Tommy Wilson interview

Tommy Wilson (c) Digital Memories by Richard P. Strickland

After last weekend’s SoCal Pro show I had a chance to sit down with Tommy Wilson, who is also known as the Mega King in EWF, and talk about his long career. We discussed his start at the Lion’s Den, wrestling in Japan, the San Diego wrestling scene, his feud with Danny Limelight, how heels should act, and much more.

Tommy Wilson (c) Digital Memories by Richard P. Strickland

Tommy Wilson
(c) Digital Memories by Richard P. Strickland

Steve:   I’m here with Tommy Wilson after SoCal Pro’s “Title Turmoil.” As we do with most interviews, let’s start at the beginning. I know you started at the Lion’s Den, is that where you started your pro wrestling training?

Tommy Wilson: Yeah, in 2001 I started at the Lion’s Den. They were in Chula Vista, San Diego essentially. I actually went there because they had an MMA school and I didn’t know where to go so I figured I’m going to do MMA there and then try to get into the Power Plant for WCW. This was like 2 weeks before they shut down [Laughs]. So I figured I’d do that. I go there [Lion’s Den] and they actually have a wrestling school, so that’s great. So I start doing that instead of MMA and then the Power Plant shut down 2 weeks later. I was trained mostly by Oliver John, who’s now in NorCal, and I learned he trained Jeff Cobb too, which is pretty cool. Ken [Shamrock] was there occasionally but he wasn’t doing a whole lot of the time. He was going through his divorce and Vernon White was there doing most of the MMA stuff.

Steve:   Was there a lot of people in the wrestling school there?

Tommy Wilson: No, there was like 8 of us, total. I was the only one who actually graduated from it. There was a guy, he ended up wrestling under the name Pumba in San Diego. He was on  some of the shows that I ended up running after WCWA went out of business. There were two other guys that did a couple of shows for EWF at the time but no ever ended up doing any more than that.

Steve:   Yeah, I think you’re the only guy I remember ever…

Tommy Wilson: Three of us ended up working shows and I’m the only one that continued going on.

Steve:   Then you went to UPW?

Tommy Wilson: I initially went to EWF. B-Boy came through at Lion’s Den and so did Threat. You remember Threat. They both came through. I met B-Boy there and Threat there. So I started March 2001, I met Threat some time over the summer and then we shut down in December and we were told we were going to get a new building and then about 3 or 4 months went by and it never happened and then I ran into Threat at a 24-Hour Fitness at 3 in the morning. They were like, “What’s going on?” I was like, “Not much, just trying to stay in shape until we get a new building” and then he told me about EWF. It was like Friday night at 3 in the morning and they were like “just come to our 9:00 session in San Bernardino.” I went there, did EWF for a little while and then I met Brian Kendrick there and he was like, “Go to UPW, it’s so much better.” I ended up going to UPW about 2 months after EWF.

Steve:   Who was your first match with? Was it a UPW match?

Tommy Wilson: Depends on who you ask. My first actual match was at the Lion’s Den against Oliver John on an MMA show. We were the intermission pro-wrestling match so it technically was a pro wrestling match but he kind of beat the crap out of me for about 10 minutes. He beats me up, I hit a cross body off the top rope, he rolls me up grabs the trunks. Then he beats me up a little bit, whips me, head scissors, send him home, they were all happy with that. We just want to make sure that we didn’t expose anything because they were there to watch MMA. And then my first actual indie match was me and Iceman John Black against Kahuna and Frankie Kazaria at an EWF show. I think somebody didn’t show up and I had my gear. That was EWF in 2002.

Steve:   I think I first remember you at a UPW light show and then I heard you’re from San Diego. We are  at a UPW light show and I was like “this is crazy”  because it’s so far from San Diego and it’s the first time seeing you up there.  Maybe CCW was shut down by that point, I can’t remember.

Tommy Wilson: I actually tried to get into CCW when I was like 16. I called Charles Steel.

Steve: Yeah, Charles Gibbs.

Tommy Wilson: Charles Gibbs. I called him, left a message, never got a call back because I saw something in the newspaper, it was like, “Call here, come be a pro wrestler” so I called him, never got a response and just went, “Ah, whatever.” I just finished up high school and then signed up to the Lion’s Den, so CCW is where I would’ve gone initially if he’d called me back. Then I didn’t even know about WCWA, they didn’t have a school but they were running for a while. I found out about them in flyer, at like a 24-Hour Fitness after I’ve been at UPW for a while.

