Dwarf Wrestling Troupe 'Half-Pint Brawlers' Criticizes 'Hulk Hogan's Micro Wrestling Championship Wrestling' (VIDEO)
There's a big battle brewing in the world of dwarf wrestling -- and Hulk Hogan's caught in the middle.
In the other corner is Micro Championship Wrestling, a rival troupe of tiny grapplers based in Florida. They burst onto the scene recently in "Hulk Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling," a TV show on which the Hulkster mentors his diminutive proteges.
Steve Richardson, the big cheese of the Half Pint Brawlers, says the new series is a rip-off of his program and makes him fighting mad, because it features wrestlers who couldn't cut it with him.
"I have no ill feelings toward Hogan, but half his guys are the guys I fired," Richardson told HuffPost Weird News. "They're using everything I came up with. There's no individuality. They're doing the same concepts. It's a violation of intellectual property rights."
Richardson, who wrestles as Puppet the Psycho Dwarf, is considering a lawsuit because he feels the similarities between Hogan's show and his are too close for comfort.
"People are confusing the companies because the slogans are similar," he said. "If they did their own thing, I'd be okay with it."
A spokesperson for Hogan declined to comment, but MCW owner Johnny Greene says Richardson is off-base.
"We had this idea first, but they rushed to Spike TV to get their show on the air, figuring whoever got on the air first would capture the audience," he told HuffPost Weird News. "But their show sucked. They were doing midgets and 'Jackass,' and ours is a real wrestling show.
"Puppet's just trying to grab on to our coattails and jump on the bandwagon because their business is dying," said Greene, who emcees bouts as Johnny G.
"The Half Pint Brawlers" filmed one short season of six episodes and are now looking for another channel to broadcast the show.
WATCH: WRESTLING AUDITIONS ON "HULK HOGAN'S MICRO CHAMPION WRESTLING" (Story continues below)
The Brawlers are known for a hardcore style that favors using weapons like staple guns, thumb tacks, broken bottles and barbed wire in the matches.
"[The Brawlers] are the hardcore midget wrestlers," he said. "We fight inside and outside the ring, and we're successful because of that."
The Hogan show is bad for the sport of dwarf wrestling because the fighting is low quality, according to the disgruntled Richardson.
He claims that Hogan and the MCW lifted heavily from the Brawlers, using everything from their catchphrases to their penchant for using a staple gun as a weapon.
Greene, however, argues that Richardson didn't invent the pro-wrestling theatrics. The staple gun, for instance, has wounded grapplers since the 1920s.
Adding insult to injury, Richardson says he has received a lot of tweets, email and calls asking for Puppet to appear on the Hogan show.
The list of Richardson's complaints certainly isn't a short one. He chastises the MCW for the soft physical specimens who enter the squared circle. Take the combatant known as Meatball, a 292-pound dwarf who worked with Richardson before signing with the MCW.
"Meatball is out of shape," he said. "He did one match when I needed someone quick and he did okay. But he got a big head and said, 'Why do I need to train? The crowd loves me.' We do three matches a week and if you're not trained, you can hurt your fellow wrestlers."
Although Richardson claims that he is considering a court battle, he also says he is open to settling his differences in a way more appropriate to his chosen sport.
"Yeah, I wouldn't have a problem settling this in the ring," he said.
Former pro-wrestling promoter-turned-political consultant Dave Teixeira believes Richardson's comments are simply a publicity stunt, especially considering his past working relationship with Hogan.
"I think they're doing what is called 'a work' in the wrestling world," said Teixeira, who now is a political consultant based in Vancouver, British Columbia. "That's where you try to trick people into believing something -- like this controversy."
Teixiera hasn't seen either show, but unless it can be proven that dialogue was stolen, he thinks Richardson's rant is mostly for show.
"This is the sort of thing that Hogan loves," he said, adding that he predicts the two groups will find a way to work together. "Pro wrestling is a small world. Almost everyone has been hired or fired by the other organizations. You're only enemies if you can't make money together."