Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kayfabe Q&A: "The Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa



Height: 6'0"
Weight: 199 lbs.
Hometown: Palermo, Italy

When did you become a fan of wrestling, and who were your favorites?

I guess I will go the generic route and tell you that I was a fan my whole life. I'd say my first true hero was Bret Hart. I was a very short tempered kid in grade school. In fact, I was suspended from school every single year from Kindergarten until Grade 5 for fighting. And I'd be willing to bet in nearly every fight I had I emulated some sort of wrestling star in some fashion. Sadly, this even lasted into high school when I had a scuffle during lacrosse practice with a teammate and kept yelling "here comes the pain". Terrible I know...but sadly true.

When did you decide that you wanted a career in wrestling?

Again, I would have to say the decision was made as a child. In grade school we had to write an autobiography of our life and the last chapter was dedicated to our future. When talking about my future career I was certain I would be a pro wrestler. I still have the autobiography stored under my bed as a constant reminder.


Who trained you, and what was that experience like?

I was trained by too many guys to name. I feel like every match I have is a learning experience to some degree. We learn from our wins and we learn from our losses. If I was to pick a couple guys who have had a major impact on my career then I would say Mike Hollow for the in ring fundamentals he taught me, and Harley Race for teaching me how to be a star.

After spending two years on the Indy circuit, you got your first break when you appeared on an episode of WWE Smackdown, in a segment with The Undertaker. How did that come about, and do you think you were ready to be there at that point in your development as a wrestler?

Right place right time. WWE was in town and they called for extras to read for the part. I've been comfortable on the mic since day one, so I felt prepared for the role. I had the opportunity to meet with Hunter, Vince, and Stephanie prior to going in front of the live crowd. I hit a home run and the rest is history. Looking back on it today, I was definitely more than prepared for that role; however, I was still far from developed enough as a wrestler to be working full time for WWE.


Were you under a WWE developmental deal at that point, or were you signed later?

I was not signed until about 6-9 months later.

Do you feel getting released by WWE lit a fire under you?

Not exactly. I have been motivated since the first day I stepped into a wrestling ring to be the very best. If anything, my experience with WWE and being fired simply exploited my weaknesses and gave me specific challenges to focus on developing.

After that you started making the rounds again on the Independents. Was it hard to get going again after being apart of the WWE?

It was different. The other wrestlers, promoters, fans - they all look at you differently. There is a lot of whispering. I was never quite tested like this before, both mentally and emotionally. But like anything else, I knew if I continued to work my ass off, continued to grow as a performer, and continued to prove myself then at the end of the day talent and passion could not be denied success.


In 2011 you started with Ring of Honor. What has that experience been like for you?

Challenging. The competition is the best you will find anywhere. A locker room of hungry talented athletes. Frustrating. I came to ROH with a desire to prove myself against the best athletes/technicians that wrestling has to offer, and just when I felt like I was getting some steam I blew out my knee. Motivating. I have truly never been more motivated in my life to return to the ring and make a major splash. My goal is to become irreplaceable. I want to be the most talked about guy in all of professional wrestling.

This past August you tore your ACL in a match against Jay Lethal, how is your recovery going? 

Recovery is going as planned. It's a very long, lonely road. All I have is time. Time to train. Time to think. Time to reflect. The workouts are gruesome. The first two weeks of rehab were insanely painful. I was rehabbing 16 hours per day. Pissing in a bottle because walking to the bathroom was simply not an option. Week three things just seemed to start clicking. I'm now in the beginning of week 4. I'm off the crutches. I train 3 times per day for about 2 hours each time. All I do is envision my return to the ring. When the time comes shits gonna get real serious, real fast.


Is there a timetable for your return?

Not really. At first the doctor said 1 year. So far I've been able to cut that down to 9 months. I realize I might be real intense, some even say I'm a little crazy; but I will not rush rehab. I will not return to the ring until I am bigger, stronger, leaner, faster, and better than ever before. I don't plan to come back until I am ready to take the wrestling world by storm.

Tell us, Who is Tommaso Ciampa?

It's me man. I'm one intense, passionate, hard headed bastard. People either love me or hate me. I don't play politics, I don't kiss ass, and I don't sugar coat. If I think you suck you will know. If I think you are disrespectful you will know. My emotions are worn on my sleeve. And I wouldn't change it for a second. My stubbornness, my cockiness, and my attitude will either lead to my demise or make me the biggest star in this industry. I firmly believe it will be the latter.

Hitting "Project Ciampa" on Sami Callihan

How can people get in touch with you?

You can follow me on Twitter @projectciampa . I like using Twitter to amuse myself. Don't expect me to follow you or tag you in any post. I can't be bothered by all that. To be honest, as far as social media is concerned, I don't give a shit what's going on with anyone else. If it doesn't affect me then it does not concern me. But when fans write me I am actually pretty good at getting back to them. It's a good way to keep my finger on the pulse.