Steve:   WCWA was real hot for-

Tommy Wilson: Oh, yeah, they were hot. I was there kind of towards the tail end. Babi Slymm was like super over, but it’s because all his friends would show up. He would draw in 100 people by himself so they were smart enough to put him on last, get all his friends in there and get them drunk then they’d watch the whole show; you put him on 3rd, it would’ve have been empty by the main. I found out about them in 2003 and then started there, sucks because it was only like 2 blocks from my house and I had no idea it was going on at the VFW out there.

Steve:   Were you at the one where that fan jumped in the ring with John Black?

Tommy Wilson: Oh, no. I was the one where Pearce got into it with a fan and the whole locker room emptied out.

Steve:   Yeah, that was pretty crazy too. With the John Black, the locker room didn’t even need to empty. He destroyed that dude. It was one of Babi Slymm’s friends I think or whatever. He was drunk, jumped in the ring-

Tommy Wilson: That’s right, because Slymm was wrestling Iceman [John Black].

Steve:   Right, yeah. I think it was like an Iceman John Black and maybe a Joey Ryan match. He jumps in, Iceman obliterates him, tosses him out of the ring, the dude went like head first, right into the ground. It was pretty crazy. Moving on from the greatness of Iceman, with UPW, I know you went to Zero 1 in Japan; how was that experience?

Tommy Wilson: That was amazing. That was actually one of the flukiest incidents too. Andrew Hellman was supposed to go. He got injured in a match so they sent one of the Japanese guys out here to wrestle Hellman at one of the Road War shows or whatever that the Ballards are running. Hellman got injured, they offered to sponsor Joey Ryan and he didn’t have a passport. He’s like, “Sorry,I don’t have a passport.”  This is like a week before. So [Rick] Bassman [UPW promoter] calls me, asks if I have a passport, I said, “No, but I’ll get one.” I drove up to LA to get it expedited, got it the day before I left.

Steve:   You wrestled [Shinjiro] Otani?

Tommy Wilson: Yeah. The first night it was myself and Tony Stradlin against two guys, one was a monkey, the guy swears he was a monkey, had a tail and everything. Night 2 of that trip it was myself and Ma’koa the Hawaiian Warrior against Otani and another guy that I can’t remember. He was a legit shoot fighter too. They didn’t speak English, we didn’t speak Japanese so we’re calling the match, we go through everything, we think we have it down, we get in there and Ma’koa fucks up the first spot and I can see Otani is livid. I weighed 175 pounds at the time and I’m like, “I’m about to get the shit kicked out of me.”

He tags in that MMA guy and I get in there and we do some hold on hold, the guy I think realized that I could roll around a little bit because I wrestled in high school. I did some MMA at the Lion’s Den, not enough where I’d say I’m trained but enough where I knew some arm bars and leg bars and stuff, so we’re rolling around a little bit and then he gave me a little bit more and I finally hit a moonsault, the place popped, it was like, all right, we’re good and then Otani gave me a little bit more and I ended up getting over as the baby face, which I wasn’t supposed to. It was completely accidental but they dug me and they called me “moyashi” which translates to bean sprout. 6’5, 170 pounds. That was a great experience. It was fantastic.

Steve: Did you just do the one tour or did you go on a second?

Tommy Wilson: I went back a second time too but on that tour it was all new guys. It was myself, Al Katrazz, Oliver John, Tony Stradlin, Ma’koa and a guy named Sabbath. Monstrous guy. I don’t know how he didn’t get brought back.

Steve:   I was in Japan in 2007, I think, and we went to a Ribera Steak House, everyone goes there of course, and it was funny because there was a picture there, Rick Bassman and I don’t know if you were in the picture or not, but it was all SoCal guys.

Tommy Wilson: I probably was. We all had the white Puma jackets on?

Steve:   I don’t remember who was in there, it was so long ago now, but it was just, in my mind, here I am, and here’s all these SoCal guys and Rick Bassman on there, of course he’s front and center in the picture.

Tommy Wilson: Johnny Yuma went out years after I was there and he was at one of the bars and there was like a photo of me up there with the belt on me they made for me which was the bean sprout championship which was two little bean sprouts wrapped around each other and they made it as a joke. They were just kind of ripping me a little bit. I was lucky because Kendrick was there the second time and I’ve known him from UPW and I was like what should I do with this. He’s like, “you’ll have to pretend you’re Rick Flair, just run with ir” and that’s what I did.

Steve:   Did anyone ever beat you for the belt?

Tommy Wilson: No, I still have it.

Steve:   Oh, you still have it at home?

