by J.C. Deise
J.C. DEISE: When did you start your role as a manager, and how did you come up with the name The Stud?
THE STUD: Well, J.C., I started training with the APWF back in 1999 at 18 years of age, and my first show I had a gimmick, I wanted to be myself, and I had some friends who were with me at the show, and I told them about the outfit I had got, and a kid says, hey what about "Stud," or well "The Stud," so I went to the back, I told Chris Lash my name, and he had it wrote down for the ring announcer and, the rest is history. That night, I made my debut in December of 1999, in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and I managed Sheik Abdoul Hassain (spelling may be a little off there) and Robert Wrath as they took on G-Moe who was at the time the APWF Champion and Mike Preston (who now wrestlers for IWC) and was trained by Shane Douglas.
JCD: I take it that it's because of your small size you decided to manage and not wrestle?
TS: Well at first, ya know, any kid with a dream wants to wrestle, but for me I'm just happy to have a character and do managing, and at the time a lot of male managers were fading out, as you know Vince is really all about T&A and I am kinda old school, even though I'm only 22 years old, but growing up, I saw some of the best, and I really wanted the whole managing thing to work for myself, and with my character, I'm really just being myself, and I enjoy doing it. I think they should have more male managers in this business today, it helps the guys get more heat, even though some guys think the managers "take there heat," which can sometimes happen, but it adds more excitement to the matches and gives the fans a little more entertainment to the shows.
JCD: Where all have you worked so far?
TS: APWF, WWA New England, and most recently XWF, Inc.
JCD: Among these promotions, haven't you been a regular with XWF on the Ohio/West Virginia border? Haven't they been giving you a big push?
TS: Yes, they really have. I don't know if it's because of my trip to Boston, Mass. and training with Dr. Tom Prichard from WWE and having experience managaing, but I can't thank them enough for everything they have done, and at the last show, I was featured in the main event with David Flair. It's been an all-time high for myself, and I will continue to work for them as long as they have me on the shows.
JCD: Perhaps you can comment on some of their people they have used or are using?
TS: Well, a lot of the federations around my area (Altoona, Pennsylvania) and some other indy feds want to build up there own stars. Sure, that's fine, but I think to really draw a crowd, you have to bring in the guys from the past. I know, as a wrestling fan myself, or hell, I wouldn't even be involved in this business. I love to see guys from the 80s or early 90s who have made it big now doing indy shows. It's a great honor to meet them and just share the same locker room with guys who have made it to the top of the mountain, either WCW, WWE, or even ECW. I've been on shows with the likes of George Steele, Jake Roberts, Iron Sheik, Ax, Balls Mahoney, A-Train, and most recently Viscera and David Flair, as well as upcoming stars who are the future for this business, guys like Sinn, who has wrestled for NWA-TNA.
JCD: Michael Cruz?
TS: Great guy, I really think with his character, and we talked about having a manager, I think it is working out fine, even though I've been "fired" by XWF, Inc., I think the guy has a very unique character, and having a character like "The Stud" with him, as I play the gayish and cocky heel with a guy who is obsessed by his own 8x10 picture, it could be something else. We'll have to see how it takes off and what the future could mean for the both of us.
JCD: David Flair?
TS: It's just amazing to be on a show with this guy, the son of one of my all time favorites and the best heel in the game, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, and to see his son wrestle and for the XWF, Inc. is great. I'm glad to see he's also making his return on the 26th of March. I think in time, he's really young and I feel he is going to be back on TV, if it's not WWE, I think TNA will pick him up once again.
TS: He's something else, I can remember his days when he was working for the WWF, and I can say he's a class act. He's a great guy and he has done a lot for this business, from being 1995 KOTR, has wrestled main event stars in the WWF, was a former co-holder of the Tag Team Championship as Mabel, wow, and I'm glad he's still doing indy shows. I also heard he works for Memphis Wrestling where they have a TV deal, but I'd really like to see him back in the XWF. Great guy!
JCD: The Time Traveler?
TS: Well, he's one a kind. He is a great guy and he knows a lot about this business, he's old school and I like that, as well as working with him, I think me and him have really got a lot of heat with the fans in XWF, because we are so much different, but so much alike ... I see my character as The Stud where I'm all about beauty and doing anything in my power to have my man win, and with a crazy guy like him, it's an odd but interesting pair. It could really take off.
JCD: King Tut?
TS: He's really big guy, I haven't really got to see him work, but he has the size and strength that could really make him a big star in this business today. It's all about getting your name out there. I'm not sure how many years he has been wrestling, but I think in time this guy could make it somewhere big.
JCD: Any other standouts you can think of?
TS: Well, the XWF is very fun, it's good to work for them and I hope to continue doing shows with them. I really think the fans have gave me a chance, and everytime I hear the boo or "you suck" or even "you're a queer" chants, I know I'm doing my job. Wrestling to me is my high, I love doing it, and it's been a dream since I was 3 years old. I study the business, and like I said I really enjoy managing, everyone who goes to wrestling school these days wants to make it big, hey who wouldn't right, but with my size and with my character, I think managing is for me. It's what I enjoy doing, and I'll do it for as many years as I can.
