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Q & A: MMWA Jr. Champion Andrew Wilder

By Sean Orleans

Folks, wrestling returns to the South Broadway Athletic Club on Saturday, September 14! MMWA Heavyweight Champion Brandon Espinosa will be in action, as well as Jackson Whitechapel, Da’Marius Jones and Gary Jackson, among others.  We’ve got 1 match already confirmed: Andrew Wilder defends his MMWA Jr. Heavyweight Title against Ace Hawkins.

(Photo: Rachel Collins)
(Photo: Rachel Collins)

We caught up with Andrew Wilder to learn a little more about MMWA’s lightest competitor.  A transcript of the interview is below (BOLD print is yours truly):

How did you get the nickname “Wild One”?

Okay, first off it’s “The Wolf” not “The Wild One.” I don’t know who thought of that other one, but it’s not my style.

I got my nickname by doing what I have been doing for the past year and a half: kicking up the intensity every time I return, win or lose.

You saw it in that triple threat two months ago against A.J. Williams and J-mal Swagg.  I got a busted nose, went crazy, finished the match and didn’t back out like a punk.  I didn’t win but I didn’t lose either.

Isn’t losing the opposite of winning?

How about I fishhook you?  You know what I meant, dork.

Moving along…so how’d you get “The Wolf” nickname?

I connect with a wolf the most because people think that a wolf without a pack isn’t dangerous.  WRONG.  I have and will keep proving that.  Just because I don’t have allies doesn’t mean this lone wolf isn’t a threat or dangerous.

Cool.  You know, when I was on the high school wrestling team I was nicknamed “The Animal.”

Don’t care.

Where have you been training and for how long?

I’ve been training for about two years at South Broadway. It was close to home and I wanted to keep it that way. But I was always training in my mind since I was like 8.  Every match I saw and every chance I got, I would rewind the tapes and see how to do some moves and learn ring awareness.

What was your favorite wrestling match while growing up?

I would have to say Jericho vs. Michaels at WrestleMania XIX. The feud itself was great. Just personal, as far as wanting to beat a man you looked up to and being like, “I waited for this moment to prove I’m better than you” and truly a fight to see who could steal the show. Very athletic and intense.

And who’s your favorite wrestler?

The Rock.  No question about that.

Why The Rock?

Two reasons.  The charisma: it flowed through him. Love him, hate him, it didn’t matter; people were drawn to him.  Now, I’m not saying I’m more charismatic than The Rock, but people cannot deny that no matter if it’s in the ring or just in public, something draws their attention to me, always has since I was young.  Whether it’s because they think I’m crazy, I’m doing something random or weird, people stop to look.

The second thing I love about The Rock: the smack talking. I love the verbal attacks as much as the physical. Going toe-to-toe on the mic means you can think on your feet. I aim for that.

But as far as in-ring style and tactics: Rick Rude, hands down. Just dirty and rough; right to the point.

You’re the lightest competitor in the MMWA.  How do you respond to guys in the back or fans in the crowd who think it’s laughable to see you in the ring?

Laugh all you want, it’s not like they haven’t been doing that since I first showed up. All my life people told me, “You will never make it into pro wrestling.”

Check. Did that.

“Well, you won’t win a title.”

Check.  Did that, too.  Anyone else want to doubt me?

See, I make a living off of proving people around me wrong. I get a sense of satisfaction from doing it, too. They say, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s true.  So to anyone: fans, boys in the back, or the bum down the street, you want to laugh and think you can beat me because I am the lightest competitor. Go ahead and doubt me.  David took down Goliath, and so can I.

I might not be the biggest or the strongest, but I can fight.  I got heart and a drive that won’t quit.  Plus I love to see the look on people’s faces when I show them a wolf is still dangerous, no matter how small it is and even though it’s alone, he still has the same survival and fight instincts as the big ones. I have yet to truly show how vicious I can really get!

What is your go-to move when you’re trying to end a match?

Call of the Wild. It’s my swinging cutter.  I snap it off quick enough so my opponent’s face takes the full impact on the canvas.

What’s your immediate goal?  Where do you want to be in 12 months?

I want to be traveling the USA for more experience and more matches; but overall, I will still be here, at the place where I started. South Broadway was the only–and I mean only–place that gave me a chance to prove myself. I love staying at the stomping grounds because even though I hate these people and fans, I love the place I call home: St. Louis.

Where can people find you on Twitter?

Twitter.  HA!  Try Facebook.  But in seriousness, maybe in a few months or years, or never.  I just don’t know. Because why would I want some loser tweeting at me every hour of the day. I have a life, so you should get one too.

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Q & A: MMWA rookie Da’Marius Jones!

By Sean Orleans

Folks, wrestling returns to the South Broadway Athletic Club this Saturday night, August 10!  Your MMWA Heavyweight Champion, Brandon Espinosa, will be in action, as well as Ace Hawkins, Big Dave Osborne, Lynn Mephisto and Gary Jackson, among others.

Saturday’s card will be significant as it will mark the MMWA debut of newcomer Da’Marius Jones!  He’s bringing his enthusiasm and zest for competition to the ring at South Broadway to tussle with the “Best in the Midwest!”  In anticipation of his debut, I reached out to young Da’Marius for an interview and we’ve got a brief transcription of it below.

Da'Marius Jones
Da’Marius Jones

Q: Let’s start this off nice and easy.  Who was your favorite wrestler growing up?

A: Chris Jericho is my favorite; best on the mic and best in the ring.

Q: Favorite match growing up?

A: My favorite match growing up was the ‘I Quit’ Match between Rock and Mankind at the 1999 Royal Rumble.

Q: What about The Rock-Mankind I QUIT MATCH appealed to you?  What made it #1 for Da’Marius?

A: The sheer brutality that both men endured for the championship.  Gotta respect that.

Q: Where have you been training and for how long?

A: Been training since April and I was going to Florida to train before I got in contact with MMWA and South Broadway.

Q: You once told me about how you survived a car accident and showed me pics of your smashed up ride.  Tell the readers about that.

IMAG0933

A: One month into training (May) I was involved in a bad car crash. On a rainy night I was headed to work in my Trans Am. I spun out of control and hit a wall on the highway.  I managed to get my car off the road and I attempted to make it back to the side of the car as a semi-truck sped by.  It hit my car and knocked it into me.  I went flying off the highway and landed in the grass and was taken away to the hospital.  Still came in to train a few days later, though…

Q: You got a finisher?

A: It’s a leaping inverted facebuster I call ‘The Upriser.’

Q: What’s your immediate goal?  Where do you want to be in 12 months?

A: In 12 months, I will be MMWA Heavyweight Champion and hopefully won’t have any broken bones to show for it.

Q: Where can people find you on Twitter?

A: You can find me on Twitter @realdamarius.