Exclusive Interview With Gary Yap: Career Retrospective and Big Surprise! Part 2

By Oliver Saenz

As a storyboard artist, as a wrestling promoter and owner, and most recently as a member of cinema, Gary Yap continues to leave his mark on the world. From Emmy-nominated work on The Simpsons and King of the Hill to the still-controversial subject that is EPIC Pro Wrestling, Gary Yap sat down for a personal interview that soon turned extremely candid…but extremely insightful and especially heart-felt. My name’s Oliver Saenz, I go by the handle of PdW2kX, and I’m delighted to bring you the exclusive and hopefully long-awaited interview with Gary Yap, including a huge announcement that will likely bring some flare back to SoCal.Part 2

Section 2

Pro Wrestling WAR: Redemption. Sacrifice. Teddy Hart Going Insane?

Who first planted the seeds for Pro Wrestling WAR?

Well, once upon a time there was a young man named Anthony Maris and Anthony was a big EPIC fan. HA! Seriously, though, Anthony and I really hit it off initially because in addition to being one of the nicest and most honest people – if not THE most honest person – I’ve ever met, he was also a longtime fan who knew his professional wrestling history, which ALWAYS impresses me. Ironically, he was also a ‘victim’ of the whole EPIC: Wrestling Roots 2002 debacle. He would later tell me how he and his friend, Chuck, drove home that November 17th, 2002 night and talked about the EPIC show that never occurred. While a lot of people never forgave me for that night, Anthony always thought that … well … shit happened, and he got over it. Y’know, I think I even still owe him money.

What was Anthony’s exact reaction?

Knowing that I was going to be doing this interview, I recently asked him about what it was like for him and Chuck that night and what was going through his/their mind. He told me that he had been to his fair share of concerts throughout his lifetime and that – as I said before – he knew that sometimes shit happens. I’m not exaggerating, either. He just kinda shrugged and said that he figured that something bad had gone down, but that I had put on a bunch of really good shows – including a free show in September – and deserved the benefit of the doubt. I thought that was really nice of him. Anthony is a pretty forgiving person. I think that aspect of him has rubbed off on me throughout the years that we’ve been friends. Seriously, the guy doesn’t know how to hold a grudge, which I guess is a really good thing, right? I could go on and on about Anthony and what a positive force he is in my life but – eh – fuck ’em.

[Editor’s Note: Now that’s a friend.]

So, with a positive friendship already established, what happened next?

He hit me up on the IM one day and started asking me tons of questions, mainly about EPIC and if/when it was coming back. I told him that, while I would love to run again, the chances of me actually doing it were unlikely. But he stayed on me, the fucker. Seriously. HE WOULDN’T QUIT! He would be constantly talking about a whole new generation of wrestlers like Jack Evans and Austin Aries, going on and on about how they should be brought out to SoCal, especially because PWG didn’t seem remotely interested in them at the time. He would go on and on about EPIC and continued to be very encouraging about me running again. He offered ideas, suggestions, and was overall – as I said above – pretty fucking relentless. Me? I was still in my cynical phase, constantly hopping on and off the fence when it came to running. I finally told him that if he wanted Evans, Aries, and the rest of the folks he was suggesting to come to SoCal, he should just run a show himself. Shit, I – in turn – encouraged HIM to learn from MY mistakes and create something all his own. At first, I’m 100% sure that he didn’t take my suggestions seriously. However, time always has a way of changing things. Remember that.

When did things become serious, in regards from taking a few conversations and turning it into an actual pro wrestling federation?

It was during the Summer of 2004 when he REALLY approached me about running a show. I think everything I said over the course of almost two years had a chance to settle with him and after processing all of the pros and cons about running a fed, the boy just wasn’t gonna quit. Therefore, I figured he was serious and we went from there. It’s like a tattoo, dude. You tell someone not to rush into anything, but the truth is that they want that tattoo bad. Really bad. You tell ’em to wait and see if they STILL want the damn thing in a year. They wait. A year later, they’re STILL talking about that damn thing and you KNOW that if you don’t draw the damn tat, they’re going to go to someone else who will probably just take their money and skullfuck it all to hell. Well, I wasn’t about to let him get a shitty-ass half-finished tattoo. C’mon, man, have you SEEN those things? They’re NOT finished! It’s tacky as hell. The boy deserved a REAL tat!

