Okay, those of you that have read my work on here know that I’m not afraid to tear into somebody. Marion Fontaine happened to be one of them because I felt his reaction to one guy’s criticism was something I didn’t like. Mostly because I believe that if you can’t take criticism in wrestling, maybe the business isn’t for you. Regardless, thanks to Jason McDowell and the crew of Ultimate Sports Talk, I got to ask some questions of my own for the Megastar. Is my opinion on him the same after it? That’ll be a topic for later. In the meantime, here’s how it went down:
THE SHARK: This question gets asked a lot in interviews, but how did you get into the wrestling business and what was the feeling for you when you walked out in front of the crowd for your very first match?
MARION FONTAINE: I’ve always been a wrestling fan, since as long as I can remember actually. One of the first toys I remember growing up was a jake roberts action figure. I’ve always loved professional wrestling and even from a young age I wanted to be performing in front of people in that capacity. I know it hasn’t been that long in relative terms, but the first time I performed in front of a crowd was almost 9 years ago. I’m sure I was anxious and nervous, but at the same time it was an accomplishment that I had been looking forward to since my childhood. At every show and every match, I always tell myself that I’m living my childhood dream and its very rewarding.
THE SHARK: There are certain types of characters in wrestling that are getting to the point to where fans often say “we’ve seen it before.” In your delivery of being the cocky, arrogant heel like you’ve done on PWO, what do you attribute to keeping the character unique?
MARION FONTAINE: I’d like to think the character is just a small extension of who I am on a daily basis. Obviously, I’ve got a longer leash when I’m in front of the camera and people, but to me it’s acting natural; I just turn the dial up to show more emotion and get that reaction from the fans. Out of the gate, I don’t look like a typical professional wrestler. I don’t come out to heavy music, I don’t have a large frame, and I like to think I’m a little diverse when it comes to my ring work. All these elements add up to give Marion Fontaine a unique look and feel when you’re watching PWO. That being said, most of the topics I’ve brought up and touched on about PWO are in fact true and how I really feel. The most interesting stories are usually the ones that are based on true life and legitimate feelings.
THE SHARK: You got to not only wrestle in the first iPPV for PWO, but you also were in the main event and to top it off, going against a big name in wrestling like Kevin Nash. What was it like to stand opposite side of the ring from him?
MARION FONTAINE: In all honestly it seemed like it went by so fast, that I couldn’t even soak it in. I don’t know if it’s soaked in yet. Not only was it a great accomplishment to be in the main event of PWO’s biggest show, but to also main event on their iPPV debut, and against one of the biggest names in wrestling history, say it was surreal is an understatement. In the past, there have been other highly creditable names that I’ve faced off against, but when I look back on that day, it will always be a career highlight. Growing up, I watched Nash. I idolized wrestlers like him when I was falling in love with pro wrestling. And now to say I had the pleasure wrestling him, is an amazing feeling. Another great accomplishment and another perfect reason why I’m performing in the crazy world of professional wrestling.
THE SHARK: Regarding the angle leading up to the PPV in which you were butting heads with Justin LaBar, how did the idea for the angle come to be? Whose idea was it?
MARION FONTAINE: I think it was less of an idea, and rather an extension of another real life situation. There’s a lot I could say about him and his opinions on myself and PWO, but that’s like beating a dead horse. I’ve noted multiple times on what I think of him and his “journalist credibility.” With the advent of the internet and a constant flow of media, there’s millions of people who think their voice matters just because the outlet to be outspoken is available to them. It doesn’t make them credible or a reliable source, it just means they’re making statements to get attention or gain more followers who are easy to associate with. If you think about it, I’m sure there’s a countless amount of wrestlers who’d love to have words with the internet reporters. What made our situation different is that PWO decided to give us air time after things were made public. Like I said before, the best wrestling stories told are sometimes the ones that harness the real life emotions and feelings of both parties, and because of that it made for some good television content. Which, PWO couldn’t deny so they had to take the ball and keep running with it.
THE SHARK: Aside from your work as a professional wrestler, you are also a designer as well as a printer and photographer. How long have you been doing that for and how would you say your inspirations for designing differ from your inspirations as the character you perform as in pro wrestling?
MARION FONTAINE: Another love of mine since a young age was art. At times art and wrestling did cross paths, but I generally like to keep them separate (unless I’m working on new mustache gear for all those Fontaine fanatics). Outside of pro wrestling, I’m focused on my career as a designer and artist. As far as inspiration goes, I look to historical figures, trends, movements, and any underground culture to gain a better knowledge for not only my art, but wrestling as well. There are multiple legends in wrestling that inspire me, as well as famous artists I look up to. They both have left behind a legacy that I’m able to research and gain admiration for. One night I may be watching videos of Rick Rude and Ring of Honor, then later I’d be reading up on design trends for apparel and looking through Alphabet Arm’s portfolio site. In both art and wrestling, I’m trying to create something new, continuing that unique feeling, while at the same time developing and employing my own style.
THE SHARK: How much of the other wrestling companies do you watch such as TNA or WWE or ROH and if anyone, who is somebody you’d love to have a match with?
MARION FONTAINE: It’s funny, because I’m not able to watch much of current wrestling. I can’t remember the last time I had cable, so most wrestling is out because of that. I do tend to go to Youtube for recaps on WWE on occasion, as well as watching a PPV from time to time. I know ROH use to put up their show on youtube, and I’d watch that when I had a chance. I know there’s a large list of names I’d love to work with, and just going off the top of my head I’d say guys like El Generico, The Amazing Red, Chuck Taylor (previously wrestled, but I’d love a one-on-one setting), there’s definitely more, but that’s just a quick list to hold you over.
THE SHARK: With regards to the other companies and those that believe that regarding the three, wrestling isn’t where it should be, where do you see as the most critical element to delivering a great wrestling product?
MARION FONTAINE: I don’t know if there is one critical element to delivering a great wrestling product. I mean there’s so many factors that are present in some amazing promotions, but I don’t think great is always associated with profitable. A company can have some great assets, but at the same time be missing out on one or more elements that doesn’t allow them to be successful in terms of an actual business. Not only do you need amazing talent, quality video production, a strong fan following within an area (especially regional promotions), and smart interesting booking, you also need to look at making your promotion profitable for not only yourself, but for your locker room, your fans, and all the people that are supporting the promotion. Maybe it’s a case of having your cake and eating it too, but I don’t know how many of the small independent promotions in the country actually put forth a business model in addition to using the ‘normal’ methods of running a wrestling promotion. Maybe the most critical element is the person steering the ship. The person with a vision and a means to make a wrestling promotion successful.
THE SHARK: You won the world title earlier in the year for PWO. What is that feeling like when they tell you that you’ve been picked to win the title and represent the company as the World Heavyweight Champion?
MARION FONTAINE: It’s an amazing feeling, especially after knowing where I came from when the company began and how they initially used me. It was a long road to reach that point, but it was worth all the torment and tribulations of my past in PWO. Anytime a promotion decides to put you in that position it’s because they believe in your character, they believe in your talents and that you having the title will give a positive, and hopefully profitable effect to the promotion’s future.
THE SHARK: Regarding your reign as the PWO Champion, you lost the belt to Jason Bane. Can we expect to see you reclaiming the belt in the near future?
MARION FONTAINE: Definitely! Even though stepping inside the ring with Jason Bane isn’t my first choice because he’s an incredibly dominating figure, I’ll bite the bullet any day to get a chance to win back that title.
My thanks to Jason McDowell and the crew at Ultimate Sports Talk as well as Marion Fontaine for taking the time in answering these questions.