The Count Grog Interview

Count Grog exiting the ring raising the hand of the Beastmaster
In addition to being "the epitomy of the heel manager", Count Grog is also known as SCW founder and promoter Greg Mosorjak. Southern Championship Wresling has been active since 1994, seeing the Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, The Dupps, Cham Pain, Rick Link, Major Debeers, Ivan Koloff, Steve Corino, C.W. Anderson, Christian York & Joey Matthews, and virtually a ton of other top stars come through the promotion's curtain. Grog has been a mainstay of southern independents for years, and had a lot to say about SCW and his career in this interview conducted prior to an SCW show on September 22nd in Stem, NC.

BS: First question, how and when did you get started in the business?

CG: I first got in the business is the mid-70's, I was doing kayfabe sheets and stuff like that. I was friends with Ken Jugan who started running Three Rivers Wrestling out of Pennsylvania and I started doing the programs for him, taking jackets back to the lockeroom, then I started refereeing, then I started managing.

BS: Work us up through your career to the point of the formation of SCW in the mid-90s.

CG: I started working the indys in West Virgina, Ohio, places like that as Greg "Punk Rock" Mason, travelling mainly with Ken Jugan, Lord Zoltan, people like that. Worked through all the indys up there. Ran some shows up there myself in West Virginia in the early 80s. I got to got really fed up with the business, driving 200 miles and not getting paid, stuff like that, so I quit around 1984. Still was a fan, and around 1993 I started refereeing again for a group called the CCWA out of Raleigh. They had some great indy wrestlers that they were not pushing at all, plus I wanted to get back to managing and they had all their own managers, so we basically took some of the best indy talent around at the time and formed SCW. Guys like Jimmy Cicero, Chris Stephenson, guys like that, and started SCW from there.

BS: Your favorite moments from the road or from travelling during your early days in the business or even up until present day.

CG: The early days I was high. (laughter) I am trying to think of some of the early days, but it's real fuzzy. I remember doing cocaine in a Denny's in Tennessee with Eddie Gilbert.

BS: How many people can say that? (laughter)

CG: Right. I did that one. I've had some wild road stuff with me and Major Debeers and Mr. Jolly travelling around. I am drawing a blank right now as far as a good story…Ok, we're in West Virginia, it's like Morgantown or Fairmount, West Virginia. It's me, Zoltan the Great, Dr. Jerry Graham, Jim Jett and a couple of other guys are all with us in a bar after the show. The bar owner comes up "Woah, its Dr. Jerry Graham, when I was a kid, you were my favorite wrestler" and he's like "free drinks for you and all your friends." So the Doctor is getting all wasted and the bar owner is like "Man, I was there tonight (at the show) it was great when you took the guy and…" and the bar owner grabs his girlfriend and forearms her in the chest and knocks her down. "And then you, then you went up to the top rope…" and the bar owner climbs on top of the cigarette machine and dives off right onto the girl, crushing the girl's chest. The Doctor is like "Yeah, remember that? and then I picked him up…" so the Doctor picks up the girl and just cold-cocks her. So Dr. Jerry Graham and the guy are taking turns kicking this guy's girl. It was great.

BS: In the last few years in SCW, we've seen a plethora of talented guys come through, what are some of your favorite memories of the SCW years?

CG: It's just like you said - such a plethora of guys have come through here. Guys like the Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, Steve Corino, C.W. Anderson, Christain York and Joey Matthews, Chilly Willy, I mean, getting the chance to work with some of those guys was great. Some of the stuff from the late-90s at the Berkeley Café was really great and I am glad I could even be a part of it, let alone putting on those shows. One of the nights at the Berkeley that's most memorable was the ladder match between Steve Corino and Joey Matthews where the lights got knocked out by the ladder and sparks and fire blew everyone. It became an exploding ring match almost. I got DDTed on the ladder in the dark by Corino.

BS: In the present day, with the roster you have now, how do you rate SCW as a promotion?

CG: Oh I think we're one of the best promotions in the country. We may not get as much press as some of the ones up north, but we've got a great group of guys down here…(looks over to see that Lazarus is listening in while putting on his make-up as the interview is being conducted) except for Laz, he sucks…literally.

BS: What as been your favorite show you've ever ran or the show where you've had the most fun on?

