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Aaron Proctor (english)
CAGEMATCH: What first made you want to get into pro wrestling? Were you a wrestling fan growing up? When did you say, "That is what I want to do"? And what did your family/friends say about that?
AARON PROCTOR: I guess what made me want to get into wrestling was that it was a Saturday morning tradition with me and my younger brothers ever since I can remember. I was just as much a wrestling fan when I was a child as I am now. My father actually got me into wrestling when he would turn it on in the mornings and I didn't understand what he was watching and he'd tell me who the wrestlers were, etc. Growing up with all the Saturday morning wrestling that aired in Philadelphia (yes, I'm *really* from there), I think my earliest memory was when I was 5 or 6 years old watching the NWA. My family and friends weren't so keen on me going to school for wrestling, as they felt I was too skinny and they didn't understand the whole "manager" concept. It took a while but I can honestly say that my family and friends are quite proud of the success I'm having in California with running PCW and the success I'm having in California with working for EPW, SPW, and NAW.
CAGEMATCH: You watched NWA? So guys like Jim Cornette “pushed” you into becoming a manager in professional wrestling or was it just that you felt the manager role is better for you?
AARON PROCTOR: Jim Cornette was a god amongst men, however, I think Paul E. Dangerously's character is who pushed me into becoming a manager. If you watch me perform, you'll see me yell and scream and squawk just like Heyman did and still continues to do. That's what I liked about him - he was really witty on the microphone and all he had to say was "shut up" and all the kids in the front row would be throwing popcorn at him. When I was a kid, I absoultely hated Dangerously but loved how hilarious he was and how he got the fans all riled up. I honestly, though, thought I could be a wrestler but soon learned the manager role was better for me. It's an important role and I feel that, because of the WWE, the male manager role is a lost art. There are plenty of talented atheletes out there with zero charisma that need a good mouthpiece, especially the heels. I add more to the match and try to not distract the fans from the match at hand but definately create the good vs. evil scenario that draws people into wrestling by cheating for the wrestler I manage, etc. Plus - how many guys do you know that are obsessed with New Wave music actually take that love into wrestling and use it as a catalyst for their character? In PCW, I am the real-life owner but portray the "heel commissioner" role. In other promotions, luckily, I get to manage and be a smaller part of the show - which I really enjoy and I do wish I could get more bookings out there in the wrestling world because of it.
CAGEMATCH: I think I don’t know anyone else that is obsessed with New Wave music (*lol*), but we’ll take on that one later. You already started to describe your role in PCW. Please tell the fans that don’t know you something about your character in PCW and your role in the Philly Connection.
AARON PROCTOR: More fans probably know me for "thay guy who got fired from his job because of a wrestling promoter" than anything to actually do with wrestilng these days, so that is a great question you've asked :-) Basically, within the storylines, I am the leader of The Philly Connection - a group that invaded PCW in January of 2003. TPC consists of me, PCW Champion The Messiah, B Boy, Lil Cholo, former PCW Tag Team Champions The Backseat Boyz, "Double Shot" Ian Knoxx, and SoCal "turncoat", Mace. What happened was, I debuted with PCW (and returned to pro-wrestling for that matter) in November of 2002, proclaiming I was a talent scout for the promotions back east. The debut was not received with much fanfare, but that all changed in January.
What the original owner didn't understand was indy wrestling - what I'm saying is, he didn't know what CZW was. But me and a few others convinced him that we should do a storyline where basically I "took over" the company with my Philly invaders. I suggested that these CZW and ex-SoCal stars take on the likes of Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Hardkore Kidd, and other popular SoCal indy stars. However, the owner at the time didn't understand the idea and ended up booking TPC against less-popular faces as well as people generally regarded heels in SoCal and the angle basically has failed.
