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Interview with Darin Corbin (english)
CAGEMATCH: Darin, a couple of weeks ago, you won the IWA MS Heavyweight Title from Arik Cannon and the first thing many fans asked themselves: Darin who? So, tell us who the new kid on the block is. What is the quintessence of Darin Corbin?
DARIN CORBIN: Well basically there are a lot of elements to Darin Corbin. I would like to think of myself as the new blend of entertainment and wrestling. If people are wondering who I am… they will just have to wait until I go out there and put on a show – then they will see what all the fuss is about because whether or not the wrestling fans are ready I’m making an impact – and more and more people are catching on.
CAGEMATCH: Now, let us bring the standard question behind us: What made you become a wrestler?
DARIN CORBIN:, I remember seeing my first match - Million Dollar Man vs. Ultimate Warrior - when I was four. I was hooked from the moment on. I would pretend to perform wrestling matches in front of my grandma when I was little against the invisible man… she was my biggest fan.
CAGEMATCH: What were your first steps in the business?
DARIN CORBIN: With the help of my friends and my brothers, we started a little backyard league for fun. When one of my friends from college saw it he told me about Midwest Pro Wrestling (MPW) in Minnesota. I sent an email, called them up, and in February 2004 I started training to become a professional wrestler.
CAGEMATCH: That promotion has folded meanwhile…
DARIN CORBIN: … that was a hard blow. I felt like a lost a second home. All the guys there who I would consider to be like a family to me, I knew it would never be the same. Plus the fact that the rug got pulled out from underneath us and there was no warning really hurt. There is a lot of unanswered questions that still haunt the whole thing and it just sucks that it isn’t around anymore.
CAGEMATCH: How did you become entangled with IWA MS?
DARIN CORBIN: Arik Cannon was the biggest factor in bringing me to IWA. I kept coming down to shows and I would sit at the merchandise table and watch the shows hoping for a spot. Well, finally my chance came in July, Rain was able to help get me on the show and I’ve just tried to make the most of it ever since. It means a lot to me to be able to work for IWA and try to get my name out there.
CAGEMATCH: From literally one day to another, you have turned from a mere comedy act to the bearer of the most important title IWA MS has to offer. How did that make you feel?
DARIN CORBIN: I always felt I had what it takes. Sure, I do comedy – everybody likes to laugh. But that doesn’t mean I can’t wrestle. That is the whole performer aspect, my match with Cannon I came out and wrestled – and I won. I just felt like I was able to do what I always thought I could accomplish, and I tried to make the best of an opportunity. Plus, to think of all the people who have held the belt and all competition for the title. It’s a lot of pressure but I’m up to it.
"I EMBRACE ALL THE HATE"
CAGEMATCH: Now let’s describe it in economical terms: Growth is a thing that can be too fast for your own good. Don’t you think it is too risky to get pushed “from zero to hero” in an instant?
DARIN CORBIN: I think it would be a problem if I couldn’t change with the times. There are a lot more elements to me than just a comedy wrestler. Plus, as a comedy wrestler I still have a lot of original material. A lot of fans have not seen what I can do as a wrestler or as a figurehead of a company so I’m going to try my best to have fans believing that when they see Darin Corbin its going to be something new and exciting.
CAGEMATCH: You have been calling yourself “the internet’s favourite wrestler” on MySpace. So, I guess you know that many fans on the internet criticised to your title win. How do you deal with it?
DARIN CORBIN: I am in heaven. All the comments on the internet… when was the last time you heard any other champion cause such discussion? People were so upset you would’ve thought I stole there girlfriend right from under their nose. So I embrace all the hate because I love seeing my name come up and the fact that people are SO outraged that they need to go out of there way to bash me on any message board they can find. I’m a controversial wrestler, you don’t like me – so what? I’m still going to be around. I’m just riding the wave of nostalgia. I love stirring the pot.
CAGEMATCH: What do you have to do now to prove your critics wrong?
DARIN CORBIN: I don’t feel I have to prove anything. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I won the belt, I’m going to keep the belt. I suppose if people want me to prove myself, they just watch where I go from here.
CAGEMATCH: You were not present at the two shows after your title win. Why?
DARIN CORBIN: I was double booked – plain and simple. These shows were in the works before I won the IWA Title. There will be plenty of shows for me to defend the IWA Title on.
CAGEMATCH: IWA MS generally has created a lot of bad publicity in recent times. The promotion was close to bankruptcy and there has been a decline in attendance and general fan interest in IWA MS lately. Do developments like these bother you?
DARIN CORBIN: No! Business is business, and eventually things always turn around. Wrestling promotions are like a sports team: Sometimes you need to change things up, not every season is a winning season, but you do what you do and keep going. IWA has been around for close to 10 years… that’s an AMAZING accomplishment in itself. There aren’t a lot of promotions that can brag about that. So, am I worried… no.
