Interview with Homicide
ďThe Notorious 187Ē Homicide is one of the most intimidating wrestlers on the planet. This interview was conducted on June, 5, 2004, day two of the 2004 Jeff Peterson Memorial show which due to an injury Homicide was forced to withdraw from. This is a no holds barred interview, so be warned.
Alan Wojcik: Growing up in Brooklyn, New York besides watching wrestling what sports did you play?
Homicide: In High School I played strong safety for Eastern District High and had a scholarship to the University of Miami. But I took a wrong turn thinking fast money would make me go to high levels as well as hanging around the wrong crowd. I began in 1993 and I trained in a little bodega store in Brooklyn and I trained on my own until 1996 when I met Manny Fernandez showed me the foot work and the psychology it takes to tell a story.
AW: What led to the creation of Homicide and how much of him is you?
Homicide: Back in 1993-1995 I had another character called the Latin Terror that I wore face paint for. I was getting bored with the character and my friends told me to be myself. I thought what do you mean be myself? Well I used to be in gangs and the wrong people that should have led me to jail but thatís for another time. One day we were watching a cop documentary where a guy got arrested for a homicide. My friend said howís that for a name? I told him thatís a real ruthless name for a family oriented sport. I told him I would think about it and it stuck to me till this day. If I had to change my name I would do it but I am the original Homicide and it has taken me around the world. I donít care that others have taken the name. Itís like two Davidís or three Jasonís, itís about keeping the talent to the best level you can.
AW: Your finishing move is called the Cop Killer; did that come from the Body Count/Ice-T song of the mid-90ís?
Homicide: Yes I did get the name from the song, good homework Alan. Low Ki and I were watching a lady Japanese wrestler named Mugumi (sic) and she did this move thatís called the Vertabreaker or the Mugumi Driver. I heard that song title and it fit the gangster/street thug part of the character.
AW: When your first did the character did you feel promoters were trying to stereotype you or label you as a New Jack or Tupac Shakur rip-off?
Homicide: Back in the day it was bad for me. My real life and the wrestling world are so alike. In real life I am someone that used to run with gang bangers and I still have friends on the streets. I brought that to the wrestling world. I donít wear tights, I am a street thug. I come out like you would be dressed in a street fight. I donít know how people think New Jack and I look alike, because he is black and I am Puerto Rican. We do not look alike!! I used to beat the fans down due to that. I spoke to New Jack at a show we were on and he said to forget it they are the ones that put money in your pocket. I get called New Jack now and then but he is like my pops in the wrestling business.
AW: You had a training facility called the Doghouse. What led to the start of that facility and describe your training methods?
Homicide: The Doghouse was the number one promotion and training school in New York run by myself, Lathon (sic) and Low Life Louie. I train people to build up a story not just do moves that make no sense. If I am working an arm I work it like itís a playbook. If you work on a body part stay with it. The Doghouse closed down due to inner politics and people wanting to be the king of New York. It might be reopened one day.
AW: You mentioned one of your students; please give you opinion of the past and present wrestler known as Low Ki.
Homicide: Low Ki was a type of guy that wanted it real bad. He did some backyard stuff but he was influenced by Dean Malenko and the Great Muta. I told him that I was taking a year off from the business just to train people and I kicked his butt in the ring and gave him all the knowledge to survive in the business. He went down to ECWA and learned more from Jim Ketner. Today he is the biggest star in the states as well as Japan just like Dynamite Kid was in his day. Running a school is like seeing your kids graduate from high school and I am proud of all my students including Daí Hit Squad (Dan Maff and Monsta Mack) and the Christopher Street Connection. I have about 22 active students on the indy scene.
AW: When I interviewed Dan Maff he spoke very highly of you. He felt you considered him a prize student when you christened him Mafia.
Homicide: I feel the tag team division on the indy circuit is dying. Daí Hit Squad were dominant like the Road Warriors and the Steinerís in their day. One guy got injured and the other was working out more. Monsta Mack is going through personal issues and hopefully he will get back to his roots. Maff is an excellent worker; he is the modern day Don Muraco. I wish he would get back to chain wrestling but thatís another story.
AW: Many readers might know you were part of a tag team called the Natural Born Sinners with Boogalou. How did that team come to being and how was he compared to some other partners you have had over your career?
