“I run SoCal, don’t get it twisted,” was how Scorpio Sky responded via twitter to the announcement of Kevin Steen winning the SoCal Wrestler of the Year Award. The fall out of Sky’s comments seemed to trigger a back and forth between Sky and Steen that received a lot of attention. After the initial “beef” settled down I approached Sky about doing an interview to explain his thoughts. What I got was over an hours worth of conversation with Scorpio Sky. In Part 1 of this interview, Scorpio Sky and I discuss the Return of AWS, what it meant to be the CWFH Television Champion for over a year, his twitter “beef” with Kevin Steen and his thoughts about Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.
J: I’m here with the premier professional athlete, from Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, none other than Scorpio Sky. Thanks for your time today Scorpio. The first thing I want to say is that last night I saw you at AWS show, terrific 8 man elimination match. What are your thoughts about the return of AWS and how did it feel to be in a match to determine the #1 contender?
S: I thought it was really good. I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for AWS because they were the 2nd place, aside from where I trained which was Revolution Pro, to actually give me a chance and booked me, so I have a lot of love for Bart and for AWS and for as long as they’ve been around. They’ve done a lot of really good cards over the years for Southern California and have done some good things. It was nice to see them come back, and nice to actually see them draw a crowd. I enjoyed it. The 8 man, there’s a lot of room for error with that type of match, but I think it came off pretty well. The people enjoyed it and it was fun. Too bad I didn’t win, but you win some & you lose some.
J: Fair enough. Now, for the better part of 2 years, you’ve been, more or less, thee guy for CWFH. After you won the television championship in Hollywood, we saw your career really take off. I don’t know if that’s a byproduct of winning the title, being in Hollywood, or just your hard work and determination. We saw you appear in TNA, WWE, and of course, there’s a lot of momentum going your way. What can you tell us about your run as the Hollywood Television Champion?
S: You know, a lot of times you hear that titles don’t mean anything in wrestling. I tend to think of it as getting an award. It’s just like an actor getting an award for doing a great job in a movie, it’s that type of congratulations, and they’re kind of giving you the ball and seeing what you can do and if you run with it. A lot of people don’t do well, and a lot of people hit home runs. Over the years we’ve seen examples of both. So, getting the opportunity I was ecstatic, very happy about it, and I thought I could do some good things with it. I don’t think I’ve really ever had a chance to have a strong, strong run with a championship. I was always; I had it taken away from me for different reasons, whether it was injuries, which was a lot of the time. I would get hurt. I hurt my back really bad back in 2008 – 2009 and in that time I was getting a good run in AWS and EWF, and even in PWG I was doing really well and doing good things. But then my back just, eventually, it was 2 crushed disks, my L2 and L3 were both completely crushed. I wrestled on it for about 6 months and I couldn’t handle it anymore so obviously I had to give up the belts and give up the run and you know, it sucked because when they give you the ball, it is so hard to get to that position. When you finally get to it, and you have to give it up for reasons like that, it’s the worst. I would much rather lose the Championship to the next guy that they’re going to run with. When I did it in CWFH and I was able to hold onto it for a year, I don’t think it was anything that was originally planned, I don’t think they said, “We’re going to put the belt on Scorpio Sky and he’s going to hold it for a year, and he’s going to do this and he’s going to do that.” I think it just came together, and the booking creative team changed in the middle of it as well, early on in it actually, and fortunately they were fans of what I was doing, and they were open to listening to what I would like to do and it worked out. I was fortunate enough to have a great opponent like Willie Mack to rival, I think that just made it all the better. When I finally did lose it, people knew it was a big deal and it was an emotion moment for all of us.
J: Talking about awards, in 2011, you were voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler in Southern California by voters over at SCU. This year, you received runner up honors for that award. You did have some commentary on Twitter in regards to these awards. These are fan based awards. Most of the people who are voting have no actual connection to pro wrestling. From a fan’s prospective, these fans who follow your career say “That’s one of the most outstanding wrestlers in Southern California.” This year the honor went to Ray Rosas, but you we right there behind him. You also had one of the top web votes in the Wrestler of the Year category. What does that mean to you as a wrestler, and does that change how you feel about the awards when sometimes the fans get it right and when they get it wrong?
