by Luke Raven (@ravenluke)
For years I’ve been going to Impact Pro Wrestling shows. They’re always filled to the brim with talent and provide a good time. There’s something for everyone at IPW where the family is always welcome. Most talents are very welcoming and willing to talk and sign autographs. It’s time out of their schedules they give to the fans. Not long ago a well-dressed man walked into IPW with a vision. A vision that would carry himself and those he deemed worthy to the apex of IPW. That man is Jason Michaels.
A young Jason Michaels would grow up in Miami, Iowa. Throughout his young life he would develop an unrivalled ambition. An ambition that would take him to the University of Iowa before transferring to what he would later tell me is Stud University.
Not long after college Michaels was hired by IPW executive TS Agressor as a personal talent scout. This was Michaels big break and he knew it. The young talent scout exceeded even TS’s wildest expectations. Finding talents like Ricky Love and Aaron Von Baron, who within two months were both on main event shows. In 2012, the talent scout extraordinaire would join forces with Morbid Angel and Anthony Draven. A few years later Ray Feuring joined Michaels and Draven to form The Playboys. This brings us to what is now known as The Stud Club. Michaels has created a dominate group of wrestlers consisting of Draven, Feuring, and Austin Fouts. Since their foundation and under the tutelage of Michaels, The Stud Club has been doing whatever they choose and laughing at those who stand in their way.
I first approached Mr. Michaels after an IPW show and asked for a quick interview. I was quickly handed his business card and told to call his personal assistant. I made numerous calls in an attempt to speak with the apparently very busy Michaels, but was consistently rebuffed. Finally, I asked his personal assistant why I couldn’t get a single word from the man who has his foot in every door at IPW. I was given the simple reply, “Look at you. You’re no stud.”
I finally got lucky when sitting at an IPW show in Des Moines. I was bemoaning my bad luck when a fellow fan tapped my shoulder and told me The Stud Club is more than just a group of highly talented wrestlers, but it is an actual place. An underground nightclub that pops up randomly and never in the same place twice. This would be my best shot to get my interview. A few well-placed bribes later and I find myself in front of what appeared a rundown meat packing plant. I nervously walk up to the giant metal doors attached to the three story brick building. A musclebound man stopped me before I knocked on the door and asked for a password. I blurted out the first word that came to mind. “Stud?” I muttered. Suddenly the doors opened and I was in!
Walking into the actual, living version of The Stud Club reminding me of The Wizard of Oz. I was going from black and white to Technicolor. People were everywhere. Music was blasting. I could feel the thump of the bass in my chest. I loudly asked around for Jason Michaels. I was directed to the VIP section upstairs. One more bribe and I found myself sitting in front of an impeccably dress Jason Michaels. While I could tell he was none too pleased with me, he filled up his glass of champagne and we began our conversation.
Luke Raven: Mr. Michaels, you are a very hard man to get ahold of!
Jason Michaels: I’m also a very easy man to disrupt. What brings you here?
LR: I was hoping to talk to you about the Stud Club’s presence in IPW. As your numbers grow you guys seem to be taking over.
Michaels: The presence of the Stud Club, huh? You, my miscreant friend, are indeed correct. We are taking the promotion by storm. Whether it’s the fans, [proprietor] Troy Peterson, the boys in the back, or your own mother, we are taking over whether they like it or not.
LR: Ouch. Speaking of mothers, you’ve recently added “The Cougar Hunter” Austin Fouts to the Stud Club lineup. What do you see in this young man?
Michaels: He is a young man who has a lot to learn. I like his style though. How many kids do you know that are going up to their competitor and not only threaten to kick their ass, but steal their mom? It’s amazing!
LR: Please tell him to stay away from my mom.
Michaels: Easily done. She ain’t that pretty. Remember: all studs have standards. Heck! It’s called the Stud Standard!
LR: Recently Ray Feuring has been putting $10,000 on the lineto any man who can defeat him. Was this your idea? Is it your money?
Michaels: The idea was all mine. Ray suggested we put up the $10,000. I thought he was crazy until I realized something. HE IS RAY FEURING! How can I not bet on this man!? Yes, it’s my money which I won from Prairie Meadows Casino, but it’s my horse in the race. It’s my stud in the match. It’s my best friend fighting to prove a point. That point is we are not like the rest. This club doesn’t need bullets. We don’t need to beat up some face that runs the place. We just need women, cars, drinks, money, wins, money, more women, money, and most of all money!
LR: What about Anthony Draven? What is his next step?
Michaels: I like your confidence. I like your swag. Not afraid to ask the hard questions. Stacy! (He calls over a waitress) Get my awkwardly short and red headed friend a drink, please. Draven and Feuring both want tag team gold. Now in Algona, [they’re] wearing dresses. Stupid things happened and here we are months later and still miserable. However, we have a plan to eliminate that problem. Soon enough you will see.
LR: You mentioned the face that runs the place. At IPW some would say that is TS Agressor. He brought you in as a talent scout, right?
Michaels: TS brought me in when he heard some good things about me and my business acumen. I worked for 4-5 months and then realized something. Working for him didn’t give me success. It gave him and IPW success. So I made up my mind and left to create a stable: Michaels Enterprises. It was all about M.E. Not me, but the group. Do you know what I mean?
LR: I do. From an outsider’s perspective it seems like you and the Stud Club are trying to take over IPW and create something in your own image. Is that a fair assumption?
Michaels: (Puts down his champagne) Do you like wrestling?
Michaels: Would you do anything to be a part of it?
Michaels: Those two answers are my answer to your question. We don’t want to take over. We already have taken over. We own the biz, the women, the money, and one day we will own the gold. Do you know why?
LR: I would love to find out.
Michaels: You already know it though. Everyone knows why! The reason we are going to be holding gold is because the Stud Club is the standard. Not just in Impact Pro Wrestling, but in wrestling. Period. Stacy! Cancel that drink our former red headed friend no longer needs. Anything else before I give you your gift?
LR: One last thing. How does one become a member of the Stud Club and is there an opening?
Michaels: I love it! Everybody asks that. How does one become a member? Look in the mirror. Be honest. Look into a mirror and look at yourself really hard. Then ask yourself: Am I a stud? If the answer is no then there you have it. If you think the answer is yes then come talk to me. I’ll tell you what the mirror won’t. I’ll be honest. Looking at you….the ladies may be turned on by your complete lack of skill and your red hair. Stacy says she likes it. (laughs) Is there an opening [in the Stud Club]? Well, if the right stud comes along Jason Michaels will be there to tell him what the mirror won’t. Now, I have a gift for you. I heard you have been looking for me. My gift is right outside the door. It’s been waiting for you since you arrived. Thanks for coming. Allen! (Michaels gestures to a security guard)
At this time I was quickly taken away from Michaels, the VIP section, and the entire Stud Club. I realize my gift is a cold puddle that I’m unceremoniously tossed into. My evening with Jason Michaels was a long time coming and well worth the trouble. In the short time I spent with the voice of the Stud Club I learned a little bit about what makes him tick. Aside from the insults, the money spent, and the cold puddle that greeted me, I found the Stud Club to be one of the most interesting times I’ve ever had. The only question that remains is what does Jason Michaels and the rest of the Stud Club have in store for IPW? Find out at on September 29th in Des Moines!