Homicide: Boogalou was an amateur wrestler from Florida and was a great technical suplex machine. At the time I met him I was tiring of singles and wanted to tag. We love horror flicks and so we came out to the ring in monster masks. I wore Michael Myers and he wore Leatherface. But politics came through and I have to support my family. When a promoter comes to me and says do some singles work without Boogalou I have to side with the need for money for my family. We won the Samoan Cup and hopefully we will team again soon.
AW: You have a long standing relationship with Jersey All Pro Wrestling. How did you come to work for the promotion and could you please talk about their office personnel?
Homicide: They have a great staff. I started on September 7, 1997 and I had just my street clothes, I was just going to watch the show. One of the bookers named Angel Martinez came over to me and asked if I wanted to wrestle and I said why not. They fell in love with me and I have been there ever since. In my eyes I am the franchise or icon of Jersey All Pro. Nobody can beat me there, I am a legend. The staff they have from Fat Frank, Jeff, Fat Ray and Pierre are great. I am thankful to them for getting me all the exposure I have gotten over the years.
AW: JAPW has run shows in the ECW venue now called Viking Hall. One night in that venue you teamed with the Sandman to take on Daí Hit Squad. Whatís it like to team with that former ECW World champion?
Homicide: ECW used to be huge and to have an ECW legend team with me against Daí Hit Squad was great. The four of us had fun and Sandman is a genius and a great to work with. He might get drunk but he remembers all of the things he does in the ring.
AW: You have been the five time (repeat it four more times) JAPW heavyweight champion. Without going into all the individual reigns, which was the most meaningful to you?
Homicide: I think the first time was the most important since I won it in the ECW Arena off Don Montoya. Iíve had great moments like when I won it back from Slyk Wagner Brown and matches with Mafia.
AW: We are sitting here at the Jeff Peterson Memorial weekend but this isnít the first time you were asked to perform on a memorial event. You were asked on February 2, 2002 to be part of the Russ Haas Memorial event. Could you talk about wrestling Dixie and Insane Dragon as well as the late Russ Haas?
Homicide: Russ was like family to me. We started in JAPW around the same time and itís sad that god took him so soon. Russ and Charlie were a great tag team. That day was real emotional and to go out and defend the JAPW title against Dixie and Dragon was cool. Many people felt Dixie was like the third Haas brother and he deserved to beat me for the belt.
AW: During one of your stays in JAPW you got to take on Low Ki. But one night you took on Ki and the ďAmerican DragonĒ Brian Danielson. Whatís it like to wrestle those two men and as a wrestler do you prefer singles matches or the multiple opponent encounters?
Homicide: I think I am about one on one not the three way dances or triple threat as theyíre called. Having that match was ok I had fun but I would have preferred it one on one. A couple of months ago I took on American Dragon in Chicago and it was good likewise I have had tremendous singles matches with Low Ki.
AW: Speaking of one on one encounters what goes through you mind when the booker says tonight you are going to take on Terry Funk?
Homicide: I thought it was a rib, 100%. It was a great feeling since that guy is unbelievable he is someone I admire. He knows what I am talking about. I got to wrestle my idol and bust my ass with him. For a rematch I will go to Texas or he can come to Brooklyn.
AW: At the JAPW 6th anniversary event you teamed with Dan Maff to take on ďthe King of Old SchoolĒ Steve Corino and Raven. What was it like to wrestle those men?
Homicide: It was great to take on two former world champions with my student by my side. We showed them it was the ECW wax museum and we are the future. Steve you did thing in ECW but itís our turn.
AW: At one point you were very close to work for the defunct XPW run by Rob Black AKA Rob Zicari. What almost led you to work for them?
Homicide: XPW offered me a job but they wanted to change my gimmick to Dead President plus they wanted me to jump ship without telling Ring of Honor. That was where I drew the line; I wouldnít do that to a promotion. I talked to the staff of ROH and they gave me what I wanted to stay. I didnít want a push or more money I just wanted to be treated like I was wanted and booked into great matches with American Dragon, Paul London, AJ Styles and Low Ki. They promised me the matches and I stayed with ROH. It was great since XPW is no longer around and I would be jobless.
AW: You have a long list of great opponents during your working relationship with ROH. One is the man known as Samoa Joe, the ROH Heavyweight champion.
Homicide: Many people call us the second coming of Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka. I think we are just a regular feud. That man has been through hell with me. But he has kept that belt around his waist. He is great champion like Ric Flair, Dory Funk and Buddy Roberts. One day I will beat that man for the belt.