S: I don’t really think there’s “get it right, get it wrong” everybody has their opinion; everyone is entitled to their opinion. I might think something is great that others think is trash. So I appreciate any, first off I want to say I don’t really get caught up in awards, and I’m not one of those people who worries about where they are on the PWI 500, whether I’m #1 or #491 or not on the list at all. I don’t worry about that sort of thing. It’s nice to be acknowledged in some way shape or form. I’d almost personally rather not be in the PWI 500, because, if I think about it, say if I’m #491 that makes 490 guys in the country better than I am and I don’t see it that way at all. The thing about it is, and people got a little upset at some of the things I was saying, but when I think about, I put it this way – if I’m going to give 10 years of my life to anything, why would I give 10 years just to call myself #2 or #3. I don’t feel anybody should do that. I haven’t dedicated my life, not just my career but my life to this, for all this time just to say, “Ya know, CM Punk is #1, and Daniel Brian is #2, and that would make Kevin Steen #3, and I’m probably somewhere 5, 6, 7 or 8.” No, I’m not going to do that. I’m always going to say I’m the best. You have Kobe Bryant. Everyone knows LeBron James is the best player in the NBA right now. But if you ask Kobe that, he’s not going to tell you. Kobe Bryant is never going to, and he shouldn’t, he shouldn’t have to. He doesn’t have to say he’s the best. He has his past, and what he’s doing now shows it. You shouldn’t have to dedicate everything you have to anything, and have to call someone else better. So, that’s how I think about it. People may not agree, some people do agree. I look around at my peers more so than what the fans think. I do care what the fans think; I definitely don’t want that to be misconstrued. If the fans weren’t here, I always say, we’d just be guys touching other guys in spandex in the ring. [laughs] To each their own. I do care about what the fans think, but I look around at my peers and if people in the dressing room are giving me that nod and saying “You’re the best” and they’re telling each other “Sky’s the best” and “I want to be in there with Sky over anybody else” that’s enough for me.
J: And you know, just to echo what you just said, I’ve spoken with guys off the record and they’ve said, “I want to have matches with Sky, I know Sky is going to bring me to the next level and help me be better in the ring.” So I think there’s a lot of acclaim, maybe unrecognized acclaim, for you that your peers share because there isn’t like a, hey this is the wrestlers who vote for the MVP like in other professional sports, this is pro wrestling where a lot of the attention is created by the fans and a lot of the media is reported by fans, not guys in the ring. Switching gears just slightly, getting back to the Twitter: I think what you said was pretty fair, you know the analogy to Kobe Bryant, why would Kobe Bryant say anybody is better than him. I think the passion and determination of any professional athlete is to be the best. Why would they be happy being #2 or #3, like you said? Kevin Steen, unsure if he was either joking around or serious took exception to your remark, there was a little bit of dialogue between you and Kevin Steen via twitter. I think more of it was in jest than in seriousness, but, as a professional who has given 10 plus years of his life to this, was there any real animosity between you and Kevin Steen or was it just for show to get people to talk?
S: You know, I’m going to say what I’m going to say, and people will take it and believe me and some people will say, “Well, he’s backtracking”, you can’t get around that. But the reality is I was just having fun with him. I think I was a little bit of an instigator and I knew it would kind of bother him and I think that’s why I took a jab at him. You know, if you can’t play pranks and ribs on the guys around you, it’s a lot worse in the past than it is now. Taking a few jabs at someone on Twitter is a lot worse than, ya know, taking a #2 in their bag. [all laugh] So, I think he did take a little offense to it, and it did elevate a little bit. He said a few remarks, I don’t quite remember what they were, but he did say a few remarks that I thought were a little, maybe rubbed me the wrong way. But [him and I] aren’t friends in real life or anything, we’re not enemies. And I think I told him that, “We’re not friends and we’re not enemies, and if there’s a real problem you can call me or I can see you somewhere and we can talk about it, or whatever you want to do.” You know, I respect Kevin Steen for what he’s done, but I’m not intimidated by him and I don’t really buy into the whole bad ass thing. I train and I’m around legitimate bad asses all the time, so I’m not intimidated by someone who plays one on indy shows. That’s not a knock at him, but that’s the reality of the thing. If there’s a problem, we can talk about it. If there isn’t a problem, we can move on.