That's where my role in PCW comes in. After June 7, 2003, my good friends Dave Geck and Pete Villano, as well as myself, took control of PCW (then Pacific Coast Wrestling) and re-named it Pacific Championship Wrestling. It just so happened (as life imitates art in wrestling sometimes) that I had beaten the old owner in a match to further our storyline, so it was perfect timing. Dave & Pete asked me to run the day-to-day, general operations of PCW and it turned basically into me being the real-life boss as well as the storylined-boss. I jokingly called it "Proctor" Championship Wrestling in promos and on websites, and the name stuck. So, in real life, I run the company and in the stories I'm a loudmouth, obnoxious, eyeliner-wearing, jelly-bracelet-adorning commissioner and part-time manager of various wrestlers. Our next show is on Sept 6th at 8pm in Altadena, CA - to throw in a cheap plug. You can also find out more about PCW by logging onto www.pcw.freeurl.com.
CAGEMATCH: So you kind of fell into running a promotion? Is it hard to run PCW or is it something you easily do because of your love for pro wrestling? And to add one more question, what are your medium term goals for PCW?
AARON PROCTOR: I guess I kind of fell into a promotion. Dave & Pete really founded PCW with the former owner, and they felt that I worked really hard to promote shows, get smaller errands together, and things like that. It's stressful to run a promotion, especially when you're a controversial person or surrounded by controversy. Pro-wrestling is the all-time love-of-my-life, however, so that is the motivation that keeps me moving and keeps me working harder. My medium term goals for PCW. I really just want respect for the company and to erase its ugly, ugly past. I'd like to develop an original unique fanbase for PCW. I want people to understand that I'm a "good" promoter and that they can trust me to be up front, forward, and real with them. I want PCW to be seen as the best promotion in Southern California and to turn people's attention away from Philadelphia for once. The eerie, shadiness that I've felt in some locker rooms here in Southern California is all too disturbing and all too real. There's too many people "backstage" here in SoCal that shouldn't be. Too many untrained guys getting into the ring, too many venerally diseased, underaged ring rats in the locker rooms, and far too much illegal drugs. I'm not trying to sound like a preacher or something - I hella enjoy chicks stripping and barbed wire matches and profanity - but the things that I mentioned are something than any wrestling promotion can do without. If not wanting drugs and "rats" in my locker room makes me "not fun" - then so be it. I feel these aforementioned items are a nothing-but-surreal black eye that this industry has. I want to bring back the fun for the workers and staff of PCW and make it the most legitamate, professional, and above all else, honest promotion in SoCal.
CAGEMATCH: That are some tough words! Do you think that this is one of the reasons that the californian wrestling scene is overlooked? I mean you have had some great shows in California (the GSCW shows, your PCW shows, Revolution Pro and now PWG) and it seems like everyone looks on the east coast. Or is it (and that’s my view from thousands of miles away) a general problem in independent wrestling?
AARON PROCTOR: Oh no, I don't think it has anything to do with that stuff. In fact, I really don't see anyone else speaking on those things - and that makes me angry sometimes. I think California is overlooked because of the fact that after ECW, everyone's attention was on Philadelphia and the east coast has been a hotbed for wrestling for years. They respect pro-wrestling out there more on the East Coast. Out here, people often forget this is the United States and not Mexico and Japan and the "smarter" style of wrestling alienates casual wrestling fans. RevPro and PWG are great, don't get me wrong - they are the two best companies out here. I don't think PCW puts on great shows but I think we put on *good* shows. Someday we'll be great. The whole drugs and ring rats ordeal, I'm sure, is a general problem in wrestling that will never go away - just like drugs and groupies in music. However, I'd rather work for a promoter who doesn't smoke pot (mainly cause he'll forget things you tell him, since he has less synapses) and doesn't deal out illegal painkillers than one who practices those horrible things. I don't think I'm above much things in life, but I'm above drugs. California is overlooked because most of the wrestling fans and the wrestling industry is too focused on the east coast. Let's not forget where B Boy comes from, eh?
