Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Sadists Are Some of the Nicest Guys You'll Ever Meet": An Interview with BG East's Brad Rochelle

Kid Leopard told me that a Brad Rochelle interview might be something he could arrange for Ringside at Skull Island. Was I interested? Is that even a real question? 

As you know, Brad returned to BG East last month in a stunning three-chapter finale to The Contract series, trying on the company's new blood for size and evening the score with an old nemesis. The video exceeded all my expectations, and Brad swung back into action without missing a beat, still the up-for-anything stud he was when he first started our hearts racing fifteen years ago.

In this interview, Brad opens up on the eroticism of wrestling, the challenge of staying in shape, the kind of wrestler that pisses him off, his reasons for walking away from BG East at the peak of his popularity, and his reasons for coming back this year. 

I had expected somewhat more guarded responses from the man, so his candor and charm took me by surprise. And to confound my preconceptions (and prejudices), this wrestling god is eloquent and lively, with a knack for pushing my sexy-time buttons with just the right words and attitude.

Joe: So, Brad, what was it like returning to BG East after all this time?

Brad: I'm very at home at BGE. It's like riding a bike for me. Sometimes Leopard would make it like riding a bike with no seat, but this time it went great, better than I expected. Contract 10: The Reckoning puts a great finish on the series, and I feel the best man won ... ME!

Joe: And the fans' response?

Brad: I've heard that the fans love it. They like watching Brad Rochelle suffer, and nobody is better than Leopard at dealing out the punishment. [Laughs.] But kidding aside, I'm sure that the innovative structure of the product is also an important reason why the reactions have been so overwhelmingly positive. You not only get the resolution--and a pretty outrageous one--of one of the most convoluted relationships in the whole history of underground wrestling, but you also get flashback glimpses of what brought us to this point. It's fun, it's sexy, and it's pretty clever, if I do say so myself.

Joe: No argument here, Brad. It's great to have you back. You exited BG East right at the point when you were insanely popular and at the top of your game. Why?

Brad: In a nutshell, fear of injury. That is some pretty tough stuff. I'm a durable guy, but I found myself in some rough situations. I didn't even have to sell holds; people seemed to have a desire to crank on me extra hard. And Leopard and his boys insist on verisimilitude--and that translates to Brad getting bent like a pretzel and frequently kicked in the nads!

Joe: You took some awfully hard bumps for years. I remember that much. Then, what motivated you to return?

Brad: Well, you! And others who wondered if the series would produce a #10. I wanted to wrap up The Contract series and not leave all the loyal fans hanging. I like completing things. There's nothing worse than getting started and not finishing.

Joe: Well, you and the other guys capped the series with class. It must be great to return to action on a high note like that. From the online catalog, it looks like your first BGE match was versus Davey Dee in Fantasymen 16. Was that in fact the first match you shot? 

Brad: Ah yes! Davey Dee was the first time I wrestled on tape. I knew him from the gym. He lured me there saying it was a walk in the park and an easy payday. It was easy ... for HIM! He beat the hell out of me. I think that was his plan all along. Fucking prick! But evidently the fans loved it cause Kid Leopard asked me back the next week.

Joe: Off the top of your head what would you name as the top five Brad Rochelle matches at BG East?

Brad: For me? The Contract 10 is my Number 1 because Leopard finally got what he had coming. Sorry, I lied: it's my entire top five. So I will give you my 6-9 to respond to the question fairly. Number 6, The Contract 9. Beating up Patrick Donovan was just as fun the second time around. Number 7, my match versus Justin Pierce, for obvious reasons [in Fantasymen 23]. The Contract 6 was great. I got to wring Firefly's ... er ... I mean Firestorm's neck, plus Alexi Adamov is a total stud. On a side note, my red trunks went missing that day while I was showering. Hmm. I have no idea who slinked off with them, but I never saw them again. [Laughs.] Number 9, Ultra Fight 2 versus Scott Williams down in the "grotto" mat room. He's a tough wrestler and a very strong dude. I enjoyed the challenge. Oh, and another for good measure: my "Rookie of the Year" match in front of a small audience of other BG East wrestlers, versus Patrick Donovan on Wrestlefest 2. Now that was FUN! I crushed him! The immediate reactions, encouragement and even participation of the other wrestlers at ringside were very gratifying.

