Wrestling Buzzsaw: Tribute To The Wrestling Career Of BJ Whitmer Part 1

Added by Stephen J Sutton

August 2013, in the Mattay Athletic Centre at the Garden (formally known as the Maple Leaf Centre) at ROH’s All Star Extravaganza V event; BJ Whitmer suffered an neurological injury after an piledriver on the ring apron {this is not the first time an piledriver seriously injured a wrestler. Two other wrestlers have felt the same fate Stone Cole Steve Austin (Summer Slam 1997 against Owen Hart) and Masahiro Chono (NJPW Battle Autumn 1992 night eleven against Steve Austin} thanks to the hand of Mike Bennett. This lead to the hard decision to announce his retirement at Ring Of Honor’s Death Before Dishonor event this past September. Let’s have a look at the Buzzsaw’s thirteen year career in the square circle.

BJ started training in Heartland Wrestling Association in Cleveland, Ohio with Les Thatcher. Before making his in ring debut Les gave BJ the opportunity to be a referee in the promotion and BJ took him up on the offer until he made his in ring debut against The Xtremist on 23rd January 2000 in Eastern High School in Russellville, Ohio however came out on the losing end. He got his revenge over The Xtremist in March. On 10th May, BJ made his IWS Mid South debut once again on the losing end against Shark Boy. In 2001 he had the honor of being scouted and having the opportunity of going over to Japan and wrestle in Pro Wrestling NOAH in the spring, he took on such stars as Takeshi Morishima, Tamon Honda, Takeshi Roki and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. Plus he was able to team with Scorpio (formally known as Flash Funk in WWF 1996- 1999) and Too Cool Scorpio (ECW  1994 – 1996 and 1998 – 2000) and WCW 1992 -1994). When BJ returned to the states after his first taste of Japan he returned back to both HWA and IWS: Mid South. He had the second taste of NOAH in the winter and had an opportunity wrestling Naomichi Marufuji. Unfortunately BJ had to leave IWS Mid South due to that Les Thatcher had signed a contract with the WWE to make HWA a developmental territory for the WWE.

After two years of wrestling, BJ captured his first ever piece of championship gold in the form of the HWA Cruiserweight championship on May 4th 2002 defeating defending champion Shannon Moore, Matt Stryker and Jamie Knoble in an Four Way Elimination match in Dayton Ohio. He would hold to the championship for two months before losing it to Rory Fox in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the summer of 2002 he received an opportunity to wrestle in National Wrestling Alliance Total Nonstop Wrestling in a dark match against follow Heartland Wrestling Association trainee Matt Stryker, the only other time BJ would wrestle in a NWA TNA ring was teaming with Matt Stryker taking on Spanish Announce Team the following year on an episode of Xplosion. While teaming with Stryker, he debuted in NWA Wildside on 21st December debuting on their television tapings taking on Palm Beach Boys (John Holcombe and Scott Ross), he also debuted in IWC (Independent Wrestling Cartel) on 16th November taking on Shirely Doe.  In IWS Mid South, BJ was able to win the first ever Ted Petty Tournament {it originally was known as the Sweet Science Sixteen but was renamed in honor of Ted Petty (former ECW Tag Team Champion Rocco Rock) who died back on 21 September 2002} and also captured IWS Mid South Championship by winning the tournament defeating CM Punk; however, lost the championship the following event back to Punk.

In 2003, BJ debuted in four independent promotions (BPW (Buckeye Pro Wrestling), IPW (Insanity Pro Wrestling), ROH (Ring Of Honor) and PWG (Pro Wrestling Guerrilla). It was in ROH where Whitmer made his mark; having an opportunity for the ROH Championship against Samoa Joe in Dayton, Ohio at Wrath Of The Racket and making it to the final of the promotions first ever Field Of Honor. However, after the ROH Championship match (at Final Battle 2003) between Mark Briscoe and Samoa Joe and while CM Punk was in the ring it was confirmed that BJ attacked Lucy (formally known as WCW’s Daffney) back at Wrath Of The Racket for the Prophecy (Allison Danger, Christopher Daniels and Dan Maff) to join the faction. In IWS Mid South BJ won the first ever Revolution Strong Style tournament by defeating CM Punk. BJ made his final appearance for Les Thatcher’s Heartland Wrestling Association in an War Games match teaming with Cody Hawk, Nigel McGuiness and Quinten Lee taking on a team from BPW which featured Carlton Kaz, Dean Jablonski, Fabulous Frederick, Matt Stryker and Shark Boy; also, BJ made his final appearance in NWA: Wildside.