[Editor’s Note: Gary Yap- American Ink? Smell those ratings, America .]

What was your initial role in the entire WAR process?

I told him that I would help him, but that it was IMPORTANT that the burden of the fed did NOT fall on my shoulders, which I guess was a double-edged sword with me because 1) I did NOT wanna be THE MAN IN CHARGE but 2) I was ADAMANT about everything being done MY way. Man, I’m pretty difficult, now that I think about it.

Was the federation always planned as “Pro Wrestling WAR”?

Originally, the show was going to be run under the EPIC banner and Pro Wrestling WAR was going to be a faction within the company. However, I had to come to grips with the fact that putting the EPIC logo on it would mean that – by default – I would have to bear a lot of the responsibility that I was so adamant about NOT wanting in the first place. I had no problem helping out, or even appearing on the shows, but it was very important that Pro Wrestling WAR not be looked upon as EPIC II, y’know? So there it is.

Let’s go through WAR’s history.

Since WAR lasted much longer than EPIC, it would take even longer to go over all that I encountered in that company. Start plug. Besides, let’s face it, a lot of the behind the scenes stuff that went on in WAR is available on the commentary tracks of the WAR DVDs. I GOTTA EAT, folks! Buy the DVDs (available exclusively at www.artoverlifestudios.com) if you want all the behind-the-scenes stories about each particular show. End plug.

[Editor’s Note: Buy the DVD’s, folks. Caviar and Cristal Wine ain’t cheap. But I digress.]

Did WAR flounder when it became a reality, or were things altogether smooth throughout the federation’s early life?

On November 12th, 2004, WAR had its’ first show in Santa Ana , California . I was pretty adamant (do you realize that I’ve said that word a lot in this section so far? Man, I really AM a difficult person to work with. I’m just gonna say that I’m challenging and occasionally stubborn) that the first show be a FREE show to make up for the Wrestling Roots 2002 show that never happened. Anthony begrudgingly agreed. HA! Sucker. Seriously though, the show went really well and we were both pretty happy with it. It was a really big moment for Anthony and, I think, one of those moments in ones life that really defines a person. You could see the sparkle in his eyes when it was all said and done. He was hooked. Yeah, there were some rough spots, but all-in-all it was a pretty good show, in my opinion, ESPECIALLY for a fed’s FIRST show.

11.12.04 FUN FACT – When it was my turn to show up unannounced during the Kozina/Sky match, I came to ringside with a woman I was dating at the time. Yes, she was hot. I gotta give her that. Anyways, I was so freaking nervous that when it came time to return backstage after the segment, I completely spaced out and left her at ringside. Needless to say, that relationship didn’t wind up working out. Shocking, huh?

While obviously not a financial success due to being a free show, WAR’s debut certainly seemed an emotional success. Did that trend continue?

On December 12th, 2004, we held our second show, which was an 18-man Gauntlet Match to determine the first Pro Wrestling WAR Champion. To the best of my knowledge, no SoCal promotion had ever attempted ONE long match that would last the duration of the entire event. It was a pretty chaotic show, made even more so by me accidentally starting the night by seeing Bo Cooper naked backstage.

[Editor’s Note: I feel dirty and unclean just thinking about it.]

DUDE! Talk about surreal! As if that wasn’t enough (and shouldn’t seeing Bo Cooper naked really be enough?), SO MUCH more happened, as well. Charles Mercury really shined that night and – in my opinion – took a step up to the next level, even holding his own against El Generico. A youngster named Davey Richards made his SoCal debut, facing his trainer, Tony Kozina. I appeared as the last entrant in the Gauntlet, dressed up in full Messiah gear, gimmicked thumb and all.

