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!

Anthony Mossow Interview

Anthony Mossow with Nick Gage at IWA Mid-South King of the Deathmatches 2015
Anthony Mossow with Nick Gage at IWA Mid-South King of the Deathmatches 2015

I briefly met long-time wrestling fan Anthony Mossow at IWA Deep South’s Carnage Cup 9 in 2013. However, it wasn’t until the next year at CZW’s Tournament of Death 13 that I found out he creates awesome-looking custom wrestling figures. While in the parking lot, he came up to the car and showed me his Jun Kasai and Jaki Numazawa figs.

Particle Don: I’d like to thank you for taking the time for this interview. Please, tell the ParticleDon.net readers a little bit about yourself. What are some of your hobbies?

Anthony: Hello, my name is Anthony Mossow. I make custom deathmatch figures as well as old school territory figures. I’m also into boxing, MMA, and lacrosse.


Particle Don: What got you into wrestling?

Anthony: My father had received free tickets to a show at the Syracuse War Memorial. The main even was B. Brian Blair vs. Swede Hanson.

FMW deathmatch legends Atsushi Onita and Megumi Kudo
FMW deathmatch legends Atsushi Onita and Megumi Kudo

Particle Don: What got you into deathmatch wrestling? Around what time did this happen?

Anthony: To be honest, I always look at the WWC as the first deathmatch promotion. The barbed wire and fire matches, were to me, the originals. Don’t get me wrong, there were no light tubes or toothpick jumbo bats, but what they were doing paved the way for today’s athletes. I’d say the late 80’s is the time when deathmatch wrestling originated.

Mitsuhiro Matsunaga custom fig, complete with packaging and alligator from the infamous alligator deathmatch
Mitsuhiro Matsunaga custom fig, complete with packaging and alligator from the infamous alligator deathmatch

Particle Don: Who are some of your favorite deathmatch wrestlers, and why?

Anthony: I have so many favorites of the deathmatch style. I’m afraid that if I start naming them, I would leave out too many. I’ll say anyone that’s willing to put their body on the line for us is my favorite. I’d like to thank them for doing so.

Rory Mondo
Rory Mondo

Particle Don: You create highly-detailed custom action figures for independent wrestlers. First off, I’d like to personally thank you for doing this. I understand it takes many hours and lots of work to make just one custom figure.

Anthony: Yes, as we all know, I enjoy making deathmatch figures. I’d like to thank all of you that like them, and even the ones that don’t! Hahahahaha.

Matt Tremont
Matt Tremont

Particle Don: Can you take us through your process of creation? Obviously, you start off with some sort of store-bought figure, and customize from there. How do you choose the right figure for a given wrestler?

Anthony: It’s funny, sometimes I can look at a head of a given figure and think “Yeah, if I carve the hair, sand it down and work with it, that’s the one…”

See, it’s funny. When I make these figures, you’re kind of getting a part of me. Whether it’s a good day or a bad day, you’re getting a part of my emotions with each creation.

I can’t say I have too many favorites, because they’re all like my kids. I mean, all the time I put into them…waking up in the middle of the night to fix them, or whatever the case may be…if you get a custom figure from me, you’re not just getting a custom, you’re getting a part of my emotions as well.

Kiki Rose custom figure complete with a dollar bill stapled to her face from Queen of the Deathmatches 2014
Kiki Rose custom figure complete with a dollar bill stapled to her face from Queen of the Deathmatches 2014

Particle Don: Do you use a certain type of paint? Are there different types of paint for different situations?

Anthony: I use all types of paint, what ever I can find. The figures are not meant to look “perfect”. They are like deathmatch wrestling…gritty, cutting edge, and off the wall. Just like the wrestlers themselves.

Corporal Robinson
Corporal Robinson

Particle Don: Do you find it’s easier to customize certain brands of figures? For example, are Jakks figures easier to customize than Mattel?

Anthony: I like Jakks. I don’t like Mattel. I haven’t worked with Hasbro figures too much, either. I made a Hasbro Bill Alfonzo…it was a bit cartoonish.

Toby Klein
“Mr. Insanity” Toby Klein

Particle Don: I bet you have an impressive figure collection. How many pieces are in it? What are a few of your precious gems?

Anthony: I have well over a thousand figures. I think I have over 300 just in customs. As far as gems? My Onita, Brody, Abdullah the Butcher, and Terry Funk. I have so many at my house. Some of my customs I consider gems, as well.

Dynamite Kid (Territory Days)
Dynamite Kid (Territory Days)

Particle Don: Other than figures, what are a few pieces of wrestling merchandise or memorabilia you’d like to share?

Anthony: If I was home, it would be much easier to send pics. Because of my job, I’m only home like 20 days out of the year. I have stuff like Jun Kasai’s goggles, Sabu’s pants from the ECW Terry Funk no rope barbed-wire match, Abdullah the Butcher’s boots, and some stuff from the Headhunters. On my Facebook page you can see quite a few pics with me and the wrestlers, and my figures as well.


Masada with his trademark skewers
Masada with his trademark skewers

Particle Don: What was the first deathmatch tournament you saw on film? How did you come across the footage?

Anthony: RF Video made it possible for my deathmatch video collection to come to fruition. IWA Japan and the Ian Rotten stuff was my first. Those years are a bit fuzzy for me from partying pretty hard, hahahahaha.

