Hernán Lombardero Interview

Writing and recording songs has given me the opportunity to meet interesting people from all over the world. One of these individuals is Hernán Lombardero from El Palomar, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Let’s learn a little bit about his life, interests, and enthusiasm about professional wrestling.

Hernán’s wrestling theme tracking site: Indy Wrestling Entrance Music List
Hernán’s Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/Hernan_Lombardero/

Particle Don: It’s an honor to have a fan from Buenos Aires. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life in Argentina. What is your age? What do you do to earn money? What is your family and home like?

Hernán: Well, I was born on December 3rd, 1996 in Ramos Mejía, but always lived in El Palomar, Partido de Morón.

Unfortunately, I don’t earn money because I’ve been trying to start a podcasting career since I finished high school in 2015. The fact that I cannot pronounce words combined with “r” is a big deal, as they sound like I am saying it with the letter “l”. For example, when I say “crayon”, it sounds like “clayon”.

Apart from that, my home is not very big at all. I live with my mother and sister.

Particle Don: How long have you been interested in pro wrestling? How did you discover the sport?

Hernán: I’ve been interested in wrestling since 2009. I recall going to an ex-friend’s house, where I discovered the video game WWE released in 2007, SmackDown! vs. RAW 2008. I bloody liked it. I bought SvR 2009 once the game came out, and a year later the 2010 edition.

Smackdown! vs. RAW 2008
Smackdown! vs. RAW 2008 was released in late 2007 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii; photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Unfortunately, SvR 2010 was the last WWE game I’ve played since I don’t have any next generation consoles due to their cost. Maybe one day I’ll buy one of these consoles, but as of today, I have zero interest.

Particle Don: Who are a few of your favorite wrestlers, and why?

Hernán: I’m mostly into the promo guys. You know, Larry Sweeney, UltraMantis Black, Zack Gibson, and Prince Nana just to name a few. These people can get your attention with just a few words. They are experts at being cheered or berated by the crowd. They have wonderful presence!

UltraMantis Black
UltraMantis Black photo by Marshall658

Speaking of presence, I’m also a huge fan of CM Punk and Prince Mustafa Ali, who is the man.

Other people I enjoy include Travis Banks and CHIKARA’s Icarus.

As far as deathmatch wrestling, one guy I enjoy is Matt Tremont. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be into deathmatches.

Matt Tremont
Matt Tremont as GCW champion

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite entrance themes? What makes them unique and special?

Hernán: My favorite themes include Edge’s “Metalingus” by Alter Bridge and Mr. Águila’s theme, which was also the opening song for the In Your House: Mind Games PPV. CM Punk also had a good theme in “This Fire Burns” by Killswitch Engage.

I’ll go into more detail. Some people choose good music. Necro Butcher always had the best themes. So did CM Punk.

UltraMantis Black has interesting selections raging from normal rock to death metal.

Another guy that has good music is Illinois’ Craig Mitchell. The man has used a range of hardcore punk and metalcore.

I’m into rock a lot and also enjoy hip-hop. That’s why I love doing theme counts for wrestling promotions, as I discover lots of new music.

Particle Don: What fuels your passion for wrestling theme music? What is it that you love about these songs?

Hernán: To be bloody honest, at first, I wasn’t a guy into music at all. I recall listening to Edge’s theme from the SvR 2008 game and loving it. It was perfect and never gets old. When I got Internet access at my home for the first time in 2009, I searched for themes and bookmarked them in Internet Explorer.

I have always been curious to know who sang each wrestling theme. So, I searched for them on the Internet. Unfortunately, there was not always information about the artists and song titles. Later on I will explain my solution to that part in detail.

What I love about theme songs is that they match each wrestler’s character. They provide identities. I mean, you don’t give Batman a white costume when his whole persona is inspired by dark-colored bats.

Particle Don: Do you still work for Cagematch.net? How did you become affiliated with this excellent website? What did/do you do for them?

Hernán: I do still work for them. At first, I was contributing information while watching indy shows. Sometimes picky things and small details, other times match results.

Cagematch.net is a comprehensive wrestling information database, with biographies, results, and theme music info

One day I sent them a tracker. This allows you to suggest something for the website, but unlike an ordinary email, they cannot answer you. If there’s a case where there’s something I am unsure of, I send them a standard email.

My tracker asked for Rachael Ellering’s song, “Cut the Chord” by Shinedown, to be added to their database. In the message, I mentioned that I had a site which compiles wrestling music. This was when the Cagematch guys’ light bulb turned on.

A few days later, I got a message from ARIZA offering me a spot on the team. He asked me for the URL to my site. I was amazed that something like that was happening and obviously, I sent him the link.

He loved the site and asked me what promotions I would like to be responsible for on Cagematch. I told him I could cover the Pennsylvania and New Jersey territories, since I believe this area has the best wrestling in the United States.

So at the end of the day, I took over most of ARIZA’s area, which covers Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. I also take care of other areas at times.

One thing I’ve learned about Cagematch is that you can’t go on a rampage and do whatever you think is right. You have to know you’re not the only crazy cat in charge of the site.

Particle Don: What is your username on r/SquaredCircle? What kind of stuff do you post to the site?

Hernán: It’s u/Hernan_Lombardero.

I post comments from time to time, mostly on r/SquaredCircle. Other times, I post on a subreddit called TipOfMyTongue. This page allows users to help each other remember movie names, song titles, and books.

I’ve learned that that wXw has become associated with the Warner/Chappell music publishing company. This means they have official rights to use copyrighted entrance themes, which is rare in independent wrestling.

Particle Don: Tell us about your Indy Wrestling Entrance Music website. Why did you decide to create this page? How long have you been working on it?

Hernán: Well, everything started when I decided to create an entrance music database for Pennsylvania’s CHIKARA. I asked my friend Kid Ego to help me with some questions, as sometimes old school ROH and CHIKARA themes overlap.

CHIKARA was founded in 2002 by Mike Quackenbush and Reckless Youth

Kid Ego helped me compile the list since he has been always interested in making a CHIKARA theme count. He subscribed to CHIKARATopia (CHIKARA’s On Demand service) and watched every show.

In a matter of months, we had compiled the entire list. Currently, it’s a little out of date as I’m waiting for IndependentWrestling.tv to upload the rest of the shows from 2018 and 2019.

Kid Ego created a Google Drive with folders for each event. Each folder had a .txt file containing a list of known themes from the event and recordings of unknown songs for identification.

Before that, a guy from Xylot Themes, BretC, asked me to create a theme results database so you could check what has been used through the years. However, most people said it was impossible and the idea was forgotten.

Xylot Themes
Xylot Themes is a wrestling music database that contains a great deal of info about Particle Don releases

It was in April 2016 when I decided to try various free website creators to see if I could make a true theme database. I ended up using Google Sites. With a little inspiration from Kid Ego, I tried making an entrance list for Combat Zone Wrestling. It took me seven months to finish the whole company. In the process, I also compiled lists for IWA Mid-South and Game Changer Wrestling, just to name a few.

Eventually my database was integrated with the Xylot Themes website. With Xylot I was a moderator from March 2015 to September 1st, 2018, the day after All In.

I’m currently enrolled in a web design class so I can attempt to create a site combining the databases of Cagematch and Xylot. It’s also worth mentioning that I work for WrestlingMedia, which is basically a site that tracks wrestling-related discographies. Big thanks to Craig for allowing me the opportunity to work for that site.

Particle Don: Do you watch WWE?

Hernán: Nowadays, I rarely watch WWE. I’m not interested in their stale, predictable product. I typically just watch Royal Rumbles and WrestleManias.

I’m more into the independents than anything else. I like to discover new talent and witness maneuvers that you don’t normally see in other companies.

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite wrestling promotions, and why?

Hernán: CHIKARA is one of them. It has everything I want, from comedy to interesting story lines. They make their stories and outcomes matter. This company helped develop talent such as Icarus, Hallowicked, Eddie Kingston, Larry Sweeney, and many others.

Eddie Kingston
Eddie Kingston currently works for Billy Corgan’s NWA; click play on the video below to view his debut match

Despite its controversies, IWA Mid-South is another league I follow extensively. It was the proving ground for people like CM Punk, Chris Hero, Colt Cabana, Jonathan Gresham, Matt Sydal, and an endless list of other talented wrestlers. To me, in order to prove your legitimacy, you need to wrestle for IWA Mid-South at least once.

Their peak years were obviously from 2001 to 2006, but I think they are back on the upswing. Currently, they feature top indy wrestlers such as Mance Warner, Calvin Tankman, Adam Slade, Aaron Williams, Shane Mercer, and Project M.O.N.I.X.

Anopther promotion I enjoy is 3-2-1 BATTLE! from Seattle, Washington. Aside from the strange name, they feature a bunch of good talent that always gives their best. Some of their top wrestlers include Daniel Makabe, Mr. Fitness, The Legion of Gloom, The Hall Sisters, Rook Kelly, and Pitfall Jones.

Particle Don: Are there any wrestling promotions in Argentina? Have you ever seen any live wrestling shows?

Hernán: Sadly, I don’t follow wrestling in my country. Ever since I saw a local dude wrestling in a Spider-Man costume, I said “no thanks”.

Particle Don: What are a few of the best wrestling matches you have ever seen? What makes them special?

Hernán: My personal favorite is Travis Banks vs. Zack Sabre Jr. from the now-defunct promotion Defiant Wrestling, formerly known as WhatCulture Pro Wrestling. When I saw Banks flipping and throwing Zach with expert agility, I knew the match would be a classic. I was hoping Travis Banks would win and it happened.

Zack Sabre, Jr.
Zach Sabre, Jr. photo from Pro Wrestling Wiki

The Togi Makabe and Timothy Thatcher trilogy in 3-2-1 BATTLE! is also one of my favorites. Those contests feature a ton of technical wrestling. It’s basically the obligatory trilogy that you have to watch at least once if you’re into technical wrestling or want to learn about Togi Makabe.

Of course, I have to mention the Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage match from WrestleMania 3. It was perfect!

Particle Don: Have you ever met any wrestlers in person? How did the interactions unfold?

Hernán: I haven’t met any of them in person. However, I get in touch with some of them online. Sometimes they reply, other times they don’t.

I often ask wrestlers for match results or info about their themes so I can add them to Cagematch. I mean, I’m sure most people would be happy to publish results from an event they were involved with.

A wrestler from Philadelphia, Shawn Phoenix, normally sends me his match results. The New York Championship Wrestling promotion also sends me results, as well as the Philadelphia outfit known as Pro Wrestling Rampage. I also used to get results from a wrestler named Billy Avery.

Particle Don: Is wrestling on TV in Argentina? If so, what promotions are broadcast?

Hernán: WWE is on TV, but I don’t follow mainstream wrestling. I know that many moons ago there was a televised Argentinean promotion called Titanes en el Ring owned by Martín Karadagián.

Titanes en el ring
Titanes en el ring logo

In the previous decade there was also a regional promotion called 100% Lucha, which lasted four years. I didn’t know it existed until it closed.

Particle Don: Is it difficult to watch American wrestling over there in Argentina? Does the internet make it easy for you to keep up with your favorite promotions?

Hernán: The Internet makes miracles! I know that WWE is on cable, but as I said, I don’t care for them. With the help of the Internet, I keep up with several American promotions that I’m interested in.

Particle Don: Have you seen any shows from the new American promotion AEW? If so, what do you like or dislike about this company?

All Elite Wrestling
All Elite Wrestling logo from Wikipedia

Hernán: I’ve watched most of their shows, including All In. However, I missed the second episode of Dynamite due to going to the cinema with my mother and sister.

I mainly watch AEW out of curiosity. It’s good to see people get exposure in a major promotion other than WWE.

Particle Don: How many hours do you spend each week watching wrestling?

Hernán: Currently, three hours (AEW Dark and Dynamite), and four or more if you include PPVs.

Particle Don: Do you collect wrestling action figures or merchandise? If so, what are a few of your favorites?

Hernán: I wish I could collect merchandise. I have no clue if stuff like that is sold around here, but it’s never too late to start a collection.

Particle Don: Do you play video games? If so, what are a few of your favorite consoles or game titles?

Hernán: I used to be into video games a lot as a kid, but this desire has slowed down in recent years. After they stopped releasing WWE video games for PS2, I stopped caring.

Now that WWE games are available on on PC, I could get back into them, but I choose to play other games. Since last year, I’ve started playing Grand Theft Auto games. I’m on a mission to complete every release. So far, I’ve finished San Andreas, Vice City, and GTA 3.

GTA Vice City
GTA Vice City sold 1.4 million copies in its first two days of hitting store shelves

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite wrestling video game? Why do you like it?

Hernán: To be honest, I do not. However, I did like the games created by indie developer Mat Dickie (MDickie). They aren’t the best control-wise, but they’re good if you want to kill some time.

Particle Don: Other than wrestling, what are some of your hobbies?

Hernán: Apart from wrestling, I like researching random things on the internet. When I find an intriguing topic, I like to search and search until I have enough information to satisfy my craving. Other than that, I’m more into wrestling than anything else.

Particle Don: Have you ever met any non-wrestling celebrities or athletes? How did you meet them?

Hernán: Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet someone of high caliber. I wish I could have met Gustavo Cerati of Soda Stereo when he was alive.

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite bands or musical acts? Why do you like them?

Hernán: I like Soda Stereo, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Metallica, Carcass, Jinjer, I See Stars, Nine Inch Nails, Ice Cube, and Eric B. & Rakim, just to name a few.

I’m the type of guy that listens to singles and hits from many bands. By preference, I mostly like 80’s and 90’s music, specifically rock. However, I’m also into current genres like deathcore and electronicore.

Particle Don: Do you play any musical instruments? If so, how long have you played them for?

Hernán: I hate to say it, but I don’t play any instruments. I’m a simple guy.

Particle Don: What types of food do you enjoy? Why?

Hernán: I enjoy eating pizza, something that my mother makes pretty well. I also like milanesa, which is the best food in my country.

Milanesa photo from Wikipedia user pier

Particle Don: Tell us about the candy and snacks over there in Argentina. What are a few of your favorites?

Hernán: I’m not the kind of guy that eats candy and snacks all the time. Over here, the most common treat is the alfajor, which is basically two pieces of circular flour with caramel between them.

Alfajor photo from Wikipedia user Silvio Tanaka

Medialunas, a type of croissant, is frequently served during breakfast or tea time.

Empanadas are a common party snack. There are many varieties of this treat, including those prepared with ham, cheese, or other types of meat.

