How would you describe yourself as a wrestler?
A fearless, reckless mat wrestling machine.
What got you into professional wrestling?
I had always been aware of wrestling due to those great early N64 titles my neighbors and I had played. But I never considered myself a fan until Jr. High school. At the time, EVERYONE watched wrestling. I was never really considered cool or popular by my peers so I began watching it to be socially accepted.Eventually when others found new interests, my passion not only stuck around but grew.
Who were your favorite wrestlers growing up?
The Rock, Kurt Angle, Scott Steiner, Brian Kendrick, Bryan Danielson, Raven and Terry Funk.
What made you decide to pursue a career as a professional wrestler?
I was always involved with amateur wrestling but found myself gravitating towards theater my last two years of high school. It was the perfect blend of athletics and entertainment for me.
Where did you train and under who?
I began training with the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory when I was 16 years old after a recommendation from EDGE at a local autograph signing. It was lead by Mike Quackenbush, Chris Hero and Skayda. Each had several specialties which really helped gain a melting pot of experience to learn from.
Chris Hero's lessons were based at the fundamentals of ring psychology while Skayda taught amazing lucha counters and aerial moves. Mike Quackenbush's biggest contribution to my training was teaching me to love and respect professional wrestling more than I ever thought possible.
Eventually Claudio Castagnoli became an instructor as well and I debut after 3 years of training.
Do you have any advice for people looking to get into professional wrestling?
Find a reputable school. Find out what successful wrestlers have come out of the training program as well as if they have promotion connected to the school. Example, the CHIKARA wrestle factory is connected to CHIKARA PRO the students have an immediate place to work, learn and gain exposure to find more promotions to wrestle for.
What was your first match?
It was Ultra Mantis Black, Hydra, Crossbones vs. myself, Drew Gulak & Andy Sumner. It was on April 22, 2007 at the ECW Arena. I remember being really nervous but just as excited. It was an honor to change in the locker room that so many greats had shared over the years and perform in such a famous venue.
Do you prefer Heel or Face?
I'd like to think I'm a nice guy outside of wrestling due to being able to release of personal frustrations in the ring.
Do you prefer singles or tag?
Singles. Tags are fun because there is so much more stuff you can do but I love the pressure of failing or knocking it out of the park solely on my shoulders.
What's your favorite part of being a professional wrestler?
I really love traveling. I'm from a very small town and never would have been able to afford traveling across the United States, Japan and everywhere else I've been lucky enough to perform at.
Also I truly love all the great people I've met over the years. Wrestlers are some of the most interesting people on the planet and jumping in a car for 16 hours with guys you've never met is truly a unique bounding experience.
Likewise, it's the wonderful fans I've met over the years that make those long trips worthwhile. Seriously, I feel very fortunate and would have stopped a long time ago if not for the positive interactions I have had with professional wrestling fans over the years.
What promotions do you currently wrestle for?
Absolute Intense Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling and several others.
What promotions have you worked for in the past?
CHIKARA PRO, EPIC WAR, HWA, IPW and Osaka Pro.
What promotions have you yet to work for but would like to?
WWE, ROH or PWG. But also I love the smaller promotions which have such a great personal atmosphere.
How does CHIKARA differ from other promotions?
CHIKARA is unlike any other promotion out there. Usually in any form of entertainment (comics, TV, Movies etc), the appeal is "What happen's next?" CHIKARA certainly offers that but the real fun is going back and reflecting on previous shows. Story-lines run so deep (some years) that aspects of shows that you believed to have been small or not important were actually the catalyst for the current product. Also the fans are incredible. It's so refreshing and fun to be apart of an audience that just wants to have fun. They nurture the product with their suspension of disbelief and in turn we make it real.
How was your experience in Japan?
To say I LOVED japan is an understatement. I love the culture, the wrestlers/office of Osaka Pro and the fans. It's such a great respectful society that really appreciates the sport of wrestling. It was a real confidence booster performing with wrestlers and connecting with fans with the language barrier. Non wrestling highlights included karaoke "I want it that way" by the Backstreet Boys and dancing to "Party in the USA" on Halloween night. SURREAL.
What's your favorite match?
It probably be my match with Hallowicked at Chikarsarus Rex or Derrick Bateman at AIW's Absoliution VIII. The AIW crowd was so surreal and invested into that match. Also my match with Bryan Danielson. I always looked up to Bryan so it was amazing getting to finally wrestle him. I didn't think it would ever happen and describe it as being able to sing karaoke with your favorite artist.
Who do you enjoy wrestling with?
I love wrestling with various people and really enjoy changing up my style. Chrisjen Hemme, The Batiiri, Hallowicked are some of my favorite people to wrestle with.
Do you have any dream matches?
Yes, way to many to name. I love wrestling.
Who was your toughest opponent?
Mad Man Pondo or Eddie Kingston.
What's your most memorable moment?
It would have to be anytime I played guitar in a ring because it's so personal and out of my comfort zone. I never expected "Who's the Man" to blow up like it did. Also choking out Hallowicked at Chikarasaurus Rex was great. The crowd became completely silenced when they thought their hero was going to be unmasked and immediately exploded when the decision was reversed. It was surreal.
What goals do you have?
I'd like to wrestle in more countries especially Europe and Australia. I'd also like to eventually wrestle for a nationally exposed organization.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I'd like to have reached my full potential while inspiring and improving the world of wrestling.