Interview with Co-Owner of PWS Eric Tapout

This is the Shark Attack. I’m yours truly “The Shark” Sean Williams. I’m talking with the co-owner of the Pro Wrestling Syndicate. He is Eric Tapout. Eric, thank you for your time today and it’s great to be talking to you. How are you?
ERIC: I’m doing great Sean, thanks for taking the time to talk to me about Pro Wrestling Syndicate.
THE SHARK: There has been a lot of talk with the PWS regarding the event which took place on March 9th where Sid Vicious was supposed to be in the main event at your show and no-showed.  Has there been anything regarding word from Sid or any updates following the event?
ERIC: I have not had any conversation with Sid since the morning of March 9th when he informed me he would not be showing up due to his wallet being stolen at a deli.  I’m not sure if Sid vs Hardy was the main event for Super Card though, as much as it was a special attraction match.  Sami Callihan vs Colt Cabana for the PWS Title was the Main Event.  The only update I have though is this:   Sid’s flight was to leave Memphis at 6am.  If going by his story over the phone at 10:45am that his wallet was stolen at a deli … I couldn’t help but be curious what delis were open during the time of early morning when Sid would have had to enter. For a 6am flight, he would have had to be at Memphis Airport by 4am. Where does this deli come into play?  For my own piece of mind I did some research.  For starters there is no deli at The Memphis Airport. The food terminal at the airport consists of the following:  Starbucks (opens at 7am) , Back Yard Burger (opens at 7am), Blue Note Cafe (opens at 6:30am), Hudson News (opens at 7am), and Maggie O’Sheas (opens at 7am).   There is no deli or anything resembling a deli that would have been opened prior to Sid’s 6am departure at The Memphis Airport. Another fun fact: there are 193 delis in the city of Memphis.  A large portion of those are Blimpie & Subway restaurants which are not open at 6am.  The largest deli chain comprising another large chunk of those 193 delis in Memphis is called Kroger.  All of the Krogers in Memphis (which are delis within a the supermarket) are open 8am – 10pm.  The second largest chain is Front Line which opens at 10:30am. There are no 24/7 delis in Memphis and there are no delis in Memphis that would have been open between 3-5am on March 9th.   Once again, Sid’s flight was to depart at 6am and he claimed at 10:45am that his wallet was stolen earlier in the morning.  Why did Sid wait all those hours to phone PWS?  It does not add up at all.
THE SHARK: There is no bigger definition of a death sentence to one’s reputation than no-showing a main event, much less no-showing at a show period. Have you had any problems like this with anyone in the past and if so, were any of them as frequent with it as Sid?
ERIC: Sid definitely has been an exception in this department.  We are not used to no shows like this at all at PWS.  Of course, things do happen here and there.  For instance Zema Ion was to be on the March 9th event however his car broke down.  While I was on the phone with him that morning, he was legit at the auto repair place getting his car fixed.  I wouldn’t call that instance a ‘no show’ as much as I’d call it a legit accident that happened. PWS has been pretty good at delivering what we advertise.  Off the top of my head the last day of show big name change for us was in 2007 when Samoa Joe missed a flight and was replaced the day of show by Low Ki. That was 5 years ago. 
THE SHARK: You have said that there are some that side with what you guys did and some that feel it was crossing a line.  How big a percentage would you say is the majority that favor what you did in retaliation for Sid’s no-show?
ERIC: I wouldn’t even say it was retaliation. I don’t wish harm on Sid or anything like that.  There were 927 fans in attendance at Super Card 2012 and judging by their reaction they were happy with our brutal honesty about the situation. I do understand that some people may view it as unprofessional conduct on our part and all I can do is ask those people what they would have done any differently. We are running a business and will not be bullied around by Psycho Sid. 