AW: YouĎre sitting in the locker room and the promoter says to you, tonight you are taking on the Carnage Crew and your partner is Abdullah the Butcher.
Homicide: That was a night where they wanted me to be a mini Butcher and I was excited to team with him. I like the Carnage Crew and I have fun each time I work with them.
AW: On April 4, 2003 you took on the leader of the Prophecy the ďFallen AngelĒ Christopher Daniels. How do you prepare for that caliber of wrestler?
Homicide: He is the man; a true professional. Our last ROH match wasnít too good. I was dealing with some personal issues. We had a USA Pro match that blew the roof off the place. Not to diss Mike Tenay but Christopher Daniels is a professor in the wrestling business. He knows how to work the fans and tell a great story. Daniels and Reckless Youth are the king of the indies.
AW: We spoke about you facing Steve Corino but on a ROH event you teamed with him to take on Trent Acid and Johnny Kashmere, the Backseat Boyz. But during the match you and Corino had a little breakdown of your team. Memories of that match and wrestling the Backseat Boyz.
Homicide: First let me say I didnít turn my back on Steve he turned on me. He was holding Trent Acid but he let go and I hit him by accident. His ego took over and he betrayed me. He got a good smack in the ear from me to remind him not to walk away from me.
AW: During a series of matches with Corino you had a barbwire match as well as match where a riot broke out. For fans that have never seen video of the match what caused the riot?
Homicide: Steve Corino is a scumbag who likes to cause trouble. He thinks people like me shouldnít be in the business. I think thatís bullsh#$, companies allow Europeans, Japanese and even Jewish people to wrestle but not street thugs? Thatís wrong. Yes he beat me that night but donít go and start trouble with my crew. They donít care about the cops or security. They came out to watch my back while Corino came with Samoa Joe, Michael Shane and CW Anderson to try and attack me. One thing led to another and 4 people got arrested and over 300 people ran for their lives. It was a bad night.
AW: On August 3, 2003 you and AJ Styles took on Christopher Daniels and Dan Maff but there was someone else in the match I wish to ask about, the legendary manager James E. Cornette.
Homicide: The guy is brilliant and he has so much knowledge to share. That match looked like the Midnight Express against the Rock n Roll Express. I was Ricky Morton that night. Mr. Cornette helped us design a great old school NWA Great American Bash match.
AW: This past December ROH and All Japan Pro Wrestling held a joint event and you took on former MLW World champion Satoshi Kojima.
Homicide: Thatís a guy that I admire along with Masa Chono. We had a great match right up the moment I got knocked. People say its fake but I was legitimately knocked out. I forgot the rest of the match. It was the biggest match of my career but one day I will get a rematch and it will be a thousand times better I guarantee that.
AW: On January 29, 2004 you took on a member the Second City Saints, CM Punk. How does the Notorious 187 match up with the man who is straight edge?
Homicide: Itís the meeting of two different worlds. I like to smoke and he doesnít, I drink and he doesnít but I respect the man for what he does in the ring. He is a tremendous wrestler and he is one of the best on the mic, the fans really hate him. He could be a legend like Dusty Rhodes or Terry Funk.
AW: You also have done work with another Northeastern promotion Combat Zone Wrestling run by John Zandig. What were your impressions of the promotion and Mr. Zandig?
Homicide: John Zandig is a great guy. I met him when I was working in Japan and I wanted to work for him, he and his roster put on a great product. I like the hardcore product; it goes back to my roots. Trent Acid and I had what many consider the match of the year there and from that day John keeps booking me. John is a great businessman and I think CZW should travel down to Florida and up to New York instead of staying in Pennsylvania. ROH expanded and look how good theyíre doing. CZW needs to expand their fan base.
AW: Besides CZW you have worked for another hardcore style promotion, IWA Mid-South run by Ian Rotten. How did you come to work for that interesting promotion?
Homicide: Ian is the coolest brother alive. He called me and asked if I wanted to wrestle Chris Hero and I said letís do it. So I debuted at the 2002 King of the Death matches. Ian hadnít seen me work in person. He told me Chris hits hard and I told him well heís never been hit by me. We had a great strong style match and I have respect for Hero. Ian knows what he is doing in focusing on the hardcore match and mixing it with strong wrestling matches.
AW: You came to Florida in the summer of 2003 and worked for MLW during their initial run. Your thoughts on MLW and its owner Court Bauer?
