So this will be a slightly different Pinned Down. We will be talking to a man who has been doing interviews and promoting wrestlers and companies longer than most people, I believe. He has gotten to know many of the indy guys, not just as wrestlers but as people. That opens up whole new types of interviews and questions. His “First Contact” shoot interviews were amazing and let us know the people we have come to love in a whole new light.
Over the last few years, due to being a dad and some changes in his life, Alec has cut back on his work. Recently, he did his very last First Contact interviews with Biss (of Inspire Pro Wrestling) and Steve O’ Reno, among others. Great names to end a beloved series on, but nothing ever truly ends and Alec’s love for wrestling and wrestlers has not gone anywhere. He will still be here talking about it and loving it. Not sure anyone involved with wrestling, in the ring or out, ever really retires from it!
Now Alec is not one to hold back or mince words so while he was careful about the fact that this is for all ages, he didn’t hold back on people or things he thought were stupid or lame. So a warning: he may not like people you love or he may speak highly of someone you think is garbage, and all of that is okay. He has his thoughts and opinions and you have yours. As he has been doing this for many, many years let us step back and let him speak now….
H/F: Before the questions, an overview of what got you into wrestling and the indy’s and why you chose to start filming and promoting the shows you went to and beyond.
Alec: I first got into Pro Wrestling in the mid 80’s. I was born in a small town in Scotland in 1977 and during that time of the late 70’s and early 80’s we had “World of Sports” on TV. In the early 80’s I had He-Man and Super Hero figures, these muscled up guys in strange clothing that I played with, and one day I saw the likes of Kendo Nagasaki, Big Daddy, “Bomber” Pat Roach, Giant Haystacks, Catweazle, Tony St. Clair and others on “World of Sports.” I was hooked because here were guys built like Superheroes and they had on colourful clothing ,doing things no one else could. You know, like suplexes, arm drags, dropkicks, etc. and I grew up in the era of soccer being THE sport everyone watched. I played rugby for a few years and loved the physicality of it. In later years, I trained in karate, so I always had a thing for contact sports and”rough housing.”
H/F: What was the toughest thing to give up or sacrifice to be part of the wrestling world? In your case, doing all the First Contacts and the Youtube channels all for love, no money. You took your own time and money to help promote several companies and wrestlers, why was that?
Alec: The hardest thing to sacrifice was my innocence really. I was starting out on this venture to get “inside” wrestling and (as I always put it) to get to know the people who wrestle as opposed to interviewing “the wrestler” in character. By innocence, I mean I had to forget everything I thought I knew up until that point and earn respect and trust from people who had never met me before.
H/F: Do you think it’s harder or just equally as hard to get to the big leagues of wrestling as it is in say the NBA or the NFL?
Alec: I’d say it was harder. Other Sports you can learn and be coached at school, after and before school from an early age. Amateur wrestling does not guarantee a future in professional wrestling and most proper professional schools won’t even train anyone under the age of 16.
H/F: Do you feel that wrestling has more premature or just a surprising number of earlier then expected deaths compared to other sports?
Alec: I’d say it has a lot of unnecessary deaths. A lot of Pro Wrestling moves have impact that the human body has to sustain over long periods of time and I can see why a lot of wrestlers who have passed turned to pain pills. I don’t condone that, but they felt it was necessary just to live their everyday life while sustaining a full wrestling schedule.
H/F: If you had the power to make any gimmick work, no matter how weird or normal it may be, what would you do?
Alec: That’s a tough one considering how many “gimmicks” are already out there, been done, tried, succeeded and failed. I’d like to see a wrestler who doesn’t use the ropes, turnbuckles or leaves the ring. A proper grappler, no punches or strikes just technical counters and offense.
H/F: If you could change anything about the Indy wrestling industry what would it be? What about TNA/WWE?
Alec: Alrighty, a two parter? Indy wrestling, I would insist on promoters checking the credentials of wrestlers, who trained them, had they finished training? Would they offer a contact number there and then to their trainer for a reference? If they are willing to work for free I wouldn’t use them, how could I make money with someone who doesn’t want to any make for themselves? It is a business after all. TNA and WWE I would leave as is. There’s enough people behind the scenes pulling the strings with decades more experience than me, so if they can’t get it right, I don’t think I could suggest anything to fix it.
H/F: Once you stop doing all the interviews, YouTube videos and other promoting tools and shows you do, will you still be going to wrestling? Can you go without feeling the need to help push or put over your favorites?