Joe: You only have to say "Brad Rochelle," "Patrick Donovan," and "Wrestlefest" together in a sentence and I get wood. That contest remains a defining match for me, capturing pretty much the totality of my peculiar wrestling kink. The plucky kid suffers at the hands of a cruel and arrogant adversary, but in the end he skewers the bad guy in a sweaty, intense, and wild finale. For me, story lines don't get better than that--so basic, yet so hot--and The Contract 10 replicates that intensity and focus on well-deserved comeuppance. And, yeah, the live audience contributed significantly too. 

Joe: What, in your opinion, are your best assets as a wrestling entertainer?

Brad: I love it, so that helps. I really enjoy being an entertainer, and that makes it natural for me. I also don't do anything half way, so I try to be the best I can be. Besides that, I'm a fighter, not a poser, like some bitches I could name. 

Joe: What are your limits? What would you absolutely refuse to do in a wrestling match on video?

Brad: "On video" is the key phrase. I'm actually a pretty private person, so the video brings its own limitations to what I would or wouldn't do. The stuff that wouldn't fly with me in private or on video is anything overly disrespectful. Somebody spitting in my face or something like that will make shit turn sour fast. I have come close to letting my fists fly a few times, but, thankfully, cooler heads prevailed to keep my pique in check. I also don't like guys that can dish it but not take it. They put it on you, but if you give them some pain, they cry like babies. I hate that and refuse to wrestle people like that.

Joe: Do fans often recognize you out in public? Has anyone ever approached you to talk about your work at BG East?

Brad: When I was out and about in the club scene, guys would chat me up about it. They were always great and supportive. They would wish me luck in my next match and stuff like that. Strangely enough, sadists are some of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

Joe: (Laughs.) How do you explain the sex appeal of wrestling? Do you personally find it sexy?

Brad: What isn't sexy about it? I would have a harder time explaining how it's not sexy. A big part of it for me is the bodies involved. Then there are guys like Kid Vicious who aren't muscle gods, but bring a persona and sexuality that is hot as hell. Also, the wrestling has to be solid. I really don't like it when guys have no idea what the fuck they are doing. That's why I worked with BGE. They insist on proper technique and matches which have a narrative. They'd never accept the clueless fumbling some other companies have no shame in selling to a public eager for action. Great bodies and cocky comments do not necessarily make for good wrestling.

Joe: I agree. There's a lot of undisciplined flopping around passing itself off as wrestling these days. On principle I'm not opposed to flopping around. It's basically what I did when I used to "wrestle." It's fun to do, but I wouldn't want to pay money to watch other people doing it. So I take it you're not bothered that some of us jerk off to the sight of you wrestling a hot stud?

Brad: I love it. I have never had any displeasure bringing people pleasure.

Joe: How about the criticism of ring wrestling's excessive violence?

Brad: Well, if you don't like it, don't watch it. We don't need to hear people lecture on or talk down our sport. People say wrestling promotes violence and video games make kids crazy; then they proceed to tell you that they love crime shows. It's all bullshit to me. Maybe kids are crazy because their parents are hypocrites who won't shut the fuck up. And, really, it's not like there isn't much worse deliberate violence with longterm ramifications in football, hockey, rugby, and other sports.

Joe: What about combat sports like boxing and MMA?

Brad: Isn't this kinda the same question? I have no issue with any of it. MMA and boxing are legit sports with great athletes as committed to their passion as we are to ours.

Joe: Do weapons interest you?

Brad: Weapons are for the military if need be, but not for me. I'm more of a hands-on kinda guy. I wouldn't put it on anyone who doesn't have it coming ... BUT sometimes words don't hurt enough, so you have to elevate the situation. Ask me another duplicate question, and I will show you what I mean.

Joe: Steady now, Brad. I'm just probing for information the way a proper interviewer's supposed to. So back to BGE and wrestling, was there anybody in the old days that you didn't wrestle but now you wish you had?

Brad: I look at the wrestler profiles and too many guys jump out at me. Kid Vicious, for one, but Leopard kept me away from him for some reason. He told me Vicious was hard to pin down and was in London or some shit like that, so I never got the match up. In Contract 10 you can see Kid Leopard get a little bent when Kid Vicious is looking down on me, rubbing himself. "Cool your jets, Slick," he says. I think Kid Leopard had his own plan for squashing me from day one. Back in the day, I was supposed to match up with Mike Columbo, but it never happened. Then there's J-Rock, Mr Big, and Clint Morgan. I would love to out-technique one of these big fuckers and make them sad. They would probably kill me, but if I caught them in something and went over! Imagine! I think they would actually cry!

