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The motto to this legendary battle that will take place at Wrestlemania 28 in 2 weeks between two legit wrestling icons is – “An End of an Era.” That’s pretty catchy isn’t it?
I must admit to really liking that phrase. As I’ve sat back and thought about this more and more.. exactly what era do they mean?
Dean Ambrose on the most recent episode of FCW
“The people in charge of FCW are afraid to let me do anything other than talk but I’m as good as everyone says! Everyone else around here pretends to be as good as ME. I will not be ignored anymore. There’s also someone in the arena who knows that THEY will never be able to beat me again.” as he turns and looks at Mr. William Regal at the broadcast table.
THAT is a great way to keep an amazing feud going.
As my readers already know, I’m a huge fan of both and an even bigger fan of this feud. As two of the best, most underrated and totally underutilized talents in professional wrestling, this feud makes complete sense on paper.
Something even better? IT’S GREAT IN REALITY!
The only real “problem” that I or any sane person could have with the battle of words (And actions) between these two? It’s in FCW and not on RAW!
In a perfect wrestling world, Regal would be a mainstay focus of the main event scene in the WWE.
Then one monday night this young upstart punk tries to make an example out of him. Blistering promo after promo from Ambrose, a shocking return by Regal and BOOM! Magic would happen on monday nights for months to come.
With Ambrose being this generations version of Roddy Piper (as I’ve pointed out before – with more in ring abilities), this feud would work. No if’s and’s or but’s.
William Regal doesn’t half ass anything and when he’s given the opportunity to shine – nobody in wrestling is better.
Need more convincing? Still not quite sure if this whole program is as good as I’m trying to convey? Then run face first into a rock wall.. because you’re an idiot good, sir!
These two would be phenomenal on RAW, Smackdown, TNA, DGUSA.. ANYWHERE!!!
I feel the need to explain why I prefer this feud to be out of the FCW, if it would work anywhere like I claim.
Well, as a fan of FCW and alot of the talent there, I still have to be honest… they have a very small audience. Your average every day wrestling fan, has absolutely no clue what FCW is. Sad but true!
William Regal, Dean Ambrose, the magic of this feud, uninformed fans and ALL OF US deserve to have this one on a much grander scale!
Now that I’ve gotten this SECOND rant out of the way about these two and their greatness – I’ll answer my own question.. yes.
Yes this feud would work on WWE television. Since it’s apparent we won’t be getting it though – I myself am looking forward to how it will unfold in FCW.
In the overall scheme of things – this could go down as one of the most legendary feuds FCW will ever have the chance to offer us fans.
So let’s thank them by begging for more Ambrose and Regal!
Your old friend and maniacal wrestling fan/voice – Jimmy Sick doesn’t always get the chance to weave a tale about something that means a lot to me personally.
The reason? Well probably because you guys could probably care less about my heartfelt type of stuff! You mean-spirited so and so’s you!
As I sat here thinking about that, I started to say myself.. MAN, if only I had a means to tell people what’s on my mind.
I recently had the opportunity and true pleasure of once again visiting WWE Hall of Famer - Mr. Jimmy “The Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant’s professional wrestling training camp.
The only word that seems fitting about the experience of visiting this mecca of wrestling history is.. well.. IMPRESSIVE.
Not just the facility itself, the 4 buildings slammed full of historical wrestling memories AND memorabilia, or the wrestling legend who owns and operates this Disneyland for wrestling fans everywhere – but the actual students are simply amazing.
You need look no further than his current crop of youngsters to confirm this.
As I sat in the “Boogie’s Wrestling Camp” gym in Shawsville, VA., I was astounded at how many youngsters were here to take that first step towards becoming a real wrestler.
The reason I was amazed? Aside from the large volume of students, I was also completely enthralled with the fact – these kids were GOOD!
With as much credit going to Boogie’s hand-picked trainers as the man himself.
I sat there watching these young instructors go through move after move with these bright-eyed, smiling and so obviously excited young men & women and the realization that you’re watching someone doing something they’ve wanted to do their entire life.
All of these young people are from different areas, ethnic backgrounds, religions and social classes – but this one thing has drawn every single one of them together in this wrestling training facility in Virginia.
I decided while sitting there and talking to Boogie about his campers and their progress – that I not only wanted to, but NEEDED to talk to some of them for this story.
And? Well when Jimmy Sick wants something – this silver tongue devil usually gets it!
I had the chance to speak with a couple of these promising youngsters about this experience they have chosen to devote themselves to.
As I talk to them, the shocking realization for ol Sickster was this – even with an iconic Hall of Fame Legend involved with all of this, these young wrestlers are the true superstars!
Here’s just a couple of their fascinating stories..
Joshua “The Crippler” Valen (16 Year old BWC Instructor)
JS: What made you decide to get into professional wrestling?
JV: “I remember being 8 years old at our local civic center and seeing John Cena take on JBL. I knew that night, I wanted to be a pro wrestler!”
JS: How long have you been training at BWC now?
JV: “I’ve been at BWC for 5 years now. I’ve toughed it out and I’m now the youngest instructor at the camp. I love what I do, and love teaching others how to do it.”
JS: How do you honestly feel about Boogie?
JV: “I love Boogie. He’s a great man & he and Angel mean a lot to us all.”
JS: Where you’d like to see your career go from here?
JV: “Of course my dream is to end up in TNA or WWE, as I think that’s everyone’s dream to strive for, but honestly I’d settle for making it to FCW. Basically, I just want to be a wrestler.”
BL: “Like any wrestler today, I started as a fan. It was Monday Nitro for me. It was Sting, Hogan, and then Goldberg for me. I liked the little guys like Rey Mysterio and Juventud, but I liked the marquee guys. I was a fan. I wasn’t ‘smart’ enough to understand what I was seeing, so I didn’t have the appreciation or the background knowledge that I do now, so I didn’t know who Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, or these other legends were. I didn’t get interested in wrestling until about 1995, when I happened to flip to Nitro just in time to see Ric Flair walking to the ring, and some big old woman with about 3 teeth screamed, “I’ll kick your goddam ass, Ric Flair.” It cracked me up and I started watching. Haven’t stopped watching since.
So, I got a late start in wrestling and got a late start learning about it and enjoying it. In my junior year in high school, I learned that Roger Hamm, someone a couple of years older than me and with whom I’d gone to school and played high school football, was a wrestler. “Wait…quiet, reserved, never a peep in class Roger Hamm is a WRESTLER???” A few times I had asked him about training and becoming a wrestler, but I never followed through. In retrospect, I truly wish I had followed through and started training with Roger in those days. But, he told me he had trained at BWC and it kind of stayed on the back burner until 2004.
In 2004, I was working at Star95 FM in Princeton, WV, as a part-time DJ. A wrestling show came to the Brushfork Armory in Bluefield, WV, promoted by “Shady” Dennis Richardson, a 2011 honorary BWC Graduate. As a cross promotion between the wrestling show and the station, they decided to use a DJ as a manager in one of the matches. I jumped at the chance. I have the one advantage of being large, so that immediately helped sell me as an “enforcer.” A month later, without having trained more than horsing around and doing some…shhh!!!…backyard…I wrestled Shady in a hardcore match. He put me over after beating the hell out of me for about 15 minutes, but then I was officially hooked. So, the next thing I did was sign up to train at BWC so I could start doing this thing for real.
So, I went into wrestling backwards. I wrestled my first match with no training, a major no-no, and after that did I start training. Luckily for me, my size helped me do some things a smaller untrained wrestler would not have gotten away with.
But, Roger Hamm is the main reason I chose BWC as my training grounds.”
JS: That’s an amazing road to the BWC. How long have you been going to the camp?
BL: “I started attending in 2005. I graduated in 2006. I’ve been visiting off and on since then. Due to work and the price of gas, I haven’t attended as often as I like. It’s fun now to get in there and try to shape some of the rookies and teach them the ropes. Pun intended.”
JS: Thoughts on the training you’ve received?
BL: “I love the guys that trained me. Rick Kelly and Scotty Rocker were regularly there, as well as Shawn Christian, who is the main trainer now. I wish I would have been able to attend more often during my first year. I didn’t get the amount development I needed in that time. If I’d been able to attend more often, I’d be a lot further along in my career.
Sometimes I do wish there was more of a try-out and merit-based acceptance policy on who becomes a student. I think that there are some people just not cut out for this business, whether it’s a mental or physical block, there are some people not meant to be in the ring. Sometimes by having several kids in a ring who just aren’t getting it, injury risks go up, as well as stunting the development of some of the other kids who have a shot. This isn’t meanT as an insult or knock, but it is not an uncommon opinion.”
JS: How has the training here helped you throughout your wrestling career so far?
BL: “It’s taught me to value my time in the ring and treat everyone with respect. It has taught me the value of showing up, working hard, and doing what is asked of you. I have never been, nor ever will be, the best worker on a given card. But, I show up, show respect, do what is asked, and don’t complain or cause heat backstage. By doing so, people respect me and appreciate me, and I keep getting work because of that attitude.”
JS: Outstanding response! What are you honest feelings about Boogie and his love for this business?
BL: “Boogie is awesome. He is the man. His love for his students, trainers, and the business is unmatched. BWC and Boogie give you, if you’re a veteran, a place to escape from the bullsh!t side of the wrestling business and go back to the most enjoyable parts of wrestling.”
JS: Couldn’t agree more! Anything else you’d like the fans and readers to know?
BL: “Well, just this.. I love wrestling and wish I had started in or shortly after high school. As for any goals, I am a realist. I don’t plan on or hope to get to WWE or TNA or ROH. I will enjoy sticking around this region, making gas money, and going out to tell a story. But, if my phone rings and one of the ‘big three’ are asking me if I am available, hell yeah I’d be available. Will that happen? Not likely.
In my short career, I’ve been lucky to share the ring with some big time talent. “Names” I have worked with include Shane Douglas, Flair…ok, David Flair…, Rick Steiner, Disco Inferno, and had the privilege of putting ODB over just prior to her first TNA debut. I saw her at a TNA show in Beckley this year and she remembered it. I told her it was her ‘biggest’ win of her career.
I enjoy coming to BWC and adding a different perspective to the training. I think that no matter how much time you put in the ring at BWC, though, you don’t learn the business until you start working. The biggest tool a young wrestler can have is the ability to shut up and listen, in the locker room, in the ring, when you’re out with the boys, or wherever. Shut up and listen. Let the veterans call everything. Shut up and listen. Shake hands with everyone you meet at a show and introduce yourself, as you never know who is who, and it’s better to shake too many hands than not enough. Oh, and Shut up and listen!”
JS: LOL! Outstanding and spot on! Would you like to tell everyone about the NWA MSW shows that are coming up?
BL: “I’d LOVE too! (<– Buddy Love reference) We wrestle on pretty much a weekly basis. The link to the NWA MSW group is http://www.facebook.com/groups/299831560053/ so people can join, and then follow us throughout West Virginia. We air on Fox59 WVNS-TV every Sunday at 11am. On April 6, 2012, we are holding our next iPPV, a card which will include current NWA National Champion Chance Prophet, NWA MSW Heavyweight Champion Lance Erikson, NWA Dawg Champion Damien Wayne, and many others. Fans can visit NWAMountainState.com for details, or the Facebook group page.”
JS: Thanks a million, Mr. Buddy Love!
BL: “Thank you! I’m glad to help.”
There you have it.. Just a couple of the MANY stories that could be, (And I’m sure WILL BE) written about the students from this amazing school/camp/training facility/FAMILY.
As I stated earlier, even with a bonified pro wrestling legend at the helm of this experience, the students are the true story here.