J: You guys have shared a locker room in the past so it’s not like you’re complete strangers to each other. One of the reasons I thought maybe you got less votes than maybe a guy like Kevin Steen, or some of the others guys is that, I’ve noticed that your dates in PWG have diminished over the years. I looked and in 2010 you had a half a dozen matches, most of them tag team with Joey Ryan, last year I think you had 2, and this year so far, zero. Is there something that is keeping you from working with PWG or is it adversarial with you and the guys behind PWG, or is it just a matter of the dates don’t line up and the matches just aren’t there for you?
S: There’s a variety of reasons, to be honest… I’m going to be completely honest, the most recent time I left was just over money, and I didn’t feel like I was getting what I deserved. When there were guys on the show making 7 times more than what I was making, it’s just kind of ridiculous to me. So I just put it like this, “I don’t think you guys need me, but, this is what I feel like I’m worth” and I got it at some point. And then we kind of butted heads because they struggle with finances and they always seemed to have a lot of money going out and not enough coming in. Which is the story for a lot of independent promotions, especially now a days. So, it just doesn’t make sense for them and it doesn’t make sense for me. I don’t really have any heat with them and I don’t think they have any heat with me. I think we’ve just both gotten to the point where we’ve helped each other as much as we’re going to be able to help each other, and we don’t really need to work together anymore. When they approached me about coming back with Joey Ryan, I thought it would be fun. But that was another issue I had. It just wasn’t fun there anymore. You go back to the days of Frankie Kazarian and AJ Styles and B-Boy and all these guys, and the dynasty, and we were having a great time, everything was fresh and new. They were doing great story lines and we were all really having a great time. The dressing room was pretty close. Now a days you don’t have that. Everyone is really divided; everyone seems to be played against each other. There’s a lot of animosity. You have to go out and you have to kill yourself every single match, and unfortunately for the younger guys they go out and they get hurt a lot. They feel like they have to do that because they’re trying to keep that booking, they don’t want to get replaced, which happens to a lot of them. It’s really unfortunate.
I’m just really at a place where I’m not willing to go out … there’s just a difference between going out and busting your ass every single night and putting on a great match and going out and just absolutely giving a blow-off style match every night and that’s just something I don’t agree with. I don’t think you should give every single move you have and give your blow off style match with a guy you don’t have history with and no history moving forward with, that doesn’t make sense to me and I don’t think that’s how wrestling should be. If you do everything you have in the nothing match, then when you get a meaningful match, what’s the difference? That’s how it is with PWG. You can look at the opening match and they’ll do about the same thing as the main event title match and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of story line so much anymore. Going back to the awards, that’s why I thought that CWFH could have gotten the nod in that because PWG runs 6-7 times a year, something like that. We’re obviously, every month, producing weekly television, we’ve got a lot of story lines, we have a really big roster. So even if people think the wrestling in PWG is better, which I don’t agree with, for my taste, you know, there are a lot of different things when you’re building a promotion. There’s your draw, which obviously they draw very well, and there’s your story lines, there’s your mainstream attention, there’s growth. Guerilla has grown very well but I think they’ve kind of hit a stale mate and they haven’t gotten over that hill that they’re on right now. I think they’re at a really high point because everybody knows who they are but I don’t necessarily see them getting any bigger than they are, meaning I don’t think they’re going to explode but I think they’re happy with that. I think that’s what they want. So, to make a long story long, it’s not any animosity, we just don’t need each other and I wish them the best and I hope they wish me the best.
Continued in Part 2