Alec: I’ll be at shows for sure. I don’t think the feeling of trying to help or improve a show, wrestler, idea, entrance or gear will ever leave me. Everyone wants the Pro Wrestling business to continue and to improve so, yeah that mindset will never go away.
H/F: Do you ever decide to stop going to a show because of its fans? Do you feel some promotions have annoying or crappy fans?
Alec: Nah, fans change from show to show. Some shows have fans who are verbal and chant about something completely irrelevant to what is going on and I find that confusing, but that is their choice to chant what they like. You know, “freedom of speech” and all that jazz gets abused at some shows haha!
H/F: How do you handle going from a no rules wrestling show to a family first show? Do you change a lot about how you handle things and what you say or do you just try and act the same no matter what the show?
Alec: I treat each show the same, I’ll act accordingly with the promotions mindset. So for example, a family show, I will laugh and clap along, yell along because usually I have my son with me and he gets really into it. More adult shows, I don’t take my son and it is usually a rougher and more hostile crowd. There have been times I have had to confront fans about their own actions, like throwing ice cubes into the ring during matches.
H/F: Was there ever a moment when you truly felt you have had enough, that maybe doing all the interviews and shoots was taking too much time or that when wrestlers or promoters or even fans didn’t like it or got upset and you thought, hell I am doing it for y’all for free? I don’t have to put up with this?
Alec: Yeah, many times over the last 7 years I decided to walk away. It wasn’t the workload, but stupid B/S like being threatened to be punched in the face for a review. Then I meet the guy who threatened me face to face and he acts like nothing was said. Gaining respect was one of the hardest things and at times I found I was putting my own reputation on the line for folk who had bad reps and I thought to myself “Why am I doing this?” But the lure of the love of wrestling always brought me back.
H/F: Say you were picked up by TNA or WWE and given an over the top gimmick. How would you play it? Go through the motions and hope it fails so you can move on to something better or really try to sell and play up the gimmick?
Alec: I’d take what they gave me and initially go with it 100% and then over time put my own influence on it to make it more comfortable for me to do. I’ve always seen it as tinkering in a Toymaster’s Toy Box when some “creative heads” come up with some of these “gimmicks.” Some of them, over the years have been ridiculous and terrible.
H/F: What promotions do you feel are breaking down the walls separating men wrestling from women wrestling and just making it all Wrestling? How do you feel they are doing that?
Alec: ACW, Inspire Pro and some of the promotions up in New England, where Mistress Belmont was a tag champion with her partner, Scab. Basically any promotion that presents the wrestlers as WRESTLERS, regardless of gender. That’s the best way anyway. No woman ever got trained and said “Oh I went to the Women’s Wrestling School” because they all get trained the same as the men, so why not present them as “wrestlers” and forget the gender part?
H/F: Do you feel tag team wrestling has become a dying style/art?
Alec: Not overall, no. In Japan and Mexico for example, tag wrestling is still a huge thing. I think in the States it has fallen on the back burner, but seeing War Machine explode like they have, tours in Japan and Europe as well as a full ROH schedule and filling the spaces between those shows with solo or tag matches has really brought attention back to tag wrestling.
H/F: What are the three top Indy promotions that you want to go to, but have not been able to pull it off and why?
Alec: SHIMMER, PWG and ICW (in Scotland) and all based on geography and funds.
H/F: What are your goals for 2016/2017?
Alec: I retired “First Contact” Shoot Interview Series not long ago, the last 3 guests were Masada, Steve O’ Reno and Justin “Biss” Bissonnette. I have some ideas for wrestling related video work in the future, but I’ll advertise that closer to the time.
H/F: You balanced being a father with taking the time to do all the things you did to promote Indy’s over the years, both companies and wrestlers and even behind the scenes people. How did you pull this off and is your son one of the reasons you have cut back doing all the projects?
Alec: Being Jack’s dad is Number 1 for me. As he grew older, I went to less shows. It took a long time before I started taking him to shows. He has Autism and had tubes in his ears when he was younger, so he was sensitive to loud noise, the first shows I took him to he wore earplugs. It was tough for a while though, being dad first and foremost, working a regular job and trying to balance conducting interviews at shows. Something had to give, so it was the interviews.
H/F: What do you feel as a fan are the three best promotions in Texas right now?
Alec: Inspire Pro Wrestling, VIP and IHWE.
H/F: I first met you at ACW, a crazy promotion that has been around a long time, but you have stopped going to over the last few years. What is the story there? How did you find them? What kept you going, and why did you stop?