Even if none of these kids make it to the “big time”, even if some of them decide the life of a wrestler isn’t the life they really want to continue to pursue – they can still look back at their time at the BWC and smile, because they were able to do something that most of us can only wish for.
These men & women made their first step towards their dream. Think about that.. It’s simply amazing. And.. for all you fans out there who would just enjoy visiting this extraordinary temple of wrestling goodness – then you are in luck!
The camp is open 52 Sundays a year. The cost? Absolutely free! Where are you going to find a better deal than that?!
I think the only fitting way to end this story is by telling any and everyone out there who is even CONSIDERING becoming a professional wrestler, do yourself a real favor and make sure you look into the world-famous BOOGIE’S WRESTLING CAMP first!
For all those interested in living your dream or for those obsessive wrestling fans out there who just want to see this wonderland up close and personal – PLEASE check out their website here: http://jimmyvaliant.weebly.com/about-bwc.html
Let me start by saying this, it’s not everyday that someone gets to sit down for an interview with one of their all time favorite athletes, but this guy just got that chance! Steve Corino has been a favorite of mine for quite a few years now, so to say I was pretty excited, would be an understatement! Well.. enough with the buildup – HERE WE GO!
Jimmy Sick: I’d like to thank you for agreeing to this interview Mr. Corino! It’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a while now.
Steve Corino: “Thanks and no problem Jimmy.”
JS: Well let me start by asking were you a wrestling fan growing up?
SC: “I started watching pro-wrestling when I was 8 years old. My parents had just gotten cable TV and Georgia Championship Wrestling was on “Superstation 17″, which turned into WTBS, and WWF’s Spectrum Wrestling was played live on Prism.”
JS: That’s some good wrestling watching there! Who were some of your favorites?
SC: “Tons of guys: Tommy Rich, Eddie Gilbert, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham, Ric Flair, The Midnight Express, The Rock ‘n” Roll Express, Dusty Rhodes, Jumbo Tsurta, Mr. Wrestling II, Riki Choshu the list goes on & on.”
JS: Our lists are alot alike apparently. LOL When did you decide to get into the wrestling business?
SC: “In early 1994, I was almost 21 years old and it was either I try or think about it the rest of my life. All I wanted to be told was no. No, I wasn’t big enough. No, I wasn’t strong enough. No, I wasn’t athletic enough. But I worked hard and made believers of everyone I could.”
JS: Did you hear “NO” alot in the beginning?
SC: “No. I was super lucky. I would get chance to run with the ball and my goal was always to score a touchdown.”
JS: Who helped you out most and really “took you under their wing?”
SC: “This is where I got really lucky. So many guys took me under their wing. Guys you may never have heard of like King Kaluha, Mark Mest, plus name guys like Jim Cornette, Dusty Rhodes, Dory Funk Jr., Mr. Wrestling II, Dutch Mantel, Shinya Hashimoto. I am the luckiest guy in pro-wrestling history. Lots of great teachers.”
JS: Wow! You did indeed get lucky with the mentoring. Thoughts on your first match? How do you feel the match went?
SC: “My first match was against one of my trainers Mark Mest. Now Mark is no small man. 5’11, 450 lbs and is the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. Unless you disrespect him! He took such good care of me and made me look like I had way more experience than I really did.”
JS: That’s a pretty hefty size differential there! Glad he thought so highly of you. Thoughts on the first time you saw yourself wrestling on tv?
SC: “Its a bit freaky. They say we are all our worst critics and I am the absolute worst. Even know, 18 years later, I break down everything I did wrong on TV. You always have to strive to improve.”
JS: I understand how that goes.. the self criticsm that is. As your harshest critic, do you ever see good in what you’ve done now?
SC: “I do. I like a lot of my work in MLW, ROH, and Japan. A lot of things that I loved where because of how the fans reacted to a certain thing that I was trying to do.”
JS: The fan reactions were spot on, because it was quality work honestly.
JS: Early in your career you regularly appeared in Matt & Jeff Hardy’s OMEGA promotion. Any memories of your time there, or the fed in general?
SC: “OMEGA was so ahead of its time. Matt Hardy had this great vision and so did Thomas Simpson. I truly believe that if we all didn’t get picked up by the bigger promotions, OMEGA would have been where ROH is now. Think about how many guys there that went on to the big time: Matt, Jeff Hardy, Shannon Moore, Shane Helms, myself, Joey Mercury, Christian York, Mike Maverick (Dupps in ECW and WWE), Otto Schwanz (Dupps), Marty Garner (Dupps and Rock’s personal assistant for a few years), CW Anderson, and more.”
JS: I completely agree about OMEGA! The talent there was just INSANE. If it had stayed open, do you THINK you might have wrestled there for a majority of your career?
SC: “I would have moved on. Besides my 11 year run in ZERO1, I have tried to come and go. Keeps me fresh.”
JS: Good point. What are some of your thoughts on your time as Lightning Kid 2 in Puerto Rico?
SC: “I had no idea who “Lightning Kid 2″ was until I arrived in Puerto Rico! LOL. No one told me I was doing that gimmick. All of my gear had “CORINO” on it. I think Lightning Kid 2 lasted for about two weeks before they just started calling me Steve Corino.”
JS: LOL! That’s awesome. I think we’ve all heard atleast a story or two about how things go there, but do you have any horror stories about wrestling in Puerto Rico?
SC: “Besides being ribbed by Invader for my first few weeks, it was OK. I was a babyface and at the time people still believed so I didn’t have bottles of urine thrown at me like the heels did!
I did almost have a gun drawn on me and Guillotine LeGrande in 2009. I was getting heat on the outside when a guy went into his jacket and security tackled him. Then Carlos Colon yelled at me because he said I should have known that no one wears a jacket in Puerto Rico! Its always hot!!!”
JS: Yikes! He’s right about the jackets though. LOL! How was Carlos Colon to work for overall?
SC: “I hate Carlos Colon. Always will. He treats his wrestlers bad, starves them, and doesn’t pay them. But you know that going in. You know you are going to end up getting screwed eventually. It is a shame because I love the island of Puerto Rico and I love the wrestling down there, but I hate the lies. People always talk about how Paul Heyman lies, no one lies more than Carlos Colon.”
JS: Ouch.. That bad huh? Well, since you brought up Paul Heyman – What are some of your thoughts on the greatness/PERFECTION that was your run in ECW. Favorite memories of that era?
SC: “I had a lot of fun. I learned so much about different styles, TV production, and how a real company works. I had limited experience in the USWA (Memphis) and Puerto Rico, and this was the first real-company experience I got. I loved it. But I don’t miss it.”
JS: You don’t miss the ECW hardcore style?
SC: “Yes. It takes a toll on your body and mind. Plus I would have wanted to move on. It was always my dream to wrestle in Japan. I had a great time in ECW but eventually I would have had to go. My body wouldn’t have been able to keep up with that style forever.”
JS: I can see that. I don’t know how alot of those guys are still going so strong today. Memories of working with Dusty Rhodes in ECW?
SC: “He was the guy that put me on the map. I was the “King Of Old School” before he came to ECW and feuding with Taz and Tommy Dreamer got me heat, but they weren’t “old school”. When Dusty came to ECW, it legitimized the gimmick forever.
I learned how to slow down with Dusty and really listen to a crowd. He used to say “Kid, the crowd will tell us what to do tonight” and he was right. What an honor!”
JS: That was such an incredible feud. You guys were just a perfect mesh of styles. Really enjoyed watching you guys go!
Sc: “Thanks for that.”
JS: Not a problem, I meant it! Now was it true you weren’t being paid your promised salary towards in the end of your ECW run? (Or any other time in ECW for that matter. LOL)
SC: “No one was but that is what happens when a company is starting to go under. Its not like Paul Heyman didn’t want to pay us. He did the best he could. I really feel for him in that respect. But no matter how many dollars I was owed, I got so much more in knowledge that I probably owed him money!”
JS: That’s a great response and an even better way to put it. I know Paul Heyman has caught alot of flack over the years with how things ended up in ECW, but do you think he could still be in charge of a company somewhere and make a successful run with it?
SC: “I sure do. The guy is a genius when it comes to putting a pro-wrestling story together. He just needs a chance to work alone.”
JS: How did you feel about signing with WCW?
SC: “I wasn’t passionate about it. I was more worried about paying bills. I was hoping it would work out though.”
JS: Although you weren’t passionate about signing with WCW, do you think you could have had a successful run there?
SC: “In WCW you were always at the mercy of the bookers. In ECW, Paul pushed you if you were over. I would have been successful money-wise but maybe not in-ring wise.”
JS: How did you feel about the whole deal falling through after Vince McMahon purchased WCW?
SC: “Is “awe shit” the right answer? Haha.”
JS: The BEST answer honestly! HAHA!
SC: “But seriously, I had a feeling it was coming. Dusty had pretty much told me that Eric Bischoff’s new company was not going to buy the company, so I knew I would be let go.”
JS: Were you ever bitter towards the WWE for not taking the chance on signing you? I have to admit I was and still kinda am.
SC “God no. You can’t be bitter. There are a lot of horses in the stable right? You fall off one and you get on another. Too many guys think that the WWE is the only place for them. I would have loved to make money there but I am not bitter at all that they didn’t hire me.”
JS: Why do you believe they never took the chance?
SC: “A lot of reasons. My body isn’t WWE style. It is more suited for a Japan style. My work is not sports entertainment style. I think I have a reputation of standing up too much for myself (which I don’t think is true! LOL).”
JS: I can see what you mean there. Speaking of the Japanese style – Thoughts on working Japan & the fans?
SC: “They are the best. I love the country, the culture, the fans, and the people. Love it. I would move there one day if I could.”
JS: It really is a beautiful place. What are some of you memories of working in Dusty Rhodes’ Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling?
SC: “So much fun! It was like a throwback company. And we had guys like Dusty, Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes, Scotty Riggs, Glacier, CW, Lodi, and a ton of young guys. It is where Cody Rhodes got in the ring to train.”
JS: There really was some amazing talent there. That was one company I would have LOVED to see still going strong today. Thoughts on your Horsemen stable?
SC: “The Extreme Horsemen were born in TCW. Dusty had an idea of putting me, CW, and Barry Windham together and calling us The Elite, but I thought “Hmmm, me and CW just came from ECW and Barry is a Horseman…Extreme Horsemen.” Dusty hated it at first until Barry said he liked it!
Simon Diamond was someone we always wanted in. There was talk in ECW that Simon, CW, myself, and Jack Victory would be together but that was scrapped when I turned babyface.”
JS: That would have been a great group! What are some of you memories of your TNA appearances in the early days of the company?
SC: “The TNA of 2003 and TNA now are almost two different companies. When I was there it was very unorganized.”
JS: Really? Was it that bad? Thoughts of the locker room there at the time?
SC: “It was OK I guess, I had a problem with my pay and where we flew every week. I didn’t care what they did with our characters but I wanted to be paid what I was promised. I wish I was there now and kept my mouth shut because they seem to have their stuff together, but I was pretty much only booked to be Sandman’s babysitter.”
JS: Was Sandman really uh.. well, for lack of a better word, “BAD” at that point, or were they just nervous that he was?
SC: “Probably a bit of both! LOL.”
JS: HA! Well.. that’s the Sandman! The night you Debuted in ROH and entered into your 4 year rivalry with Homicide, did you guys expect that to be as successful as it was?
SC: “It was one of those feuds that you couldn’t write on paper and think it would work. Gabe needed a team to work with The Backseat Boyz and both of us volunteered. From there Gabe said for me to turn on him during the match, and it just took off.”
JS: Thoughts on working with Homicide?
