On The Ropes ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ An Interview with The Dirt Bike Kid
On The Ropes – An Interview with The Dirt Bike Kid
Firstly, how did you get involved in wrestling and who inspired you to be a
I got involved in wrestling through a guy in America by the name of Bill Anderson, who by which time had become a good friend of mine. Billy trained guys like The Ultimate Warrior, Sting and Louie Spicolli. I had always liked wrestling ever since I was a kid, so the whole genre inspired me really.
What was it like working for ECW?
Working in ECW was a great experience for me and is a highlight of my life as a whole. It could have been more rewarding if things that were originally promised to me had been granted, but that’s life. I always gave the best I could while I was there, even when I was in pain. The guys in general were all very friendly and welcoming. I have no complaints really it was a good experience. If I had only committed myself to reside in the States and not keep coming back to the UK, my ECW stint would have been much more rewarding for me.
Did you feel a tense atmosphere backstage in ECW?
No, not really. There were cliques of people backstage, but generally the whole atmosphere was quite family like, everybody helped everybody else. If there was anything, it was hard to spot.
Did you have any heat with any of the guys backstage there?
No not that I knew of. There may have been some animosity towards me by some people, but like I said, it was hard to pinpoint anything. I thought I had a good relationship with the people there.
What was it like being around guys like Sabu, Terry Funk and Paul Heyman?
It was great, and hard to believe at the same time. I have never been one for being star-struck, so I just got on with it, and treated everybody like they had been friends of mine for years. Sabu is still a good friend of mine. He is an amazing guy.
Was Taz as big as locker room enforcer as we are all led to believe?
He was in charge sometimes, especially if Paul hadn’t arrived yet. Mainly because they had a strong working relationship with Taz running the ECW Wrestling School etc… but he was no more in charge generally than anybody else really. There wasn’t much need for it there in ECW; it just seemed to run itself most of the time. I don’t think there was much enforcing going on…LOL… and if there was, he could and would have met some resistance from a lot of guys there. I got on ok with Taz, we had a bit of a run-in near the start of my second-stint there, also involving Perry Saturn…but it was sorted and no more was said. He was a relatively private kind of person, and I respected that.
Where you ever contacted by the WWE or WCW?
Nope. I had worked for the WWF previous to starting my DBK character, touring mainly California and working the Ring Crew in that State. I knew most of the wrestlers there and got on very well with Dave and Earl Hebner. I hope to catch up with them again soon. They were really good people to work with and very helpful.
Where you shocked when ECW and then WCW collapsed?
Yes I was. But mainly for my friends within the promotions in general. And especially for my friend, Sabu. Who by which time had just landed a huge contract with WCW, a while before the collapse.
Why did you leave the UWA before its first taping and do you still have heat
Yes. Dan Berlinka wasn’t too bad, and was the more trusting out of the two, and I don’t really have any heat with him. Andrew was a different story, he was that kind of cutthroat businessman who wasn’t what he thought he was, but was prepared to do anything to make it seem that he was. I was one of the first guys, not just wrestler, contacted around the start of that promotion. I was there from the very first steps, and felt by the time of the first show, just before the first tapings, that they were not living up to any of the promises being made to me for being involved.
I attended and wrestled in the main-event of their first show in Epping-Forest, and that show kind of capped off a few things that I had being thinking about for a while. It culminated in a backstage fight between me and a show security guard, that carried on from the match outside, after he interfered in the match numerous times and was ruining it for everybody there by continuously kicking away chairs etc that were being used in spots during the match. That made me at the next available opportunity, pick up the chair and throw it his head full-force. The match just dissolved after that and was quickly finished, where I pretty much left the ring and the promotion as soon as the 1,2,3 hit the mat and I was announced the UWA Champion.
The fight continued backstage, after the guard came backstage, but was quickly broken up by all the guys there. An emergency meeting was held, between Myself, Andrew, Dan, the Manager of the Venue, the Security Supervisors and about 4 of the guards themselves. Which resulted in me being asked to apologise to everybody (because Andrew didn’t want to lose the venue), which wouldn’t and didn’t happen. That night made up my mind to leave the company even if it was going to do well, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t that desperate. They didn’t think I would leave, they thought they were that big. I sent them my notice the next day, by special delivery… and I was gone!
