With the 300th episode of Championship Wrestling from Hollywood coming up, I had the chance to talk with Joey Ryan and Colt Cabana at last month’s AWS show on their thoughts on the show hitting this milestone. In this short interview we discussed the first episode, if they are surprised it is still going, how it’s helped them, and how big they think it can get. Click to check out the interview.
Steve: I’m here with Colt Cabana and Joey Ryan to talk about Championship Wrestling from Hollywood in honor of its 300th episode.
Joey Ryan: Thee Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.
Steve: You guys have both been around Championship for Hollywood since pretty much the beginning…
Joey Ryan: Episode 1, I was in the main event.
Colt Cabana: I was in the first match.
Joey Ryan: You were the first match.
Steve: So we have someone in the first match and the first main event in Championship Wrestling Hollywood history? People might think this was planned.
Joey Ryan: Me and TJ Perkins. The big main event of episode 1.
Colt Cabana: I wrestled Peter Avalon.
Steve: He’s still there.
Joey Ryan: He’s still there. I guess technically, I am too, every now and then.
Colt Cabana: I came back and I lost to him when he was the champion.
Steve: Lets get to some tough questions, how much do you guys hate Dave Marquez [Championship Wrestling from Hollywood promoter]? [Laughs] No, I’m just kidding.
Working for Championship Wrestling Hollywood since the beginning, are you guys surprised that it’s here 300 episodes later?
Colt Cabana: To be honest … I guess … yeah. Going into it you would think the idea of that lasting that long would be a little bit surprising yes, but on the opposite side, you know both of us knowing … Me knowing Dave very well, knowing his perseverance and the ability to get it done doesn’t surprise me.
He’s been able to keep that relationship with the television and work that angle for so long. He’s such a hustler, he’s able to do that, that doesn’t surprise me that he’s been able to maintain the glue of it for so long.
Joey Ryan: I would agree. I would say Dave being around 300 episodes isn’t surprising it’s KDOC or whatever other TV outlets that he finds himself on not losing interest, is what’s surprising me.
Steve: Do you, I mean you’re still there Joey, but Colt do you keep up with the product at all?
Colt Cabana: I’ll see whatever is on Facebook clips and YouTube and stuff.
Steve: Joey, I know you were the booker for a while and the creative…
Joey Ryan: For a short period of time before I got the boot.
Steve: Do you want to talk about that at all?
Joey Ryan: Sure. I believe at the time Adam walked away, Adam Pearce walked away and Dave needed somebody to step into the role so I took over for a little while.
It was fun. I feel like my downfall was not using the other people. I wanted to be very hands on because I felt, at that point my name was on it, so I wanted to oversee everything, the promos, the matches, and everything. I didn’t delegate the work very well, Lagana was there. I could have delegated some of the work to Dave Lagana, who’s great in that role. I didn’t. I wanted to be hands on everything and that became overwhelming for me, a little bit.
It was a good lesson, and I’m glad Dave gave me the opportunity.
Steve: Now, you guys have both worked other TV shows. Joey, you’re on Lucha Underground, you’ve both been on WWE. Stuff like ROH and TNA. How does Championship Wrestling Hollywood compare to other promotions you worked for as far as television wise?
Colt Cabana: I think it’s great practice for everybody. It is a real show, like it’s a local show. I don’t know if Dave wants you to think of it that way but I think essentially this is Los Angeles’ local wrestling TV show.
It’s a great opportunity, it’s like a mini big time television show for everyone who wants to be a television wrestler. It’s great practice, there’s not a lot of pressure, it’s only the pressure you put on yourself. It allows a lot of these wrestlers, even myself included, to be acclimated to doing that style of professional wrestling and working with producers, and working with times, and working with all that stuff.
I think it’s like, almost a perfect feeder system into other shows.
Joey Ryan: To piggy back that a little bit, it’s a great way to cut your teeth. To learn how to work TV style with less … that’s more forgiving if you mess up or you do something wrong.
Colt Cabana: That’s the same answer I just gave…
Joey Ryan: Right, but I’m piggybacking your idea without calling it a regional television show.
I think it’s a great place to cut your teeth and get used to TV. I feel like without it I wouldn’t have done so well in TNA. I know history probably does not look like I did well in TNA but I was hot in TNA for a while and reached Lucha Underground and everything because TV wrestling became something I was familiar with. Hard cameras, working the ringside cameras, just knowing where to place yourself. I think I learned all that at Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.
Steve: I know that’s what a lot of people have told me. When I’ve talked with other people, they had no idea about hard cameras and all this other stuff. They get there and it’s like a completely different thing versus coming here and working in front of a just a live crowd.
Joey Ryan: Yeah, 360 degree cameras …
Colt Cabana: Theater in the round they call it.
Steve: How big do you think Championship Wrestling Hollywood could get? It’s starting to get on more stations. It’s airing in San Diego now. I think it’s in South Dakota or something as well.
Colt Cabana: It’s on that Fite TV app too, right?
Steve: Yeah, FiteTV.
Joey Ryan: I think it’s the idea that he’s putting out content and it’s like he’s perfecting a show that he’s doing. Everyone is, so everyone’s like, I kind of look at it like a sketch team, you know?
You start and you just get good over the years and you really get it done. I think he’s perfecting the production and the wrestlers are perfecting the wrestling and that’s just how stuff gets good. Once it all works together like a machine, that’s when the world can start to notice that stuff.
You have to take it step by step so who knows when we talk about 600 or 1200 shows, but for now I think it’s taking the right steps, the small steps to get to San Diego or to get, on Fite TV or whatever it might be.
Colt Cabana: I think it’s a great time in wrestling too because the popularity of alternative means of pro-wrestling. I think it kind of stems back to WWE acknowledging that independent wrestling exists, so when they bring in a guy like Kevin Owens and they say oh he’s been grinding for 15 years WWE fans go, “I’ve just heard of this guy today,” and then go Google him and they can see his, all his independent stuff. It brings more attention to independent wrestling. I know Dave doesn’t consider Championship Wrestling from Hollywood independent, but it is.
It just brings more eyes to different outlets of professional wrestling. Independent wrestling from what I’ve noticed is kind of booming right now. There’s a lot of attention on it.
Getting 200-300 episodes and getting through some leaner times, some rougher eras, because now who knows how big it can get now that there’s more eyes on the product.
Steve: Yeah, definitely. I think right now versus 10-15 years ago, there are people that actually could make a living off independent wrestling. Like you guys for example.
Joey Ryan: I’m just following his lead.
Colt Cabana: He’s been making a living off indy wrestling a lot longer than I have.
Steve: That’s all I have, I want to thank you both for your time.
Colt Cabana: Anytime.
Joey Ryan: Have I done the most SCU interviews?
Steve: I don’t think so. Probably top 5.
Joey Ryan: I’ve just done the best.
In Southern California, Championship Wrestling from Hollywood airs every Saturday at 4:00 pm on KDOC in Los Angeles and CW6 in San Diego and 9:00 pm on YouToo America. It is also available on the Fite TV app.