SC: “He’s so talented and I think I deserve a bit of credit for “making him”. He probably would have made it without me but I helped. He was/is a huge Terry Funk fan and we both loved the Funk-Dusty feud and love how they lived the feud 24/7. That is what we did. To the point where we would complain to Gabe that it was going too far.”
JS: I totally agree about you helping to make Homicide and I sincerely mean that. Was there ever any legitimate bad blood between the two of you?
SC: “We aren’t friends but I think he respects me as much as I respect him.”
JS: Thoughts on CM Punk, Bryan Danielson & Samoa Joe during that time? Did you feel they would rise to the level they have?
SC: “Those guys were awesome 10 years ago. I would have been more surprised if they didn’t have the success they have now. All three are so dedicated to their craft. I am very proud of them.”
JS: Fantastic answer. What are some of your memories of your time as Mr. Wrestling 3?
SC: “At first I turned it down. I was ready to leave pro-wrestling and I was in Hawaii wrestling and Mr. Wrestling II and I struck up a friendship. He was like a mentor to me and offered it to me. Then he explained that Mr. Wrestling 3 needed to be different then Mr. Wrestling and Mr. Wrestling II. That is when I gave the idea that it would be like a super hero type gimmick.
Beat “Steve Corino” to the point where he had to give up OR he finds that extra strength and puts on the costume. It gets over much better in Japan.”
JS: Anyone who hasn’t seen you do it, they need to! It was a great gimmick. Your thoughts on Kevin Steen and your recent much talked about ROH feud with him?
SC: “This kid is not your stereotypical ROH wrestler but there is no one more over right now. And he works hard. He is so smart and he’s only 27. I truly believe that one day Kevin Steen will be known as a great booker.
My feud was well done with him. Although I preferred teaming with him more.”
JS: That’s pretty high praise for Mr. Steen. Out of curiousity, Is there anyone that you’ve never had a chance to work with, that you wish you could?
SC: “Eddie Gilbert no doubt. He was probably my favorite of all time and passed away when I was a rookie. He was just amazing.”
JS: Eddie Gilbert was such an amazing talent. Could wrestle a classic match one night and then a savage hardcore match the next. A match between you two would have been outstanding! What are your thoughts on today’s wrestling product as a whole?
SC: “Honestly, its as good as it ever has been. Fans don’t realize that pro-wrestling evolves so much. What worked in the 40′s didn’t work in the 60′s. What worked in the 60′s didn’t work in the 80′s and so on. Vince McMahon knew this and coined his own brand “sports entertainment”. Its just a different style of pro-wrestling and it really is entertaining.”
JS:How long do you feel you will/can continue wrestling?
SC: “As long as the body holds up. I am almost 39 years old and tried to retire twice. It doesn’t work. Wrestlers don’t retire, they die. Plus my son, Colby, has started wrestling and it is a lot of fun to be on the road with him.”
JS: Your son is an amazing young talent aswell by the way.
SC: “Thank you for that!”
JS: Not a problem. Any message to your fellow wrestlers out there?
SC: “Keep doing your thing. This crappy economy can’t last forever. Pro-wrestling is not dead by any stretch of the imagination, but the economy hurts it direction right now. Don’t quit. The better the economy, the more money fans will have to come out to shows. Take this as your chance to get experience and get better so when the next boom comes you are ready.”
JS: Lastly – Any message for your many fans out there?
SC: “Thanks for the support. Fans get a bad rap sometimes because they are tough critics but 99% of them are great. You can’t let the negativity of some fans discourage you. Fans are fans and they are the reason you do what you do. Going out there and making them react is the greatest high you can ever experience.”
JS: Where can people stay in contact with and enjoy the “King of Old School” Mr. Steve Corino these days?
SC: “Well everyone can head over to www.WorldOfCORINO.com and also follow me on Twitter @SteveCorino. And for a great Podcast, listen (and subscribe on iTunes) to the Extreme Odd Couple Podcast w/me and Rob Dimension at www.XOCPodcast.com. Over 12,000 subscribers so far!!!”
JS: I have to agree, the Extreme odd Couple Podcasts are HILARIOUS! You and Rob have a dynamic that is just insane. LOL Well, I’d like to sincerely thank you Mr. Corino for taking time out of your busy schedule to give this great interview.
SC: “No problem at all, Jimmy!”
Nothing better than when you get to chat with someone you really admire and they’re exactly how you hoped they’d be and this is one of those times, folks.
Steve Corino is as honest and open as he is terrific between the ropes and you couldn’t ask for more from a wrestling great.
You guys make sure you do yourself a favor and check out his Extreme Odd Couple Podcast at www.XOCPodcast.com. It’s HYSTERICAL!
I would like to give a special thanks to T.E.C. Customs for the custom graphics they supplied for this article.
If you have any needs for custom work hit them up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/teccustoms36 and be sure to follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/40DropRecords. They can make custom ANYTHING!
The push begins for Wrestlemania 28
Not even 24 hours removed from last night’s episode of WWE monday night RAW and still I sit here thinking.. well.. WHOA!
If you look at it from every single angle, that show had EVERYTHING needed to follow-up a great pay per view AND to start the WWE Wrestlemania 28 push.
Well, let me start at the beginning I suppose.. How odd was that Eve heel turn?
If anyone knows the ways of a black magic woman – it’s Jimmy Sick, but that whole thing came out of NO WHERE!
For her ability to make me cheer on John Cena, Eve should at least get a tip of the cap.
Sheamus vs. Bryan - I have a feeling that this one is going to be pretty special.
We finally found out that 2012 Royal Rumble winner Sheamus has chosen to take on Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight championship at Wrestlemania 28 over the weekend and Sheamus beat the nearly indestructible former World champ Mark Henry last night in a statement to Bryan.
Bryan’s rebuttal? He brought Santino back down to Earth pretty quickly in a short and to the point match.
Maybe this match can FINALLY get what it deserves and actually make it on the show! I have a feeling that this one is going to be pretty special.
We saw the war of words between John Laurinaitis & Teddy Long heating up.
Is this leading to a Smackdown vs. RAW match of some sort at Mania?
Maybe a tag team match, since the rumors of the Money in the Bank match marking its return, might have been jeopardized in the main event last night ?(More on that soon enough!)
Honestly, I wish they would get to the competitors in this one, as both Laurainaitis and Long annoy me in their own special ways.
Yeah.. I said it. Only thing I ask for in this crazy uncertain world.. put David Otunga in the match please.
Like him or hate him (I’m guessing by the reactions, most fans fall under the HATE umbrella when it comes to Mr. Otunga.), the guy is super intelligent, fun to watch and I think he could bring A LOT to this program/angle.
I know I know.. You probably don’t agree. Oh well.. IT’S MY SITE!
A lot of WWE Diva involvement here and there throughout the show, but the one thing I wanted, begged for and CRAVED to see – was a set up for a Kharma, Beth Phoenix and Natalya Neidhart match at Wrestlemania 28.
I want to take a moment to preach from the heart and as a man who has been a loyal follower of this great sport my entire life, this should tell you how I feel about this match.
With these 3 ladies (In any pairing honestly!), involved in a match at Wrestlemania in ANY way – The match would be the absolute greatest ladies match in the history of the sport.
You look at those 3 specific talents and imagine the battles, the promos, the matches and the happiness. Happiness?! Yes.. in all of our hearts after watching the perfection that would no doubt be brought forth by these talented athletes. That’s it. End of story. Print it!
Anyways, they didn’t step forward with that, which saddens me in a way. Because with all of the greatness that this Mania is bringing to the table, I’d hate for a match involving any of these ladies to be brushed aside. None of us deserve that. Let’s get on the ball here WWE!
R-Truth and Kofi Kingston
Last night we were also introduced to a new tag pairing, that I have to admit to enjoying immensely. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston placed together as partners seems like a weird idea, but it really had a good feel to it. Natural almost.
I really believe I could get behind that team, and I’m not a Kofi supporter at all. I’ve always believed he smiles entirely too much.
Jimmy Sick don’t like no smiles! R-Truth with his own unique take on.. umm.. crazy, just mingles to perfection with Kofi for some odd reason.
Plus let’s be honest, both of these guys are just athletic as all hell and it’s good to see them being used frankly.
Their non title victory over the WWE tag champions, Huncio & Epico, all but bluntly tells us they’ll be facing each other at Mania. I truly hope they can find a way to add the Uso’s into the mix before the big event though.
I’d actually like to see that match a lot.
Well.. I think it’s time to address the biggest issues of all. Let me start by saying this, all of you loyal readers know about my love hate relationship with Mr. John Cena, but both Sunday & Monday – the man brought it.
The match with Kane at the Elimination Chamber ppv, all be it very short – was brutal and very poignant.
His promo last night about the Rock was plain and simply amazing. That’s the WWE wrestler John Cena people want on a weekly basis!
The match between John Cena and The Rock is so much bigger than wrestler vs wrestler, actor vs hater, or legend vs legend in the making.
We all know this is the battle of eras. When those types of battles happen in professional wrestling, it should capture the entire embodiment of our love for this sport.
To me personally, this one is beginning to achieve that magic. These two men are talking us into this match. It’s not the physicality that has us completely enthralled, it’s the voice of these men. It’s astonishing to watch unfold, if you truly look at it from all sides.
When the Rock appears next week, we will all be watching just to hear his retort, not to see a fight or even one single punch get thrown. That amazes me.
With the build up this match is garnering, I’m not sure if it can live up to the hype, but to me personally.. it already has in a way.
Next up? CM Punk still didn’t have an opponent “OFFICIALLY” for Wrestlemania, so enter the Losing competitors at Elimination Chamber’s battle royal.
You might want to write this down. It’s actually a pretty rare occasion. I’m honestly speechless with the results of this battle royal.
Between the clustered spots, injuries and possible set up for other feuds. MIND BOGGLING!
Let me first throw out there, that it appeared they were setting up a Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show feud. Which is honestly a little surprising to me, as I (like everyone else I’m sure.) had heard the rumors about Goldust vs Cody at Mania.
PLUS, with Shaquille O’Neal announcing over the weekend he was heading to Wrestlemania - I thought Shaq vs Big Show was a lock!
I will say this, I think these two could have an excellent match. No doubt about that to me, but Goldust vs Cody was a match I was personally praying to the wrestling Gods to see.
I think Goldust deserved that match and recognition of his greatness and Cody would have made him look like a million bucks. I’m really let down if that match doesn’t take place.
Shaq vs Big show? Um.. would have drawn a lot of attention to the show. Hmm.. I guess that’s about all I got!
Looking forward to seeing where they go with this one though.
Should be fun watching the miserable and pissed off giant, go after the young, brash, good-looking kid who thinks he can do no wrong.
The Miz has fallen hard and FAST. I just don’t understand that. I wish I had more to add here, but I don’t know if he’ll even be at Mania this year. THE MAN WAS IN THE MAIN EVENT LAST YEAR!
Well I suppose it’s time for me to talk about the bad part of such a great show and main event – the injuries.
Before I begin, the blame everyone seems to be throwing at the Big Show is completely unwarranted. C’mon folks.. accidents happen.
These athletes do the hardest job in the world and they get hurt doing it. Period!
Theres is an art form and there’s no way you can blame Show for this.
Wade Barrett as some of you know is a favorite of mine, and the horror I felt when I heard him scream that expletive and hold his arm, is indescribable.
The man’s stock was majorly on the rise and to see his Wrestlemania hopes dashed was so sad.
On a side note, I’d like to wish Wade all the best for a speedy recovery!
Now onto the winner here, besides us fans that is, Chris Jericho.
