‘Hardkore Kidd’ Aaron Aguilera interview

I conducted this interview over a couple of lunches at a taqueria of Aguilera’s choosing, in an attempt to get something printable and interesting for SoCal UNCENSORED. However, the more questions I asked, and the responses he gave, made me want to ask more questions. This thing has taken a long time to come together, but I think it’s interesting enough to be worth the wait. I met
with Aguilera on more than one occasion, and the following is the transcript of what we discussed.

Benjamin Tomas: Let’s start with your background. Where does the Hardkore Kidd come from?

Hardkore Kidd: Where does the Hardkore Kidd come from? (pauses) You ever heard of the birds and the bees? It’s like this; my dad bricked off my mom, and unloaded his junk like he was Fred Sanford. His little fellas had a reverse
Royal Rumble. Instead of one every two minutes, it was like 5,000,000
in ten seconds and the first to get in, instead of the last to leave, was the winner. So to sum it up, Aaron Aguilera, and the soon to be Hardkore Kidd was born from the fetal loins of his caring sweet mother. God rest her soul. Is that the answer you were looking for?

Benjamin Tomas: Not really, but thanks for the biology lesson.

Hardkore Kidd: I get that question in every interview I do and that’s the way I answer it every time.

Benjamin Tomas: What I meant was how does a boy grow up to become the Hardkore Kidd?

Hardkore Kidd: Where do I begin? Basically it’s a lack of respect for the world around me. It started when I was young. I started to see the true nature of this  place and I hated it. As I got older I started to see how fucked the world is. It used to be the classic have and the have-nots and now, its all just dog-eat-dog, every man for himself. I don’t want to sound like some smelly tree hugger but I wish life was some hippy lovin’ but it’s not. Common sense has been replaced  with acceptance and that really sucks. It’s bullshit. Man, I could go on forever about what makes me the Hardkore Kidd. Too bad it’s all negative. I’ll keep it simple and say the Hardkore Kidd was created by anger. I was an angry kid and an angrier teenager. I’m an angry adult. So it’s safe to say anger makes me who you see today, or something like that.

What made you want to start wrestling?

HKK: The same reason guys like Messiah and [Frankie] Kazarian got into the business. We’re short in the pants and we like sweaty men. (laughs at own joke) Just messing round. Seriously, I started for the same reason Kobe Bryant picked up a basketball and shot hoops until midnight. The same reason Darin Erstad got a bat and had his Dad pitch to him until Mom said it was bedtime. We all loved the sport so much, we wanted to be a part of it. I started training as soon as I could. My passion grew stronger the more I learned.

Tomas: How did you start out and come into the business?

HKK: WPW. That was when Adventure was teaching. Then I met Tom Howard, and he needed a bump dummy, so I started training with him. This was before Ultimate University (UPW’s wrestling school). It was back when it was called  Extreme University and it was in a strip mall in Mission Viejo. Tom started Ultimate University, so I split my time between WPW and UU. It didn’t take
long before I became friends with several of the top local Luchadors and through them I was invited to Gil’s Garage.

Tomas: Gil’s Garage?

HKK: It is a dirty, dank sweatbox that makes the UIWA Dojo look like the WCW Power Plant. Seriously, it’s awesome, but shitty. It is a Lucha history lesson. You walk in and class begins. I won’t say too much except that it is nothing like anywhere I’ve ever trained. They take it very serious and if you don’t, you’re out the door. I wished more schools treated training the way they do.

Tomas: Who is Gil?

HKK: Just some old timer. You don’t need to worry about it.

Tomas: How did you get the name Hardkore Kidd?

HKK: It just kind of happened. I was almost ready for my first real match and the promoter needed a name for the flyer. So I talked it over with El Jefe (Hardkore Kidd’s manager). I thought it would be one of those temporary names most guys use when they start out doing jobs. Man was I wrong. When “Hardkore” popped into my head, the last thing I thought about was hardcore
wrestling. What fans now call hardcore wrestling I considered extreme. And if it was some bloody brawl, it was old school. Hardcore wasn’t the term I would have used. I know it sounds stupid, but it’s the truth. If I knew hardcore would be as cliché as it is today, I would have picked something even more cliché
like “the Masked Menace”. At least I wouldn’t be so embarrassed when I told people that name. These days everything is labeled hardcore. Find a Webster’s Dictionary and look it up. I’m not going to give you a vocabulary lesson but if you knew the meaning, you’d understand. That is unless you’re a total dumbass.
Have you seen Taxi Driver? That’s an excellent example of hardcore.  Have you ever heard of Bulldog Prentice? Well, that guy doesn’t  even try and he’s hardcore. I can think of hundreds of people whom I’d call hardcore. I’ll give you a few examples: Pete Rose, Dennis Leary, Ted Nugent, and Beetlejuice from the Howard Stern show. They’re different as people can be but they all deserve
to be called hardcore. Don’t think I’m putting myself into the same category as those guys because that would be foolish. To me they exemplify the definition of hardcore. Anyone who knows me behind closed doors knows what I’m about and if my own family and friends didn’t think I deserved it, they’d be the first to
tell me. See, hardcore isn’t the style I wrestle. It’s more like the style of life I live. I know there’s wrestlers, guys who act like a friend and guys who just look past me as they nod to say “what’s up”, who have a problem with my name, but I
don’t care. When I hear about this guy or that guy saying, “He’s not hardcore”, or “I’m more hardcore then he is”, it makes me laugh. The reason it’s laughable is if these guys were really hardcore, they wouldn’t cackle like a truckload of
chickens. They’d be handling their business like they handle their nut sacks. I’m still waiting for someone in the back to say something. Who knows. Maybe my naysayers will have this read to them and who knows, maybe they might better understand who I am. It takes more then some lame metal music and a razor blade to be hardcore. Oh yeah, Kidd is what Jefe and the old timers call me.

