Click below to read Ben Tomas’ interview with Logan X and B.S. Cohen. Click down for below.Recently I had the chance to sit down with Logan X and B.S.Cohen and talk about the return of MPW. This was a fun interview to conduct, and I have a ton of very fond memories of MPW, and there were questions I have been wanting the have answered for the past 8 years. Hopefully the readers of Socaluncensored will enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
BT: The first question is obvious. MPW closed shop 8 years ago, and is coming back this year. Why now?
LX: A couple of reasons. First of all, once your involved in wrestling you never really get the bug out of your system. I left the business in 2002 in order to pursue a career as a police officer. Kind of had to sever some ties with certain people. Not everyone in the wrestling business but it goes without saying there are some illegal things that can occur in conjunction with some of the things that go with the business. So in a certain aspect I was kind of forced to walk away when I did.
In December I was approached by Marlon Duarte who owns Psyched-Up Creative Media which is a production company amongst other things. We got to talking and he thought that my life story was interesting enough to do a documentary about. I can’t go into to many details about the project but as part of documentary I said that I would get back into the ring as part of a fundraiser which will help raise funds for our Police Explorer Program.
As far as it becoming an MPW show, that just kind of happened. Originally I didn’t want the show to be run under the MPW banner. I felt that it would give some people high expectations for the show because of what we had done in the past. Well a few people here and there find out about the show and the documentary because they were either getting interviewed for it or were booked for the show and the news starts spreading. It eventually leads me to talking to my old partner Barry Cohen who now actually has a degree in like live event production or something like that. In addition he owns Event Busters LLC which is now the parent company for MPW. So it just made sense. Hell, I miss it. MY partner went to school to study how to do this stuff. I’ve been a cop for 7 years and have numerous contacts with every city in this county now. Why not?
BC: In my case, we closed 8 years ago because there was a lot that needed to be done outside our MPW lives.. At that point I was working part time at the JCC for $8.00 per hour DJ’ing parties and in Pierce College. I knew I had to do something and I felt like I was on track to be the world’s oldest student at Pierce College, So I left for Vegas to go to UNLV to get my degree in event management and marketing. In MPW, we were having fun, but I wanted to learn how to run shows professionally. .
BT: The name of the show is,” Not Another Pointless Re-boot.” Is this to imply this show is the first of many?
BC: That’s our plan. It is a reunion and a re-launch. We would love to have a monthly
show. We are currently in talks with a few local venues.
LX: Yeah, we’re not doing all this prep work for one show. Depending on the draw in San Fernando we may be running there monthly after that. In addition we have a few other venues in Ventura County that we are looking at running. Also we may end up having a weekly television show that runs on the San Fernando City Cable Channel if I can work it out.
BT: Lets go back to the beginning of the story, which I suppose is Slammers. Would that be correct?
LX: I started with a group that came right after Slammers which was Southern California Championship Wrestling. I saw an SCCW show at Poly High School in like May 1998. I B.S. my way past the girl selling tickets at the front door who ironically enough would later turn out to be my wife. I watch my first live wrestling show and really enjoy it. Then I end up going to their next show which is at UCLA. The main event was Cincinnati Red and the Honky Tonk Man versus Yokozuna and The Sheriff Jess Hansen.
So I talk to SCCW about training and I go to one of their practices which was at the Grappler’s Den in Simi Valley. That was also the original Impact Zone, which was the Impact Wrestling Federation’s arena. The first day I trained with SCCW I was approached by Cincinnati Red who told me that I needed to come to the IWF workouts if I wanted to train with him. Remember I am 17 years old and I just saw him wrestle Yokozuna. The dude was bad ass. He even lived at the wrestling school in the back office which was so much cooler then living at my parents house.
I handed Red my life savings which was all of $500.00 to train and off I went. 6 weeks later I had my first wrestling match in Tucson, Arizona in a boxing ring at a Gray Hound Racing track while the dogs were running a race in front of like 15 people, outdoors , in a lighting storm. I wrestled Red for 2 minutes and had a great time just getting my ass kicked. From there I was off and running.
BC: For me it was UIWA. I was producing some shows for CSUN Hillel at the time under the name JWF (Jewish Wrestling Federation) called Hebrew Havoc and Shalom Slam. We rented the ring from them through one of the performers and I started working for UIWA and we started running UIWA shows at the JCC. UIWA was a learning experience and I had a great time and learned a lot. I was brought in when Doc Marlee came back to the UIWA as his assistant. I did not always see eye to eye on everything with him, however did bring me in and let me handle venue management and gave me an on-camera role.
