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July 26, 2012
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By Jared Curtis

“The American Wolf” Davey Richards takes on “The Professional” Benjamin Sailer in the 3XW heavyweight championship on Friday, July 27 at the Baratta’s@Forte Center, 615 3rd St. Doors open at 7 p.m. (6:45 p.m. for advance ticket holders) with a 7:30 p.m. start time. Tickets range from $12 to $20 ($6 for kids). For more information, visit

Local wrestling organization celebrates seven years of hard-hitting action

Seven years ago, Des Moines had plenty of sporting options including baseball, football and hockey, but nothing for professional wrestling fans. As a result, Todd Countryman and some friends got together and created central Iowa’s own wrestling promotion — 3XWrestling.

“I didn’t even know if we would have a second event, so to make it this far feels pretty good,” said Countryman, the president/co-owner of 3XW. “The first event we really didn’t know what we were doing, but we have learned something new every event.”

As with every team, success relies on the fans.

“We were lucky to attract a good crowd right off the bat,” said Countryman, who co-owns the company with Mark McDowell, Corrie McDowell, Skylar Pierce and Cody Saveraid. “We have some of the best fans around. They are a great, loyal group, and we’ve some people who have been to every event.”

The promotion first started with shows at Hoover High School, followed by a stint at InPlay. In 2009, the group joined forces with the Des Moines Social Club. When they moved to their current location, 3XW went back to AllPLay.

“The room is great, and the location allows our fans plenty of entertainment before and after an event,” said Countryman, who also plays a heel (bad guy) as the Commissioner. “When we started, we basically had drapes over a door, but over the years we have built-up our set. When we joined forces with BC Productions, they took our show to the next level.”

Partnering with a production company also allowed 3XW to fulfill a dream they’ve had since the beginning — a weekly TV show.

“We always had a pipedream about a TV show, and once we got involved with Jake and Ryan at BC Productions, they got the ball rolling,” Countryman said. “Now we are on in eastern and central Iowa [Monday mornings at 1:30 a.m. on channel 9 (Medicom) or channel 23 (satellite)], and we’re hoping to be available to western Iowa soon.”

Over the years, 3XW has been able to attract big-time wrestlers to take on local talent during events including Al Snow, Perry Saturn (who currently holds the Pure Wrestling Championship belt) and The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. On Saturday, Aug. 4, they bring another legend, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, to town for an outside event at The Keg Stand. Countryman says it’s an amazing feeling to see these wrestlers he grew up watching competing in his ring.

“The Million Dollar Man slapped the Million Dollar Dream [his finishing move] on me during an event. I had all of his action figures and here he is putting his move on me in my ring. It was surreal,” Countryman said.

On Friday, July 27, 3XW will hold its seventh Anniversary event, featuring eight matches including Ring of Honor wrestlers Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly, as well as local wrestlers like “The World’s Fittest Wrestler” Mark Sterling and the American Bulldogs.

“We have some tremendous talent on the bill, and there should be some great action including the heavyweight championship battle,” Countryman said.

Seven years later, 3XW isn’t slowing down. Countryman says their events offer fun for all ages, and he encourages everyone to experience a 3XW event up-close and personal.

“It’s almost like a live theater experience with plenty of crowd interaction. We offer a total variety of entertainment including humor, drama and athleticism,” he said. “Whether you’re a professional wrestling fan or not, you’re going to be entertained.” CV

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