Alec: I found ACW because I was a fan of Mschif, Nikki Roxx, Rain, Sara Del Rey and many more of the SHIMMER roster and I saw something about the Queen of Queens tourney in ’09.
I went to their forum and posted about carpooling to the show. The first show I was able to attend was Lone Star Classic ’09 and the dog was off the chain (so to speak). The sheer quality of in ring work was what kept me going, as well as ROH and SHIMMER stars mixing it up with the great local talent ACW had during that time. I stopped going when what I perceived to be disrespect toward me by owner Darin Childs and anger on my part toward him made me decide to never pay for a ticket again.
The incident in question was right after the Jerry Lynn vs Scot Summer retirement match. I filmed a shoot interview with them upstairs and Darin even stood behind me while I filmed it. As I was packing my camera gear, I saw Darin walking toward me, so I extend my hand and said about the show being great and he never looked at me, just kept walking.
We were no more than a foot away from each other. I took great offense to being ignored like that. Truth of the matter though, was Darin was walking away from a conversation with Biss where Biss had said he was leaving, just after Rachel had lost the title and was leaving and just after Jerry Lynn’s last match. Timing of everything was just a bit crappy really. I hold no grudge toward Darin, we’re all getting older and stuff like that could have been fixed with a conversation.
H/F: Has your son Jack always enjoyed Wrestling or did he grow to love it? Does he enjoy just the Indy’s or is he a WWE and/or TNA fan as well?
Alec: Ironically he hates wrestling on TV or DVD, but the live experience he goes nuts for. So, yeah the Indies is his thing…but only live.
H/F: You have met a ton of wrestlers over the years, some who have become famous, others who left. Which one were you most impressed with? Which one disappointed you after meeting them? Was there anyone you really wanted to meet, but never got a chance to?
Alec: Just their conduct as people and great toward the fans I have a list. Davey Boy Smith, Ray Rowe, Chris Hero, Daffney, Scot Summers, Jerry Lynn, Steve O Reno, Masada, Andy Dalton, Gregory James, Davey vega, Ricky Romida, Cherry Ramons, Rachel Summerlyn, Robert Evans, Matthew Palmer, Nigel Rabid….I am really overwhelmed with how many were really cool people.
Disappointed? Hmm Big Daddy I was really heartbroken when I met him. I walked over to him at a show and I said I grew up watching him and he said “Sorry, could you go away please?” Which I thought was crap, he passed away not long after that.
I am most disappointed I never got to meet Roddy Piper in person. We became friends over the phone after I phoned to give condolences when Red Bastien passed away. I’ll miss most him asking how Jack was doing – “That boy of yours what’s his name again?” “Jack” “JAAAAAAAACK” in Roddy’s voice. He said it with enthusiasm and a smile, then would tell me “He has a good name, you bring him up right son.”
H/F: Who did you never get onto First Contact that you really wanted to?
Alec: Spiro. I was always a huge fan of “The Takeover” and was working on having every member be on, then Cameron Bates passed. I remember being in tears at the ACW show when they did the 10 Bell salute for him. I remember he was a really quiet man at the shows, but if you shook his hand and spoke highly of his match he opened up to you. Great guy, miss him.
H/F: What do you think of Athena making it on NXT? Of Delilah Doom getting some Raw screen time?
Alec: It’s wonderful. The night after Delilah was on RAW, there was a Smackdown Live Show in Austin, Texas and the dark match was Kane vs Ricky Starks. Starks even got to cut a promo before the match. I love seeing the local talent get a shot. Hell, I remember things like James Claxton being a cop on RAW, Ryback smacked tuna salad into Ricky Starks ear in a backstage segment, Jaykus Plisken and Spiro vs Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch on Sunday Night Heat. It’s great to see them get an opportunity.
H/F: You have made friends and enemies over the years. You have tried the last year or so to make amends and mend fences, is there anyone in the wrestling world that you just will not bother to do so with?
Alec: Highroller Hayze and Ruthless Lala for the simple fact they both scammed money out of me.
Casey Carnage from my time doing written articles and radio work. He rode on the work of others. I think I was most offended when I said I was attending an ACW show and Daffney was on it and he asked if I was going to get to have sex with her or at the very least a BJ. This was while I was doing my best to feature Women’s Wrestling as legit, so I took great offense to it. He’s a turd who disappeared after the radio show finished. Yeah you’re scratching your head as to who he is right? He’s no one.
