Growing up in Riceville, Iowa, James Jeffries enjoyed watching professional wrestling alongside his father. Today, he has been in the business for 12 years, with the goal of his father getting to see him perform on World Wrestling Entertainment television.
Jeffries had another brush with WWE during the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Weekend on July 26. He had the privilege of wrestling Brian Blair in Blair’s final match.
Marion County fans will likely remember Jeffries from his performances with Impact Pro wrestling at the Marion County Fair the past few years. Casual fans of pro wrestling will likely remember Blair as one half of the WWE tag-team the Killer Bees, a popular combination from the 1980s. Blair has been in the business for four decades, and Jeffries credits him with offering a great deal of help to the young wrestler. Jeffries worked with Blair at the Cauliflower Alley Club in Las Vegas.
Jeffries’ match with Blair was officiated by James Beard, another man with many years in the business. Jeffries was especially honored because Beard was a good friend of the late, great Kerry Von Erich, a wrestler out of Texas whom Jeffries idolized.
One of the reasons Jeffries loved wrestling as a child was how wrestlers at that time provided a great example for children. He grew up with, and still has, a strong desire to make people feel like the wrestlers made him feel as a kid.
Jeffries broke into wrestling by training with Travis Shillington in the Vault Training Academy in Algona. He stuck with IPW, though he has wrestled with other promotions. In all, he wrestles about 40 matches per year.
Jeffries credits Shillington, and IPW Owner Troy Peterson for doing so much to help his career. They have kept Jeffries on as a trainer at the Vault.
Serving as both an active wrestler and a trainer is a good fit for Jeffries. He is glad to be able to do both. Aspiring wrestlers who come to the academy should wait until they are at least 18.
Regardless of age, wrestling remains special to him. He was honored to be asked by Blair to be part of his final match. As part of the performance in the ring, Blair hit Jeffries with his Florida Championship Wrestling belt at the end of the match. Jeffries says, “I didn’t enjoy that part,” but nevertheless, the match – and the fact that his dad was watching in the arena – meant a great deal to him.
With his many years in the business, Jeffries is thankful for his fans and supporters who have helped him live his dream. He was also grateful to be a part of the Hall of Fame weekend.