Also go to www.youtube.com/projectciampa - I have a lot of promos up on that site. Some that I posted and some in my "Favorites". It's good stuff. It's a good way for fans to see my evolution, watch me grow as a performer, and see my improvements on the mic. I plan to have some new promos out soon so keep an eye out for them.

I also accept anyone on Facebook at Tommaso Ciampa. But if you keep inviting me to your shitty shows or ask me to play games then I will delete you. So just be cool and don't be an ass.

Twitter - twitter.com/projectciampa
Facebook – www.facebook.com/projectciampa
YouTube – www.youtube.com/user/ProjectCiampa

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kayfabe Q&A: Jimmy Noonan



You started out as an actor. How did you transfer from that into a job working for wwe?


When you were an actor in New York City, and you're not a working actor, you have to pay the rent somehow. For a lot of years while I was acting, I had a personal training business which I was very successful at, but I got a little bored with that, and I started to get a lot of work acting. But when you're not acting you have to do something else, I mean I have kids. So I started doing security work. I got very lucky early on. I started working for Charlton Heston in the late 80’s, then I started working for some minor celebrities, and then some big celebrities, and then I went to work in New York City one week for WWF New York. It was the new theme restaurant in Time Square. I worked with the talent and the supervisors well, people from Stamford constantly came down, and next thing you know, it was about a year and a half later that I was on the road with WWF. So it came through the restaurant, but make no mistake, me and Jimmy Tillis, or anyone else, wouldn't have been on the road if we weren’t top security guys.

Jimmy as Frank Galikanokus in Super Troopers
What were your day to day responsibilities while working there?

Everything. Soup to nuts. Absolutely everything. Me and Jimmy Tillis took care of the talents, we called the venues and reminded them that we were coming in a couple weeks, talked to them about their concerns before we got there, or extra needs in terms of security, in terms of the parking lot, before hand whether it was a house show or a big TV show like Raw or Smackdown. Then we'd be at the airport with the talent. I usually hung out with the top guys. If Brock Lesnar was the World Champion, I usually hung out with Brock. If Taker was the World Champion, then I stayed there with Taker. If it was Triple H, Batista, Cena, I usually tried to stay closest to those guys when we were on the road. I’d find out where they were staying, and be as close to them as possible.

We also handled had all of the executives. We handled Vince, we handled Stephanie, we handled the production trucks, made sure we had security in place, and then we did the events. The funny thing about the events was that a lot of times, the top people in the buildings that we had rented for the day to run Smackdown, they couldn't find the producer, or someone they needed. But they could always find Security. They knew security was always in the venue. They knew Security would always be in the stadium or the arena, and they knew where to find us. So they'd ask us all the questions about security protocol, the timing, or show questions. So we handled so much. I don't think there’s anyone at WWE to this day that knows exactly what we did, or how many hats we wore, and the magnitude of what we did for them. You know, when you're doing security for them, you don't get to go to WWE Security School, you make this stuff up on your own. You just do the most practical thing. The next, right thing. A lot of this stuff you just make up, and it’s just trial and error. When you’re a good security guy, your instincts are good. Our instincts were terrific.

What was it like working for Vince McMahon?

You know, Vince is a really likeable guy. He’s such a character. He’s kinda like Donald Trump. I did security for Season 2 of Celebrity Apprentice, so I got to spend some time with Donald Trump. And over the years in New York City, I have been in many, many red carpet events where I've done security and Donald Trump was there. He’s a really interesting man. He’s got this magnetic personality, you know? It’s almost as if he’s the male version of a supermodel. You can't take your eyes off him. And the same with Vince. Vince is such an interesting character. He was always good to me, he was very respectful to me. For years, people have been saying to me "well tell me about Vince.", almost expecting me to crap on Vince McMahon. Well here’s my stock answer: I saw the world on Vince McMahon’s dime. I went to South Africa, every inch of Europe, I went to New Zealand, I went to Australia, I went to Tokyo, I went to Sri Lanka, I went everywhere on Vince McMahon’s dime. And I went first class. How could I have a problem with this guy?

Vince McMahon was always respectful, Shane was always respectful, Stephanie was always good to me. And if anyone had a problem with me, Stephanie would usually be the one to say "Would you come to my office", or "Would you come see me? We need to talk about something." She'd talk to me very respectfully and very nicely, and we'd work out the problem. I would say that the short version would be that the McMahons were very respectful, and were very good to Jimmy Noonan.

Noonan in WWE Magazine
I'm sure you had many memorable moments while working security for WWE, can you tell us about some of your crazier experiences while working there?

WWE magazine in ’05 or ’06, they kinda broke kayfabe. They started doing stories on the doctors and trainers, agents, and they started doing stuff they never did before. Lo and behold, they approached security, and said "Would you mind doing an interview?" and I was like "Vince is gonna let this happen?" and sure enough they went to Vince and he said "Sure let’s go for it." They interviewed me and Jimmy Tillis, and because I’m the more loquacious one who's a storyteller, all the stories were about me, but there was a magazine where Edge and DX were on the cover, and the name of the article was 'WWE Security’s Greatest Hits'. So a lot of the stories are in there, and somebody could find them pretty readily.