Tommy Wilson: Yeah. Everyone on that tour was there for a few weeks and then I never got brought back after that. Otani did not like me because I got over in a match with him as a face and he was pretty pissed off about that. Hashimoto loved me and Nakamura, I don’t know what his first name was, he was the owner, he loved me and then Hashimoto died and Nakamura ended up getting removed from power and Otani took over. He didn’t want me there so I ended up losing that.

Steve: UPW shut down not too long after that, I think.

Tommy Wilson: I mean it went on, that was 2004, 2005. UPW has like two more years I think.

Steve:   I don’t think they were really doing shows too much.

Tommy Wilson: When I got there they were running every other month, maybe every third month at the Galaxy and then at the Grove too and then sometime around 2005, 2006 they were moving to Orange County and San Clemente and we were doing shows there. I think we only did 2 or 3 at the gym but that’s because Bassman was doing more MMA stuff with Valor.

Steve:   Yeah, he transitioned more into doing stuff with Valor Fighting.

Tommy Wilson: There was one show I went just to hang out. There was like 2000 people there. It was really good.

Steve:   Yeah, I know. This is before we really had any MMA stuff on SoCal Uncensored, you know, we would put some stuff on there for it and it was like, we don’t really cover it, we don’t have anybody that’s really good at covering that stuff.

Tommy Wilson: It wasn’t really popular back then. UFC hadn’t really taken off yet. It was picking up some steam. I think he was trying to get it on the ground floor. I think he knew it was going to get big. It’s just things didn’t really work out the way he wanted.

Steve:   Yeah, Bassman doesn’t get the credit he deserves when it comes to MMA. After UPW shut down you mainly wrestled in the San Diego area-

Tommy Wilson: Yeah, UPW shut down in 2007, I got married right after that and was working full time so I took some time off and just healed up, I was pretty banged up. The first 5 years I was hurt all the time. I was so small that every drop really hurt. There was never a time when I wasn’t injured, not like broken legs but my ankles would always hurt, my knees would always hurt, my neck always hurt. I took some time to heal up and then I did some NWA Hollywood stuff.

I don’t even know who was in NWA Hollywood or whatever it was at the time, but it was like when you’re on Mav TV and then Pearce was the champion, Young Bucks were on those, so I was doing some stuff there but those were sporadic and then Pearce came down to SoCal Pro, he was working a program with Slymm here and told me to just come down. I didn’t even know about it and he was like, “Just come down.” I kind of grew tired of wrestling down here. When WCWA shut down, DJ Medina, DJ Anderson, whatever his name is, he kept running as WSW and he was going to build it around me because the building was 2 blocks from my house, so all my friends would show up so I was going to be Slymm 2.0.

Steve:   Right.

Tommy Wilson: He knew that. I wasn’t ready for it but he was like, “You’re the most over guy we got.” Then he gets thrown in jail for embezzling like 10 grand from a Weinerschnitzel immediately afterwards so it was like, that was the end of that. One of the other wrestlers named Mr. Smalls had inherited some money. He’s like “just keep running, we have the building, you’ve got the belt, let’s fucking go.” We start bringing some UPW guys down like Lil’ Nate, Hellman, Lionheart. They were wrestling shows for a little while but that was rough and I hated it because I’m champion and now I’m the promoter. First thing I did was take the belt off of me, to I think Hellman and then Oliver John. Then DJ gets out of jail then he cost us the building and that’s how it got shut down.

Then Mike Rapada was running and that was a fiasco. He was a great worker but he’s insane. There’s something wrong in his brain. He was booking matches by flip of the coin. Say we do a whole tournament, “Let’s flip a coin.” Then at the end he would go over on whoever won, so he still won the tournament without getting involved in it.

Steve: [Laughs]

Tommy Wilson: We ran that for a little while, when DJ gets out of jail he ends up getting us kicked out of the building because he was mad we were still running without him and then Rapada came around, that was a fiasco so I was really sour on San Diego wrestling after DJ and Rapada so I heard SoCal Pro was running but I thought it was still Rapada related somehow because I think Jeff [Dino][SoCal Pro promoter] was doing the website for Rapada so I just thought “same guys, fuck this.” I’m very happy not doing much of anything, but Pearce was always a better judge of character than me. He’s like “come down.” So he brought me in and I started working here and I’ve been here ever since. I think that was a year in to SoCal Pro being around.

I’ve been on every show minus a couple with injuries ever since then. Then about a year after being here I got back with EWF. There was a promoter named Herb Kraft who was booking EWF and Portland for WCWC, West Coast Wrestling Connection, with Jeff Manning who’s doing Paragon Pro out in Vegas. They got a connection so I ended up meeting Herb, he wanted to put me up in Portland so I did that then I got put in EWF, which Jake [Alexander] didn’t want me there at all at first, and then we would just gel with each other, same kind of style thinking. We got a long really well and I had a pretty good run there, still there obviously.