Tomas: What was your rookie year like?

HKK: There was good and there was bad. The good was that I didn’t know better. The bad stuff was I knew the other guy in the ring would rather be working anyone but me.

Tomas: How so?

HKK: Most rookies are put with a seasoned wrestler so it doesn’t totally suck ass. Some would say I’ve had more than my share of those kind of matches over the last 2 years. That’s what you get for being a nice guy. Want to know what really rubs me the wrong way?

Tomas: Shoot.

HKK: When I get a message from a promoter and he says something like, “I know we decided your opponent was going to be Damien 666. Well, I’m sorry. Something’s happened and I was counting on you having a match with Matt Sinister.”  There’s something about coming to an agreement with someone only
to have it change without any input from you. It’s not cool. It wouldn’t be such bullshit if it didn’t happen as often as it does.

Tomas: You used to have a developmental deal with the WWE. How did that come about? And please explain what exactly it entailed.

HKK: What it entailed is my business. What happened was [Rick] Bassman (UPW Owner) got [Justin] McCulley (Justin Sane) and I a dark match with the Ballard Sisters in San Jose. We were both offered deals, and I took mine. McCulley held out for a better offer from ECW, so he didn’t sign. They said
they were gonna send me to a territory, but I was just working SoCal waiting for my phone to ring. I kept in shape at Gil’s Garage.  The funny thing there was none of the guys had any idea about WWF except they had a big dude named Kane.

Tomas: What happened to the deal?

HKK: After my back surgery, WWF requested a tape of a post surgery match, to see if they still liked me. They called and told me to get ready to go to Puerto Rico. And two weeks later, Puerto Rico wasn’t a territory for them anymore.
They called me about Memphis. Then Memphis got cut loose. A few  weeks later, I got a call to go to Heartland (another WWF territory), and then I got the call about my release.

Tomas: What happened?

HKK: [The WWF] bought WCW, so there was no competition to keep me away from. The thing that bothers me is that I never got that last dark match to prove myself like others have. If I’d have gone to Ohio Valley for a week and was
sent home because I suck, I could live with that. However, I feel they never took a serious look at me to let me either sink or swim.

Tomas: To follow up about you working for big companies, why do you think UPW hasn’t sent you to work Zero One yet?

HKK: I have no answer for you. Maybe Bassman is pushing hard for it, but Zero One has a tape of me where they didn’t like my style. It certainly isn’t a question of loyalty, as I’ve been with UPW longer than any guy in the locker room, except for Tom Howard. Guys are getting sent who have been around less than two years. I layed down for Aaron “I can’t wrestle because I have a dildo in my ass” Baker. For that, Bassman should name his first born after me, or at the least send me to Japan.

Tomas: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

HKK: Five years? That’s a long time. I’d like to see myself in the semi main event in Madison Square Garden, earning seven figures. When I’m not wrestling, I’ll be with one of my sugar mamas eating a monster bowl of menudo and watching the Angels win their 6th straight World Series.

Tomas: So you’re an Angel mark?

HKK: Hell yeah. Tommy can bleed Dodger blue all he wants, but that’s nothing like bleeding Halo red.

Tomas: Is there any fed for whom you’d never wrestle?

HKK: If there is, they haven’t called me yet. I’ll wrestle almost anywhere. I won’t wrestle in downtown Baghdad, the South Pole, or anywhere they perform female circumcision. You heard me, and I’m totally serious.

Tomas: Which fed are you happy to hear from when they call you?

HKK: Call me? Seems like I’m always calling them. To get a call would be nice for a frigging change. It seems half my phone bill is long distance toll charges. I think I’m gonna start calling collect.

Tomas: What’s your reaction to Spanky’s comments on SCU when he laughed at the fact a 6’4″ man calls himself a luchador?

HKK: First off, I’m 6’6″. Second, it hurt. Not because of what he said, but because some little nancy boy got one over on me in the first place. I guess that’s what happens when you pick on the weak, lame, foul breathed, buck teethed nerds in high school. That nerd might move far away, but another
nerd will come to replace him. They have a network, and just like Ogre and the Alpha Beta boys found out, the nerds always come back for revenge.

Tomas: You’re kidding me.

HKK: In all seriousness, Spanky is one of the few guys I’ll admit I respect in this business.

Tomas: Tell me about being Nova’s first UPW partner.

HKK: Believe it or not, there was time in UPW when every Indy worker in the world wanted to get in. And believe it or not, there was a time in UPW when Bassman actually came up to me and said, “WWE sees you as a tag team wrestler.  We need to get you a partner. We have access to pretty much anyone
in the nation not under contract, so who do you want?” Don’t ask me why, but at the time he asked me, I was watching a lot of old ECW, and was watching a lot of Nova. I liked his style and innovative moves, so without thinking about the different styles, attitudes, characters, and height difference I blurted out “Nova”. Bassman looked at me strangely and said “Really?” I said, “Yeah, why not?” I thought he’d be against it so when he said OK, I was pumped up. It sucks
trying to find a tag partner. We called on a 3-way and I remember Nova saying, “Thanks bro, I’m glad you think so highly of me. I would love to come down.” We tagged about two or three times. Then Bassman took him from me, or  maybe Nova wanted out, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter now. Bassman probably thought, “Hmm…. Frankie and Nova. Two long haired pretty boys, tanned, leather jean wearing homos. Hey, I’d better stick them together.” Next thing I know, my deal is gone. Nova gets a deal. Frankie is high on their list, and I’m assed out. The way I see it, Frankie wouldn’t have Nova for a partner if it  weren’t for me sitting around in my pad watching Nova tapes one day. So, hey Franklin, when you get your contract, you can go ahead and send me 15% and we’ll call it even. Anyway, if it had been a month earlier it probably would have been Vic Grimes.