There’s the stories about Jimmy Tillis getting off the bus with the talent in Birmingham and in the hotel there was a bunch of MMA fighters, and one of them said they wanted Triple H’s autograph. Tillis said no because everyone was so exhausted, you know they had been on the road for two weeks. So the guy got into some words with Tillis, and then all these MMA fighters came out, and Big Vis, Jericho, Tillis, and the rest just knocked the crap out of all these MMA guys. That’s always the one we hear about. There are so many stories about the boys and travelling, and the pranks they pulled on each other.

I remember one time I think it was in Lewiston, Maine. This kid was dressed as the Undertaker, he had the hat and the long leather coat, and was holding an urn. A tall skinny kid. I turned my back, and this kid climbed in the ring, and I collared this kid big time, man. I mean I took him down off the top rope, actually. And it turns out, and it’s not that funny, but this kid was learning disabled and apparently played the Undertaker in his local community play. So, stupid stuff like that.

There were some that were pretty bad, and some that were okay. I don't know if you remember, but Triple H was traded to Smackdown for one night. I think Eddie Guerrero was the WWE Champion, and it was Triple H vs. Eddie in the main event. It was in Detroit. We were on a commercial break, but the match was going on. Some idiot literally jumped over security and went into the ring. Of course Triple H and Eddie turned to him, and of course he jumped out into my arms, and he got collared pretty heavily, but it turns out we weren't on TV for that moment, but he thought he got his moment in the sun, his 15 seconds of fame. He didn't even do it on TV, but on a commercial break. There was never anything really that dangerous or riveting, just everyday stuff. I wasn't there that night in Edmonton, when the guy jumped in the ring and pushed down the ladder that Eddie was on, and then Eddie clocked him before security got him. Jimmy Tillis seemed to get more jumpers than I did. That’s what we called people who hit the ring, we called ‘em jumpers. He had maybe more of a problem. I think I grounded people more at ringside, and I think that they were a little more intimidated by me for some reason. I had a lot less jumpers than he did.

Last week CM Punk got into an altercation with a fan in the audience, and he struck the guy on live television. What did you think when you saw that, and was there anything that could have been done to avoid it?

I watched the video after seeing the news. It was on Facebook, it was all over the place that CM Punk had hit a fan. I am always interested in that, because that's where my job came in WWE. Protecting the talent, protecting the fans, protecting everybody. It was about security and safety at all costs. I was extremely disappointed to not see WWE security right next to Punk. It is about the fan's safety number one, It's about the talents safety number two, and security in general around the event.

You have to be near the talent, but be off camera at the same time. It is sometimes difficult but that's what you do when you are WWE security. And you have to constantly reassure the talent that you are there. You are either whispering to them or patting them on the ass, or shoulder if it's the female talent like Stacy Keibler, or Nidia, or Gail Kim. You put your hand on them and say "I'm right here, I'm right here" and they know your voice. And then you can speak calmly to them, you can do that kind of kayfabe talk that wrestlers and people in WWE use. But it was very disappointing to me. Wrestlers get hit all the time, and wrestlers hit people all of the time weather on purpose or not. It's a part of the experience, and it's part of WWE and the wrestler going into the stands. But he should have been more protected by WWE security, and I'm calling them out and saying that they need to do a better job.

Kurt Angle and Jimmy Noonan
How did your departure from WWE come about, and was there any hard feelings that came out of it?

I think there’s always hard feelings in those situations, because people tell stories that aren't true sometimes. In WWE, you don't have a lot to do on the road. You have the workout, tanning, eating, but you haven't been home in a couple weeks and you’re bored. Some guys spend some time with local women, but then there’s guys that gossip. That’s what we do on the road, we gossip about each other. I think some of the gossip about me leaving was just some stupid stuff. What happened, was I was miserable. I hadn't had a day off in a long time. Everybody in the company knew it.  I reported to John Laurinaitis on the road, and me and Johnny and me had a terrific thing. He liked me a lot, he respected me, and he took care of me. But there was this one guy in the office that had a beef with me. He had a beef with me because a lot of times I would call him and just say, you know, "I need time off.", and I would have an attitude sometimes, and I haven't been home in a long time, and I’m travelling all the world.

There was this one month – ONE MONTH where I travelled over the international date line three times. I never even got a thank you. I was the only guy in the company who did it, and I never got a thank you from anybody. And I would go to this guy and I'd say "I need some time off." And he wouldn't give it to me. What the WWE does is throw money at you. We're all independent contractors, so it’s easier for them to throw money at you. They give you money, and expect everybody to be happy. I just wasn't happy. I let my feelings be known, and I had some heat because I was tough on a lot of people in some buildings.

