King Favi himself, discussed about his days starting with Cincinnati Red and Samoa Joe, his big (and last) shot with UPW and his thoughts on backyard wrestling.
Josh Shibata: Here I am with King Faviano, and this is an exclusive interview for SoCalUncensored at the MPW event “Our time” on May the 19th. So tell me a little bit about yourself Favi.
King Faviano (points to the recorder): Can this reach us?
Josh Shibata: Yea I’m pretty sure it can.
King Faviano: Pretty sure?
JS: How did you get your start in wrestling? Like what school did you go to?
KF: I’ve been working about eight years. Started working out with a guy named “Pistol” Pete, who use to run a fed with Pico Rivera, which was a long time ago. But I didn’t really train serious until about four years ago, when I started training at WPW with Martin.
JS: What made you start training really hard then? Did you start seeing a career in wrestling?
KF: Well to be honest I never really trained that much in between but then when I started working for Martin, when he invited me over there and I saw the way the guys were working. I said ‘you know man, I better pick up the pace’.
JS: So you won’t get left behind, right?
KF: Right, right.
KF: We use to have some good workouts over there, when Ed Venture was running the school over there. That’s when we all started, it was me, Hardkore Kid, the Ballards. Uhm we were all training at the same time. That’s where we got most of our good training. Because if you, let me tell ya something man, if you could train Lucha, I’m not going to say it’s easier, but if you could train Lucha, work Lucha, you can work American
JS: So you like the Lucha style?
KF: Yea, but then actually after…uh… after that… when UIWA opened up over at Westminster, I started training over there just to try to get a handle on the American style. Cause everything at UIWA was a little bit different. But shoot back then that was about…. What a couple of years ago, maybe two years ago. And for a long time it was just Cincinnati Red, Samoa Joe and I. working, on Wednesday.
JS: That’s it?
KF: Yea cause guys would come and go…
JS: But you were mainstays.
JS: So how was it working with Cincinnati Red, because I heard he is one stiff worker?
KF: Well, you know, I wouldn’t say he was so much stiff. But he’s just…uh… he’s always a hundred percent, you know, he would always go full bore. You know what I mean?
JS: He gives it his all.
KF: Yea he justs goes. A hundred percent all the time. So, but that was good too. I mean not only does he work regular wrestling but also he’s a really good, I don’t know what you call it, collegiate style? A lot of hold to hold.
JS: Chain wrestling.
KF: Right. So I got a lot better just from that.
JS: Yea I don’t think a lot of fans would associate…uhm… Cincinnati Red with chain wrestling.
JS: But uhm, yea I’ve seen it a few times where he can actually wrestle. He’s one of those wrestlers that has this big “Hardcore Persona”, but he really is a good wrestler.
KF: Right. And it’s good too because he can work both style, he knows how to work Lucha too. So we kinda mixed it in, worked a little bit of that, work a little hold to hold and work other things.
JS: So what style do you like the most, Lucha, American, have you done Japanese mat wrestling?
KF: Naw, I never really worked that. But I think, me personally, I got over a lot… it’s so easy for me to get over with Mexican style, that I enjoy working Lucha more because I get over big time with them.
JS: So do you like working Mexico a little bit more than here?
KF: Yea. You know what, I like working Mexico. I mean I like working with this one promoter, uh he wrestlers as Kiss and he runs out of Compton now. And when I started working with him that’s when I started working out in Ensenada, TJ and all that. And the one thing about him was that he was not scared to put me against the guys from CMLL. La Polo Latez, Fantazma and all those guys. And he was never scared, and all he would
say is, ‘Go out there man, and do your stuff, and we’ll pick up the pace from there.’
JS: It must have been a real honor then.
KF: Yea it was. But the only thing is you know, to drive all the way out there, and the pay is terrible. I mean they pay you in pesos…
KF: And you get this big lump of money, you think you made a thousands dollars. But by the time you get over here, it’s only thirty-five bucks. So by the time you put your gas in, you got five bucks left over.
KF: But it’s cool you know.
JS: But yea, that’s what a lot of indy wrestlers have to face, is the fact that your not going to get paid a lot.
KF: Yea but there’s never a bad show. If you work any show, where there is ten people or a thousand people. There is always somebody there who says, ‘Hey man I saw this guy work. We should put him on this show. Or give him a call.’ That’s how you get your work. That’s how I got all my work.
JS: Right it’s making contacts.
KF: Right. And when Joe went over to UPW, and he started working over there. I mean, let’s be honest here, UPW is on top right now. So I wanted to get in on that. So I started working in El Segundo with Kevin Quinn and Christopher Daniels. And that was good because you work and you do the lite show, they review your lite show…and you know it kinda raised the bar. You know what I mean, as far as when you wrestle, it sorta raised the bar?
JS: Right because now you really had to show your best, because people are watching you.
KF: Right so I started training a lot harder. You know weights, and I started putting a little more cardio activity in my workout and like that. So I waited and waited to be on the Galaxy show, and finally they called me.