"PEOPLE THINK I’M NOTHING MORE THAN A CURTAIN JERKER"
CAGEMATCH: Even your harshest internet critics do not deny that you are talented youngster with a potentially bright future. What do you expect from the future?
DARIN CORBIN: I love to keep my options open. The best thing for me is to just keep doing what I’m doing and continue to improve and grow. So if ROH, TNA, WWE, or any promotions outside of US are interested in me, I would love to see if I could do it. You don’t get better if you don’t push yourself in this business. There are a lot of phenomenal athletes out there and hopefully someday I will be up there with them.
CAGEMATCH: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
DARIN CORBIN: I wish I could tell you exactly. If I’ve learned one thing from my two years in the business, it’s that you can never predict the future. I’m going to keep wrestling for sure. It’s my outlet, it’s my joy, it’s what I love to do. I’m hooked – I can’t picture not doing it. I hope I have a long career in this business. In 5 years my only goal is that I can keep on wrestling, that’s all I want.
CAGEMATCH: Without a doubt, your comedy talent is one of your biggest strengths. Do you have role models – maybe also outside of wrestling – by which your antics are inspired?
DARIN CORBIN: I was a big fan of Shawn Michaels. His stuff from 95-98 was what entertained me the most. The goofy antics of DX were also a personal favourite. Jericho from WCW and early WWE was another big influence. Eddie Guerrero was absolutely amazing to watch because of the way he could pull of some of the things he could in that ring. He could get away with anything because he had those facials to convince anybody. I guess I was fan of the guys who were having fun out there doing there own thing.
CAGEMATCH: Being a comedy talent can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. Do you think that you are in danger being labelled as “the funny guy” that is not taken seriously by many fans?
DARIN CORBIN: I think that has already happened. People think I’m nothing more than a comedy match curtain jerker. But I won the IWA Title. Plus, I went to Chikara and entered the Tag World Grand Prix with Ryan Cruz – and there we used our chemistry as a tag team to go to the Quarterfinals. So, I guess people will just have to wait to see the different elements of who Darin Corbin is… and if they still think I’m a joke and JUST a comedy talent, well whatever. You can’t change people’s minds once they’ve made them up.
CAGEMATCH: What was the funniest moment you have ever been involved in a wrestling ring?
DARIN CORBIN: I had a 3-way dance with Colt Cabana & Larry Sweeney back in January and we had a lot of comedy in it, and just the way we all played off one another went really well. I’ve also done some matches that fall on Halloween where I was able to impersonate other wrestlers. That is always fun.
"ON MYSPACE, MY BELT HAD 60 FRIENDS WITHIN 24 HOURS."
CAGEMATCH: One of the funniest things about you is your entrance theme. To be honest: I was quite shocked that the music of the A*Teens has made its way across the Atlantic. What is the story behind your choice to use “Gimme Gimme Gimme”?
DARIN CORBIN: It all started in Las Vegas. I went there with my ex-girlfriend to the play “Mama Mia” which is a whole production based on ABBA songs. Well, one song I got stuff in my head was “Gimme Gimme Gimme”. So when the time came around that I was looking for a theme song, I did a search and the A*Teens popped up. The song was just catchy and I could TOTALLY dance to it. Now, it’s just synonymous with Darin Corbin.
CAGEMATCH: So is your LED belt that transports messages like „You people suck!“ or “I am a dork!” Where did you get that thing from and when?
DARIN CORBIN: I got it at the Mall of America. I was walking by the kiosk with a bunch of friends. I don’t normally spend too much money on myself, but Ryan Cruz suggested it would be a good idea. We thought it would be a joke. So I bought it, we had a show that night, and I just put it on. That night, we won the tag team titles of NIW. Then I took it to IWA, wore the belt and had it insult the crowd. From then on people were asking, “Who’s the kid with the belt?” Since then the whole thing has become a big production, I just love the ideas that have spawned from it.
CAGEMATCH: What has been your favorite belt message?
DARIN CORBIN: Personally, I like, “I’d Do Me” or when I faced Mickie Knuckles I had it say, “I beat Women”
CAGEMATCH: Your belt even has its own MySpace-Page. Aren’t you afraid that this belt is becoming more popular than yourself?
DARIN CORBIN: At first maybe a little bit, since the belt had 60 friends within 24 hours. But now, I think people realize who the driving force behind the tandem is… plus, the belt really isn’t all that personable when it comes to those things. He’s not as smooth as Darin Corbin.
CAGEMATCH: By now we know some things about Darin Corbin, the wrestler. But what about Darin Corbin, the wrestling fan? Which leagues were and are you watching? And how did they influence you?