JCD: What managers, if any, have you patterned yourself after?
TS: Well, I was always a big fan of both Bobby Heenan and Jimmy Hart. However, my character is not really like The Brain's, and I'm glad, I really just wanna be something new. I wanna be myself. However, Bobby The Brain was the very best in this business, he had it all, he really knew how to get the heat, and not just was he a great manager, he was a great on air personality when he hosted PPV events and WWF TV. I really kinda see myself like Jimmy Hart maybe because I'm small and "scared that the guys who are going to come after me..." and with the gayish side to my character, I'm some what I guess you could say like Rico was when he was with Billy and Chuck? But, I've been doing this character since 1999, with my ring attire, so go figure.
JCD: Back to the Ohio group again, there was a big thing on the message boards with you, The Stormtrooper, Joe Joe Little, and The Time Traveler, running each other down that people swear is turning into a shoot and not some sports entertainment angle. Can you fill people in?
TS: All I can say is for all the fans to just wait and see.
JCD: As a younger guy, do you ever hear the older people knocking the current trends?
TS: Oh yeah, I sure do, and times have changed, and speaking of times that have changed look at the World of Professional Wrestling, I just think the fans are a lot more smarter these days and at every show you have your marks, but to me when it's time to go out there and put on a show, I put all that a side, because when it's time to become "The Stud" that's what your going to get. The business has changed even since the 80s while I was growing up, I can remember when you could win a match with either a leg drop or a body slam, of course not a lot of the matches, but for finishers but fans these days expect more, they want to see blood and more violence and I think the shows have become a lot more real, then it has been the last maybe 10 years ago. I think wrestling is the 80s was better because you didn't had to do every possible thing to get over w/the fans, if you were the heel they would boo you, and I mean you're telling a story, I could go on for ever, but I enjoyed the 80s and I cherish everything I've learned and it's been an honor for myself to work shows with guys I idolized as a kid growing up, if it wasn't for guys like Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Roddy Piper, Macho Man, Ric Flair and many others, I don't think I'd ever have an interest in this business, but them guys caught my eye, and after watching a few Saturday morning wrestling shows, I quickly became obsessed by Professional Wrestling, and now years later I'm living my dream and I am happy with everything I have done so for and how good this business has been to me.
JCD: How do you feel? Do you like wrestling as it exists now or should there be changes?
TS: I do like it now, I think the characters today are more real, and a lot of them guys are themselves, but everything changes in time, and I do think the business is good right now, but to me it was having a character, because it's entertainment, everyone on a TV show plays a character and in Pro Wrestling you do that too, but you're not just an entertainer, the guys are athletes. That's what most people forget.
JCD: What advice could you give someone who wants to be a manager as opposed to a wrestler?
TS: Well, you can still get hurt, you still have to learn how to bump, but if you really think that's what you want to do and I think the business does need more managers, but like I was saying a lot of the guys want to do it all themselves and dont want someone else taking there heat away, that's fine but to me your just giving the fans more excitement to a match, and you can really help establish your wrestler's character, and get a lot more heat when you have a manager with you at ringside.
JCD: What would you tell some of these Net writers who say managing is easy to do?
TS: Well, if they really think that, well that's fine, but it's not easy, and if they want to try to be as good as myself or The Time Traveler is, tell them I'll see them next Friday on the 26th with XWF, Inc.
JCD: Have you ever taken any big injuries?
TS: No, I haven't had any injuries, well yet, nothing major, I can remember a lot of headaches on my way home from wrestling practice, but it's all paid it's price, and everything worked out, but I haven't had any injuries yet. Knock on wood.
JCD: Some critics have maintained that managers are being phased out of the big time in favor of T&A valets and the like. Do you agree?
TS: Yes, I really do. Sure, I like T&A, I like valets, but I think they should have more managers in this business today, and I'm glad to see Paul Bearer is back on WWE TV, he was one of the best of all time, as well as Teddy Long. So, hey it's better than just having a few women on TV, atleast Vince is having some male mangers have some TV time, and I think that's great.
JCD: Didn't you just start a webpage?
TS: Sure did, everyone can check it out at thestud.cjb.net.
JCD: You have provoked a load of heat from fans. Have any of them tried to attack you?
TS: Well, at the first show in November (for XWF), I really had a few guys who I think wanted to go after me, then again they never saw me before, or maybe never saw someone play my character as well as I do, which is fine but hey if I'm really pissin' them off that much, I guess I'm just doing my job.
JCD: On the other side, what about fans telling you they thought you were great?
TS: Well, when some tells me them enjoy work, that's another big high for me, because I know I went out there and played my character well and I did every little thing to get under there skin as well as add some heat to the match in the ring, because the main focus is the wrestling match, but if they enjoyed watching me do my little things to piss off the other guy, then I guess all I can say is that I did a good job, and we told a story.
JCD: Closing comments?
TS: Well, it's been great, and I hope to see this interview make it up on the Wrestling- Then & Now website. If anyone has any questions, comments, or suggestions for me, or if you're a promoter interested in having me on an upcoming show, or would like me to send you any videos, or would like more information on myself, you can check out my Official Website at THESTUD.CJB.NET or E-mail me at email@example.com