JS: And when was this?
KF: This was about two shows ago. When they had all those ECW guys there. So they finally called me, and they said, ‘Hey we need someone for “Shooter” Tony Jones’ from APW’. So I was like, hey I just want to be on the galaxy show so I can show them what I got.
JS: So it didn’t matter who you were going against.
KF: Right. So I went over there, they told me I have four minutes, they said do a little bit of your stuff in the beginning and he (Tony Jones) is going to take over. So I said ok. Tony wanted to give me the uh… first he wanted to give me a gut wrench suplex, which was cool. Then he wanted to give me the full-nelson suplex. And I’m in the position where, I can’t sit there and say, ‘Hey man, I don’t want to do that.’ Because then you’re labeled and people say, ‘Hey man this guy won’t work’.
JS: And this is your first Galaxy show and you don’t want to make a bad impression.
KF: Right. So I said, ‘ok I’ll go ahead and do it’. Now the first one, he snatched me up and over, and I was ready for it. The second one, the full-nelson one, he dropped me right on my head. And it hurt. I finished the match, went to the back, didn’t want anyone to know I was hurt, but I was so hurt I couldn’t even drive home that day. Cause I couldn’t even turn my hand that day. It was bad; it was the worst injury ever for me. So anyway I was hurting for a while, uhm I got better. Four weeks later, I woke up and my whole left side, from my thumb all the way…(makes a trace from his left thumb up to his shoulder) this all this right here, is like paralyzed right now. What happened was, the nerves back there (points to his back) damaged all the way up here (points to back of his neck). So I can’t lift weights hardcore like I use to. And now, they did an MRI, and they want to cut the nerve here and reconnect here. So you know what, to be honest with you, wasn’t worth it. You know it was totally not worth it.
JS: Ok now, with incidents like that when wrestlers drop others on their heads, fans wonder does it start becoming real? I mean do you guys start holding grudges?
KF: Well you know, me personally, I’m like ninety-five percent sure that he didn’t mean to do it. Paul Bearer was there, it’s a galaxy show, and you got everybody from ECW there, so the adrenaline is going and before I had a chance to bend down and set, he snatched me up. And he’s a strong dude. He picks me up and pulls me over, before I had a chance to even know what was going on. And before I know it….
JS: You’re on your neck.
JS: So do you hold a grudge with incidents like that? Or is this the type of business where you really can’t hold grudges, it just happens?
KF: When you’re in the business, you got to expect this. You HAVE to expect that. I mean it’s not like your ever going to go through this whole thing and never get hurt. To me, something… it shouldn’t of happened. Usually I would say you know what, I’m not comfortable with that, I don’t want to take it, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to get labeled as a person who doesn’t want to do this or that. Same thing with Ron Rivera from Revolution Pro, I’ve been wanting to go over there, they got some good guys over there. So he brought me in, worked with Matt Sinister, and the second match I had with him, I had to put him over. You know what, don’t have no problem with putting anybody over as long as I can keep going and wrestle people who… you put me working as a heel against a really super, super big time face, man I can make that guy look like a super star, and put him over big time, regardless who goes over. So I went over to put over his boy Matt, no problem man, brought me in after that against Mr. Excitement, the show went off. I mean the way we worked, or whatever, he knew my style and we worked real well. It all depends on who I’m up against, that’s how well the show could go. So that’s what I’m saying, that’s why I did it. Go to the Galaxy show, yea I got to wrestle Tony Jones, yea I gotta put him over, but let me come back and work with someone even better, work with someone who is more competent, BOOM we’ll throw down. Didn’t happen with UPW. I put him over, I got hurt, I messed up, and they never asked me back. That’s the part of the business that really sucks.
JS: But it’s something you have to expect from the business, it’s just the way it is.
(At this point Andy Van Dam and Prodigy said Hi to Faviano. And I got myself booked for my second interview.)
KF: So you understand what I’m saying. And at that point I was about to retire because I was hurt.
(At this point another guy comes to say hi to Faviano and give him the bad news that a show that he was booked on just got canceled. But Faviano said that’s cool; we’ll wrestler some other time. Ah… the life of a wrestler.)
KF: Yea I was going to, because Shwag had the wrestling 101 show, and they put me on there. They had me on for a while and they, I don’t know what exactly happened to Loony, but she wasn’t on the show. So they offered me the position, they were paying me the shows were jamming. And I was thinking you know they are paying me good money, I don’t get hurt, and I’ll just do this for a while. But that went under. They filed for bankruptcy, they owe me this big time money and they never paid me so fine. What can you do? So I basically went back to Lucha shows. So in all honesty, for me, as far as I’m concerned, that UPW show was not worth it. I should have just waited it out or whatever, and not did it. Cause now I’m hurt, this is the worst injury I’ve ever had in my eight-year career.
JS: Alright lets move on to a different topic. The King Faviano gimmick, how did that come about?