Steve:   Yeah, San Diego is kind of like, for a long time it was like a real-

Tommy Wilson: It was cursed.

Steve:   … a dark place.

Tommy Wilson: And it really sucks because I hated driving up to LA. I mean I don’t mind, it’s not too bad but it sucks when there is nothing local to do and I’m always making a 3 hour trip to go to a show or get to train because I trained San Diego for 8 months and then I’ve been training in LA ever since. Even towards the trail end of UPW I was teaching at the OC Dojo Center. That’s an hour drive from my house. It’s nice. Jeff has this school in Escondido which is just 20 minutes away, it was nothing.

Steve:   SoCal Pro was the first steady San Diego fed…

Tommy Wilson: Yeah. Then New Wave came around, which was run by Anchors Away and they did a pretty good job considering, but they were in kind of the same spot I was when I was running. I don’t think they really wanted to run it. FCW has been running around for like 6 or 7 years too, it’s just it didn’t get hot until they started booking Lucha Underground guys recently.

Steve: I think, the first time I remember noticing them or hearing about them is when they had the Young Bucks on a show.

Tommy Wilson: Yeah. Well, that’s where Gus [Parsons, FCW promoter] and I got our heat because he booked the Young Bucks. I think there was like 50 people there, but I made a comment about that and he got pissed off.

Steve:   Oh, you said something about their draw?

Tommy Wilson: Yeah, it was like you have the Young Bucks in your main,  it was against B-Boy and SoCal Crazy. How the fuck do you have 50 people? That’s not on the wrestlers, that’s on you. That’s where Gus and I started not liking each other … Because I’m very prone to say stuff. I mean I don’t have the notoriety that a guy like B-Boy does, but I have been around for quite a while and I’ve trained with guys like Brian Kendrick and Marty Elias. I have done stuff so I have a decent understanding what works and what doesn’t in wrestling. I’m not just some greenhorn coming up, going, “Oh, but here’s what I want to do.” That’s where the heat initially begun. That started the war between Gus and me.

Steve:   I was going to ask about that.

Tommy Wilson: I figured you were going to get to that eventually.

Steve:   Well, I don’t know how much there really is to it.

Tommy Wilson: I mean, let’s put it like that, him and I have since talked, we’ve resolved our issues. We actually sat down and talked about it and I told him where I was coming from and he told me where he was coming from and in all fairness of me, it was a dickhead move of me to go, “Hey, man, you only drew 50 people for the Young Bucks.” I didn’t need to say that, there was no need, there was nothing productive about that comment. It was just me being an asshole. He had every right to be pissed off about it.

However he took some things that I was saying about Danny Limelight, who I don’t get along with at all because he was training here, he was just idiot, and he took some of those and he thought I was talking about FCW as a whole when it was just really directed to Limelight so he kind of took some things personal. I like FCW existing. I don’t want to work there because I don’t really care for Gus as a person so I’m like, “I don’t want to work for you and that’s fine. You don’t want to book for me, that’s great too but I want you to exist because our students are getting bookings there.”

They’re going to learn and they’re booking these Lucha Underground guys so they’re going to get rubs there. They can watch Pentagon or watch Chavo Guerrero wrestle live and you learn a lot from that. We get Honky Tonk Man on the Del Mar Fair Show every year and he’s like 65 years old, doesn’t do anything but I feel like everybody always comes away a little bit smarter as a worker, and just go, “Man, he’s so over. He doesn’t do anything, he looks terrible but he still more over than most guys.” I feel like people can really learn from that.

FCW being around is good for that, it’s good for San Diego wrestling as a whole to have as many companies around, because LA’s got like 10 places, plus with lucha. There’s a lot in LA and San Diego’s never had more than like 2 or 3 at a time so it’d be great if you know, SoCal Pro can stay hot, FCW can stay hot. OWA, I think Baja Stars, I don’t know how long that’s been around, I just heard about it recently.

Steve:  I’m not sure how long they’ve been around but they draw pretty good but for some reason they keep running the same nights SoCal Pro runs.

Tommy Wilson: Tonight is a bad night to run just because PCW has a pretty solid card up in LA, you got NXT going on, UFC with McGregor. I feel like it was a pretty good draw considering.

Steve:   Some wrestling fans are going to go watch NXT or UFC over an indy, so what can you do? You guys booked your show months in advance and then you don’t know what’s coming up on those dates.