Tomas: I heard a rumor that some of the boys give you heat for leaving the shows so early. Why do you leave so early?

HKK: Dude, this ain’t a baby-kissing contest, and I ain’t running for governor. Why the hell should I stick around and BS with a bunch of guys I have nothing  in common with but wrestling? I’m not going to be like the Ballards and go  trolling for 40-year-old ugly ass heavy metal broads in the crowd. I got hynas waiting for me back at the pad and they couldn’t give a shit about this wresting stuff. The all time record for leaving a show early was 13 minutes 56 seconds set by Gino Hernandez back in Dallas in 1984. Earlier this year, El Jefe and I  shattered that record. I had a run-in in Laughlin, and I talked the commission
into paying me early. After the run-in, security escorted me out of the building, I went out to where El Jefe had the car running, we made it to Barstow by the semi main event. I was calling everybody on their cell phones making fun of those schmucks. That night we got out of they’re in 7 minutes and 12 seconds. El Jefe and I fully intend to break our own world record by Winter 2004.

Tomas: Who was your idol growing up? Why?

HKK: Shit, I don’t know. How about Ralph Furley. Furley was a player long  before players and wannabe players became a dime a dozen. Besides him, I  looked up to the Bones Brigade, most of the Lakers. I remember I wanted to be  like Maxwell Smart from Get Smart. Mmm… Agent 99. If you watch them now,  they’re not as cool as they were when you were a kid. I imagine I looked up to Mr. Rogers or Big Bird when I was a little grommet. It really depended on what I was into at the time. I’m sorry I don’t have a Ballard answer like, “My idol is the Undertaker or the singer for Def Leppard, which ever one has longer hair.”

Tomas: What match of yours are you the most proud of?

HKK: I would have to say my Sunday Night Heat match with Tommy Dreamer, because I got him in the Royal Rumble.

Tomas: What? You got Dreamer in the Royal Rumble?

HKK: Well, that is what he said. I was booked for a dark match in Arizona. It just so happened on the day I was there, Vince called a talent meeting with every wrestler, booker, and road agent. Of course, I could not be in the meeting. As soon as the meeting was over, I found Dreamer and told him we were on the Sunday Night Heat list. He then told me what Vince said in the meeting. He said that Vince wants everybody to tone it down, not so many high spots. There had been too many injuries lately. We just want you to wrestle, go  back to the basics, do more hold-to-hold and try and tell a story. Knowing that, Dreamer and I tried to the best we could. I almost started busting up in the middle of the match. I got him in a hold and yelled out to the crowd, “Who is the jobber now Dreamer?” Dreamer said back, “My bald, fat ass, that’s who!” Even  though half of my offense ended up on the editing room floor, I still call it my  favorite match because of what happened afterwards.

Tomas: What happened afterwards?

HKK: Well, after the match, I showered, and was in the cafeteria trying to stuff as many sodas as humanly possible in my bag. When Dreamer came up to me and said, “Aaron, you’re never going to guess what happened.” I said, “What?” He said, “Vince came up to me and said, ‘Good match, Tommy. Thanks for  trying to incorporate what I talked about in the meeting in your match.’ ” I said, “Yeah right, you’re ribbing me bro.” He said, “I swear to God, Vince just said  that to me. I’ve been here for 5 years and I didn’t even think Vince knew my name, but I swear he just came up to me and said that.” So I said, “Thanks bro. That means a lot to me.” It gets better, he told me that one of the agents just  informed him that he would be one of the participants in the Royal Rumble. I asked, “Are you kidding me?” He said, “I haven’t been on WWE PPV since I’ve been here. So the way I see it, my victory over Aaron Aguilera got me in the  Royal Rumble. So, I just want to say thanks.” I said, “Man, if I would have known that then, I would have kicked out of the driver, pinned you, and I would have gotten to go to the Royal Rumble”. Dreamer laughed and said, “You should  have, that’s what I would have done if I were you.”

Tomas: You recently wrestled a couple of dark matches before WWE events. Justin Crast wants to know it you stuck to locker room etiquette. There have been stories about guys getting labeled as jerks because they don’t introduce  themselves to certain people.

HKK: I have one word about WWE’s locker room, and it’s eggshells.

Tomas: Eggshells?

HKK: I was backstage, and it is nerve wracking. Think about it this way. You are sitting there getting dressed, and Ric Flair is sitting next to you lacing up his  boots. He meets 10 local wrestlers in every town, and he’s in like 5 towns a week.  How can he remember anyone? How can he continue to even want to be introduced to more wrestlers? I have no idea what the proper thing to do even is in that situation. It’s scary and you get worried. It’s 10 times worse than losing your virginity. I was backstage with Frankie and the boys and I said to  them, “We’re all walking on eggshells.” Eggshells became our word for that  situation and state of mind. I’ve been asked back more than once, so I guess I’ve  done all right backstage.

Tomas: Taco Shop Style wants to know the following, “Out of all the partners you’ve had in Hardkore Inc., who was your favorite and why?”

HKK: Great question Taco Shop Style. While you’re here, do you know if there’s a “Dollar Chinese Food Style?” Or maybe a “Greek Hamburger Stand Style?” Or perhaps for my boy John Paul, “Weinerschinitzel Style?” If there are, I tip my  hat for your trailblazing gumption. Because the style I see at the places I eat is  mostly dirty jeans, stretched and stained brown t-shirts with a hat way to big  for their head with fire red eyes and horseshit breath. Check it out. Just like the  tres amigos over by the window. That has to be what Taco Shop Style looks like.

