Recently, Steve had a chance to talk with "The
American Nightmare" Threat. In the interview they talk about
Threat’s backyard past, his start in pro-wrestling, not being
nominated for rookie of the year, jealousy, and more.
Steve: Thank you for taking the time to do
this interview. Lets start at the beginning. How did you first
become interested in pro wrestling?
Threat: Do you mean how did I first become
interested in pro wrestling as a fan or as a wrestler?
Steve: As a fan. Unless you got into it as
a wrestler first.
Threat: I watched my first episode of "WWF
Superstars" at age 7 in the third grade. It was Hillbilly
Jim versus a "no-namer". [That] was what I called them
back then. After the show, my father said that the WWF was old
and was fake. I didn’t believe him and I watched every episode,
and GLOW, and was hooked until Hogan lost the belt. I even had
the fortune of watching Wrestlemania II through V on black box
cable at my aunt’s house.
Steve: When did you decide that you wanted
to be a wrestler?
Threat: I was always under the assumption
that the only wrestling in the entire world was WWF(E), WCW, or
ECW. I heard of a random promotion that The Rock’s dad wrestled
for in The Rock’s book, but I had no clue what Indy wrestling
was or Lucha Libre or Japan pro wrestling. I assumed all wrestling
schools were in Texas or the East Coast. I wrestled in backyard
federations for a few years until I saw a documentary on pro wrestling
on The Learning Channel. It was Jesse Hernandez and the School
Of Hard Knocks. I looked him up on the Internet and said to myself,
"I’ve cut enough promos at keg parties in front of people
who were there just for free beer. I think I can be entertaining
enough to take my backyard act to the big time." And [then]
I called Jesse. This was April of 2001.
Steve: Having been a backyard wrestler at
one time, what’s your opinion of backyard wrestling?
Threat: Backyard wrestling is great. If you
have no money, or you have no clue about Indy wrestling (which
in San Diego is 99% of everyone including me until I saw Jesse
on TV), or you just want to play around, then backyard wrestling
is great. The footage that comes out of backyard wrestling is
fun to download on the Internet. Most people think that if you
want to get into wrestling, then you have to go Indy, but I don’t
think Indy wrestling is worth the investment if all you want to
do is play around. Backyard wrestling to me is like park football.
Lots of people like being a street basketball star or a Turkey
Bowl MVP, and I say go get yours and be #1 however you want. Sure,
the backyarders hurt themselves and look lame when they have websites
that have them doing moves in front of zero people. But overall,
I say if you want to be in backyard wrestling, you will have a
lot more fun there then if you try the Indies and are not ready
to dedicate serious time to being #1.
Steve: So you started training in April of
2001 and debuted at the end of June. That’s less than three months
of training. A lot of wrestlers train for six months to a year
before they debut. Do you feel you were prepared for your debut
in that short amount of time?
Threat: Looking back now… HELL NO! At the
time though, I knew I was ready to make some noise out there.
I live for performing in front of people. I have my whole life
in one way or another. Jesse’s roster was cut when workers left
for the IWC, and he needed guys to step in and put on a show and
that’s what I did. When the Nomad kicked my ass and got the 1-2-3
at the Mountain Lakes Resort in Lytle Creek, CA, you can see in
the video every fan jump up and cheer like he saved the world.
I did the job Jesse asked of me and that was to entertain the
fans. It was still one of my favorite matches, and I prepared
the best I could, even letting Will blade me before the match
because I thought blood would put me over, but that’s a whole
other story. So yes, in a way, I was prepared because those fans
mobbed me for autographs, but I would have liked to have learned
more psychology first.
Steve: Before we get too far, where did the
Threat gimmick come from?
Threat: When I was a backyarder, I was playing
a WWF video game at my friends house and we used the create-a-character
option and made a super wrestler named Threat. I was wrestling
under the name "Black Venom", which already looked very
similar to Threat, and I made him anyway. My friend was just telling
me what buttons did what. Then [my friend] had the nerve to come
to our biggest keg party show dressed as Threat because he had
the money to afford the spikes and Docs, and he knew I didn’t,
but wanted to. So I kicked his ass "shoot" style and
he ran to his car and drove home and stopped backyard wrestling
and [stopped] talking to me. It was hilarious because everyone
was chanting, "you fucked up!" for no reason because
they were drunk. Then I took the Threat persona. Now I feel I’ve
grown into what being Threat really means, and I know I am viewed
as a Threat by a lot of people now. I am closing in on the size
the video game character had.
