in the Diva look that the current large company is looking for.  Secondly, I didn’t feel that my in ring ability was strong enough. It was only thru the encouragement of Les Thatcher and the other trainers that I finally contacted Tommy Dreamer Talent Scout and coordinator for the WWE.  I believe that because of this experience I have secured a future tryout before Tommy Dreamer.

Thank you for all of your help and I look forward to participating once more in your future camps!

Maria M. Arellano, “Venus”, Austin, TX


“The Big Islanders” Makua & Ka Hoku
Boston, Massachusetts

Going to the seminar held in Spindale, NC was an  an unbelievable experience!  It taught us so much.  The trainers gave individual attention to each person making is feel like there was no one there but you and them.  When Les and Ricky spoke and explained, you could FEEL their love for the business and what they were doing.

We have been to other camps and seminars that just weren’t anything like this.  Other seminars had the trainers talking about what was wrong and how to fix it, but these guys do it with you over and over until you get it right.

They taught us psychology about things that you wouldn’t normally take into consideration during a match but make so much sense once put into action.  We left feeling like we were better workers and a better tag team!

We had such a great experience, we are going back for the January seminar and we are bringing other workers with us!

Thank you EPWT!!

Sam and Tony (Makua & Ka Hoku)


Eric Darnell Anderson
PWF Northeast

I have had the pleasure of being a part of this great business for 20 years now. During that time I have always believed that learning from the ‘Masters’ is a rare and golden opportunity.  The EPWT firmly proves that rule.  They also showed that you can always learn more in this business if you are willing to listen and soak up the knowledge available to you.  During the weekend I spent with these fine gentlemen I gained a re-appreciation for the basics, a greater depth of understanding character presentation, many different views on successful booking, the fine line between ‘selling’ and ‘dying’, some more shooting, and priceless historical information.  This is just a small sample of what we picked up.

These men, already established legendary wrestlers, showed themselves to be master teachers as well. As a former educator and coach I appreciated the qualities they showed: brightness, caring, charisma.  These men, who have every reason to be arrogant and condescending were the complete opposite.  They were encouraging and supportive, but tough when the time called for it.  Some youngsters out there think that they know it all when they have been at it for 3 years and have had 100 matches. They will think otherwise after only a few moments with men who had 300 matches in their very first year.

These legends also show a vast understanding of subtlety.  Harley Race commented, ” I made the championship belt the heel”.  If you do not know what he means, you should take the time to ask him. After all, many people have won championships, but Harley Race is one of the few who DEFINED what being a champion means.  By the same token, Ricky Steamboat , in my book the greatest working baby face of all time, has tremendous insight on tag team wrestling (if you have no idea he and Jay Youngblood formed one of the greatest teams ever, you are sorely lacking in your knowledge and appreciation of this business)  and being a great baby face. Les Thatcher will be able to tell you how to be effective in subtle ways from the time you enter the ring , to the lock up , to the way you exit.

If you were a baseball fan and had the chance to learn from Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, and John McGraw you would do so.  If you were a basketball fan and could learn from Phil Jackson, Magic Johnson, and Bill Russell, you would do so. If you were a fan of football and could learn from Pele,  Macalister, and Maradona, you would do so. If you were an American football fan and could learn from Montana, Unitas, and Butkus, you would do so. The wrestling equivalent is here, the chance to learn is before you, and I recommend that you do so.

Eric Darnell Anderson, Esq.   Wrestling’s “Ebony Blade”


Matt West and Kyle Storm
Owners of PWF Northeast

“After eleven years of working in the business, I was beginning to feel that I wanted to only concentrate on promoting. Working with Les, Harley, and Rick for three days was invigorating. I have since decided that it’s not quite time to hang up the boots. The trainers of EPWT have so much knowledge to pass on, I would push for every worker to attend one of their seminars. It’s not often that you get an opportunity to train with one, if not multiple, bona fide legends. These are men who paved the way for our generation. If you only take home half of what I learned this past weekend, you still will be way ahead of the game!”

Matt West and Kyle Storm, Owners of PWF Northeast


Jeff Anderson
Knoxville, Tennessee

Les, Harley, Ricky, and Leilani, you all have out done yourselves.  I am still JACKED UP about the camp last week. I have absorbed so much in my small brain that it hurts. This camp was great, and I can’t wait till there is another one close to me. I could not wait to get home and call Tim Horner, and Tony Anthony and tell them about the information that I received.

I’ve been in the business for 15 yrs. and at the age of 41, I thought I knew a little.  I was ready to walk out Thursday morning but after listening to Harley and Les I quickly realized that I did not know much about this business.  I listened and tried to apply myself to what little I did know.  I walked away from this camp with a new fresh attitude and the will to go out and make myself the best I can possibly be.   This is my hobby but I have a great passion for my hobby.  I still have a few goals I would like to achieve in this business, and I am going to strive to those goals.  With a little more help, and a lot more work, I can get there.  You guys have paved the road for a “nobody” like me and I am not going to let that road turn to gravel on my time.