CAGEMATCH: So we are on the same side by thinking that SoCal has some great talent that just need a good platform to shine? Who do you think will lead PCW’s roster into that future *great* shows? Is it TPC? Kaos? And please tell us why you think that these guys will be the figurehead(s) of PCW.
AARON PROCTOR: Yes, we are in agreement. I'm glad there's a website out there that respects SoCal and gives it proper attention. I wonder what German fans think of the indy scene here. And as I stated, places like PWG and RevPro and WPW are the greatest platforms out there for stars to shine. PCW just wants to be included in that list.
I really think it takes an equal number of familiar faces and original talent in an equation to create success for a pro wrestling company. At least, that is my belief. I think SoCal mainstays and "well-knowns" such as The Messiah, B Boy, Lil Cholo, Frankie Kazarian, Joey Ryan, Preston Scott & The Matrix, Disco Machine will take PCW up and off the charts of the wrestling world. Then, original talent (and I emphasize the word talent) like "North Star" Mike Vega, "American Zero" Steve Sanchez, and The Plague. The Messiah is a great champion for us because he's one of the best in the business and he also provides a window for our promotion to fans back east. Fans back east are lured in because of the fact we often feature CZW talent (such as the upcoming Sept 6th show featuring Nick Berk) and the fact that the CZW Champion is also our PCW Champion. I feel there is no one person who can save a wrestling promotion and all of the aforementioned and others are the ones who are really taking PCW to new heights. Each of the wrestlers on our roster offer a different style and a different brand of pro-wrestling to the fans. Everyone gets what they want to see and, consequentially, everyone gets their money's worth.
CAGEMATCH: Just to let you know…we have the same problem here, that you have in the US. The bigger part of the fanbase looks at the east coast, while a small part is interested in the west coast. But we’re going to change it. ;-)
You said your roster offers different styles. Now I’m no fan of the so called “garbage wrestling” (like CZW’s Tournament of Death), but the fanbase for that style is not that small. Is “garbage wrestling” something you want to promote PCW with or is that something you want to leave for other promotions? And by the way, what is your favourite wrestling style?
AARON PROCTOR: We haven't ventured into the hardcore dimension of wrestling but that is something that SoCal is seriously lacking. You have to remember, I came of age during the ECW years and so I enjoy a good mix of blood and technical wrestling. PCW is interested in bringing that style to Southern California within reason. What I mean is, you'll still see the great technical wrestling in addition to, hopefully, the most brutal matches in recent SoCal indy wrestling. I'm lucky enough to watch the formula work in Philadelphia and apply it in Southern California in the not too distant future. We want to cover pretty much all aspects of pro-wrestling. Understandably, it's very hard for the indys here to delve more into the hardcore dimension. With issues such as what venues permit, insurance, and the like, luckily PCW may have the greatest opportunity in the, again, not-too-distant future to bring the bloodthirstier SoCal fans something they can sink their teeth into as well. I don't have a particular wrestling style to call my favorite. If you look at my video collection, I have everything from Ring Of Honor to Zero One to CZW to Best of Onita tapes. I enjoy Mid South Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling flashbacks as well as ARSION and Lucha Libre. Everything in wrestling has its place and the great thing about America is that we can use these foreign influences to give our brand of entertainment that extra-special ingredient, that something that sets us apart from Japan and Mexico.
CAGEMATCH: Let’s leave PCW and talk about your work for other promotions. You already mentioned that you work for NAW, SPW and EPW as a manager. What’s your character like in these promotions and what seperates the work there from your work at PCW (besides being the owner of PCW ;-))?