I remember I had some heat at The Allstate Arena in Chicago and a couple other places where we'd do smaller shows, because I wasn't shy about telling people exactly the way it was gonna be that day. WWE rented the facility for a lot of money that day, and that made me, security wise, the top dog in the building, and I wanna work with you too, but you gotta do the right thing. You gotta obey the security rider that I sent you 3 or 4 months ago, and there’s a lot of things that I need. We're a multi-billion dollar corporation that has a lot of needs. You need to do what we told you to do. What we're paying you to do. It’s easy to become very unpopular in a lot of these buildings when you’re telling people what the hell to do. So I think the long and the short of it is that I had some heat and I was miserable, so we decided together that I was gonna leave WWE. I got a letter one day in Campus City that my services were no longer going to be needed in 90 days. So in other words, if I got fired, it was the slowest firing in history. I say that we just couldn’t agree to terms, or I left, or we just basically decided that it was best for everybody that I leave. Whatever you wanna call it. Like I said, I think there’s always a little ill feelings. I don't feel welcome in WWE, I would never go back, and I would never go to an event ever again.

With his good friend Dave Batista
You made friends with several of the stars while you were there, do you still keep in contact with anyone?

Dave Batista was kinda my best friend in WWE. I travelled with Eddie Guerrero, we drove together. I drove with Eddie and Benoit every once in a while, Kurt Angle every now and then. Because I travelled with Batista, i’d spend some time with Randy Orton, Ric Flair and Triple H. Triple H was always a gentleman to me. He always talked to me like a brother and contemporary, and never treated me like I was just the security guy. He always treated me like one of the boys even though I was decidedly NOT one of the boys. Batista was kinda like the guy I was always closest to. I was very happy to see him win his first MMA fight the other night. I know how important this was to him, and I was so happy for him.

People asked me before the fight "How do you think he will he do?" and I said "Well, he’s gonna be in shape. Even though he’s 43 years old he’s gonna be in incredible shape. He’s doing triathlons right now, so he’s got that. I've seen him do bench press and he’s stronger than hell. He’s an incredible athlete and he’s worked very hard." He’s been working his way up the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu belt list. I don't know exactly where he is, but he’s very high up. He’s not a black belt yet, but in a couple more years he'll probably be a black belt. I thought he'd be fine, I thought he'd win. I was very happy for him. We haven't talked - I've taken a low profile these days in terms of my WWE acquaintances. It’s just a lot of work. I'll always love Dave, but I think I'll choose to have a relationship from afar unless he ever needs me, but I don't think I'm gonna pursue it anymore, just because he has a very busy life and I have a very busy life. But he’s a wonderful human being. You know, some guys are really good guys, and some guys are assholes.

Who is the biggest asshole you knew while working for WWE?

That’s tough, because it’s not in my nature to speak badly of people. Really, I mean how many times in the last 5 years, in all the radio and interviews I've done, have I said anything really bad about anybody? I think the most disappointing thing to me is when someone like Triple H treats me almost like one of the boys, treats me like a brother, shows me so much respect, and then somebody who’s further down or as big and at the same level as Triple H treats me badly. I got treated very badly, I'm not going to say he was an asshole, but I was treated badly by Booker T towards the end. I think there’s a lot of reasons. There was this perception when I was on the road, especially towards the end, that I was so unhappy, that I would rather spend more time with females on the road than do my job. Spend time with females in different cities we were going to. At least that was the word I heard. Booker was one of those people who'd talk about that.

One night an egg was thrown at him in Germany, from the 400 section WAY up top, and he cut a promo on me during the show. I think it was very unprofessional. It almost hit Sharmell, but still for him to cut a promo on me, and again after the show, he apologized a little, but things had changed. I think one of the reasons also was that I was Batista’s guy, I had so much respect for Batista, and I had Batista’s back, and he had so much animosity towards Dave Batista. So he treated me very badly, and he went to Mark Calloway, the Undertaker, and he talked crap about me. So Undertaker also decided that I wasn't "doing my job". Even Michelle McCool said something ugly to me one day as we came into the arena in Italy. So yeah, I knew it wasn't just Booker, it was Booker getting on Mark and then Mark forming an opinion. Telling me that this is a business, and I'm not doing my job. What? I did it for 8 years and now all of a sudden I’m not doing it? C'mon, Mark. Give me a break.

I also think John Cena should've been a little nicer to his co-workers, and the guys who worked with him and for him, than he was. You know what was one of the things I never understood about some people? WHY they would be nicer to their fans and their pets, than they would to their co-workers. I never understood that. Cena did it, he was nicer to his fans than he was to his co-workers, well not the boys, but everybody else. Lita was nicer to her dog, and her fans than she was to me. I didn't have a problem with Lita. But some of these people, I just don't get it. But I wouldn't call them assholes. There’s other guys too, a couple of bullies, and I never could stand bullies. There were a couple of them that were on the roster back then, too. They know who they are, I don't even have to say. The bullies know who the bullies are.

With Sean Waltman AKA X-Pac
You have said in the past that the stain of The Chris Benoit tragedy hampered your attempts to find work in acting after leaving WWE. Are you still feeling the effects of that to this day?

