How To Succeed In Indie Wrestling with MCW Pro’s Phil Stamper

Besides his work in wrestling, Phil has also tried his hand at acting, appearing in multiple films, mainly in the horror genre. With the success of The Rock and John Cena transitioning to the acting arena, Stamper says his wrestling experience has paid dividends in acting and vice versa.

On Acting…

In wrestling you definitely need to know how to react to a crowd and have them do what you want them to do, no different than a play or a movie. I’d like to hope I can transfer my skill set over. There’s tricks in theater and film production I can carry into pro wrestling too.

Who are some of your favorite wrestlers right now?

Sami Callihan, Marty Scurll in ROH. I’ve always been a technical wrestling fan. Shane Strickland (Killshot in Lucha Underground) I’ve seen since day one, and it’s amazing to see what he can do. I like more of the guys that have potential to offer, but are not totally refined yet.

Who do you think is ready to take the next step and breakout?

Trey Miguel (Rockstar Pro World Champion) – When I first saw him in October he was decent. Then in March/April I was like “Wow, he stepped up his game.” And then I saw him in May and he was even better. He’s going to keep constantly improving.

oVeJake Crist has redefined himself. He has a different persona. He and his brother Dave Crist are both on Impact now.

Sammy Guevera (Inspire Pro) – He just had a WWE tryout but he’s not signed yet.

Eli Everfly out of CA – A really entertaining Brazilian jiu jitsu guy.

Without the means both financially and marketing wise, indie promotions often rely on stars from the past to draw crowds. This September 30th, MCW Pro presents its 2nd Annual Tribute To The Stars featuring appearances by Goldberg, the Steiner Brothers and Christian, as well as matches featuring the stars of MCW Pro.

How To Succeed In Indie Wrestling With MCW Pro's Phil Stamper, Goldberg
Goldberg is one of many stars at MCW Pro’s 2nd Annual Tribute To The Legends on September 30th. Photo: The Sun

What role do the legends play in promoting your own performers and brand?

MCW’s model has done well for them (by incorporating) name recognizable talent. So people who might say “Oh hey, I know who Lita is (as a past example), I want to go see Lita.” At the same time, they’ve seen the solid event and get invested in the quality of the event that they’re watching. “It’s really cool, I want to come back.” And we hold that crowd. Lio Rush’s last MCW match, there really wasn’t any other famous talent featured on the card, yet we had over 800 people. This speaks to the quality of the product.

How do you compete with a company the size of the WWE?

You have to build up a stable fanbase. I am a believer in wrestling as a business. Let’s say you have a wrestling shop not along “Main Street” , but along the backside of a shopping mall. How do you compete? You go online and use social media, but you also talk to businesses near you, hand out flyers. You probably talk up the business, get word of mouth, get some recognition and we’ve been fortunate to do that. Also, bringing in name recognizable talent and giving them a positive experience. Then they share that with other talent and the word gets around that this is a great place to be.

How To Succeed In Indie Wrestling With MCW Pro's Phil Stamper, Rage TV
Rage TV subscriptions are half the price of the WWE Network at only $4.99 a month
Photo: MCW Rage TV

With so much wrestling available right now, why should people go to an MCW Pro Show or watch Rage TV? What sets you apart?

We’re an alternative to the mainstream. We provide a different, and I like to think better,  athleticism than you see on TV. It’s an honest experience. On the WWE side, here they are traveling town to town. They’re trying to force feed an experience to a crowd, while the live crowd is booing them out of the building. Indies do a better job of saying what a crowd experience is like. We’re a family friendly promotion. It’s still top quality athleticism but in an environment that makes families feel welcome to come.

A lot of guys that come right up from our school so you’re not seeing those guys in other areas. The wrestlers are loyal to us. I’ve never heard anybody say you can’t work at this other place but it’s my home, I have my place here. They’ve had good opportunities to work name recognizable talent. We’re not just throwing in talent right out of training.

Leon St. Giovanni and Shaheem Ali are on the event. They’re not MCW guys, but tremendous talent from Ring of Honor. You’re getting a look at talent that you are going to see later (on a bigger stage). Coming out of the MCW training school, we’ve had Mickie James, Lita, Orlando Jordan, Velveteen Dream, Lio Rush. We have the caliber of people who make a name for themselves.

How To Succeed In Indie Wresting With MCW Pro's Phil Stamper, Lio Rush
Former MCW Pro standout Lio Rush is on his way to NXT.
Photo: f4wonline

When a talent like Lio Rush leaves for a bigger promotion, is this a good or bad thing for a company like MCW Pro?

It’s a boon for us because it’s a boon for Lio. No one has ever said like we need to make a spectacle about Lio coming from MCW. So when we had his last match, Lio talked about everything he learned and gained from the experience here. Nobody told him to do this. No one even knew if he was going to grab a mic.

Check out MCW Pro this fall on their Autumn Armageddon tour

MCW Pro’s 2nd Annual Tribute to the Legends features Goldberg, Christian, Rosemary, The Steiner Brothers, Kenny & Mikey from the Spirit Squad, Tony Atlas, Mandy Leon, Jillian Hall, Virgil, Francine, Grandmaster Sexay, Madison Rayne, Gary Michael Capetta, Gillberg, Henry O Godwin, and Bill Apter. The Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup Trophy Presentation will also take place with winner Joey Matthews(aka Joey Mercury). Tag champions Guns 4 Hire will also defend their titles against former champs F.U.

MCW Pro brings the Autumn Armageddon tour across Maryland. Check them out at the additional dates/locations.

October 7th/Galina, MD – Autumn Armageddon

October 21st/Manchester Valley High School, MD (feat. Kevin Nash)

November 10th – Joppa, MD

November 11th – Hollywood, MD (featuring “Road Warrior” Animal, Melina, Abyss,& Paul Ellering)

Check out all MCW Pro Wrestling at

Find Phil Stamper on Facebook @Deskofphilstamper and Twitter @PSPhenom

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