THE SHARK: There are people still wondering if Sid will be at the next PWS show or any PWS show after this.  How do you and Pat Buck feel about that and do you feel that this is in fact a third strike for Sid?
ERIC:  Sid is a blessed individual to have the crowd demand that he does.   Third strike? Absolutely.  We have tried to be so patient and accommodating with Sid due to the crowd demand for him and each experience was more miserable than the one before. 
THE SHARK: You were able to get Jay Lethal to take the place of Sid. How much did it mean to you guys that Jay was able to fill in on such short notice and what would you guys have done if Jay wasn’t able to be there?
ERIC: After I got off the phone with Sid at 10:47am I contacted Buck and we immediately began rapid fire calling people.  Briscoes, Steen, Kennedy, Morrison, and TNA’s talent director Bob Ryder were just amongst the first handful of calls made.  We knew we had to do something.   Marty Jannetty and Balls Mahoney both agreed to wrestle a match for us, and Jay Lethal really came through huge in a clutch.  We were very lucky that Jay was in town (from Florida) and came through in such a big way.  Lethal started wrestling in PWS in 2007 and his match with Hardy was perhaps his most entertaining PWS match to date. 
THE SHARK: Some have said that using Sid’s cell number at the show was crossing a line. If given the chance, do you think you or Pat would’ve done things differently or did you feel this was the only way to truly show how pissed you guys were that he did this a 3rd time?
ERIC: If we could go back in time, I think we would have just booked Matt Hardy vs Jay Lethal from the start.
THE SHARK: In an article that featured an email you wrote to Chris Cash explaining happened, you pointed out that you offered refunds to those in attendance, but nobody wanted it.  What did that mean to you and Pat that despite not being given the main event that was advertised because of one guy not showing up, they still didn’t require their money back?
ERIC: I feel that fans in the North East area are the smartest wrestling fans in the world. That said, I believe they deserve high quality shows in exchange for their hard earned money. PWS tries to keep our tickets low ($20-30) and really give our fans the most bang for their buck possible.    Even without Sid, fans still got a lot of high quality matches and a lot of tv name power for their money.   I think by not one fan asking for a refund it just proves my thesis that fans in the North East are the smartest fans in the world.  They get it.  They really GET it. They get that one person doesn’t make or break a show.  They get that if a guy can’t have his stuff together to show up and wrestle before them for their hard earned money then they are not going to support that individual. Instead I think fans respect that Matt Hardy was there and busted his ass. They respect that Masada took a fireball to the face. They respect that AR Fox and Samuray Del Sol did things that appear to be humanly impossible. They respect that Danny Maff wrestled through an injury because he didn’t want to let the fans down. They respect that Jay Lethal was there in a clutch. They respect guys like Brett Gakiya, Nick Brubaker, and CJ Esparza that legit sat in a car for 11 hours just to be there at PWS to perform.   The list goes on.  I love our locker room as its filled with some of the absolute best and most dedicated wrestlers in the world and I am humbled that our fans ‘get’ that. 
THE SHARK: Finally, with the March 9th show now in the rear view, where do you guys go from here and what can wrestling fans expect from the Pro Wrestling Syndicate in the future?
ERIC: As great as the March 9th show was, I truly believe our May 4th Refuse To Lose 2012 event will blow it out of the water as we return to Rahway NJ with an even more insanely stacked lineup headlined by WWE Hall Of Famer Bret Hart.  Matt Hardy, Maria Kanellis, and Jillian Hall are just some of the names already announced for that event.  The full card will be announced in the coming days at 
THE SHARK: Eric, it’s been great talking to you and I thank you very much for your time and wish all the best for you, Pat and the rest at PWS.
ERIC: Once again, thank you Sean for your time and it’s been a privilege to give my opinions. 