AARON PROCTOR: Basically, I manage "Ridiculous" Mike Rayne in NAW & EPW. I'll be debuting with SPW on the 22nd of August in Sacramento, CA. It's the same character albeit I'm in a managerial role and not one of power. NAW & EPW did bill me as the owner of Proctor Championship Wrestling, however. It's not an invasion angle but more of a "I own a promotion in SoCal and I'm going to seek talent to steal away from Central and Northern California" idea. It's been successful thus far as previously to my managing of Mike Rayne, he was heavily cheered by the fans. Now the opposite is the case. You can learn more about these promotions by checking out their respective websites. EPW is at www.elitepro.org, NAW - www.northamericanwrestling.com (With one of the best wrestling schools in the country, I might add) and SPW can be found at www.supremeprowrestling.com. I love working for these companies as it gives me a well-deserved break from the somewhat stressful job of running a company.
CAGEMATCH: So when you look at it, is it more fun to work with PCW or for those other promotions? And if you were able to create a role in a promotion of your choice, how does that role look like and which promotion is your choice?
AARON PROCTOR: Since my role in PCW differs slightly to that of other promotions, it is all a very different experience for me and therefore I can't pick a favorite place to be.
If I could create a role in any promotion? Well, let me try to be as realistic as possible. I'd love to do some kind of PCW-CZW feud someday, if PCW ever garners enough respect to be considered as legitamate as CZW is.
CAGEMATCH: I’ll give you one more chance for a cheap plug. You already mentioned the next PCW show, called “Zero Tolerance”. It features Messiah vs Kaos, B-Boy vs Nick Berk, Joey Ryan vs Lil’ Cholo and some more great matches. What do you expect from the show itself and what will be the outcome of the show for PCW’s near future?
AARON PROCTOR: I expect and almost certainly predict it will be the most successful PCW show to date. We are expecting our largest attendance ever and hopefully we will gain a regular fanbase from this. The outcome of this show for PCW's near future is simply put: We've already put ourselves on the map, now we must maintain our rank amongst the others indies and show why we're a step apart (and perhaps ahead) of all of the rest.
CAGEMATCH: OK, let's move on to some general questions. First I'd like to talk about the fans, especially the internet fans. The internet is a great way to promote shows, but I think it also is one of the biggest problem for the pro wrestling industry, as it offers the "smart fans" a platform to talk bad about nearly everything in wrestling. What do you think about those fans and what dou you think about using the internet to promote shows/wrestlers?
AARON PROCTOR: As you stated, the Internet is good and bad. I find that, in Southern California, the promotions that cater towards the "message boards" get more praise than the ones who don't. Obviously, if you want *any* attention if starting a new promotion here, you'll have to promote on those message boards. They offer a great convergence for wrestling fans in a place not known for its indy wrestling hotbed but at the same time, they offer up a lot of trouble. I got too comfortable with those boards, even posting the name of where I worked and look what happened with that! The Internet fans I've met are hilarious because they will shake your hand in public and then talk trash on PCW on the boards. PCW is a joke to most of these fans (mostly because of what the old owner did and how crappy he handled the business) and so most of these Internet fans wouldn't even give me or PCW a chance. I like the boards, however, as most of these trash talkers fill out the Eagles Hall but I'd like to branch out and capture those casual wrestling fans that came in around 1997. The Internet is a dual-edged sword.
CAGEMATCH: One more on the fans…do you think that the “more blood, more highspots, more bumps”-attitude of todays wrestling fans is good/bad for wrestling itself as well as the wrestlers?
AARON PROCTOR: Well, obviously, wrestlers already put their lives on the line everytime they step in that ring. I think that as this business has become more open, it has become more demanding of the workers. However, the fans desire to see "more blood, more highspots, more bumps" as you call it, is not going to die down what-so-ever. I think it's good for wrestling because it creates stability for the product by giving the fans something different than they were used to but look at the inverted effect: A table spot in 1996 would have received a much larger reaction than a table spot in 2003. I remember the first time I watched ECW compared to seeing ECW on tape. After a while, everything is not "new" anymore and nothing is original. Promoters and workers will just have to come up with new ideas and the fans will respond with what they like through their reactions.