Particle Don: What types of beverages do you enjoy? Do you drink lots of water? Do you drink sodas or any other types of beverages?

Hernán: I drink a lot of mate, haha. It’s very addictive. The bad thing about it is that it will make you go to the bathroom very often.

I don’t drink much alcohol. If I do, it’s in small doses.

Particle Don: Is there a wrestling show or promotion you have never seen live, but would like to?

Hernán: I’d like to see wrestling live and in person no matter what the promotion. Maybe one day I’ll be able to attend an event; possibly a WWE show since they have started touring here.

Particle Don: Other than wrestling, what are a few of your favorite sports, and why?

Hernán: Besides wrestling, I don’t have any other favorite sports. I remember my father trying to get me into soccer, which failed.

When I got into wrestling, my father was disappointed, as it involves men in underwear. I couldn’t care less, as it is what I like. As of now, I haven’t seen my father for many years.

Particle Don: How did you discover Particle Don?

Hernán: I remember very well. I recall adding the theme songs for Danny Havoc and Drake Younger to the CZW section on my website.

When I posted the info to my site, I figured that the wrestlers had used the songs quite a bit. I was correct. Don’s website even featured a section that listed each time the wrestlers had used his themes, which showed great dedication.

I love the fact that Havoc and Younger wrestled each other during the semi-finals at Tournament of Death XI, both using Particle Don themes.

It might sound dumb, but I think it’s important for independent artists to track down when their theme music had been used. For example, I’ve heard that Nick Diener has recorded a theme for Jordynne Grace. He also created music for Hakim Zane and The Pain Killers. I had sent him a link to Grace’s entrance from ICW New York. He had no idea the song was already in use.

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite Particle Don songs?

Hernán: I like Drake Younger’s theme, Devon Moore’s theme, and Steve Blackman’s tribute song. I also enjoy Nate Webb’s tribute song.

Particle Don: What topic would you like to hear Particle Don write a song about?

Hernán: That’s a hard question. I’d go with the wrestler Shawn Phoenix. The man had an accident at an IWC event back in October last year. It took him over a year to recover. Luckily, he’ll return to action next month against Atticus Cogar. I’m pretty sure Shawn isn’t into the rap genre, but he would appreciate it.

Particle Don: If you could see Particle Don perform six songs live, which ones would you pick?

Hernan: I’d choose these songs:

Particle Don: Other than English, what languages do you speak?

Hernán: My mother language is Spanish. I tried to get the First Certificate in English about two years back, but failed the exam by a few points.

Particle Don: What types of movies do you like? List a few of your favorites and tell us why you like them.

Hernán: I’m not into a whole lot of movies. If I happen to enjoy a movie, it’s a plus for me. I’m not a big fan of horror movies because that’s not my thing.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite TV show?

Hernán: I do not. I don’t regularly watch any television. I think the last TV show I watched was titled Mi Hermano es un Clon (My Brother is a Clone).

Particle Don: Do you listen to any wrestling podcasts? If so, which ones?

Hernán: I do not but I should, especially since I want to begin a podcasting career.

Particle Don: Have you ever seen a UFO? Do you believe in extraterrestrial life?

Hernán: To be bloody honest, I don’t believe in UFOs. I have a friend who follows that stuff. When he talks about it, I stare at him and say “What in the blue hell?!”.

Particle Don: Do you have any cats, dogs, or other pets?

Hernán: I used to have dogs. All of them died. We don’t currently have one as my mother says it involves a lot of responsibility.

Particle Don: What types of wild animals do you see when you walk outside? Or do you live in the city and see few wild animals?

Hernán: I live in the city. At times I come across wild dogs or wild cats, haha.

Particle Don: If you had three wishes, what would they be and why?

Hernan: Here are my three ideal wishes:

  • The first would for my wrestling theme site to be successful. I want to keep people informed about what has been used in the world of wrestling besides your typical main company entrance themes from WWE, WCW, and ECW.
  • I’d like to have a son named Leandro Martín. That’s all I’m asking.
  • My most important wish is to begin a podcasting career. I’ve already explained why it’s nearly impossible, but I will still give it a try. If I cannot make it, I’m not worthy of my name.

Particle Don: Is there anything else we should know about you? Talk about your websites, YouTube pages, or anything I may have forgotten to ask during the interview.

Hernán: I think I’ve already explained about everything. Aside from completing a web design course and recreating my site from scratch, I hope to find a job in web design. That would help me to to earn some decent money.

Particle Don: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview! It was very interesting learning more about you.

Hernán: The pleasure is yours, jefe. Thanks for allowing me this opportunity.

MC Snax Interview

The excellent 2015 release from MC Snax titled When Robots Talk and Ninjas Rap

Bandcamp: https://mcsnax.bandcamp.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aninjanamedsnax

Newest Release:
Healing Sounds of the Benevolent Realm Vol. 2

Hailing from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, MC Snax has released several classic albums of nerdcore rap. Let’s learn a bit about what drives him to write and record music!

Particle Don: What’s up MC Snax? Thanks for sitting down to do an interview with ParticleDon.net. My brother and I are big fans of your many albums and are excited to get a chance to ask you some questions!

MC Snax: Thank you, homie! You and your brother are long-time supporters of the Ninja Funk, and I’m looking forward to the interview!

Particle Don: How were you exposed to music as a child? Around what age did you decide to start making your own songs?

MC Snax: I was mostly exposed to music at a young age through video games. And that’s exactly how I fell in love with it. I wrote a song about that, actually!

Rainbow Road off of my album Tales from Rainbow Road tells the story of how I first recognized the incredible power of music while playing Mario Kart 64.

As I grew older, I fell in love with more and more music. But it wasn’t until I was 14 or 15 that I actually tried to write anything!

Particle Don: What made you choose to create rap music over a different style? Who are some of your musical influences?

MC Snax: At 11 years old, I discovered ICP. My life was changed forever. It was them – in addition to MC Lars, who I discovered a few years later – that really showed me how music can be as unique as the person writing it.

Those guys and the music from my favorite video games are by far my biggest influences. When I finally got the courage to try and write something myself, rap was 90% of what I was listening to, so I think making that kind of music was a natural decision.

Particle Don: When you first started recording, what type of equipment did you use? (Boom box, tape deck, karaoke machine, mic hooked up to a speaker, etc.) How does that recording setup compare to the one you use now?

MC Snax: So, my very first song, that has never seen the light of day, was recorded much different than how I do it now. I used a $150 keyboard, a microphone, and a four-track recorder. Luckily, not long after making it, I discovered DAWs.

FL Studio was the first program I decided to try, and it’s what I use to this day. Different synthesizers and keyboards have come and gone in my collection and in my music, but FL Studio is always where my stuff is recorded, sequenced, arranged, mixed, and mastered!

Particle Don: Did you have any bands or participate in any collaborations before creating the first MC Snax album in 2012? Was this album your first true musical endeavor?

MC Snax: The first time I really did anything with music, casually or seriously, was as MC Snax. Since then, however, I have collaborated with my friends’ bands. For example, a few of my closest homies have a band called Joe Grizzly, and they had me scratch on their last album. You should check them out!

Particle Don: How does writing music help you erase negative emotions?

MC Snax: Similar to when listening to music, writing it also has this power to make life seem all the more cool. To me, both writing and listening to music is an over-the-top awesome experience. It makes anything not awesome in life seem so small and insignificant by comparison.

Music is therapeutic for sure, but there’s more to it than that. It’s also, like, spiritual to me. Music is proof that there’s a lot more going with this existence than we understand, and I find that both exciting and comforting in a way that I don’t think I can fully describe with words.

Particle Don: We all know that you love to snack, hence the name MC Snax. What are some more details on the origins of your rap name? What made you choose to focus on snacks as an overall theme for your music?

MC Snax: I can’t remember the exact thought process behind it. I just remember that a lot of the Nerdcore pioneers that influenced me (MC Lars, MC Frontalot, etc.) had the MC in front of their names. Plus, I thought it was a good way to pay homage to the old school hip-hop I also love.

Also, I’m a fat kid, so the Snax part just came to my mind. They say you should rap about what you know, and I definitely know snacks!

MC Snax snacking
MC Snax snacking

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite snacks to have at home? What’s your preferred snack while on the go?

MC Snax: Some of my favorites are Oreos, Crispy M&M’s, Kit Kat, or just about anything else that has chocolate involved, haha. I also love Miss Vickie’s potato chips.

I can enjoy these treats at home and while on the go, because a professional such as myself can eat any snack in any scenario.

Particle Don: What did you think of those Zapp’s Voodoo Chips I sent you?

MC Snax: They were great! They were similar in flavor to the All-Dressed Ruffles we have here that I love so much. But a little sweeter! Very interesting taste!

Particle Don: You recently released an excellent collaboration song with ABK entitled Scrub ‘Till You Shine. How did this track come about?

MC Snax: ABK is one of my all time favorite artists. When I discovered ICP, Psychopathic Records had put out his Hatchet Warrior album a couple of months prior. I love that album so much, as well as everything he’s put out since.

MC Snax and ABK
MC Snax and ABK

I’ve dreamed about collaborating with him for a while, so I got in contact with his company Native World, Inc. to see if they were interested. He was down!

He nailed the concept, and it was a surreal experience to hear him rap over one of my beats.

Particle Don: Is Scrub ‘Till You Shine going to be a part of an album or is it a single only?

MC Snax: Yes! It is going to be on Healing Sounds of the Benevolent Realm Vol. 2, which is coming out sooner that you think!

Particle Don: You have three songs with the legendary DIY artist MC Lars. Two of them are on Lars’ Patreon and one is on your 2017 album Incredibly Human. How did you get to know Lars? Do you think you might collab with him again in the future?

MC Snax: That was another case of simply reaching out! It was pretty interesting timing, however.

Even though I’ve been following him since he put out The Graduate and I knew he liked ICP and Psychopathic Records, he had started to do more things in the Juggalo world around the time I hit him up. So this led to us just talking about that and bonding over our love for the hatchet.

They say you should never meet your heroes, because it can let you down when you find out what they’re really like. This definitely wasn’t the case getting to know Lars.

He’s genuinely one of the most humble, nicest, and talented people I know. I definitely think we’ll do more stuff in the future, and I can’t wait to do so!

Particle Don: Have you ever heard of the band Koo Koo Kanga Roo?

MC Snax: Yes! Their unapologetically upbeat music is awesome!

Particle Don: You often reference pro wrestling in your lyrics and song concepts. How long have you been a wrestling fan? Do you have any particular nostalgic wrestling memories?

MC Snax: I’ve loved wrestling since I was like 6 or 7 years old. My Brother and I initially got into WCW. 

I remember the first time we flipped on WWF Raw. Stone Cold threw The Rock’s belt over a bridge the very moment we tuned in, haha! Those are definitely great memories.

When I was a little older and had a better understand of what was going on, Eric Bischoff became GM of Raw.

I remember him shaking things up every week, and I couldn’t wait to go to school the next day and talk about it all with my friends. Such good times, brother.

Particle Don: Who is your favorite classic-era wrestler? Who do you enjoy to watch from the current generation of superstars?

MC Snax: If The Attitude era counts as classic era, then Mick Foley – hands down. He’s still a personal hero of mine.

I feel like he was always living proof that a fat kid scrub like me could school it in life. He turns hardcore wrestling into poetry, and whether he’s on the mic or in the ring he’s a 100% artist.

If by classic era you mean 70’s and 80’s, then I’d probably say Abdullah the Butcher. He’s a pioneer of the hardcore style, and he’s also Canadian!

As far as current wrestlers, I’m a big AJ Styles fan. I think he’s one of the most all-around talented dudes to get in the ring. Such a great move set, and he usually executes it perfectly.

Particle Don: Do you follow any independent wrestling promotions? 

MC Snax: I used to follow ROH and PWG a little bit, but to be honest, I don’t watch as much wrestling as I once did. Of course, when JCW stuff happens, I always keep up on that!

Particle Don: Have you heard about the new promotion AEW? If so, what are your expectations for this potentially revolutionary brand?

MC Snax: I’ve never heard of that, dude! I’ll have to check it out!

Particle Don: What’s your favorite wrestling video game and why?

MC Snax: That might be that hardest question yet, man.

So, WCW/nWo Revenge for nostalgia purposes. That was the first wrestling game I think I ever played. Me and my brother rented it from Blockbuster over and over.

But I feel like WWE Smackdown VS. Raw is also a masterpiece. PS2 was killing it with the wrestling games, just like N64 was.

The Backyard Wrestling series is super fun, too. The fact that they’ve got JCW, ECW, and backyard wrestling legends in it is so sick.

If I had to spend my life on a desert island with only one wrestling game, it would be WWF No Mercy. It has THQ’s awesome N64-era control scheme and an incredible branching storyline system. I still haven’t seen every little cut scene or scenario in the career mode of that game. It’s just so dope.

Particle Don: Back in the Attitude era, did you buy any wrestling action figures?

MC Snax: 100%! Money isn’t easy to come by, especially as a kid, haha. But whenever I got my hands on some, I would beg my mom to take me to buy a new figure. I still have them all. When I have kids, I plan on passing them on to them!

Particle Don: When was the last live wrestling show that you saw? What was the promotion and who had your favorite match?

MC Snax: The last live show I saw was 2014’s WWE Money in the Bank.

It’s so weird when it comes to live wrestling. I’ve seen several shows, but never seem to be able to remember much about them afterwords.

Maybe it’s the adrenaline or something like that. I just know that Goldust wrestled and won. He’s also one of my favorites, so that’s awesome.

Particle Don: It’s always great when Goldust wins! If you were to sit down right now, grab a bowl of popcorn, and watch some wrestling, which match would you choose?

MC Snax: Probably Daniel Bryan’s match with AJ Styles from this past TLC. I haven’t seen it yet, and I’m assuming they put of an amazing match.

When it comes to one that I’ve seen before, probably the Hell in a Cell between Cactus Jack and Triple H from No Way Out 2000. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, and it’s a classic!

Particle Don: Yeah! I’ve seen that match several times. In 2018 you released a mostly instrumental 3-track EP titled The Healing Sounds of the Benevolent Realm Vol.1. What drove you to create this inspiring work of art, and when can we expect Vol. 2?

MC Snax: Originally, it was going to be entirely instrumental.

I wanted to write some super potent and uplifting Ninja Funk that gives people the happy feeling a lot of my favorite video game soundtracks give me. I wanted it to be pure sonic benevolence, if that makes any sense, haha.