Steve: A minute ago you mentioned the EWF
and IWC split, which for those who don’t know was a very public
split between long time friends Jesse Hernandez and Bill Anderson
where Bill took most of the EWF roster and started IWC. All of
that went down shortly after you started training. What are your
thoughts on what happened?
Threat: Bill Anderson had already left when
I began training. Or maybe it went down behind closed doors but
I’m pretty sure that the IWC was already in full swing when I
began training. One kid at training told me, "Stay away from
that Riverside fed. It’s no good". Ok, whatever kid. I never
heard of it anyways. I don’t really know much about the EWF-IWC
split. I’ve never met Bill Anderson. I don’t know why all of those
workers left Jesse Hernandez, then came back, even though I’m
glad most of them are back. I just don’t know much about that
situation. I met most of the returning IWC workers after I was
already given the reigns as a main eventer.
Steve: Yeah, that’s my bad. The split was
in 2000 not 2001. Actually the IWC died while you were in training.
Threat: Yeah, I was thinking that, but you’ve
been around longer, so I figured you knew something I didn’t.
Steve: You have always been very good at
promoting yourself with your website and had hyped yourself up
a lot early on in your career, do you think that lead to any resentment
from other wrestlers?
Threat: Definitely. I know for a fact it
has. I don’t know why though. A match against me means one more
place online you can get a full page report about what happened
in your own match. If I knew anyone had a fully loaded website
like mine, I’d want to get a match against that person so I could
read about myself and maybe get on a video download. The first
headline on my website relating to my debut read, "Threat
Gets Beatdown By The Nomad In EWF Debut Match". Where is
me promoting myself there? It said I got my ass kicked. Get-Beatdown.com
isn’t just about Threat. Get-Beatdown.com is the world of Indy
wrestling as viewed by a person following Threat. I have photos,
bios, videos, and news articles about wrestlers you can’t find
anywhere else. I don’t know why these haters have to have heat.
Jesse Hernandez told me one day outside of training, "Brotha,
I gotta tell you. This guy just doesn’t like you because of your
website brotha. He thinks you don’t deserve it". I missed
out on a big feud because a wrestler hated me and wouldn’t give
me a good match based on a URL. That has got to be some sick shit
to hate someone because they want to record their career on a
website, so fans have a place to go that actually is worth revisiting
weekly. Actually I’d like to change the subject if you don’t mind,
because bullshit like hating on a hard working entertainer because
of a fucking website pisses me off.
Steve: Ok, to change the subject a little,
you debuted on June 30th 2001, which is in the middle of the year,
which puts you in with the 2001 rookies as far as SoCal Uncensored’s
year end awards go. When the rookie of the year nominees came
up, you weren’t nominated, and even a guy who had already retired
was. What were your thoughts on that at the time? Did it upset
Threat: Yeah, it pissed me off when I saw
I was excluded! I was bitter and unruly and very jealous of Pinoy
Boy and Joey Ryan. I saw Ryan Rufio wrestle once on a UPW webcast,
and I didn’t know who Street Style or the other guy was. I figured
since Pinoy Boy and Joey Ryan wrestled in UPW and LA that SCU
was just a LA/Orange County website and forgot about guys in the
EWF. Pinoy Boy and Joey Ryan both helped train me from my very
first workout, but at the time the voting went down, part of me
was like, what the fuck? If that rookie of the year contest went
down in the EWF by a show of applause from the crowd, I would
win it hands down, just because I was getting a push and thought
being over with the fans meant something in a popularity contest.