CAGEMATCH: I know your pretty young for a wrestling promoter, but as I’ve learned in this interview, your view on some things in the business seems to be very cool. So imagine that a young wrestler/manager aks you for an advice, what would you tell him to do/not do in the pro wrestling business?
AARON PROCTOR: I don't know what I'd tell someone, honestly. I'm still learning day by day. I've learned that you can't have too big of a mouth but at the same time, don't be afraid to say what you want to say. Just ask yourself "Is it for the good of the company?". Obviously, if I went on a message board and bashed a popular wrestler for something trite and trivial, I'd alienate that worker, other workers, and a fan base in general. However, I'm not going to stop talking about, for example, my utter hate for guys like Henry Luna, because people generally agree with what I have to say but are in awkward positions to announce that agreement. I've also learned to be careful what you say to people and just try to remember who you've told what. News travels fast in this industry and near-everyone is out for you to scratch their back but stab yours. Maybe it's just Southern California, but pro-wrestling is one of the last frontiers for the Italian Mafia mentality. Just be careful and always do good and always be honest and you will go far and get much admiration and respect in a little amount of time.
CAGEMATCH: What was the funniest story you've experienced inside a wrestling ring/locker room?
AARON PROCTOR: As of late, it would have been the time I wrestled the former PCW Commish back on June 7, 2003. I dressed up like Adam Ant and came to the ring with a shopping cart full of 80's weapons! (Including an Atari joystick, a can of mousse, and a Wham! record). The fans (who love to hate me) seemed to thoroughly enjoy it for what it was worth.
CAGEMATCH: You said it before in this interview and we told about it before, therefore I HAVE to ask you a question about New Wave music. You told me that you love german New Wave bands (Kraftwerk, Peter Schilling, etc.), please let us know how someone from Philly/California can be obsessed with german New Wave music? ;-)
AARON PROCTOR: Well, it all started when I was 14 and an older friend made me a mixtape with some Depeche Mode, New Order, and The Smiths on it. I fell in love with the genre and desired to consume as much knowledge and love for it as possible. I discovered Kraftwerk, as they are, in my opinion, the reason why New Wave and any other electronic movement ever happened. Peter Schilling is just some downright good late 80's New Wave stuff. I also like Trio, Fehlfarben and Nina Hagen as well as earlier pre-New Wave stuff like Tangerine Dream and Can. Germany has produced a lot of great music. They still do today: And One, Beborn Beton, Wumpscut are some of my favorite newer German bands. I also enjoy Belgian groups like Front 242 and Plastic Bertrand and Austria's Falco. My favorite bands, however, at this time are Gary Numan, Pet Shop Boys, ABC, Duran Duran, and Spandau Ballet. I could talk about New Wave for hours!
CAGEMATCH: Any last comments to the fans?
AARON PROCTOR: I just thank everyone for reading. I really find it cool that people are interested in what I think and I just absolutely love Germany and would love to work there and visit someday. Thanks for supporting American indy wrestling.
Independent Wrestling: Mace always suggested (when explaining indy wrestilng) to think of it as: "It's like what you see on TV on a smaller scale"
"Wrestling is fake!": What in life is real is often boring. Wrestling is an illusion but it also an escape and also just as legit as any other form of entertainment or sports out there.
ECW: The reason why wrestling is the way it is today. The company that I followed from its birth to its death.
The Messiah: A great champion and a true class act.
SoCal: Underrated but underappreciative.
CZW: The next generation of wrestling.
Vince McMahon: I'd love to work for him someday. Genius. He has done so much for this business but also hurt the business so much.
NWA TNA: I don't get to see it often. I'm proud that NWA TNA showcases great talent like PCW's Frankie Kazarian. I've absolutely adored what I've seen from that company.
Cagematch.de ;-): The only German website with my name on it :-) Actually, it's a great source of indy wrestling information for those in Europe. I'd love to work in Europe someday and I think Cagematch.de is helping by getting PCW's (and others) name out there.
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