Saturday Night - April 16th was the most incredibly emotional night in OCW history. In a small town, in Southeast Ohio, in a small school gymnasium, 300 people paid their hard earned money to see a man step in a wrestling ring one last time. Now to the average John and Jane Q. Public, this guy may look like anybody else - a regular guy. But to those of us in the professional wrestling industry in the Midwest and the fans that follow it, this guy is more than special. On Saturday Night, April 16, 2016, "Big Guns" Jeff Cannon wrestled his last match.
What does that mean to pro wrestling in the Midwest, and Ohio in particular? We have lost a brother, a mentor, a talent, a trainer. In a business of liars, thieves, and fakes, Jeff Cannon has been a guy who has done things the right way for 20 years. He has sacrificed enough for 5 lifetimes to be a part of this industry. Very few people have ever said a cross word about him and those who have do not truly know the man.
Jeff Cannon is responsible, in one form or another, for the careers for many of your favorite pro wrestling stars in the area. He has trained the likes of Robby Starr, Kaden Assad, Joey Vengeance, Juice Jennings, Jimmy Shane, Takahashi, Sassy Stephie, Jason Dragon, Joe Joe Little, Chastity, and Vic Montana to name a few. Let's face it, if it wasn't for "Big Guns" Jeff Cannon and his training center at 206 W. Ivy Street, the world would not have known of a certain TNA - Impact Wrestling Knockout - Madison Rayne, then known as Ashley Lane. The endless hours of training, mentoring, allowing her to travel with him to various events around the Midwest have netted Miss Rayne a rewarding career for herself.
He was also responsible for the resurrection of the careers of guys like Matt Mason, Sherman Tank, Jeremy Madrox, and John Orlando. He didn't initially train these guys, but he gave them another chance at realizing their dreams. Jeff is indirectly responsible for the intermingling of many lives that led to so many friendships, relationships, and opportunities with national wrestling companies that many people would not have had without being associated with Jeff Cannon.
The wrestling business will go on without Jeff Cannon. OCW is slated to continue, under new ownership, without Jeff Cannon. But it will never be the same. That doesn't mean it will be better or worse, but his impact on this industry and the people in it will be felt for a long time; his fingerprint cannot be erased in a moment. He will be missed. He can never be replaced. #ThankYouBigGuns