Joe: Who on the current roster would you like to face?

Brad: Rio Garza and Brad Barnes certainly look great. I think it's safe to say that I'd destroy both of them. I would also like to slap Lane Hartley in a rear naked choke. He has a smirk in his Catalog 100 pic that makes me want to hurt him.

Joe: I hear murmurings that Lane might be the new "Brad Rochelle." It would be nice to see how he holds up against the real Rochelle. You have been called "BG East's biggest star." Let's accept that for a fact. Who, then, are the second and third biggest stars at BG East?

Brad: I'm not sure if I can accept that for a fact, but for the sake of conversation, I will. Not to go back on it, but Justin Pierce and Alexi Adamov are amazing and about as hot as hot can get ... and great athletes. Like me, they were exclusive to BG East, and I admire loyalty. Adamov is strong as an ox. BGE has no "biggest" star in my opinion, more like a succession of them, and I'm just lucky to be among a great group of guys who have certainly enriched my life and made it something decidedly out of the ordinary. I look at all the profiles on the BG East website and find tons of stars of all stripes and colors. The variety of guys and styles of wrestling is pretty remarkable. No one else has ever come close to matching it. Hell, if those pics don't do anything for you, you may want to check to see if you have a pulse! Seriously, it's a pretty solid roster from end to end with something and someone for everyone.

Joe: I can't argue with that. Which do you prefer, the ring or the mat?

Brad: The mat, by far. I feel that my skill set gives me an advantage there. I think on the mat I have at least a chance against anyone.

Joe: Singlets or trunks?

Brad: Trunks for me. I like the way they fit, I like the way they feel, and they show more skin. Also singlets give opponents one more thing to grab and use against me! As you're undoubtedly aware, I've had opponents use the singlet straps to choke me and yank me around. I will wrestle in anything, but I prefer trunks.

Joe: Earlier this year, BG East introduced a new set of awards, based on fans' votes. For which of last year's categories would you most like to be nominated in 2013, or in the future?

Brad: I have to take the Hottest Lip Lock for Kid Leopard's smooch to my bum! In my humble but learned opinion, no moment in BGE history can possibly top that.

Joe: That was indeed amazing, Brad, and perfect landings for both the Rochelle and Leopard character arcs as they evolved over a decade. If you could reinvent your pro-wrestling persona--say, as a masked wrestler--what would your alter ego be like?

Brad: Kid Leopard could have hired me as a masked enforcer. I would be glad to hand out attitude adjustments in the mat room. If any ring star twinks got too big for their trunks, I would help bring them back down to earth. I would probably be more menacing and quiet, relentlessly executing immobilization holds and locks. No going easy on anyone, and I would let nobody submit me. I would leave them all sleeping from a nasty sleeper variation I have never used at BGE. I still have some moves up my sleeve that I never got an opportunity to use.

Joe: I imagine fans overnighting lucha masks to you as soon as they read this! I've got a leopard-print one you could borrow for a while, but I'd want it back. Do you wrestle or spar away from BG East?

Brad: I work on my striking skills more than anything. I do have close friends that I wrestle with on my own time. We practice BJJ and judo. We were doing this stuff long before I came to BGE. It's not all that often these days, but every now and again we get together and sharpen our teeth for a few hours. I don't ever want to go soft. It's great that BGE has always put its facilities at the disposal of its wrestlers. If the ring is occupied, there's the grotto or the gazebo or the wrestleshack. And now there's the phenomenal new BGE facility in Lauderdale. I'm glad to be around to witness this growth and to partake in it.

Joe: I'd say you're lucky to be a part of it, but, more accurately, it's less a question of luck than that you've got the fight skills, discipline, and heart that have made you an integral part of the BGE success story. Plus you're in fantastic shape, and that's not all genes and luck. What's your workout schedule?

Brad: I try to do something every day. Even if it's nothing major. It's hard to do some ambitious workout every day, so instead I promise myself to do something more than nothing. It's a pretty attainable goal. For example, some pushups here or there, or pull-ups, a bike ride or some work on the heavy bag. Most times when I get going I end up doing more rather than less. It's all about getting past the mental hurdle of doing nothing. My diet is pretty clean. I do go on benders once in a while. Ice cream and pizza are my weaknesses. Other than those, I don't drink and I don't like soda or any sugary crap. I tend to like cleaner foods anyway, so it's not difficult for me to eat well. I also drink a ton of water, and that supposedly helps too.

