Having been recently made a three time TCW Heavyweight Champion, Mikey 13 is a mainstay in TCW and has been a few other places. While I am fairly new to TCW, I have grown to love it. I don’t know much about Mikey 13, but figured it was time to learn and allow the fans new and old a chance to get to know the man behind The Kendo Kid.
H/F: On top of these questions I would love to have you tell us a little about how you got started, what keep you going? Your first big wins and losses and whatever else you are willing or wanting to share.
Something about your history, I don’t know everything about all the wrestlers I am getting to agree to this and the more info I have to work with the better.
Along with this, where you wrestled and where fans can see you in future?
M13: I have been wrestling for 11 years, trained under George De La Isla, Papa Don and Russell Simpson. I had many mentors throughout my time in this industry like Darkstar, Mr. B, Shawn Hernandez and surprise Russell Simpson.
I wanted to be a part of wrestling ever since I was 13 years old watching my first match, which was a 6 man tag team match: Stone Cold, The Rock and Undertaker vs Kane, Kurt Angle and Rikishi (with) guest Ref Triple H. That match is what started my dream of becoming a pro wrestler. Watching performers put on one hell of a story. I knew I wanted to be that, a storyteller. I want to make matches that allow people to feel my story.
H/F: What was the toughest thing to give up or sacrifice to be part of the wrestling world?
M13: Time was the main thing I had to sacrifice; time with love ones, friends. I lost a lot of friends due to this, however they didn’t really understand how much it meant to me to become a pro-wrestler. How much I was dreaming of being able to wrestle.
H/F: Do you think its harder or just equally as hard to get to the big leagues of wrestling as it is say Basketball or Football?
M13: I feel overall that it is equally hard to get into the WWE than is it the NBA and NFL. My one argument for it being harder to get into the WWE than the NBA or NFL is this; how many teams are in the NBA and NFL? Now out of those teams, how many spots are there for players? I’m just talking about the spot, so there are more chances for an athlete to be on a NBA or NFL team than there are spots on rosters for Raw, Smackdown, NXT or the Cruiserweight Division.
H/F: Do you feel that wrestling has more premature or just a surprising number of earlier then expected deaths compared to other sports and does this influence you in any way?
M13: Sadly we do feel that deaths in wrestling are rising. What some of these deaths have shown us is that we have a lot of options of supplements, vitamins and minerals and those items that we would not name, to help our bodies look the part of a wrestler. They may not be the healthiest option, like take supplements meant for horses. Or even just take prescription drugs and abusing the amount we take. The things we do in anything can and will catch up to us, only your higher power knows when. There is also stepping into the wrong ring, with wrong opponent or even the wrong crowd. In those situations I learned and know how to protect myself.
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?
M13: I would like to do a gimmick where I was a masked cowboy called Black Country, where he used to be the personal bodyguard and best friend to Blake Shelton.
H/F: if you could change anything about the indy wrestling industry what would it be? What about TNA/WWE?
M13: The thing I would change would be the mindset of the wrestling fan and to get rid of smart marks. Don’t get wrong I love all wrestling fans, but when you start thinking like a booker or wrestler backstage, you lose a lot of the feeling that makes a wrestling show great. To take a little bit of what Carson the Texas Lion said, when he was younger he booed the bad guys, cheered on his favorite wrestler, was upset when some cheated to win and happy to see the good win. Those are great feelings when watching a wrestling show. When I go to just watch a show, I go to watch and enjoy the show. I turn my brain off and enjoy unless someone wants my input on their match. I want to leave the fan with these 3 tips: ignorance is bliss, no one like a smart-ass and just enjoy the show.
H/F: Once you retire from being in the ring, do you see yourself walking away fully or would you become a manager, commentary, or announcer, keep involved in some way? Or is it once you can’t work in the ring you have no desire to be there?
M13: If I retired from in-ring work, I would just be booking and putting on my own wrestling event. I want to make this clear, I will not start my own company. If TCW would like to take me on as a booker, that would be great. Or any other company.
H/F: Did you handle crowds differently depending on size?
M13: Handling a crowd for me is the same way as it standing room of only or 5 people. Mikey 13 works the crowd. When no one is reacting to you, that makes the job very hard and sign of a great wrestler is the reaction to no reaction.
H/F: How did you handle going from say 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? Do you just try and act the same no matter what the show?
