Adam Jacobs

LaFayette resident Adam Jacobs will face his former high school classmate and one-time best friend Toy Dodson as part of the co-main event at the Southern Legacy Wrestling show, presented by Jim Powell. The action will take place at the LaFayette Recreation Center on Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. (Contributed photos)

Wrestler Adam Jacobs is no stranger to the squared circle as the LaFayette resident and Gordon Lee High School alum is seasoned veteran of professional wrestling. He will be making his return to the ring after a six-month recovery for a neck injury suffered while wrestling for an Alabama-based organization.

The injury caused the C4 and C5 vertebrae to merge and he has been doing rehabilitation as City Club.

Jacobs said he walked away from the ring after the injury and stopped watching and following pro wrestling. However, he said a call from Powell a few months ago was just what the high-flying technician needed to inspire him to lace up his boots and get back in the ring.

“This show made me come back when Jimmy called me,” Jacobs said, adding that his respect for Powell is what brought him back to the ring for this match and allowed him to rediscover his passion for the business again. “It’s too close to home not to give it a shot.

“The people of LaFayette are a working community and they deserve to be treated to a good show,” he added. “If they are going to spend their hard earned money, we are going to give them and good family-friendly show.”

Jacobs has grappled with some of the biggest stars in the industry today, including former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) World Heavyweight Champion, A.J. Styles, another Georgia native. The two faced each other in 2001 for the NWA Wildside Heavyweight Championship, in which Jacobs was victorious. At the time, Styles was the Total Nonstop Action (TNA) X-Division Champion.

Jacobs wrestled for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) near the end of the company’s run around 2001 as part of Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff’s R&B Security. He has also competed for Ring of Honor (ROH), including a three-way match with Styles and David Young for the TNA X-Division Championship. The match occurred in Philadelphia during one of ROH’s first shows.

“I made quite a bit of money for a 21-year-old kid at that time,” he said.

Styles and Jacobs would lock back up in TNA as Jacobs performed three times for the company. Styles has gone onto become a major player and world champion, not only in the WWE, but in TNA as well as New Japan Pro Wrestling.

“If anybody deserves that spot, as far as a person, he deserves it,” Jacobs said of friend.

More recently, Jacobs performed for the WWE as part of the “Rosebuds” entourage of former WWE superstar Adam Rose.

Now at age 38, Jacobs is a family man and said he is comfortable being a “big fish in a small pond”. However, he said he would still be more than open to another tryout with the WWE.

Best friends become rivals

Jacobs is set to face off against another Chickamauga native and fellow Gordon Lee alum, Toy Dotson, in one of the card’s main events.

“We actually trained together and he was my best friend in high school,” Jacobs recalled.

Dotson, who has over 20 years’ of professional experience of his own, continued to wrestle in the region after Jacobs was hurt. But once he learned that Jacobs was coming back to the ring to face him in LaFayette, tensions began to grow between the two.

“He went his way and I went my way and he’s a little bitter,” Jacobs explained.

Dotson, with over 20 years’ of in-ring experience, finds the attention placed on Jacobs for his comeback personally disrespectful as he believes he should be the one getting promoted as the hometown guy. He added that he plans to make sure the March 18 match is Jacobs’ last.

“Adam took some time off to deal with some injuries and now he’s making this big comeback and getting all of this attention,” Dotson said. “He better enjoy it while he is getting it, because after March 18, the only attention he will be getting is medical attention.”

“If I’ve got to prove anything, I’ve got to prove it to my former best friend,” Jacobs said of the matchup. “This isn’t my first time on a poster where he said it should have been him and I’m going to show him why it shouldn’t be him. It should be me. There is a reason I’m on the poster and he is not and come March 18, I’m going to show him and the people of LaFayette.”

The card’s second main event will be an “old school vs. new school” battle.

“Outlaw” Joel Deaton, a legend in Japan, who also wrestled in the NWA for Jim Crockett Promotions, will team with Chase Stevens, formerly of TNA and one half of The Naturals, to face local wrestlers “Butcher” Bobby Hayes and Lamar Phillips.

Deaton is a multiple tag team champion in NWA and New Japan, while Stevens once teamed with Andy Douglas to former The Naturals in TNA. Both wrestled for a short time in WWE.

Phillips resides in LaFayette and is known locally as a mat technician, while Hayes has worked for Empire Pro Wrestling and Universal Independent Wrestling.

Powell said his promotion will return to LaFayette at the Freedom Festival with an outdoor, free to public, wrestling show at the end of June.