Interview with ROH’s own Nigel McGuinness

Not too long ago, I had the honor and privilege to talk briefly with a man who holds a record  as being one of the longest reigning world heavyweight champions in Ring of Honor history.  He is now one half of the announce team that provides the voice for ROH TV in Nigel McGuinness.  Here’s how the interview went:

THE SHARK:  This is “The Shark Attack.” I am Sean Williams and I’m talking to a man who holds the record as being one of the longest reigning world champions in Ring of Honor history.  He currently provides the voice for Ring of Honor TV with Kevin Kelly and the master of “The Tower of London” and the Lariat. I’m talking of course about Nigel McGuinness. Nigel, it’s truly an honor to be talking to you. Thank you so much for your time and welcome to the Shark Attack. How are you?

NIGEL: Great.

THE SHARK: You’ve been back with Ring of Honor for quite a while now. How has the transition been for you thus far from in-ring competitor to broadcaster?

NIGEL: It’s not easy. But I get a little more comfortable each time. And working with Kevin, Jim and Delirious is awesome and helps me out no end.

THE SHARK: Over the years, the definition of a “heel” in wrestling has changed in most companies   Having spent a lot of your career as a heel, what has been the secret for you in being a heel and in your opinion, why has the definition of a heel changed?

NIGEL: Be yourself, well the part people don’t like. Everything has evolved since the eighties. Wrestling was just last to evolve.

THE SHARK: Is there a part of you that misses being in the ring and if you could wrestle one more match, who would you want your opponent to be out of anyone in the ROH roster right now?

NIGEL: I do miss it sometimes.  I was lucky enough to wrestle Eddie on my retirement tour. Either him or Roddy or Ciampa or Bennett or Jacobs.

THE SHARK: If circumstances were different and you were wrestling right now in ROH, would you have loved to win the ROH World Title one more time and break the record of your previous title reign and the title reign of Samoa Joe?

NIGEL: Hell No. I’d never have survived.  🙂 

THE SHARK: You left Ring of Honor to join TNA (aka Impact Wrestling) and became Desmond Wolfe. How did that environment compare to the one you left in ROH?

NIGEL: It was more commercial. Less of a family. But still welcoming as I knew so many of the guys there already. I was really happy to be there at first.

THE SHARK: Your first PPV match in TNA was against Kurt Angle. Was there pressure in having your first match be against a wrestler the caliber of Kurt Angle?

NIGEL: I never feel pressure for my big matches because I’m confident of my opponent’s ability. Kurt was as better than I could have possibly imagined. The Best.

THE SHARK: If you had stayed in TNA, what is something you would’ve loved to do that you weren’t able to do while you were there?

NIGEL: Punch Hulk Hogan in the face. Just kidding. I wished I’d have had a Title Shot on a PPV.

THE SHARK: How much of the opposition such as TNA and WWE do you watch at the moment and who are your favorites to watch?

NIGEL: I can’t watch WWE or TNA. For different reasons.  But I read about them and hearing about my friends makes me happy.

THE SHARK: As mentioned, you had one of the longest world title reigns in ROH history.  Why do you think that these days, most wrestling don’t seem to favor having anything long term whether it’s title reigns or rivalries?

NIGEL: Its what people learnt in the Monday Night Wars I guess. But the effects are being seen now. 

Check your local listings to find an affiliate of Sinclair Broadcasting to find Ring of Honor TV.  Big thank you to Nigel McGuinness for taking the time to answer my questions.

Interview with Four Time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce

This past weekend, I had the privilege to talk with NWA World Heavyweight Champion “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce. Pearce who is currently in his fourth reign as NWA World Champion took time the time to chat with yours truly and talked about his days before wrestling and the many places he’s wrestled in as well as his recalling title win.  Here is the interview conducted on Saturday and you can find Adam and the rest of the NWA Roster on the NWA Hollywood TV Show. Check your local listings to see where it is available in your area and for those on the west coast, you can check it out Sunday morning at 1 am on channel 56 in Los Angeles.  You can also keep up with the stars of the NWA at  Without further a due, here is the interview with “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce.

Adam Pearce interview

Big thank you to Adam Pearce for his time and for giving me the privilege of interviewing him.

Interview with PWO’s own “The One Man Militia” Matthew Justice

THE SHARK: This is “The Shark of Wrestling” Sean Williams here. I’m talking to the man who recently made his return to PWO. He is young, metal and ready to attack. I’m talking of course about “The One Man Militia” Matthew Justice. Matt, thank you so much for your time. It’s been a while since people have seen you in a PWO ring, how does it feel to be back?

MATT JUSTICE: First off thank you for having me man. It feels great to be back in PWO. I’ve been with PWO since their beginnings in 2007 and it’s amazing to see how far they, well we’ve come, especially with all the doubters out there.

THE SHARK: You seemed to waste no time picking up where you left off in your return with going after Krimson and the Dead Wrestling Society. Would you say that one reason for your return would be unfinished business with Krimson?

MATT JUSTICE: Well naturally it fits the PWO puzzle for me to come after Krimson. We definitely had unfinished business stemming from our encounters earlier in the year so I’d say that my sights our set on Krimson and the Dead Wrestling Society not only for revenge but to prove a point to everyone in PWO and the wrestling community for that matter.

THE SHARK: For those who have yet to see you in action or are just coming to know Matthew Justice, how did you get your start and how’d you come up with the name of “The One Man Militia?”