Tomas: So who would you say it was?

HKK: What was the question?

Tomas: Out of all your partners you have had, who was your favorite and why?

HKK: My favorite Hardkore Inc. partner has to be Jefe, because no one pulls the honeys like he does.

Tomas: I think he/she meant for a tag partner.

HKK: You want the biggest shoot you’ve ever heard? My favorite partner was Basil. I’m going to put him over because no one else will! People say he sucked  and he was a dope fiend, but he had that one thing 95% of every jackass in this business wishes they had. He was padded cell crazy. He wasn’t right upstairs.  Legitimately fucking nuts. He was a guy, when he was coherent, I truly liked in this business. So to pick one guy, I gotta pick Bad Boy Basil. Here’s a quick Basil  story that’s classic Basil. It was his first non-UPW show and he worked with me against the Ballard Sisters at the Marketplace. He was totally unprepared for the uncontrolled environment of a hardcore Indy crowd. We brawled all over, and it was a complete mess. Nothing really memorable, but after the match he was smiling ear-to-ear, happy as a pig in shit. I think it was the only time I saw him smile. We were sitting there and I asked him how he liked the match. He looked me dead in the face and yelled, “FUCKIN COOL BRO”, and gave me a hug. And as  serious as he could be, he tells me, “I should wrestle more matches like that.”
“Why?”, I asked. And with his face about a foot away from mine, with his crazy eyes focused on me, he quietly says like some spy with top-secret info, “I didn’t blow any spots.”  Dude, that was so funny. That has to rank in my top ten locker
room moments. FYI, before the match, I told him to follow my lead and if he wasn’t sure what to do just throw fore arms like Lex Luger and stomp like the British Bulldog. “I didn’t blow any spots.” Genius.

Tomas: Da Bean wants to know why you use the mask at times and not at others. Is there a reason for this?

HKK: Sometimes I wear it, other times I don’t. There’s nothing to explain.  Lucha is in my blood. It’s my roots. Sometimes I like to wear it out of respect for tradition. Some people have a problem that I don’t wear it all the time, but the way I see things, it makes sense. If you consider how WWE don’t like hoods and my goal is to make it there, it makes perfect sense. I would hope anyone under a hood who has the chance to make it to the biggest stage wouldn’t turn down the chance because of a fucking mask.

Tomas: Speaking of Lucha, why don’t you work more Lucha matches?

HKK: HA! Funny you should bring that up. I ask myself that question all the time. It’s funny, since I know all the local Luchadors and would have no  problem putting over any of them.

Tomas: One would think that with your love for Lucha, and your Lucha  background that you would be on more local Lucha shows. However, the local  Lucha promoters never use you. How come?

HKK: Because I’m stuck in the middle. This is one time where talent doesn’t pay off.

Tomas: Come again?

HKK: The Lucha fans and promoters hate me because they think I’m too American. The American fans and promoters hate me because they think I am too Lucha. The local Lucha promoters also don’t like to use me because they know they can’t get away with paying me $5 and a taco dinner. There is only a handful of promoters or fans that see the beauty behind the Hardkore Kidd.
You have to understand in Mexico, Star Wars just came out last week. So a crazy dude from the streets trying to stay out of trouble by wrestling really doesn’t make sense to most Mexicans. I even tried changing my name for Lucha shows to El Feo Americano. Every Lucha promoter that I told the idea to looked at me like they saw a ghost. They’d scream, “What’s that mean?” Hmm…
let’s see last time I checked, feo meant ugly. Americano meant American, and el meant the. So I guess it means The Ugly American. You can’t be much more rudo in Lucha than by using that name. I’d explain, and the Lucha promoters still couldn’t figure it out. You can take a horse to water, but you cannot make them drink. It’s too bad they don’t use me more because I love Lucha. It goes
beyond the kicks and punches and power moves of American wrestling. What I admire most about Lucha is how much the Mexican people love and respect it and the emotions they have for the Luchadors.

Tomas: You like to discuss Lucha. What does Lucha mean to you?

HKK: It’s about pride. I hate that it’s the locker room joke, “6’6″ luchador.” Does Christopher Daniels get crap for having worked Lucha? I call it a huracanrana, not a frankensteiner. People dog Lucha, then mark out when Americans rip off the moves. I get the crap for being a Luchador. But if you watch my work, I do a lot more than that. It doesn’t really matter what I do in the ring because in the locker room, the “6’6” Luchador thing is always an easy punch line.

Tomas: You are one of the few local wrestlers who cuts a promo almost every show. How do you think of what to say, and why don’t more wrestlers use the mic?

HKK: Most guys don’t do it because they’re afraid to. I see the ability to cut a promo as an essential tool to make to the next level. Once I understood I needed to do them, I would grab the mic and go for it. In the beginning, they were the traditional, “I’m gonna do this and I’m gonna do that” or “When I get my hands on you…” Very generic shit. Then my friends started coming to check out my matches and they would make fun of my tired 80’s resets. I started taking them more serious and after awhile, I started taking notes anytime
I had an idea. Some ideas were good, but some weren’t so good. Now it’s more of a group thing. My friends are assholes and I’m an asshole and as long as there’s a case of beer and someone to share it with I’ll never be left speechless. Unless, of course, it’s a night when I don’t feel like talking.

Tomas: What are your thoughts on the Internet wrestling community?

HKK: Find another word other than community. You cannot have a community without a little unity.

Tomas: OK, the Internet wrestling scene.

HKK: Fuck them right now. We’ll talk about that later.

Tomas: Sure thing. Why did El Jefe decide to put you together with Al Katrazz as a team?

