Wrestling With Ghosts
|Wrestling With Ghosts|
Cast of Wrestling With Ghosts Season Three
|Directed by||Vinnie Vineyard|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||15|
|Executive producer(s)||Big Luke Walker|
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Big N Funky Productions|
|Original network||ASY TV|
|Original release||June 30, 2017 –|
Wrestling With Ghosts is an American television series about the paranormal that premiered as a web-series on June 30, 2017. Since then, the show's concept won the Destination America nationwide search for a new creative paranormal team. The show has since been picked up and is now being aired on the ASY TV and on its sister station ASY Paranormal. According to the original introduction, season one follows a paranormal investigator, directly after he loses his original ghost hunting team to what he calls "a demonic attack" and subsequent fist-fight. He then hires three smart-aleck professional wrestlers (Big Luke Walker, Funkmaster V (aka Vinnie Vineyard), Travis Graves) as protection on future investigations. Big Luke came up with a philosophy called "The Charge", which he believes helps the team capture paranormal evidence.
In May 2019, the "ASY Paranormal" TV network will launch featuring "Wrestling With Ghosts" and the "UFO Show with Amy Dumas as their featured programs.
Wrestling With Ghosts started when a paranormal investigator was eating at a restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. During the meal, he asked the manager on duty, Travis Graves, if there were any local ghost stories that would make for interesting television. Travis then referred him to a fellow employee, a long time resident, and former police officer Luke Walker. Luke had several stories and suggested than rather shooting one project in Gatlinburg for a documentary, that they should consider making a paranormal series. Luke then suggested that they should add versatile entertainer Funkmaster V to the mix. The group then started shooting the series soon thereafter.
Cast and crew
The permanent members of the cast and crew are Big Luke Walker, Funkmaster V, and Travis Graves.
- Big Luke Walker, born June 4, 1975, is the executive producer, head writer, camera operator, on-screen talent of "Wrestling With Ghosts" and is originally from Bolingbrook, Illinois. Big Luke is an ex-police officer (a fact the team lampoons in episode one: "I Used to be a Cop".) In fact, his first experience with the paranormal was while he was performing his police duties at the Greenbrier Restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He is also an ex-swat team member, long time singer/ songwriter, professional wrestler, podcaster and amateur gemologist.
- Vinnie Vineyard (Funkmaster V), born December 20, 1974, is the director, editor, writer, salesperson, webmaster, media relations and on-screen talent of "Wrestling With Ghosts" and is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and was a long time resident of Knoxville, Tennessee. Vinnie Vineyard goes by his wrestling moniker "Funkmaster V" on the show, which he obtained from his musical career as a bass player. He has been an on-air disc jockey, stand up comedian, professional wrestler, podcaster, libertarian politician, bounty hunter, state champion judoka and owns a taxi cab company "Funkmaster V's Uptown Cabs of Renown" that is featured in the show. Funkmaster V has his own segment of the show called "De-Funked". This is where the team investigates a legend or claim and see if it holds water.
- Travis Graves, born August 4, 1989, as Travis Sagraves in West Palm Beach, Florida, is on-screen talent and a camera operator on the show. Travis is quiet but affable, and according to the storyline is being "trained" by Big Luke and Funkmaster V to become a renaissance man like they are.
- Kandi Thompson is a rock n roll singer that joined the cast in Season 3. She is part Native American and empath and helps the team locate spirits with her gifts.
- The paranormal investigator mentioned left the show under mysterious terms, but in episode 5 "The Giant That Saved Gatlinburg", it is implied that the other three cast members asked him to leave the show after a strange milk-drinking incident at the Emert's Cove cemetery.
Guests and experts
- Mitchell Gore (High pitch Mitch) or (The Furry Without a Fur Suit) is a camera assistant who lives at a haunted location featured on episode 7. He is an interesting character that claims to be a Furry but does not own a costume... a situation that rectified itself on Episode 7 "The Furry Without a Fur Suit". Mitch's voice is very high and has sometimes contaminated evidence. He also lurks around some episodes alone and unintentionally scares members of the team.
- Kaitlin Shelton is a spirit medium. She is very quiet but is featured on a full segment on Episode 7 "The Furry Without a Fur Suit".
- Beth Gibson is the real-life girlfriend of Travis Graves. She is predominately featured on Episode 4 "Going Postal", when on her birthday, spirits seemed to follow her around, throw objects at her, moan at her, and slam doors behind her.
- Perfect Pat is a wrestling promoter who knows the team from professional wrestling and was pivotal in allowing the team into Merrydeath Antiques, featured on episode 3 "Wee-Ji Want the Funk".
- Allan Miller is the docent of the Old La Follette Post Office and his retelling of local lore is featured on Episode 4 "Going Postal" and Episode 8, "The Postman Always Screams Twice".
- Hayley Stanley is a cosplayer that has helped the team when they needed someone to trigger misogynistic entities.
- Jenny Laurer helps the team on Episode 5 "The Giant Who Saved Gatlinburg" by putting a curse on the Mysterious Mansion and then reverses Funkmaster V's figure four leglock.
- Jeremy Cantelli is a camera operator who helped the team on segments of Episode 5, Episode 7, almost all of Episode 8, and all of Episode 6.
- Dalton Stout was a guest investigator on Episode 6 "The Rabbitman Cometh". He was the aggressive investigator that allegedly attacked other TV presenters during the famed "demonic attack" and this episode takes place at the same location of the incident. Eerily similarities ensue.