M13: Mikey 13 is really able to handle all kinds of shows. But I would say he’s more suited for a family friendly show than a anything goes type of show. Mikey 13 does not really change his ways just to fit the show. What I mean about that is the in-ring work does not change to fit the show, but his promos, some catch phrases, what he may say on the mic any given time might change to fit the show he is on.
H/F: Was there every a moment when you truly felt you had enough, that maybe wrestling wasn’t for you? Was it a crowd? Just one guy/gal? A losing streak? Too many broken bones?
M13: Losing my matches or the negative comments from fellow wrestling sisters and brothers does not effect how much I love this business. It would be the crowd that would tell me that I had enough or they had enough of me and it was time to call it quits. I have not had that moment yet, and I do not want it to happen anytime soon.
H/F: Where did your name come from? Mikey 13 and The kendo kid part?
M13: At the start of my career my name was Big Cat. Then after some time of not really like the name Big Cat, I came up with Mikey 13. At first the gimmick was to be bad luck guy. It then evolved into black activist, then to being a tough guy and then finally a tough guy that uses a kendo stick. I got the name Mikey 13 from a cartoon called “Danny Phantom”. In the show was a motorcycle riding bad guy ghost character named Johnny 13. I liked the ring of it and so I adapted it to my name and became Mikey 13. The Kendo Kid also came from a cartoon, the character Richard Moore was called the Judo Kid in his college days and I like sword and kendo. I do have a small collection of katana and French battle swords. So I then used the nickname Kendo Kid.
H/F: What promotions do you feel are breaking down the walls separating “men’s wrestling” from “women’s wrestling” and just making it all wrestling? How do you feel they are doing that?
M13: Out of the promotions I have seen or been apart of, I feel none of them are breaking any walls, not even the promotions or companies where the main roster is almost all women. I feel this way because here and there you see one of these companies promote a match that is mix-tag or a female versus a male. However this is either a small story line or a one-off match. This is at best taking one brick from the wall but not tearing it down. I believe that those companies feel that it is not a priority to promote their company as a gender neutral organization. However I do think some female wrestlers are taking upon themselves to be gender neutral. One person that comes to my mind is Ruthless LaLa. I have heard from her own mouth that whoever thinks they are tough and brave enough to face her, man or women, she just wants to face tough competitors.
H/F: Do you feel tag team wrestling has become a dying style/art?
M13: Tag matches are not going anywhere, we will always have tag teams. How those are put together is a different story. Back in the day your tag team partner was like you brother or twin. Trained, drove, eat, sleep all together. You were, in every definition, a team. That as style is a dying; more team are just tossed together. I’m not saying how tag teams coming together these days is bad but I would like to see more teams that are trained and bred as a team.
H/F: If you could tag with anyone on the indies who would and be and why? What would you call yourselves?
M13: I truly have no one in mind to team with. I do not know who I could fit with to make a great tag team. However I would love to team up with Jojo Bravo, Kenneth Johnson or Nate Law to try and take the TCW tag championships. And our team name would be The Wrestle Friends.
H/F: Who has been your toughest opponent so far?
M13: Michael Faith has been my toughest opponent so far. It was the level of his skill, talent and professionalism that made him my toughest opponent. That match with him also made me a better wrestler.
H/F: You are the current TCW Heavyweight Champion, meaning you have a target on your back. How do you change your approach from being the one chasing the title to being the hunted?
M13: This is my 3rd time being TCW champ and I learned that I should be ready at all times to fight for my belt. What helps me with that is keeping that same mindset that got me the belt. I am not changing my core values; the code I live by is “I don’t hide. I just Fight!”
H/F: Who have you not faced on the indies yet that is at the top of your list to get in the ring with?
M13: Kenny Omega. He owns a top 5 spot on my list.
H/F: Now that you are TCW Champion, what is your next goal?
M13: My next goal for TCW is to be the first or one of the only men to have held 3 titles; I was never tag champ or TV champ. So going after those belts at TCW.
H/F: Who is your favorite wrestler to watch in the ring?
M13: Undertaker, Kenny Omega, Jojo Bravo, Russell Simpson.
Do you have a name for your finisher? The 13th Boot
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
Submission or High Flying? Both
Cats or Dogs? Both but I own cats
Beer or Liquor? I don’t drink
Light Side or Dark Side? Light side
Favorite Opponent EVER? Evan Gelistico