We got our match people. The 2 BEST IN THE WORLD are going to face off at the Showcase of the Immortals.
The two men we had hoped would stand in the middle of a wrestling ring at the grandest stage of them all, will do just that.
On a show filled with Legends, HOFers, GODS – this match will absolutely steal the show.
Chisel that into stone my friends – because it’s the most factual fact you will ever read. I sincerely like to believe that the WWE has no idea what so ever that Chris Jericho facing off against CM Punk is every bit as important to us fans as John Cena vs The Rock.
It’s an era, vs an era in my eyes. How much I’m looking forward to this match, would take some Shakespearean style writing skills. Which I do have.. but still.
That will be one WWE Championship match that fans will NEED to see for years to come. I think I might be under selling it! You get my point though – going to be incredible.
Finally, what can your old pal and faithful wrestling narrator, even say about the Undertaker and Triple H match that hasn’t been said a million times recently?
How about this.. Hell in a Cell.
I think the 3 words that best summed up everyone’s thoughts, when Triple H forcefully spoke the HIS 3 words (“Hell in a Cell”), was OH MY GOD.
This match is the epitome of end-all, be-all when it comes to wrestling closure.
These two men are going to give us something that we want, that will just top off the night, after all the amazing action we’re going to see that night.
What is the thing they’re gong to give us you might ask? Jeez you ask a lot of questions!
I’m gonna tell you! Blood, Gore and violence. Something we don’t often see from the WWE these days.
Can Taker keep his streak alive in the match HE made famous?
Can Triple H up his level of violence from last year to get that victory he craves?
Can Triple H finally prove to everyone, most importantly himself, that he is better than his friend and mentor, Shawn Michaels? (Not to me by the way, because HBK is an Icon!)
Can Undertaker just survive a battle with the Game this time around?
All of these questions and SO MANY MORE will be answered on April 1st.
For all the flack the WWE gets, (And trust me, I do my fair share of flack givin’ when it comes to them.) this Wrestlemania, the 28th installment, is shaping up to be the greatest ever.
Only thing missing is the Mantaur!
Until next time people, remember to enjoy this time of year, for a wrestling fan – it doesn’t get any better!
Selfish, undeserving, hated, misunderstood, jerk.. Ok now that I’m done reading my fanmail here. HA! See what I did there? That’s comedy folks!
Anyways, those are all terms I’ve seen or heard to describe current TNA World Heavyweight Champion and the talk of the wrestling world, Bobby Roode.
The one term most prominently missing there in my opinion though, is outstanding. Because over the course of this main event level change his career has gone through, outstanding is exactly what he has been.
Roode has taken the ball given to him by the powers that be in TNA and ran straight for the end zone with it.
As impressed as I was with the Beer Money tag team, I’m finding it hard to put into words, just how impressed I am with Roode over the last few months. Wait.. no I’m not. It’s what I do, people!
After watching the main event at TNA’s Against All Odds ppv this passed sunday, I can only say he impressed me even more.
In a match slammed full of talent (Roode, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy and James Storm) AND a wrestling icon (Sting of course.) – Roode shined brighter than everyone.
Not just meaning in ring action, but to me he captured your attention in every aspect. Drama, action and storytelling.
He was captivating! There in lies the secret about Bobby Roode I guess.
The man just demands the attention of any room he enters. That’s a special thing that very few have. The one’s that do? Well.. all time greats!
The champ has come a LONG way from the day’s of “Total” Lee Awesome in 1998!
Breaking into TNA in 2004 as the Enforcer for Scott D’Amore’s Team Canada stable, you got a hint of there being something special about this kid from Peterborough, Ontario.
As Team Canada battled such legends as 3Live Kru and America’s Most Wanted – Roode was growing ever more experienced and polished in the ring.
The “Canadian Enforcer” was becoming a great young talent that people were starting to talk about. Rightfully so!
After Team Canada split up, Roode became the self proclaimed “Hottest Free Agent In TNA.”
Then came the vignettes where various managers and managerial legends were vying to lead the star of the future! Eventually choosing Traci “Ms.” Brooks.
A feud with Eric Young later – he enters into the program that out him on the map in my eyes – the feud with Booker T.
These two stars were custom made for each other. The fact that Roode stepped into the ring and held his own toe to toe week in and week out against one of the sports all time greats, spoke volumes on HIS greatness aswell.
In case you haven’t guessed – Ol’ Jimmy Sick is a big fan of that rivalry.
After Booker and Roode ran it’s course in TNA (Unfortunately!), the next step in the evolution of Robert Roode took place in June of 2008.
That step was made side by side with another amazing talent by the name of “Cowboy” James Storm.
Beer Money was quite possibly the best tag team to come down the wrestling pikes in 20 years. I know people probably won’t completely agree with me there, but honestly I could care less!
I got to see Beer Money perform live at house shows and perform live on tv and ppv and the one thing that struck me most – they were just as good at one, as they were at the other!
These guys never phoned it in and I was impressed as hell everytime I watched them. They had.. IT!
OK ok.. forget all about the charisma that oozed from these guys, just look at the actual in ring abilities.
Those matches with the Motor City Machine Guns are MUST SEE matches for any tag teams in the sport today. INCREDIBLE! Matches with LAX, Team 3D, Moragn & Abyss, MEM, The British Invasion, Ink Inc and Immortal also did nothing but imprint their names on the proverbial plaque of tag team superiority.
When it was becoming increasing clear that the team was headed towards destruction in October and November of 2011, I (Along with fans everywhere I assume.), had a strange feeling of happiness mixed with total sorrow.
I knew that it was probably time for Storm and Roode to venture back out on their own. BUT.. it still sucks that it was happening!
That night in November when Roode bashed his friend, partner.. brother James Storm over the head with the beer bottle and captured the TNA Championship, that was the night everything changed in the history of the company.
That night Bobby Roode became what he was destined to be, and that my friends.. is GREAT.
The shockingly hilarious thing that keeps popping into my mind about this accent to being THAT GUY? You know you’ve heard them say it. Hell, you know HE’S heard them say it. “What would he do in WWE?” “What would they have for him?” “Could he be great there?!”
I like to look at it this way folks and fellow obsessive wrestling fans.. Who cares?! I want to see what Bobby Roode can do for TNA!
I want to see there heights that this man, this possible legend in the making, can take the company that he’s now the LEADER of to.
Why? A) Because we NEED him to do it. B) Because HE DESERVES IT! C) It’s a breath of fresh air that TNA critics have been asking for.
They have finally spoon fed it to you! Now sit down, shut up and enjoy!
Bobby Roode is a man who will lead this generation – The Selfish Generation for years to come.
Fact. How do I KNOW that for sure? Because he told us so!
Bobby Roode.. your game changer ladies and gentlemen.
Well folks, your old pal and fearless narrator James Reginald Sick the 3rd (Not quite sure, just sounded good in my head.), is back again with another in my new series of Interviews with the Stars and Veterans of the sport we all love.
I had the extreme pleasure of sitting down with 20 year professional wrestling veteran Chad Byrd over the weekend, and to say I’m happy with the results – would be an understatement.
Chad is funny, clever and can weave one heck of a story, but the best part about Chad, might just be his outspoken ways.
Of which, Mr. Sick here is just tickled pink. Chad has worked in both the WCW & WWF(E) during his career, and holds nothing back about either. So sit back, relax and get ready for this one.. it’s coming right at you!
Jimmy Sick: I’d like to start by saying thank you for letting us set up this interview. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now.
Chad Byrd: “No problem at all, man. My pleasure really.”
JS: I guess I’d like to start by asking, were you a wrestling fan growing up?
CB: “Oh YES! BIG TIME! I remember being 11 years old and wrapping ol’ mule tape around some trees in our front yard to make a wrestling ring. Me, my buddies and other kids around the neighborhood would get in there and wrestle just about every day. We had tournaments and even made belts out of cardboard for these events. WE HAD TO HAVE A CHAMPION! My dad, who worked in the heating and air conditioning business always had spare pieces of chrome and such laying around his shop, well I took some of those and made an NWA Jr. Heavyweight belt just like Denny Brown wore!”
JS: That’s fantastic! How did your dad feel about these mat wars going on in your MacGyver style ring in the yard?
CB: “He was a little nervous about it. Always telling all of us we needed to be VERY careful. He didn’t want anyone pounding down our door after some kid got hurt in this thing. After all.. our top turnbuckle was a tree limb. LOL”
JS: Understandable. Who were some of your favorites when you were growing up?
CB: “Well throughout middle school I have to say, me and the buddies wanted to be the 4 Horsemen. As I guess every kid did at that time, but we tried to actually be them. I was the Tully Blanchard of our Horsemen! I even went out and bought me a pair of shorts, Speedos basically, and took them to a trophy shop down the road and had them put “TB” on them. I wrestled in those and cowboy boots in the tree ring for quite a while. If hard pressed to choose one all-time favorite though, I’d have to say that “The Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez was probably my favorite. I loved his style! His Flyin’ Burrito finisher was just great and the name was awesome. I wanted to be Manny so bad, I even started singing my school papers, “Raging’ Bull.” LOL
JS: HA! That’s dedication.
CB: “Funny side note on that, we put a Time Capsule in the ground when I was in high school, the day they open that thing up, I definitely wanna be there. Because I have a paper in there signed Raging Bull.. and I want it back!”
JS: Who wouldn’t want that back?! So being a huge fan of wrestling – going to the extreme of making the ring in your yard, I’m guessing you wanted to get into the sport as soon as possible? How did your career begin?
CB: “I did. I actually started working with my uncle who was in charge of a rec center. A few times a year we would get wrestling shows at the rec center. Regular Indy shows came through some, but Crockett Promotions would have shows here as well. That was HUGE! Here I was this kid helping his uncle and I was getting to meet guys the likes of the Koloffs, Rock n Roll Express, “The Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant and Rocky King! LOVED IT! I would try to talk to as many of the talent that would speak to me, just trying to get advice and all. I met Grizzly Smith when I was 13 or 14 years old and he gave me a little advice, but when I met Barbarian.. I spoke to him just about every time he came through.
JS: Did he open up to you at all?
CB: “Well it was different era back then, ya know? Wrestlers didn’t open up at all to anyone who wasn’t in the business. But after a while and meeting him a few times, Barbarian had figured out I was a big fan of the sport and had my mind made up it was what I wanted to do. At that point I had already been lifting weight and was in really good shape. How getting started came along though, when I was about 14 years old. A company came through – I wanna say the name was South Atlantic, but just not positive on that one, that had talent like a young Vince Terrilli who went on to become Ken Shamrock! I spoke with the guys in charge there and they showed me a few things. The basics mostly. They beat on me and such, but during one session in the ring my shoe got caught on the mat and I flew head first between the ropes and then the floor HARD. They jumped out to see if I was ok and all, I jumped up and said yeah, let’s keep going. They found respect for me at that second. They knew I had heart and was going to make it. It was when FTWF came through here, that I met someone who at that point was most helpful – Jeff Victory who wrestled as Rev. Slim. I know I’m going a little off track here.. but I wanted to get it all in. LOL”
JS: You’re fine! We wanted to hear your story, so please don’t hold back.
CB: “Ok, good. Now Rev. Slim is one of the best, most underrated talents this business has ever seen. Just a super wrestler. Could do anything! He was the one who showed me how to take bumps and the little in’s and out’s that I needed to know just getting started and for that, I just can’t thank him enough.
