Photo by John Rizzo
How long have you been a professional wrestler?
As of last October, it’s been ten years. My body feels like it’s been fifty years.
How old are you, and what are your stats?
I’m twenty-nine years old. I’m six-foot-one and two hundred thirty-five pounds.
Were you a fan of pro wresting growing up?
I was a hyperactive kid. The only way my mother could calm me down was to rent some wrestling tapes for me to watch. Only then would I sit down, be quiet, and eat my dinner.
Did you have favorites?
I always liked the bad guys in wrestling. Even in comics, I liked the Joker more than Batman. My mom would ask, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ I hated Hulk Hogan growing up. He was way too good.
Did you wrestle in school?
No, but my brother and I would wrestle constantly. We broke many beds slamming each other around. At one point, our mother said she’s not buying any more beds so we could just sleep on the floor.
How did you make the move from being a fan to being a wrestler yourself?
At age nineteen, I found a wrestling school nearby. I thought, why not give it a shot? So I learned the basics, made a lot of good friends, and fell in love with it.
Do you wrestle in a specific league?
I’m an independent wrestler. I can go anywhere whenever someone calls. My goal is to become a top wrestler in Japan, and, if I’m contracted here, then I can’t go back and forth to Japan.
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Tell me about your wrestling character.
I act pretty much like a bad guy. Really, my character is me when I was a teenager, just turned up a thousand notches—very angry, thinking that the world is against him. Sometimes it’s hard to break out of that character after the show.
Is this a full-time thing?
I’m also a bouncer in the Bronx at a bar called the Rambling House.
Do guys at the bar give you a hard time and try to challenge you?
Yeah, but it has nothing to do with wrestling, it has to do with them having too much to drink and me being the bouncer who’s trying to throw them out. A lot of my wrestling moves have come in handy there.
How much time do you clock at the gym?
I go every day for at least an hour and a half, and then I go for training in the ring for a few hours a couple times a week. Ninety-five percent of the training is cardio.
What do you say to people who say pro wrestling is all fake?
It is fake—to a certain extent. If it was all fake, I wouldn’t have broken my ankle in three places, needing sixteen screws and a plate. And sometimes I lose feeling in my right arm from a pinched nerve. Pro wrestling is in its own category; you don’t see any other athlete do what we do, nor an actor do what we do.
How much longer do you see yourself being a pro wrestler?
It’s hard to say, because I just accomplished one of my goals, which was to wrestle in Japan. But now I have a new goal, which is to be the top foreigner ever to wrestle in Japan.