[Editor’s Note: Now that’s class, America .]

To top off the night, the legendary Blitzkrieg even came out of retirement to present Jack Evans with his Blitzkrieg gear and officially anoint him Blitzkrieg II. A surreal night, indeed.

12.12.04 FUN FACT – If ALL of the above wasn’t enough, none other than Ultimo Dragon himself was scheduled to make a surprise appearance at the show, but he arrived late, sick and backed out at the last minute. In what was supposed to be a nod to the 2002 Wrestling Roots non-show (which was originally scheduled to be headlined by Ultimo), Ultimo was supposed to run in on the final ‘match’ (and I use that term LOOSELY if I’m involved) in the gauntlet between Aries and I. He would come up behind me, I would do a slow turn, see him, shit myself, and proceed to get destroyed by the both of them, which would result in an easy win for Aries. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men…

So, despite some hitches, WAR seemed off to a good start. Fans of Jack Evans are well aware of what went down at WAR’s next show. Take us back to that night, Gary.

On January 15th, 2005, Jack Evans debuted as Blitzkrieg II and what was supposed to be a career-defining moment for Jack turned into a near-fatal nightmare. Not compensating for the new Blitzkrieg gear, he didn’t get the proper rotation on the Corkscrew 630 and wound up landing right on his head/neck, instantly blacking out. It was a pretty scary moment. We emptied the venue, called the ambulance, and he was taken to the hospital, where Anthony waited it out with him all night. He wound up being out-of-action for almost two months, but thankfully made a full recovery.

01.15.05 FUN FACT – That show featured a match between Babi Slymm and the Human Tornado in what was essentially a squash match that was supposed to become our next show’s main event. The original plan was for Tornado (who had been feuding for the past two months with Supa Bad) to pay tribute to Supa Bad, who had shoot retired from professional wrestling earlier that month. Slymm was to debut and, disgusted by Tornado’s ‘tribute’, cut a promo about how Tornado would never be taken seriously as a wrestler. It’s important to remember that at this time, Tornado had still NEVER won a match in SoCal, not only in WAR, but in ANY fed. That notwithstanding, he was still on the cusp of getting over huge, though. Anyway, the original plan was for Slymm to come off as militant – culminating in him calling Tornado a ‘House Nigger’ – and proceeding to beat the living shit outta him. Fast forward to the main event of Jack/Blitzkrieg II vs. Super Dragon. Jack was scheduled to go over and, upon celebrating with the crowd post-match, Slymm would hit the ring for a full scale attack on Jack and his ‘Wigger’ self. Tornado would then hit the ring to make the save, only to do a last-minute turn on Evans and join up with Slymm, where they would beat the piss outta Jack, unmask him, humiliate him, etc. Dragon would then rush the ring for the save, causing Tornado and Slymm to powder, and setting up Slymm/Tornado vs. Jack/Dragon for the next show. THAT WAS THE PLAN, AT LEAST!

But of course…

What ACTUALLY happened was something completely different. When Slymm showed up that day for the show, he had Vander Pyle with him, which kinda shocked me. I had told Slymm the booking plan a week before the show and he was all for it. However, now he was here at the show, deciding that he was ‘uneasy’ with the angle’s racist undertones and that he wanted Vander Pyle to actually be the one to cut the promo. I told Slymm that a militant black hardly held much weight if he was being managed by what was essentially the whitest of white guys. I explained there was a world of difference between Slymm calling Tornado a ‘House Nigger’ and Vander Pyle calling him the same. He was having none of it, though, which annoyed me. After all, had I known that Slymm was going to pull this last minute, I just would have booked someone else for the role/angle. We decided to go through with it, though, using Vander Pyle as the foil. Of course the effect was … different. Fast forward to the main, as Jack accidentally near-cripples himself and the angle is obviously called off at the last minute, with Slymm and Tornado waiting outside the building, anticipating the run-in. Again, the best laid plans …

Ironically, the very next day at the SCCW SoCal Supershow event, Tornado captured the RevPro Light Heavyweight Championship in one of his first victories EVER as a wrestler. Not sure what that means. Just a cool little fact.