I thought if the SCU Staff couldn’t watch my matches, I had lots
of video downloads so they could see that I at least looked like
a wrestler and was worth including. The other part of me said,
"I am too old to care about an Internet contest where the
staff doesn’t even visit your shows". So I actually will
confess that it was THREAT, THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE who padded
the SCU online votes out of bitterness in favor of Joey Ryan by
logging into SCU, voting, clearing my cookie cache in my browser,
then relogging back on under a different AOL IP# at my mom’s house,
one day when I was bored. If you noticed, on the last day of the
2001 ROTY online voting, Joey Ryan went from 2nd to last place
to winning the Internet vote. That was my bitter ass hacking the
SCU voting system! HA! It took me 2 hours of voting and revoting
to put Joey Ryan over at SCU but I was like, "If I can’t
win, then I want my favorite one to win." Bet you didn’t
know that huh? Wish he would have won the whole thing, then it
would have been even better revenge spilling my guts to you about
Steve: It’s okay. That’s why the system is
setup how it is with the web poll only being worth 30%.
Threat: It was like that then too. (laughs)
Oh, I see what you’re saying.
Steve: Yeah, we actually checked the IP logs
for the polls a lot, but honestly, on rookie of the year last
year, Pinoy Boy was running away with it so bad, with the actual
voting we slacked off on the web poll.
Threat: Well it was a fun prank to pull anyways.
Steve: Pinoy Boy actually received every
first place vote from the voting panel.
Threat: Well, Pinoy Boy is a great technical
wrestler and deserves it now that I look back on that contest.
Steve: Moving on a little bit, do you think
EWF doesn’t get the credit it deserves on the Internet as a whole?
Threat: Depends on what you mean by "the
Internet as a whole". I’d like to read the EWF on the Ross
Report but I don’t think that’s happening. The EWF is a place
to watch Indy pro wrestling. It’s not the next WCW and it’s not
the next ECW. It’s just the EWF. I love being a part of the EWF
more than anything. So when I read that the EWF gets less that
it’s share of attention on the Internet, or SCU, if that’s what
you meant, I just think to myself, "EWF needs to push SCU
at their shows or something to get represented on this site, because
everyone who participates on the message boards are from LA and
Orange County and maybe that’s why that area’s promotions and
wrestlers get the spotlight". Other than that, I mean, if
no EWF fans go to SCU, then nobody can read the shit they talk
Steve: You have been loyal to the EWF and
haven’t wrestled many shows outside the EWF. Looking at other
guys who started in the EWF like Joey Ryan and Pinoy Boy who wrestle
as much as they can and are now getting bookings outside SoCal,
and in Pinoy Boy’s case, even getting booked in the 2nd biggest
promotion in the world. Do you think your loyalty to the EWF has
Threat: I feel my loyalty to the EWF has
helped me. Yes, Joey Ryan and Pinoy Boy are getting booked outside
SoCal. That is what they want. I am also getting what I want.
I work in a promotion where I am so popular with the fans, I have
to get called out with Desire because there are fans who specifically
requested their picture with us. I’ve signed thousands of autographs
and sold lots of Threat merchandise. I’ve made so many skinny
little kids make a muscle so I could sign my name and website
on their arms. It’s great. I get e-mails from fans telling me
I am their #1 favorite wrestler. I get a kick out of bringing
kids up to Jesse and asking them, "Who’s your favorite wrestler,
Triple H?" And they yell, "Threat!" That is enough
for me for right now. I am just as happy with where I am as a
main eventer in the EWF as Pinoy Boy and Joey Ryan are with their
careers. When I am ready, Jesse Hernandez is my doorway to the
WWE and my loyalty will get his blessings to move up.
Steve: Obviously the WWE is your ultimate
goal, but what other goals do you have in wrestling?
Threat: My goals preceding the WWE are winning
the EWF American and World Championship belts. Good solid title
reigns where I can make those belts as popular as Desire and I
made the tag straps when we were champs. Maybe a TV promotion
or two. I wouldn’t mind flying out to some out-of-state feds to
do a show with an interesting angle behind it. Maybe representing
the EWF. I also plan on working some Lucha in Tijuana. Japan would
be fun, but I read at Frankie Kazarian’s website that he had to
bring canned food there because he has a strict diet like me,
and that doesn’t sound too appealing. Mostly my pre-WWE goals
are to work around a little in the name of the EWF and make some
stops, and put some big names on my website before going to the
Steve: What about promotions like UPW and
EPIC, would you want to wrestle there?