I’m not sure if I'm feeling the effects right now. I surely, absolutely felt the effects for at least a couple of years. You gotta realize that I left WWE in February or March of 2007. 3 months later, Chris Benoit goes home and kills his family. Very sad. Very, very sad. I cried so much when I heard that. It was so painful, I really had great admiration for Chris up to that point, and he was one of my WWE brothers.

I can remember all the conversations between me, him, Eddie and Chavo. Then Chavo Classic. And you know, it was really rough. About that time, I decided to look for work. I took some time off after WWE and now it’s time to get back to work. I remember going into Jules Coles’ office in NYC and they're looking at my resume. And somebody says to me "Oh! You’re head of security for those wrestlers! Those fake wrestlers!" and I was all "Well you know, it’s a sports entertainment company." And they go "Oh, those are the guys who take all the steroids, right?" and I said "Well, you know, that’s not everybody. It’s just one of those things…" and they'd say "Oh, and this is the company where that guy went home and killed his family one weekend." And I went Oh my God, this is what I'm up against?! I was up against such bad press. I was up against such a bias, such negativity toward WWE. Like, OK it’s fake wrestling, does that also mean you were a fake security guy? I mean I didn't know what to think after a while.

But timing was HORRIBLE. To think that all of a sudden I can't get hired by anybody, and to think that it didn't affect my work would be very na├»ve of me, and very wrong thinking. It was devastating, it really was. Does it affect me now? No, we're past that. It’s 5 years later. God, can you believe it’s 5 years already? That’s unbelievable, isn't it? It doesn't affect me now, but it absolutely positively affected me then, I'm sure of it.


You are now working on a book, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Yes! I just got goosebumps. My beautiful daughter… Sometimes when you're on the road, things happen. I met a young beautiful girl one day, I was actually travelling with Jonathan Coachman (Former WWE announcer, The Coach), and our waitress was this beautiful young girl from Detroit. About 3 or 4 months later, we had a one-night stand. And then 9 months later, we had a beautiful daughter. The problem is, if there is a problem, the problem is I am 47 years older than my daughter is. I'm 54, and she’s 7. And she may not get to know me. I don't know what God’s plan is for me. I don't know if I'm going to live to be 80, 90, or 55. So I want my daughter to know everything. My dad died about 10 years ago, and even though I was his only son, I didn't know everything about my dad, and I find myself wondering, and I ask my mom, my 86 year old mom, I ask her questions all the time about my dad. And I wanna know more.

So I wrote a book, it’s called “A Letter to Cecily: The Memoirs of a Nobody”, my daughter’s name is Cecily. It is about my life. I've led a very colorful life. I've been on Broadway, I've been in movies, I've been a personal trainer to the stars, I've been a security expert to the stars, I've worked with major corporations. I’m a recovering alcoholic and I just celebrated 25 years of recovery, and I do that on a daily basis. I grew up with 7 women, 6 sisters and my mother, my dad was gone all the time, so I've had this very, very colorful life and I want my daughter to know about it.

So I decided to write her a 400 page letter and the book will be done by the end of the year. I made that commitment to myself, and I'm way past three quarters done, but I've been working on it for 2 days and I wrote 10 pages today, which is terrific. If you've done any writing, you’ll know much 10 pages is, it’s a LOT of writing. But I’m very, very proud of it. I say in the book that she'll be so proud of me. She'll know so many good things about me. But I'm also gonna tell her a lot of bad things. I want her to know everything. So that she'll have no questions, like I have about my dad. There will be no questions about who Jimmy Noonan was.

Do you have a release date set for the book?

I think first thing I’m gonna do is get it done, which probably will be in the next 30-40 days. After that, it’s a game. I don't have a publisher yet, I don't have anything. I do know that it’s terrific stuff, and that a lot of people are interested in it. But there is no real release date. When you get done with a book, you get it out anywhere between 6-9 months. I might self publish it. There’s a lot of money in self publishing these days. You know, a lot of the book companies that used to be around aren't around anymore. So I might self publish it.


What was the overall experience of working for WWE, and if you could, would you do it again?

You know, of course I would do it again. I would probably never have gone to all those little cities that we went to. I did a show in all 50 states. North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, and EVERY medium sized city in Texas, and all the countries I went to. All the experiences I had, all the women I banged (HAHAHA!!). Of course I would do it again. In a minute!