But then I realized forcing myself to write only instrumentals felt as limiting as it does to force myself only to make rap beats. So that’s why one of them has rapping on it.

Whatever comes out, comes out. And that’s going to be the same for Vol. 2 and 3!

Particle Don: In 2017 you made a full-out concept album called The Esoteric Journey of a Cemetery Groundskeeper. Do you plan on releasing any more records that tell a story throughout their duration?

MC Snax: I definitely do. I love using music as a story-telling medium, and a lot of my favorite albums are concept albums.

I have a few ideas when it comes to stories I’d like to tell, including a sequel to Esoteric Journey. I’m not sure what one I’ll record first, but I am sure I’ll be doing more some day!

Particle Don: What do you think of the Violent J Wizard of the Hood album?

MC Snax: It’s one of my favorites. It’s another one that came out around the time I discovered Psychopathic, and that era just has such a special place in my heart.

I feel like the rappers were all on fire. Everyone was all over one another’s albums at the time, and this is a perfect example of that. J’s rhymes and delivery are so good on it. And the song Shiny Diamonds is a guaranteed boost of posi-vibes if you ever need them.

Particle Don: One of my favorite MC Snax songs is Me and Kurt. In this track you describe battling eyeball-harvesting aliens with Kurt Angle as your trusty sidekick.

Later on in the song you make it to the alien mothership and battle the ETs in a game of WWF No Mercy. What inspired you to create such in incredible track? How did you even begin to dream up this concept?

MC Snax: Writing is a weird thing, you know? I’m not quite sure where it comes from.

To me, it’s like, “Why don’t more people write about themselves fighting off an alien invasion with their favorite wrestlers?” It just comes to mind when I think of a interesting story I could tell.

I love wrestling, and I’ve always been fascinated with aliens, haha. So why not combine the two in a strange story?!

Particle Don: Can you reveal any song concepts you have planned for your next album?

MC Snax: It’s funny that you asked these two questions in this order. I actually just recorded vocals for a track yesterday.

I don’t want to reveal too much, but no joke, it’s another song about an alien encounter. However, this time it’s a very positive experience.

It’s going to be on Healing Sounds of the Benevolent Realm Vol. 2. That’s all I’ll say for now!

Particle Don: How often do you come to the United States? What was it like during your trip to Denver for the Dark Carnival Games convention? 

MC Snax: I used to visit the U.S. pretty regularly, until I eventually moved there for two years. I even have permanent residency status!

I haven’t visited that many times since I’ve moved back, but I hope to change that. I love the States.

DCGcon and Denver were super cool. There was so much freshness crammed into one weekend.

Even though the convention was “shut down” after day one, the Juggalos kept it going and it ended up being an amazing time.

Plus, ICP performed at the Roxy, and it was the only Faygo-less show I’ve seen them do. It was cool to witness such a concert rarity!

Particle Don: About how many warm months are there in Canada per year? Do you enjoy living there?

MC Snax: Where I live, which is the province of Newfoundland, it isn’t super cold compared to some parts of Canada. But our winter is long.

It’s not unusual to experience winter weather any time from October to April. Last year we actually got snow in June, which is less common, but can indeed happen.

I love Newfoundland, though. There’s a unique culture here that I wouldn’t trade for the world. It’s my home, and as they say, there’s no place like home!

Particle Don: If you could play a show anywhere in the world, where would it be?

MC Snax: Hmm…I would say anywhere that has a lot of fellow ninjas who enjoy rap songs about aliens, snacks, and posi-vibes!

Particle Don: If you could collab on a song with anyone in the world, who would it be? I’m sure there are many people you’d like to record with, but who comes to mind first?

MC Snax: Insane Clown Posse. No doubt.

Particle Don: What are a few of your all-time favorite video games?

MC Snax: Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Earthbound, Shenumue I & II, The Animal Crossing series, The Sims series, SimCity 4, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$, WWF No Mercy, Wave Race 64, Pilot Wings 64, WWE Smackdown VS. Raw, and the Backyard Wrestling games – just to name a few! 

Particle Don: Name a video game that you’d like to write a song about.

MC Snax: Earthbound or Animal Crossing.

Particle Don: Name a movie or TV show that you’d like to write a song about.

MC Snax: Maybe The Simpsons or Shaun of the Dead…there’s a lot that might be fun to do!

Particle Don: Name a person that you’d like to write a song about.

MC Snax: Tommy Dreamer from ECW. I think he’s the definition of someone who does what they do because of their passion for it. And that’s dope.

Particle Don: Have you ever seen the early 90’s Nickelodeon TV show My Brother and Me? What are a few of your favorite childhood TV shows or movies?

My Brother And Me
My Brother And Me

MC Snax: I’ve never seen My Brother and Me! I don’t think we got all the Nickelodeon shows that the States did, unfortunately.

Some of my favorite shows growing up were of course The Simpsons, Boy Meets World, Recess, and The Weekenders.

My favorite movies growing up were definitely Good Burger (which is Nickelodeon!) and Ready to Rumble.

Particle Don: Thanks for the interview, Snax. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?

MC Snax: Well, I’d like to thank you for thinking I’m interesting enough to warrant an interview. And thank you as well for continuing to support The Ninja Funk!

Everyone stay tuned to mcsnax.bandcamp.com, because Healing Sounds of the Benevolent Realm Vol. 2 is coming very soon! Much love, y’all! Whoop whoop!

Dominic Garrini Interview

Dominic Garrini in an AIW promo video

10 minute Dominic documentary (highlights his feud with “Filthy” Tom Lawlor): YouTube

Twitter: @dgarrinibc

Dominic Garrini merchandise at ProWrestlingTees.com

Particle Don: As we all know, you hail from Canton, Ohio. What do you enjoy about the city? What restaurants or activities would you recommend to visitors?

Dominic: The Pro Football Hall of Fame is always one of the first things you should check out in Canton if you’re into that kind of thing. There are a lot of great local eating spots that are native to the city such as Milk and Honey, Taggarts, Papa Gyros, and many others.

Particle Don: I was happy to see you had an extensive interview in the Canton Repository. Did they approach you for the article? What was the experience like getting some press in such a widely-read news outlet?

Dominic: I was approached by The Repository. It was great, because growing up playing football and wrestling in the area we would always read that paper. Sadly I was a poor athlete in high school, so I was never featured in those articles.

It was awesome to get that spotlight. To be honest I think my parents and Grandma were more excited than I was, haha!

Dominic Garrini
Dominic Garrini had an in-depth interview in the Canton Repository.

Particle Don: Have you ever been to the vintage collectibles shop Arrowhead in the city’s downtown area? If so, what did you purchase?

Dominic: I have not, sadly.

Particle Don: Have you ever been to a First Friday in Canton?

Dominic: I have. My friends in college usually assigned me as the designated driver to many a First Friday, haha.

Canton's First Friday is a downtown gathering that happens on the first Friday of every month.
Canton’s First Friday is a downtown gathering that happens on the first Friday of every month.

Particle Don: Was there ever a time you saw a show at Buzzbin? If so, what band?

Dominic: Sadly, I’ve never been to Buzzbin. We were in discussions to hold an AIW show there, but the plans fell through.

Particle Don: Hopefully you can make Buzzbin work someday; it would be great to see AIW there. I know the venue has hosted wrestling shows in the past.

Have you ever been to Cultured Coffee? When you’re there, what type of waffle do you choose?

Dominic: Cultured is one of the places that I’ve been meaning to try, but still haven’t had a chance to do so.

Particle Don: Have you ever seen the Canton Charge basketball team play live?

Dominic: I have not seen the Charge play live, but would like to.

Particle Don: Were you in attendance at any of WWE’s Canton shows?

Dominic: I attended a few as a child.

I also made it to the house show they had here in 2016. Dr. Dan and I went and got to enjoy dinner with Chandler Biggins, John Thorne, AIW Bartender Nick Sanka, and Kevin Owens.

Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens photo by Miguel Discart

Particle Don: Have you ever been to the Pro Football Hall of Fame? If so, what was it like?

Dominic: I probably haven’t visited the Hall of Fame in about 10 years, but if you appreciate football history, it’s a place where you can spend hours.

Particle Don: What was the first live wrestling show you attended as a fan? Where did it take place? Were there any matches or experiences from the show that stick out in your mind?

Dominic: The first show I remember attending was a WWF TV taping at the Canton Civic Center. I was really young.

I didn’t go again until my teens. My dad was always busy working, so we weren’t able to go to many shows.

I remember seeing a MOW show when I moved back to Canton around 2004. It had M-Dogg 20 and Josh Prohibition on the card. Since I was a huge fan of the Backyard Wrestling DVDs and VHS tapes, I was super excited to see them perform.

Particle Don: When did you first become interested in AIW? Did you attend shows as a fan before attending their training school?

Dominic: I’ve always known of AIW, but didn’t attended any live shows prior to training. AIW is kind of the standard for the style of independent wrestling I grew up on, so I always kept up with what they were doing.

AIW is Cleveland’s top wrestling promotion.

Particle Don: When did you begin training to become a wrestler? What motivated you to do so?

Dominic: I began training in August of 2015.

I had just gotten back from the World Jiu Jitsu Championships in July of that year. I failed in my quest to win a world championship, which was what I dedicated the prior 6 years of my life towards. After that, I reassessed everything I was doing.

I remember deciding to go to the post-Money in the Bank Raw in Cleveland that year. Growing up, my favorite indie wrestler was Kevin Steen, and he was very involved in a program with John Cena.

Seeing Kevin’s success inspired me to do something that I’d always wanted to do, but got side tracked. I looked up wrestling schools in the area, and chose to go with AIW.

Dominic Garrini at AIW Absolution 2018
Dominic at AIW Absolution 2018. Image by settaBPhoto.

Particle Don: When was your debut match in AIW? From what I can find, it was on March 5th, 2016 at the Fullest House show in Mentor.

What was it like finally getting a match on an actual show? How did the match go? Was there anything you’re particularly proud of, or anything you would change if you could go back?

Dominic: Yeah, that match was my debut. It was awesome to get on an actual show.

I was above the curve when it came to debuting. Most train for almost a year. I ended up debuting in 6 months, along with Garrison King.

To get that chance was great, but a lot also goes to the other 5 people in the match for helping craft something that was awesome. If I could change one thing I’d have worn different gear. That first pair of board shorts I wore sucked.

Particle Don: What is it like seeing your trainers, Johnny Gargano and Candice LaRae, on WWE TV every week? I’d imagine it must be inspiring to know that with lots of hard work, it could one day be you wrestling at such a level.

Dominic: It makes me so happy when I see Johnny or Candice perform. They are two of the best human beings I know and deserve every piece of the success they are getting. Forget being as good of a wrestler as them, I aspire to be as good of a human as they are.

Johnny Gargano
Johnny Gargano photo by Tabercil

Particle Don: Shayna Baszler is also in NXT. Have you ever talked MMA or trained with her in the ring?

Dominic: Shayna and I have always talked about MMA, pro wrestling, and training. Sadly, we never got the chance to train in the ring before she was signed to WWE.

Particle Don: Through your training and gaining experience at shows, you have met many wrestling legends. Was there ever a piece of advice you received from a veteran that was particularly inspiring?

Dominic: The best piece of advice comes from Johnny and Candice. It’s as simple as this: just be a good dude!

Particle Don: You did a match for the charity-based promotion ACTION Wrestling (@wrestleACTION1 on Twitter), which is available to stream at PowerBomb.tv. How did you become acquainted with this wrestling organization?

Dominic: Action Wrestling is run by Matt Griffin out of Georgia. Matt and I met at the Scenic City Invitational last year and we hit it off.

He let me know about his plans to start some kind of promotion, but the dates didn’t work out at first. He then hit me up late in February saying there was a spot open in the main event, and he wanted to offer it to me.

I gladly accepted and am proud to have been a part of a show that raised over $3k for Make-A-Wish Georgia.

Particle Don: On November 19th, 2017, you wrestled former AIW champion Nick Gage in non-tourney action at OPW’s Masters of the Mat 3. This event also featured an AIW showcase match with the likes of DCR, Tre Lamar, and Joshua Bishop.

What was it like wrestling Gage? What sticks out in your mind while thinking about this contest?

Dominic: Man, Nick falls under this category of guys I watched when I first discovered independent wrestling back in 2004. To get the chance to wrestle him was great.

What would stick out the most is Nick’s dedication to the craft of pro wrestling. Everyone thinks he’s just a deathmatch guy, but he has a true love for pro wrestling. He enjoys performing whether it be normal straight wrestling matches or deathmatches.

Garrini vs. Gage
Garrini vs. Gage in OPW

Particle Don: You took on Kyle the Beast at GCW’s submission-only Bloodsport show in New Orleans during the 2018 WrestleMania weekend. Had you ever been in a submission-only professional wrestling match before this? What type of a mindset do you need when working a match with no ropes?

Dominic: To be honest the match wasn’t submission only. It was submission or knockout only, but I hadn’t been involved in the hybrid/shoot style yet.

It was a great experience and I learned to focus on the finish more so than in a normal pro wrestling match.

Particle Don: Not long ago, you had a big contest in Akron against wrestling and MMA legend Dan “The Beast” Severn. In your opinion, how did the match go? Is there anything you learned during the encounter that you could share with the readers of ParticleDon.net?

Dominic: The match was as much as it could be for Dan having such short notice.

At this point in his career, Dan isn’t going to be putting on 5 star classics, so we had a straightforward contest that was fun for what it was. Dan was a consummate professional.

Particle Don: Have you ever wrestled someone who speaks little to no English? How does something like this pose additional challenges?

Dominic: I have once. Wrestling is kind of a universal language. Once you start working, you can read body language and go with the flow.

Particle Don: Who did you wrestle when working for IWA Mid-South?

Dominic: I wrestled Dr. Dan and Cory Storm.

Particle Don: Do you listen to the Something to Wrestle With Bruce Prichard podcast?

Dominic: I do, as I drive a lot, whether it be to training or bookings. I love Something to Wrestle as well as 83 Weeks, Between the Sheets, and the Lapsed Fan.

Particle Don: What type of music do you enjoy? Who are a few of your favorite bands?

Dominic: I’m all across the board when it comes to music, but I prefer punk rock type music. Some of the bands I’m into right now include The Menzingers, The Wonder Years, and A Day to Remember. If I’m not listening to that stuff then I will usually throw on a 90s hits playlist since I’m a 90s kid.

Particle Don: What was the last concert you went to?