JS: Who were some others who helped in your training and “took you under their wing” if you will? *Dusty voice*
CB: “Well Rev. Slim took me, Randy Sledge and Danny Dozier to an event that George South Jr. and Italian Stallion were promoting. I wrestled Dozier and something about us caught the eye of George and Stally. They thought we could be good talents with more training. So that’s when I made the best decision of my career, let them train me. Let me throw this in real quick, those two guys mean the world to me for everything they’ve done for me and my career.”
JS: So did you take to wrestling pretty easily being a longtime fan? Or did it take a lot of training?
CB: “Well that’s where George comes in honestly. LOL I thought I knew what I was doing. Thought I was pretty good at this whole wrestling thing, until one night here in North Carolina. We had a show that was pretty close to my hometown, so I invited all my family and friends to come check me out. I was so excited to show off what I could do! Well George and Stallion put me down to wrestle George that night and well.. he literally wrestled circles around me. I was clueless! He finally stopped the match and told the promoter, “Get this kid outta here and find me someone who can do this finish!” I headed to the back HOT. I saw Stallion and said, “I don’t care what you do or anything else, but don’t EVER put me in the ring with that guy again!” Well low and behold, I wrestled George South three times a week for over a year afterwards and I hated him! LOL Basically I hated him because he was just so, and still is honestly, so good. I learned any and everything there is to know about this business during that period. From everything to getting shine, how to get the right kind of heat, how to deal with the hatred, how to get the babyface love, to saving money and how to live on the road without spending much at all. Everything! And today I consider George South one of my best friends.”
JS: You mentioned that South and Stallion passed on the knowledge of all things wrestling, including “money conservation” on the road. What were some of those tips? Always a good note for some youngsters out there!
CB: “Well, one good thing that they taught me wad the fact that if you give a restaurant a signed picture, a lot of the time they won’t charge you back then. Take a few pictures with people and just share some stories and they basically cut you a break on paying. Share the car and gas money with guys. Share rides and gas money. If you don’t, you’ll go broke all together. They would put you in your place to though, as I remember one show in upstate Ohio, I went to George and complained about not having money and he said, “Here’s your share” and handed me a $2 check.”What is this?!” George replied, “That’s based on your standing on the card. That is your percentage of the gate. Work harder, get higher on the card and you’ll be paid more. Period.” I was honestly hurt by this at the time, but as time went on I knew he was preparing me for everything that I would see and hear in the future. I did end up finding a ride and sharing some food costs by the way. LOL Another thing they taught me was you DON’T lose that mystique while the show is in the building. I would wrestle my match, then run to the back, change and then run back out to watch the matches. People see you out there and try to talk to you, or get an autograph and basically.. ignore the 2 guys busting their butts in the ring. I knew he was right, because if I saw Paul Jones buying a damn hot dog, I would’ve wanted my damn money back! George said when you take all the attention away from the two men in the ring – you are hurting everyone. That made ALOT of sense and I like to tell my kids that now. Another big thing for those guys, and myself as a wrestler/booker now – you NEVER no show an event. Promoters and other wrestlers invest a lot of time, money and effort to promote guys for shows, and the crowd loves you and expects you to be there. When you don’t show up – it’s classless and unprofessional. The ONLY time I ever missed an event was when my son was born. There were a few health issues related to the birth, and I made sure I called the promoters days ahead of time and promised to make it right with them.
JS: That is all great advice for the young workers out there. Ok, I meant to ask you – who was your first match against and how did you feel it went?
CB: “Sure I do. I took on “Wild Thing” Tommy Ace. A heck of a talent. The match was about 45 seconds honestly. It was at a wrestling event that took place at a local fair. When I say 45 seconds, I literally mean 45 seconds. It was basically lockup, off the ropes, drop down, clothesline, crossbody for the 1, 2..3 and a Chad Byrd victory! We were happy with how it turned out, I guess. We were honestly just happy to be wrestling anywhere so it was great to us. We actually wrestled the match several times after that on the fair circuit, trading wins back and forth. That was really the only way to actually learn.. in front of a crowd. I try to teach my kids that today. You learn nothing, until you’re wrestling in front of a crowd of wrestling fans. I feel that’s, and before I start here I have to say I’m not exactly bitter, but more “let down” by wrestling today. I feel that there are WAY too many guys out there who start up training schools who don’t know how to do a damn thing. if you can’t work, how the hell are you going to train someone to work? Example – I’m currently 300 pounds and I had a 19 -20 year old kid in training with us recently. He’d been trained for a while by another trainer and I asked him to hit a dropkick. He couldn’t do it! Like I said before, I’m 300 pounds and can still hit a picture perfect dropkick! That’s sad! These kids out here are getting taken for $1,500 – $2,000 by these guys who are just crooks. Period! At least Google this guy before you start training with him. Ask around! If other wrestlers have never heard of him – then there’s a good chance, nobody has! And don’t get me started on these backyard wrestlers.”
JS: Not a fan, eh? Even with your “Tree Ring” past? HA
cb: “LOL Big difference there. We actually wrestled. We didn’t hit each other with sticks, chairs, light bulbs and everything else. We were WRESTLING. Doing that kind of crap, will not help you in this business. I’m sorry.. but it’s true. I tell people all the time, I realize this isn’t ballet, but half these guys NEED BALLET!”
JS: Fantastic line! Do you remember the first time you saw yourself wrestle on television?
CB: “Of course! I wrestled “Dangerous” Danny Spivey at Center Stage in Atlanta on Saturday Night”
JS: Oh Christ!
CB:”Let me put it in other terms.. “Dangerous” Danny Spivey fresh back from a Japanese tour. So at this point, stiff is a LIGHT way to put it. LOL So 3 short clotheslines and a power bomb later.. Chad Byrd had made his television wrestling debut! All I really had time to think was, “Holy Crap this is gonna hurt” HA.”
JS: Did it? LOL
CB: “Like hell! But it was totally worth it. By the way, not sure if you know this, but if I’m not mistaken – I’m still the youngest person to have ever wrestled on that program.”
JS: WOW.. really? That’s impressive! How old were you?
CB: “It was around 1991, so I was 16 years old. Wasn’t too far away from my 17th birthday. I actually lied on the paperwork and told them I was 18. LOL”
JS: That’s amazing! You should be proud of that record as nobody can ever take it from you!
CB: “Like I said, I’m not positive I still have that record, but I’m pretty sure I do. The feeling I got walking back to the back after that match and having Magnum TA throw me a good job nod and smile and George South telling me I took that beating well, was indescribable.”
JS: I guess that could be the segway into my next question. Who have been some of your favorite opponents that you’ve wrestled in your career?
CB: “George South of course. Bobby Eaton was also one of my favorites that I was able to go in against. Hell of a nice guy and an amazing wrestler. Jake “The Snake” Roberts was just amazing. One of the best ever honestly. Ole and Jody came to me and said you need to act terrified of the snake. I am terrified of snakes, so I told them – uh yeah, that will be no problem at all! Bill Eadie was one of the BEST. I had the pleasure of facing him as the Masked Superstar and as Demolition AX! Barbarian was/is fantastic to work with. I’ve even taken him on recently in the company I work for now, DPA(Death Proof Alliance) and he’s still as good as ever. Tony Atlas was another favorite match. I have a funny Tony Atlas story to tell you later, remind me to bring it up. Men on a Mission (Nelson & Bobby) were good to work with. We worked them way before the WWF brought them in. I like to think we taught them a lot, but they taught us how to work with big men – which was great. Nelson (Big Daddy V) might kick my butt for telling this one, but he and Bobby were going over on me and Randy Sledge in every arena, UNTIL we were in front of a big crowd of thousands one night, South said we were going over that night. M.O.M. weren’t happy about that, but they did it. George & Stallion actually got them their jobs in the WWF too. Still proud of those guys for everything they’ve done. Diamond Dallas Page was also great and Kevin Nash. Nash was excellent. He always tended to clothesline me in the mouth. Now I never was sure if this was on purpose or because he was green as hell at that point. I recently told Bill Mulkey at one of our DPA shows that they took the “Mulkey bumps” because they were great at it, I took them because I had to! LOL
JS: HA! Great point and awesome opponents there. I have to know.. What was the Tony Atlas story?
CB: “Ok.. but I have to throw this out there if he reads this. Don’t kill me Tony! Tony’s last run in WCW, was around the time Harley Race was there managing Vader. Harley used to carry this stun gun with him everywhere he went. And he would modify it in the locker room from time to time to shock guys with it. Not to hurt them, just scaring the crap out of them as a prank. Well Tony Atlas was TERRIFIED of that thing. Harley caught wind of that. Poor Tony was getting dressed one night and Harley started chasing him with that damn thing and the sight of a naked Tony Atlas running around a locker room is one you’ll never forget. Things were swinging and dangling and knocking cups over everywhere if you catch my drift. HA!”
JS: Holy lord that is hilarious! While we’re currently on this subject, any other funny stories?
CB: “Oh man, I’ve seen some hilarious stuff over my career. Forgotten a lot too! One of my favorites was one WCW road trip, I was riding with a couple of the guys and we pulled into a Wal-Mart to pick some stuff up before a show. Well we run into Michael “PS” Hayes while there and talk to him for a few minutes and tell him we’ll see him tonight at the show. Then after about an hour on the road, we hit a McDonalds right before we get to the arena, and damned if we don’t run into Hayes again. Spoke to him for a few more minutes and then we all headed off. That night myself and Ron Edgewood took on Bobby Eaton & Arn Anderson. Which by the way, the match itself is kind of a funny story with Edgewood wanting to do a couple of his best moves and ending up falling off the turnbuckle and blowing it. Anyways, after the match is over – Hayes comes out on tv and looks at us and says, “You guys work at Wal-Mart and McDonalds don’t you?!” I almost lost it on national tv laughing. HA!
JS: Leave it to a FreeBird!
CB: “Yeah, no kidding.”
JS: Well getting back on track here, I’d feel a little remised if I didn’t bring something up. It might be a bit of a touchy subject, but this is what makes for good storytelling!
CB: “Hit me with it, buddy.”
JS: A few years ago the WWE released a Hardy Boyz dvd set and during the documentary, there was a bit of bad talk when it came to Italian Stallion. Basically the Hardyz accused him of ripping them off for a “booking fee” and then leaving them stranded somewhere. Any thoughts on this?
CB: “I actually have LOTS of thoughts on this. Stallion AND George were both trainers and when Matt & Jeff came to them, they had some decent tools, but overall they needed a lot of work. Performing in a wrestling ring is a whole lot different than playing on a trampoline. I was around at this point too by the way, so this is firsthand knowledge. George and Stallion helped them out with furthering along their training. George and Stally also offered up a service of getting guys booked in WCW and WWE. Usually the guys got paid $150 in WCW for gas and performing. George and Stally usually took about $50 to sometimes $100 of the $150 for helping get you booked there and taking you. We ALL thought this was fair. They put in the calls. They had the means to get our foot in the door when we didn’t have those means. They drove us to the damn arena for God’s sake! All of us guys who worked with them and went through these means with them, thought it was extremely fair and never felt like we were being taken advantage of at all. NOBODY.. until Matt & Jeff came alone. As for the leaving them somewhere, that was total garbage! I was along on that trip and what happened was we called them and called them. No answer, no reply – NO NOTHING. We left because we wanted to get there. It was THEIR problem that they didn’t want to call back or be there on time. Then when we get to the arena, they’re already there and have told everyone that would listen, how they were “Ripped off”. George and Stally took alot of heat for that one and they just didn’t deserve it. That was garbage!”
JS: Wow. Why was there so much heat on George and Stallion, when honestly The Hardyz at that point were a couple of rookies?