BT: Take us from there, through UIWA, and the big split off with XPW.
LX: IWF and SCCW both ended at the same time. The SCCW brass was actively negotiating with Rob Black to form XPW. In the mean time Johnny Hemp, Doc Marley and Scott Harvey formed the United Independent Wrestling Alliance. They booked a series of show and had an agreement with Tim Fisher (Damien Steele) to use the old SCCW ring. For the first two shows almost every wrestler in Los Angeles worked for the UIWA. When the third show came about, Rob Black had pulled the XPW wrestlers from the show, and Rob would not allow Tim to rent the ring to UIWA. People were forced to choose between the two promotions. XPW wanted wrestlers to be exclusive to that federation, which was not advantageous for me, who was just trying to get booked as many places as I could. In fact over the next year, I wrestled over 50 matches for about 12 different federations.
BT: Is there anything you regret MPW never did on it’s first run?
LX: I regret that we didn’t make any money and that the promotion didn’t get television. All in all I felt it was a good run for a couple guys who didn’t know what they were doing. Also, I really didn’t get to book the way I wanted to because we lost half of our roster after the first show, due to UPW and Ric Bassman. I had Frankie Kazarian defending the MPW title against Little Guido from ECW, Frankie was one of the guys that got pulled from the show so that match never happened. A few years later I watched that match on WWE television and thought a smart man booked this.
BT: Barry, same question. Any regrets?
BC: Not a lot. We were having such a great time and for the most part, we were able to put on a great show without politics. Sure we had some issues like our champ not being able to work our show, but we just roll with it and do what we can.
BT: Since you just touched on it, I think it’s time for Jay Cal’s 1st question- How difficult was it to promote in SoCal at a time when XPW and UPW dominated the scene and prevented “their guys” from appearing on the MPW Cards?
BC: In regards to XPW, they were a different product all together. They had more of a hardcore edge to them. We had some of that but not every match. We even ran on some of the same nights. Don’t really recall XPW pulling too many guys from our shows. UPW was kind of a different story. I thought what they did to us was pretty unprofessional. Frankie Kazarian, was our champ and he was advertised to work the show. The publicity was already out and we found out pretty last minute. I do not blame Frankie at all. UPW was working with WWE at that point, however on UPW’s end it did put us in a good position at all. Unless you are under some sort of a contract, you should be able to work where you wanted.
BT: Which accomplishment are you most proud of from MPW’s first run?
BC: There were many. One of the biggest moments for me, was getting bumped from the West Hills venue a little more than a week before the show and still pulling it a huge crowd. We got bumped because the JCC needed more space. It had nothing to do with any damage or getting kicked out of the West Hills JCC, we never did get kicked out of there. This was a last minute venue change and I think XPW was running the same night and we still filled the joint.
BT: Logan, same question.
LX: The fact that the promotion is still widely recognized as something positive that occurred in Southern California. I’ve heard from several workers that were working back then and are working now, that we were the precursor to PWG and Ring of Honor as far as being an independent all star show.
BT: Looking back, is there anything from the first run you would have approached differently?
BC: Can’t think of anything. MPW was always about putting on a great show and giving a little something for everyone. Great matches, comedy, lucha libre and more. We are still going to try and follow that same formula
LX: Yeah, I was 20 years old when I ran that promotion. I went from being a guy that showed up everywhere with his bag hoping to get booked, to being the booker. I don’t think I had control over what happened as much as I should have. For example by the end of most of our shows a lot of the under card wrestlers were sitting in the audience, sometimes still in their gear, watching the show which will never happen at another MPW show. I would have taken care of some of the boys that really didn’t complain back then. For example Crayz and Faviano showed up to every show and worked whoever I told them to work with without asking questions and made my life easier. Those guys kind of got the shaft by the end of the promotion.
BT: Do you feel MPW’s first run ended prematurely and if so, why?
LX: It did in the aspect that our last show drew over 300 people, and then we just disappeared. The promotion wasn’t dead, but I was done promoting. I was in a serious relationship, and I wanted to solidify a solid career for myself. If we kept promoting we would have continued to build on our fan base
BC: Yes and No. I have always wanted to do some more shows or bring it back. While I was in Vegas, I was talking to the Lady Luck casino about doing shows at a certain point. Now things are great. I graduated and got married and started Eventbusters and we brought back MPW.
BT: A lot of people credit MPW with being the fed that inspired the creation of Pro Wrestling Guerilla. Any thoughts on that?