So, in the span of a few months, we get an upstart federation that brings in a bunch of new guys to SoCal…but not without its fair share of controversy and near-catastrophe. Did things get better, or worse?

On February 13th, we had to move the show from our original venue (the Elks Lodge in Santa Ana , where we ran our first three shows) to the last-minute Anaheim Marketplace for a number of reasons. 1) Bo and I wanted to do a flaming kendo stick gimmick that we knew wouldn’t be feasible in the Elks Lodge and 2) the Lodge had been slowly raising our rental fee each month because of the language that Jason Sanders III and I would always use. Damn Elks. Dude, what can I say? I curse a lot. Yeah, I know that a lot of folks consider it ‘uncreative’ but I’ve found that it’s just easier for me to be … well … me. And I curse.

02.13.05 FUN FACT – More Bo Cooper nudity! So we did an angle at this show that saw me and my team (which consisted of myself, Bo Cooper, Joey EPIC, Chris Bosh, and Jason Sanders III) quit the fed and walk out on the show. We were scheduled to return at the end of the show, during a post-event Jack Evans promo, and tear shit up – blahblahblah – ending with us leaving everyone for dead and absconding with WAR Commissioner Glenn ‘Diablo’ McNeil’s wife. Of course in order to do this, we had to quit during our mid-show segment, then walk off and wait somewhere else in the Marketplace for our cue to return at the end of the show. We found a great spot where we could watch the show from afar while we waited. While we were waiting, Bo had to take a piss. Of course he didn’t tell us this and we weren’t paying much attention to him at the moment. Now lemme just say that Bo wears a lot of gear. So in order to take a piss, he has to strip off his shirt, his undershirt, pull down his tights, etc. Well, we all turn around and – in unison – see Bo stripped down from the back, peeing like a newborn in the woods. Bosh, without missing a beat, gets this incredulous look on his face and says, “Oh God, he doesn’t even look real. It’s like looking at a special effect.” I swear I thought I was gonna die from laughter, all the while Bo just turns to look at us watching him, with this look on his face like, “What?”

Nudity, wife stealing, slightly racist undertones, men nearly and accidentally crippling themselves…sounds like fun. What happened next?

Our next two shows – April 10th and May 27th, 2005 – were held at the Inoki Dojo in Santa Monica . If I had to choose, I would say that these two shows were the strongest shows that WAR ever did. It seemed that we had really trimmed a lot of fat from the shows by then and every match really meant something. We also, in my opinion, really started to come into our own identity by this time. These two shows featured some crazy shit, as well. You had a Falls-Count-Anywhere match between Jack Evans and Trent Acid that literally went EVERYWHERE, including outside the Dojo and onto a moving truck. Austin Aries defended the WAR title against Adam Pearce, who – based upon this match with Aries – wound up getting a shot at ROH later that year. Aries also defended the title against Ricky Reyes in a match that Aries, himself, would consider – at that point – his best match in SoCal. Hook Bomberry surprised ALL of SoCal (including myself, I admit) with an INCREDIBLE match against a young Davey Richards that wound up receiving a standing ovation. Tony Kozina and Scorpio Sky had a GREAT Loser-Leaves-WAR Streetfight. Markus Riot really began to come into his own, too, as he faced Jack Evans in an impromptu match that we had to book on the fly because of a no-show. Shit, we even had BOOBIES at the 4/10 show! C’mon, how can you not love boobies? BOOBIES!

[Editor’s Note: Indeed. Boobies.]

