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Ultimate Pro Wrestling is based out of Pittsburgh, PA and is the brain child of Phillip Coulter. Mr. Coulter is not anybody widely known in the wrestling world. In fact, for years, he was just a fan. He grew up in an only child in the hills of Western Pennsylvania, where his family had a large amount of land that included multiple mountains in the corner of the state. He attended Penn St. University, where he graduated at the age of 22 in 1999 and became an engineer for a Steel company near Erie, PA. Life was run of the mill for Phil and he loved what he did and his love of wrestling grew from attending indy shows and watching the events on television on ESEN when he was home from his long hours of work. He got married to his college sweetheart in 2000 and has three children: two sons (ages 3 and 9) and a 6 yr old daughter.

His Mother died in August 2010 from cancer and his father didn't last much longer, passing away in December 2012 due to complications from a stroke. This left Phil with sole ownership of that large family land, which he actually made a deal with a Marcellus Shale company to lease it. The company offered a paltry sum for the lease and would not allow Phil to know how much Shale they were harvesting for any further royalties, so Phil played hardball. Having enough experience in and around the industry, Phil got surveys done and found out an approximation of the amount of Shale in the mountain area on his land. then, he shopped the land around for lease or straight out purchase. Nobody wanted his steep prices and for months the property sat as usual.

Then, in March of 2014, Coulter received word that two companies were interested. Being a sound, shrewd business mind, Phil played the two off each other in a bidding war while gas prices shot up to more than $4 a gallon and demand for Shale energy was rising as fast as ever. He sold the land for millions (the exact figures are hidden behind a non-disclosure agreement both parties signed) and the land reverted to the mining company. As part of the deal, Phil receives a six-figure annual payment as well for the next 10 years in addition to the eight-figure sum he was paid.

That is when his dreams became reality. For years he was an armchair quarterback for the Top Turnbuckle Wrestling show on ESEN. One night, he watched an outcome and yelled about how bad that segment was and how little it helped a younger wrestler. His wife just simply said, "Think you could do better?"

Yes....yes he could.

And the future was born that moment. His wife consented for him to start a wrestling business, but also told him not to waste every dime they had received in the land sale. They discussed and decided that they would take two million dollars and use it for whatever this venture would grow to be. The rest would be set aside for family expenses and the futures of their three children. The very next morning, Phil was off to Pittsburgh, PA to start his vision.

He quickly found out the road would be tough. Independent promotions have risen and failed in the Steel City for decades. Plus, some of the big leagues roll through town multiple times each year and zap a lot of the fan's money for attending small-time events. He realized that starting the league from scratch may be difficult and there was no way he could pay the fees for what some of the small venues were requiring. On top of that, he had no way to gain talent. He had no back history in the business and no training school to tap recruits from.

Enter Aaron Devine and Top Turnbuckle Wrestling.

TTW's first shows were in 2011 and the league quickly garnered a solid following. They never reached the heights of some world-level promotions, but did well enough to survive and turn a small profit. That is, until 2014 when the decision was made to begin running two televised shows instead of one. This meant the costs of producing a show each and every week, as well as expanded costs for talent to fill the roster. And while the product was better than ever....the revenue was not increased enough to cover expenses.

By the time the summer of 2015 arrived, TTW had been running a negative balance for months and using advertising dollars from future shows to pay vendors and venue rental fees. As one could imagine, there came a time when there was not enough advertising revenue to cover the cost...and TTW actually filed for bankruptcy, closing almost immediately after the November 2015 "Collision Course" pay-per-view (which all revenue from the PPV paid off much outstanding debt, but not all of it).

Phil Coulter made contact with Mr. Devine in October 2015, hoping to purchase the organization and step in to run it as it was rolling along, but Devine refused. Devine stated he wanted the league to succeed or fail before he would ever consider selling at nickels on the dollar. Six weeks later it was over and Devine made the difficult phone call to Coulter, requesting a meeting.