LX: I believe it was, mostly because Super Dragon said it was in an interview that he did for Socal Uncensored after PWG had been running for a while. ( http://www.socaluncensored.com/article135.html ) The group that started PWG initially wanted to restart MPW, but then decide to create their own promotion. I’m not trying to take away any of the success that PWG has had sine then, because they did that all on their own. And they have been very successful.
BC: I have not been to any of their shows except on the You Tube postings but I plan on going soon. I have seen some of the PWG footage via You Tube and they have done some great stuff. Sure there are some similarities, but I feel we do have a very different product.
BT: How did it come to pass that MPW was the first local fed to use Scrap Iron Adam Pearce?
LX: I had Christopher Daniels booked but he was leaving to go to WCW, John Cena was booked to be in the first MPW title tournament, but pulled out because he got booked in Saudi Arabia the same day. Adam Pierce had just moved to Southern California, so Chris Daniels suggested that I book Adam to replace John Cena in the tournament and I did. Were we lucky to use him first? Absolutely!
BT: On a related note, was it true that referee Aaron Hassan didn’t know that DDT on the floor was coming?
LX: Oh Aaron, Super Mario. Aaron had agreed to take a pile-driver on the floor from Adam Pierce, but when the time had come to take the move he fought with Adam and tried to get away. Adam hooked him in a front face lock, and gave him a legitimate DDT on the concrete. Aaron came up with a rug burn that ran the entire length of his bald spot. The moral of the story is don’t tell Adam that you’re going to do something unless you’re going to do it, because he’ll make yo
BC: Super Mario………Err I mean Aaron was great. Don’t remember very much about this, but if you are reading this, please call us.
BT: Stepping back into the local indy wrestling scene, I am sure you have gone to some local shows. What have you seen, and what was your reaction?
LX: The only shows that I have been to were a couple AWS shows, which were both a lot of fun. I enjoyed the hard work that the wrestlers were displaying , and just wished that there were a lot more people in the audience to enjoy it.
BC: I went to the AWS show last week. That was the first show I have been to in quite some time. It was a lot of fun and we saw some great stuff there. I also was at XPW CDIH.
BT: Did this help inspire the return of MPW?
LX: Not necessarily, MPW’s return was based mostly in part to the documentary being made and things just falling into place from there.
BC: I would run into a lot of fans from time to time and they would keep asking me “Are you going to run again?” I would say I would love to but I did not have a lot of the resources and we were off the scene for quite some time. At the XPW show I was at, I saw a lot of people I have not seen in a while and they were asking me the same question. Then fast forward to wrestle reunion a couple months ago and the same thing happened. Then after talking to Ric Drasien, I found out that Paul was planning on running a show. That really peaked my interest. After a couple conversations on Facebook, here we are.
BT: Looking at the card, I can’t help but notice that Jason Allgood is nowhere on it. Where is Jason Allgood?
BC: Jason is doing great. Not sure if he is still with Britney Spears though.
LX: Jason Allgood is probably somewhere in San Diego with is wife and his kid. If Jason Allgood called me tomorrow and said he wanted to work, I’d put him on the show.
BT: On a related topic, where are Ryan McBain and Lucky Pierre?
LX: Luck Pierre will be assisting with MPW as one of my locker room veterans. Ryan McBain I believe recently returned to San Jose. I offered him a spot on the show, but he turned it down.
BT: Let’s talk about some infamous MPW moments, for example, what was the story between Phenomenal Phil and Hardkore Kidd?
LX: I don’t exactly what the deal was, apparently during their match at some point Hardcore Kid put Phil in some legitimate control holds which was not part of their match. When Hardcore kid took Phil’s finisher he got pinned, 1 2 3, then jumped up immediately and walked out of the ring. I think he was upset that he had to job, but I can’t be sure.
BC: Phil was great to work with. I worked with him on several segments including the Dreidal shot heard round the world. People still ask me about that today. I think I have a fear of Dreidals now and we should do a MPW ban on them being used in the ring
BT: Would you have flown out Low-had you known he was going to refuse to put Super Dragon over?
LX: If that’s what we had agreed to prior to the day of the show I would have. When I book someone, I give them a guaranteed pay day, I assume they are going to be professional and do what the promoter asks them to do as long as it’s reasonable. When Low Ki showed up we discussed the outcome for the match, and he refused to put him over because he didn’t know him, and even said,” He might be a backyard wrestler for all I know,” to which I felt kind of insulted because I wouldn’t book that kind of match. I doesn’t help my promotion for this guy to come in from the outside and beat one of my performers that I am trying to build. So I told him that he would either have to go to a draw or he wasn’t going to get paid, and that’s where the finish came from. If that happened today he would have either put Super Dragon over, or he wouldn’t have worked.
