Mid-South Wrestling Alliance (MSWA) is a wrestling federation local to the Oklahoma City area. It began in 2001 and hosts its events in the Plaza Mayor (formerly known as Crossroads Mall) in south Oklahoma City. Drake Gallows, the current Heavyweight Champion of MSWA, took some time to talk with Around the Ring about the federation and what is in store in the future.
Hello Drake. Just to get things started, when and how did Mid South Wrestling Alliance get started?
MSWA began running shows in Oklahoma City in 2001 and it’s the longest running fed in Oklahoma. Mike Crawford is the owner. He also runs rage in the cage an MMA promotion and rage in the ring a boxing promotion.
What made you want to start a wrestling federation?
The motivation for running MSWA events (since I’ve been there anyway) was to make sure that the fans, and especially the kids are having fun. It gives everyone a chance to ditch the real world for a while, and enjoy some family fun.
What are some of the challenges you face as an independent wrestling federation?
Some of the biggest challenges you face as any indy fed are, keeping it interesting. Assuring that the fans are having fun, and keeping a crowd for that matter. Running a promotion isn’t just having shows. It’s promoting on the internet passing out flyers running a wrestling school teaching the students how to pay dues by papering towns and constantly inviting people to check out our shows.
MSWA has had its share of venue changes. How did you end up at Plaza Mayor?
After moving from flea markets to night clubs and from night clubs to farmers markets we found Plaza Mayor. One of our workers was doing some weekend shopping and noticed vacant spaces inside the mall. A lot of the workers sat down to discuss it. We decided together the best thing to do was to move, and make this venue home.
What wrestling federations or specific wrestlers have inspired you?
We try to stick with the traditions of the old Mid South Wrestling and we use a lot of the lessons learned by Tom Jones the man who trained most of us and had a huge influence on the Oklahoma indy wrestling scene.
How do you find new talent?
New talent almost always contacts us. They learn to wrestle in our wrestling school. Once they graduate, they debut on one of our cards. Outside talent is usually recruited by our booker or they contact us through direct message on Facebook.
What are your thoughts on the current state of independent wrestling in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma independent wrestling has definitely had its ups and downs. I’d like to think that the business is slowly improving. It takes discipline and dedication to become something special in the business. There’s some good and some bad. You just have to decide on your own how far you want to take it.
Where do you see your federation in the next five years?
In the next five years MSWA will still be here in Oklahoma City continuing to promote bi-weekly shows every other Friday night. The goal is to continue to entertain and please the crowd. And as long as we have a ring and ref the workers will continue to go out there and do what we do best.
You can contact MSWA at their Facebook page here.