Dominic: I’m not really a concert goer. The last one I remember was a free Third Eye Blind concert while I was attending Kent State.

Particle Don: Is there a certain band or type of music you prefer to listen to while training or working out?

Dominic: Something heavy.

Particle Don: In your Canton Repository interview, you mentioned Hulk Hogan was a big inspiration while growing up. Who were a few of your other favorite wrestlers back then? What about your least-favorite wrestlers?

Dominic: Stone Cold Steve Austin (as was everyone’s in that era), Bret Hart, Goldberg, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, and Kurt Angle. Once I found indie guys like Kevin Steen, CM Punk, Super Dragon, B Boy, Sonjay Dutt, M-Dogg 20, Josh Prohibition, Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Roderick Strong, and Nigel McGuiness, I couldn’t get enough.

Particle Don: Among the current WWE roster, who would you especially love to have a match with someday?

Dominic: Kevin Owens, Chad Gable, Jason Jordan, Aleister Black, Roderick Strong, Kyle O’ Reilly, and Bobby Fish, just to name a few.

Particle Don: If you could have a dream match with a legend from wrestling’s past, who would you lock up with? Why? What arena or event would you want it to take place at?

Dominic: In all reality, it matters of situation. I was a big enough performer I’d want it to be against either Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold in the main event at Wrestlemania in a huge stadium or at Madison Square Garden.

Particle Don: Is there a piece of wrestling merchandise from your childhood that you still have and would never get rid of?

Dominic: My Hulkamania 4 VHS tape.

Hulkamania 4 VHS
Hulkamania 4 VHS

Particle Don: What is your ideal breakfast?

Dominic: Some sort of protein bar and a spoon of peanut butter.

Particle Don: What is your favorite food?

Dominic: I’m gonna have to say a good medium-rare steak.

Particle Don: What is your favorite type of candy?

Dominic: It’s a triple tie between Sweet Tarts Ropes, Air Head Extreme Bites, and Swedish Fish.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite TV show from the 90s?

Dominic: Either Boy Meets World or Ahh Real Monsters.

AAAHH!!! Real Monsters
AAAHH!!! Real Monsters

Particle Don: What is the LYFT code people can use to help you travel to the AIW training school in Cleveland?

Dominic: I do not need the LYFT code, but AIW Student Xavier would always appreciate the help code XAVIER65163.

Particle Don: You have a great selection of merch with bad-ass designs, including shirts, stickers, and enamel pins. Is there a place online people can go to pick up some Bone Collector collectibles?

Dominic: Either by hitting me up direct on Twitter @dgarrinibc or prowrestlingtees.com/dgarrini.

Particle Don: Up to this point, what is the farthest you have traveled for a wrestling show?

Dominic: Sixteen hours.

Particle Don: What are your goals in wrestling? Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Dominic: My goal is to have wrestling be the way I make a living. I’d love to quit my day job and just wrestle, but there’s a lot of hard work that needs to go into making that a reality. In five years hopefully I’m making this a full-time career.

Particle Don: Thanks for the great insight, Dominic! We will see you tomorrow night at AIW!

Dominic Garrini vs. Hot Sauce for the Title!
Dominic Garrini vs. Hot Sauce for the Title!

Nathan Hamilton Interview

Nathan Hamilton has done commentary for multiple Carnage Cups, and appeared in the critically acclaimed 10 Years of Carnage documentary.

Nathan Hamilton has done commentary for multiple Carnage Cups, and appeared in the critically acclaimed 10 Years of Carnage documentary.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Son-of-Celluloid-144884965585421/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/fromhell13
Son of Celluloid blog: https://sonofcelluloid1.blogspot.com/
Email: fromhell13@aol.com

Particle Don: What got you into wrestling? Did you watch growing up?

Nathan: I actually wasn’t allowed to watch it growing up. My folks said it gave me too many ideas of things to do to my brothers. I’ve never been good at following rules, though.

I first discovered WCW in 1988 just flipping through the channels around 6:05 one Saturday. I was 8 years old, and my family had just moved to Atlanta. I discovered WWF shortly thereafter. From then on, I was hooked.

Particle Don: Who was your favorite wrestler growing up?

Nathan: When I was really young, I dug anyone in face paint. I guess they knew their market. My first favorites were Sting and The Ultimate Warrior. I also followed Road Warriors, Demolition, and the Great Muta.

I hated Ric Flair for the longest time (he was messing with my boy Sting), but I secretly thought that he was the coolest motherfucker on earth. I knew who the real world champ was.

Then along came The Undertaker, and he was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. He immediately became my new favorite, and remained my favorite for the rest of my kayfabe believing days.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite classic WWF entrance theme?

Nathan: Here comes the Axe, here comes the Smasher…

Particle Don: Do you watch current WWE? If so, who are your favorite wrestlers?

Nathan: Right now, WWE is basically the indie wrestling all-stars from 5-10 years ago, so I’m loving it. Owens, Cesaro, Rollins, Ambrose, Styles, Zayn, and so many others are killing it. I love me some Bray Wyatt. He could be one of the greatest heels in WWE history, but creative has absolutely no clue how to use him.

I’m digging the chicks, too. You put any combination of Charlotte, Sasha, Bailey, and Becky in there, and they’ll steal the damn show.

Particle Don: When did you start getting interested in deathmatches?

Nathan: ECW. I remember watching Cactus Jack and Terry Funk (both of whom I remembered from WCW) mixing it up, and hearing Joey Styles talk about their insane exploding barbed wire deathmatches from Japan. So I went to eBay (which was new at the time) and ordered a bootleg VHS called Best of Barbed Wire Vol. 1-4.

Atsushi Onita
Atsushi Onita

The picture quality was shit, but I watched that tape a million times. It was all Japanese stuff. Onita. Pogo. Hyabusa. The Headhunters. Cactus. Funk. Gladiator. Tanaka. Leatherface. Matsunaga. All the greats bleeding all over the place. I still have that tape, actually.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite deathmatch weapon?

Nathan: Barbed wire. It’s so versatile. It allows you to be so creative.

Particle Don: How did you meet Kevin Brannen? What’s the story behind the tradition of the Nathan’s Sadistic Playground match at Carnage Cup?

Nathan: I’m gonna answer these two at the same time, because they’re basically the same story.

The first deathmatch show I ever attended live was Carnage Cup 7. I didn’t meet Kevin that night, but I did make a bunch of weapons for the Fans Bring The Weapons match, including the infamous barbed wire toilet seat. In the coming weeks, I was listening to podcasts about the show, and people kept bringing up that damn toilet seat.

It then got brought up on Facebook, and I commented that maybe there should just be a “Nathan Brings the Weapons” match at the next Carnage Cup. Some dude named Kevin Brannen responded “OK”.

I had no idea who he was, so I went to his profile. Low and behold, it was the promoter. I messaged him and asked if he was serious. He told me I could build anything I wanted. I don’t think he realized what kind of sick bastard he was talking to at the time.

I finally met him in person at the next IWA-DS show, and the first Nathan’s Sadistic Playground match took place at Carnage Cup 8. There’s been one at every Carnage Cup since, and I dare say, I’m responsible or some of the sickest weapons ever devised. They don’t call me “The Mad Scientist of Ultraviolence” for nothing. But there’s always a barbed wire toilet seat, and the original one now hangs on my bedroom wall. You’ve gotta remember your roots.

Particle Don: How did you start commentating for IWA Deep-South?

Nathan: Mad Man Pondo showed up at Carnage Cup 8 for the sole purpose of kicking the shit out of Smooth (their commentator at the time), so Smooth didn’t show up. Without someone on the mic, Kevin came up to me and asked if I wanted to do commentary on my Nathan’s Playground match. I was three sheets to the wind, but being a wrestling commentator had always been my dream, so I jumped at the chance.

I ended up doing the rest of the show, and he must have liked what he heard, because I called every IWA-DS show from then on. That’s why I always do commentary at least half drunk. I like to say that I’m the Deathmatch Gordon Solie. Not that I would ever compare my skills to the greatest of all time. It’s just that, like him, I’ve never called a match sober.

Nathan during the intro of the Carnage Cup 9 DVD.
Nathan during the intro of the Carnage Cup 9 DVD

Particle Don: Describe the construction of the Deathbed you made for Carnage Cup 10. How long did this take to make? Where did you get the bed frame?

The Carnage Cup 10 Deathbed aftermath
The Carnage Cup 10 Deathbed aftermath

Nathan: Each Nathan’s Sadistic Playground match has had a Deathbed, and I’ve had to construct all of them on site. One of those would be impossible to transport from Atlanta assembled. That last bed frame was donated by one of my best friends, Nicole. I knew I had to top the other two, so in addition to the entire spool of barbed wire wrapped around the rails, I added the dangling light tube platform. These are the kind of thoughts I have when I’m lying awake in bed at night. New ways to make people bleed.

Particle Don: What was it like announcing alongside legend Kris Kloss at the Carnage Cup? What were his thoughts on the Cup? Was it the most brutal spectacle he’d ever seen?

Nathan: Working with Kloss was awesome. I went in prepared for him to be a dick, honestly. I figured that after working with XPW, he would come in with an ego and an attitude. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Nathan and Kris Kloss
Nathan and Kris Kloss

He was awesome. Nicest guy in the world. We had a great time. We passed a flask of whiskey and talked wrestling between matches. I thought we had pretty good chemistry on the mic, too. You know how you hear wrestlers talk about how being in the ring with more experienced veterans makes them better wrestlers? I feel the same way about commentary.

Nathan rarely calls a match sober
Nathan rarely calls a match sober

I learned things, especially about timing, from commentating with Kloss. The only bad thing about working with him is that early on day two, when you’re severely hung over, that trademark “Kloss Shriek” feels like an icepick in your brain. He told me, away from the mics and cameras, that Carnage Cup 10 was indeed the most brutal tournament he had ever witnessed live.

Particle Don: Do you have any idea when we might see a return of IWA Deep-South and the Carnage Cup?

Nathan: I can’t speak officially, but I think we’ve seen the end of IWA-Deep South. I don’t think it’s coming back. I have my own personal feelings about the way it ended, but you’d have to ask Kevin what the deal with that is yourself. I don’t think it’s something I can really speak on.

However, the Carnage Cup tournament isn’t retired. We’re planning on having another one in 2017, and some ideas are in the works that have never been done before. Carnage Cup 11 is gonna be some next level shit. I just don’t think it’s going to be under the IWA-DS name, unfortunately.

Particle Don: Have you watched any $10 Dollar Rasslin’? What is your opinion of this promotion?

Nathan: I’ve seen one show, the Softcore Cup. That was fun for what it was. I enjoyed being the deathmatch guy on a deathmatch parody show. Overall, though, comedy wrestling isn’t my cup of tea. I like it sprinkled into a show for variety, but not as the primary style. That’s just me, though. Apparently a lot of people do dig it, ’cause the houses have been damn good.

Particle Don: What are your thoughts on New Jack being announced for the $10 Dollar Rasslin’ Death Match Mafia tournament?

New Jack vs. Tracy Smothers - a rare treat
New Jack vs. Tracy Smothers – a rare treat

Nathan: It makes me wish I could be there. Kevin scheduled that show at the worst possible time for me. In the horror business, the weekend of Halloween is the busiest of the year. So, sadly, I’m not going to be involved in that show. I hate it too, ’cause I’ve always wanted to call a New Jack match.

Particle Don: Maybe New Jack will come back to the Deep-South sometime. How do you think the Death Match Mafia tourney will differ from the Carnage Cup?

Nathan: I couldn’t tell you since I’m not involved with this one, but I do know that Kevin always has something interesting up his sleeve, so it’s gonna be a hell of a show.

Particle Don: Have you been keeping up with this year’s deathmatch tourneys? If so, which ones stand out to you?

Nathan: I still have a few that I need to see, like Slave to the Deathmatch and Lord of the Hardcore. I really dug Zandig’s Tournament of Survival for its old-school feel, and Milestone’s Death 2 Tag Team tourney because we haven’t had a tag team deathmatch tournament in the US for years. Those guys tore it up.

Nathan Hamilton
Nathan loves haunted houses

Particle Don: What types of horror movie convention panels do you host? What do you discuss?

Nathan: I’ve done everything from fan discussion forums, to interviews with horror icons, to panels with the hottest up and coming independent filmmakers. Those are probably my favorite, because independent horror cinema is my passion, and if I can have a little part in spreading the word about the goodness coming out of that scene, I’m a happy man. The good horror flicks aren’t the ones at the theater, folks. Dig deeper.

Particle Don: Who are a few horror movie icons you’ve met at your last convention?

Nathan: Oh man. Over the years I’ve met and interviewed Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Tony Todd, Doug Bradley, my personal hero Joe Bob Briggs, Phil Anselmo, Doyle from The Misfits, Clint Howard, the entire cast of Nightbreed, Linnea Quigley, Gunnar Hansen, Tom Towles (RIP), most of the cast of The Devil’s Rejects, Cenobites, Scream Queens, legends, cult figures, you name it.

I did a shot with Ric Flair at one of the Days of the Dead cons. Hell, I’ve even had Gary Busey pull a knife on me.

Particle Don: You used to have a YouTube web series called The Son of Celluloid where you discussed horror movies and conducted interviews. Unfortunately, the show is no longer in production. Do you think you’ll ever upload the lost episodes from season 2?

The Son Of Celluloid show
Click the image to view season one of The Son Of Celluloid show

Nathan: I may. I have a lot of footage that was supposed to comprise Season 2. It all needs to be edited, cleaned up, and the sound mastered. Honestly, I just haven’t had the time or desire to spend the necessary hours. If people want to see it, though, I’ll put it up. Let me know, folks.

Particle Don: What are a few of your top horror movies?

Nathan: My favorite of all time is Night of the Living Dead. Other than that, I’ll just toss a few out there off the top of my head.

Hellraiser 1 and 2, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1 and 2, Found, Baskin, Deathgasm, Phantasm 1 and 2, Return of the Living Dead 1 through 3, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Sharktopus, Motel Hell, Last House on the Left, From Beyond, The Devil’s Rejects, and Anything Fulci.

Others include The Corman/Price Poe flicks, Pumpkinhead, Freaks, Basket Case, Black Sunday, Videodrome, Wizard of Gore, Blood Sucking Freaks, Ilsa She Wolf of the SS, Galaxy of Terror, Serbian Film, Nightbreed, Ebola Syndrome, Private Parts, I Drink Your Blood, Anything Coffin Joe, Zombies of Mora Tao, Burial Ground, Flower of Flesh and Blood, Spider Baby, Maniac, and the Universal Frankenstein movies. The list could go on and on and on for days.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite non-horror movie?