DOJO FUN FACTS – In addition to his amazing wrestling abilities, Jack Evans also has the uncanny ability to vomit on cue. No shit. So Evans comes into the Dojo with an immediate dislike for then-Dojo representative David Marquez, who – in Jack’s opinion – had completely ruined the 4/2/05 ROH show, because of his booking interference. ROH fans know EXACTLY what I’m talking about! Look it up yourself. No. Really. Go. So anyway, Evans is determined to ‘make a statement’ and proceeds to vomit in the ring not only after his 4/10 match against Trent, but after his 5/27 match against Markus, too, which causes Dave to lose it. Ahh, good times.

As those in the know…know, you left WAR soon after. When did this all go down, exactly, and what led to it?

After the May show, I left the company. Actually, I left more around June/July-ish. WAR had begun a weekly online program and – as I had feared would happen – the burden fell to me to not only oversee shooting it, but getting it edited and uploaded, as well, which I wasn’t too thrilled with. After two weeks of working 20+ hour days with no time to dedicate towards myself, my real job, or my family, I politely tendered my resignation and went off to other projects.

How did this affect WAR?

On September 2nd, 2005, Pro Wrestling WAR went on without me and I couldn’t have been happier for the company. It was great to see Anthony take the initiative and move on, as the company folding was the last thing that I wanted. My primary concern from the beginning was that I would be counted on TOO MUCH and that once I needed a break, no one would be there to take up the slack. Yet there they were – Anthony, along with our Announcer/Commentator Michael ‘Millhouse’ Zorilla now serving as Booker – moving forward. I wish I could say a few things about what it was like to be a part of WAR at that point, but since I wasn’t … I really can’t.

09.02.05 FUN FACT – I wasn’t there. I have no stories. What I can say is that if you’re not watching Rescue Me on DVD, what the fuck is wrong with you? It’s like the GREATEST SHOW EVER! I should also throw in props for Lost and Nip/Tuck, as well. I’m still two seasons behind in watching The Sopranos so I don’t feel confident putting that show over just yet, as if it needs ME to get over.

After about five or six months, you ended up returning to Pro Wrestling WAR. Why?

I returned to WAR for the October 21st, 2005, show because of one reason and one reason only – New Jack. After what he felt was a decent but unmemorable September show (his thoughts, not mine), Anthony wanted to really push the envelope and do something controversial. I had pitched the idea of doing something with me and Jack. Jack and I had started talking again and it seemed as good a time as any to do something crazy and – to many – somewhat suicidal. The original plan was for me to return to WAR in notorious fashion, but have New Jack debut one step behind me from now on – always one step closer to getting his hands on me – but never fully being able to do so. Jack and I figured we could play it out for a good 6 – 8 months until he would finally get me alone. Once the 10.21.05 show was over, though, Anthony completely changed his mind about the entire angle and dropped it, fearing for my safety.

How real was Anthony’s fear that New Jack would legit hurt you? To put it lightly, he does have some history in that field.

In my opinion, his concern – while appreciated – was completely unfounded. I’m gonna surprise a LOT of people with this statement, but I truly feel that New Jack is a LOT more professional than he’s made out to be. I’ve seen it myself, firsthand. Don’t believe everything you read because sometimes things aren’t what they really seem.

10.21.05 FUN FACT – Markus Riot really stepped up his game that night by facing Super Dragon. The funny thing is that for weeks leading up to the show, Anthony, Biggie, and Zorilla made it a point to tell Markus that Dragon was gonna legit shoot on him during the match. Dragon has a pretty notorious reputation for – how should I put this – working a little ‘snug’ with some folks. Needless to say, this really did a job on Markus’ fragile little psyche. Homeboy was scared! If that wasn’t enough, Markus was receiving heat from other workers (who will remain nameless) for facing Dragon in the first place. There were boys (in other feds, to be fair – not WAR) who felt that Markus didn’t deserve such a high-profile match, which is fucking retarded, if you ask me. The one thing we always tried to do (whether it was EPIC or WAR) was give talent the chance to step up their game and face wrestlers they normally wouldn’t get a chance to face elsewhere. This night was no different. Anyway, Markus entered this match extremely nervous, to say the least. He was, in fact, SO nervous that before Dragon had a chance to throw one blow in the match, Markus came out fighting – throwing stiff blows, kicks, elbows, and the like. If you watch the match, you can see Dragon completely thrown in the beginning of the bout. It’s actually pretty hilarious. Another local worker (again, who shall remain nameless) who is friends with Dragon wound up telling me that Dragon couldn’t remember being hit so hard, as he was by Markus. Needless to say, when all was said and done, Dragon asked for a rematch down the line. I can only imagine what kinda receipts Dragon has in store for the kid now.