Threat: Oh definitely! I’ve been a fan of
UPW since they had the webcasts and I could watch some serious
squash. Their wrestlers are really good and entertaining. There’s
a cult Looney Lane following down here and my friends want me
to wrestle her so they can see her at my website. Those sex fiends.
I’ve also read about EPIC quite a bit and don’t know how well
I’d fit in there. I’m used to putting on a show for kids who ask
me after the show if wrestling is real or not. I think if I went
to EPIC, I would get torn to shreds by their type of fan base.
If the call came into Jesse from either promotion asking me to
work, I would be very excited. As the norm though, I don’t look
to either of those promotions as "moving up".
Steve: This year you started getting paired
up with Desire, who has been called a rookie of the year contender
by some. What are your thoughts on her?
Threat: Desire and I are "BFF"
outside the ring. That will definitely bias my opinion of her.
At first, I thought she was a stuck up bitch because she was so
hot. You know, the hotter they are, the more stuck up they are
right? Wrong. At the Tough Enough 2 tapings in Las Vegas, I realized
that she is truly a nice and caring girl and is not conceited
or anything. Having her in my corner has been great. I always
played with girls when I was a kid, and now I have one to kick
ass with in the ring. Desire brings out the best in me. Seriously.
Having her in my corner brings me a popularity I normally wouldn’t
have. I have to respond to that popularity with the highest flying,
flashiest moving, borderline offensive in-ring antics to meet
that extra pop. She also has been there for me when I have severely
complicated personal problems and she knows plenty of secrets
about me I know are safe. She has my vote for rookie of the year.
She gets in the ring 3-4 times a week with mostly guys. She kicks
the shit out of guys in the ring and yes, those are real kicks.
And from my personal knowledge of her, she ignores the same hating
and jealousy I get sometimes and just focuses on what she can
do to be #1. She also is popular with the fans and that is what
is important, and brings in money to the industry. Plus, she has
charisma and body language you just can’t teach. My girlfriend
will kill me if she reads this.
Steve: What’s "BFF"?
Threat: Oh, that’s Desire’s acronym for,
"Best Friends Forever". I forgot that’s a chick thing.
Steve: What has been your favorite match
Threat: Actually that is easy. My favorite
match in my career was my last match versus Vizzion, where he
dropped me on my head on the hard side of a steel chair for the
EWF Rookie of the Year Award and the EWF American Championship.
I went into that match knowing it was my first singles match since
February 16th, my first singles match with Desire, my first singles
match with a lesser experienced wrestler, that SCU/Justin Crast
was going to be there to review it, and that I had to make Vizzion
the jobber look like Rocky Balboa in the match of his career.
I spent so much time preparing for that match from my entrance
to my attack on Vizzion’s shoulder, to what to call, and even
when lots of things went wrong, it was me who covered it. Plenty
went wrong and none of it was mentioned in the SCU review so I
am grateful. That match was easily the crowd’s favorite and I
knew it was my leadership that made that match. The match had
psychology, heated falls, "holy shit" chants, a taste
of hardcore to build to the Bradley Mafia main event, and Vizzion
the jobber became Vizzion the champion. I did what I planned to
do and that was to give those fans a rookie of the year, him or
me. Every match I have been in except for the CWA April Cruel’s
Day show, I have followed someone else’s lead and I was itching
to show what I can create in a match. I didn’t have to deal with
people not wanting to put me over because I’m newer and that was
a luxury too.
Steve: Who in SoCal would you like to wrestle
that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Threat: I’d like to wrestle The Ballards,
"Iceman" John Black, tag with Hardkore Kidd and El Jefe,
too late to tag with Spanky huh? When I get bigger and better,
I want to work Samoa Joe, Super Dragon, The Messiah, definitely
HLA Looney Lane in tag with Desire, mainly the last ones because
I think with my style and attitude they would make for very interesting
matches. Oh, and Looney Lane I added for my friends. (laughs)
Oh yeah and I want to work Kaos and GQ Money with Veronica
Caine, but I don’t think they are considered SoCal anymore huh?