Nathan: A few. Clerks, Airplane, UHF, The Warriors, The Crow, Commando, and Bloodsport, among others.

Particle Don: How did you meet The Casket Creatures? How many times do you think you’ll see them play live this October?

Nathan: I met the Casket Creatures just by being in the Atlanta horror scene together. Those dudes are some of my best friends in the world. I’ve directed music videos for them, they’ve played events for me. I love partying with those guys. I’ll probably see at least 6 or 7 of their shows this October. They’re basically Atlanta’s Halloween house band.

Particle Don: Do you play any musical instruments? Have you ever been in a band?

Nathan: I have zero musical talent, but I have been the lead singer for a few bands. What can I say? What I lack in vocal ability I make up for in stage presence.

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite metal bands?

Nathan: That’s almost like asking me about horror movies. I’ll narrow it down to the ones on my vest.

Ghost, Iron Maiden, Macabre, Sleep, Crowbar, Shining, Lifelover, Testament, Pantera, Kreator, Inquisition, Deceased, Slayer, Danzig, and Motorhead.


I also like GWAR, and am interested in a lot more than just metal. I listen to horror punk, 70’s soul, old outlaw country, underground hip-hop, and all kinds of stuff.

Particle Don: Do you listen to the Insane Clown Posse?

Nathan: I used to. I was a huge fan back during the first Jokers Card deck era. Riddlebox is still my favorite. After Jeckel Brothers, however, they totally changed their sound. I did not dig said new sound. So no, not any more. I still dig other juggalo acts like Twiztid and Boondox, though. And you cannot fuck with that first Dark Lotus album.

Nathan interviewed Twiztid for Prick Magazine back in 2002
Nathan interviewed Twiztid for Prick Magazine back in 2002

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite 90’s cartoon?

Nathan: Probably Batman: The Animated Series. Animaniacs would be a close second. Actually, wait. Was Invader Zim 90’s?

Particle Don: It originally aired from 2001 to 2002.

Invader Zim
Invader Zim

Particle Don: What’s your favorite food?

Nathan: Seafood. I’m all about anything that comes out of the water.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite candy?

Nathan: I’m diabetic, so I have to go with the sugar-free stuff. The sugar-free Reeses cups are probably my favorite.

Particle Don: Do you have a preferred type of soda you like to drink?

Nathan: Diet Mountain Dew flows through my veins. Diet Grape Faygo is the shit, too.

Diet Mountain Dew
Diet Mountain Dew

Particle Don: What’s your favorite TV show?

Nathan: I don’t watch much TV. Tons of movies, but not much TV. Actually, the only (non-WWE) TV shows I watch are Walking Dead, Jeopardy, and Lucha Underground.

Particle Don: Do you watch the show Ancient Aliens? What is your opinion on the Ancient Astronaut theory?

Nathan: I’ve never seen it. I feel about aliens the same way I feel about God – no one has proven that they exist, and no one has proven that they don’t. So, until someone can show me hard evidence, I can’t say one way or the other.

Particle Don: Have you ever heard of Particle Don before this interview? If so, where?

Nathan: Yeah. We met at night one of King of the Deathmatches 2015. The one that got rained out. I couldn’t attend day two because I was working a horror convention in Indianapolis the next day.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite Particle Don song?

Nathan: Bleed For A Living. I remember hearing Danny use it as his entrance music at Carnage Cup 7 and wondering who did it. When you gave me a CD at King of the Deathmatches, my question was finally answered.

Particle Don: Do you have a website other than your Facebook page?

Nathan: Yeah, my horror blog is called Son of Celluloid (sonofcelluloid1.blogspot.com). Also, check out the Son of Celluloid Facebook page for news on all of my appearances, podcasts, and those sorts of things.

Particle Don: Is there anything you’d like to shout out or plug?

Nathan: Check out the Picking Brains Podcast, my boys The Casket Creatures, and Milestone’s Southern Slaughter tournament on Smart Mark Video!

Particle Don: Awesome interview, Nathan! I enjoyed your responses tremendously. I would have never known that you interviewed Twiztid back in the day!

Brian Carson Interview

Brian Carson in AIW

Brian Carson has made a great deal of progress since beginning his training with Johnny Gargano in mid-2014. He is now a regular in AIW and numerous other promotions. Header photo by John Janezic.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brian.grimm.5
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@BTheExcellence
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebriancarson/
Cagematch.net profile: https://www.cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=18450&name=Brian+Carson

Particle Don: What got you into wrestling? Did you watch growing up?

Brian: As a kid, my parents and grandparents bought me a bunch of old school WWF action figures, wrestling buddies, and Coliseum Home Videos. The first match I saw was Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental title at SummerSlam ’91. Ever since, I’ve been in love with wrestling and would never miss an episode or RAW, Smackdown or Nitro, or any of the pay-per-views.

Particle Don: Who was your favorite wrestler growing up?

Brian: Bret Hart.

Particle Don: How did you first hear about AIW? Did you attend their shows as a fan?

Brian: My initial show was Gauntlet for The Gold 8. I got there late because of work. Johnny Gargano was in the first AIW match I saw, and I had an idea of who he was. My buddy called me during JLIT 2014 and told me about AIW opening their own school. I figured no better time than now to give it a shot!

Absolute Intense Wrestling operates in Cleveland, Ohio
Absolute Intense Wrestling operates in Cleveland, Ohio

Particle Don: What made you decide to train to be a pro wrestler? When did this happen?

Brian: I went to 4 different colleges out of high school, and realized it wasn’t for me. I always wanted to be a wrestler, so I made the decision to stop wasting time and money on school, and pursue my life’s dream. I last attended college in 2009. Ever since then, I’ve been focused on wrestling.

Particle Don: What’s it like training with WWE superstars Johnny Gargano and Candice LaRae? Is there any funny or entertaining stories that stick out in your mind?

Candice LeRae in 2014
Candice LeRae in 2014. Photo by Tabercil

Brian: Johnny and Candice are human encyclopedias when it comes to wrestling. They don’t only push us physically in the ring, but they make sure we stay sharp mentally outside of it. They’re always available for questions or anything.

If anyone’s birthday falls on a training day, they get to book a show of matches of their choosing between all of us trainees. We’ve had hardcore matches, lumberjack matches, I quit matches, falls count anywhere matches, even a ladder match. I wouldn’t have wanted to be trained by anyone else.

Particle Don: Do you know if anyone will take Johnny’s place as head trainer when he goes to WWE full-time?

Brian: I don’t know who, or if, anyone will replace Johnny.

Particle Don: If there was one match you’d show to someone who has never seen you wrestle before, what would it be?

Brian: My match against Johnny Gargano at AIW Fresh Meat. I don’t think I can have that much fun in the ring again!

Particle Don: What is your theme song, and why did you choose it?

Brian: “Bad” by Downstait. I’ve always been a fan, and that’s my favorite song by them. They even wrote music for the first AEW event, All In.

Particle Don: Other than AIW, what are a few other promotions you’ve worked for?

Brian: Mega, UXWA, NWA Midwest, and Full Throttle.

Mega Championship Wrestling has been running shows since 1999
Mega Championship Wrestling has been running shows since 1999

Particle Don: What’s the farthest you’ve traveled for a wrestling show?

Brian: Before debuting in AIW, I went to Chicago with Johnny, Candice, and Alex Daniels.

Particle Don: What was it like competing in this year’s Back to the Future Cup? You had an impressive showing and made it to the finals.

Brian: The tournament was a lot of fun. I’ve always wanted to wrestle Space Monkey, and we had a hell of a match. It’s great to get in the ring with someone that has a totally different style than yours. It helps you become a better wrestler.

I’d like to do over the finals because I hurt my knee in the beginning, and couldn’t give 100% during the match. All in all, though, I enjoyed it.

Brian Carson vs. Space Monkey took place at the Back to the Future Cup in May 2016
Brian Carson vs. Space Monkey took place at the Back to the Future Cup in May 2016

Particle Don: Did you know Kaplan before training with him at the AIW school? You’re both from Mayfield Heights.

Brian: We went to high school together. I’ve known Kaplan since I was 16.

Kaplan was featured in a segment on Cleveland's Fox 8 News
Kaplan was featured in a segment on Cleveland’s Fox 8 News. Check out his AIW podcast interview.
Brian Carson during his high school years!
Brian Carson during his high school years!

Particle Don: What are your goals in professional wrestling?

Brian: Short term: travel more, work in Canada, improve my physique. Long term: wrestle in Japan, NXT, and WWE.

Particle Don: Who are a few people you’d like to wrestle that you haven’t already?

Brian: Chris Sabin, Ethan Page, Raymond Rowe, Josh Prohibition, Ricochet, The Young Bucks, Joey Ryan, Tracy Williams, Tyson Dux, EC3, DJ Z, Pentagon Jr…I could go on and on. There’s so much talent on the independent circuit right now.

Raymond Rowe is a Cleveland wrestler who has made it to the WWE
Raymond Rowe is a Cleveland wrestler who has made it to the WWE

Particle Don: I’d definitely like to see Brian Carson vs. Raymond Rowe. What’s your finishing move? Why did you select it?

Brian: It’s called The Reaper. It’s a back suplex that plants my opponent on their face. I hit it one day in training, and liked how it looked and felt. Plus, you need to try to be as original as possible with your finisher.

Particle Don: Do you have any non-wrestling hobbies? If so, what are they?

Brian: I enjoy cooking, personal training, doing mock radio shows with my friends, and performing stand up comedy.

People tell me all the time to either be a chef, trainer, radio personality, or comedian. I wouldn’t enjoy these things if they weren’t just hobbies to blow off steam. I do them to relax.

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite bands?

Brian: Eminem, Dr. Dre, Linkin Park, Blink 182, Lil’ Wayne, Downstait, AC/DC, Journey, KISS, Van Halen, and Guns N’ Roses.

Particle Don: Had you ever heard of Particle Don before this interview?

Brian: I remember when you rapped Ethan Page’s intro at AIW Battle of the Sexes 2.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite classic WWF entrance theme?

Brian: Man, that’s a good question. I have so many. Stone Cold is my favorite, but I also like the themes of Hogan, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Million Dollar Man, Bret Hart, DX, nWo, Mr. Perfect, Triple H, Kane, Big Boss Man, Undertaker, Vince McMahon, and Goldberg.

Particle Don: Do you watch current WWE? If so, who are your favorite wrestlers?

Brian: Yes, I watch WWE. My favorite wrestlers, including NXT, are AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Johnny Gargano, Shinskue Nakamura, Finn Balor, Sasha Banks, Bayley, American Alpha, and Dean Ambrose. I like a lot of them.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite 90’s cartoon?

Brian: Man, again, I could list so many. But my favorite as a kid was Looney Tunes.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite food?

Brian: Either a grilled medium rare porterhouse steak, or my homemade cavatelli.

Photo from SeriousEats.com
Photo from SeriousEats.com

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite candy?

Brian: Cookie Dough Bites.

Cookie Dough Bites
Cookie Dough Bites taste great when frozen

Particle Don: What’s your favorite TV show?

Brian: Again, I can list a ton of them. I’m big into House of Cards. I loved Sons of Anarchy, The Newsroom, Friends, Chappelle’s Show, All In The Family, and The Sopranos. But because of how I love almost every episode, I’ll say South Park is my favorite.

Particle Don: Do you watch the show Ancient Aliens? What is your opinion on the Ancient Astronaut theory?

Brian: I don’t, but my dad does. And I’ll say here what I tell him: stop watching that stuff, it’s bad for you.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite movie?

Brian: This is one that can really go on forever, haha. I’ll give you my top 10: The Dark Knight, Pulp Fiction, The Big Lebowski, Man on Fire, Jaws, The Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather, Christmas Vacation, Caddyshack, and The Breakfast Club.

Particle Don: Is there anywhere can fans buy your merchandise online?

Brian: Not yet. It’s coming soon, though.

Particle Don: Is there anything you’d like to shout out or plug?

Brian: Follow me on Twitter! I’m @BTheExcellence. On Instagram I’m thebriancarson, and add me on Facebook.

Keep coming to AIW if you live in the Cleveland area. The shows are always improving, and independent wrestling needs all the support it can get!

Brian Carson with Ronda Rousey at AIW
Brian Carson with Ronda Rousey at AIW

Todd McKenzie Interview

I met Todd McKenzie along with his brother Drew at King of the Deathmatches 2015!

Todd’s Facebook page

80’s Bush: Facebook, YouTube

Chix: Facebook, Official Site

Particle Don: Hi Todd! I can’t wait to find out more about your band 80’s Bush and your resturaunt Chix. It was great seeing you at King of the Deathmatches! I always use the 80’s Bush koozie you gave me! How did the concept for 80’s Bush originate?

Todd: I remember seeing Paul Stanley on the Kiss Animalize Live video from 1984. From then on, I wanted to be a rock star. Life didn’t really pan out for me to chase that goal.

I met a friend in 2008 who shared my interest in hair metal, so we started formulating a plan to start a band. In 2014, we found 2 other members ready to make a go at it. It’s been a total blast ever since.

Particle Don: Where can we see you play live?

Todd: Currently, we are playing around Central Illinois. We have played a few summer festivals and are hoping to break into the Chicago and suburban market.

Todd onstage with 80’s Bush!

Particle Don: Are there any plans for a studio recording?

Todd: That is also a goal. I doubt we are going to try and record an entire full length LP. We do have groundwork set for a few tracks. We are excited to spend some time in a studio and get some songs out there in iTunes!

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite 80’s bands?

Todd: Kiss, Motley Crue, and Ratt. I’m also a huge fan of Winger (they get a bad rap in the music world…great, great musicians).

Particle Don: Do you know of any “rare hair” bands from the 80’s you think people should check out?

Todd: I’m getting a chance to see one of them this weekend: Babylon AD. I also strongly suggest checking out Wildside (though technically their album came out in the 90’s) and also Spread Eagle. All great, rockin’ acts!

Particle Don: What are a few other genres of music you enjoy besides 80’s rock?

Todd: Genres? Really none. I’m a huge fan of the Stones, Led Zeppelin, and ZZ Top.

Todd during a live performance!

Particle Don: Are you aware of Major League Eating professional eater Joey Chesnut’s new record of 70 hot dogs eaten? How many wings do you think he could eat at Chix Restaurant?