Tommy Wilson: I feel like that’s on the promoter, I mean I think Jeff is one of the better promoters to work for, but I still feel like you have to look ahead and go, “All right, what’s coming up?” Like you should look and know before you book your dates and see what is the best day to really run as far as competition goes, because I think, last year him and I sat down I was like, “Do not run against the Padres because just brought in Matt Kemp.” They looked like they were going to be good so I was like, “Try to run when they’re on the road. Don’t go against them at home because they’ve got some good promotions coming on Saturday with giveaways and just trust me.”

Steve: Sadly that didn’t end up being much of an issue. {Laughs]

Tommy Wilson: Even last year they fell apart pretty quick. I think promoters need think about ways that will help, and obviously not running against other San Diego feds. Obviously FCW and SoCal Pro should never run on the same day because that would just be idiotic, but try to not run against some LA shows too. I would never want to run against PWG for Christ’s sake.

Steve: You think SoCal Pro and PWG are pulling from the same crowd though?

Tommy Wilson: I don’t think there’s that many PWG fans that would come down to a SoCal Pro show but you just never know. It might be 2 or 3 people and it’s still 20-30 bucks you’re losing out on, that you could have made if you ran a week later or a week sooner.

Steve:   Going back to Danny Limelight, I know that there’s heat there…

Tommy Wilson: Yeah.

Steve:   Weren’t you one of his trainers? Wouldn’t you want him to have success as it reflects back on you?

Tommy Wilson: I’ll say this right now, I would never take credit for being his trainer as a whole because I don’t like his attitude and the ego that he has. So if somebody asks I’m like “yes, I technically taught him the fundamentals. He doesn’t represent what I would want out of a student.” He’s very talented and that’s what bothers me about him, it’s he thinks that we all hate him here and think that he sucks but we never did. I always thought he was fantastic. Obviously, he’s very athletic.

The problem that I have with him is he doesn’t understand the fundamentals of wrestling and he relies too much on jumping off the backboards. Watch a match with him and Douglas James. Douglas James is a very well trained, small pro wrestler who’s fundamentals are fantastic; everything looks great. I don’t see that in Limelight and that’s frustrating to someone who did help him that he never put that together. He ended up going on a losing streak right off the bat which we didn’t know, it was never planned and he came up to me, so he started in October, he comes up to me in March or April, he goes, “I never won a match.” I was like, “So? That sucks.”

I was talking to Jeff and said he’s never won, and Jeff said “didn’t Ricky Mandel have a losing streak starting”? I was like, “Yeah. What if we put them together?” What if we put them together, Limelight and Ricky … We build from April, which is the anniversary show, and then to Super Clash in September. What if you build towards those two and have Danny win his first match against Ricky and put the parallels together; this guy who took a year to get a win versus this guy who took a year to get a win, have that cool story. We were doing that originally.

So we’re building towards that and Danny was just getting frustrated and over that whole Summer of 2015 he’d hit me up everyday. He these ideas and they were fantastic which sucked because he’d have an idea and go, “Oh, what about me and the main event of this show.” Well, Mike Camden is in that spot, or Ju Dizz is in that spot or so and so is always in that spot because we already planned for certain guys and he didn’t realize his size kind of hindered his progress comparatively because when Ju Dizz is, he’s standing right behind us right now, is 190, 200 pounds, Danny Limelight is 140 pounds so it’s harder to book a smaller guy into a main event spot. Even though he was over and a lot of his fans, a lot of friends were showing up and he was getting good reaction it’s still hard to put him over. 280 pounds versus 140, 150 pounds doesn’t make sense in the storytelling that goes on here. It’s not PWG where there’s more small guy kind of stuff.

So he was getting frustrated, he was pitching me all these ideas and I’m like, “Just put them in your back pocket and maybe we’ll use that later. Maybe you can use it somewhere else. It’s a good idea but it might not work.” He was slowly getting more and more frustrated and then finally he went out and won a match I think at UEW and he’d been told, “Go work other shows do not win, I want the first win to be here no matter what.” He knew that, still won a match somewhere else and got heat for that.

He was like “you guys never told me that” but he was booked to win and FCW and he called me, he said, “Hey, man. Gus has got me beating Douglas James and Corey Jackson.” So I told Jeff I’m like hey, because I’m not going to call Gus, tell Gus what the plan is so Jeff calls him, takes care of it, but then he goes on UEW and won a match anyway. I don’t know if it’s a Napoleon complex, because his size, he needed to win, he wanted it bad and he kind of jumped the gun on that, so he did get heat for that.

