Wrestling Then and Now

by Dale Pierce

DALE PIERCE: Where did you get the name of Hawaiian Lion, as there are no lions in Hawaii as far as I know?

HAWAIIAN LION: Well, it was a name given to me by a college friend. He was a teammate of mine at Chadron State. He said I stalk around an opponent like a lion, the just came up with the name, and it stuck...

DP: You wrestled and played football then?

HL: Yes. Played Offensive line, usually a guard, defensive noseguard, sometimes linebacker. I would play football at around 190, then drop to 145 for wrestling.

DP: What made you want to enter the pro ranks?

HL: I've always watched it, I remeber it from about 3 on, and like anyone else who has become a wrestler, it just gets in your blood, and you almost have to do it...

DP: Where were you trained?

HL: Since day one I've trained with IZW. It's my home.

DP: He has trained a couple people who made it to WWE and the WCW. Do you see the big time in your future? (He is Steve Islas)

HL: Yes, of course. Why do it if you don't aim big?

DP: What promotions have you worked for?

HL: IZW, ICW, AWA, UPW, RevPro, WWE, and Zero One are a few prominent ones.

DP: Favorite moves?

HL: My favorite move is the Clothesline. It's simple and to the point. As far as a finisher, the piledriver has been my "bread and butter" lately.

DP: Any major injuries?

HL: Nothing "major" (knocking on wood), but some stiches, bruises, you know, the usual...

DP: Do you have a favorite feud or opponent with whom you have had a set of great bouts?

HL: My nemises has to be "XXX" Lawrence Tyler, out of IZW. We've had some great matches, great moments. My favorite match has been against "Outlaw" Mike Knox, who is now signed by WWE.

DP: The southwest became an area where a load of backyard promotions cropped up a few years ago. Do yous see the backyarders as a dangerous trend or as a harmless hobby?

HL: Very dangerous. Not trained, no concept of actual wrestling. It seems that if your move isn't generated off of the top rope, then why bother. I have noticed that when a "yarder" comes in a TRIES to train, about 90 percent of the time you never see him or her again.

DP: What other western area wrestlers do you think show a good deal of promise?

HL: As I mentioned, LT out of IZW is one. In the West alone, you have UPW, which as sent over 20 men and women to WWE and TNA. That speaks for itself. I honestly believe IZW is one of the top notch independent promotions around. We've recently sent 3 top guys to Deep South, and Smackdown! Diva Melina is from here. So, yeah, promise is something the western wrestlers all have.

DP: You made it to the midwest for the first time. What was your opinion of the Ohio wrestlers as opposed to the west?

HL: I can't really say there is a difference. I respect anyone who gets in a ring. The Ohio wrestlers seemed to really enjoy being at the show, not that the west doesn't , but a lot of times in ANY locker room you can cut tension with a knife, but there seemed to be a great deal of joy and appreciation there.

DP: Don't know if you realized it or not, but the big building where they ran in Canton had a lot of history behind it. The WWF used to run there, and before them WCW (and when they were NWA). before that even, the Sheik ran there. Did anyone clue you in on the building's history?

HL: Only you Dale.

DP: Speaking of history, aren't they tearing down the old Phoenix Madison square Garden?

HL: Sadly, yes. It's a shame. I guess you can't stand in the way of progress.

DP: A lot of older and retired wrestlers were up in arms over that. Did any of the yougner guys get involved in the fight?

HL: I don't think so. To a certain point, you are helpless. For years it's been used as a storage facility (in that alone my have been an attempt to keep it simply standing), so it's time has come. That area is going to be a virtual metropolis in a few years.

DP: Any interesting stories to tell concerning wrestling?

HL: I've stated before that your whole career should be one long story. Sure there are certainly ups and downs. Times you want to take a picture and hang it on a wall, others that you wish time would wash away. It's all one big book, and just adding to it as we go along.

DP: Anything else we may have missed?

HL: I don't really think so. I would like to take this opportunity to thank just about everyone ever involved in my career so far as a professional wrestler. Chris Kole in Ohio is a major influence, also Mike, Derrick and Jack. CC, and especially Steve. Thank you. All of these guys have taught me so much.

DP: Closing comments?

HL: I've got several bookings w/ WWE coming up soon, so hopefully a new chapter is about to be written, so just stay tuned.

Home Page | Nikolai Volkoff | Johnny Valiant | Light Show | Galleries | Columns | Indys | Interviews | Sample Articles | Merchandise | Message Board | Yahoo! Group | Links | Plugs | Contact Information | Sign Guestbook | View Guestbook