HKK: I’m not sure. Jefe sees him as a company guy. It might have something to do with Al’s attitude. Jefe likes guys that come across like he does. He’s really down with El Jefe, and Jefe’s down with him. When you look at us as a team, it is
unbelievable. Half my partners start out as enemies, but that doesn’t surprise me anymore. Jefe tells me he’s a real company guy and I gotta trust him. Every time I trip that he’s my partner I remember how Jefe use to tell me, “Keep your friends close and keep your enemies closer.” Maybe he got the job because he fits in the uniform. You never know.

Tomas: You talk about Hardkore Inc. like it’s a legit business with an office and employees. If this is the case, what kind of business besides wrestling does HardKore Inc. do? What is the job description for the employees? And besides
you, Al and Jefe, how many employees does HardKore Inc. have?

HKK: Did you get a job with the IRS or something? All you need to know is someone is always at Hardkore Inc. Headquarters.  Weather it’s me, Moony, Jefe or Ma-nizzle, and one of his weird-ass chick friends (sorry bro, sometimes they even freak me out), someone is always around to screen the calls. It’s the real thing. I just don’t think Jefe would like me giving you the ins and outs of
day-to-day business. Trust me when I tell you we’re going straight to NASDAQ.

Tomas: So where is the office of Hardkore Inc. located?

HKK: Well, it’s in the best city there is, right in the heart of Orange County.

Tomas: Anaheim?

HKK: Did you lick some frogs before you showed up? Anaheim is Orange County’s ass, and for the record, Disneyland is it’s hole.

Tomas: Why the heat with Disney?

HKK: That’s a lame question considering I’m an Angel fan. I’ll start with changing the team logo so often. What was wrong with the “A” and a halo in the first place? Next, we have the Mo Vaughn massacre. Let me remind everyone
that he got hurt in his first game and became utterly useless for God knows how long. I’ll describe his stay with the Angels as hurtful and painful. He contributed jack shit and cost the Angels more than all those millions his ridiculous  contract called for. Mo cheeseburgers, please. Mark McGuire was a free agent and expressed interest in playing at Edison Field. The Angels passed, afraid he might leave, so he didn’t come to Anaheim. He goes to St. Louis, which is in the National League. He had never been in the NL, so he was traded and eventually re-signed. The Angels thought he’d never sign for less than a mega deal they  couldn’t afford. Pass on McGuire, but throw cash away on Vaughn? What were
they thinking? I could have watched the chase for 61 in person, but instead saw it the same place Mo Vaughn did, from home. I could go on all day. Anyone who tells you that Disney had everything to do with the Halos winning the series is bunk. All they did was not fire Mike Scoscia like they usually would have.

Tomas: It’s safe to say that wasn’t the first time you’ve said that. So getting back to the original question, where are you talking about?

HKK: Orange, CA. That’s as specific as I’ll get. It is info given on a need to know basis. Why do you think we’re here?

Tomas: What is it you love about Orange County? You are always representing it, either with a t-shirt or a shill in a promo.

HKK: It’s my home. That’s enough to make it the best. We also have the best females ages 21 to 34, if you bother to notice. LA is full of scaliwags and wannabes looking to sleep their way to the top. And San Diego, or as we call it
at Hardkore headquarters, San Dee-Gay-Go, that place is full of drunken sluts and amphetamine whores with big dreams of the sweeter life up in Orange County. Don’t get me wrong, we have ugly chicks in OC, but they’re just visiting. Notice how I left out the 909? It’s like an invasion of the Broom Hilda sisters.

Tomas: What was the most painful bump you’ve ever taken?

HKK: A Balls Mahoney chair shot. He hit me with a full swing with one of those heavy Frank N’ Steins steel chairs from the back storage area. A fan gave the  chair to me a couple of months after it happened and I tripped on how the
seat was folded. It was shaped like a taco. Damn it hurts thinking about it.

Tomas: Your opinion on the war in Iraq?

HKK: Nobody wants to hear my opinions on political shit.

Tomas: Why not? Let’s hear it.

HKK: Let’s just say that the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has final say in.

Tomas: What memories do you have of Adam Pearce as a partner?

HKK: It was great. I give Fallen Angel a lot of credit. He knew I was having a hard time finding a consistent partner. He caught a wire that Scrap Iron was coming to town and thought we would make a perfect tag team, and Daniels made the introductions. In two words I can describe Hardkore Kidd and Scrap Iron as “instant heat.” We just had that special chemistry. We barely knew each other, but we clicked in the ring. And some of the best times I ever had in Hardkore Inc. were with Scrap Iron. I just wish we were on the same level when we were tagging. The unfortunate part about my time with Pearce was that I  think I caught him at a bad point of his career. He was fed up with all the bullshit politics, shady promoters, not getting paid for working hard in the ring, every promotion being run half ass, and was just getting burnt out on the  business. At the same time, I was on the deal and was on cloud nine, to be  getting paid from the best company in the world. I was convinced with WWF needing tag teams. WWF already knowing about Adam Pearce, and him being
high on their list, since I was already on the deal, that maybe if WWF could just see us work together once that they would sign AP and send us to OVW. I don’t really know if that’s what AP wanted.  He just started going to college and was recently married. He called in sick on one big UPW show when we were  supposed to wrestle the Cubans, and I was left to wrestle Ruckus, and he missed another one because he had to work. I told him I would drive out to San Diego just to train and work on tag team moves, but he never seemed interested. He did a couple shows for MPW, then called it quits. I went in for surgery, so we never really got off the ground like I would have liked to. Then we tried to hook up again for Gary Crap, but you now that story. I hope someday in the future we get the chance to hook up again, but that’s all up to El Jefe.