But I will tell you, I don’t know if you know this, Jeremy, but I have a very famous writer sister, and her name is Peggy Noonan. Peggy used to write Ronald Reagan and George Bush’s speeches, and she works with Romney now, and she’s a very well-respected conservative republican pundit. Peggy said to me one day "What are you doin’?" I said "Well, I'm about to go on the road with WWF" and she said "Well, what’s that?" and I said "You know the wrestlers you see on TV?" and she goes "Why are you gonna do that?" and so I said "Well because the money’s real good, I'll be solvent for the first time in many years, and my first show is in Texas. And next week I'll be going to Japan, and then I'll be going to Australia in 3 or 4 months." And she goes "But Jimmy, you're an actor. Look at it; You just did Broadway, you just did a major TV show and Super Troopers, everything you touch turns to gold, every show or movie you’re in gets awards, so what are you doing?" and I said "Well I don't know! It just sounds like the right thing to do." And she goes "Well I disagree." So I look at that sometimes and I think Oh my god, maybe I made a mistake. But I would do it again. I had some great experiences, and it’s not a negative, it's a positive. I have to rate it a positive experience, and of course I'd do it again. I'd do it again in a minute. Although, I wouldn't do it again now. Let’s make that clear, I would never go back!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Heisenbealer's TNA Impact Review 10/11/2012



Howdy there, Heisenbealer here, doing the Impact review this week. It’s been many a moon since I've tuned into the TNA product, which is odd because I've never been as hard on them as the rest of the internet community seems to be. I can just only handle so much man grappling in a week’s time. And usually that was reserved for Raw, but with whatever Punk and Bryan happen to be doing being the only thing worth tuning into lately (and the three hour drag) I haven't even been watching that lately. So here we go!


We get A Double Austin Aries against James Storm for our opening match. Seems like WWE isn't the only place that puts two of their top stars in a curtain jerker match, so I suppose my grumpy old ass should just get used to it. One thing I've always enjoyed about TNA is that most of their guys put a lot into every match, not just the PPV ones. Storm and Aries really laid into each other on this one, and I’d have been more than happy to have this match on a PPV that I paid for. I think this also puts more pressure on them to really deliver when it is a PPV match, which is the way it should be across the entire industry, but I digress. Aries hits a beautiful Brainbuster on Storm to pick up the 1 2 3.


Back from commercial we get Hogan and Sting in the ring with Hogan yammering on about a “Deal with the devil” with Aces and 8s, which cues out the “World Tag Team Champions Of The World” Kaz and Daniels with Daniels proclaiming themselves to be “Angels” and requesting that their match at BFG on Sunday be cancelled so that their opponent Kurt Angle can be Sting’s partner against A&8s instead of Bully Ray. Ray comes out to essentially agree with them, but tell them they're wrong. Yada yada yada, does anyone else doubt that Ray turns on Sting Sunday and is revealed as being part of, if not the leader, A&8s? I mean, it’s BFG, TNA’s Wrestlemania, and they seem to have a fetish for throwing the swerve at their Grandaddy every year.

Our next match is AJ Styles Vs Hernandez, who will be part of the Tag Team Triple Threat this Sunday. This match was a little slower and not quite as hard hitting as the first of the night, but still a solid match. And when you have AJ Styles in the ring, how can you NOT have a solid match? Styles is one of the best in the world when it comes to getting between the ropes, and I don't think he receives enough credit for how good he is. Hernandez hits what I assume is the weakest looking finisher in TNA, a shoulder (albeit a giant one) block, sending Styles flying across the ring and down long enough for the pin.

Something happens with an Aces and 8s guy talking backstage, but I can't make out what he’s saying except “Hogan” and “Sunday”. Expect something to happen between them and Hogan on Sunday I suppose.


Back in the ring we get the X Division champ Zema Ion gets on the mic. He kind of reminds me of that stuck up bitch we all knew in high school. He cuts a typical promo about having no X Div opponents left, which leads to RVD making his way out to cut another typical promo. Looks like they'll face off Sunday, which is good because I'm much more interested in seeing these two in action rather than on the mic.


After more backstage garbage that does nothing to further any storylines and a truly frightening pre Hollywood scare in seeing Brooke Hogan’s face, we get Sting and Bully Ray against the Tag Team Champs Daniels and Kaz. Again, I like that TNA does this and makes Sting and Ray’s “warm up” match against a team you don't know right off the bat they’ll beat. If this was WWE, Sting and Ray would have faced Santino and Heath Slater in a squash. Instead they AGAIN give us a PPV quality match up with a lot of back and forth action, and yes, even Sting telling Ray to “GET THE TABLE!” leading to Daniels and Kaz getting the win via DQ after Bully put Daniels through said table with a brutal second rope powerbomb. If the match quality of Impact tonight is indicative of how the PPV will be, I’ll be a happy camper Sunday night.


Our Knockout match of the night is Gail Kim Vs Ms Tessmacher. A solid match out of the girls, which is something that can rarely be said for their Diva counterparts. Nothing special to see here, but not a piss break like you usually get with women’s matches in the WWE either. And they get to act a little sluttier. Win/win. Tessmacher gives a hard slam to Gail for the pin win, and afterwards Tara comes in to attack her. But Tessmacher gets the upper hand and slams her too.


