by Benjamin Tomas
Recently Benjamin Tomas had a chance to speak with APW LA promoter Henry Luna. In their conversation they discussed why Henry changed GSCW into APW LA and how he got his start in
Benjamin Tomas: What motivated you to get involved in wrestling?
Henry Luna: The same reason you watch it. I enjoy wrestling.
BT: How did you initially enter the wrestling business?
HL: By mistake, a friend called me and said he needed a ride to the airport to pick up this guy. I said sure lets go.
BT: So how did this get you into wrestling? Who was the guy?
HL: It turned out the gentleman took a liking to me, so I became his, “boy”. From there I met this guy and that guy, the word got around that I was cool (I guess cause I didn’t get all dumb around them). Believe it or not these guys are people too, they just lack a bit of tact. I guess that’s where I got it from. Who was this guy you say? It was my mentor Alex Rizzo better known as “Big” Dick Dudley.
BT: Did you ever think you’d be a promoter and not a wrestler?
HL: Hell no.!
BT: Why not?
HL: When I entered the business it was just for fun. I was a lackey. I was doing everything from driving wrestlers to and from the airport or gigs, working ring crew, Taking Food orders and just hang out some times. Some of the Workers liked to keep the certain company .I had fun. I’d listen to stories and keep them out of trouble. Here’s a story, there was this one time at “Lucha Camp.” We were leaving the Lucha camp to go to the venue for the show, but this certain worker had something taken from his Lucha Camp room. This worker was so mad he was gonna kill everyone including this pregnant cleaning lady. Everyone was so confused and scared, I was way scared and I had no way to calm him down .I also had no choice, we were very late for the show and if the worker was late, I was dead. ! So good ol’ Mr. Lackey found a way to get him to calm down, get his gear and go with me to the venue for the night’s work. I was always doing all kinds of stuff like that. To answer your question, no I never thought I would be a promoter.
BT: How much ring time did you have before you decided to be a promoter?
HL: None. I Just trained a little for fun, nothing to the extent of competition.
BT: Why did you decide that being a promoter was the best choice?
HL: A lot of things were going wrong in the scene/ business. I thought like any old dumb ass did and thought that I could change the business. I never thought for a second I would, ” Make a difference”, “Revive the Scene”, or even,” Capitalize When the scene was dead.” I never tried to be, the next big thing. That’s what a few people have said, but Ben my good man, to be quit honest with you I think they’re crazy. ! All I do is provide the space for guys like Scott lost and Cholo to perform for the fans. Guys like that are what make it fun, guys like Mr. Excitement, Silver Tyger, Excalibur, Bobby, Jardi, Dragon, my main man Disco Machine and Melissa; those are the ones that do it, the locker room, not me!
BT: What made you decide to roll the dice and start a fed?
BT: How did Diablo become involved with GSCW?
HL: I asked. He said yes.
BT: How did APW become involved with GSCW?
HL: I booked Jardi and Bobby threw my good old pal Fordisvietcong. Some guy named Gabe called me and asked if I had room for a few more guys. I was really shaky on doing it. I figured, “Ah fuck who cares. I’ll do it, and look at what happened.
HL: My secret weapon .
BT: Why would you start a feud with a fed that could import fans to SoCal shows, but didn’t have the room to import SoCal fans to their shows to balance it out?
HL: I never figured any fans would care as they always bitch and complain, moan and groan, “My Daddy can beat up your Daddy”, etc. Fuck me, the fans took heed and made their voice heard loud and clear by saying “Fuck NoCal,” lol. I mean shit; I can’t predict the future let alone what I’m eating in 5 minutes. If the fans would have wanted to go to the APW shows then someone should have tried to direct some kind of shuttle. The NoCal fans did it, I’m sure SoCal fans could have done the same. As for the room, I never thought about it. You got me again.
Scoreboard: Fans 2, Henry 0
BT: As we already have had the wrestlers of APW at GSCW shows, how do you benefit, as the promoter, from an alliance with APW?
HL: This one is easy, we draw a little more just about every show since my involvement with APW.
BT: Aside from how you benefit from the APW alliance, how do the fans benefit?
HL: Simple. The fans will be able to enjoy good, solid-wrestling shows. I mean look at the shows up until the Future in October 2002. Look at the shows that happened after the Future up until now. It’s a totally different ball game. The draw went from 68 to 230 plus ever since then. I think that speaks for itself.
BT: Didn’t the fans have that without you becoming a part of APW giving up the name you worked so hard to build? My question is this: the saying is that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It was far from broke, and you fixed it anyway.
HL: Yes, we worked hard on building the GSCW name. The fans did have good shows and a fun place to go and watch wrestling before the APW Merger. However, the shows are 5 times better as far as I’m concerned. How do I know that? I could name twenty different reasons as to why, but I’ll just name the most important reasons. The fans are louder, crazier and happier when they are at our shows (not to take anything away from any other fed but you have to be there to understand). The workers stepped it up too. Nothing was broke. Good call Benjamin. Nothing was fixed or changed. APW LA was ever since “Seasons Beatings.” That took place December 14th, 2002. So to use that old saying, it wasn’t broke. We didn’t fix it. We just finely tuned it.
BT: Why has all your staff taken off once the APW deal was announced?
HL: Diablo left due to personal reasons, he has some things to attend to and that’s that. Joe, my man, thank you. You’re a pain in the ass but I couldn’t have done it with out you. Rasslin’ Guy wasn’t staff, he was a good help .He just has his music, I guess. He’s gonna be missed too. The show will go on.
BT: What can fans expect in the near future from APW-LA?
HL: The same product, my product, nothing is gonna change.
BT: In your own words, tell me why fans should show up to the first APW LA show.
HL: Sit down and strap the seat belt in. Man, right now I would love nothing more to tell the whole enchilada, but I can’t. I my self should not have to justify why fans should come. My short time as a promoter should be justification enough. Do the math. Look at the history. We came from the marketplace and virtually nowhere. Everyone said GSCW becoming legit was not possible. Everyone said I couldn’t do it, I was just some dumb XPW mark kid, what the hell would I know about running a fed, I’m just a security guard, blah, blah, blah. We moved to Newhall, the same thing happened, but this time my own champion said I would never draw; my own locker room said I was crazy. They said the fed was gonna die in Newhall. Guess what? Fuck me, we did it! To be quite honest with you the first 4 shows were suppose to be the end. Whatever’s happening now is out of my hands. When it comes time to book the shows, I’m like a man on a mission. I shut down and get all weird and moody. I won’t settle for second best. Its like some thing deep inside me takes over. I know I sound crazy, but its true. Ask the staff that quit and they will tell you [laughs]. I am known to be real nasty; if you give me a half ass performance, your gonna get shit on. The fans don’t want to see half ass. . I don’t want to go to a show and see half ass. If I’m spending $11 for a show, $30 for food (I eat a lot), and $10 for gas, I had better get my fucking moneys worth. Show quality is terrible, recently. I think that’s safe to say. To sum it up, I have proven myself in the past, so I deserve a little bit of trust and respect. I just want enough so you the fans can continue to come to the shows and have fun. Lose your self, relax your mind, and let your conscience be free. Isn’t that why we watch wrestling, to have fun? On behalf of the [APW LA] staff and locker room, I would like to take this time to thank the fans for they’re continued support. Thank you for helping us grow to what is now known as All Pro Wrestling Los Angeles.
5 / 31/ 03
8 pm bell time
Legion Hall 507.
24527 Spruce St. Newhall, CA. For directions check out la.allprowrestling.com.
BT: Thank you for your time.
HL: No problem Ben, anytime. Thanks for coming straight to the source.