Wrestling Then and Now

by Dale Pierce

DALE PIERCE: Where were you trained, and where have you wrestled?

ZIEG: I was initially trained at "Iron" Mike Sharpe's school in Brick, New Jersey. After that closed up in September of '95, I brushed up my skills at Gino Caruso's and Executioners'. I've wrestled all over the east coast (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee) for several different promotions, namely NWA's New York, New Jersey, and Virginia, ECPW, JAP, PTW, PCW, and UWF.

DP: Weren't you doing "Lord Zieg" for a while with someone else as a tag team partner, something like a neo-nazi routine?

Z: I was Lord Zieg. I used to team with Crazy Ivan in a tag team called The Storm Troopers. We never did a neo-nazi routine. It was more of an American-hating German gimmick. It was over well with the fans for a while, and it did its job.

DP: You are now just using Zieg?

Z: In fact, I'm not using Zieg at all. My name is Jay Owens. Since training my younger brother to be a professional wrestler, I've decided to form a tag team with him, and we're just using our real names, Jay and Trey Owens.

DP: Are you still training people?

Z: At this time, no. The owner of the building we were using for the NEPW wrestling school decided it would be more lucrative for him to place another business in our location. I would like to train wrestlers again in the future though.

DP: Wasn't Sienna Blaze one of your trainees? She has gotten a lot of bookings lately. What is your opinion of her?

Z: Sienna is awesome. I always told people she was my first female student. I only said that because I did expect to keep the school open longer, and I expected to have more female students. Turns out, she was my ONLY female student, and I'm very proud of her recent success.

DP: Wasn't Philly Madison one of your people too?

Z: Yes. Philly is an outstanding wrestler with a great personality in the ring.

DP: Who else have you trained so far?

Z: Some of the more notable students include Bill Ding, Chocolate Boy Wonder, Bobby Fisher, T-Bonz, Trey Owens, Tyler Kreed, Max Gaeta, and Mike Farma.

DP: Do you run your own shows?

Z: I don't run my own shows, but I help promoter Joe Miglionico run Prime Time Wrestling (PTW.) It's an indy fed mostly based in New Jersey and New York. Soon to be expanding into Pennsylvania, and no doubt, further and more broad all in good time.

DP: You are out of New York, right? Is there still that pain-in-the-ass athletic commission there? Many older promotions used to hate dealing with the commission. Have you had any troubles?

Z: The New York Commission has changed a little over the past few years, but not necessarily for the better. For example, wrestlers are no longer required to be licensed, but they have many more rules that apply to the promoter. From what I hear, it's only going to get worse. I personally have not had an troubles with the commission, but I've heard some stories.

DP: What wrestlers did you grow up watching?

Z: Growing up in the 80s, I was a big fan of the "cartoon" era for quite some time. Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Junk Yard Dog, King Kong Bundy, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka were some of my favorites. Later, I became a bigger fan of Mr. Perfect, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker (when he was an undertaker.)

DP: If you could wrestle one person in a fantasy match, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Z: It would probably be Hulk Hogan, only because he was/is the biggest name in the sport.

DP: What have your experiences been with the indys? Any interesting stories?

Z: I try to mainly keep to myself when I'm on the road. I'm not anti-social or anything, I just prefer to avoid trouble when I can. Other than that, the indys have been good to me. I've wrestled for several different ones, and I've held many titles along the way. Everything else is just same old, same old.

DP: Is there any promotion you flat would not work for again due to bad experiences?

Z: None come to mind.

DP: How do you feel about all the fan sheets, newsletters, Net pages, and such? Do they help or hurt wrestling?

Z: Help, undoubtedly. This is the world we live in. The World Wide Web is here, and it's not going away. Use it. The only thing that hurts it sometimes is anonymous slandering on the Internet. It's mostly some punk between the ages of 13 to 18 who thinks he knows all about the business, when really, he knows nothing.

DP: Do you think wrestling was better in the past or now?

Z: Hard question to answer. I'm a big fan of the old school 80s style, because that's what I grew up watching. From a financial stand point, wrestling has never been grander. Two different styles, two different likenesses.

DP: What advice would you give aspiring wrestlers who wanted in, even if just at an indy level?

Z: Watch, listen, and learn. Keep your mouth shut.

DP: How do you feel about the backyard trend?

Z: It sucks. It's dangerous, and I find it sickening that parents sometimes encourage their kids by either allowing it, or worse, video taping it. Awful!

DP: Are there any major WWE stars you really respect right now?

Z: All of them. They made the big time, good for them.

DP: What about indy people? Whom do you consider worthwhile to keep an eye on?

Z: There are so many, but I would say, just from this area, I would keep an eye on guys like Mike "The Shooter" Kruel, Josh Daniels, Rob Eckos, and Matt Striker.

DP: Have you had any major injuries in your career?

Z: Just bumps, bruises, and twisted ankles. Nothing serious, no broken bones.

DP: Do you ever aspire for the WWE, or do you feel happy at the indy level?

Z: I'm satisfied with what I'm doing now. I've been married for five years. I'm probably going to be starting a family soon. If I can continue to be a weekend warrior for as long as I can, I'll have no regrets.

DP: Are there any advantages you see with the indys over the "big time"? People always talk about disadvantages but never advantages.

Z: Well, yes. I just mentioned being the weekend warrior. When you're under contract to WWE, you have to follow their schedule. Being on the indys, I get to make my own. If I cannot wrestle somewhere, or do not want to, I have the luxury of saying no. That is one big advantage.

DP: Closing comments?

Z: I hope this interview has been insightful. I want to thank you for asking me to conduct this with you. It's always a pleasure to let people know what I think about the business and my situation and stature in it.

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