DARIN CORBIN: When I was younger… I would watch WWE and WCW a lot. When I was little those were the guys I would pretend to be when I would perform matches in my grandma’s living room. Later down the road, I really loved ECW. That was the promotion I followed up on, it was different. From there, I got hooked on PWI, and that opened a new world of wrestling to me. I would try and get indy wrestling tapes and see what is going on outside of the Big 3. Looking back on it, I have tapes from all over and I tried to explore everything. Nowadays, I enjoy watching more Japan stuff in my collection but I still follow pretty much everything I can.
CAGEMATCH: Including TNA and WWE?
DARIN CORBIN: Yes! TNA coming along I think helps, because we have competition again and an alternative to WWE. It’s just nice to have choices. I still watch both just because I’m a wrestling fan and I’ll always be. I feel like I’m out of the loop if I miss a couple weeks.
"MY DREAM OPPONENTS: DELIRIOUS, SHAWN MICHAELS… AND TOM ZENK."
CAGEMATCH: In a recent match against Nate Webb you copied the antics of Rick Rude while Nate was imitating Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Can we assume that you are a fan of 80’s-wrestling?
DARIN CORBIN: Yes I am. Those were the guys whose characters were larger than life. Rick Rude, Roberts, Roddy Piper, Mr. Perfect… all these guys had such strong personalities that you couldn’t help but take notice. Not only that, but in those days, there was so much depth to the variety of wrestlers you would see. I absolutely love the wrestlers in the business who can perform but weren’t the bodybuilder look that you see so much now. These guys relied on there persona and their talent to create a story and carve a niche in the wrestling business - and it was just so unique. There are wrestlers out there now who are entertaining and great – and they may not be the cookie cutter image that people are used to… that’s what I like about pro wrestling.
CAGEMATCH: If you were a able to book a dream-match with yourself in it: Who would be your opponent(s)?
DARIN CORBIN: These might sound like interesting choices, but here we go: Delirious is currently the wrestler I want to face the most. But there are a lot of guys on the indy scene that if I got the opportunity to get in the ring with them… definitely would be an honor. Shawn Michaels would be my choice from WWE. If I could pick an inactive wrestler I would choose the Tom Zenk… he was one of my favourites when I was younger.
CAGEMATCH: The German speaking community has a local hero over there in the US Indies. What is your opinion of Claudio Castagnoli – both as a wrestler and as a person?
DARIN CORBIN: DOUBLE C!!!!! I think Claudio is one of the best pure wrestlers I’ve seen. I’m amazed at how much he knows and what he is able to do inside a ring. As far as a person, he is probably the nicest guy I’ve met. I would consider him a valuable asset to the wrestling business as a whole. The world needs more people like Claudio Castagnoli.
CAGEMATCH: Speaking of nice people: Are there guys in wrestling that you consider friends?
DARIN CORBIN: I have a lot of friends in the wrestling business. There are many people who have helped me along the way and there are a lot of people who have given me the opportunity to try and make a name for myself. I know I can’t do this alone, and for everybody who has helped me live my dream that is probably the greatest sign of friendship one can show.
CAGEMATCH: In your “real life” you study film at the university. What is your favourite movie and what did you learn from it for your wrestling career?
DARIN CORBIN: Well, my favourite movie is “Billy Madison” with Adam Sandler. I used to watch it all the time. I don’t know if I learned anything from it… but maybe that’s where some of my comedy comes from - who knows?
CAGEMATCH: Many veterans of this business have a disregard for “weekend wrestlers”. Do you feel addressed by that?
DARIN CORBIN: I do wrestle on weekends, but my weeks are normally spent getting prepared for wrestling. I have a job so I can make money and help get me where I need to go. I just try and wrestle the most I can whenever I get the chance. It’s a busy life for me, wrestling have just become the drive behind it. It feels weird to say, but that’s how it is. I’m not wrestling everyday and twice on Sunday… but I’m doing the best I can. That doesn’t mean that I don’t respect what the veterans of the business did back then.
CAGEMATCH: To get back to the A*Teens once more: I don’t know whether you noticed, but several weeks ago the band announced that they disbanded – and I guess nobody has cared anymore. Are you afraid that your career might end the same way one day?
DARIN CORBIN: I know I can’t do this forever, but I hope I know that I need to step aside and do what’s right for the business when the time comes. I’m not going to be the guy who is in the business for 15 years and has missed his opportunity and is not what the business is looking for. If I can wrestle for 10 years and people still talk about me… great. I’m not going to be the guy who is bitter about the business because I think the world owes me something. If I don’t like what I’m doing and I’m just here to ruin it for other people: I should go. I’m a young guy right now, but someday I will be a veteran. I hope that everything everybody has done for me I can do for the young guys of then.
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