Steve: I’m sure they’ll be back before too
long, but I don’t think they’ll ever be SoCal exclusive again.
Steve: What about wrestlers outside of SoCal,
present or past?
Threat: The wrestlers outside of SoCal, present
or past I’d like to work is Mick Foley, Ivory, Trish Stratus,
Nidia, this hardcore chick Precious Lucy I watched on the Internet
once, Simply Luscious from ETW, Jamie Knoble in a war of the real
trailer trash, the old Undertaker, Ric Flair even today more than
back when I didn’t know who he was, and that’s all I can really
think of off hand. I like being surprised about who I’m going
against, so I really haven’t thought of who I’d like to wrestle
that much. I actually haven’t until you asked, so those are the
names that come to mind.
Steve: Your main goal is getting into the
WWE, where a wrestlers look is as important as his ability, maybe
more so in some cases. Do you, or would you ever consider using
Threat: Steroids are illegal.
Steve: Their legality is not in question,
their usage is.
Threat: I am not taking steroids and do not
know of any wrestlers who are. Yes, is it a proven fact that steroids
makes you bigger, stronger, and more girls will offer you sex
based on your looks only, but taking steroids is illegal and even
though I’d like to be 285lbs of sexual caramel, I’ll settle for
Steve: Have you competed in any other sports?
Threat: Yes. I was a three sport athlete
in high school. I played varsity football, basketball and I was
a 3-year varsity track & field star. I won the CIF 2A High-Jump
Championship at age 17, but ditched out on the State Finals to
go to the prom. I think all pro wrestlers need to have a solid
background in athletics if they want to succeed in pro wrestling.
And ask anyone who knows me, my favorite cheer at the School Of
Hard Knocks is, "Be Athletic". My friend is a trainee
there and when she is on the phone talking to me about eating
pizza for dinner, I’m like, "Hey bitch, put that down and
eat some salad. Then go workout if you want to make it on an EWF
card". I take pride in my dedication to athleticism and it
was because it was forced into me in varsity athletics and a lot
of things I’ve learned in pro wrestling, like basing for flyers
is the same "hitting position" stance I learned in football.
Steve: Ok, as a final question, what do you
think of the scene in SoCal in general? As compared to other parts
of the country, how would you rate it and where do you think it
Threat: I rate the SoCal scene #1. Yeah that
sounds lame but that is the vision I have of this scene. It has
stars, a staff of writers and an official website so people like
me who live in a forest on a mountain can know exactly what happened
at the last EPIC and GSCW show, plenty of jackasses who make life
interesting, lots of shows, lots of Lucha, plenty of different
styles, from the puroresu style I read about Rev Pro, to the upcoming
EPIC, to the ever controversial EWF and the infamous "EWFJeff",
big stars, WWE guys who stomped here first, and everything new
and old school about wrestling. I know this place 5 years from
now will be overrun by people who finally realized going to see
and Indy show is a great way to spend a Friday night. I hope everyone
in this SoCal scene is getting what they are looking for, because
I have been getting tons more out of this SoCal scene than I ever
expected. I’ve seen other parts of the country but nothing as
exciting as what’s going on here in my opinion just because I
can plug in and get everything from CWA down to WCWA and it’s
always going to be controversial.
Steve: Is there any last words you would
like to say to everyone?
Threat: Yeah. I just want to say the big
pow-wow to Lisa, Desire, Paranoia, Jesse, Bobby Bradley, Bo Cooper,
Will, Patrick, Octavia, Carly, Anna, Ashlei, and Brittany, all
of you think I’m tight so you know I gotta shout out, like this
is some radio dedication. (laughs) Thank you for doing
this interview, Steve. I really like SCU and what it offers to
the SoCal scene, and I hope when SCU grows like all of the scene
in general that more and more people can come and get in that
mosh pit of a message board for more drama.
Steve: Thank you for your time.
Threat: Visit Get-beatdown.com!