Joe: What do you think of mainstream wrestling on TV?

Brad: It's okay. I'm kinda neutral on it now. There's an awful lot of hype with too little action. Mainstream pro wrestling still tends to be pretty sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic, and that's never sat well with me. Plus, I tend to stop liking things when they become mainstream, like the UFC now. Once I start seeing fan boys wearing "TapouT" shirts, I'm out. Walking around like they ever trained a day in their life ... pfft!

Joe: We're alike in that way. I'm fairly fickle anyway, but almost anything's dead to me once you start seeing it at shopping malls. But growing up, weren't there wrestlers you looked up to?

Brad: When I was really young, I would go to live events at the old Boston Garden with my family. I thought it was great! My great grandmother watched wrestling into her mid-90s. She would swear at the TV in Italian. It was pretty hilarious! Wrestling has always been a part of my surroundings. My friends and I would recreate matches and beat the hell out of each other. I loved Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. I mean, who didn't? Barefoot jungle boy in those tight leopard briefs! Then, as I got older, it was the Ultimate Warrior. His energy and body were incredible. It made me really get serious about weight training. I wanted to look like him! Nowadays, I love vintage Roddy Piper. I love his character and trash talking. He cracks me up. Ravishing Rick Rude was a stud, too. As a former exotic dancer, I loved his bump-and-grind hip-rolling routine with his counterintuitive macho persona.

Joe: What other sports interest you?

Brad: My first love is hockey. It's physical, graceful, and intense. Besides that, you won't find a hockey player that's a pussy. Even the guy you think is a pussy will kick your ass. If I could be anything on earth, it would be a pro in the NHL.

Joe:  Other interests, apart from sports?

Brad: Yard sales. I don't know why, but I can't drive by one without stopping. It's kind of my guilty pleasure. It's one thing Kid Leopard and I have in common--we both appreciate interesting "stuff." He keeps his; I sell mine.

Joe: If I could interview you live, spend five or six hours following you around, where would you take me and what would you show me to give me and the Ringside at Skull Island readers a sense of what makes you tick?

Brad: It would really depend on the day. Most days I do what I feel like doing, rather than having a set plan. I would like to get you to hold mitts for me, so you could see my striking live and in person. I would probably offer you a one-fall submission match, so you can see how hard it is to submit Brad Rochelle. We could hit the beach, go for a hike, bike ride. I'm always game for outdoor stuff. We could talk wrestling, of course! And exchange ideas and practice holds. I think you would end up staying more than five hours.

Joe: Hey, I'm already checking Orbitz for flights. (Laughs.) What's next for Brad Rochelle?

Brad: I'm not exactly sure. Sun and sand for now. I guess in the future I will steer clear of Leopard and his goon squad. Though, now that I proved the theory that cats don't like water, maybe I will draw up a contract of my own and pay Leopard a visit. Now that I know how to make him see shit my way, things would be different.

All photos belong to The Arena (from top to bottom) (1) Brad Rochelle in 2013, (2) & (3) Brad Rochelle versus Davey Dee, (4) Brad Rochelle versus Kid Leopard, (5) Brad Rochelle versus Justin Pierce, (6) Brad Rochelle versus Alexi Adamov, (7) Brad Rochelle versus Scott Williams,  (8) Brad Rochelle versus Jonny Firestorm, (9) thru (12) Brad Rochelle versus Patrick Donovan


  1. Mighty fine interview with one of my all-time BGEast favorites; thanks Joe. And DAMN, he's inviting you to spend more than a few hours following him. I want your job. -David

  2. Thanks for the awesome interview. Great job. I love Brad even more than I did, which hardly seems possible. Terrific attitude, captivating smile, beautiful body, bendy beyond belief and now a cool guy. I'm so glad he did a final Contract chapter and did it for the fans.

  3. Gaaaahhh! I want Brad next! Please please please! :) :) :)

  4. First Adam Cole tells you his New Year's resolutions, and now this! You are becoming such a rockstar that it would not surprise me if you started teaching classes wearing aviator sunglasses.

    Seriously, thanks for a great interview, and thanks Brad for taking the time for it. And seriously Joe, you would look like such a badass heel teaching in aviator sunglasses.



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