Todd: Great question! I hope Joey Chestnut never comes to Chix! LOL. I can’t imagine how many wings that guy could down. We had a high school kid eat close to 70 wings in one sitting. I would imagine Joey could eat 200?!?

Particle Don: What would you recommend to someone who is new to Chix Restaurant?

Todd: The Boneless Wings and the Chicken Tenders are hugely popular. We also serve a Pot Roast Bowl (smashed potatoes, pot roast, carrots, and gravy all mixed together). Just plan for a nap afterwards!

If you’re ever near Streator, IL, make sure to eat at Chix!

Particle Don: How long have you been watching wrestling?

Todd: I started watching wrestling in 1978. I was 5 or 6 years old. My earliest memory is Cowboy Bob Orton piledriving Greg Gagne on the concrete floor during an episode of AWA Wrestling.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite classic-era wrestler?

Todd: Ric Flair, Dynamite Kid, and Bruiser Brody are just a few that come to mind. But, I’m a huge fan of many different styles and territories. I could write all day about the classic era.

Particle Don: Who is your current favorite wrestler?

Todd: Currently, Chris Hero. He can work any style, any opponent, any crowd. It will be a travesty if this guy doesn’t get a huge pay day from some promotion at some point. He’s too good to not be seen by the masses. In WWE, I go out of my way to watch AJ Styles matches. In NJPW, I enjoy Kenny Omega and am really starting to like Shibata.

Particle Don: When did you see your first deathmatch?

Todd: On tape it was 1993. Funk vs. Onita, exploding ring match from FMW.

My first time live was in 1997. I drove 300 miles one way to go see the first IWA King of the Deathmatches in New Albany. From then on, I’ve been hooked on the style.

Particle Don: Incredible. You witnessed the first ever American deathmatch tournament live. What was your first live wrestling show in general?

Todd: I don’t recall who or when, but I know it was an AWA show at the Richwoods High School in Peoria, Illinois.

Particle Don: Do you have any notable memories from this year’s King of the Deathmatches?

Todd: I thought this year’s show really upped the ante on the violence. It was the most violent spectacle I have seen in my 19 years of going to Deathmatch wrestling shows.

Two bumps from the Suicidal Beast in the first round are really what I remember most. The guy took an incredible amount of punishment.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite piece of wrestling merchandise?

Todd: My Wrestling Observer collection (I’ve been a subscriber since 1986) and probably my autographed “Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express” wrestling scrapbook.

Particle Don: What is your favorite sports team?

Todd: I’m a New York Mets fan since 1983. I also follow the New York Knicks and the Oklahoma Sooners.

Particle Don: Are there any other hobbies you enjoy besides rocking out with 80’s Bush and going to wrestling shows?

Todd: I have been recently working on a tabletop wrestling game to get published at some point. I also was an avid fantasy sports player, but have taken a hiatus on that as of late.

Particle Don: What a great concept. I hope your tabletop game becomes a reality! Where did you hear about Particle Don?

Todd: I saw you perform live at KOTDM 2014. I’ve been a fan of your music since and also got to speak with you at KOTDM 2015 and immediately liked you.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite Particle Don song?

Todd: Without question, Oklahoma Stampede from Volume 3. I also liked Always Makin’ Big Waves from Volume 3. I’m a fan of Bleed for a Living (Danny Havoc theme) also.

Particle Don: Who should I write a song about?

Todd: I think you should write a song about Jim Cornette and perhaps it could get used as an opening on his podcast.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite candy?

Todd: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, without a doubt.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite food?

Todd: Pizza. I could eat it 7 days a week. I owned a pizza restaurant from 2006-2009. I think I did eat it 7 days a week!!

Particle Don: What is your preferred beverage?

Todd: Pepsi from the fountain or a cold Michelob Ultra.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite 80’s TV show or cartoon?

Todd: I was never into cartoons much. My favorite TV show from the 80’s would probably be Different Strokes. As I got older, I really liked Cheers.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite 90’s TV show or cartoon?

Todd: Seinfeld. No question.

Particle Don: Do you watch Ancient Aliens? What’s your opinion of the Ancient Astronaut theory?

Todd: Never heard of it.

Particle Don: Do you watch South Park? What’s your favorite episode?

Todd: I’m not into cartoons. I’ve only seen 1 or 2 episodes.

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite movies?

Todd: Planes, Trains and Automobiles is my favorite film. I’m also a fan of the original Batman movie from 1966.

Particle Don: Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Todd: The few times we’ve met, I really enjoyed talking with you. I look forward to seeing you at future wrestling events and I hope that you continue writing and creating music. You have a great talent.

I wish Todd the best with his band and restaurant!

Drew McKenzie Interview

I met Drew McKenzie in the hotel parking lot during King of the Deathmatches 2015. Him and his brother Todd were super cool!
I met wrestling fan Drew McKenzie in the hotel parking lot during King of the Deathmatches 2015. Him and his brother Todd were super cool!

Visit Drew’s Facebook page

Particle Don: You don’t live in Cleveland, but you’re a big Indians fan. What got you interested in the Cleveland Indians?

Drew McKenzie: It’s funny because my old man is a Cubs fan, but my love for the Tribe started because of my pops. He used to have a collection of old, beat up baseball caps that he would wear when he was mowing the grass at home. As an 8 year old kid, I fell in love with that Chief Wahoo logo, and would wear the hat any chance I could.

When the Indians opened up the new ballpark in 1994, I remember watching the very first game at Jacobs Field on ESPN. From that moment on, I picked the Tribe as my squad. My entire life I have grown up rooting for the underdog, or the less popular choice. Living in Illinois during the “Jordan Era”, there wasn’t too many kids who weren’t rocking a #23 jersey. However, I was rooting for Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns during that time! I guess I have always gone against the grain when it comes to sports.

Particle Don: As of this writing (9/21/2016), the Cleveland Indians are 88-63. We are nearing the end of the season. Where do you see them going in the coming days and weeks?

Drew McKenzie: I can’t tell you how excited I am to see playoff baseball back in Cleveland! They were able to get that one game wild card back in 2013, but that was really just a tease. They haven’t won the division since 2007, so it’s great to see them back on top of the AL Central.

They have suffered some tough injuries this year, and nobody gave them a chance against Boston in the first round, but they swept the Sox and proved everyone wrong. Then they did it again in the ALCS against The Blue Jays.

This team has proven everyone wrong from the beginning of the year until now. I’m hopeful that they can keep it going into the World Series and shock the world!

Particle Don: Despite their 88-63 record, do you think they should have done anything differently this year?

Drew McKenzie: I really feel like they have played their cards right the entire season. They made some key off-season moves in Mike Napoli and Rajai Davis.

Napoli is having a career season, and Davis led the American League in stolen bases this year. They made a huge trade for Andrew Miller, who you could argue is the most dominant relief pitcher in all of baseball. I also loved the acquisitions of Brandon Guyer and Coco Crisp, too. They had a trade done for Jonathan Lucroy, but Lucroy used his “no trade clause” and stopped the trade from happening.

That one hurt a bit, as it would have been great to add Lucroy’s bat to the lineup. I really feel like the front office has stepped up to make sure we have the best possible team on the field.

Particle Don: How do you feel about their pitching staff?

Drew McKenzie: On paper, with no injuries, it’s one of the most dominant pitching staffs in the league. I would also argue that it’s the most dominant pitching staff that Cleveland has had in the last 50 years.

There’s Kluber, Carrasco, Salazar, Bauer, and Tomlin. Then you have Otero, Shaw, Allen, and Miller in the bullpen. You really feel like they give you a chance to win every night.

It really hurt to see Carrasco and Salazar go down with injuries at the end of the year. However, in the next few years, these guys have a chance to be one of the toughest pitching staffs we have witnessed in a long time.

Drew in some Tribe gear!

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite Indians team from past seasons?

Drew McKenzie: It’s hard to top the 1997 team. That offense was truly special. Growing up, I loved Manny, Thome, Alomar, Vizquel, etc. They were just so much fun to watch. I still can’t believe they were just 1 out away from winning the World Series that year!

Particle Don: When was the last time you saw them play live?

Drew McKenzie: I actually saw them play this year at US Cellular field in Chicago. That is the only plus about being a fan of the Indians in a different state. I usually get to see them play multiple games when they are in town to face the Sox, and on rare interleague occasions, against the Cubs. My goal is to see them again this year, hopefully in the ALCS or World Series!

Anytime they are in Chicago (both Cubs and Sox) I try to go up there, since it’s only about 2 hours away. Also, when they have interleague play in Milwaukee, I try and at least see a game or two up there as well.

Particle Don: How many times have you seen the Indians play live at Progressive Field? Were you ever there when it was Jacob’s Field?

Drew at a Tribe game!

Drew McKenzie: I have been to about 30 games at Progressive Field. My uncle took me to my first game back in 2002 when it was still Jacobs Field. Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, it was extremely hard to get a ticket, since those were the glory days.

My favorite memory at “The Jake” was being there live to see them clinch the division title back in 2007.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite piece of Indians memorabilia?

Drew McKenzie: Back in 2006, a friend of mine who is originally from north east Ohio and I went up to Cleveland for an entire week. We did 7 games in 7 days. We basically hung out at the ball park from morning till midnight. It was baseball heaven!

We were up there so much that the players actually started to recognize us and would talk to us as they were coming into the games. We met CC Sabathia, who was the ace of the pitching staff at the time. He was extremely cool and talked to us for a bit. We got our photo taken with him and it’s one of my all time favorite pieces of memorabilia

Particle Don: What got you interested in wrestling?

Drew McKenzie: My Uncle and my Dad are to blame for this one! I can honestly say I don’t recall a time where wrestling wasn’t a part of my life.

My earliest memory was when my Dad took me to a WWF house show to see Andre the Giant vs. Jim Duggan. I was probably 4 or 5 years old, tops. As a young kid, wrestling was all I cared about it! Thankfully, my Pops and my Uncle were just as into it as I was.

Particle Don: Early on, who were a few of your favorite wrestlers and promotions?

Drew McKenzie: As a young kid, I was a Hogan mark. However, it didn’t take me too long to realize that Flair was the man when it came to in-ring work.

As far as promotions go, I would literally watch anything. My uncle was big into the tape trading market, so it seemed like there was always something to watch. Right around the age of 12, I found ECW, and that’s when I discovered Guerrero, Benoit, Malenko, Mysterio, etc.

From there I found “Puroresu” and fell in love with All Japan. I watched Misawa, Kobashi, Kawada, etc.

I started going to independent wrestling shows in my early teens. Although I was still watching WWF and WCW, I found myself more into the underground of pro wrestling. The internet was truly a game changer, as you could basically find anything you were looking for with a click of the mouse.

Particle Don: When did you see your first death match?

Drew McKenzie: This is a funny story!

My uncle got a copy of the first ever “King of the Death Matches” from Japan back in 1995. Like most of his tapes and DVDs, it wound up in my hands, and at 11 years old I witnessed my first ever death match!

I was lucky to have parents that didn’t censor me with music, movies, and TV. You can only imagine what an 11 year old wrestling marks’ reaction was to seeing Terry Funk and Cactus Jack wrestle in exploding barbed wire! I saw my first live death match when I was 16 years old, and it ranks in my top 5 in-person wrestling experiences. It was IWA Mid South in Morris, Illinois. The show was “Morris Mayhem” on February third, 2002.

This was about an hour away from my house, and when I found out that Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio Jr. were going to be there, I knew that I had to be as well. Of course, like most days in early February in central Illinois, it was freezing cold. We literally drove through a blizzard on the way to the show. My uncle, who we later nicknamed “The Driver”, white knuckled the entire trip and got us there safe just in time for bell.

The main event that night was Ian and Axl Rotten vs. Mean Mitch Page and Rollin’ Hard vs. Cash Flo and Corporal Robinson. I don’t even know if you would consider it a death match, but it was the first time I witnessed a man hit another man directly in the face with a thumbtack bat! From there on, I had death match sickness.

Particle Don: What are a few of the best wrestling shows you’ve been to?

Drew McKenzie: Wow, this one is tough! If I had to call out a top five, in no particular order, here is what my picks would be:

  • IWA Mid-South King of the Death Matches 2003
  • IWA Mid-South 5/29/2004
  • Chris Hero vs. Samoa Joe – This match was epic!
  • IWA Mid-South Ted Petty Invitational 2004
  • Samoa Joe vs. Brian Danielson vs. AJ Styles – This is my all time favorite match that I’ve attended.
  • Ring of Honor Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk #2 10/16/04
  • IWA Mid-South King of the Deathmatches 2015.
  • Nick Gage vs. John Wayne Murdoch – This was such an awesome match!

As you can see, IWA Mid-South has been very good to me!

Particle Don: You have seen some historic bouts in person. About how far of a drive is it for you to see a live IWA Mid-South show?

Drew McKenzie: Where they are currently running shows, it’s about a five and a half hour drive from where we live. We try to make it up to 2 or 3 of their shows every year.

Ian Rotten has provided me with the best live pro wrestling experiences. Anytime that we drive down to one of their shows, it’s always worth the trip!

Particle Don: Who are a few of your top deathmatch wrestlers?

Drew McKenzie: This one is also tough! However, let’s stick with the top 5 of all time. (In no particular order)

  • Ian Rotten
  • Necro Butcher
  • JC Bailey
  • Corporal Robinson
  • Nick Gage
Nick Gage at Masters of Pain 2015

Those five guys always delivered. I have witnessed some of the craziest, most violent wrestling of all time because of them. I do have to give a big shout to people like Matt Tremont, Bryant Woods, Masada, Devon Moore, and John Wayne Murdoch. They are keeping the death match wrestling scene alive and well.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite piece of wrestling merchandise?

Drew McKenzie: I’m not much of a “merch” guy these days. Back when I was younger I had it all. I had the shirts, figures, magazines, and everything in between. I still have an awesome Abdullah the Butcher figure that sits in front of my TV. That was one piece of merch that I couldn’t part with.

Particle Don: Do you watch current WWE? If so, who do you tune in for?

Drew McKenzie: I do watch the current product. The WWE Network was a true game changer for me. Not only do I get to enjoy the older stuff, but it gives me an opportunity to see what is going on currently. It easy to justify watching their TV and PPVs when you are only paying $9.99 a month to stay up to speed.

Although I’m not a huge fan of the “PG era,” the in ring work is the best it’s been in a long time. You can’t go wrong with guys like Rollins, Owens, and Styles on your TV every week. I feel like the work rate is getting better and better as fresh faces keep coming in. Their creative needs a little work, but for $9.99 a month, I really can’t complain.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite wrestling theme throughout history?