CG: One of the anniversary shows in Louisburg a couple of years ago, that was famous for nine matches with blood in every match, a great ladder match between Joey Matthews and Christian York. That was the same night Steve Corino got arrested for hitting Dexter Holly with a chair. Dexter was standing behind the announce table and Corino swung a chair at Beau James, who ducked, and it hit Dexter in the arm. Dexter called the cops and literally they came in and arrested him and we turned it into an angle. We had them arrest him in the ring and then had all the fans come down to the police station and sign reports saying it was part of the show.

BS: Care to comment on the somewhat sudden departures of first the $outh$ide Playas and then Psychos for Hire? It seems like tag teams have been coming and going very quickly here in SCW.

CG: Yeah, it's hard to keep a tag team around. I think the $outh$ide Playas were unhappy about the push they were getting, feeling that they weren't getting any respect from us…

BS: Do you feel that was a legitamate gripe?

CG: I think we did what we could with them.I think they're nice guys, good guys, not the greatest workers in the world, but they were getting better. At the time there were a limited amount of guys to work them and their styles weren't really meshing well. Psychos for Hire was a situation where first I had a bunch of name talent come in so I had to bump them off some shows and then one of the guys got hurt. That's why they haven't been on shows lately.

BS: Do you think it reflects poorly on your company when your employees engage in "flame wars" and the like over the Internet and are generally disrespectful to other people in the business over the Internet.

CG: I try to keep that under wraps. I don't even go on the Internet anymore and those message boards. There are people out there just looking to start heat with anybody. I have warned people that work for me to try not to bring SCW into that. It's not SCW for the most part, it's a couple of individuals, some of whom I think don't even work full-time for SCW, who are causing most of the trouble on the Internet. Some of these people need to just get a life and get off the Internet.

BS: Thoughts on Cham Pain recent retirement and the effect it could potentially have on SCW?

CG: Cham Pain is a great worker and losing someone of his caliber is definitely a blow to us. You know, he's been with us a while and it's gonna be hard to replace a Cham Pain. He's a great worker, great on the mic, and we're sorry to lose him.

BS: One of the main reasons I wanted to do this interview was for word association. I'll say a name, and you just say the first thing that comes to your mind. First off, Murray Happer (Otto Schwanz).

CG: (laughter) Psycho.

BS: Marty Garner. (Cham Pain)

CG: Funny.

BS: Mike Howell.

CG: Uhh…can't keep one gimmick.

BS: Major Debeers.

CG: One of the best friends I've ever had in this business.

BS: Kross.

CG: Lot of potential. A lot of potential.

BS: Gotti.

CG: Talks too much.

BS: Lilly

CG: Her breasts look bigger on the Internet than they really are when you see them up close.

The 2001 incarnation of the Brotherhood. Count Grog, Q-Sic and Caprice Coleman
BS: Laz.

CG: Anal sex.

BS: The $outh$ide Playas.

CG: Good guys.

BS: Psychos for Hire.

CG: I seriously think they think it's real.

BS: Wicked Walt.

CG: Uh, he's not as wicked as he thinks he is.

BS: Caprice Coleman.

CG: He thinks I don't like him but I do.

BS: Jessie and Justin Drive.

CG: Those boys are nuts. If you ever want to find two guys to go out and beat the hell out of each other, get the Drive Brothers, they'll do it.

BS: Rick Link.

CG: Speaking of nuts…I love Link. Nobody bleeds like Rick Link.

BS: Brandi Wine.

CG: (laughter) Gee, I don't know what to say in case my wife ever reads this.

BS: Chris Plano.

CG: (laughter) Don't take a check from him.

BS: Shannon Moore.

CG: Great kid.

BS: Shane Helms.

CG: I am glad he is getting the push he's getting on TV. He kicked me in the balls at a King's show once because I spilled beer on his new jacket, and it hurt. That's my lasting memory of Shane Helms.

BS: Christian York and Joey Matthews.

CG: One of the things I am proud to say is that Joey Matthews had his first match on an SCW show. He was still in high school. They're not the biggest guys in the world, but man can they work. Nobody works like those two. They're a smaller Hardy Boyz.

BS: On that note, Matt and Jeff Hardy.

CG: One of my true pleasures in this business was getting to work with those guys when they were first starting out. Some of the most memorable matches ever in SCW history were the Hardy Boyz at the Berkeley Café. One night Jeff jumped off the top rope, grabbed the pillars on the ceiling, and altered his flip in mid-air. Just amazing.

BS: Jason Ahrndt.

CG: One stiff son of a bitch. For a while there when I was managing Otto at the Berkeley, we worked Venom for quite a while and he left some lasting bruises on me. Great worker but one stiff son of a bitch.