Wallace Gordon threatened to punch me in the face, then when I met him, he shook my hand. I held it and told him who I was and what he said and he tried to laugh it off saying something like “You know we try to get heat online, right?” My interaction with him was me reacting to his threat. All I will say though is Wallace has made some very bad decisions in life, he’s a level of scum that makes me feel sick just thinking about what was told to me that he did.
H/F: Where did Ludvig come from?
Alec: I was a fan of Ludvig Borga in the 90’s and I got my hair cut like his during summer vacation from high school. My friends would call me “Lude” for short as Ludvig Borga’s name didn’t have the “e” in it. I added it and now like 20 years later my friends in Scotland still call me it. Ludevig just became more than a nickname, it became a “shield” at shows where my private life was hidden as no one knew my real name.
Best Finisher in your opinion? Scott Steiner’s Frankensteiner.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Put ’em together and have a Yin Yang flavoured anything.
Submission or High Flying?
Cats or Dogs?
Both really, I love them and they love me, they’re wonderful beings aren’t they? Both of them are just a joy to be around.
Beer or Liquor?
Beer….and lots of it hahaha.
Light Side or Dark Side?
Dark, for without dark there would be no light.
Favorite Wrestlers? Indy: Masada, Ray Rowe, Steve O Reno, Mike Dell, Scot Summers
WWE/TNA: Athena/Ember Moon, Sami Zayn, Big Show, Finn Balor.
H/F: Now for some basic thoughts as a fan and man who has interviewed so many people over the years. Your thoughts on the following people:
Jack Jameson: The exception to the rule, others have made mistakes and been forgiven, but Jameson gets a different end of the stick for some reason. We’re cool though, our bridge and friendship has been fixed. He’s traveling the World, training all over the place and got more stamps on his passport than some Wrestlers have as states they have Wrestled in.
Ruthless Lala: Exploiter.
Bolt Brady: Glass House.
Masada: In the words of “Mean” Gene – “Close personal friend of mine.”
Darin Childs: Social Media.
Biss: Great guy, really wonderful human being, stern but honest.
Max: Great wrestling booker, has crap taste in movies.
Josh: He lifts big things and looks happy ALL THE TIME, loves politics outside of Wrestling…..Brains and Brawn!
Jessica James: The blueprint of dedication.
Mr. B: Real good guy, have a few drinks and a meal with the guy and get him laughing, memorable.
Andy Dalton: One of the few who made me love wrestling again when I was wanting to walk away.
Angel Blue: Just needs a hug haha.
Brandon Stroud: In the wrong line of work.
Sign Guy: A promo is not an interview.
Fellow Fan Tommy: Needs a last name.
Inspire Pro: A golden success story of hard work.
MPX: Wish they were closer.
RCW: I’ve never been, can’t really say anything.
H/F: A general overview, your thoughts and opinions, as someone who watched the scene in Texas. How it has changed, what has gotten better? Worse? Stayed pretty much the same, things you maybe wished changed? Your fondest wrestling related memory?
Alec: The last seven years I have watched the Texas scene with mixed emotions. Joy and enthusiasm when a wrestler would be signed to ROH or NXT, get a tour of Europe or Japan on their resume. But also anger at some of the stubborn ego-driven, when companies would bicker or a wrestler and a promoter would argue online or taking pot shots at each other on their live shows.
The scene in general has vastly improved. Some promotions have disappeared, some wrestlers have retired, sadly some have passed away, but have left a scene that has flourished. I wish the relationship between myself and Darin Childs hadn’t gotten to the point that it did. I held so much anger at him for many years and I have just let it go, simply let it go. I wish our friendship was like it was in 2010.
I’d say I have been lucky as I have many memories that are filled with joy or great heartfelt sentiment. Jojo Bravo getting the crowd at Inspire to wish my son Jack a “Happy Birthday” is top of the list. Darin Childs contacting me when my cousin Gary had passed away in 2010 and him being the first to contact me in Texas before some of my workmates and friends, that truly meant a lot to me. I think the friendships I have made and held throughout the years with many of the fans and wrestlers is also one of my most cherished memories. Seeing children born and those fans or wrestlers becoming parents and grow as people as their child grows, has been real cool.
My friendship with Alan Villareal has been solid for six or seven years now and seeing his son enjoying wrestling and going to shows with Alan and his Wife has also been amazing. He’s only three, but he knows everyone from Harley Race and Kamala to Seth Rollins and his favorite John Cena.
I can happily say I retired my interview series at a time when wrestling is in a much better condition than it was in 2009. But……if they screw it up I WILL BE BACK! 😀
You can follow him here on YouTube.