Tomas: OK, I’ll name a fed and you give me your opinion.

Tomas: WPW.

HKK: At one time WPW was the best Indy in SoCal. They easily had the best locker room. I remember the first time I went there, it was crazy. All the best Luchadors were there: Durango Kid, Super Boy, Poison, Zarco, Chilango, Impactico, Shamu, and Misterioso. It was great. It would be great if they had those types of shows again. You’d never know it now, but the crowd was hot from the opening bell to the last pin fall.

Tomas: Rev Pro

HKK: I’m sure someone will tell me how wrong I am but my opinion is a few good wrestlers don’t make a fed. I’ll never understand how they can have the same match ups every other week and their fans mark out like they did the first time they saw bare-naked titties. Ron’s not a stupid guy. He simply gives his audience what they want. I miss working there. I’m not sure why I haven’t been invited back. It could be that their fans know I don’t give a shit about them. It might also be due to the fact I called Ron’s fine ass sister a slut. I didn’t mean it,
and if that sweet looking hyna is reading this, I have something to say. Just let me switch to suave mode. Sweetheart, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. I’d really like to make it up to you sometime. You get my number from Ron, and when you finish reading this or when you get out of the shower, feel free to give me a call. I’d like to make it up to you. Actually, I’m joking. Ron’s
a guy who has always been all right in my book, but just like real life, I have no idea what he says about me when I’m not around. One more thing, to the Rev Pro fans, don’t be so sensitive about what I say toward the company and their boys. Remember this is pro wrestling, not Masterpiece Theatre.

Tomas: AWS

HKK: The most underrated fed in SoCal. They have very balanced cards, with everything from Lucha to traditional American to cruisers to heavyweights. The fact the promoter doesn’t play games makes this one of my favorite places to work.

Tomas: EPIC/Gary Yap

HKK: Well, he screwed me over. I won’t name here or there or this and that. See the whole EPIC deal for me was they were going to do TV. I wanted to be a part of that. It was the first place that did TV programming that let me say  whatever I wanted to. That was cool because the spots made it to TV. I wish it were still happening because it was cool except for the debacle in the end. The end of the story sucked ass. I should have seen it coming because promises weren’t being kept and appointments were always rescheduled. I could start  talking shit on him but everyone already said it a 1,000 times. Maybe I’d get paid the money he owes me if I did. I shouldn’t say it was a total loss. You know how some people were waiting for EPIC tapes they ordered? It’s my fault they never got them. I needed something to record Saturday Lucha with and when I saw the tapes I knew Gary wouldn’t mind if I had a few… dozen. (laughs out loud)

Tomas: If he doesn’t pay up after reading this, you can always use it next time.

HKK: I don’t like to admit it, but Gary got over on me. I could fully shoot on this whole thing.

Tomas: PCW

HKK: Too many chiefs, not enough Indians. Hopefully they can change that. I’ve known the “brass” for a long time and the fact they haven’t thrown in the towel shows desire and I respect that. Now if Foob [Dog] would work on his cardio and quit smiling in the ring he’d be my favorite PCW’er. He’s a pretty
unique dude you know? He stands out in a room full of people.

Tomas: So you think Foob has a future?

HKK: I just see the possibilities. The fact he doesn’t look like anybody else gives him an advantage. Look at the big picture. These days anybody can learn the moves and get booked, but to make it to the next level, you have to stand
out. Foob doesn’t have to do shit to stand out. If he seriously worked at it, he could be way more entertaining and you never know.

Tomas: I can’t believe I heard that from your mouth.

HKK: What? Foob? He’s cool with us. Blame it on sports entertainment. Sometimes we get bored in the back and when you’re bored your mind wanders. If I ran a fed people would trip on my roster.

Tomas: Who would you want?

HKK: I’d want you bro. Dude, you would be my champ.

Tomas: Are you serious?

HKK: Come on. Having you as my champ makes as much sense as having Aaron the Jew being the T&A eye candy on a show. Before I get a bunch of phone calls on calling him Aaron the Jew, call him yourself and ask him why.

Tomas: APW LA

HKK: Hardkore Inc. members still refer to it as GSCW. It’s been fun except for the politics and behind the scene kayfabing of the workers. I’ve never been in a locker room that has half the rumors making rounds as it does. Beside the bullshit, it’s a cool place to work. For some reason, I always took my orders
from Glenn “Diablo” McNeil instead of Henry. It only took a few meetings with Diablo to realize he didn’t care what I did. I couldn’t believe I won the belt, because I’ve always been the number one contender. As far as the whole APW invasion and purchase goes, I don’t understand it. Don’t get me wrong.
I like the idea of the invasion. I’ve had a good time talking shit on the Bay Area and I’m looking forward to doing it again, but why merge? It’s not like GSCW  couldn’t use APW talent. This is Independent wrestling. I heard someone say the APW name is bigger so it makes sense to use it but I don’t know if that’s necessarily better. I think a fresh company identity, especially with a clean slate has a better chance to succeed as a grassroots Indy. I’ll tell you what Jefe said about it and leave it at that.  He put it like this, “When a company merges with another, shouldn’t the deal be beneficial for both companies? Well, tell
me, where’s the beef?”

Tomas: UPW

HKK: The most professional Indy I’ve ever seen. They’re in a league by themselves. Bassman is a maniac. Over the years I’ve had the best time giving him as many headaches as possible. Bassman has had plenty of reasons to show me the door but he hasn’t.

Tomas: What do you think of the Philly scene?