Drew McKenzie: I’m going to have to go with an “oldy” on this one. Sweet Stan Lane and Beautiful Bobby Eaton’s theme was, and still is my favorite entrance song of all time!

Particle Don: What types of bands do you listen to?

Drew McKenzie: I listen to just about everything except for country. I like a lot of hip-hop/rap and lots of classic rock. Some of my favorite bands/acts are Oasis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Kiss. On the rap side, I enjoy Kendrick Lamar, J-Cole, A$AP Rocky, and Kanye West. I’m all over the spectrum when it comes to music.

Here’s Drew at a Snoop Dogg show!

Particle Don: Where did you hear about Particle Don?

Drew McKenzie: I got to see you live at King of the Death Matches 2014. I was fan from then on. Then in 2015, I really enjoyed your live performance during Randi West’s entrance at KOTDM 15!

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite Particle Don song?

Drew McKenzie: My favorite Particle Don track is “Always Makin’ Big Waves.” I can relate to the track, because I remember watching that same VHS and opening match as a kid! That Wrestlemania 6 card was one of my favorites growing up. A close second for me is “Positive Vibe Advisory.” I’m a huge fan of Devon Moore!

Particle Don: Who should Particle Don write a song about?

Drew McKenzie: I would love to see you write a track about Abdullah the Butcher or Sabu’s Uncle, the Original Sheik! Those two guys were hardcore before hardcore even existed!

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite candy?

Drew McKenzie: When it comes to chocolate, I can never go wrong with a Twix. For sweets, I’m a big fan of Sour Patch Kids.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite food?

Drew McKenzie: If I could only choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, pizza would be the choice. It might be the greatest invention in the history of the world! I’m also big into chicken wings (not the cross face type, though!)

Particle Don: Do you have a preferred beverage?

Drew McKenzie: I’m a Coke over Pepsi guy.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite 90’s TV show or cartoon?

Drew McKenzie: Seinfeld is my all time favorite. It still holds up as one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

Particle Don: Do you watch Ancient Aliens? What’s your opinion of the Ancient Astronaut theory?

Drew McKenzie: I’m not familiar with this show.

Particle Don: Do you watch South Park? Have you seen anything from the current season?

Drew McKenzie: I used to watch South Park all the time. I haven’t been paying too much attention over the last handful of seasons, but I did see the season premiere this year. It’s amazing how they have been able to stay on top for such a long time. They are truly creative geniuses!

Particle Don: Do you have a few favorite movies?

Drew McKenzie: You would think that Major League would be on my list, and although I do enjoy it, it’s not my favorite baseball movie. I really enjoyed the movie Moneyball. The Wrestler is also one of my all time favorite movies. I’m a huge fan of Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, and James Franco. Anything those guys are in, I usually see.

Particle Don: Other than Indians and wrestling, do you have any hobbies or interests?

Drew McKenzie: I have been playing guitar since I was 18. I was self taught, so it was lot of hard work, but truly a rewarding feeling to pick something up and stick with it. I have played in a few bands in the past and also do some singing.

I really enjoy fantasy sports (football, basketball, and baseball). I also enjoy sports gambling and I spend a lot of time studying lines and trends.

Particle Don: Do you have any cats, dogs or other pets?

Drew McKenzie: I don’t currently have any pets of my own. However, my parents have an English bulldog named Roxie that I love dearly. I call her my “Matilda.”

Particle Don: Is there anything you’d like to mention before wrapping things up?

Drew McKenzie: I just want to say thanks for reaching out to me for the interview. I really enjoyed it!

“Lowlife” Louie Ramos Interview

“Lowlife” Louie Ramos has been a staple in the New York/New Jersey independent wrestling scene for decades. The above image shows Louie with his son after his OPW Survival of the Sickest tournament win. Photo by Chris Grasso.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lowlife.ramos

Particle Don: Do you remember what initially got you interested in wrestling? Did you watch as a kid?

Louie: My brother, I have been watching and living wrestling since I was about a year old. My mom tells me the story I that I would cry when my parents changed the channel during wrestling. They watched WWWF and wrestling from the Olympic auditorium in L.A. You can say I’m a life long fan.

Particle Don: Early on, who were a few of your favorite wrestlers?

Louie: I have been a Hulkamaniac since I first saw him. Hogan was more than just a hero on TV for me. He was an inspiration. My father abandoned my brother and I at a young age. Hogan, with his commandments and good guy ways, won my heart. He inspired me to do the right thing.

Years later I would watch WWC wrestling from Puerto Rico. One man in particular caught my eye: Abdullah the Butcher. I looked more like a mini Abby than I did the Hulk, so I identified with Abby and became obsessed with blood in wrestling. Later on I would read about Cactus Jack and all the madness going on at FMW in Japan. That was it!

Cactus Jack going through a Caribbean spider web in FMW
Cactus Jack going through a Caribbean spider web in FMW

Particle Don: At what point did you decide to become a wrestler?

Louie: When I first watched ECW, specifically the barbed wire bat match between Ian and Axl Rotten. I was totally captivated by the madness and vowed to one day do the same.

Particle Don: When and where did you begin training? What was it like training with Homicide? Did you train with anybody else?

Louie: After I graduated high school I had a one track mind. I needed to find a place where I could learn how to wrestle. I gave up various college scholarships and other opportunities to follow the wrestling dream.

I ran into two guys at a Savio Vega autograph signing. They said they were training to be pro wrestlers, so I hooked up with them. Eventually, I saw they weren’t too serious, but I was. Thanks to those guys I found Arena Puerto Rico, owned by former wrestler Pedro Martinez. I would then bring my friends (who would go on to become Mace and Buff-E, the Christopher St. Connection, Steve “Monsta” Mack and Low Ki) to the Arena Puerto Rico.

There we would meet Homicide, Laython the Tower of Torture, Bobby Lombardi, J. Lover, Shao Lin, J. Train, Manslaughter and others who would help us along in our early years. However, Homicide and Laython are the ones who saw something in us and pushed us. It was intense but awesome to learn wrestling the right way.

Particle Don: Everybody says that your wrestling nickname, “Lowlife”, is the absolute opposite of the person that you are in real life. Is there an origin story behind this nickname?

Louie: It’s funny. The name came from a TV news broadcast. The newscaster was interviewing someone in my old Sunset Park, Brooklyn neighborhood. The guy on the news said “This low life out here is ruining the neighborhood”. Since the name started with L, and my real name is Louie, I said “Why not?”, lol.

Particle Don: What’s your finishing move? Why did you choose it?

Louie: I have used a few finishers in my career. The leg drop is an obvious nod to Hulk Hogan. I’ve used the Death Valley Driver. Before Cena did it, I was the first guy to stack two people on my shoulders and hit the move. I use the Oklahoma Stampede as an ode to one of my favorites, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, who does not get nearly enough credit for how great he was.

Particle Don: Did you know right off the bat that you wanted to get into hardcore wrestling, or was this something you decided a little bit later on?

Louie: I always loved hardcore wrestling. It’s what made me decide I wanted to bleed when I wrestle. However, upon beginning my training, I learned that I needed to be properly taught and have some experience under my belt before I did any hardcore. I didn’t do a real full blown deathmatch (a no rope barbed wire match) for almost 3 years after I started.

Particle Don: Who did you wrestle in your first deathmatch? In what promotion did this take place?

Louie: My first hardcore match was against Homicide under the old IWW “Insane World Wrestling” banner. It was an all weapons legal street fight. I did a triple barbed wire dog collar match against J. Lover and Homicide. I wrestled a steel cage match against New Jack and Jason Knight.

All of those matches took place under the Jersey All-Pro wrestling banner. I’d like to take a second to thank “Fat” Frank Iadevaia for all he did for me. Rest in peace, Frank.

Jersey All Pro Wrestling
Jersey All Pro Wrestling

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite deathmatch weapon?

Louie: I think I have become one with the dildo. I used it back in ’03 for the first time and have used it ever since. I love the barbed wire bat and thumb tack bat. Lately, I have grown fond of gusset plates.

Gusset Plates are used in the construction of bridges, buildings and other structures
Gusset Plates are used in the construction of bridges, buildings and other structures

Particle Don: What’s your least favorite deathmatch weapon?

Louie: As a deathmatch guy, glass and light tubes are like pencils and crayons in school. A necessity. However, I’m not a fan of the dust that comes from light tubes. And glass itself is unpredictable, but I’m down to use it.

The one thing I won’t do at this point is anything that involves heights. Anyone that knows my personal story knows my brother passed away from a fall at a great height, so I’m very against it.

Particle Don: You competed in the inaugural Nick Gage Invitational tournament against Nate Hatred in a brutal contest. Looking back at this match, what are your thoughts?

Louie: I was supposed to be a special guest referee in the match between Kyle the Beast and Jeff Cannonball. These were two guys making their first forays into a deathmatch tournament. GCW added me to their match.

The day of the event I find out that due to some issues, Nick Gage was not going to make it to the show. At that time I threw my name in the hat to replace him, and got my ass kicked for it.

Nate Hatred is a deathmatch legend and I’m honored to have worked with him. That match made me decide to make a comeback after I had been retired for most of the year. For this reason, that show will always be special to me.

Nate Hatred
Nate Hatred

Particle Don: You were victorious in this year’s OPW Survival of the Sickest tournament. How did it feel to finally win your first deathmatch tournament? Do you have any particular memories of this event?

Louie: Winning that tournament was dream come true. It was a culmination of 19 years of blood, sweat and tears. 19 years of never playing politics; always doing what is right for the business and the fans. It was an honor. And the fact that my son was there to witness it live meant even more. Eternal thanks to On Point Wrestling, Jeff Kane, Matt Tremont and the On Point fans.

Particle Don: You have an upcoming match against MASADA in On Point Wrestling. It’s your first time wrestling him. What are your thoughts going into this match?

Louie: Masada is a deathmatch icon and legend. He’s the greatest hybrid wrestler alive; a man who has done it all in the game. It will be an immense honor and privilege to be given this opportunity. I will do my best to deliver a performance worthy of the opponent and the moment.

Click the image to view the official event page for OPW’s A Beautiful Day 2 Die
Click the image to view the official event page for OPW’s A Beautiful Day 2 Die

Particle Don: What was it like wrestling the legend Terry Funk? How did this match come about? Are there any interesting stories involved with this contest?

Louie: Haha, Terry Funk was a class act. The word “legend” does not begin to encompass how great he is. He’s probably the most famous and well-known wrestler I have ever battled.

After the match, he apologized for knocking half of my front tooth out with a steel chair. Because of this, I decided to rib him and chase him around the locker room with a dildo when he was going into the shower, hahaha.

Click the image to watch Lowlife Louie vs. Terry Funk
Click the image to watch Lowlife Louie vs. Terry Funk

Particle Don: You teamed up with Dusty Rhodes in an ROH 5-on-5 match in 2003. What was it like meeting and teaming up with Dusty? Did he give you any advice that stuck with you for the rest of your career?

Louie: Dusty gave me a great complement. He said I reminded him of himself in his younger days. Dusty was great to be around and another legend that was awesome to work with.

Particle Don: You made it three rounds into King of the Deathmatches 2004, only one match shy of the finals. This tournament included names such as Tank, JC Bailey, Toby Klein and Necro Butcher. You defeated Homicide on night one and Ryan Boz on night two. Is there anything that stands out in your mind about this tournament? Was this the only time you competed in IWA Mid-South?

Louie: I wish I would have been invited back for more. You’d have to ask Ian Rotten why I wasn’t asked back. That show was a great memory. I loved every second of it. It was an amazing honor working with the man who trained me, Boz (who was a beast) and battling Corp. I’ll never forget that opportunity.

Particle Don: You’ve wrestled countless legends throughout your career. However, is there anyone you have yet to wrestle that you’d like to square off against?

Louie: Well, I’m getting my dream match against Masada on September 24th. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to work with Jun Kasai, but him and Kobayashi would be two guys I’d like to fight. I’d also like to work with Danny Havoc and Devon Moore. And maybe a rematch with Jeff Cannonball. Another one is Danny Demanto, I haven’t forgotten we need to hook it up one more time.

Jun Kasai’s back is disgusting, bearing the scars from hundreds of deathmatches
Jun Kasai’s back is disgusting, bearing the scars from hundreds of deathmatches

Particle Don: Back in early 2015, you announced that you were retiring from in-ring competition due to contusions and scar tissue found in your brain during a CT scan. What compelled you to step back into the ring and continue doing hardcore matches?

Louie: That match with Nate Hatred encouraged me to return, as I had no I’ll effects afterwords. Will I suffer one day? Maybe. But thanks to that match, I got to wrestle Archadia, Brian Myers and do the Survival of the Sickest tourney where I battled Matt Tremont. I’d love the heck out of another match with him.

Particle Don: You are very respected for being a family-oriented type of guy. Do you ever see your son getting into pro wrestling, or would you rather him stay away from it and pursue a different path in life?

Louie: He loves wrestling, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Do I want him to do death matches? I don’t know. But I’d love to see him on the big stage one day if he works towards it.

Particle Don: Do you watch current WWE? If so, who are a few of your favorite modern-day superstars?

Louie: I’ll be a fan forever. Right now I cheer on guys with a similar upbringing like me, like Dean Ambrose, Sammy Zayn and Kevin Owens. They battled on the indies and did it the right way.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite South Park episode?

Louie: Yes sir, The Butters Show. The one where Butters follows his dad, sees him getting banged and put in a gay bath house and movie theater. I laughed so hard I tattooed Butters onto my arm.

Click the image to hear the Butters theme song
Click the image to hear the Butters theme song

Particle Don: Who’s your favorite South Park character?

Louie: Butters. He’s so adorable, always picked on and made to do stupid shit by his friends. Reminds me of somebody…lol.

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite movies?

Louie: I’m a horror movie guy, with Jason Vorhees and Friday the 13th being my favorite. I also enjoy Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Saw and Child’s Play.

I also enjoy old 80’s action flicks, such as Rambo, Predator, Commando, Cobra, Die Hard and Rocky. However, my two all-time favorites are the 1986 animated Transformers movie and Training Day.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite beverage?

Louie: If it’s not ice cold water then I prefer something ice cold with alcohol in it. Once daily I drink hot water blended with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger and garlic for health.

Particle Don: Do you have any hobbies outside of wrestling?

