Wrestling Then and Now

by Dale Pierce

DALE PIERCE: You have become somewhat of a hot draw among the Southern indies. Where were you trained?

AXIS: I was trained in Panama City by Stan Naquin who wrestles under the name of Chief Little Bear. Stan was a student of Boris Malenko, and was with Boris at the same time that Glen Jacobs and Sean Waltman were there. Stan passed along the Malenko-style of training on to me, and he mixed that training with a very old school-style of work ethic and in-ring psychology. Later, I moved to Tampa and I was polished by Jeff Bradley who ran Dean Malenko's school when it was open in Tampa. Jeff was and is great, and he is so deserving of being in the Fed.

DP: Where was your first match?

A: My first match was in Chipley Florida, and it was God awful. The guy I worked, whose name I now forget, ended up attempting a German Suplex on me and ended up basically pulling my then 305 lbs frame right on top of him. Can you say broken ribs? So, I was taught if something goes wrong in the ring, you start putting the boots to the guy, and I did. He started screaming like a bitch, and we took it home. However, I have to tell you that I was hooked from that moment. The rush was and still is something that only another worker can relate to.

DP: Since then you have teamed with a man named Python, where did you two meet?

A: Python and I met years ago at TWA show in Jacksonville. We had been in the business about the same amount of time, and once we met we immediately became best friends. We have been tagging for two years now. When the two of us are in a foul mood, the best thing that can happen is for everyone to give us a wide berth. It only takes a heartbeat to move from bystander to victim.

DP: Where did Python come from?

A: Python was trained by Adrian Street over in Pensacola.

DP: I heard gossip that Adrian Street was in real bad shape or had died. Do you know any truth to this or is all hearsay bullshit?

A: As far as I know, Adrian was sick, but had recovered. I found this out several months ago when Python and I did a show for Capital City Wrestling in Tallahassee. As far as his health now, I really cannot offer any insight.

DP: Your finishing move(s) sound devestating. Can you elaborate?

A: Yes. My personal finisher is called the IRON CROSS and it is basically a sit out Dominator. You have to see it to appreciate the effect. As far as the finishers that Pythonand I do...we have two. One is called THE SECOND COMING, and basically it is a pump handle stuffed piledriver with me coming of the top rope. When Hector Guerro saw it at the first FIP show in Tampa, he thought we had just murdered someone. The second is the old Road Warrior DOOMSDAY DEVICE! That is truely a classic and still gets major pops!

DP: What wrestlers did you grow up watching?

A: I was born in the mid 1970's so my influences were Dusty, Harley Race, and the Briscoes when I was a small child. Then I became fans of guys like Rick Rude, Nikita Koloff, The Steiners, and of course the Road Warriors. I remember going to a show with my dad I think in Dothan, Alabama. The Road Warriors came out and I turned to my pops and said,"I want to look like him," pointing to Hawk. Well, I never had the chance to wrestle Hawk, but I did wrestle Animal in Wisconsin two months ago. It was a great moment for me.

DP: Did you patern yourself after anyone in particular?

A: Actually, I tried to mold my physique to mimic that of Road Warrior Hawk, or Nikita Koloff. My promo skills I attribute to watching tapes of Dusty, Rick Rude, and Ric Flair. Finally, a lot of my personal arsenal is patterned after a lot of the Steiner Brothers, and there is a heavy Japanese influence, as well.

DP: The South East used to be known for brawls and bloodbaths, does that still hold true?

A: In some places yes. In Central and South Florida you have a lot of fans who are smarks that want you to demonstrate a 100 spots in a 10 minute match. Conversely, in the Carolina's, through Georgia, and into Alabama and North Florida, fans are not entertained by highspots. They want to interact and participate...the way it should be in my book. Python and I give the fans what they are hungry for. If that means brawling and serving up two bloody opponents, then so be it. We are all about giving the fans a great show. That is one reason why we are a hot commodity. We know how to work, AND how to entertain.

DP: You have quite a physique. How often do you workout?

A: I train five days a week. My routine includes both weights and cardio. I am a firm believer that people will pay to see something exceptional. They want to see meat, they want to see spectacle, and they want to be entertained. The fans don't want to see anyone that they feel they could beat up. Python and I walk into a bar, or step into a ring, everyone knows that somebody will have their asses handed to them if they step out of line! Again, Its about giving the fans something out of the ordinary.

DP: How do you feel about steroid use?

A: I believe that people should be able to do whatever they want if they do two things...do not hurt anyone else and accept full responsibilities for the consequences of their actions. For years, I have seen people that have smoked most of their lives and then suddenly they want to sue because they have cancer. Hey, mother fucker, there is a warning on the side pack that clues you into the nature of tobacco, yet you chose to smoke anyway. People get what they deserve. Same thing apllies to the juice. As long as people accept the inherit risks, I don't give a damn what they do.

DP: Does steroid abuse exist much on the indy circuits?

A: Couldn't tell you, and again, I don't care.

DP: How do you feel about the backyard wrestling trend? Fad or dangerous trend?

A: Guys that do that are morons. EVERY move that I execute from a headlock, to a hammer lock, to a power bomb is inherently dangerous. A headlock can rip ears off, and a hammer lock can snap an arm. Anything more advanced can maim or kill. Backyard guys not only arm engaging in dangerous acts, but they are not learning how to work. It takes practice and years of work to be able to work and call a match. Those guys are running spots. However, I do enjoy watching them fuck one another up. I love it when fools find what they are seeking.

DP: What is your webpage?

A: My webpage is http://brotherhoodofdestruction.4t.com. Both fans and promoters can reach myself or Python at that URL.

DP: Are you planning to stick the South or venture out to other areas?

A: Python and I are always on the road across the country and the world. We have done extended tours in England and Puerto Rico. We recently toured Hawaii for a week, and we have regular gigs scheduled in Northern climes like Minnesota and Wisconsin. For the record, our motto is, "no venue to small, no payday too large!"

DP: One problem with stepping out to other indies is funding isn't it?

A: True. Python and I, as arrogant as it sounds, are in demand because of our charisma, our intensity, and our look. When the fans leave, I am confident knowing they enjoyed our match and we gave them their money's worth. Also, Python and I get around. What all that translates into is that our booking fee is relatively higher that most indy promoters are comfortable paying at first. However, once we do a show in a new region or area, the promoters seem to have no problem paying the book. We have been and are extremely fortunate.

DP: What are the big draw backs to indy promotions?

A: The aforementioned money issues and the shows not be run professionally. That burns my spandex. It is nothing to outline matches with times, and finishes. Yet, it goes undone quite a bit.

DP: And the high points are that the fans love the indies?

A: Absolutely. I will also tell you that if it were not for the indies, guys like myself would never of had the opportunity to wrestle some of wrestling's legends like Dusty Rhodes and Kevin Sullivan.

DP: What would be your dream match, with anyone alive or dead?

A: For me, it would be a tag match with the Road Warriors at their peak. What can I say I am forever the mark for those guys!

DP: Closing comments?

A: You know it! "You ain't ready!"

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