BT: Here’s a question from Jay Cal- What about Los Cubanitos and the Beautiful People?
LX: The Beautiful People had apparently offended some people in Socal, and when they got into the ring with the Cubans they got their asses kicked. I don’t know what the heat was about, or if it was resolved after that. The Cubans did what they felt they needed to do which I was fine with because the Cubans were veterans, and The Beautiful People were new to the business.
BT: How about when B-Boy and Super Dragon effectively split the crowd down the middle with their feud, after B-Boy called out the Rev Pro fans as being marks?
BC: A Split crowd can be a good thing. It can really add to a match. I will say that we are all marks in some way. Just because we promote shows, doesn’t mean we don’t love the same things the fans do. We really did a lot of the booking for the fans. I am not to thrilled with calling another fed’s fans marks. A lot of the fans will go to other shows too, support the scene.
LX: The thing that I loved about MPW was that the boys were given the freedom to be creative. We wanted B-Boy and Super Dragon to wrestle, everything else that happened in that feud was all them. Watching from a fan’s perspective I enjoyed their work, and so did the crowd.
BT: Why do you think Super Dragon and Spanky never had another match anywhere after their match at MPW?
LX: I don’t think Spanky liked Super Dragon very much. I would say Spanky was the opposite of Low Ki in that he did what he was asked to do without complaining or letting personal feeling get in the way.
BT: Is there anyone you wanted to put on the reunion show, but were unable to get for one reason or another?
Adam Pierce was the first guy I wanted to book, but he had prior commitments with is family that day. Obviously Samoa Joe, Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, Brian Kendrick would be nice to have but they are all working for TNA. There are a number of guys I would love to have back, but they are not wrestling anymore.
NOTE- when this interview was conducted, Daniels was still under TNA contract-BT
BC: Yeah, a few. Some people are just not active anymore and unfortunately Byron (Tech IX) passed away a few years back, he was our champ and we miss him. On May 29th, you will see some new talent, current superstars and MPW Alumni.
BT: How did you guys land Rowdy Roddy Piper?
BC: I met him through Paul a few weeks back at one of his comedy shows and he was great. Real fun and inspiring.
LX: Roddy in I became friends in January when I gave him an award I received from Congress for distinguished service to the community as a police officer. Piper had always been the guy I had looked up to when I was watching Wresting when I was a kid and since I equate my time a s a pro wrestler with my current success a police officer I felt that I needed to honor my childhood hero by giving him my award. I got in touch with Piper’s agent through Ric Drasin, who’s wrestling school I am currently training at. She suggested that I give it to him onstage at the Hollywood Improv which I did. You can see exactly what happened onstage when the documentary is released, but I believe that it meant a great deal to Roddy because after the show he told me that as long as he was alive, he and I were friends which meant ever more to me.
BT: Are you guys planning to use any other big names like Piper on future shows?
LX: There will always be names associated with MPW shows, but I don’t think there are to many guys in the business that are as big a name as Piper.
BC: I would love to. In fact, up until last week, I was in talks with the old JCC about running shows there again. Unfortunately it did not pan out. My plan was to bring in the Iron Sheik during or around the one of the Jewish holidays. How great would it be, let alone the flyer “Come see the Iron Sheik, LIVE at the JCC” Without getting into too much detail, we are in talks now with some. Not sure if we can do it every show like the WWE and the guest host deal which I think is great. Some work and others not so well, but it something different every week.
BT: Is there anything you guys would like to say directly to fans who might be sitting on the fence concerning attending MPW on May 29?
LX: I would encourage anyone who is thinking about coming to show up. Tickets for the show are only $10 which is less then it costs to see a movie, you’re going to get a 3 hour entertaining show, You’re going to see a WWE Hall of Famer, and as always there will be several surprises that won’t be revealed until they occur during the show. If someone comes and they leave unfulfilled then they don’t need to attend again but I guarantee you’ll get your $10 worth.
BT: Barry- I’m giving you the last word. Why should the fans come out to MPW?
BC: On May 29th joins us for a great night with some great talent. MPW was always putting on a great show for the fans and we plan on continuing that tradition. We are also working on our DVD’s of the earlier shows which will be in our online store in the next few weeks. Tickets will be on sale online very soon. Please check out or website at www.mpwwrestling.com