The Michigan Wrestling Organization is preparing for the premiere of its first-ever official documentary on Sunday, Jan. 31st , in a “double main event premiere” that has organization fans and superstars nearly as excited as if a live event was being held. And the only way to be a part of this double header of sorts is to head over to the MWO Network, the official YouTube channel of the promotion.
JAKL Creations, the business endeavor headed by current organization chief executive official Jason Clouse that provides exclusive shirts and other merchandise for both the MWO and the Basher’s Clouse to the Heart brand, has expanded into filmmaking and is the distributor for the documentary called Crossing the Line: the Story of the 2019 Slam-a-Thon. The film focuses on the backstory of how the unprecedented installment of the June supercard came to be, culminating in the MWO’s first live event outside the state of Michigan.
“We were looking for something new to put out to our fans in absence of live events because of the pandemic,” Clouse said on a recent episode of his podcast, “The project has been a year in the making, but with everything that had happened with COVID-19 and the passing of my brother, everything was put on the back burner.”
It was in the fall months of 2020 that Clouse said he started to reinvest himself in the documentary, something he had been wanting to do for quite some time, even before the pandemic. It was then, he said, that he sent out a message to the MWO stars who worked the June 2019 event, asking who wanted to be a part of the film.
“There was a lot of interest by everyone who worked the show,” the Basher said, “It was a matter of getting them to film their own testimonials and send us the footage to edit into the film.”
Organization director and editor-in-chief Melvin Pratt took on the role of directing the documentary, with other MWO-based officials working behind the scenes to put everything together. Clouse himself had a hand in editing the film and is listed as an executive producer. Among the personalities who took part on the project was Drew Kuespert, who was the one who initially reached out to MWO officials to see if there was any interest in the company traveling to Fremont, Indiana for a live event.
“We had to have Drew on board with this film or else it just wouldn’t have been the same finished product,” Clouse said, “He was such a crucial part to the story that I was so happy when he agreed to be a part of it.”
The inspiration of the documentary came when MWO staff member Jeni Walter—wife of organization manager Aksel James Geer—had posted a file of pictures, some of which were very candid, she had taken during the day of the 2019 Slam-a-Thon to a private group page on Facebook. Upon investigating, it was learned that another fan and friend of the company, DeLynn Emerton had also taken a lot of photos during the show itself.
“With all the still pics and the video footage of the show itself, it was time to put it all together,” said producer Leonard Broecker, “And for our first time producing a documentary, I think the MWO stars and fans will appreciate the effort that went into the project.”
The documentary will premiere at 2:00 PM on the MWO Network, with the release of the event itself following at 4:00 PM. As a bonus, the Basher announced that he will host a live preshow Q&A on the MWO’s Facebook page at 1:30 PM ahead of the film’s premiere.