Today, Christopher Ford is a physical therapist in New Jersey. But during the 1990s he was a wrestler known as Devon Storm and Crowbar in WCW.
Ford still competes on the indie circuit near his home and has helped put on Rescue Mania in Northern New Jersey. Rescue Mania started as a benefit for the local fire department and evolved into a promotion. Ford talked more about how it started when he joined our WINCLY podcast last week.
"It was supposed to be a one-and-done," Ford said of Rescue Mania which held its first event in 2017… "I do indie wrestling for fun. I'm at a point in my career where I don't care what people think. Call me a mark, call me whatever..."
Ford then talked about how he owns and operates a physical therapy clinic and a friend from the local fire department came in. He then told Ford that he sees on his Facebook timeline that he's doing these indie wrestling shows and wondered if he could do a fundraiser show for the fire department.
"You don't want a wrestling show, you want a community event," Ford told the firefighter. "And if you're willing to mobilize the fire department, then we can really do this."
Rescue Mania is scripted like the early WCW Monday Nitro events and was written by Ford and Kevin Sullivan. Ford discussed his history with Sullivan which dates back nearly 25 years.
"I've known Kevin for years and he was the first guy to bring me into WCW prior to Crowbar… He brought me into WCW as Devon Storm when I was still a college student and we've kept in contact ever since," said Ford.
Ford and Sullivan were even in the running to launch a wrestling promotion with Spike TV. But things fell apart and the network partnered with the Jarretts to form TNA.
"When Jeff Jarrett and TNA were pitching to Spike, after WWE left [Spike TV], we had a meeting – me, [Sullivan] and J.J. Dillon," stated Ford. "It just didn't go through. They loved our concept – it was going to be called Spike Championship Wrestling…
"We had a concept, but we had no video. We had no tape. We hadn't done anything."
Ford then said his job for the promotion would have been to acquire talent but it was too risky for Spike and they went with the more established group led by the Jarretts.
Ford then went into more detail about Rescue Mania Wrestling and how he wants to throw it back to the Golden Age of professional wrestling.
"It's a very different product, and here's where I'm going," Ford says of today's wrestling. "A lot of the product today is getting more realistic like with Ring of Honor. WWE is even more adult – you have guys that are characters but the outlandish costumes aren't there. It's more serious, more adult-oriented.
"We try to model [Rescue Mania] after the early Nitros, maybe even late 1980s stuff. You had guys that looked like characters and were larger than life... Everyone has somewhat of a character and you have the bigger guys on top. It's worked so far. Our audience is mainly kids and families and we've had a positive response.
"I've had many parents come up to me and say, 'My kid loved it. They were so engaged. They were yelling at the ref. It really reminded me of the wrestling that we grew up watching.' And that's what our goal is."
Crowbar and Rescue Mania just concluded their most recent set of tapings for their upcoming YouTube series. For more information about Rescue Mania please visit their Facebook Page.
In Crowbar's full interview from Wrestling Inc's WINCLY podcast he also talks in-depth about his time in WCW, how he was pitched the Crowbar character, working with David Flair, being bullied in the ECW locker room and more. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc Audio on iTunes to get the latest episodes of the WINCLY as soon as they are released. You can listen to the WINCLY episode featuring Crowbar, as well as Gail Kim and Brian Cage, in the embedded player below: