Thursday, August 6, 2009
UCW Brings You Ten Times the Fight: Exclusive Interview
A couple of months ago, Michael Tovar (aka BodySlam) launched Underground Championship Wrestling (UCW), a pay-per-view pro wrestling site, operating out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I picked up on the site through some videos Tovar posted on YouTube and quickly became a huge, slavering fan. Already I have posted enthusiastic responses to this exciting new federation here and here.
Last night I interviewed Tovar, along with UCW’s top attraction and newly anointed UCW Champion, Axel. Tovar brings years of experience in pro wrestling to the new enterprise, and Axel, new to pro wrestling but already attracting fans through UCW, brings his boy-next-door good looks, agility, and incredible stamina to every fight.
At 6’0”, 145#, the brown-haired, brown-eyed Axel is definitely somebody to watch out for! Basically a good guy, but, fuck, the dude can give as good as he takes!
Joe: You guys at UCW went online back in June, I think it was, and you were an immediate success, and then the site was “under construction” again for a few days? What happened?
Michael: We started up by accident. The web guy and I were trying to figure out a way people could buy our videos and I could send them out where I would, with very limited computer skills, be able to send out the video-download links. I was on the phone saying, “I don’t understand. I can’t see what you’re looking at. That part of the website isn’t up yet.” He says, “Here, let me put it on there for you to see, and he did, and while I was talking to him the e-mails for video orders started pouring in. The rest is history; we stayed on the phone for hours figuring out how to make it work. Next thing you know the site was crashing from being overwhelmed with so much traffic. But that is fixed now.
Joe: What’s been the best part of UCW’s success for you personally?
Michael: Making new friends. I get off on the wrestling, I really do, but I never thought I would be making so many new friends. Like Axel, I find him online and we start talking; he comes to town, taking a chance that I’m not just some Internet prowler or pervert looking to score on some young dumb kid. We meet, and he stays over at my house, and right away we have this connection and become best friends. I am becoming friends with most of the guys.
Axel: The best part for me personally is the money. As selfish as that may sound, it is the truth. I am a college student, and I also have a part-time job, so the extra money helps pay the bills.
Joe: I think UCW seriously rocks. Where did you get the idea?
Michael: I have been a promoter in the pro wrestling industry for some time now, and when I would watch my wrestlers in the past feds doing their wrestling, I felt something was missing. Then I figured it out: what it was lacking was the brutality; it was just not there. I wanted something between MMA and regular wrestling. UCW gives me all of that. I am our demographic. I like watching hot-looking, young, well-built guys wrestling and fighting it out for dominance and control over each other. But they have to do the holds right, and it has to hurt, really hurt.
Joe: What tips do you give your fighters for hurting each other without inflicting serious, lasting damage?
Michael: It’s kinda up to the people in the match. How hard you can hit somebody is up to the guys themselves. I tell my fighters to practice hitting a wall. However hard they can hit a wall is how hard they can hit each other. I tell them anything goes. They need to do what they can to make the other guy say ouch. The ouch needs to be real. Earlier this evening I made Axel say ouch a few times …
Axel: Yep. He did.
Joe: I’ve been hearing some enthusiastic responses to you guys.
Axel: The biggest responses that I have read is how realistic our matches look and the amount of punishment we take in a match. Plus the comments on how good I look is a perk, too. (Laughs.)
Michael: And I quote: “Great ab shots!” “Love the focus on the ab workovers!” “Nice, real pro gear!” “Good punches!” “Better than the fake stuff on ______!” “Axel is the bomb!” “Tell Kid to let his body hair grow back.” “You guys rock!” “Better than anything else out there!” “I love Axel’s trunks!” “That Axel is something else, bullies beware.” “Do live shows!” “I want Axel to beat up my boyfriend!” It seems like a lot of fans like what we are doing and want to see more.
Joe: Has any of the fan mail been crazy or sick? Crazier or sicker than even mine? (Laughs.)
Axel: Nothing more than what you would expect. I’m always getting compliments on my looks and my … um … “package.” (Laughs.) There was one guy, not sure if we can call him a fan, who complained about the lack of blood in our matches. To that I say, “Search elsewhere.” We can’t please everyone I guess.
Joe: Axel, you recently beat up Raptor for the UCW title. You totally owned him—and the match is a classic in my opinion. Any thoughts on that fight?
Axel: I’ve known Raptor for a while, so for me it was just another match, with some very important bling as the prize. He’s a tough guy, but he’s gonna have to pull out some new moves and not just his usual ball grabs if he ever wants to touch this belt. If Raptor can’t do that, he should just hop in a DeLorean and travel back to the Stone Age. Come to think of it, cavemen could show him a thing or two … if they don’t serve him as the main course first.
Joe: Axel, how would you describe your ideal opponent?
Axel: The guy that thinks he is top shit with his popped collar, over-tanned, over-worked muscles … and over-hyped. The type of fake that treats others who are smaller or less “good looking” like garbage. I’ll always love a good, even fight with guys my size, for example, Klown [another UCW talent that Axel recently fought], but it is the douche-bags and the bullies I want to fight.
Joe: In your opinion, what makes UCW different from other sites, like NHB-Battle or BG East?
Axel: Each has their own style. NHB-Battle is good, old-fashioned submission wrestling. BG East has a variety of wrestling styles, but to me it is more focused on the erotic aspect of wrestling. The UCW, in my opinion, is more realistic. We train for our matches, so we know how to put on a good show. This is not to say that the other guys don’t train or put on a good show, but when was the last time you saw anyone on NRW (No Rules Wrestling) take a real gut shot?
Michael: I need to see real wrestling and real hits, and that’s what we have.
Joe: The matches are definitely erotic for me and, I imagine, other viewers. But what role, if any, does eroticism play in the actual experience of the fight?
Axel: It doesn’t. Not for me. Looking at the videos afterwards, I can see where other people see them as erotic, but they don’t register as erotic with me. Not during the match. Not even, really, when I’m looking at the videos later. I get that they are erotic, though, to some viewers. When I look at the videos, I’m looking for what I could be doing better. My attitude towards my matches is more like a critique, I guess.
Joe: I find that, for me personally, a real fight, a real submission wrestling match, is ten times as erotic as two cute models striking fake, wrestler-like poses. It’s actually the authenticity of the fight that makes it so hot. If you try too hard to make it look hot, it just looks cringingly awful. That’s my opinion, anyway. Do you have any favorite holds or moves?
Michael: Well, the body slam, which is where I get my nickname. Master of headlocks, power slams, gut wrench suplex and the power bomb … these are my best moves. But I also love getting away with closed-fist punching, pulling tights and hair, and choke holds. Seeing just how much I can get away with before the ref catches me.
Joe: So choking and hair-pulling? Does that mean you have a little bit of heel in you?
Michael: I guess it does. As an older guy, the eroticism is an important part of wrestling for me. Being a heel lets you totally dominate the other guy, holding back nothing. I look at Axel as a kind of younger version of me. When I was young, I wanted to beat up the bullies, be the hero and all that. Now I kinda want to be the bully. It’s more fun. But at my age, wrestling is very erotic. I get off on dominating young punks now.
Joe: Axel? Any favorite moves?
Axel: The scoop slam is just an awesome feeling—to pick any guy up and throw him to the ground. The triangle choke is a tough move to apply in any form of wrestling, but once you get it locked in you are almost guaranteed a win. The choke is a blood choke, so it’s almost painless, and the guy is out before he knows what is going on. Finally the grapevine is one of those dominant fuck-you moves in wrestling. One of the best ways to achieve a pin. So much of wrestling is how you use your legs—arguably one of the strongest aspects of the human body. To take away the use of a wrestler’s legs is like taking away a knight’s sword—they can’t really fight much without it.
Joe: Michael, any chance that you’ll be hitting the mat in upcoming matches?
Michael: That is funny. I have been asked by a few of the guys to get back in, and I have been working out and training Axel and Kid. I have been getting back into shape, but at 6’, 240 pounds, and flabby, I am not what anyone is looking for on the UCW website. One thing I hate about the pro wrestling business is one has to know when it is time to hang up the tights. With bad knees, elbows, and shoulders, one has to know it is time to pass on the knowledge and skill to someone younger. Now if someone out there wants a fun horseplay match, I’ll dance with you. And I won’t rule it out as a one-time deal, maybe team up with Axel or Kid to put Raptor and his kind in their place.
Joe: Well, what about the veterans, like yourself? Any place for fit, energetic older guys at UCW?
Michael: Well, I’ll tell you. That’s a possibility. I wouldn’t have a problem with older, well-kept wrestlers on the roster. Their experience could be useful … And there’s an audience for those guys too.
Joe: Sure, the old guys make great heels, don’t they?
Michael: Yeah, there’s that.
Joe: Axel, who (if anyone) would you like to team up with as tag-team partners?
Axel: Right now, looking at the guys on the roster, and the guys who I have fought against, I would have to say Klown. Yeah, I did beat him in a recent match, but the guy’s got some skill that I could learn from. Plus, I’ll admit we are damn good looking. Our looks mixed with our skills, we could be an unstoppable tag-team force. However, Klown in recovering from a foot injury, so I hope that when the time comes, he will consider a partnership.
Joe: I just got to watch that bout with Klown the other day. So far, it’s my favorite one. Ultra-hot, great action, … and you’re right—you are both great looking in tights! (Laughs.) I hope Klown recovers soon. He’s definitely an asset to the UCW roster. What’s your training and background in wrestling?
Axel: Believe it or not, not a lot. I used to wrestle around with my younger brother when we were kids … to help him practice for tournaments. I used to hate wrestling and sports in general until college. Then I decided to start trying new things. I took on the whole “discover yourself” attitude that college places on you. Unfortunately, my college only has a wrestling team and no club or class, so I had to teach myself moves by watching videos, going to our team’s matches, and reading books. During this time I also got into other combat sports like boxing, MMA, and a variety of other martial arts. My friends in college are the ones who really pushed me to learn to fight and stand up for myself.
Joe: Any particular recommendations? Books or videos on wrestling?
Axel: No, nothing in particular. There are a lot of good tutorial—how-to—clips on YouTube. Also, you can find some good books on Amazon, and some of the Amazon reviewers are actual professional wrestlers, so you can let their comments guide you to the best sources available out there.
Michael: I think it’s very important to find a mentor. Somebody you can work with face to face. It’s really easy to get hurt. And everybody could use a little training just to keep safe. As a kid I would do a lot of wrestling with family and the neighborhood kids. Then one day Omondo Rodriguez bought the house next door, and the whole world of pro wrestling was opened up to me. He was a pro wrestler who we had been watching on the old wrestling show All Star Wrestling. I loved that show growing up, even named Axel’s championship belt after that show. He saw us wrestling in the back yard and took us kids under his wing, taught us everything about wrestling, and when he was on the road wrestling, I would practice and wrestle with his two sons. They were two years younger than me, but, man, could they wrestle! That was my training, that and years of doing it and doing a few shows at the community center for Omondo.
Axel: My first real fight was in middle school. I was still going through my emo, goth, I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-anything phase. Gym class I wouldn’t normally care about, except for this one day we were playing dodge ball. One of my classmates, a total piece of trailer-trash redneck, was bringing the whole team down, completely full of himself. I got in his face about pulling his head out of his ass and participating. Later, in the locker room, he came up behind me and shoved me into the lockers. I immediately fought back; we wrestled around, trying to get each other to give before I finally threw a punch that rocked him pretty good. My fellow classmates were stunned how this quiet emo kid—me—could stand up and fight this bigger redneck dude—the guy was about 20 pounds heavier and a few inches taller. The fight ended when my classmates got behind me and forced the other guy out of the locker room. My classmates started giving me new respect from that day on.
Michael: I was a chubby, but very cute kid, but my seventh-grade gym teacher hated me. Now I have two older brothers and a cousin and some friends my age, and we were all into wrestling. My older brothers taught me to fight and how to win in a wrestling match. This gym teacher was set on humiliating me any chance he could. So one week he is doing wrestling for class, and I missed the first four days. I was sick, so I show up the last day, and he has paired everyone up to do simple one-minute matches. He decides to put me up against this very tall muscular Greek kid. He has his shirt off, looks like he was on steroids since birth. So the teacher told me to take the down spot of a referee position, and I’m thinking I need to make a good showing. I start racing in my thoughts: What would my brothers and Omondo do? The big Greek jock guy takes his spot, the whistle goes off, and I shoot forward and spin. He didn’t have his hands locked on anything. Now I’m facing him; too easy I thought. Now he comes at me, so I move in and I do an inside trip on him, and we go down. I knocked the wind right out of him. I spin on him and do an inside cradle; next, I roll him, and, boom, the teacher calls it and I won! The teacher now smiles at me and pats me on the back. Best day of my life! From that day on, wrestling is all I could think about!
Joe: What do you enjoy the most about wrestling?
Michael: It’s the guys. Sorry, but guys in little outfits hitting each other … pain is cool. Also the challenge of coming out on top over another guy who is trying to beat you, not just out-powering but out-thinking, like chess, trying to stay one move ahead, that is really cool. But also the little tights. (Laughs.)
Joe: I’m with you on all those points. I’ve often thought that wrestling is a lot like a more physical form of chess—with all the intellectual challenges of strategy and mindfucking your opponent still intact.
Axel: I like the sheer physics of it all. The oldest form of battle between two men in its truest form. Wrestling, unlike other sports, requires you to use your body, not something … like a ball … to win against your opponent. One of the reasons I hated sports growing up was that I sucked at basketball and football, because half my energy was focused on passing or dribbling. Wrestling we get to see who is the strongest, most skilled, and most mentally capable of two men, not a team or who can shoot the most hoops.
Joe: Agreed. Wrestling—any fight without external weapons—is the primal sport—also (for me) the primal form of man-to-man intimacy. The boxer Roy Jones Jr., who (believe it or not) was, as a freshman, a student of mine back in the late 1980s in Florida—and, as far as I know, no proponent of male-male intimacy—said last year, "The one beautiful thing is you never know a person until you do battle with them, you share something special with them." I think that sums it up.
Axel: Any type of wrestling is satisfying to me. When you train or even fight for fun, you learn to apply moves in different ways that you never thought of before. You also are able to take different principles from other sports and apply them to different scenarios in wrestling. Bottom line—if it has the word “wrestling” in it, I’m game. (Laughs.)
Michael: I prefer friendly roughhouse over anything else. Get on the floor with someone, try to out-think and out-do, toss in some jokes and cop a feel, then have a drink after and talk about the match.
Joe: Ever fight to settle a grudge?
Michael: No, never, talk problems out. Your fist can never make you right or win an argument … just makes you look stupid. Never needed to fight and never will.
Axel: Fighting isn’t my first choice, but the last. Combat sports are a way to learn how to fight, but they also give you a lesson in discipline. Bullies always want to settle things with a fight because it’s the only thing they know how to do—and I am no bully.
Joe: How about trash talk while wrestling?
Axel: I’ll be the first to admit I am not the best when it comes to trash talking. My best moments usually come when I am not trying. However, when an opponent starts flapping that mouth … oh, man … certain words are like fuel on my fire, and when that happens, he best be at a good distance from me.
Joe: What words, for instance?
Axel: Anybody making fun of me or of the championship belt is gonna do it. But a lot of it depends on what mood I’m in. Depending on my mood, different things are gonna trip my trigger—and I’ll just rip into the guy.
Joe: What gets you pumped up for a fight?
Axel: Music. I am a fan of rock music, the only thing I can listen to when I work out. It helps me get in the zone and focused on the opponent. I like to give a theme song to the fight … or to my opponent. Usually the opponent’s theme song—in my head—is something along the lines of Britney Spears.
Joe: If you could pick an entrance theme song for yourself, what would it be?
Axel: “Open Your Eyes,” by the Guano Apes. I interpret the song as someone showing the other guys how false and delusional they are. In a way that is me: showing the bullies of the world how full of themselves they really are.
Joe: Who do you admire?
Axel: As cheesy as it may sound, the wrestler I admire most is my younger brother. He was injured late in his high-school career and lost the use of his legs for a while and wasn’t even sure if he would wrestle again. But he came back with only two months left in the season and made it to state. Sadly, he lost in the championship round and ended up with second place. It was a bittersweet ending, but it goes to show you what the human body and spirit can do with sheer determination.
Joe: I don’t think that’s cheesy at all. Kinda sweet, actually. Anyone else? Who would you like to meet … or even fight?
Axel: Urijah Faber is the man I would love to meet. “Fight”? … hmmm, I’m pretty sure he’d kick my ass in five seconds flat, but, hey, it would be a fun learning experience. I love his fighting style and charisma. I was absolutely shocked when he lost the WEC Lightweight title to Mike Brown, and even more bummed when he lost to him again by decision the second time around. Faber brought status and a whole lot of attention to lightweight fighters like myself. Just the power and devastation a small guy like him can put to an opponent is downright awesome.
Joe: Any non-fighting celebrities you’d like to see in a face-off?
Axel: I would love to see Bill O’Reilly and Michael Moore go at it because I hate them both. Both of these men anger me to no end in their egotistical quest to fulfill their political agendas and, just overall, because they create more frustration and chaos than needed.
Joe: For us guys who like private wrestling at home—in basements, spare rooms, or back yards—any advice?
Michael: Know who it is you’re going to be wrestling, make sure you both agree to the rules and respect each other’s limits. Keep it fun.
Axel: Always always always discuss what the match rules are with your opponent or partner BEFOREHAND! It is always good to communicate what the likes and dislikes are so that you can come up with a match that will be fun and challenging for the both of you.
Michael: Have something soft to wrestle on … or a tarp will work well.
Axel: Rug burns suck. If you are going to do any kind of hitting—that is, body shots—I would suggest using grappling MMA gloves and/or hand wraps. I always tape my hands, wrists, feet, and ankles to avoid injury. Mouth guards are a good idea too if you have a serious fear of ruining your teeth, but they aren’t really needed in wrestling.
Joe: Yeah, I’ve got a chipped incisor from way back in my twenties. I ought to get it fixed, I guess, but it’s become kind of a weird point of pride for me now. A trophy from my fighting days.
Axel: Better to be safe than sorry. It’s a good idea to have a med kit on hand too.
Michael: Drink only a little water before and just a little afterwards.
Joe: How about gear? What do you like? Singlet? briefs? gi? jeans? jockstrap?
Michael: I love tight underwear … keeps everything in and tight, and it is sexy. But always dress the same, keep everything equal. I have full pro trunks I wear most of the time. When outside, jeans and a long sleeve shirt. Protect your body, you only get one. That also goes for elbow pads and knee pads, I have blown out my knees by not using pads. Please, everyone, use elbow and knee pads.
Axel: I prefer wrestling in anything tight like lycra and spandex; this would include singlets, Speedos, Under Armour, and trunks. That gear keeps the family jewels snug, shows off the body, and doesn’t allow for any clothes snagging, like you get wearing gis, shorts, and T-shirts. Jeans I don’t like much because they don’t breathe well and are hard to move in when you’ve been sweating and wrestling for an extended period of time. Jockstraps I am not a huge fan of either, because I can’t for the life of me find a pair that keep the “boys” in their place and offer good support. Underwear is OK, but it’s not my style.
Joe: What’s the best movie fight you’ve ever seen?
Axel: Hmmm, this is a tough one, but the most recent one I saw was Never Back Down. All the fights in the movie were well choreographed and realistic, mostly. It gave MMA the Hollywood treatment. I could have asked for a better script, but that is the critic in me talking. I’ve seen the special features with MMA legend Bas Rutten, and even he thought the fights were good. If you got Bas smiling at your choreographed fights, you know you are doing something right.
Joe: And what a charge it was to see Cam Gigandet get his ass handed to him at the end! What about the lamest fight scene?
Axel: The fight in Twilight. Yes, I saw the movie and lost a man card for it. Anyways, the fight was just like the movie—it was dull and over-hyped. These are fucking vampires that are fighting on a Hollywood budget … gimme something that lasts more than one minute.
Joe: And yet another loss for Cam Gigandet. Who would win in a pit fight? James Bond or Jason Bourne?
Michael: Jason … he just doesn’t care. Those people have nothing to lose, so they don’t hold back and fear nothing. I wouldn’t want to fight someone like that. James is too worried about bringing someone to justice.
Axel: This is a tough one. Jason Bourne would win. A few years ago I would have said Bourne hands down, but with Daniel Craig’s interpretation of Bond, I wouldn’t be too quick to bet the house on Bourne. The new Bond is definitely more of a brawler and a loose cannon compared to some of the earlier versions. Bourne, I think, has the edge because he’s got more instinct and much less to lose.
Joe: Right now, there seems to be a lot of interest in private or underground wrestling matches. Yahoo! has 57 “private wrestling” groups and over 19,000 wrestling-related groups. I’ve been turned on by wrestling since I was a kid, but why, in your opinion, is there apparently this surge in public interest?
Michael: MMA is bringing it all to light. TV wrestling got too soap-opera-like and too showy. MMA is real and fun to watch. In our homes we wouldn’t last long if we and our friends did MMA in the living room, so underground-type wrestling (real, but not too hard) is the way to go for most people.
Axel: So much of MMA has to do with wrestling. It accounts for about 70% of the fighting in a match. I recently read an article that pro wrestling scouts, who find much of their talent through college wrestling, are now losing these college wrestlers to MMA. With MMA becoming as popular as, if not more popular than, sports like football, baseball, and basketball, certain MMA fighters are becoming icons, looked up to by all ages, especially the younger crowd, who want to be just like them. That means more kids, teens, and young adults want to get their own start in wrestling, because that is what their idol did. We are now seeing more schools add wrestling to their sports programs, and more gyms and colleges adding classes and clubs. For a long time, too, I think wrestling was too commonly seen as a “gay” sport. Yes, I do believe there are many aspects of the game that could be interpreted by a person as gay. However, the surge in MMA’s popularity has, in a way, I believe, dispelled that notion.