CB: “Because in all honesty, George and Stally weren’t supposed to do that. BUT, like I said – they did everything so we didn’t mind. None of the other guys who they did this for EVER complained. Ask around! We all knew nothing in this world is free! There’s an old saying in this business and to me it puts everything in perspective here, “I can take you to the Ballroom and get you your first dance, the rest of the evening is up to you!” That to me sums this entire thing up. It was just total bs.”
JS: It good to see the other point of view on that one. Well we’ll sort of stick with the subject here, How much did you enjoy working in the WWF?
CB: “Oh it was great, I was there to work a tag match against the Smoking Gunns. Professional and I got paid. Couldn’t ask for better. LOL I get people asking me all the time about differences between WCW and WWE..
JS: Count me in with that, because that was my next question. Are you some sort of mind reader there, Mr. Byrd?
CB: “Yes and you should be ashamed! LOL No, but the main differences for me personally were, as a southern boy and being where I’m from (North Carolina), this is Crockett Country. FLAIR COUNTRY! To me WCW was REAL wrestling and the WWF was a cartoon show. It was great in its own way, just wasn’t my dream to be there like everyone else’s I guess. My dream was to be in the same ring that Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes stepped foot in, in all their glory! But it was a pretty fun environment from what I saw. A funny story real quick – You always hear the stories about the late great Owen Hart being funny and a trickster. Well I did get to witness that first hand. All of us “enhancement talent” or jobbers, whatever the hell you wanna say, came in together. Well all of a sudden Owen is running up to us holding a Super Soaker water gun. Well as we walked by all these major WWF stars he’s shooting them with the water gun. They all turn and look at us as we’re smiling and snickering and are getting PISSED. Then Vince walks by and of course.. Owen just sprays the crap out of him. Vince turns and looks at all of us like “What the hell!?” then we kind of part to reveal Owen who is dying laughing and Vince kinda just huffs and walks away.” But basically it was just as fun and light hearted in WCW. I remember working security in WCW from time to time and basically center stage in Atlanta was in the basement of the building and you had to walk down a long hall way. One locker room was on the right, the other was on the left. I’d work security in the hall for Doug Dellinger, who by the way took his job WAY TOO seriously. Kind of a prick. LOL But I remember Dustin Rhodes giving me a chop every time he walked by me. I mean EVERY TIME. So finally I chased him down and gave him one. But that’s just how things were. Playful and guys testing you to see how you’ll react. Good times in both places.
JS: HA! That’s tremendous! Aside from being the mask for Owen’s trickery in the WWF, you’ve donned the hood a few times in your career. What were some of your masked gimmicks and just other gimmicks overall?
CB: “Under the mask I’ve been several characters. A Russian Assassin, Carolina terror and Midnight Ryder from time to time. I have also gone by Flaming Youth (George South is a KISS mark and loved that name.), Star Ryder and was part of a tag team known as Kane and Abel. I was Kane. So I’ve kinda gone the full spectrum.”
JS: So it seems. I was wondering if you have a favorite location to wrestle? State wise I mean.
CB: “I love wrestling everywhere, but my home state of North Carolina will always be my favorite. The fans here are still amazing. I’d say fans in the Carolinas and Virginia are still to this day some of the greatest wrestling fans in the world. They LOVE wrestling! Part of my love for wrestling here, falls back to my love for NWA and Jim Crockett Promotions. I also really enjoyed working in West Virginia. Two of my personal favorite stories come from West Virginia.”
JS: West Virginia stories? I HAVE to hear these. HA!
CB: “Well I was wrestling George in Gilbert, WV and while we were both locked up in the ropes, we looked out in the first row and there’s this kid out there barefoot, in overalls playing with a damn black snake! I mean he was rubbing it, kissing it and just playing with the thing. Me and George both screamed! About a year later we were back in that same area and during our match this woman stands up and proceeds to pull her shirt up and flash her boobs at George. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE! The best part of that? She was at the autograph table before the show to see George and told him she was a school teacher! George being the religious man he is, which is legit by the way – George is a devout Christian, he starts to yell at this woman that she should be ashamed of herself as a school teacher doing such things. This brought him more heat than anything he did in the ring that night!”
JS: HA! How do I even follow that? Well with your love of NWA/JCP and wrestling growing up – what’s your opinion on today’s product and talent? Any advice for them?
CB: “How much time do ya got? LOL I could go on and on about this honestly..”
JS: I have all the time in the world. To be perfectly honest, it makes my job a lot easier if you wanna answer any questions without me asking them! HA! Please.. hit the readers with your opinions.
CB: “Ok, remember – you asked for it. LOL Like I stated earlier one, I feel really let down these days. It used to be a secret in this business and nobody knew where to even buy gear. Seriously! You couldn’t buy boots and gear until someone felt it was time for you to know where to get them. It wasn’t cheap when you did get finally get them either. I bought a pair of boots in the 90′s that I still use today and they cost me over $400. But they were quality boots! Today these kids can pick up boots for around $75 ANYWHERE. That sucks, because they think after they get those.. and get themselves a pair of trunks – they’re a wrestler already. Uh no. You still got a LONG road ahead of you. Also as I said before, I really think kids need to do research on a wrestling school or trainer, before just handing money over to some guy who claims to be a former pro wrestler. Yeah, he might have been a wrestler – but if the guy only wrestled 5 matches in that career, then what the hell is he going to teach anyone, besides how to be a crook. Plain and simple. I think hardcore wrestling for the sake of hardcore wrestling is something that has hurt our sport. There’s another wrestling company.. and trust me, I use that term pretty damn loosely, that’s down the road here from our DPA shows here in Hickory. They basically run nothing but hardcore matches their entire card. Week in and week out. THE SAME CRAP! They wonder why they only draw 25-30 people every time they put on one of these shows. You put that crap out there every week on every card and where do you go from there? You have nothing to build up to at all. You’ve shot yourself in the leg.. which I guess could be the next match these idiots have planned. I’ll share more about that later though. Anyways, back to a more important subject, than those morons. I’m a strong believer in two main historical wrestling thoughts. First – To succeed in the world of wrestling, you have to have “the look”, ability and charisma. Now you can get by with having only two of the three sometimes. But if you only have one of the three.. you’re screwed. That’s it! Second – There is NO “Old School” or “New School” – there’s only the RIGHT WAY. End of story. That’s all you need to remember. There’s THE RIGHT WAY and no other description can fit at all. I think these kids today need to focus on the basics, before even trying to do the flips and such. I know they are a big part of wrestling today, and I enjoy that too – but you need to get the basics down first! Pardon my French, but a lot of these guys today can be such PUSSIES too! That really needs to stop. Don’t come up to me with that wrestler hand shake bullshit either, because I will literally try to crush your damn hand. I know this is a little all over the place and all, but I really want to make sure I get these things out there.”
JS: No really.. this is fantastic stuff, and I just hope someone can pick up some helpful tips from your advice to help out their career and help us fans out with a good product, ya know? Please continue!
CB: “Ok good. LOL Another piece of advice then, or just something that irks me either way you want to look at it. I ask a kid what can you do best? If he’s honest and say’s arm drag and a drop kick. Then that entire match will be based around him hitting those moves on me and him looking like a million bucks in the process. Guys need to learn that to help out the guy in the ring. if you’re going out there just to hit your moves, no matter how beautiful they might be – you’re not helping your opponent out, and therefore not helping yourself out! It’s win win, when you can showcase EACH OTHER! And when you’ve only wrestled 20 matches over a 10 year span, never tell a veteran you’ve been in the business for 10 years. Because if you’ve only wrestled 20 matches over the span of a 10 year career, it’s safe to say you don’t know shit. And one other thing – to make sure I definitely get this point across, if you come to me and say you were trained, I get you in the ring and you know nothing – and you wanna work for us, I’m sorry but you’re going to have to be trained again. If you’re not comfortable with having to train all over again, take it up with the man who stole your money to “train you.” Another big thing among young guys is this, don’t try to work out a whole match in the back. It won’t always work! What do you do if you forget something? What happens if something goes wrong? You need to learn to work on the fly in this sport. Don’t always believe what you’re being told in this business. No matter the source. A big company recently had an “open tryout” and all you had to do was pay them $250. So these kids are heading there to pay you to tryout? You’re a big wrestling promotion, if you were interested in most of these kids, you would already know and probably would have contacted them before this. You want the money. Period. I feel like I need to say something about some veterans also. There is nothing I hate MORE than listening to a legend or veteran complain about anything and everything – And I know it seems like I’m doing that, but I promise you I’m not. I’m sincerely trying to help. I want all of these guys to succeed. Because if they succeed, the business succeeds. This business.. the business that I love and have almost my entire life. I want everybody to do well for themselves! I want nothing but the best for them. I’ve heard all the political stuff. I’ve heard people say things in the business like “my spot” “my position” and what have you, but I want someone to take my spot! I can’t do this forever and I want to know that DPA has enough of the best talent around, that I can go off into the sunset and focus on booking or wrestling here and there lower on the card. I want that for them and MYSELF! Back to my point about the veterans complaining about everything a company does or other guys doing things that bother them, it pisses me off to no end! It’s like these guys won the lottery and they’re complaining about having to pay the taxes on it! I love this business and you do too.. just wish it the best and try to help what has given you a living!
JS: That’s really an amazing way you put that, Chad. I mean it. With what you said about Hardcore wrestling, am I to take it you didn’t care for ECW?
CB: “I thought ECW was a good product honestly. That first angle they did with the NWA belt and Shane Douglas throwing it down was just awesome. Never seen anything like it at that point. Plus if we’re being honest – that wasn’t the NWA. The real NWA was dead at that point. That was just a collection of indy feds who could buy the NWA franchise tag for a little price. So ECW did what they had to do and I thought it was genius. Their hardcore stuff was well done also. They always led up to something special with every angle that they did with their hardcore stuff. It was tremendous. PLUS they had something that most hardcore companies didn’t have.. EXCELLENT WRESTLERS! For every hardcore table on fire, thumbtack chair swinging wrestler they had there.. they had a Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Raven – those are some of the all-time greats of this sport. They had incredible matches in ECW and they didn’t need hardcore stipulations to do so.
JS: Since we’re on the subject of hardcore wrestling, do you want to cover what you were talking about earlier with the “other guys?”