And in our main event of the evening we get Bobby Roode facing off against Jeff Hardy. Or maybe that’s one of Picasso’s paintings come to life. It’s such an enigma I can't even tell. My issue with Jeff Hardy has always been the effort he puts into his matches. Some people don't like him because he’s a “spot monkey” but I disagree, and even if he is/was, professional wrestling needs a lot of different styles, not just technical masters who know 1004 holds. Hardy always seems to get complacent and just dial in his matches when he doesn't feel like he’s being spotlighted the way he should (Randy Orton is the same way) but between the few times I've seen him since his drug troubled break and tonight’s match, it seems like he’s delivering the way he should. Roode is great as always, one of the best current heels in the business. Match ends when Hardy goes for the Twist Of Fate, but Roode ducks it and delivers a low blow, giving Jeff the win by DQ. After the bell rings Roode grabs a steel chair, but the ref takes it out of his hands, giving Hardy enough time to hit the Twist Of Fate to give his fans a little pop before they go home. A Double makes his way to the ring to jaw at Hardy and end the show with the spotlight on the Championship heading into the PPV. He complains about the company catering to Hardy even though Aries is the champ, and it all sounds kind of reminiscent of Punk/Cena. Solid promo, but nothing unique, and after the words are said Aries attacks Hardy and lays him out with a Brainbuster to end the show and lead us into the PPV this Sunday.

Damn good show overall, and I think I may have found my replacement for my weekly wrestling fix.

-Heisenbealer

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kayfabe Q&A: BLK Jeez


Height 5'7"
Weight 170 lbs. 
Hometown: West Philly

Did you watch wrestling as a kid? And if so, who were your favorites?

Yes, I watched it ever since I was a kid. My all time favorite is Eddie Guerrero but, I've admired so many different people. My list of favorites would take me all day long to write.

When Did you decide you wanted a career in wrestling?

When I was really young, like 8 or 9 years old or so.



Was your family supportive of your chosen career path?

At first, I think they just felt that I was going through a phase and would break out of it. But over time, they've been very supportive every step of the way. They're pretty proud of my decision to follow my dream.

Who trained you and what was that experience like?

Originally, I was trained by Charles Gregory, known on the Indys as Gemini. I've had various trainers and mentors over time though.

BLKOUT members Ruckus & BLK Jeez

Your first "big break" came when you joined CZW and teamed with Ruckus to form The BLKOUT. What was that like, and did you realize how big BLKOUT would become?

A great experience. I knew that Blkout had the potential to become very big. Actually, Blkout could have been so much bigger if it wasn't for the politics of pro wrestling. If more bookers/promoters thought like businessmen and wanted to make money instead of being stubborn and petty, Blkout would be on TV every week right now! But u know, it is what it is.

BLKOUT had a long running feud with The Kings of Wrestling, What did you think about the matches you had with Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero (Current WWE star Antonio Cesaro and NXT's Kassius Ohno)?

I was still pretty green at the time and those guys really carried me, I'd say. I did learn a lot from them in terms of character development, performing like a star, match pacing, etc. It's great to see that they both made it to WWE because they definitely deserved it.

In 2005 you started working for Chikara. What was it like working there opposed to working in CZW?

Completely different from CZW. I had a good time there and it was another learning experience.


This past June you wrestled for both WWE and TNA in the same week, How did that come about?

I was contacted by both companies and presented with an opportunity. I went in, did well and got positive feedback.

Who came up with the Jared Wachtler name for Smackdown? Is there a story behind it?

That was the name that the writers gave me. I don't know if there was any story behind it at all.

What was your impression of both companies?

I enjoyed working for both companies. I know that with the right situation, I can do big things in either company. I would definitely rather be there than working on the Indys. Aside from ROH and PWG, there aren't any Indy companies that really interest me. I proved myself in the top 2 companies in the U.S. and that's something that no one can take away from me.

Have you been in contact with Ring of Honor? If so, is there a chance we could be seeing you there anytime soon?

Not since wrestling there at the August tapings. I am interested in wrestling there more often, I had a very good time.


Jeez as Ra'Shad Cameron taking it to Sonjay Dutt at TNA Destination X

Do you have a "dream opponent"?

Not really. My dream opponent would have been, Eddie Guerrero. I guess if I had to choose one dream opponent, it would be Jushin 'Thunder' Liger.

What do you feel are the positives and negatives about working in the business?

The positives are being able to create something out of nothing. Being able to entertain people. Putting a smile on their faces or making them hate our characters so much. Getting them so emotionally attached to everything that were doing. Another BIG POSITIVE is getting paid to travel the World do something that I've always wanted to do.

The negatives are,the politics that exist. The loss of friendships because of the politics of it. When you put everything into pro wrestling, you miss out on a lot of things in your personal life. Lots of strained relationships there. Also, it's become TOO EASY for anyone to become a pro wrestler. A Lot of people lack passion and don't take it seriously enough and I just feel that those people should not be in the business.

Could we see BLK Jeez back in a TNA ring soon?

You mentioned wrestlers who "Lack Passion". According to many, there are people who currently compete in both WWE and TNA who have been described that way. How does it make you feel that there are people like that who are taking roster spots that should go to someone like you?

I try not to dwell on that. But, I do feel that I would do positive things if I was on either roster.

Last night you faced former ECW star Christian York in Baltimore, next week it will be someone else. Do you feel you are at the top of your game at this point?

