Interview with former ASWF Promoter Aaron Polston.
You know with the ASWF turning 10 years old this year, I decided to talk to former ASWF promoter Aaron Polston to get the history of the ASWF and his thoughts on wrestling today.
Terrence: Thanks for taking time out to let me talk to you this morning Aaron.
Aaron: No problem.
Terrence: First question. What made you want to get into the wrestling buisness and create the ASWF?
Aaron: I love wrestling, always have. I watched WCW and WWE for a long time. I was originally brought into the buisness by now ASWF Hall of Famer, “Lucious” Leonard Doan. He and I got together one day and I told him that I wanted to start a promotion. I had just been put on disability and could not drive a big truck anymore. We thought of when to do it and what to call the promotion. When me and Leonard first started the company it was called AWF(Allstar Wrestling Federation). Our first show was in my sisters backyard on July 4, 1999. It was more of a family affair then anything but that is when it all started. Some of the very first wrestlers in the AWF were Too Cool Kid, “Sexy” Rex Ellison, Deadly Dale, Idol Bane, Jim Chitty, “Lucious” Leonard Doan, and “Hot Rod” John Ellison. When we, AWF, started branching out doing shows in Wiener, Corning, and Walnut Ridge, AR, Lee Cook also had a promotion called AWF and told me that if I did not change the name or logo he would take legal action against me. So I added the “S” in ASWF. It wasn’t too much longer before Leonard and I parted ways.
Terrence: What expectations did you have for your new company?
Aaron: Terrence you never know with an independant promotion. Money is a really big issue for small promotions. You have to buy a ring, pay the workers, and pay the rent for the buildings you may use. Our first ring was built by “Hot Rod” John Ellison. He was really the backbone of the company at that time. My expectations were low, especially in 2003 when my health had gotten worse. My diebetes and wieght had become a huge issue. The one thing that really gave me hope was our first “big” show in Clarksville, MS. ASWF, was still known as the AWF at this point, had the likes of Doug Gilbert, Dusty Wolf, Brandon Johnson, and on May 5 & 6 “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant would be booked at one of our shows.
Terrence: When did you decide to find a venue and stop doing road shows?
Aaron: After our Payback event in Walnut Ridge, AR, I was really tired of doing road shows. Not because I was tired of wrestling but my health was not allowing much traveling anymore. Rickey Rowland came to me, who was a close friend at the time, told me of a building in Tuckerman, AR. That building was a total mess, it was used previously as a Dollar General building and then used by the city as a haunted house. Myself and Rickey decided that it had a lot of potential to become a wrestling arena. We talked about what to call it for a while and finally decided to call it the Valiant Arena, with Handsome Jimmy Valiant’s endorsement. And after a lot of clean up our first show was on April 9, 2007.
Terrence: When and why did you decided to sell the ASWF a company that you owned and operated for 8 years?
Aaron: I decided to sell the ASWF in November of 2007, I believe. I can’t remember the actual date, but I sold it to David Walls. I decided to sell the company after some issues came about. Myself and another partner had some disagreements and I felt that it would better the fans and the company to sell the ASWF to David. I do regret selling it sometimes, but it was what I thought was best for Tuckerman. To tell you the truth I think David has done an excellent job with the ASWF.
Terrence: After that saying that, what are your feelings with the ASWF and it’s crew?
Aaron: I have no hard feelings with anyone there except Rickey Rowland. It had to be the worst thing I had felt. Having a friend for so long and then all of a sudden your not friends anymore. I have nothing against ASWF and I think that they are doing a great job in Tuckerman.
Terrence: Has the ASWF grown beyond your expectations?
Aaron: Yes! You know to be honest a lot of ASWF’s success is because of talent such as Jerry “The King” Lawler and countless others. Not to mention David and everyone at ASWF Wrestling. All I ever wanted to do was to make the fans happy. To give them somewhere to go and come back for more. That was the more important thing to me than anything! I think that ASWF under David’s ownerships is still giving the fans what they want. If you let the fans be a part of the show, they will want to come back.
Terrence: Tell me about RWA.
Aaron: Myself and Frank Martin had decided to start a promotion in Joneboro, AR just shortley after I sold the ASWF. I came up with the name, logo, and arena name. I told Frank that all I wanted was the concession stand and the sound system. When we first got the building me and Tim Daniels did most of the work, with help from Loose Cannon and Rotten Randy. Then things started turning sour. At one point I had a flash back to what had happened at ASWF. So then I decided it was time for me to retire from the world of wrestling. On a side note I think that having RWA and ASWF in the same area, Northeast Arkansas, that it will strive both companies to do their best and I hope that they both succeed in their future endevours.
Terrence: With all that said do you plan to return to wrestling?
Aaron: Yes, I am not for sure when or where. Recently I have lost a lot of wieght. I went from 364 pounds to 245 pounds. I am due for surgery soon to remove the excess skin from my body and I will be getting married in December of 2009. So yes, I plan on returning I just don’t know when.
Terrence: Do you plan on coming to the ASWF 10 Year Anniversary Show?
Aaron: It is a possibility. I am not going to give a sure answer, something may come up.
Terrence: Thanks Aaron for taking time out of your personal schedule to do this interview. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Aaron: No problem. I would like to thank Leonard Doan and John Ellison for their dedication and hard work to help get the ASWF on it’s feet. You can’t hardly find people like that anymore. People who are there to do it for fun and not for money. Independant wrestling offeres no big pay checks and sometimes no pay checks at all. I could not stand workers who wanted to be paid when there was no money to pay them. Once again I would like to thank Leonard for opening the door for me to the world of wrestling and the countless fans over the years for their support.
You know after that hour and thirty minute interview with Aaron, who by the way introduced me into the world of wrestling, could not stress enough how much he cared for the fans. I hope that Aaron continues his wieght loss and makes it back into the wrestling picturesoon. He wishes everyone the best and hopes that independant wrestling promotions continue to entertain the fans. He also stated that he did not want any hard feelings to remain between him and anyone else. On a note, the 10 year anniversary would actually be on July 4, 2009 but was moved to be celebrated with the arena anniversary. Be sure to stop by Valiant Arena in Tuckerman, AR April 11, 2009 for their 10 Year Anniversary show. Show time is 7:00pm and tickets are only $6! Hope to see YOU at the show!