Homicide: MLW could have been the biggest promotion with Court Bauer and Samu along with the roster they built. In the second run they brought Gary Hart in to school guys. Florida needed wrestling like MLW to build up the competition between the other groups like NWA Florida. In the end I got the call this past year from Court telling me it as over, I donít know what happened.
AW: Before we talk more about the end letís talk about your debut in MLW when you were brought in to work with Jerry Lynn in a Young Lionís challenge.
Homicide: I thought that Young Lionís thing was dumb. I have been doing this for eleven years and even the fans of MLW knew that. But I got to work with Jerry Lynn who is a genius. Jerry and I stole the show each night. He could be a great teacher maybe even running training sessions or a school.
AW: This past January MLW came back to Florida with the Reloaded tour and you took on Low Ki. Do you think the fans understood the psychology behind the match?
Homicide: I thought the match was great since we got paired with Gary Hart. We donít get to work down south too often so we made it happen. Gary brought back the J-Tex Corporation and he wanted the two of us. We could have dominated in MLW. I think many smart marks were in attendance and they think wrestling is easy since they know the names to all the moves. Wrestling is different since the smart marks think they know everything and to make it worse some of the wrestlers are becoming smart marks.
AW: You recently have done work for the US based World-One promotion.
Homicide: I think itís great to have a US version of Zero-One. The shows were unique since they brought the strong style to the fans that have never been exposed to it the group is up in the air and itís that scumbag Steve Corino that caused it to go into limbo.
AW: You have done work for Zero-One and Big Japan. Which promotion did you feel more at home in?
Homicide: Big Japan is a hardcore group while Zero-One is martial arts and wrestling mixed together. I was comfortable with Zero-One since they want to dominate the world. I donít like groups that want to just get by. I want to be on top of the world. ROH is the number one on the east coast. Right now New Japan is number one but Zero-One is coming up fast.
AW: I have to ask what the hell possessed you to do a balcony dive in Korakuen Hall?
Homicide: I was working with Winger (sic). The promoter asked me to do it and I said why not? I went up there and looked down and said what the hell am I thinking; thank god neither of us got hurt since it was a deadly looking bump on video. That adrenaline rush kicks and youíre hyped up youíll do almost anything. I wonít do it like New Jack almost each show but I do it once in a while. It was like being on the Scream Machine falling a hundred miles an hour.
AW: We are sitting here at the 2004 Jeff Peterson Memorial weekend, how were you approached to come down for the event which helps fight cancer?
Homicide: I am happy they invited me to be in the tournament even though I got hurt last night. I like working in Florida and itís great to help fight cancer. I know itís going to help a little girl and that touches you to see these guys come from all over the world.
AW: I have to ask if Jeff Jarrett and Vince Russo asked you to work for NWA: TNA or if Vince McMahon called you would you accept an offer to work for either promotion?
Homicide: It depends on my situation with my family. If I was struggling I would go to WWE. If asked right now I would say no to both offers. I like the schedule I have going all over the world and I donít want to deal with the politics in a huge promotion. Who knows if they would kill the Homicide character.
AW: If you could nail it to one person who would be your dream opponent and why?
Homicide: If it could be anyone in the world I would say Masa Chono and I would add Jay Lethal and Roderick Strong to that list. Both of them have bight futures in wrestling.
AW: Many wrestlers have said they canít hear the fans yelling at them when they go to the ring. Has there ever been a comment or sign held by a fan that made you come out of the Homicide character?
Homicide: I have had fans call me New Jack. Back in the day I hated it. I make the fans feel stupid when they call me New Jack. I did beat down a fan because he got on my nerves. I used to break kayfabe but now I just go out and have fun.
AW: Since we like to protect the innocent, has there ever been an interview question that made you lose it?
Homicide: Amazingly not one but I know there is one jackass out there that will push the wrong button and set me off.
AW: In closing what do you hope the future hold for Homicide?
Homicide: I want people to remember me like Terry Funk and Dusty Rhodes. All you haters that think I donít have nothing, come to my school and you wonít survive anything I put you through. Military boot camp has nothing on what I would dish out to you. I am going to be in this business for another 20 years and if you donít like that do something about it.
Thanks to Homicide for his time considering he was not in the best of moods due to his injury. For more on the promotions mentioned in the interview log onto www.ROHwrestling.com, www.czwwrestling.com , www.iwamidsouthwrestling.com , www.petersoncup.com and www.zerooneusa.com
Alan J. Wojcik
I don't think Homicide thought too hard before saying this.
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