Despite all the ups and downs, WAR celebrated its one-year history two months after the December show. How did the event go?

We celebrated our 1-year anniversary on December 17th, 2005, with a show that many consider our best all-around event. It featured not only fly-in talent like Kevin Steen, El Generico, Austin Aries, Jack Evans, and the debuting Low Ki, but really strong local talent like Super Dragon, Joey Ryan, Alex Koslov, and Aaron Aguilera. What was really cool about the show, however, was how the opening match between Markus Riot and Charles Mercury really wound up stealing the entire show, and I say that with absolutely no disrespect towards the rest of the card, which was phenomenal, to say the least.

12.17.05 FUN FACT – This show featured a No DQ match between Biggie Biggz and the Human Tornado, with the stipulation being that the fans would be the ones who decided – via applause – Biggie’s fate at the conclusion of the bout. This stipulation was actually a shoot, as Biggie was really looking to prove himself in WAR. I told him that if we set up this stip, I would have no choice but to do what the fans voted for, and if that meant that they thought his match was the drizzling shits, then he would truly be out of the fed. He knew that he had to pull out all the stops and – God bless him – he did just that. Keep in mind that he went into this match with the crowd SOLIDLY booing him, yet when it was all said and done, they cheered him enough to have him keep his spot in WAR. I was pretty proud of Biggie that night.

From the high of a one-year anniversary to the ultimate low: WAR’s unexpected end came about less than one month later. What happened at the show that wound wind up being WAR’s last?

On January 15th, 2006, we held what would wind up being our last show, although we didn’t realize it at the time. In retrospect, it’s too bad, because this show wound up getting WAR a lot of attention, mainly due to the always unpredictable Teddy Hart. Hart, along with Jack Evans, faced the team of Aaron Aguilera and former WWE Superstar, Keiji Sakoda. I’ve often thought of Aguilera as an untapped goldmine and this match was living proof of what Aguilera could become if he truly set his mind to it. What Super Dragon, Spanky, and Bryan Danielson did to put over Samoa Joe as a monster in the days of EPIC, Evans, Hart, and Sakoda did for Aaron in WAR. In addition, you had two standing ovation matches – Alex Koslov going one-on-one with (and holding his own against) Low Ki and Davey Richards taking on the vastly underrated Comic Book Nerd, Ryan Drago.

01.15.06 FUN FACT – Aguilera’s original tag-team partner was scheduled to be ‘Scrap Iron’ Adam Pearce. However, I got a call from Pearce the morning of the show informing me that he had injured his throat at an ROH show the night before. He could hardly speak. Sakoda was a last-minute replacement who not only knew Aaron from their days at UPW, but lived down the street, as well. To his credit, Sakoda fit into the match seamlessly. His sequences with Jack Evans were poetry in motion.

Tell us about the fallout from the January show.

Shortly after that, Pro Wrestling WAR shut down. I had returned specifically to work the New Jack angle and with it no longer even an option, I wanted to back off on the responsibilities that had slowly started to creep back onto my shoulders. The sad thing is that the 01.15.06 show had garnered us SUCH attention that word had really started to take off about the company. I had hoped that – like before – someone would simply step back into my shoes and keep everything going. Of course, all of this (and MORE) is detailed on the Pro Wrestling WAR: The End! DVD (available NOW at www.artoverlifestudios.com) so if you wanna know the WHOLE story, buy buy buy buy…

[Editor’s Note: Buy buy buy buy buy buy buy.]