MATT JUSTICE: I’ve been in this business for going on 6 years now! Started training in 2006 during the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. I had always enjoyed pro wrestling as a kid growing up & having watched it throughout my childhood it was something I always wanted to do. When I found out about a training school in Cleveland run buy a local vet named JT lightning (R.I.P.) it was maybe 25 miles from where I lived so I started going up there a few days a week learning the craft. The name Matt justice was a simple choice for me, basically my real name is Matt, I love Metallica and my favorite album from them is …And Justice For All. Ala Matthew justice. As far as the one man militia moniker goes its fairly new, started using it in PWO right before I got signed. How it came about was I had a friend who was my lifting partner & one day I was sitting there at the gym and he said something along the lines of “you’re like a one man militia”… we were talking about mosh pits at concerts which I highly enjoy… I’m a maniac.

THE SHARK: You left PWO a while back when you signed a developmental deal with the WWE. How would you compare that environment to wrestling on the independent circuit and PWO?

MATT JUSTICE: The indies and WWE are so similar yet so different. It’s weird. In all reality WWE and especially FCW are just like big well structured Independent promotions. FCW and PWO are very similar especially their respective tv tapings. They’re both on regional sports networks and tape 3 weeks worth of tv at one taping. FCW obviously has the backing of a multi billion dollar corporation behind them so in essence their resources are unlimited. Before I got signed I had wrestled 3 matches for wwe at live events: once on smackdown and once on superstars and a dark match at raw. That’s a completely different ballgame.

THE SHARK: Every wrestler has a dream match with somebody past or present that they’d love to have a match against. Who would you say is a dream opponent for Matt Justice?

MATT JUSTICE: That’s easy. Rob Van Dam. He’s my idol and the reason I became a wrestler! (Well anything ECW!)

THE SHARK: Pro Wrestling as a whole has seen the landscape change over the years whether it be the demand of the fans, new moves, the need for creativity increased, how has the landscape changed for wrestling from your perspective?

MATT JUSTICE: Wrestling is always evolving, progressing and sometimes it seems regressing. I think the wwe product has become as some would say “sterile” it’s not what my generation grew up watching & It’s not the same product that made me want to do this. It’s lost its edge IMO. As for the independents. The blue collar of the biz. It’s hit and miss. There’s tons of great promotions out there, there’s tons more shitty ones. I think this is definitely the best times we’ve seen as far as opportunity in a long time. With wwe rolling out their network soon, TNA finding their niche and producing some great tv as of late and ROH taking off and becoming what ECW was to the 90’s, to the now. Btw IPPV is the future. Hmmm? That’s a good question, it’s in it’s infimancy.

THE SHARK: Getting back on the subject of your PWO return, is there gold, specifically the PWO World or TV titles, in your line of sight and if so, is it the world title or considering your past with Krimson and the DWS, would you say that there is more of a personal matter with the TV title being held by Jason Gory?

MATT JUSTICE: Holding gold in PWO has always been one of my goals. I haven’t had the opportunity to capitalize on that just yet but hopefully in the very near future I do. I’ve always had my eye on the TV title. I think I could be what RVD was to the ECW TV title to PWO’s title. At one point the ECW TV title meant just as much if not more than their heavyweight title. That’s my goal. To represent the brand of PWO so I wouldn’t mind taking that title from Jason Gory and the Dead Wrestling Society.

THE SHARK: Now that you’re back in PWO, who are some guys you’re looking forward to working a match with if you could name a few?

MATT JUSTICE: For personal reasons Krimson and his cronies… Other than that I’ve always enjoyed wrestling bobby Beverly and Nickie Valentino, they’re great competitors. Mdogg 20 Matt Cross because he was always one of my Indy idols growing up and if the PWO powers that be ever grow a pair and let me step into the ring with Johnny gargano I’d love the opportunity and challenge that’d present.

THE SHARK: Most characters in wrestling, face or heel, have been called too “cookie cutter” especially in the bigger companies outside of the Indies. In this day and age with pro wrestling, what do you feel is the secret to pulling off the face and heel dynamic just right?

MATT JUSTICE: I don’t even know of I know the answer to this question. It’s not really playing a character anymore. The 80’s are long gone. I think everyone is just an extension of themselves. I know that Matthew Justice is just me turned up to 11.

THE SHARK: Finally for my last question, Coming off of Brawl in the Hall. Now that you’re back, what can we expect to see from you?