This business has little respect in it now days.  There are wrestling companies popping up everywhere that don’t know a headlock from a headband.  Myself as well as few others, whether we are full timers or hobbyist, have a passion for this business and we also have respect for all of you.

If you did not get emotional when you received that certificate of merit then your heart’s not where it needs too be.  For a split second I had to fight back tears.  Why? Because this business is close to my heart and I am so appreciative to people who are willing to sacrifice their time to teach me their craft. Call me a mark.  No, I just think I am one of a dying breed that has a passion for this business and still respect my elders who paved the way and are still trying to protect this great sport.  For anyone that has a question in their mind about this camp, let me tell you, don’t hesitate to go, it is well worth the money and time.  You can’t even imagine what you will learn in this camp.

This business is a continuous learning experience.  We learn every time we get in the ring. If you never want to be any better, then you need to stay at home.  But if you want to learn, and excel, then don’t hesitate.  If this camp comes close to you and if you have the passion, then you be the first one to sign up.  I promise you will not be let down. To all my fellow campers and instructors I love you guys from the bottom of my heart and I can’t thank you all enough on the impact that you all have created in my life.  Once again guys, I thank you. I also want to thank all of you guys including Stryker, Ace, Steve, and Cody for all of your help in camp.   In Wrestling, Jeff Anderson


Michael Texeira
Greenville, South Carolina

I have been on the independent wrestling circuit for two years. I don’t claim to have been in the business for those 2 years because Elite Pro Wrestling Training Camp (EPWTC) taught me a lot about the wrestling business that I did not know. I knew of the basic holds and moves which is one of the many reasons I enjoy this profession.

When I heard of this wrestling camp hosted by Harley Race and Les Thatcher, I had some doubts, as I knew this would be a risk of time and money.  I had spoken to many other wrestlers and I was told that this camp was just a generated payday for those involved. But I had decided to take this opportunity to expand my horizons and learn from someone else. Little did I know that those other wrestlers were DEAD WRONG.

The 1st day of camp was a “shell shock” to my wrestling career. Granted, the moves and holds were the similar…but the intensity level was off the page. The EPWT trainers seemed to be on a much higher level than I was. Harley Race and Les Thatcher taught these men and women how to be a smart, tough, and a strategist in the ring. These two instructors would not allow for any of us to just go through the motions. You had to work your tail off. You had to be thinking and reacting twice as fast as your opponent.

On top of all of that, a man whom wrestled against Randy “Macho Man” Savage in perhaps one of the greatest Wrestlemania matches to date; made his presence felt.  Ricky ” The Dragon” Steamboat had arrived. He personally taught me how to take a basic elementary move…the arm drag… and make it look like a high impact move. That is only the “tip of the iceberg” of the kind of knowledge that he has and he is very willing to teach to anyone who has a burning desire to learn.

I also learned how hard you have to train to make it in this business. Wrestling is not just a Friday or Saturday night at an arena. It is a lifestyle. A hard road of pain and sacrifice; not made for everyone, but for those who have a passion and a desire to be the best.

I returned to the independent circuit and I feel like I am on a much higher level than most of the other guys… The EPWT training seminar allowed me to elevate my game and move one step closer to realizing my dream.  I recommend this course to any wrestler who wants to elevate their performance and not become just another tomato in this business.  Regards and good luck to those who possess the fire.

Tynan “The Dark Lion”


Christi RicciChristie Ricci
Nashville, Tennessee

To be perfectly honest, I did not know what to expect the first day of camp and I was extremely nervous.  Being one of the only females made me feel as if I had greater expectations to meet.  I am a female wrestler, but I don’t want to wrestle like one.  I never want to be treated differently because I am a female.  It is important to me that I am treated like one of the guys, and I can honestly say that everyone was extremely professional.  The three days I spent at the EPWT training camp not only improved my wrestling ability, but it also taught me valuable information that people seem to overlook these days.

I have always been told that sometimes it is the small things that matter.  This is defiantly true in wrestling.  This camp taught me how to slow down and pay attention to the minor details.  I realized that I concentrate so hard on the holds and execution of moves that I forget about the minor details that set apart a wrestler from an endowed wrestler.

Common sense is something we are taught as children, but it is amazing how many times we forget to apply it to wrestling.  That may sound like an ignorant statement, but I think at some time we have all been guilty of not applying common sense to wrestling.

I have always thought that psychology was something you had to experience and it couldn’t just be taught.  Well, in these three days I learned more about ring psychology then I have learned in the past year.  Over the last year I have been fortunate enough to be able to work with one of the best female veterans in the business –Leilani Kai, and during this camp I felt like everything she has been teaching me started to make complete sense.

The best part of the EPWT camp was the overall learning experience I walked away with.  I am so eager to learn, and to be taught by veterans such as Steamboat, Les, Harley, and Leilani was truly an honor.  I am very grateful for these people making an effort to keep this business alive by passing on their knowledge and experiences. – THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!