CB: “*Sighs* I don’t even know where to begin there. Basically it all began over the Deathproof Alliance Wrestling name. The guys down the road, and they aren’t even worth mentioning by name, claim the name was theirs. Well the owners of our name have it trademarked. I have nothing to do or say about the name, all I know is, if they did indeed make up the name, they were too damn stupid to get it trademark. If that’s the case, you’re the idiots who didn’t do what you should have. These guys bitch and moan and whine – week after week about DPA, our guys and our company in general. Well until the day comes that you can draw more than 25-30 people for your shows. Then your opinion might matter one bit. These pieces of garbage have been running these shows for years – and the small crowds have ALWAYS been there. That should tell you something.. YOUR PRODUCT ISN’T THAT GOOD! My opinion on what it’s really all about is this – They came here looking for a job and I personally saw them in the ring and said they had nothing. We’d have to train them or we couldn’t use them – because they didn’t know if they were winding their ass or scratching their watches. THEY SUCKED! They weren’t happy with my assessment apparently as all of this began. We even tested their name theory by taking to calling our company DPA – that didn’t fix anything. So basically, we knew that it wasn’t about the name. These guys have even taken to blaming us for taking down their event posters around town. Look genius when you hang them on drink machines and vending machines – VENDORS TAKE THEM DOWN! I’ve even made it perfectly clear to my guys, if I see one person doing anything to the competitions publicity stuff – they will be suspended and probably not used again. We need competition in this business.. but this kind of competition is pathetic. When you can’t be professional, then what kind of business can you actually run anyways? That goes for any business! To tell you how shitty and petty it’s gotten, we had a young man here who got into a personal situation in his personal life. I don’t want to go into any detail, because it’s his business – but when they caught wind of that, they made every effort in the world to tell people we were using guys that would do this and guys who act like that. The best part? They apologized for ever training him and getting him into this business. When he came to us, he knew very little. We had to train him and he busted his ass to learn and perfect his portion of this craft. We’re damn proud of how he was/is coming along. He has an extremely bright future, and these pieces of crap try to tear down a man who made a mistake? Try to take away his lively hood for what reason? Spite? Jealousy? It makes no sense what so ever. It’s just wrong! You can’t work worth a shit so you want to hurt people who can and do? Now that I’ve said all of this and brought it to light, let me say this – they know who I’m talking about and if any of those keyboard warriors/hardcore daycare workers want to come see me about anything I’ve just said – I say bring it on! This is no work, not part of an angle – this is real life. You have a problem with anything I’ve said or done – you come see me about it. These guys have a motto that goes (Pardon my French once again) “Death to the Business” & “FUCK KAYFABE!” You can see those mottos written on their sites and pages. Well that’s exactly what these clowns are doing with the crap they put out there.. killing the business. Just to show you how bad it is, they had a late night tv spot on local Charter TV, but the product got pulled because of the language and content. After that debacle, Charter was invited to come to ours and shoot some promos, they were hesitant at first, but eventually came and fell in love with what they saw. We are actually working on a deal right now, and hope to have a deal finalized by the spring. Put on a good quality show and product, and people will invest and back it. Period. You put out crap and you will have nobody following or supporting you. End of story.”
JS: Why don’t you tell the readers more about the DPA.
CB: “Gladly. The DPA name stands for Deathproof Alliance Wrestling and it’s owned and operated by CWK Promotions. It’s basically an old school, new school mixture of ACTUAL wrestling. Like a sort of “throwback” to the 80′s and 90′s style we fans always loved. We have a great mix of young talent and established veteran talents. Aside from myself as a booker/wrestler, we’ve also got Bill Mulkey, Rip Sawyer, “The New Age Horsemen” The Foundation and we bring in some amazing talent ALL THE TIME. Guys like “Punky” (Ricky Morton), Barbarian, George South, hell even TNA’s Gunner will be appearing one day very soon. We’re in a great facility, with great production and even the feel & look of the show is just incredible. The best thing about these shows is this, the owners are VERY sweet and religious people who wanted a wrestling promotion that was family oriented. That’s just what we are here. You can bring your family out and watch one heck of a wrestling show, and not worry about explaining to your kids what THOSE words meant, or why that guy was doing dirty things. Even though the name has harsh overtones, what it stands for is completely different. Deathproof stands for being covered in the Blood of Christ and resurrected. Unbreakable.. or DEATHPROOF! This business was based around bringing your family out to watch, and that’s what we’ve gone back to here. There’s even a jungle gym in the building and someone there to watch the kids if they want to go play during the show, for gosh sakes! We like to say we brought the actual SPORT back into professional wrestling. Back to the basics, like an old school COOL feel that we’re proud of. Plus we’re VERY proud to have a promotion that gives Legends and youngsters a place to showcase their skills week after week. DPA is just that!”
JS: That’s just amazing. It’s refreshing to hear about a promotion like that these days. DPA shows are run every weekend you said?
CB: “Yes ‘sir! Every Saturday night here in Hickory, NC at the Freedom Center. Doors open up at 7pm and bell time is 8pm. Deathproof Alliance Wrestling is definitely an amazing product that has a good following and great fans already. We usually draw a few hundred people every Saturday night and from everything we’ve seen and been told, they’re walking away VERY happy week after week. We look at it this way, they worked hard for that $10 ticket to get in to see our show, so I want to work twice as hard to make that ticket worth the money that you paid! That’s what we try to do and that’s what we tell our kids here too. This company is a company we’re proud of and we do it all for these great fans!
JS: Sounds great! While on the subject of kids, your son is getting into the business now isn’t he?
CB: “Sure is. He’s 16 years old and a great little worker. Still has a few things to learn, but he enjoys it and I think he’ll do great in this business.”
JS: Do you find yourself harder on him than any other of your students and workers?
CB: “Probably so. I’ve come to the conclusion that I do need to ease up on him a little. It can’t be easy for him, having me telling him do this and do that to make your style even better. BUT, on the same note – It’s my job to show him what he needs to know. Like recently, we were talking about a show a little ways off and he said something like “Ugh.. Long car ride.” I said THAT’S THE FUN PART! He’ll learn one day that some of the best memories of this business come from riding in cars with your brothers.
JS: You’ve delved into that a little during the interview, but anymore funny road stories?
CB: “I know a ton, but just can’t share them all! This one isn’t exactly a road story, but 20 years ago when I wrestled Barbarian in WCW he told me, “you do job for me, one day I may do job for you. Thank you my friend.” Well here we are 20 years later and when he was coming into DPA, I said to him, you remember what you said 20 years ago? He replied, “No.” I reminded him of the story and he laughed. I said well tonight big boy.. YOU’RE jobbing your ass off! HA! I do have one road story that impressed the heck out of me more than it was funny. One time in WCW a bunch of us guys were hitting the road in a S10 Blazer, and if you’re familiar with those, they are pretty small. Well before we hit the road, Barbarian asked if he could just catch a ride with us. Well long story short – imagine George South, Randy Sledge, James Clunts, Scotty McKeever, Chad Byrd and The Barbarian and ALL of our gear slammed into this damn truck. The best part was Barbarian was riding shotgun with George South driving and Barby had a pinch of skoal in his mouth and his spit cup between his feet on the floor. I have never in my life seen a man fall asleep with dip in his mouth and wake up just to spit every once in a while. It was hilarious.
JS: Speaking from experience.. that’s as impressive as it is hilarious. HA! Is Barbarian one of the legit tough guys in wrestling history?
CB: “Barby is one of the toughest men ever PERIOD. That is one of the strongest men I have ever met in my life. At one point he was a real hothead too, which was even scarier. LOL”
JS: That is terrifying honestly. Since we’ve basically just touched base with that, how about I mention a name & you give your thoughts?
CB: “Sounds good buddy.”
CB: “Yikes. Well I was on the card the night in WCW when he broke Joe Thurman’s back. Let me just say, Vader was stiff and hard on everyone. But I don’t really believe it was on purpose, it was just HIM. I wrestled him & though he was stiff – he was VERY professional. That night against Thurman though, it was pretty bad. If I’m not mistaken it was only Thurman’s first or second match of his wrestling career, I definitely know it was his first WCW match. How are you going to put a rookie in the ring with Vader? Made no sense! Vader’s chokeslam was what actually broke Joe’s back, but the follow up powerbomb was what just tore it all to hell. He got some flack in the back over that one, but it wasn’t like he did it on purpose at all.
JS: Ouch. That is one hell of a first opponent. You mentioned Gunner earlier. Thoughts on him?
CB: “He’s actually from my hometown here in Hickory. I REALLY like him, not just because he’s a hometown boy either. He has a ton of talent. I had a hand in training the man who trained him, so that makes me even more proud and a fan of him. I really do believe he could end up being a major player in the business one day. When the WWE comes calling, he needs to go as quick as he can. Vince would make him a superstar.”
JS: Nice! That’s high praise. I recently interviewed PWInsider Newcomer of the Year Jamin Olivencia. Thoughts on Jamin?
CB: “One of the best young talents in wrestling today. For as young as he is, that kid gets it. He has every tool that makes a wrestling star and I’m just very impressed with him. He’s a little on the small side, but he’s one of the guys that makes it work. Uses it so you don’t even notice. Nothing but good things to say about Jamin. When we worked the AWE ppv, which I hope we can go into soon, he grabbed everyone’s attention there. In a room full of legends, people noticed him. It was amazing. I’m not sure if he even knows this story, but Robert Gibson and Kevin Nash were watching his match with Sonjay Dutt on the monitors in the back and talking about how good a talent he was. Every time he repeated his name Nash said, man he’s reaching too much with that though – needs to remember he’s on tv now. A little later, I asked Nash what that kids name was again and he said, “Jamin Olivencia.” Now that kid put his name out there until it was stuck in this legends head. Nash said, “Huh.. maybe it did work. LOL” He’s going to be huge!
JS: That’s awesome! I totally agree too. You said you wanted to talk about the AWE Night of the Legends ppv?
CB: “Yeah. There’s been a lot of people who liked that show and a lot who didn’t care for it. I just wanted to say that a lot of that show was changed around. Marvin (Marvin Ward AWE Founder), had to sell a portion of the company to get the pay per view together. Then his mother became very ill the night before the show and with both of those factors in place, the company he sold the majority portion to started changing around the card. Allot of what was used in the dark match part of the evening was supposed to be on the show. Allot of us guys on the card were irritated by that as well. When Marvin approached me with the Midnight Ryder idea, I was all for it and excited about it. I thought I could do the character justice. He told me all about the Bunkhouse Brawl and I was pumped. Then they cut a lot of time off the match and a lot of the guys who were going to be in it, weren’t. I just wasn’t too pleased with how that worked out, but the match overall I’m happy with. I think me and George (South) put together a good show at the end there.
JS: I was actually at that show and it was good. it did have an odd feel to the entire event though. I didn’t care much for the boxing feel they tried to portray and the announcer was.. well to me personally garbage. He didn’t try to get the crowd into it at all.
CB: “I totally understand what you mean. The company that bought in, from what we all gathered was in the promoting boxing and MMA business. So it did have that feel. The original announcer, AWE’s actual announcer was told he was too fat for tv from what we were told. That kid is amazing and would have done 10 times a better job than that goof they brought in.
JS: Wow. I have to agree with you. HUGE mistake on their part. Great overall show though, if you were there in attendance. How did you feel about doing the Midnight Ryder gimmick?
CB: “I appreciate that, man! It was great. I loved doing that. Dusty is one of my all-time favorites and I like to think I did him and the character proud. Bill Mulkey told me later on that while I was out there, Terry Funk and Kevin Nash were watching on the monitors and Nash spoke up and said, “When the hell did the fat man get here?! Nobody told us!” Mulkey told them, “that’s Chad not Dusty.” Funk replied in the Funk voice, “Well it sure as hell looks like Dusty” THAT made my night. That made me believe that Dusty would have enjoyed that as well. I was really proud. Just wanted to add something really quick, I’ve always felt me and Dusty had a bit of a bond. He was the “son of a plumber” & I’m the “son of an electrician” I never saw my biological father much my entire life and I was born with Osgood-Schlatters Disease where my bones grew through my cartilage. The growing pains where sometimes unbearable, but I kept going. I had a lot of charisma and a lot of heart just like Big Dust. “I WINED AND DINED WITH KINGS AND QUEENS AND SLEPT IN ALLEYS AND DINED ON PORK N BEANS! HARD TIMES BABY!”
JS: That was honestly one of the best Dusty impersonations ever! HA! I definitely think Mr. Rhodes would have been proud of your Ryder tribute.
CB: “I appreciate that, man!”
JS: No problem. So back to your thoughts on some other wrestling talent. Here’s a name for ya — John Cena?
CB: “Hmm. I’ve never met him. LOL I have to say I do think his charity work is outstanding. The wholesome image is good for this business. He’s obviously a hard worker, determined and very charismatic. Takes pride in what he does. Not a big fan of his look, needs to get rid of the damn shorts and sneakers. I think his in ring skills could still use lot of work. I’ll leave it at that.”
JS: HA! Fair enough. HBK?