Joe: Axel, why do you think slender guys like yourself are such ferocious fighters?—because it’s, um, like a known scientific fact that they are.
Axel: I think it comes down to physics and human anatomy. You don’t see many heavyweights throwing lightning-fast punches or doing aerobic moves 20 minutes into a match … it’s because they can’t. Slender guys are built more for endurance than strength like the big guys. What is the point of all that muscle if you can only use it for a few minutes before the fatigue sets in? All they can hope for is that they beat their guy in less than five minutes; otherwise they’re fucked. Plus it’s the mindset … we hate being looked down on as the weak fighters, so we prove the big guys wrong by bringing ten times the fight.
Joe: Besides UCW, what other wrestling sites and federations do you enjoy and follow?
Michael: Well, I own and operate New Stars of Wrestling here in Milwaukee. I am short a ring right now so we are on a break, but with the success of UCW I hope to change that. I like Mid America Wrestling. It’s an indy fed here in the South East Wisconsin area.
Axel: No Rules Wrestling, BG East, NHB-Battle, Fightplace, Wrestlers and Lutteurs. It’s always fun to see what the other guys are doing. Sometimes I get ideas for moves or strategies that I will use in a match.
Joe: What happens right before and after a typical UCW match?
Axel: Two hours before the match I’m listening to my iPod, getting in the zone. Stretching and doing some light warm-ups to get my body loose and limber. Looking at the notes on my opponent, memorizing his tells and weaknesses. I do a mock match in my head, going over my own moves and ways to counter my opponent’s. In short, trying not to psych myself out. To quote the Dune saga, “Fear is the mind killer. I will face my fear and let it pass through me.”
Joe: And after?
Axel: When it’s all over, it’s back to training and looking at the next opponent. Those bullies, they keep crawling out of the woodwork, so I gotta be ready for the next. Champions don’t take a break just because they got the belt; they learn how to push the boundaries and raise the bar. Essentially, I look at it as if I were going to fight my current self. If I wanna win, I gotta be better than what I already am.
Joe: How would you describe the ideal roster for UCW in, say, the year 2011? What kinds of new talent are you looking for?
Michael: I’m looking for guys with heart, miles and miles of heart with commitment! I am looking and will continue to look for good-looking college-age guys who take care of themselves, work out, and are good looking and not afraid to get in there and mix it up. Skills, moves and holds can be taught, but heart and commitment, that you need to bring with you. I would love to have 16 well-built, good-looking gods, I mean “guys,” within the next year. Simple as that.
Joe: What’s the best way for UCW hopefuls to reach you? I guess what I’m asking is what should be included on the typical résumé you get?
Michael: Twenty dollars. (Laughs.) I’m cheap.
Joe: What about wrestling experience?
Michael: I don’t care about experience. I can teach them how to wrestle. They need to send me a shirtless picture, just so I can see how fit they keep themselves. Mostly I’m looking for energy and commitment. The rest I can teach them.
Axel: We know we need new faces. There’s only so many times we can fight the same guys over and over.
Michael: Dependability’s important all round. Some of the wrestlers, like Axel here, travel a long distance for these matches, and when someone doesn’t show it lets everybody down.
Axel: It kinda stabs us all in the back.
Michael: We’ve got some newbies lined up right now, in fact.
Joe: When will we be seeing them?
Michael: Mid-September, probably. Depends on how quickly they pick up on things.
Joe: Are there any plans for UCW ever to move to a different type of venue—say, a pro ring or outdoors?
Michael: Yes, both. We will be going outside soon, and as soon as I am able to buy a ring, we will take all the action into the ring. I’m dying to show the guys how to do some rope work … teach Axel to fly off the ropes and take out a bully.
Joe: And I only wish I was young enough and wiry enough to be that bully. In my day, I coulda been a contender. (Laughs.) It was an honor and a real pleasure talking with you two. And if I can’t coax the two of you into coming down to Durham, North Carolina, for a weekend of friendly roughhouse, copped feels, and good stiff drinks, I hope you’ll drop in on me here at Ringside at Skull Island from time to time. I love what you’re doing, and I’m one of your biggest fans—if not THE biggest fan of all—you’re bound to have thousands more fans by this time next year, of that I am certain.
[Photos supplied by UCW and used with permission]