Pure Pro Wrestling wrestler Jimi Love has been in the wrestling world since graduating from Boogie’s Wrestling Camp in 1997. This was certainly a “golden period” in local independent wrestling since so many of the stars you see on shows now were just starting out during the 1990s.
He grew up in Danville and was a huge wrestling fan all his life. Jimi decided to take training after meeting legendary wrestler Jimmy “Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant when he was signing autographs in Danville back in 1996.
It wasn’t long before Jimi became an important star in area promotions such as Eclipso’s American Championship Wrestling (ACW) and Allied Independent Wrestling Federations (AIWF). After working with them for several years, he joined Pure Pro Wrestling (PPW) working in various roles. The organization that began in 2007 did well from the start and usually runs a show every week in towns in North Carolina and Virginia.
After living in Danville much of his life, Jimi later moved to Reidsville NC where his wife came from. They have nine-year-old twins.
Since the promotion’s home base is at the Pelham Community Center just across the state line below Danville, they usually run there once a month. PPW goes on the road to other places such as Montvale, Danville, Rocky Mount, Buena Vista, and Roanoke. “We really like to run regularly in Pelham since the revenue we bring in helps keep this small community center going,” says Jimi. “Although we’re based in North Carolina, we probably run more shows in Virginia.”
Speaking of shows, PPW has got two big ones coming up right away in the area. On Saturday, Sept. 14, PPW will run at the Franklin County YMCA in Rocky Mount at 235 Technology Drive. That show will feature Jimi Love, Jeff Flowers, Sinn Krowley, new Pure Pro Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Parker, Jamie Wright, Jeff Holland, Cruiserweight Champion Kalis Miller and more.
There will be a big fundraising show for the Pittsylvania County SPCA in Chatham at the fire department on Saturday, Sept. 21. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the SPCA who will get all concession sales for some good tasting food including their delicious hot dogs.
Both of these shows have a 7:30 bell time with doors opening at 6:30. A variety of vendor booths will be set up by the wrestlers who will sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
This is the third benefit PPW has done for the Pittsylvania County SPCA. One popular thing they’ve conducted at the two previous shows is auctioning off a t-shirt signed by all of the wrestlers on the show that night.
Stars on the Chatham show who grew up in that area include Ric Kelly and Court Montgomery.
Keith Barksdale out of Danville is the PPW Commissioner who calls the shots and makes the matches.
When looking back on his career in pro wrestling, Jimi shares, “It’s kept me going and is all I really know! I can remember going to shows in Greensboro when I was eight or nine years old. Like many others, I dreamed about being a wrestler and jumped at it when I got the opportunity.”
Living his dream has come at a price with wear and tear on his body. He’s had neck surgery, and had his head beat up a number of times. He’s had 20 stitches in one eye and seven in the other eye, not to mention a number of concussions.
“I’ve slowed down a little in the ring due to being in so much pain most of the time from all the hard knocks. Although I have wrestled plenty as the heel, I do more these days as a babyface since the crowd cheers for me so much. I have fun doing it and seeing the guys come along in their progression. I’ve trained a few including Jeff Flowers,” he says. “I love seeing them live their dreams. It’s fun working with them and I love interacting with the crowd. It’s so much fun going back and forth with the hecklers. What’s a wrestling show without a good heckler?”
Want to learn more about PPW? Check out Facebook.com/Pure Pro Wrestling.