When 2004 came BJ made his debut in six independents {CZW (Combat Zone Wrestling), FIP (Full Impact Pro),NWA, NWA No Limits, PWI (Pro Wrestling Iron) and Pro Wrestling Zero One USA}. In IWA Mid South he re captured the IWA Mid South Championship by defeating Jerry Lynn in an thirty minute iron man match at IWA Mid South April Bloodshowers but however only to lose it to Pete Williams at IWA Mid South A Shot Of Southern Comfort. In ROH, BJ and Dan Maff left the Prophecy after their leader was taken out by CM Punk and they captured ROH Tag Team Championship from the Second City Saints at Round Robin Challenge III but lost them in the same night to the Briscoe Brothers. They went on to win the first ever ultimate endurance match at World Title Classic and joined Mick Foley to show that ROH stood for Ring Of Hardcore.

In 2005, BJ became a four time holder of the ROH Tag Team Champion once with Dan Maff and twice with Jimmy Jacobs. In IWA Mid South he joined a faction known as the Fannin Family with Eddie Kingston, JC Bailey Mark Wolf and Steve Stone. However the faction didn’t last long as they went their separate ways after a three team War Games match at IWA Mid South No Blood, No Guts, No Glory 2005. Also BJ had another opportunity to go on tour in Japan with Pro Wrestling NOAH teaming with Bison Smith, Eddie Edwards (who was on his first tour with the company), Low Ki, Mushiking Joker, Richard Slinger and Ricky Marvin and pinned Go Shiozaki while on this tour of the promotion.

2006, BJ broke off his partnership with Jimmy Jacobs after Lacey got in between the former tag team champions. These two battled throughout the year and witnessed BJ powerbomb Jimmy into the front row at In Your Face in New York City. Also BJ was involved in the interpromotional war between ROH and CZW; and was “ROH sacrificial lamb” at Arena Warfare when John Zandig tied BJ to the ropes and stapled a CZW ticket to his head. He fought beside Adam Pearce, Samoa Joe, Ace Steel, Colt Cabana, Bryan Danielson and Homicide over the four month feud. He made his debut in the UK with ROH when he took on James Tighe at the FWA:A (Frontier Wrestling Alliance: Academy) Honor Academy show in Hayling Island. He also made a joint debut in IPW:UK (International Pro Wrestling:UK), FWA (Frontier Wrestling Alliance) when both promotions with ROH held “Frontiers Of Honor 2”; he also debuted Premier Promotions in the UK  taking on Davey Richards and for WXW (Westside Xtreme Wrestling) in Germany taking on Marc Roudin. Back in the states he returned to ROH’s sister promotion in Florida FIP and joined forces with Bryan Danielson in DP Associates however once again this relationship was short lived.  Back in Ring Of Honor, BJ and Jimmy continued to feud and started to introduce Colt Cabana, Daizee Haze and Brent Albright (who was Gunner Scott in the WWE).

In 2007, the feud between himself and Jimmy Jacobs ended during Ring Of Honor’s Wrestlemania weekend show “Supercard Of Honor II” in a steel cage which saw railway spike, barbwire baseball bats, barbwire among other things and in typical ROH fashion bloody war. During the year he had opportunities at the ROH Champion Takeshi Morishima twice and teaming with the ROH Champion to have a shot at the ROH Tag Team Champions the Briscoe Brothers. At Caged Rage after a four corner survival match BJ attacked Delirious to join Adam Pearce, Brent Albright and Shane Hagadorn to form the Hangm3n. The Hangm3n would feud with Delirious, Pelle Primeau, Kevin Steen and El Generico (NXT’s Sami Zayn) for the rest of the year. He made a one off appearance in CZW in the tag team known as Pandora’s Box with Adam Flash taking on Danny Havoc and Justice Pain. He made debuts for five promotions XCW- Mid West, AAW: Professional Wrestling Redefined, Mad Pro Wrestling, United Wrestling Federation and Extreme Wrestling Federation; and after an three year hiatus from the promotion he was trained at he returned to the HWA at the promotion’s reborn event on 11th September against Chris Hero.

Part 2 will appear right here very soon.

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