- Vito Thomselli of pro wrestling's The Thomaselli Brothers is the series narrator
- Ep. 1.1- "I Used to Be a Cop" Greenbriar Restaurant in Gatlinburg, TN. Defunked at the Sensabaugh Tunnel in Kingsport, TN
- Ep. 1.2- "Chiroptera Surgit" Undisclosed ghost town in Western North Carolina Smoky Mountains
- Ep. 1.3- "Wee-Ji Want the Funk" Merrydeath Antiques in La Follette, TN. Defunked at a personal residence in Stearns, KY
- Ep. 1.4- "Going Postal" Old La Follette Post Office in La Follette, TN. Defunked at the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in Gatlinburg, TN.
- Ep. 1.5- "The Giant the Saved Gatlinburg" Various Gatlinburg Locations. Defunked at Emert's Cove Cemetery in Pittman Center, TN
- Ep. 1.6- "The Rabbitman Cometh" Rabbitman cabin, Unicoi TN.
- Bonus Ep. 1- "The Furry Without a Fur Suit" The House of Gore in Bristol, VA.
- Bonus Ep. 2- "The Postman Always Screams Twice" Return to the Old La Follette Post Office in La Follette, TN
- Ep. 2.1- "Drag Me to Jail" Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, TN.
- Ep. 2.2- "One Fish, BOO! Fish" Vollmar's Park, Bowling Green, OH.
- Ep. 2.3- “They Died With Their Boos On” Bethesda Presbyterian Church, Morristown, TN.
- Ep. 2.4- “Be Ghoul to Your Schuel” Poasttown Elementary, Middleton, OH.
- Ep. 2.5- “Dark Side of the Moonshine” Sevier Distilling Company, Sevierville, TN.
- Ep. 2.6- “Haleraiser” Hales Bar Dam, Near the Tennessee/ Georgia line.
- Ep. 3.1- "Spearfinger" Nolan Creek Trail, NC
- Ep. 3.2- "Indian Cave" Vonore, TN
Big Luke Walker and Vinnie "Funkmaster V" Vineyard were among several citizens who helped save lives and properties during the Gatlinburg Fires of November 28, 2016. Big Luke's Facebook live broadcast was the first report that Gatlinburg's Ski Mountain was on fire , meaning the city of Gatlinburg was surrounded by fire on all sides. His Facebook Lives during and after the fire has been viewed by millions. His footage and interviews, along with Vineyard's, have been used in documentaries. One entitled "Firestorm", is being funded by HBO and is in post-production. Vineyard, who owns the taxi cab company "Funkmaster V's Uptown Cabs of Renown" went into Gatlinburg to rescue people who were trapped or overcome with smoke. The exploits of their night and their tag team match for charity can be seen on the last two segments of Wrestling With Ghosts season one - episode 5, "The Giant That Saved Gatlinburg".
In April 2018, cast member and director Vinnie Vineyard announced that he was running for governor in the state of Tennessee. Although listed as an independent, he is a vocal member of the Libertarian Party. On August 2, 2018, Vineyard received 1329 write-in votes during the primaries he wasn't even included in, which was a higher total than infamous perennial Republican candidate Basil Marceaux.
On the 5th episode, "The Giant That Saved Gatlinburg", some members of the team allegedly tampered with evidence as a joke. Although the show is heavily comedic, the remaining members of the show did not think the joke was professional. As Big Luke said on a radio interview on Parasearch UK "You fake one thing, you faked everything." Certain members of the cast and crew were replaced after this episode.
In the world of pro wrestling, Big Luke and Funkmaster V have been outspoken critics of southern living, culture, and the overall way of life of native Tennesseans on YouTube with their "Punch Tha South In Da Mouth" series. But truth be told, they prefer living in East Tennessee over the big cities they hail from.
- "ASY TV Official Webpage".
- Vineyard, Vinnie (January 12, 2017). "Original Wrestling With Ghosts Television Intro". Big N Funky Productions.
- Cole, Meredith (October 13, 2016). "Sevierville Based Group Produces Spooky Show". Herald Newspapers.
- Vineyard, Vinnie (January 3, 2017). "Greenbriar Restaurant Preview". Big N Funky Productions.
- Neil, Julie Watson (October 4, 2016). "Ghostly Show Films at Greebrier". The Mountain Press.
- Vineyard, Vinnie (May 26, 2015). "Funkmaster V & the Funkmaster V- Time to Rise". Big N Funky Productions.
- Wildsmith, Steve (June 12, 2013). "A Most Interesting Man-". The Maryville Daily Times.
- ""The Giant That Saved Gatlinburg" Season 1. Episode 1 Wrestling With Ghosts". Big N Funky Productions. October 19, 2017.
- ""Wrestling With Ghosts Tag Teaming with Allan Miller's Ghost Walk La Follette"". Volunteer Times. October 20, 2017.
- Wildsmith, Steve (November 29, 2016). ""Scenes From Firestorm: Cab Driver Recalls Harrowing Night as Gatlinburg Burns"". Maryville Daily Times.
- Sechtin, Daniel (December 4, 2016). ""Pro Wrestler, Taxi Cab Driver Saves Lives with Free Rides"". WBIR.
- ""Taxi Driver Drives Through the Night to Save People"". LAcitycab.com. December 14, 2016.
- Sechtin, Daniel (November 28, 2017). "Gatlinburg cab driver saved escapees, says city is recovering". WBIR.
- ""The Giant That Saved Gatlinburg" Season 1. Episode 5 Wrestling With Ghosts". Big N Funky Productions. October 19, 2017.
- Lynch, Jay (June 2017). ""Paramania Radio: Big Luke & Funkmaster V"". Paramania Radio.
- Greenaway, Kerry (August 2017). ""Parasearch UK Radio: Big Luke & Funkmaster V"". Paramania Radio.
- Big N Funky Productions (November 14, 2017). "Black Harvest 11 Hype- The Smartasses vs. The Badasses" – via YouTube.
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