I think a week before he won that match he showed up at one of Ryan Kidd’s training sessions and I was supposed to teach that night and he loved working with me because I’d focus on psychology and Ryan Kidd would do squats and stuff and the training was more a Japanese style. He didn’t like that. Danny’s obviously in good shape so he doesn’t need to be doing squats but he still showed up and didn’t realize from an etiquette standpoint he just needed to just finish. So he leaves 10 minutes in, tells one of the other students, “Hey man, fuck this, I don’t need this, I can’t learn anything from that Ryan Kidd.” Obviously, that’s not the right thing to do. The guy that he told happened to be Ryan’s roommate, which he didn’t know, so obviously Kidd found out, so then Danny told the other student “I’m going to fucking beat the shit out of you” in like text messages and all that and he’s in the Marines. It’s like look, you can’t do that.

We try to run the schools as a business so there’s no, “Hey, you fucked up, we’re going to beat the shit out of you.” That’s never been tolerated here so that was really what lead to him being kicked out. It wasn’t necessarily about the win but that’s what he always focused on. “Oh, I won a match and that’s why I got kicked out.” Or he tells people that I’m trying to hold him back which was never true. I won my first match in a year here tonight, which is ridiculous if you consider the fact that I’m the second biggest guy behind Anthony Idol, so it should be pretty easy to book me in a win, but it just doesn’t pan out that way. It’s the way the booking went.

It frustrates me that he runs his mouth about being held back when he’s less than a year in. You can’t really get held back especially when you’re that size. That’s really all that is.

Steve:   The trash talking after he left-

Tommy Wilson: The trash talking happened, so Jeff, first of all I didn’t kick him out. I don’t run SoCal Pro. I pitch ideas to Jeff, ultimately Jeff makes the call on everything. He kicked Danny out on his own. I called him because when I found that Danny won the match it was like 3 weeks before the Super Clash show with Ricky so I was calling Jeff to be like, “Hey, man, let’s have him lose for another year.” That’s the punishment, he’s like “no, he’s gone.” I’m like, “What?” When Jeff pulled him, Danny goes online and he posts, “Hey, guys, just letting you know there’s contract dispute with SoCal Pro so I’m not going to the next few shows.” I’m like, “Dude, come the fuck on. No one thinks there’s a contract dispute between a guy who just started a year ago.” I was like, “Shut the fuck up. You did things you weren’t supposed to, you got kicked out.” That’s where the back and forth started.

I took a few things personal because I took a lot of time to try to help him out over the Summer of 2015. I was like, “I understand you’re losing, that sucks. I understand you’re in the Marines and you’re used to being in charge and all that, that sucks. There is a plan for you, you’re going to get your due, you just got to be patient.” I gave him more due than he deserved for a guy who’s been around a year. I was just frustrated with him.

When he’s posting little things like, he posted a photo of him and Johnny Yuma and writes “you are the only guy who believed in me when everybody else turned their back on me.” I’m like we didn’t turn our back on you, I never turned my back on you, you got kicked out, it’s like getting fired from a job. You fucked up, that was that. I started taking little shots at him about his Twitter followers all being fake. That’s another one too, so he did all follow trends to get his Twitter followers up to 5,000 followers so he can get a Prowrestling Ts store. Whatever, that’s fine. He wants to make money, that’s cool.

A buddy of mine from UPW, he’s a fan now, called him ou, he’s like “Yeah man you’re doing all those follow trains.” He said “What are you talking about man? All my followers are real” … So I messaged my friend privately “he’s green, don’t worry about him.” I go to Danny I’m like “just shut the fuck up. Clearly you’re doing follow trends, we all see it on your Twitter. It’s fine, just own it. You’re doing it to get 5000 followers to get your t-shirt store, that’s fine, you want to sell shirts. I don’t care but don’t call yourself a social media God when you’re a year in and you have all fake Twitter followers.”

It’s just little stuff like that where I think he puts his foot in his mouth and him threatening to beat up one of the other students I think looked bad on him as a sergeant or whatever he is in the Marines. You have to have a little bit more class than that.

Steve:   Moving on from Danny Limelight; you’ve been around …

Tommy Wilson: 16 years.

Steve:   16 years so you’ve seen the SoCal  pro-wrestling scene completely pretty much transform in that time period; what are your thoughts now versus how it was 2002?