Throughout it all, what were your best times in Pro Wrestling WAR?

Working with Jack Evans, including the chance to work with him on what would become – according to Jack – his personal favorite beatdown of his career thus far. I also loved being able to work with Team EPIC – Bo Cooper, Tony Kozina, and Markus Riot – a group of wrestlers who I proudly call my friends to this day. Discovering a young, shy, modest and naive kid named Davey Richards, who you KNEW from the get would go on to huge things. Being able to get Jack in the ring with his hero, Blitzkrieg. Being able to experience, first hand, the insanity that is Teddy Hart. I was also really excited to begin the program with New Jack.

Despite its relatively short existence, WAR was subject to its fair share of controversies. What did you really dislike in the entirety of your affiliation with the company?

Having my program with New Jack pulled by Anthony because he feared for my safety. Having to assume more responsibility than I intended to. Dealing with Altar Boy Luke. Quitting twice and watching nobody step up to assist Anthony the second time, which ultimately caused the collapse of WAR.

What followed after WAR?

What always follows a war? Peace. At least for me.

Section 3

Promoter, Entertainer, Jack-of-All-Trades: Gary Wraps Up His Feelings and Thoughts on the Wrestling Business

Did you ever see yourself getting involved “on-air” in wrestling shows?

It was actually Anthony’s idea to bring me in as a Manager from the beginning.

Did you enjoy actually being part of the action?

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I was physically nauseous at the first show. Go back and take a look at me in the ring. I was SO FUCKING QUIET. As time went on, I think I got better. At this point in time, I’m pretty comfortable on the mic and, quite frankly, SHUTTING ME UP is now a problem. I also curse too much, but I kinda said that before. I’m also fairly confident in my abilities to be an asshole – HA! Dude, I’m such a freaking attention whore.

Where are you at right now in your professional wrestling career?

For the past year, I’ve been honing my shooting and editing skills by working with various promotions around SoCal. I’ve done DVDs for Martin Marin’s WPW, as well as for Battleground Pro Wrestling. I’m also currently working on best-of compilation sets for everyone from Joey Ryan to Lil’ Cholo to Tony Kozina. I think there’s a Human Tornado DVD in the works, too. I really enjoy the production aspect of things, especially editing. Editing the WAR 1-year anniversary music video and the trailers is REALLY FUN for me! Remember what I said earlier about paying dues before starting your own company? Working with other feds in this capacity has enabled me to see a side of the business that I’ve never seen before; that I probably should have seen/done a long time ago. I guess you can say that I’m just doing my best to get my sponge BACK into the sink and have been working hard at soaking up so much more this time around.

Is there anything you would like to say to the companies and/or professionals you’re currently working with?

I look at guys like Lil’ Cholo, Infernal, R2K, Silver Tyger, and the rest of the WPW crew and have so much respect for their dedication. Unlike a lot of promotions that run once a month, these guys are out there every single week doing it in front of 20 people, or 20,000.

Looking back, was it all worth it?

The expected answer to this question is, of course. After all, my life at this point is almost perfect. I have a great woman who I’m madly in love with. We’re in our third year together and I honestly never knew that love could be this good. I have a wonderful family, a beautiful house, and a job that provides me with all the freedom and creativity that I could ever want. What else it there? Of course there are things that I regret and wish I could undo. Of course there are people that were hurt by decisions I made that I wish I could take back. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and if there was a way to fix all of those mistakes without changing what my life has become, I would do it all in a heartbeat. At this point in time, all I can do is my best to make sure those mistakes don’t repeat themselves, and that the people affected by my previous bad decisions know that I am truly sorry about them. Unfortunately, it’s not in my power to enable others to recover and move on as I have.

Part 3 coming tomorrow at midnight.

About the Author

The authority on wrestling and MMA in Southern California since 2001.