MATT JUSTICE: Since Brawl in the Hall has come and gone I believe PWO’s next live event will be February 26th in my hometown of Streetsboro, Ohio. Don’t quote me on that lol. You better believe I’ll be there but who knows what I’ll have up my sleeve for that event. I’m sure it’ll have something to do with my boot up Krimson’s ass though.

Be sure to follow Matthew Justice on twitter: @thrashjustice and on Facebook: Big thank you to “The One Man Militia” Matthew Justice for his time and a great interview

Interview with PWO’s Jason Bane

THE SHARK: “The Shark of Wrestling” Sean Williams here. I’m talking with the Pro Wrestling Ohio’s own “Most Dominant Man in Wrestling” and the master of the Bane-Line. I’m talking of course about Jason Bane. Jason, I know you’re just coming off of your match with Matt Cross where you lost the world title. I gotta ask you your thoughts heading into that match and now following that match?

JASON BANE: Heading into that match I had an issue with Matt not being dedicated to PWO after leaving and coming back several times. He had recently come back from being eliminated from Tough Enough and strolled in demanding a title shot. I doubted his dedication and didn’t believe he deserved a shot after having one match back at Wrestlelution 4. I realize after the match that I underestimated him and while I still didn’t think he deserved a shot I ended up playing into his plan by trying to match speed with him. I should have grounded him early which would have limited his aireal assault. I won’t make that mistake again!

THE SHARK: I know that you’re looking to get that belt back whether it be from Matt Cross or whoever is holding the belt at the time. Should you face Matt Cross again for the belt, what would your mindset be heading into that match as opposed to the last encounter?

JASON BANE: Like I said, I would make him play my game and keep the match much more mat based wrestling where my strength and size give me the advantage.

THE SHARK: Many wrestlers are asked this question, what got you into the wrestling business and who was a wrestler or wrestlers that inspired you and helped you become the powerhouse that you are today?

JASON BANE: I was at a WWE show around 1997-98 and saw fliers for Cleveland All-Pro Wrestling and went to a couple shows. I contacted the owner James Haase “J.T. Lightning” and asked about training and eventually started training in February of 98. J.T. who passed away back in August trained me to be more of an oldschool worker calling my matches in the ring which has become a lost art. I was a big fan of Flair and the Horseman, Harley Race, Austin, The Road Warriors, Bruiser Brody and the last guy I was really into was Brock Lesnar as far as WWE goes. I try to be similar to Lesnar because he had the total package of size and quickness.

THE SHARK: When you defeated Marion Fontaine to win the very title you’re holding, what was that feeling like to at long last hold that belt after all you’ve been through and the 3 ½ years it took to win that belt?

JASON BANE: It felt incredible, I knew that if I was given a one on one shot at whoever was the champion I could come out on top. To go through all the interference and a hit put on my head was a test of my will to succeed and I smashed through every wall put in my way.

THE SHARK: In wrestling today, for most companies especially the more mainstream, they believe that in terms of wrestlers “The bigger, the better.” Do you find yourself challenged in making your style as the powerhouse that you are, stand apart from most other wrestlers in that category?

JASON BANE: I find it just the opposite in independent wrestling I’m usually twice the size of most of the wrestlers. I think today’s business is more oriented towards smaller acrobatic high flyer types. My size alone helps me stand apart from most of the guys. In PWO, Brodie Lee is the only guy bigger than me, as far as me standing apart from other big guys I try to be more athletic than the average big guy.

THE SHARK: You were part of a multi-main event at Wrestlelution 4, the first internet PPV for PWO. What is that feeling like to have the main event slot on a moment as historic as that night at Wrestlelution 4?

JASON BANE: It’s pretty cool to be in one of the marquis matches at what is basically PWO’s Wrestlemania. I think there was about 1500 people there so It’s definately a time of year where you can’t help but step up your game.

THE SHARK: Regarding your match, the word “hardcore” would be putting it mildly as it featured things from thumbtacks to broken glass. Would you say that it’s easier or harder to do the hardcore matches as opposed to a normal wrestling match?

JASON BANE: Easier because there is a lot more freedom to pretty much do what you want. I personally prefer a wrestling match over hardcore because a traditional wrestling match is way more challenging to get over with a crowd.