KF: When I started working for Pete, he had an announcer named Ray Faviano, and we looked similar. So he brought me in working as his brother, and that kinda took off. And he (Pete) kinda shut down and didn’t work anymore, so I kept the gimmick, because people knew me as Danny Faviano. So I couldn’t really lose it, because then people wouldn’t know who I was, so I kept it going. I always loved Sabu, he’s the one who started all that crazy crap, and I always liked that type of gimmick or whatever so I bought the headdress and became King Faviano. And things have taken off since then.
JS: Yea I caught you at the last MPW show with your match against the Unholy. And I thought it was great, it wasn’t just a comedy match, and it was great wrestling.
KF: Well when people say “comedy”, I don’t really like that. It’s like saying…a promoter will call up and go ‘Hey man we like your COMEDY match’ and I go like, ‘Well man I don’t go into the ring and juggle balls while grabbing my own.’ It’s more like a entertainment type of match something where the people go ‘you guys got to see this dude’. I mean a lot of people can do moves and BAM and everything, but if you mix some entertainment into it you get people saying ‘Hey you got to come back to see this fool.’ And that gets people, people like your stuff, you get work and you get booked. That’s why I don’t have a problem putting someone over. As long as the show goes good, the people liked it and they paid to see you that’s the best thing.
JS: I understand, it’s something that sticks out in your mind. It’s a unique match, all the other matches may look alike but you provide something different and entertaining Alright let’s go into something in the media and something that has been buzzing on the Internet boards and that is backyard wrestling. What is your take on backyard wrestling?
KF: Me personally, I don’t really care for it. It takes nothing to jump off the top of a roof, and go through a table. Anyone can do that it’s just someone who is nuts enough to do it. It takes a professional to say we’re going to do some chain wrestling and then we’ll go into a spot. Now there you have to know what you’re doing. If I came up to you and said, ‘Okay I’m going to throw you through a table.’ You know what I mean, what do you need to do to prepare for that?
KF: Only thing that will happen is that your going to get hurt and for what? If they are getting paid at all, twenty bucks? I mean look at me, in a regular match where I didn’t even get paid.
JS: You didn’t get paid?
KF: Oh no. That was just to get your name out there and hopefully someday someone will come and look at ya. My whole thumb is gone and that was definitely not worth it for me. So would it be worth it for you to go to someone’s backyard and go through a table, land wrong and be paralyzed for nothing? I mean that wouldn’t make sense. I’ve been wrestling eight years and maybe wrestled three hardcore matches dog collar matches, whatever you want to call them. But the three times that I wrestled, we didn’t get hurt at all, and everybody went home happy.
JS: Alright you’ve been around so-cal quite awhile, which feds have you had the best time working for?
KF: That’s a hard one man. It’s very easy for me to say Kiss’s promotion in Compton because it’s a Lucha show, and the thing about him is that he just lets me go. He knows who to put me with; I have yet to do a bad show over there. If anyone said that they never had a bad show, they will be lying but over there I have yet to have a bad show where I went to the back and said that was terrible. So I would have to say Lucha, but now working the American feds I would have to say Revolution Pro. Only because they’re a mixture of Lucha, Japan and I can kinda mix everything in, and I can get over better there. Here the same thing, see Paul knows in MPW that…he knows my style, so he’ll put me with, like today he put me with Lucky Pierre he kinda knows my style so hopefully it’ll work. As far as American feds, I really like UIWA because UIWA gave me my start when nobody else did. When I was with Martin working the Lucha, and I wanted to work American, he told me, ‘I’m telling ya man they’ll use ya, maybe put ya over a couple of times but then it’ll go crap’. And it was kinda true when I first came in, people were saying we don’t want to put ya over because your style is different. But UIWA was like no man we like your stuff, come over here and we’ll work it out. So they put me over and let me work for them and they were the first American fed that I was really working for and it’s a shame that they had to shut down. But that’s what happens.
JS: Alright, last question. What do you usually do in your spare time?
KF: Well I have two daughters, and all my spare time is with them. One of them is six, so school functions, homework, taking her places, so all my spare time is with the kids.
JS: So is it hard being a wrestler and a father?
KF: It’s the worst thing in the world. If you ever get married to a person who does not like wrestling which my wife doesn’t, it’s a clash. I mean you sit there and you go, and I live out in Long Beach, I’m going to drive all the way out to the Valley because I got a show. And she goes, ‘well how much are you going to get paid?’ ‘Well maybe twenty, twenty five.’ ‘And you’re going all the way out there for that?’ And it’s so hard to explain to them that it’s not just the money, it’s going to be a good show, lot of people going to be there. And sometimes it’s not just for that, I mean when I went on the road with the Ballards, I mean the wrestling is half of it. We would have so much fun on the road, just messing around in the hotels. When we would work out in Palmdale, it was more fun hanging with the fellas than doing the shows. I mean it was me, Cincinnati Red, Samoa Joe and we would have cannonball contests in the pool at the motels. It’s just so much fun. And it’s hard to explain to them about that.
JS: Well it was great interviewing with you Favi, and good luck with your match, tonight. Going to enjoy