Anthony Mossow with Tiger Jeet Singh
Anthony Mossow with Tiger Jeet Singh

Anthony recreated each of the 8 combatants in the original 1995 IWA Japan King of the Deathmatches tournament - complete with Cactus Jack's autograph
Anthony recreated each of the 8 combatants in the original 1995 IWA Japan King of the Deathmatches tournament – complete with Cactus Jack’s autograph

Tiger Jeet Singh signed the collection as well!
Tiger Jeet Singh signed the collection as well!

Particle Don: What deathmatch shows have you seen live?

Anthony: I’ve been to IWA Mid-South’s King and Queen of the Deathmatches and CZW’s Tournament of Death. I always enjoy when Hyde brings over the Japanese fellas. I’ve also been to an IWA Deep South Carnage Cup.

Mickie Knuckles And Ludark Shaitan
Mickie Knuckles And Ludark Shaitan

Particle Don: Where did you find out about Particle Don?

Anthony: I remember meeting you at CZW’s Tournament of Death in 2014. We talked about figures, and I showed you a few of my customs. You hit me up with a CD.

John Moxley (Now known as Dean Ambrose in WWE)
John Moxley (Now known as Dean Ambrose in WWE)

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

Anthony: We love the Havoc jam! My son digs it as well. He always plays it on YouTube, hahahaha. I like the Kabuki Quantum Fighter song too (Binary Code mix, Scott O’ Conner mix). I love old school video games. Sometimes I still live in a time warp.

IWA legend Iceman
IWA legend Iceman

Particle Don: What wrestler would you like to hear Particle Don write words for?

Anthony: I think you should do a Josh Crane or a Bryant Woods jam. Hell, how about a Mitch Page song?

The Bruise Brothers
The Bruise Brothers

Particle Don: What would be your dream match?

Anthony: Jun Kasai vs. Jd Horror, Bryant Woods vs. Danny Havoc and Masada vs. Atsushi Onita.

"The Crazy Monkey" Jun Kasai
“The Crazy Monkey” Jun Kasai

Particle Don: What are some of your favorite bands?

Anthony: Das EFX, The Doors, Van Halen, Pantera, Type O Negative, and a lot of 80’s stuff.


Particle Don: What are you looking forward to with deathmatch wrestling in 2015? Do you plan on attending any shows?

Anthony: I will definitely be at King of the Deathmatches. I’ll also be at Queen of the Deathmatches. Ian is a genius for this concept. I mean, bitches and blood? Hahahaha. Also, Nick Gage is a free man!

Violento Jack
Violento Jack

Particle Don: Anything else you’d like to say to the ParticleDon.net readers?

Anthony: Support deathmatch wrestling, and go to all of the shows you can. Just my opinion! Go to Tournament of Death and support those guys, they always put on one hell of a show.

I appreciate you giving me the chance to tell all and speak about my hobbies! To everybody, please support deathmatch wrestling, period. It was great to be interviewed. Thank you and God bless.

Particle Don: One of the things I like most about Anthony’s customs is the references to certain matches, gimmicks and time periods. For example, the JC Bailey figure has the syringe in his foot from the Thumbtack Jack match. He’s also holding a thumbtack bat, JC’s favorite weapon. Piper’s figure has the beer bottle that he broke over his head in Portland. Kiki Rose has a dollar bill stapled to her face, and her outfit is impressively detailed. John Moxley is wearing his Tournament of Death attire, complete with Masada’s skewers in his head.

Roddy Piper with Anthony Mossow's figure in-hand
Roddy Piper with Anthony Mossow’s figure in-hand

The Dynamite Kid figure is wearing attire from his territory days. The IWA-Japan King of the Deathmatch 1995 set is incredibly detailed, down to the trophy in Cactus Jack’s hand. Rory Mondo is wearing the gear and facepaint from his final match. Trent Acid has the robe from his JCW “Altar Boy” gimmick. The John Rare figure has a box cutter in his hand. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga has a barbed-wire halo, and the alligator from his Alligator Deathmatch with Shadow WX in 1998.

IWA Japan's King of the Deathmatches 1995
IWA Japan’s King of the Deathmatches 1995

JC Bailey with a syringe in his foot from the infamous CZW deathmatch against Germany's Thumbtack Jack
JC Bailey with a syringe in his foot from the infamous CZW deathmatch against Germany’s Thumbtack Jack

IWA Deep South's John Rare
IWA Deep South’s John Rare

Gordon Solie and Bruiser Brodie
Gordon Solie and Bruiser Brodie

Pampero Firpo
Pampero Firpo

Trent Acid's Altar Boy gimmick from JCW
Trent Acid’s Altar Boy gimmick from JCW

Chris Youngblood
Chris Youngblood

Rebecca Payne
Rebecca Payne

Sami Callihan
Sami Callihan

The Headhunters
The Headhunters

Drake Younger
Drake Younger

JD Horror
JD Horror

Kouhiro Kanemura with flaming barbed wire bat
Kouhiro Kanemura with flaming barbed-wire bat

Pogo The Clown
Pogo The Clown

The Original Sheik with snake and fireball
The Original Sheik with snake and fireball

Mr. Pogo spitting fire while holding a sickle
Mr. Pogo spitting fire while holding a sickle

Mad Man Pondo with razor saw bat
Mad Man Pondo with razor saw bat

Lufisto with light tube
Lufisto with light tube

Aja Kong
Aja Kong

Tank with a bloody pane of glass
Tank with a bloody pane of glass