Tommy Wilson: I think it’s a lot better than it was. I remember working a show with Kazarian and Kendrick and they were just so frustrated, they were like, “man, I hate the SoCal Pro indie scene.” I had no idea what they were talking because I was new and everything was great it was like “oh I get to wrestle every weekend.” Now I look at it and I get what they’re talking about. I think it’s better now than it was back then. I think PWG being hot is fantastic because that’s something that is in SoCal. I think having Lucha Underground here is another thing that’s great that we have.Even though I’m not a huge fan of Championship Wrestling from Hollywood’s product, it’s fantastic what Marquez has been able to do because in the early days nobody was getting paid, it was on Mav Tv which was like an Internet channel, it wasn’t even on actual TV, to having actual national television for a short period of time, being on in LA, San Diego, South Dakota or somewhere. You got to give credit to Dave on all of that stuff to actually put all that together.The production value’s increasing evidently from the first few times when it looked more like the old NWA, 1978 with the flags and banners in the background.

San Diego has legitimate companies. Obviously FCW, SoCal Pro. LA seems to be doing pretty good. PCW seems to be getting really hot, obviously PWG is known everywhere. I think it’s the best that’s been that I can remember. I don’t really get out a whole lot though outside of SoCal Pro and EWF just because I had so many bad experiences early on of going to shows that started 2 hours late, got no pay, but I’m over it. I’m married for 9 years now, got a 2 year old son, there’s no reason for me to take a booking where I’ll probably not get paid and will be sitting around in the room for 6 or 7 hours, but I can work, SoCal Pro, work EWF, and just kind of stay comfortable.

Steve:   It seems to me like a lot of those fly by night promotions have disappeared and it’s more-

Tommy Wilson: It seems like it. I mean I worked one about 3 years ago. I don’t remember what it was called but it was the same thing. Ricky Mandel got me booked. He was like, “Trust me, it’s good.” Get there, we start an hour and a half late. They were supposed to pay me X amount of money, they cut that in half. Like, “We didn’t draw.” I was like, “That’s your problem, not mine. We agreed to a …” Eventually I was like, “There’s nothing I can do, you’re not going to give me more money” and it looked like they weren’t going to run again, but I just had too many experiences like that throughout the years that it’s not worth getting out there.

I don’t think I’d ever end up working for PWG that’s not my style, there’s no reason for me to even try to go there when I like working more on this side. Really, that’s why I’ve been there so long at EWF and  SoCal Pro, it’s more storytelling, a slow build.

Steve: SoCal Pro and EWF are kind of mirror images.

Tommy Wilson: That’s where I think I fit in the best.

Steve:   Being around this long, do you have any goals that you haven’t been able to fulfill yet?

Tommy Wilson: Not really. I mean I wrestled in Japan which was like a huge goal. I worked in Mexico. I worked for WWE-

Steve: I know you were on Raw.

Tommy Wilson: Yeah, I worked Raw. Having a match on Raw was really cool. I think if I hadn’t had that match I’d probably want to get that match, but being able to do that, working a ton of camps with them and getting trained with them; I’m pretty comfortable with where I’m at, with teaching the young guys at SoCal Pro, even in EWF kind of, there’s not a whole lot that I feel like I need to accomplish. I’ve held all the belts here, I’ve held all the belts in EWF. I’ve accomplished pretty much everything. I had good run with places and have been able to stay relevant although considering the long period of time I’ve been involved. I’ve evolved a character over the years.

In EWF I do the Mega King gimmick which is a fun deal. That evolved from being Tommy Wilson and winning a tournament and calling myself the king. I’m proud of being there for 7, 8 years and still have a ton of heat that they can put me in a match with Andy Brown, or put me with Radical Ross, who’s awful and get something out of him which I don’t think a lot of guys can.

[At this point Ashley Grace comes up and threatens violence briefly interrupting the interview]

Tommy Wilson: To answer the question, there’s really nothing that I want to accomplish. I had fun doing some security work for Lucha Underground; I would not mind getting booked there obviously since it’s local. I don’t think, I never want to go to Ring of Honor, TNA just because they’re so far out of the way. With a 2 year old and a wife, it would be ridiculous to relocate for that. WWE I would if it was presented but I highly doubt it’s going to happen. At my age at this point.

Steve:   Do you see yourself training forever? Like Oliver John?

Tommy Wilson: I can see doing it forever. I highly doubt I’ll ever retire, doing the finger quotes on that. You know, watching Honky Tonk wrestle I can see doing that, especially at SoCal Pro and EWF. Especially SoCal Pro, EWF the drive might get to be too much at a certain point, especially if there’s more kids coming, you know, if I want to spend more time with my family but for SoCal Pro I left my house at 4, got here at 5, be home before midnight so it’s really not too bad out of the way, but I enjoy going to school once a week and just working out here. It’s a good workout if nothing else and I love working with the young guys like PBR and Dirty Doug, who is really good and Camden; Ju Dizz is fantastic. I could do that forever.