The negotiations took quite some time. This was due to the ongoing issues with TTW's bankruptcy and creditors who were all coming for every dime they could squeeze form the failed organization. The final price was set and, according to most reports, ended up being for a total a $1.5 million ($1 million for the entire league including all intellectual property and history; a half million to pay off the remaining creditors and end the troubles for Devine and company). Everything was signed, sealed and delivered in May 2016 and Coulter was now officially the owner of a wrestling federation.

However, this left another problem: the ESEN television deals did not come along for the ride. Coulter soon found out that a half million in cash was not enough to secure long-term television deals. Here he was with all of the infrastructure put together and no place to show the content. That is when COulter's lawyer suggested a phone call to Indianapolis, IN.

In the capital city of the Hoosier State was the home offices and headquarters for Cooler Than Ice, Inc. The company started a couple of decades ago by wrestler Chris Hopper, which grew into something nobody really foresaw. In the late 90s, Hopper invested his company's resources into a few specific cable channels and on-line content providers. This diversity allowed for one of those channels to be WTWN or as we all know it, "The Wrestling Network." Over the years, Hopper has acquired the libraries of several, now defunct, leagues and shown them on this network....while also creating new content from time to time with leagues he has tried to open and get started. WTWN airs old episodes of UEW, WWO, ICWF, GRANITE, and many others in addition to the SCWE, EWA and NEWF that Hopper has created over time. The network has strong viewership and is available in more than 75% of households nationwide in the US.

The two men got together and met on how to get Coulter's new league on WTWN. Coulter walked in prepared to give CTI every dime of the half million he had left to secure television time. After sending the entire day discussing it, Hopper gave Coulter several caveats for any deal between them: 1) A new name for the company because TTW is already known as a failure despite nearly five years of operating; 2) This could not be a world level company without acting like it - which meant Hopper expected the production values to be the highest caliber and also for there to be "name recognized" stars on the roster; 3) The television show would be a 2 hour block on Tuesday nights every other week, but it would be a recap show that showed the events of the Monday night live event - This to reduce stress on the workers and allow any screw ups to be masked in editing so the final product was visually perfect.

Phil was all in on these conditions, but the problem was he could never pay for them....especially with only a half million left in the budget for the venture. So another deal was struck: Hopper offered to cover all production cost and provide the air time and etc if they could be 50/50 partners in the venture. Hopper didn't desire to be on screen in any capacity...so Coulter would officially be the CEO of the federation, whatever its name was to be. They shook hands and all they needed was a name. Ultimate Pro Wrestling is a name Coulter had always wanted if he ever got to be part of wrestling, and so he suggested the name and Hopper loved it...and the future was now ahead of them.

Coulter began talking to some retired wrestlers in the Pittsburgh area about finding talent. After several discussions, the former grapplers agreed to help anyway they could. These were the first "hirings" of Ultimate Pro: Arthur Burkett (Known as "Awesome Mask" in the 80s indy scene), Paul Haley ("Painbringer Paul" in the 80s), and Aaron Gold (another 80s indy worker). The men were signed on as talent scouts and agreed to be paid on the basis of the number of acceptable workers/recruits that they sent UPW.

Pittsburgh wrestling legend, Jesse "The Sniper" Williams was hired as a trainer. Williams was a former Army Ranger that became a big star in the early/mid 90s. He retired from the ring officially in 2008 and started a training school in Pittsburgh. Coulter agreed to subsidize the school and make it a training school for the future of UPW. The agreed upon term was 50K/yr plus Williams was considered the initial agent for any performers contracted out of his wrestling school and received 10% of their paid fees.

Now UPW has offices in Pittsburgh, PA as well as an office int he CTI building in Indianapolis, IN. Coulter has begun putting things together. Will the league succeed? Can a fan truly be a strong figurehead for a new company?

There are lots of questions that need to be answered, but Coulter is ready for the journey.