THE SHARK: Not only was the match No DQ but it was part of the main event on the card for that PPV. Was there a feeling of pressure for both yourself and Krimson to make sure that this match delivered on every level, especially in terms of the violence scale of the match?

JASON BANE: No real pressure we knew between the two of us we were willing to go balls out and just make it as wild as possible.It’s very easy to just fight it out and go with the flow.

THE SHARK: I asked Aaron Draven this question and with you being a former champion, I felt that it was right to ask you as well. How much of the other companies such as TNA or WWE do you watch if at all and what do you see as the defining difference between the more mainstream pro wrestling vs professional wrestling on the independent circuit?

JASON BANE: I haven’t watched WWE in months and TNA I honestly couldn’t tell you when I watched it last. I think the main difference is in indy wrestling you are free to be who you want to be and say what you want to say. WWE and TNA seem to be far too concerned with scripting every single aspect of it to the point that all the individual creativity has been sucked out. The legends in this business didn’t need everything pre-planned for them, give them a finish and they created the rest on the fly. Pro Wrestling is supposed to be an improvisational art form. How can you work the crowd if there’s no room to improvise if your pre-planned match isn’t working ????

THE SHARK: There are some moves that people consider to be “simple” or “routine” to wrestling such as a backdrop or splash to the corner. Yet, you add the power to the clothesline and make it your own as the “Bane-Line.” In your opinion, what is the secret to take moves like you do with the Bane-Line and delivering with such precision and execution to make the move look so powerful?

JASON BANE: Throwing as much of my body into it as possible and making enough contact to make it look as brutal as possible..

THE SHARK: You’ve fought Raven, you fought Marion Fontaine to become the champ and you fought Krimson to retain the title. Every wrestler has one or two that come to mind, so I want to ask you who is somebody currently in wrestling that you yourself would love to have a match against?

JASON BANE: Randy Orton and Triple H probably. They are the most similar to the oldschool way of working.

THE SHARK: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans on what they can expect in the future from Jason Bane and what we can expect to see out of you heading into Brawl in the Hall?

JASON BANE: In the future you can expect Jason Bane to be much more vicious. I will show everyone why there are “None More Brutal” than Jason Bane !!

Big thank you to Jason Bane for this interview and look forward to seeing him and the rest of the PWO roster in action at “Brawl in the Hall”.

Follow-Up on the interviews with Marion Fontaine and Aaron Draven

Look, as I said before. I’m one of those that piled on Fontaine the second that this whole thing between him and LaBar started.  My first impression was that the guy was overreacting and didn’t take criticism very well.  I’ve even gone as far as to mock his mustache and physical build (Or lack thereof) and tattoos. In his answers to my questions and seeing the man behind the Megastar, I’m one to admit that my opinion on him has changed somewhat.

In the talks that I’ve been privileged to be part of with guys such as Kevin Steen, Prince Nana, Krimson, Aaron Draven and Marion Fontaine,  I’ve definitely learned that just because the guys in the world of indy wrestling don’t get as much mainstream exposure as those in WWE or TNA, doesn’t mean they don’t work just as hard as guys in the mainstream.  In many cases, these guys work even harder.  The phrase of “bigger doesn’t mean better” comes to mind especially in the cases of guys like Aaron Draven or Marion Fontaine.  Maybe they’re not the tallest or the most built physically, but they still demonstrate as much heart as anybody else.

It goes without saying that there’s always that desire in pro wrestling to be at the top, to get the spotlight and to be the main attraction.  Any of the big companies would probably never give such pushes to guys like Fontaine or Draven due to physical limitations. The fact remains that in giving pushes like Fontaine had with the world title in PWO or like Draven did in PWO with the TV title, they’re given those opportunities because the guys in charge see something in them.  They see something that perhaps a lot of us don’t see whether it’s Draven’s skills in the ring or Fontaine’s ability to get the crowd to hate him.  Whatever attributes these guys have, they make it work.

Yes, I was one of those piling on him when the angle with LaBar started up, but now I realize he got the job done in getting heat for it. In short he was getting the job done in getting himself over as a heel for the story and building up to what was a historic moment for PWO.  It just shows that you don’t have to be biggest or the most physically built to have all the talent needed to get your character over in wrestling.  Here’s to hoping that a world title reign ( and in the case of Fontaine, a 2nd one) is in the future in PWO for both men.

Interview with PWO’s “Megastar” Marion Fontaine

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.