HKK: You mean like CZW, ROH, and the other feds? I don’t really follow what they’re doing monthly. People give me tapes but they’re usually a few months old. ROH has some great wrestling. It’s very cool Joe’s the champ. As far as CZW
goes, I tried to get to booked and they said I was too tall. That Zandig dude told me he liked my promo tape, but I was too tall. I’m too tall? That was the first  time I was ever turned down from a fed for being too tall. Some of their shows I’ve seen are unreal. Blown away from the first match to the last.

Tomas: Now I’m going to drop wrestler’s names, and I want an honest reaction.

Tomas: Tom Howard

HKK: He’s Tom. Tom is legitimately tough. He’s been one of my mentors since I started. He doesn’t get enough credit because he’s so versatile. He seriously can work any style and he does it like he was born running ropes. Everybody has an
opinion on who is the best Indy wrestler not signed by the WWE and I think Tom has to be top 5, maybe top 3.

Tomas: Super Boy

HKK: A class act. I couldn’t find words worthy enough to describe what an unbelievable guy he is. I’d take a bullet for him. That’s how much I care for him. He’s been a great friend and it kills me to think he can’t work. Man, I’m
so lucky to know him. For those who aren’t familiar with him, he’s something else to look at but when he runs the ropes he’s fuckin’ magical. Fucking cool bro. Damn, I can’t believe I marked out so hard. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to talk about Super Boy in an interview. Anyways lets move on like that didn’t happen.

Tomas: John Cena

HKK: We used to have a blast in UPW promo class. We were always bagging on  each other. When I saw him backstage at WWE, I asked him, “Dude, I didn’t know you could rap.” His response was, “Bassman never asked me to.” The  minute I met Cena I knew he would make it. He had the body, decent work rate, strong crowd presence, charisma, mic skills, and he worked hard. We both were given the deals at the same time. I give him credit. He had the balls to just get up and move to OVW without being asked. Myself, Basil and Cena were just sitting in SoCal waiting to be sent out. Cena was the only dude with the stones
big enough to get up and move. If I could do it all over again, I would have done the same damn thing. It might have saved my deal, because I know for a fact, the move saved Cena’s ass. I remember Cena was e-mailing me telling me that he would take care of me once I got to OVW with a place to stay, but I got released.

Tomas: Sylvester Terkay.

HKK: Sylvester the Escapee is still to this day one of my all-time favorite opponents. One of the stiffest bumps I’ve ever experienced was when I gave him a Russian leg sweep. I gave it to him but he sent me home hurt. We hit the mat so hard it felt like a car hit me from behind. The next day I couldn’t believe the pain inside my chest and stomach. Without a doubt one of the strongest dudes I’ve ever wrestled. The first time we ever wrestled was at the gym in Mission Viejo. It was the second UPW show and everything was really loose. So me and Sly started in the ring and as the crowd was getting pumped up with the action, we took our fight ringside and slowly made our way around the entire gym. It was loaded with people. I grabbed the phone off the reception desk right in the middle if the place and hit Sylvester way hard with the thing and it broke. It wasn’t some regular wall phone like you’d have at home, but one of those big wall phones with an intercom and a bunch of buttons for different
lines. Bassman tried to make me pay for it. If someone hit me like that I’d be pissed but it wasn’t shit for him. On that same night, we made UPW history. We were the first guys to go through a table. It was weird the way it went down but it was funnier having Nils Stewart yell at me for an hour and not remember a
word. His gums were flapping but all I could hear was the crowd when we went through that table.

Tomas: What was weird about it?

HKK: It wasn’t planned, but they had a table set up because some shoot fighters were there to sign autographs and I was inspired. The next thing I know I laid Sylvester on the table and without thinking about it. I climbed on one of those tall drinking fountains using some door trim to help myself up
ripping it down as I went up. Right next to the fountain was a big Gatorade Coke  machine. So I climbed on top of that and went for it. The crowd went crazy but not as crazy as Nils Stewart and Bassman. Bassman was pissed at me for that for  a while. But he eventually got over it. All I had to do was accidentally kick his wife in the neck off a top rope suicide tope and he forgot about the “vandalism” at the gym.

Tomas: King Favi

HKK: Favi… I’ve known him for a while and we’ve tagged together a bunch of times. I remember we wrestled the Head Hunters and he couldn’t take their moonsaults (he was working hurt) so I took it. It was suppose to finish the match. But hey, Dan was there to break up the pin like a good partner should do. Since it didn’t finish the match they were like “lay back down and I’ll pin you this time” so I get ready for the pin and he gets up and goes for the ropes and give me another moonsault from the bigger headhunter. Fucking Favi, leave it  to him to do the right thing at the wrong time. I couldn’t laugh for a couple of weeks. They hurt me good. He’s the only guy that would make one of his battle cries, “Viva Gorditas”. Sometimes he’d get so stupid (and that’s stupid in a good way not stupid in a Ballard way), I’d have to cover my face to keep from laughing at those foolish antics.

Tomas: New Jack

HKK: I got three things to say about New Jack: One, he’s light as a feather. Two, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Three, I wish  someone in SoCal would get off their ass and have the grapefruit seeds big  enough to continue our feud.

Tomas: Super Dragon

HKK: If you’re waiting for me to blast the dude, I can’t. I’m not a player hater. I hear the boys in the back talking junk on him all the time. But the way I see it, he’s really over and there’s a reason why. He can do things in the ring I can’t do. He can do a 720 moonsault tope back flip McTwist like he’s Crouching Tiger or Tony Hawk, you know what I mean? Now that shit’s impressive. I don’t care about locker room politics. His work can speak for itself. I know I’ll catch heat from almost everyone for what I am about to say, but the next time anybody
hears a worker talk bad about [Dragon], look at that worker and I guarantee they couldn’t keep up with Dragon and they are simply player hating.