CB: “One of the absolute greatest workers that will ever be in this business. He has everything and can do anything. Shawn can wrestle anyone and make them look amazing. One of the best. He used to be quite an ass from what I hear though. LOL”
JS: Totally agree! One of my personal favorites – CM Punk?
CB: “I don’t watch enough WWE to say I’ve seen a lot of his work. And let me throw this in, that’s not because I hate it or anything like that, I just stay busy most of the time, so I just really don’t have time to watch. With booking, promoting, setting up shows, wrestling and having a family – I just don’t have the time to catch every episode. Now back to Punk, his interviews and promos are incredible. Everything I’ve heard and seen with his shoot style interviews are just jaw dropping. Good stuff.
JS: A man you work closely with and have known for a LONG time.. Bill Mulkey?
CB: “Actually you’re wrong there. I’ve only gotten to know Bill over the last couple of years. We had a lot of the same friends. We ran in the same circles, but we just didn’t know each other. When DPA opened up, he approached the owners via Facebook to get involved and they thought it was a joke. That it was a fake Bill Mulkey just messin’ around. They finally answered him and said “yeah c’mon in.” and they basically blew it off until he showed up. Everyone was blown away that it was really him! I didn’t even recognize him at first and we basically sat and talked for a bit. Then he watched one of my training sessions and got in the ring with me to help out with the kids. Then he and I did a little bit of wrestling in there. After the match he came over to me and said, “Man.. you can go.” I said, “Well Hell Bill – I hope so. Been doing this for 20 years now!” We became fast friends from that point on. His brother Randy as well. Randy had to fully retire from wrestling after recent back surgery, but he still travels with us and does things with us from time to time. Both are great men and great friends. Bill & I were the first tag champs in DPA, although we weren’t thrilled about that. We wanted it to go to one of the young teams, to build them up. But honestly, a lot of the teams needed more work – so the company felt it was best for everyone. We finally agreed to do it for a short period of time, it turned into damn near forever! But I couldn’t ask for a better partner in DPA, Bill Mulkey always has my back and I have his! EVERYONE better watch out for Mulkey and Byrd!
JS: Excellent! Thoughts on Randy Orton?
CB: “Great! A REALLY good talent I enjoy watching.”
JS: Current TNA champion Bobby Roode?
CB: “I like him and his work. I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve seen from him and Storm too honestly.
JS: I was going to say Storm next.
CB: “Great talent. He has something special about him. One thing I do hate though, is with the lack of quality tag teams in this business, I wish they would have kept Beer Money together a little longer. They were a fantastic team. Good promos and good matches. I think they were just on the verge of all time greatness. That’s another point I’d like to make real quick. People think tag teams can’t work today apparently, they can and would if used properly! Most guys just need to learn how to use them or the talent needs to learn how to be in one.”
JS: That’s excellent advice. I’m a big tag team fan myself, so I’m glad someone said it. Let’s get to a couple of the sports legends. Hulk Hogan?
CB: “Besides 2 punches, a big boot and a leg drop? LOL Hmm.. I may have just killed me ever getting a shot to work in TNA. HA! I always felt hulk could do a lot more than Hulk did in the ring. He had a match with Paul Orndorff at one of those outside events they did in the 80′s and that match was amazing. They traded reverse hold after reverse and the action was just amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I know Hogan was smart for doing as little as he did. It preserved him and basically who and why would anyone challenge him to do more? He’s Hulk Hogan! You need him to stick around. I think he was very good for the business and especially the WWF, but if he’d come to the NWA – I believe he would have been eaten alive. Not just by guys like the Horsemen, but hell Nelson Royal or George South would have stretched him every which way but loose. LOL”
JS: That definitely would have given pro wrestling a different look. LOL Here’s one for you.. Ric Flair?
CB: “*Big sigh of respect* In the 1980′s you couldn’t touch Ric Flair. He told you a story and every story he told was the story of Ric Flair. It was all true. I sincerely believe that Ric Flair has a love for this business that nobody can ever even think of approaching. At the same time that worries me. He said during his final run in WWE that he would “die in this ring”, that worries me, because I sometimes think he will. I wish nothing but good things for Ric Flair and I hope one day he can find the happiness and respect from a promotion that he deserves. I hope they don’t try to embarrass him, like WCW did and some of the stupid shit Vince had him do from time to time. When I think of Ric Flair, I don’t want to think of anything but greatness. He is the one and only ICON. When Ric Flair cries during his promos and interviews from time to time, that’s all him. He is that emotional guy. The WM24 match will always go down as one of the best matches ever. Not just for the action, but my God that drama was intense. When HBK looked him in the eye and said, “I’m sorry” I know for a fact, everyone who has ever stepped into a wrestling ring knew exactly what he meant and how he felt at that exact moment. To me – that match is up there with Steamboat vs Savage and HBK vs. Bret in the Iron Man match. It was amazing.”
JS: One of my favorites. I love hearing that wrestlers enjoyed that one as much as we the fans did. Well, this is one you knew was coming.. Vince McMahon?
CB: “Allot of people complain about him, I’m not one of those people. I worked for him. I got paid and I was very happy with how everything went. Let’s be honest here, Vince is a genius. He did things for this business that nobody had ever dreamed of. Yeah he might have hurt feelings and done things others considered underhanded, but he’s a damn business man. Money talks, bullshit walks. That’s it! If you have talent and are marketable – Vince will use you. There’s always been a saying he’s used in this business and that was this, “I don’t offer guys contracts, I offer them opportunities.” and he’s exactly right. I will say a lot of us talent thought, when he used enhancement talent from WCW and turned them into superstars, that it made his product look a little weak to others. BUT, he made it work. Who else could have? Plus we all realize that if Vince created you, you were going to be huge. Look at Bret, HBK, Hogan and Taker. Yeah those guys wrestled elsewhere, but we all know who made them the legends that they are.”
JS: Great points! You just mentioned him.. Undertaker?
CB: “Legendary. One of the best ever. A locker room leader that no one can touch. An amazing leader and helper to anyone who wants or needs it. A problem solver as well. Just.. well amazing. He’s one of a kind. I’ve read recently about people bitching and moaning about the Undertaker vs Triple H match coming up at Wrestlemania, well what the hell else could they do? Those are two of the biggest and best ever. Let them do their thing!”
JS: That’s some high praise for the Deadman. Nice! Who are some young talent you enjoy?
CB: “I really enjoy watching Kofi Kingston. I think he does a great job. I hear a lot of good things about Richie Steamboat as well. I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of his work, but everything I have seen is just great. Husky Harris is a kid I wish they would have left on tv. He’s something different and that’s what this business needs. Just a hell of a talent and I think he’s gonna go far. Of course I’d like to mention my son Dakota as well. If you don’t mind I’d like to mention his Facebook page also.”
JS: I completely agree with you on Husky and by all means.. GO FOR IT!
CB: “Please go to my sons wrestling page at this link (https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Starr-Ryder/168944416518913) and ‘LIKE’ the page. He could use the support and would love to know people are keeping track of his career. While you’re on Facebook and checking him out, make sure to check out DPA’s page as well (https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Deathproof-Alliance-Wrestling/198621550180461) for all things Deathproof! Thanks!”
JS: I highly recommend the readers check out those pages when you get a minute! I guess I’m down to only a few more questions now, Mr. Byrd. You ready for them?
CB: “HIT ME!”
JS: LOL Ok, Here’s one I meant to ask earlier – Who were some dream opponents for you? Someone you never got a chance to take on, that you would have loved to face.
CB: “Oh wow. Um.. Bruiser Brody for sure. Tully Blanchard would have been great. The original idea for the AWE ppv was to have him be in the Bunkhouse Brawl match and it be down to him and myself. Basically rehashing the Dusty/Tully feud, but it didn’t work out. I was disappointed with that! My all-time favorite dream opponent though, would have to be Magnum TA. He had already been in his accident and retired by the time I entered the business unfortunately. Magnum to me was just INCREDIBLE. He was going to be one of the biggest stars this business ever saw. I truly believe that.
JS: Magnum’s story really is a sad one. Such a talent! How much longer do you see yourself in the business?
CB: “Till the day I die. I will ALWAYS be involved somehow. I’ve basically been learning a lot of the booking and behind the scenes aspect to prolong my career even more. That has been great! As for actual in ring work.. I can see myself doing this another 10-15 years if I’m safe. I know I can’t do the things I’ve done before. I did the Alabama Jam leg drop off the top for 15 years, but couldn’t dare do it now. I’ve had a broken back, I got disc problems in with my neck and back now. I’ve torn both ACL’s and so on. So I think as long as I keep it safe, I can keep going. I’ll have to until someone comes along that shows they wanna take my spot! LOL”
JS: Do you have a message for your fellow wrestlers out there?
CB: “First and foremost I want to say this, I have SO MUCH respect for the “Older Guys” and legends of this business, who paved the way for me and everyone else who can and have earned a living in this business. They did that for little or no money and were happy to do that. I can’t tell you how much respect I have for those guys. I want to specifically thank George South and Italian Stallion for helping me in every aspect of my career by helping me get my foot in the door. Also for letting me step foot in the exact same ring as a lot of the former NWA greats of pro wrestling, as George and Stally actually owned the old NWA ring! I just want to thank everyone out there who ever bought a pair of boots, and yes FUCK A PAIR OF KICK PADS, BOOTS from B&A Boot Co. Anyone who ever bought trunks or tights from K&H Wrestling Wear. I’d like to thank the Austin Hall Boot Co. of Texas as well! I’d like to thank all of you guys out there that KNOW what wrestling was. Thank you to the Flairs, the Wahoos, the Mulkeys, to George South & Italian Stallion – I can only say Thank you! To all of you young kids out there trying to get into this business. Train hard with a GOOD TRAINER, watch video of classic matches. Everyone should be made to sit and watch at least 20 hours of NWA/JCP matches from 1983 – 1988 before you even step into a training ring, to see how and why to do EVERYTHING. Guys like Tully, Flair, Magnum, Dusty and the Rock N Roll Express Summer Sizzle Tour. These should be MANDATORY viewing for rookies! Also, the only way to learn is to leave your home state. Go get better and then come back and perform! To companies out there – you might wanna consider weeding out the little promoters and promotions and bringing back AN ACTUAL NWA-like version of working together. It would benefit us all! PLUS and this is a pet peeve and just the right thing to do for the business in general. If you rent out an Armory for your shows – clean the damn thing up afterwards. Put on a safe clean show for your fans also. If you do those two things, the owners will spread the word about how good and easy the wrestlers were to work with. That’s just smart business! And I guess.. just work hard guys!
JS: Amazing advice. I mean that. And finally.. a message to the fans?
CB: “To fans in general I just wanna say it seems sometimes like people are scared to admit to being a fan anymore. Don’t you dare be scared – be proud! Be proud to go out there and cheer on your guy and boo the guy you hate. Just be heard! If you hate something, tell that company and their booker. Get more involved and have a good time every time you sit down to watch a show! That’s why we do what we do guys.. so you’ll have fun! To MY fans, I’d just like to say this – Thanks for all your support. I want you to know, that I’m going to keep going for you, until I can’t go anymore. That’s Chad Byrd’s promise to each and every one of you. God Bless you all!
As you guys can see, Mr. Byrd is a VERY outspoken guy to say the least. We here at JimmySick.com, uh.. basically meaning me – Jimmy Sick, would like to thank Mr. Byrd for his time and granting us this very open and honest interview. I’d also like to wish Chad and Deathproof Alliance Wrestling all the best. Make sure to come check them out if you’re in the area. They put on a hell of a show! Until next time – let your voices be heard in wrestling!