BS: Jimmy Boogie Woogie Man Valiant.

CG: Another one of the great pleasures in my wrestling career is getting to be such close friends with the Boogie Woogie Man. I'm going to retire before the end of this year, but I predict I will get a pinfall victory over the Boogie Man. That's a shoot.

BS: The Iron Sheik.

CG: Another one of my favorite people I've ever gotten to manage. Great guy, true professional in every way.

BS: C.W. Anderson.

CG: If Jason Ahrndt is not the stiffest motherfucker I've ever been in the ring with, C.W. is a close second. C.W. is one of the guys who started with SCW when we first broke away from CCWA and it's great to have him here now.

BS: Steve Corino.

CG: Great character, enjoyed working with Steve the whole time he was in SCW. Willing to do anything to help the promotion.

BS: William Wealth.

CG: Kid with a lot of potential. When I first saw him, I kind of blew him off as being too small, but the kid is good. He has a chance to make it if he can stay healthy.

BS: Scab.

CG: Uh, I pick Scab. Great guy, he's been with SCW for a long time. Good worker.

BS: Brad Hunter.

CG: Brad is a good guy. Good potential to make it, good look.

BS: Sean Thomas Alexander.

CG: Amazing with the training he's gotten that he has made it this far, but good guy, good look, good gimmick.

BS: Dewey Cheatum.

CG: Another one of those kids who when you first look at him you see how small he is and can't imagine that he'll make it big but that kid has got a lot of heart.

BS: B.C.

CG: (laughter) B.C. sucks.

BS: Count Grog.

CG: Count Grog sucks too. Of all the gimmicks I've done, Greg "Punk Rock" Mason, Shah of Grog, Count Grog - Count Grog is my favorite character. He is the epitomy of the heel manager.

BS: This was not on my original list of questions, but you mentioned something about retiring at the end of the year, care to elaborate on that?

CG: Yeah, I turned 40 this past June and I told myself that was as long as I was gonna go. The aches and pains of this business from really eight years going straight through plus five or so years before that just caught up with me. Count Grog is gonna retire at some point by the end of the year. I will still do the TV commentary, still run SCW and the promotional aspects of the shows.

BS: So Greg Mosorjak is not retiring, just Count Grog?

CG: Greg Mosorjak will not be retiring. I'll probably still do the TV as Count Grog.

Grog from a few years ago with Boris Dragoff, Ivan Koloff and the Major
BS: Any returning talent from the past or new talent that's never been here that you would love to have in SCW on a full-time basis?

CG: We've got Boris Dragoff in the dressing room tonight, we love Boris. He's a good Russian heel. We're bringing David Young in, we're excited about that. I'd like to get Rick Michaels in. We're planning to bring The Beastmaster Rick Link back in October and may renew that Major Debeers vs Rick Link feud for a little while as the Major is retiring towards the end of the year also, as well as Mr. Jolly, we're all going out together.

BS: Changes if any that you think should be made in SCW or you'd like to see in SCW.

CG: Well, we've been hit hard by the injury bug right now. Jessie Drive's out, William Wealth's out, Dewey Cheatum's out, guys like C.W., Otto, Laz, Caprice, Chilly Willy splitting their time between SCW and other promotions, so we're trying to develop some new talent. Kross who has a lot of potential, Q-Sic who has a ton of potential. We're trying to find the next guys out there. This kid we're watching on tape now, (on a monitor in the dressing room) Malaki has got a good look and may have a future in this business too.

BS: SCW has served as kind of a breeding ground for future stars, Matt and Jeff Hardy, Steve Corino, Helms and Moore, etc. If you could predict one from the group you have right now who you think will make it big, who do you think it would be?

CG: Either of these guys standing right over there. Either Pat (Q-Sic) Cusick or Kross, they both have a ton of potential Or Laz. Laz has got the gimmick to make it. Laz could make it on sheer gimmick alone because all Pat Patterson has to see is Laz, and Laz has a spot in the WWF.

BS: Any parting thoughts to the independent wrestling fans out there?

CG: Keep coming out and supporting it, there is a recession going on and it's tough to come out to the shows sometimes, but keep coming out to SCW, it's a great product. We put on something for everybody, we'll do the family show, the hardcore stuff, a little comedy. We try to do something for everyone. There's a lot of jobronis out there, a lot of backyarders trying to run shows that are really killing the business. I just hope they can differenciate between us and the bullshit that is out there. You won't see any of those guys working for me, all my guys are trained and professionals in every aspect.

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