Wrestling Then and Now

by Dale Pierce

DALE PIERCE: You are a relatively new face on the eastern indy scene. What are your impressions of indy wrestling and the business in general? Are you glad you got in?

BILL DING: I'm really still getting my feet wet in this business, but as far as a first impression, I would have to say it's a lot closer knit that I had expected, but also a lot more cut throat, if that makes sense. It's like, most everybody is cool with one another, with a few exceptions, but you really need to stay on your game if you expect to get booked. All in all, I feel the good has outweighed the bad, and I'm really enjoying myself.

DP: Zieg just did an interview with us and mentioned training you. What is your opinion of him as a trainer?

BD: Mr. Jay Owens, or The Artist Formerly Known As Zieg, is a great trainer. I can't think of a better person to have trained under. Zieg has been around this business for a while and seen the good and the bad it has to offer. He combined a tough workout regimen (well, tough for a guy my size) with fun lessons and a family-like atmosphere. They covered all aspects of this business inside and out of the ring. We didn't always see eye to eye, but when it came down to it, he and his partner Eric Kreed never let me quit.

DP: Would you recommend him as a trainer for people wanting in?

BD: Most definitely. He'll make you work, but in the end, you will be a respectable wrestler.

DP: What promotions have you worked for?

BD: I have worked for JWA, GWF, UWF, and PTW.

DP: Who selected the name of Bill Ding?

BD: Ahhhhh, the name. My trainers came up with it. When they asked me to use it, I really didn't like it too much. I thought it was corny, and I always saw myself going a different route. I didn't want to make waves, as new as I was, so I went with it. I figured I could change it later on. So the show goes on, I do my little intro, and mangle a little boy (sorry Brock) and the crowd popped with a "Bill Ding" chant. I have been Bill Ding ever since.

DP: For a big man, you move pretty well. Has anyone else noticed this?

BD: Thank you, I've heard that from a few people. Once again, credit to Jay Owens and Eric Kreed. They taught me to condition myself, this way as big as I am, I can move and pull off some things you don't see the average big man do.

DP: What would you like to do to improve your style, if anything?

BD: I want to drop some weight. That is the biggest thing holding me back. I'll never be a cruiserweight, but if I can get to about 290 or 280, I'll be set.

DP: What attracted you to wrestling, anyway? Did you have any childhood idols that caught your eye?

BD: I have always liked wrestling. I think my mom telling me at five years old I wasn't allowed to watch it made me love it. Growing up in the 80s, I loved Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and Sting. As I got older, and really began to form real opinions on the talent, I liked Bret Hart, King Kong Bundy, Ric Flair, and The Undertaker. As an adult, I liked Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Steve Corino, and The Dudley Boyz. I respect anyone who laces up the boots and gets in the ring, as long as his heart is truly in it.

DP: Heel or baby, good or bad, what do you prefer and why?

BD: Babyface, all the way. I've done heel and got over with it, but I'm a face at heart.

DP: Do you wish wrestling would have more outright good and bad, or do you think the "shades of grey" used by the WWE and NWA-TNA concepts are more realistic?

BD: Well, I think it needs both. I never liked the whole heros vs. villains thing. But having some heros and some villains in a sea of gray, I like that. Good, bad, and room to adjust, that would be my utopia.

DP: Do you think the WWE concept of sports entertainment, for lack of a better word, will last or will wrestling return to a more basic approach like it once was?

BD: I was trained old-school, and love the old-school way. Will it revert to that? I don't know.

DP: Which concept do you prefer?

BD: I like a more wrestling driven show, so basic.

DP: What indys do you really see as promising, aside from yourself? Who are some good indy wrestlers to watch?

BD: I like Jay and Trey Owens, Matt Vandal, The Ballard Brothers, Slayer, to name a few. I am also a fan of women's wrestling and love watching Sienna Blaze, Little Jeanne, Allison Danger, and Simply Luscious. All these guys and gals are far better than I am.

DP: Whom have you had your best bouts with?

BD: This is a tough one. I spent most of 2002 battling Cannon, a 10-year vet, at the NEPW student shows, and they were some pretty good matches, but my feud with Zieg (pre Jay Zieg) was just as exciting for me in 2001. In 2003, I've been feuding with Joe Rules and Rick Silver, and this is big for me, because it is my first feud outside of the school. As far as my most well-executed match, it was against Philly Madison at a GWF show.

DP: Is there any wrestler you would not get in the ring with again or any promoter you would not work with again due to bad experiences?

BD: I haven't really had any truly bad experiences.

DP: The New England area is ripe for indys and loads of people are running, but do you plan to expand and get booked elsewhere?

BD: I'm happy where I am. If the opportunity comes up, then sure, I'll make the trip, but for now I'm doing okay.

DP: Do you have a Web page?

BD: I'm working on the Web page, as soon as it is up, I'll pass you guys the link.

DP: Didn't you also team with a guy named Rudo The Heel? Tell people about him, as I think a lot of people have never heard of him. Doesn't he do a spoof on lucha libre?

BD: Ahhhhhh, Rudo, Rudo, Rudo. What can I say about Rudo? I don't think it's a spoof as much as he is drunk on Tequila. If you get to see a show with Rudo The Heel on it, you are in for a treat. He is one of the most entertaining wrestlers I have ever seen.

DP: Just out of curiousity, is he a real Mexican, or do you know? I strongly suggest you don't say who he is under the hood, though!

BD: Very little is known about Rudo. He arrives to the shows in a mint green Dodge Dart with his mask (at least I hope it's a mask) already on, screaming his name over and over. He frightens me, honestly.

DP: Have you ever had any major injuries since starting?

BD: I have had lots of small injuries, but my ankle injury at the end of 2001 had to be the worst. I was down for months, and after I got better, I reinjured it in a battle royal. All in all though, I have been pretty lucky.

DP: How do you feel about the present backyard wrestler trend? Are these guys harmless, or not right in the head and living dangerously?

BD: I am very anti-backyard mostly because in HS some friends of mine got together and we tried it. We only played around and tried a few holds, which was stupid, I realize. We were wanna-be wrestlers pretending to be the guys we saw on TV. These kids today seem to have a death wish. All I can say is, find a school, get trained, and do it for real.

DP: What are your future plans?

BD: I really don't have any long-term goals. I want to do shows and entertain fans. That's about it for me.

DP: Have the indys been a let-down or pretty much what you expected?

BD: I had no expectations. I was told what things were like, but know I wouldn't really grasp what it was all about until I was in it for myself. I have no complaints.

DP: Closing comments?

BD: Well, I hope you enjoyed my perspective on a business that a lot of people say is harsh, and brutal. I'm really lucky; I was trained by and have become good friends with a lot of great people who have helped me along the way. I want to say a quick thank you to every fan that comes out to the shows and gives us the reason to do what we love to do. It's been fun.

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