Interview With Jon Ian

Jon Ian has been a longtime fixture at many Southern California independent wrestling shows. Over the years he has become the most prominent ring announcer in SoCal, and last year added promoter to his resume. In this interview, Jon gives his thoughts on SoCal, some of his favorite wrestlers in SoCal, the future of the scene, and his promotion Mach One Wrestling.TF: First question. You’ve been a staple in the Southern California wrestling scene for years now. How did you first get involved with the wrestling business?
Jon: I just graduated from college and started coaching basketball at Rialto HS when I learned Jesse Hernandez and Bill Anderson’s School of Hard knocks was about 10 minutes from home, and the rest I guess you can say is history.

TF: You’ve been a ring announcer for many years and many promotions. Through out the years you’ve also had the chance to ring announce some big shows and matches. What have been your favorite shows, matches, and moments over the years in SoCal?
Jon: Every show I have announced has been fun to be apart of, of course there are some shows that really stand out because of who was there. My first UPW Galaxy show with Christopher Daniels vs. Kurt Angle as the main event is probably my favorite. Other shows with The Road Warriors, Edge and Christian, The Hardy’s and Lita, Tommy Dreamer, HHH, William Regal, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, AJ Styles, and many more.

TF: As many people now, professional wrestling can be a pretty fucked up business. Have there been any moments you’ve seen in SoCal that has just made you think “that’s fucked up”?
Jon: There are always things that happen that sours you to all of this, but this is still a great business to be apart of. I believe many feel the same way I do, otherwise we would have nothing to do with it at all. There are ALOT of good people involved in SoCal wrestling.

TF: SoCal is known as one of the most diverse scenes in independent wrestling today. With that, there are bound to be some negatives and positives. What are some of the biggest positives in SoCal wrestling at the moment?
Jon: The activity here in SoCal is better than anywhere else in the US. The number of promotions and frequency they run keeps people busy, gives alot of guys work, and the opportunity to work different guys with different styles and get better. If I am a young guy looking t o break in, I would move to California.

TF: Now on the flipside, as with any positives there are negatives as mentioned. What do you think are some negatives that plague SoCal at the moment and what do you think could use some improvement to help SoCal get better and grow as a scene?
Jon: I could be wrong, but to me, SoCal just does not get enough exposure so more can see what a wonderful thing that is going on here. SoCal has been the starting ground for some of the great stars you see on TV. TNA has a number of workers that have started here (Samoa Joe, Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, Victoria) and WWE’s biggest star (John Cena) started here as well. PWG’s presence certainly helps, but there is so much more SoCal has to offer. I think we can work harder in showing the rest of the country the SoCal, in my opinion is the best area around.

TF: You have worked with many wrestlers over the years. You’ve seen plenty of guys come and go. In your opinion, who is the best wrestler you’ve seen in SoCal over the years, and who has the potential to be the future of this scene?
Jon: There are too many to name. Frankie Kazarian, who is a good man and a great friend has always been a favorite. I am really proud to see he has been able to set his roots in TNA and I don’t think we have seen the best of him yet. Joey Ryan and Adam Pearce are both tremendous performers. Scott Lost may be the most underrated wrestler in the world in my opinion.

There are so many young guys with a wealth of talent coming up now, it is very exciting to see. Some that come to mind are Chris Kadillak, Shane Dawson, and Peter Avalon that I really like, but there’s alot more out there that are going to be really good.

TF: Last year you opened up your own promotion, Mach One Wrestling. When did you decide that you wanted to open up your own promotion and what was the toughest part of getting the promotion up and running?
Jon: My goal when I first started was to run shows. I wanted to start M1W back in 2006, but I got pretty sick, spent some time in the hospital, and had to take the next year and a half recovering. Just not being well enough to start when I wanted to was the toughest part of all of this.

TF: When booking shows, a lot of bookers have different methods of picking who they want on their shows. Do you have a method for choosing who you want and don’t want on your shows?
Jon: Just selecting workers I think will do a good job in the ring, tell a good story, and make people want to come back and buy a ticket to the next show. The attendance has been smaller in comparison to other feds, but very consistent and with time will grow. The people that have come to a show show have been pleased and continued to come back so everyone has done a great job!

TF: What has been the most frustrating aspect of being a wrestling promoter?
Jon: I have not experienced that (knock on wood). I think every show has been good, and fun for the fans.

TF: Along with the frustration, there’s bound to be some positives. What have been some of the most rewarding moments you’ve had since opening M1W?
Jon: Everyone that has worked my shows are fantastic. The wrestlers have all been great to work with. The group of guys that help put theses shows together (Evan, Matt, Josh, Fran, Ritchie) are the best and don’t get enough credit for what they do. The fans that come to the show have also been very appreciative as well. Just being surrounded by great people makes this seem so fun and easy.

TF: Last question. What can people expect at the next M1W show and future M1W events?
Jon: As M1W grows, there are alot of things developing in the future of M1W that are exciting. We crowned our first M1W Champion, James Morgan this year. Expect to see M1W Tag Team Champions, a women’s champion, and alot more. Stay tuned!

TF: Any finals words for the readers of SCU and anything you want to plug?
Jon: Thanks to all of the SCU fans that have always been good to me at the shows I announced. You all are wonderful. Thanks for the support you give me and SoCal wrestling and continue to support these promoters and wrestlers that work hard for your entertainment. I know that many of you have your favorite fed to go to and that’s great! Continue to support them, but also check out some feds you have never been to as well. These men and women out here work very hard and if you give them the chance, I think you would be pleasantly suprised! Thanks again.

About the Author
The authority on wrestling and MMA in Southern California since 2001.