Louie: Nope. I was into video games as a kid into my teenage years, but it’s been 13 years since I’ve been hard into video games. I like to sit at home and enjoy family time when I’m not working or wrestling.

Particle Don: What type of music do you like? Who are a few of your favorite bands?

Louie: I stopped listening to music years ago. I grew up on early ’90s hip-hop. I’m a Big Wu-Tang fan. I’m also a Nelly fan. I use his music as my theme song. My music app is filled mostly with wrestling theme songs guys use in the indies, lol.

Particle Don: Have you ever been to Cleveland for any reason?

Louie: No, but I’d like to to see where Bone Thugs-n-Harmony came from, lol.

Particle Don: Had you ever heard of Particle Don before this interview? If so, where?

Louie: I saw the interview of fellow deathmatch brother and close friend Jeff Cannonball. Before that, I can’t say that I did to be honest.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite Particle Don song?

Louie: No, but if you put me on to some I’d love to listen.

Particle Don: Do you have any merchandise fans can buy online?

Louie: I never got into the merch end of things. Support my people Jeff Cannonball, Matt Tremont, Nation of Intoxication, Homicide and Masada…buy their merch.

Particle Don: If there’s anything else you’d like to say or plug, please do so!

Louie: On Point Wrestling has an upcoming show, A Beautiful Day 2 Die, on September 24th in Williamstown, New Jersey. There’s a great lineup capped off with my dream match as I go one on one in a deathmatch with the Ultraviolent Beast and the best hybrid wrestler alive, Masada.

Click the image to purchase OPW’s A Beautiful Day 2 Die

Particle Don: Thanks again for the interview, Louie! It was an honor.

Louie: It was a real pleasure, man. I’m very appreciative that you took time out to bring up these great questions. I had a great time answering them!

Deadly Dale Interview

Deadly Dale chugging Faygo

Deadly Dale with Death Match Russell
Deadly Dale poses with David Russell at King of the Deathmatches 2016. Photo by Drew Chaos.

Twitter: @DeadlyDale

Facebook: RealDeadlyDale

Instagram: @DeadlyDale187

YouTube: DeadlyDale

Particle Don: What got you into wrestling? Did you watch growing up?

Deadly Dale: Oh yeah. I’ve watched for as far back as I can remember. I got into it by watching as a small child.

Particle Don: As a kid, who was your favorite wrestler?

Deadly Dale: The Hulkster, brother!!! In that era he was every kid’s favorite. Kinda like how John Cena is to the real young kids these days. When I became a teenager, my favorites were Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels. I guess you could say the whole Kliq was my favorite before I even knew there was a Kliq. Scott Hall is my favorite wrestler of all time.

Scott Hall
Scott Hall

Particle Don: When did you decide to become a professional wrestler?

Deadly Dale: Right after high school. I really didn’t think it was something that was even an option. It just kinda happened to me. A buddy of mine from school told me he was training at a local town. I used to talk wrestling with him, and he showed me my first dirt sheet.I got the sheets through a school email address on a DOS computer.

Once he told me he was training, I instantly knew I wanted in. I started going to the shows and helping clean up. I’d also set up the ring and do other various tasks. Eventually, I was able to train. That buddy ended up being a long time tag partner and friend now known as Idolbane.


Particle Don: Where did you train for wrestling?

Deadly Dale: In the North East Arkansas region were I am from. I initially trained under a guy named Grizzly Gipson. A year or so after that I trained with “The Ebony Idol” Reggie Montgomery and Max Mayhem. They’re all some real old school dudes.

Particle Don: Did you always know you wanted to get into deathmatches, or was this something you decided later on?

Deadly Dale: I always liked doing hardcore matches and street fights. I was a local yokel for a lot of years and there wasn’t a death match scene anywhere close to my area. I started deathmatches when I finally began to travel.

Particle Don: What was your first deathmatch?

Deadly Dale: I was part of a group called known as Social Deviants for years, which consisted of me, Idolbane, Cody Only and Uncle Filthy. We would do these 6 man matches we called LSD Deathmatches. They were more like really extreme hardcore matches rather than actual deathmatches. There were never any special stipulations or anything, but for our area, it was the craziest shit anyone ever saw.

A couple of years ago, I got the opportunity to work for JCW on the road for The Gathering tour at Pop’s in Sauget, Illinois. I thought I was going to be in a battle royale, but things changed and battle royale was removed from the card. I ended up getting to main event with The Necro Butcher in a deathmatch. The experience blew my mind. It’s one of the highlights of my career.


Particle Don: What’s your favorite deathmatch weapon?

Deadly Dale: I like the bizarre shit that fans bring, things like blow-up dolls crucified on light tube crosses.

Particle Don: Do you have a least favorite deathmatch weapon?

Deadly Dale: Hot sauce sucks when it gets in your eyes.

Particle Don: Is there a story behind the name “Deadly Dale”?

Deadly Dale: Yeah, I was struggling to find a cool name that I liked. I went through a few. My very first name was Black Sunshine. Then I became Deadly D. I got the idea from Violent J’s name. It somehow just evolved into Deadly Dale.

Particle Don: What deathmatch tournaments have you been in?

Deadly Dale: My first one was for a promotion called Evolution Pro. The show was called Hardcore Harvest. That was in 2013. My next tournament was Prince of the Deathmatches, and then King of the Deathmatches.

Particle Don: How did you get into this year’s King of the Deathmatches?

Deadly Dale: I was invited to do Prince of the Deathmatches and made in to the finals, where I lost to Joseph Schwartz. After the match, the fans chanted “Put them both in!” They were referring to King, because the winner of Prince gets to go on to King. Ian Rotten came out and announced I would also be going to King of the Deathmatches. Earning the respect of the IWA Mid-South fans and crew was one of the best feelings in my life.

Prince of the Deathmatches 2016
Click the image to purchase Prince of the Deathmatches 2016 in MP4 format.

Particle Don: You had an excellent showing this year at KOTDM. What are your thoughts on the match?

Deadly Dale: Thank you. I loved it, I just wish I would’ve advanced. At least the new king, John Wayne Murdoch, was the one who eliminated me. Hopefully I’ll be invited back next year so I can take home the crown!

Particle Don: I brought the Cotton Candy Faygo that you found in the ring at King of the Deathmatches. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the DVD footage, but you cracked open the Faygo and took a huge sip. This seemed to rejuvenate you and give you a second wind during the match. What went through your head when you saw the Faygo in the ring? Were you surprised the flavor was Cotton Candy?

Deadly Dale: Haha, yeah man, I looked down through all the blood in my eyes, and laying amongst all the plunder and shards of broken glass I could see the neon glow of the blue Faygo. I didn’t hesitate to pick it up and crack it open. I did sniff it first just in case some sick fuck poured gasoline in it or something, lol. As soon as I sniffed it I got that unmistakable whiff of cotton candy, so I preceded to chug. If it was any other soda I probably would not have picked it up, but I had to show my Faygo love!

Deadly Dale chugging Faygo
Deadly Dale takes a slug of Cotton Candy Faygo at King of the Deathmatches 2016. Photo by Drew Chaos.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite flavor of Faygo?

Deadly Dale: Red Pop.

RARE Faygo Redpop Slurpee

Have you ever had a Redpop Slurpee?

Particle Don: Who are a few people you’d like to wrestle that you haven’t already?

Deadly Dale: Off the top of my head I’d say Sabu and X-Pac. I’m drawing a blank trying to think of matches that could realistically happen someday. There is a ton of talent out there that aren’t “big names”. I want to wrestle everybody.

Particle Don: What’s your finishing move? Why did you choose it?

Deadly Dale: I really don’t have one specific finisher. It all depends on my opponent and the situation we’re in. The power bomb is my favorite move. I use it a lot.

Particle Don: Do you have any non-wrestling hobbies? If so, what are they?

Deadly Dale: I like to relax with a good video game. I enjoy reading comics. I consider myself an artist, too. I also study a lot of conspiracy and paranormal type shit. I collect oddities. I’m very diverse and weird.

Jeff Galewood Art

Check out Jeff Galewood’s artwork at TheCementHead.com.

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite bands?

Deadly Dale: There’s so many. I love music and have a very broad spectrum. I’ll name a few, but there are probably hundreds that I could list. I listen to Wu-Tang Clan, Rancid, Sublime, Rage Against the Machine, ICP, Nirvana, NWA, and Hank 3. The list goes on and on.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite ICP CD?

Deadly Dale: That’s a tough one. I’ll go with The Great Milenko, because that was the first one I ever heard. I had it on a purple cassette tape.

Great Milenko Cassette Tape

The Great Milenko was released in 1997.

Particle Don: What Juggalo Gatherings have you been to?

Deadly Dale: Just one so far. Gathering 2016. I wrestled at the Odd Ball Brawl in the bloody royale match.

Particle Don: Do you have any funny Gathering stories you’d like to share?

Deadly Dale: Not one in particular that stands out, but the whole weekend was a blast.

Particle Don: Have you ever heard of Particle Don before this interview?

Deadly Dale: No, but I briefly got to look at your site. I read the meaning of your name and I love it.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite classic WWF entrance theme?

Deadly Dale: This might not count as classic WWF, but my favorite wrestling theme is the nWo song.

Particle Don: Do you watch WWE? If so, who are your favorite current wrestlers?

Deadly Dale: Yes I do. My favorites are The Wyatt Family.

The Wyatt Family

The Wyatt Family

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite 90’s cartoon?

Deadly Dale: There are so many good ones to choose from. I’ll go with Ren and Stimpy.

Ren and Stimpy

Particle Don: What’s your favorite TV show?

Deadly Dale: I don’t watch much TV but I’d say The Walking Dead. I’m a big fan of the comic.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite movie?

Deadly Dale: Not one in particular, but I really enjoy The Devil’s Rejects.

Particle Don: Where can fans buy your merch online?

Deadly Dale: You can find my merchandise at ProWrestlingTees.com/DeadlyDale. As soon as I sell a few more, I can release some new designs.

Particle Don: Is there anything you’d like to shout out or plug?

Deadly Dale: Thank you to anyone who is a Deadly Dale fan! Check out my social media pages.

Twitter: @DeadlyDale

Facebook: RealDeadlyDale

Instagram: @DeadlyDale187

YouTube: DeadlyDale

David Russell Interview

David Russell with Jeff King at IWA-MS KOTDM 2016

David Russell and Nick Gage at Tournament of Death
David Russell and Nick Gage at Tournament of Death 14

The first time I met David in person was when I entered the Tournament of Death 14 parking lot. He recognized me and said what’s up before I even found a spot to park!

David is from New Jersey and has met countless wrestlers over the years. He currently runs the Deathmatch Russell Podcast.

Deathmatch Russell Podcast
Deathmatch Russell Podcast

Particle Don: What initially got you into wrestling?

David: I’d watch WWF wrestling on Saturday mornings as a kid! When I really got into it I was 9 years old.

I was in attendance at WrestleMania 5 and was five seats away from Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura doing commentary!My dad took me. He was a big fan of wrestling back in the 80’s.

I grew up with wrestling. I was always aware of it because Iron Mike Sharpe ran a wrestling school in my New Jersey hometown.

Particle Don: Who was your favorite wrestler while growing up?

David: I always liked Hulk Hogan and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. As far as bad guys, I was a big fan of Rick Rude.

David Russell and Jake "The Snake" Roberts
David Russell and Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Particle Don: What got you into deathmatch wrestling?

David: FMW. That stuff was brutal. I found it through YouTube.

Atsushi Onita in a FMW deathmatch
Atsushi Onita in a FMW deathmatch

Particle Don: Who is your favorite deathmatch wrestler?

David: “Mr. Danger” Mitsuhiro Matsunaga.

Mr. Danger Mitsuhiro Matsunaga
Mr. Danger

Particle Don: How long have you been ging to CZW shows?

David: For a while. I’ve been to a few of them so far.

Particle Don: What was your first deathmatch show?

David: This year’s (2015) Tournament of Death will be my first deathmatch show.

Particle Don: What federation would you like to see live that you haven’t already?

David: IWA Mid-South. My friend Jeremy Nickerson goes to a lot of their shows.

It would be a far drive for me though, living in New Jersey. I might be able to catch one of their shows next summer.

David with wrestling announcer and Price is Right contestant Larry Legend!
David with wrestling announcer and Price is Right contestant Larry Legend

Particle Don: What’s your dream match?

David: Dusty Rhodes vs. Nick Gage.

Particle Don: Where did you hear about Particle Don?

David: Twitter.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite Particle Don song?

David: Drake Younger’s theme.

Particle Don: Throughout wrestling history, what has been your favorite entrance theme?

David: Dusty Rhodes. He would bleed buckets back in the day.

David is lucky to have a picture with Dusty Rhodes
David has a picture with Dusty Rhodes

Particle Don: What is your favorite band?

David: Dave Matthews.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite wrestling promotion?

David: Combat Zone Wrestling. I also follow Ring of Honor.

The first time I watched Jamie Noble and CM Punk was in ROH. It’s cool to see a lot of these former indy guys in WWE these days.

I like to read a lot of wrestling news and results online. Beyond Wrestling is another good federation out of Rhode Island.

Particle Don: What are you looking forward to with deathmatch wrestling in 2015?

David: On Point Wrestling is putting on a deathmatch tournament sometime in 2015, maybe in August. I think a few guys from IWA Mid-South are going to be there.

On Point also has a show coming up in June with Nate Hatred. I think Scot Summers is coming back in July or August to fight Nick Gage.

Scot Summers is from the Texas promotion ACW, but he wrestles everywhere, including On Point Wrestling.
Scot Summers photo courtesy of ACW

My girl and I are going to camp in Delaware for a few days when we go to Tournament of Death, so that will be fun too!

Particle Don: Who is your pick to win TOD?

David: I predict that Nick Gage is going to go through everybody in TOD.

Hopefully. It could be Matt Tremont, though. He’s a tough guy and a pretty good wrestler. He’s got “it”!

I think Conor Claxton will have a breakout performance this year. He has come a long way.

Even though he’s not in the actual tournament, Devon Moore will have an outstanding showing as well.

Particle Don: Any closing comments?

David: Check out Game Changer Wrestling. They’re another great local promotion that I follow. Also, I’m friends with Chris Candito’s family!

David with Tim Donst
David with Tim Donst

David Russell with Rickey Shane Page
Here he is with Rickey Shane Page

Thanks for the interview. It was nice meeting you at Tournament of Death!

David took this picture during TOD 14
David took this picture during TOD 14