On February 28th, Cody Rhodes was asked about what talent he’d be looking to sign soon to All Elite Wrestling and he gave three names: Impact Wrestling’s Ethan Page and then two rising Independent Wrestling stars: Danhausen and Warhorse. The latter, Warhorse, has grown to be one of my favorite guys on the scene with shrewd usage of social media (mainly Twitter) to gain a major groundswell, known for his eccentric and electrifying promos that are a throwback to the days of Sting, The Ultimate Warrior and The Road Warriors.
When the camera turns on, Jake Parnell turns into Warhorse, a high energy, face painted beast, who’ll leave you laughing after seeing something that you didn’t expect. He has the adrenaline of the Ultimate Warrior but the common sense of Surfer Sting. I want to show a few videos before I really dive in to ease you into the greatness of the current IWTV Champion, because they’re all highly entertaining:
It’s an unusual hybrid of entertainment from a man who’s soft-spoken…until the camera starts rolling, and then he becomes the loud-mouth metalhead that we all wish to be in our daily lives, but ultimately only get to be when attending an Iron Maiden show. With the maturity level of a toddler but the horsepower of a stallion, it’s rather difficult to not love what Parnell brings to the table with the Warhorse character. It’s the semi-daily videos, all caps, unscrupulous personality that vomits charisma and exciting vibes that draw you in. Warhorse makes me bob my head more than Caleb Shomo of Beartooth and honestly, that’s not the worst thing in the world.
In February, Kenny Johnson did a documentary feature on Parnell, which you can see below. Warhorse explains in the intro “you have to stand out. Do anything you can to be the wrestler you never got to see as a kid.” While Parnell said that while donning the face paint of the Warhorse persona, what he said is absolutely spot on. The understanding of the business that you have to be different in an era where it’s honestly very vexing to be different is vital to Parnell’s success. “I was reading this book by KISS titled ‘Til We Make It’ and essentially they did everything different. They wanted to be the band they never got to see, and they love comic books and horror movies and all this stuff. I thought ‘okay, I love heavy metal. I love ’80s style wrestling. I love the big over the top characters and if you listen to most old school vets they’ll tell you that character will get you farther than anything else.'” The feature is just over 10 minutes and really encapsulates the essence of Warhorse. Enjoy.
“Warhorse is going to slap you so hard your children will be born concussed” is all-time great trash talk. “Telling my Principal to send whatever they can to Harley Race’s school in Eldon, Missouri got a lot of really weird looks but it was worth it”, says Parnell, who was struggling through life and depression as he entered wrestling and his life has improved drastically. Happier than ever, Parnell is the current IWTV Heavyweight Champion, and the second longest reigning champion at that (only behind Tracy Williams). The platform IWTV stems dozens of companies airing their products, and the champion is the top Independent guy across all of the brands. Over 182 days as champion, he’s defended the belt a total of 33 times following his victory over veteran Erick Stevens. He’s defended it against everybody from AEW’s “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy, Colt Cabana and John Silver to Kylie Rae and Effy. The Warhorse welcomes all challengers!
His ring work is rock-solid, too. A stellar worker when the bell rings, Warhorse offers something for everybody by spotting a unique blend of ’80s style wrestling and realism, mixed with the awe-inspiring and ever-so innovative Japanese style the hardcore fans have grown accustomed, too. I’d personally put his elbow drop up there with the Kairi Sane’s and Joey Janela’s of the industry. You can see Parnell work below:
The Warhorse is one of the most popular acts on the Independent Scene to ring in 2020, and with good reason. The fact he’s already on AEW’s radar (which did brilliant on TNT this past Wednesday) speaks volumes to how far he’s progressed along the way. The St. Louis native can work, has a character that will resonate with a different demographic and has an amazing understanding for the business at his young age of 27 years old. Plus, does he not look like Nightwolf from Mortal Kombat?
You can support Warhorse in a variety of ways. First and foremost, you can follow him on any and all social media. His Twitter and Instagram are @JPWarhorse and you can like his Facebook page here. He also has a PWTees store if you want to buy merchandise, I myself just got a Warhorse Wants Your Soul tee that absolutely rules a bunch of ass. He currently has 11 shirts available to purchase here.
He is the current IWTV Champion, but what exactly is IWTV? IWTV streams 187 different wrestling promotions in a video on demand platform that you can subscribe to for $100 over a year or $10 a month. It is currently streaming live a lot of content, including live the last 2 nights GCW’s “Acid Cup” honoring deceased Indy Legend Trent Acid. Black Label Pro will be doing a show live one week from now and Freelance Wrestling will be doing a telethon-esque show tonight at 8 PM EST so that the wrestlers have income during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can get a free trial of IWTV using the promo code JROSE.
Another person who could use support during a time like this is Robert Bellamy. A photographer who’s losing bookings as well, I used his portrait of Warhorse in this piece. You can find more of his pictures here.
And of course, this is the second piece in the series covering different stars across the Independent Scene. The first one was on Debbie Keitel.
Editors/Writers Note: This is the second piece in a series to help get Independent Wrestling and its star more exposure after they lost valuable exposure with the plans changing due to WrestleMania, via the outbreak of COVID 19. We can’t cover everybody, but we do want to give you ways to support the sport as a whole, thus why I picked up this series the moment it was pitched to me and it’s a way that I can use my platform for something bigger and better. I urge you to support whatever local artist you please that brings a sense of fulfillment to your life, whether it be your favorite band that’s on the rise, an actual painter or drawer, another Independent Wrestler or somebody who doesn’t know where their next check is coming from as they chase their dream. If there is any wrestler who’s freelancing, and thus isn’t signed to a major promotion (WWE, AEW, NJPW, etc), shoot me an email at [email protected] or DM me on Twitter, @TheJameus.Thank you and remember to always rule ass for the Warhorse.-JM.