Pretty much. I know that I'm able to go out there every night or every week and stand out and give the people their money's worth.

Tell us, who is BLK Jeez?

Blk Jeez is a guy from Philly that takes pride in his city and in his performances. Blk Jeez is someone that cannot be touched by ANYONE on the Indys these days, promo wise. Blk Jeez is someone that will do well in WWE and/or TNA. It's a FACT that Blk Jeez (Ra'Shad Cameron) stood out character wise in my short time on TNA and with the right opportunity, the sky is the limit.

Frank Venezia & Jared Wachtler (BLK Jeez) about to face Ryback

Any upcoming shows you would like to plug?

October 6th- Baltimore,MD for RCW (www.realchampionshipwrestling.com)
October 13th- Voorhees,NJ for CZW (www.czwrestling.com)
October 20th- Bethany,CT for CTWE (www.ctweprowrestling.com)

How can people get in touch with you?

Twitter- @jeez215
Facebook- www.facebook.com/jeez215
Youtube- www.youtube.com/jeez215

Monday, October 1, 2012

Kayfabe Q&A: Alex Colon


 Height: 5'7"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Hometown: The 609
Finisher: Pop-Up Driver

                                                                   
When did you decide you wanted a career in Wrestling?

Around the time I got outta high school. I was dabbling with music at that time but ended up steering right back into wrestling after attending CZW's Cage of Death that year.

Did you watch wrestling as a kid? And if so, who were your favorites growing up?

I loved wrestling as a child. My favorite was Bret Hart. He was definitely a big influence with my love for wrestling.

Was your family supportive of your chosen career path?

Yeah, my family is somewhat supportive of my choice. They don't think its the best move, but they aren't gonna stop me from chasing my dream.

Alex Colon vs Devon Moore, CZW 'Redemption'

Who trained you and what was that experience like?

I was trained by DJ Hyde and Jon Dahmer. My experience with them was def a learning experience. DJ is very much  new school, someone who is into whats on today compared to Dahmer who is very old school influenced, someone who is very into what made yesterdays stars and skills. I loved my time there and still today learn as I continue my journey, but value the basics and other things they have taught me.

Since breaking into the wrestling business you have competed in companies such as MCW, AAW, DGUSA, EVOLVE and of course Combat Zone Wrestling. What has your experience been working for these promotions?

All these promotions have been very good to me and professional. I couldn't ask for more. From the ring crew to the promoters, I have always been treated fairly at these places. I loved every opportunity I have been given in each place and hope that I may have many more in the future.


You have been in the ring with a number of great wrestlers such as Sami Callihan, Adam Cole, Rhett Titus, and many others. Do you have a favorite opponent that you have faced so far in your career?

I honestly have 3 guys that I feel like I gel really well with and they are Sami Callihan, Rich Swann, and AR Fox. Each guy is extremely talented and I feel that each time I step in the ring with them, we blow everything away. I think they have as much passion for professional wrestling as I do and it shows every time I step in there with them.

Do you have a dream opponent?

Yeah, I mean I don't like to say dream opponent cuz Bret Hart is obviously outta the picture in 2012, but Homicide is someone I always seen myself wanting to wrestle back in the early 2000's when I was really getting into the Indy's as a fan heavily.


What are the positives and negatives about working in the business?

The positives are all the relationships and friendships you make down the line. The negatives are all the politics that come with wrestling. I don't talk too much about the negatives because I'm enjoying my time in it currently.

Wrestling as a whole is down right now. What do you think needs to change to help it grow to where it was in the 80's or late 90's?

I just think people need to rally together more for wrestling as a whole. Too many people fight and bicker for meaningless issues. We all fight for the same dream, and even though not everyone eats off of the same apple, it doesn't mean we don't eat an apple. The territories worked so well because everyone had a slice of the pie and now days everyone wants to eat off of the same slice if that makes sense.


Tell us, who is Alex Colon?

Alex colon is Robin Hood, haha. I like to fight for what I believe is right. I am also stubborn enough to think I'm right even if wrong. Alex Colon has a temper like Scarface in and out of the ring. Fans project me as a bad guy, and even if otherwise I like being a bad guy cuz sometimes the good guy wont pull the trigger, but I'm always ready to start firing away. I basically am just someone who lives and dies by their temper plain and simple. Very Tony Montana-ish and that's really me.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

In 5 years I'd hope to still be in the business somewhat and if not wrestling than owning my own little company or working behind the scenes for another. I try to think realistic at times and know even though I don't fit what TV is looking for, even the underdog has a chance in an ever changing industry.

4-Loco (Bandido Jr., Alex Colon, Chrissy Rivera, and Azrieal)

Any upcoming shows you would like to plug?

No real date plugs I can think of, but if you're interested in catching me in action look out for me in such places as CZW by logging onto czwrestling.com or follow me on Facebook for upcoming shows.

How can people get in touch with you?

Get at me on facebook.com/alexcolon0139 or on twitter @alexcolon0139. If you want to take an extra step, feel free to email me at alexcolon0139@yahoo.com.