Steve:   Before we go, because I know we’re like the last ones in the building here, is there anything you want to plug? Anything you want to put out there?

Tommy Wilson: I really have anything to plug. I have a Pro-wrestling Tees store, if you want to buy a shirt, buy it. I really don’t care. One of the things I’m frustrated about at SoCal Pro is being a baby face because I hate being a good guy, I’d rather be heel type. My wife’s an attorney, I don’t want to brag or anything, but money’s not a problem for me. I see heels out here selling shirts and it drives me nuts, I’m like, “Why? You’re bad guys, you’re supposed to be pissing people off, not going, ‘hey, hey, I’m going to beat you, trample this guy. Come buy my shirt.'” I hate that, because I have that old school mentality. I know kayfabe is dead but at the same time, within the realm of this building, if we could go, “Hey, you’re a bad guy, be a bad guy the whole time while you’re here.” That would be great. H.A.T.E is like that, I love H.A.T.E.

Steve:  They [H.A.T.E] don’t do any shirt sales. At Baja Stars they’re not signing autographs, not taking pictures with anyone.

Tommy Wilson: No and that’s what I think wrestling needs more of. I think SoCal wrestling’s doing well as a whole but I think we’d go a lot further if there were more actual heels like that. I hate when I see two guys wrestle on one show, they hate each other, there’s blood feud and then they’re tag teaming the next night. You know 90 miles away. They’ll say, “Nobody will see me.” Everybody sees everything. It’s on Facebook, Twitter, every fucking show is on SoCal Uncensored, so we’ll see it. Some fans may not care, others might just go” you know, they clearly don’t hate each other.” Sometimes I think of some of the great stuff like Edge and Matt Hardy; did they really hate each other? Did they not? I don’t know, maybe they did. You kind of get into that when you’re not really sure.

When you can kind of blur that line of reality I think that’s what wrestling does best and I don’t think anybody really tries that. I think it’s more of trying to do the stunt show and getting all these crazy moves so I think if we went back to more just having heels, having face and mixing all that crazy shit into that wrestling, I think that would be a boom for us.

Steve:   At the last FCW show, there was that incident between Danny Limelight and Eli Everfly and I was like “You got to get those guys to work together, have them make up.” People will want to see them wrestle.

Tommy Wilson: It drives me nuts when something happens like that and the guys never wrestle. They have the match and everybody is talking about it. I can’t honestly tell with Limelight, watching the video, I honestly don’t know because that punch looks so weak. I’m like that couldn’t have been a real punch. That looked worked.

Some of the boys are telling me it’s real, I’m not convinced it’s actually not a work, I hope it is.

Steve: It seemed real there, they were fighting right by me…

Tommy Wilson: How do you know that’s real? How do you know they didn’t just go “touch me.”

Steve:   The only reason … See I don’t think they’re that good of actors.

Tommy Wilson: What if they were?

Steve:   They could be.

Tommy Wilson: I agree though, and that’s one of the lessons I learned from Rapada actually. Him and I had heat for a while. He told somebody to call me and was like  “hey let’s work.” I didn’t trust him. I felt like he was going to stab me or something. We might’ve actually been able to do something there.

My biggest issue with Danny and Eli’s fight is that is the referee got taken down, because he’s not a trained bumper. I think that’s where if it was a work you don’t hit the ref. That’s where I think they fucked up with that. If he wants to punch Everfly for spitting in his face, then whatever, that’s a little lame, I’ve seen plenty of guys spit in people’s face just to draw heat. I’m not going to say it’s not a work.

Steve:   You never know.

Tommy Wilson: I hope they’re fooling all of us because that would be fantastic. To have two young guys who could do that.

Steve:   Or even if it’s not, make it in to one and people will want to see them because they think they’re going to legitimately turn it into a fight. Anything else you want to get in before I let you go?

Tommy Wilson: No I really have nothing, like I said you can follow me, you can go to my Twitter and go to my Facebook and follow me but I just post shit about whatever’s on my mind.

Steve:   Thank you for the interview.

Tommy Wilson: No problem, thank you.

You can follow Tommy Wilson on Twitter at @MegaTommy82 and on Facebook. You can also check out his Pro Wrestling Tees store.

About the Author

Steve Bryant
Fan of Godzilla.

1 Comment on "Tommy Wilson interview"

  1. Benjamin Tomas | 08/25/2016 at 2:23 PM |

    Another very good read. Once again, this is exactly the kind of interview I want to read when I visit the site!

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