365 matches in 365 days, each from that specific date on the calendar? Challenge accepted. Welcome to 365 Wrestling.
Making it big in any type of performance art included isn’t easy, pro wrestling included. In wrestling, you have to stay healthy, sacrifice time with family and friends, make sure you’re being seen by the right people, avoid offending someone who could be deciding your professional future at some point. it’s partly about who you know and it’s also about timing. For example, I’ve maintained that Buddy Rose would have been a huge star in later eras of wrestling, given his gift of gab, size, and willingness to throw his body around in the ring.
Another guy who should have made big money in wrestling, and would have had he come along a few years later, is Slim J. Had Slim been on the rise in our current era of the gif, I have zero doubts he would be working for a major company today… and excelling. A superb high flyer, Slim also holds the distinction of being one of the youngest wrestlers — maybe the youngest — to wrestle on pay-per-view in America. He was still under 18 when he made an appearance on one of TNA’s weekly PPV events back in 2002. He also worked for Ring of Honor in that promotion’s early days, and has been a fixture on the scene in the Southeast U.S., including standout runs for Wildside and Anarchy in Georgia, as well as ACTION Wrestling, PWX in North Carolina, and many more.
I first watched Slim J on an episode of Wildside in the mid 2000s, where he had a cage match with Patrick Bentley. I saw more of him, later, in ROH and other promotions.
Slim also deserves credit for developing a strong all-around style in the ring and, in the mid 2010s, he even developed an entirely new gimmick as the Gladiator Jeremiah, with the Roman garb, a chiseled physique, and an entirely different wrestling style. If this tells you anything about the transformation, I watched him wrestle live in the gladiator gimmick in a dark match at an ROH show and had no idea it was the same person as Slim.
Slim J hasn’t wrestled in any persona since March of 2020, right before the COVID pandemic hit the U.S., in full force. He appears to be content away from the ring now, but we can still take a look back and enjoy matches like this one, against Andrew Alexander from February 18, 2011.
You can watch this match on the piercetapes YouTube channel (a real treasure trove of matches from the Southern independent scene). I’ve embedded it below, too:
There have been several promotions to run in the area of Chattanooga, TN, with varying levels of success. Right now, the Scenic City Invitational (which this site sponsors) and TWE on top of the scene in that region. Here, the promotion hosting is NWA Chattanooga.
Slim’s opponent is Andrew Alexander, a presence on the Southeast scene for nearly two decades himself. He spent several years tagging with Kyle Matthews (another incredibly underrated wrestler from the South) as The Hollywood Brunettes mostly for Anarchy. He was a regular for NWA Chattanooga, which ran shows for a few years.
Alexander was a regular for NWA Chattanooga, while this was just one of two appearances for the promotion by Slim, according to Cagematch.
The story told here is a variation on a theme that’s played out countless times in wrestling matches, with more modern moves providing an update on the tale. Slim J starts out getting the better of Alexander in straight-up, scientific, technical wrestling. When Alexander can’t gain the edge, as the heel, he starts to cheat, throwing fists until Slim comes firing back with a double-leg takedown and a frenzied barrage of punches that’s one of his calling cards.
Alexander stays on the defensive until Slim goes for a moonsault off the top and misses. At that point, Alexander focuses his offense on the midsection of Slim, which took damage in the spot that led to the momentum shift. None of this is rocket science or brain surgery, but it can be a difficult story to tell well, and tell with consistency, and both guys play their part in accomplishing just that. Watch as Alexander focuses the vast majority of his offense on Slim’s midsection, whether it be tossing him to the mat facefirst from a suplex position, applying a bodyscissors, or just stomping on his guts.
We build to the big moves and get several of them during the finishing stretch. After Slim hits a rana off the top rope to turn the tide, followed by a couple of creative pinning predicaments for two counts, Alexander connects on a leaping Russian legsweep (think of it as a reverse Paydirt) for a very believable near-fall. Not long thereafter, Alexander goes old-school, bringing a chair into the ring, which is merely a ploy to obtain a foreign object from his trunks. Just a few moments later, one shot with the foreign object fells Slim, letting Alexander score the pin.
The action isn’t over. Alexander tries to dole out more punishment after the bell but gets countered and caught in an STF by Slim J. Alexander quickly and repeatedly taps to the hole and goes scurrying to the back.
–God bless Southern wrestling fans, and their ability to make “Booo!” a multisyllabic word.
–SCI promoter Scott Hensley is the ring announcer for this one, which, when I noticed, led to this reaction (minus the cigarette):
–Speaking of the fans, the mic on the ringside camera picks up a couple of ladies who are a delight with their unabashed rooting for Slim and heckling of Alexander. Wrestling fans like to be able to cheer the good guys and boo the bad guys. Imagine that!
Final Rating: 6.2
Let’s say you have a friend who has never seen wrestling, has no idea what it’s about, or how it works. This would be an excellent example to help them understand the basics. It’s a solid 10 minutes or so from bell to bell, tells a good basic story, and establishes both the fan favorite and the heel without either having to say a single syllable on the mic. New and aspiring wrestlers should note how Slim always keeps moving, fighting, and showing some signs of life … until the finish, that is.
If you’re interested in looking up more Slim J matches, I highly recommend any of his bouts with Amazing Red, whether they be in TNA, ROH, or Wildside. He also had a very good match against TJ Boss in 2019 during Slim’s run as PWX Champion, especially if you’re a fan of the small guy vs. big guy matches… and I certainly am.
Finlay. Tajiri. One on one. Nuff said!