Tomas: Lil’ Cholo

HKK: Glad to see him get a shot at CZW. He deserves it more then anyone in SoCal. Right now, his work is good. I hope he doesn’t start acting like some of the boys he’s hanging with. I’m not talking WPW crew, because those guys are
his real brothers. He’s one of the first guys I met when I started training. I hope he sees the big picture because the time is right for guys like him to make it in WWF. He has a marketability that he doesn’t know about and if he does, he should be working on his promos because if he played his cards right, he’d be wrestling Smackdown in a year or so.

Tomas: B-Boy

HKK: You mean my boy Hijo de Reckless Youth?  At least that’s who he used to be. Fuck… man, I was thinking the election debacle in Florida was a scam and then I hear about… never mind. The parties involved know what I was about to get at.

Tomas: Black Metal

HKK: He’s too naive to know what’s best for him.

Tomas: Huh?

HKK: He’s too naive to know what’s best for him meaning he’s young and he’s made bad decisions that will affect his career and probably for the rest of his life. He’s been doing it since the first day he started training. Jefe told me, “Never shit where you eat”. Too bad he didn’t tell Jake. It might have saved him some heartache, but I’m sure as he gets older, he’ll see the error of his ways. One more thing. He wrestled as the Hardkore Kidd one day and I’ll never be cool with that. I don’t care what any promoter says there’s no way
I’d ever wrestle as someone else, let alone someone I hated.

Tomas: Frankie Kazarian

HKK: Frankie (coughs) Likeshairymen.  He’s a Reseda Mortenheimer dreaming of Encino. Hey Frankie, what was the name of that movie with Ralph Macchio? No, no. The other one? Yeah, the Outsiders. What are you talking about? The Karate Kid was for pussies. Trust me, it makes sense to flappy

Tomas: Ballard Brothers

HKK: Where do I begin? I’ll start with the most obvious. They’re ugly longhaired heavy metal Warrant video rejects. Those guys are so stupid. They have different bodies but they share one brain. One of the first things Shane told me was they rode the little yellow bus till they were in the 11th grade. Now Shannon drives a total rocker Camero. If you ask me, the bus has more class. Hmm… did I tell you they’re really stupid?

Tomas: Back to the question about the Internet wrestling scene. What are your thoughts about it?

HKK: There’s good and bad. I think the Internet is a necessity for any Independent wrestling promotion. It’s one of the best ways to keep contact with your fan base. It’s too

HKK: There’s good and bad. I think the Internet is a necessity for any Independent wrestling promotion. It’s one of the best ways to keep contact with your fan base. It’s too cheap not to do it. As for the smarties, (pauses) they… (pauses) OK, when I first broke in, I hated smarties. There’s nothing worse then an armchair quarterback or backseat driver. I thought, “Who the fuck is this lame to criticize me when he’s some nerd behind a computer screen?” I couldn’t believe it, but after a while, I started to understand them. It’s your job as a critic to criticize. And unfortunately with the Internet, anybody with access can become one. It doesn’t bother me when I hear how shitty I was because you guys and your opinions don’t mean shit one way or the other. Not to be a dick or anything, but I’m too focused on my own life. There are some who are going to like it and some who aren’t. It’s like music. You like boy bands and I don’t. I like classic American cars you like classic 70’s porn flicks. People like wrestling for different reasons. Honestly, the people I’m looking to entertain aren’t the savvy know it alls. I like the crowd to be on the side of old school. Those fans aren’t the first one on the boards. The boards are funny shit. Sometimes I’ll read them and I can’t believe how stupid people are. Sometimes it’s funnier then Marmaduke. I never heard of a flame war until I read a board. Now I know what BTW, IMO and LMAO mean. And BTW, it took me forever to find someone I knew who knew what that shit meant. The only thing my friends know about a computer is it starts with the letter C. Most of the nonsense posted is done with an agenda in mind. It wouldn’t surprise me if a friend, or family member wrote more than half of the shit posted, or even by the very wrestler the posts put over most. Some of the boys buy their own press even when they know where it comes from. If I want a biased opinion, I’ll turn on Bill O’Reilly and the All Spin Zone. Then there are those of you who post for the sake of posting and the only reason you do it is to put yourself over. Now that’s fucking gay. There’s no other way to put it. Putting yourself over on a wrestling board is gay. (pause) Oh bro, you’re not gay are you? It’s OK if you are and all. I’m not here to judge anybody, dude. Anyway, did I answer the question the way it was asked?

Tomas: Good enough for me. When you finally hang up your boots, how will you be remembered?

HKK: I’ll never hang up my boots. When I get too old to wrestle, I’ll keep wearing them just like the old retired men who wear construction boots. I can see it now. I’ll be with my grandkids at the miniature golf course with my boots I’ve had made that have never seen the inside of a ring. I can hear it all ready, “Hey grandpa, what’s 100 % RUDO?” So technically, I won’t hang up my boots and I’ll never be remembered.

Tomas: Thanks for your time.

HKK: Can I say one more thing?

Tomas: Sure

HKK: I want to add that some people get it, some don’t. This is pro wrestling and there’s more to the story than meets the eye. I’ve heard some people say the Big Bossman sucks and he’s everything bad about this sport, but isn’t it strange that the biggest man in this business, Vince McMahon, always had him involved with his angles. Just like basketball teams have role players, wrestling does to. I don’t think anybody would say Ben Wallace sucks because he doesn’t ball like Tracy McGrady, and if someone did, that wouldn’t be very smart. I’m done are you?

Tomas: I am

HKK: Good deal bro. Peace and chicken grease.

At this point, Mr. Aguilera left, and didn’t bother to shake my hand. As mentioned earlier, I’m wondering if this was the proper etiquette for the situation.