Peacocks and pile drivers can be witnessed firsthand at Upper Iowa University’s Fayette Campus on Wednesday, October 24, as UIU alumnus Mark “Maddog” McDowell ’05 faces Rory Fox in the Campus Countdown professional wrestling main event. McDowell will defend his 3XWrestling Heavyweight title during the free public event at the Recreation Center, located along Union Street in Fayette. The undercard features six additional matches.
“I am definitely looking forward to returning to UIU’s Fayette Campus and putting smiles on the faces of those who come out to watch the show,” McDowell said. “I have always enjoyed the athleticism and pageantry of pro wrestling. Now that I’m part of it, I thrive on entertaining the crowd, especially the kids that look at you like you’re bigger than life.”
McDowell was just completing his service with the U.S. Army, when he first contemplated getting involved with pro wrestling. The Grinell, Iowa, native explained that at the time he was an avid viewer of WWE’s Tough Enough series on MTV and was still figuring out what he wanted to do with his life.
“I was either going to go train to be a pro wrestler in Atlanta, Georgia, or go back to school at Upper Iowa,” McDowell said. “I ended up choosing the latter due to the small faculty to student ratio and the opportunity to participate on the football, track and cheer teams. After graduating with a management information systems degree, I moved to Des Moines and began working at Tension Envelope Corporation. But I was still needing an outlet for my inner athlete and was not quite ready to take up slow pitch softball or golf quite yet. It was then I stumbled upon a local wrestling promotion in Des Moines – 3XWrestling. I went to a show and was instantly hooked. It wasn’t as big as WWE, but it was still a professional product and the wrestlers were every bit as larger than life as the ones you saw on television.”
McDowell inquired about with the 3XWresting training program and enrolled in September 2006. He was trained by regional wrestler Brian Ash, who had been trained by pro wrestling legends Harley Race and Dory Funk, Jr., who happened to have earned his MBA from Upper Iowa in 2010. McDowell started wrestling consistently about six months later. He has since traveled from Colorado to Tennessee, wrestling 40-60 shows a year. He recalls his good fortune to being on a WWE Smackdown house show as a manager for Alicia Fox, who wrestled against Natalya Neidhart.
While still employed with Tension Envelope, McDowell, 43, now serves as a wrestler and co-owner of 3XWrestling. In addition to wrestling, his duties with the regional wrestling organization include promoting, marketing, graphic design and video production for 30-50 pro wrestlers and approximately 20-25 shows per year.
“There really is nothing quite like pro wrestling, which is why you still see people in their 60s competing in the ring,” McDowell said. “The whole experience provides the wrestlers with a natural high. Meanwhile, the audience experiences an athletic spectacle that showcases the ongoing tale of the bad guy versus good guy, where booing and cheering is encouraged and your inner child is allowed to marvel at one of the oldest forms of entertainment.”
In addition to McDowell’s championship bout, Campus Countdown will feature the 3XPure Wrestling and Tag Team championships, a women’s match, and a trio of singles matches. Doors open for the free October 24 event at the Recreation Center at UIU’s Fayette Campus at 7 p.m., with the opening bell slated for 7:30 p.m. For additional information, contact UIU Coordinator of Student Activities Jake Bass at 563.425.5311 or visit www.3xwrestling.com.