You promoted three of your own shows back in the nineties. What where they
Not sure about that one, I did have… and maybe should have continued running my EWA show’s that were doing very well. I was responsible for people seeing Sabu, Rob Van Dam and Mikey Whipwreck for the first time in Europe, and introducing people to talents like Ulf Herman and Michael Kovac, as well as some Japanese wrestlers and one or two others if you look at the cards. The shows were profitable, but only just…but they would have become far more lucrative if I had continued with them on a regular basis.
What are your thoughts on the FWA?
I have only had a couple of occasions where I worked with the FWA, once during their No Surprises event where I was the surprise! And their first big event in Halifax, Evil Intentions where I wrestled in the Main-Event against Sabu.
The Evil Intentions show was very badly run, to the point where they had given 20 minutes on the card to some stupid gothic dance routine, that had nothing…and I repeat… nothing to do with wrestling… and having John Feltham (who is an ok guy, I liked him) come up to me to tell me that my match with Sabu, could only go…listen to this…. no more than 5 minutes, because they had already…gone over-time allowed.
I thought, you’re having a f**king laugh. Up to the point where they had announced, Sabu v DBK on the card, they had only sold 180 tickets. After we had been added, he had sold 1100 odd tickets in total, in half the time it took him to sell 180, with Dan Severn on the show. And he wanted us to screw over his paying customers with a five-minute screw job, because he didn’t realise how bad he’d booked the show.
In the end, we tried to make it last longer, but it turned into a disaster of a match in our opinion (which should have been a lot better) because of rubbish pasting tables that he had bought, and the complete rush we were put under because the building management wanted to close the Arena, before our match had even begun!!!! Sabu, and myself were happy to a degree as we tried under difficult circumstances to pull off a good match that turned out just ok really. We salvaged a near disaster really, that almost made us walk away from the building, but decided that the people outside shouldn’t pay the price, for their monumental f**k-up!
Has Alex Shane been in contact with you and will we be seeing you in the FWA
Well, never say never. If I decide to come back, you never know. I have never really retired or anything, I am just taking a looooong break, because of my injuries etc. I have spoken to Alex a few times; we have always been friends and got on well with each other. I can honestly say that Alex, believe it or not, is most probably the only British wrestler I have NOT had problems with. We even went to the same secondary school in London, although I was in a different year to him… so there’s a kind of mutual bond there.
Who do you believe is the best British wrestler today?
Well, Me. No..only joking. Don’t know really. That is still open to discussion. No, hang on a minute… no it isn’t. I don’t want to talk about that. I don’t care who is the best…or who thinks he is the best. It’s all bullshit to me.
If you were contacted by the FWA, whom would you like to work with?
Erm, not sure. That would have to be discussed and negotiated. All I’ll say is that it’ll have to be somebody worthwhile. Otherwise I wouldn’t even entertain the idea.
What did you think of Jodie Fleisch’s retirement?
I heard he got injured also, but don’t know too much about it. I have a kind of split attitude towards Jodie; because I’m still not sure about any role he had, in stirring up trouble for me in Japan. I know the main culprit was Jason Cross; I have that on good authority. So, I’d rather leave it at that, as I don’t really want to cast judgement on something that may or may not be 100% accurate.
What are your thoughts on The Dynamite Kid and do you believe he was the
I believe that he most probably was, yes. I think he edges it, over Chris Benoit who is also amazing. It is a very close call. I have no opinions on the Dynamite Kid personally, I never met the man. Although I understand he had an opinion about me once before, which wasn’t too pleasant…. lol…. but I’m not sure he even really knew who I was, he just assumed that my name was a take on his, which it wasn’t.
You’ve worked as a stuntman, what was that like?
An experience, but eventually as usual my injuries caught up with me and had to curtail that for a while also. My back has always been the main problem, ever since I broke it 4 weeks before I wrestled Sabu on his European debut in London. And people often forget that I wrestled that match with a serious injury, and that only a week before that match I could barely walk at all.
You lasted one night in the Michinoku Pro Wrestling’s World Masked Man
I am not 100% sure myself really, and don’t think I’ll ever really know the full-score. I understand that there was a lot of shit-stirring going on behind the scenes by some people, who I was eventually told by Phyllis Lee that it was the British guys on the tour that were creating trouble for me behind my back. I was unaware of this at the time.
I had jetted out to Japan with an injury that I received during the FWA No Surprises show, where I hurt my cartilage in my ribs. It wasn’t that bad, and felt that I got wrestle with the injury. Somehow, this information had also gotten back to Sasuke after all the trouble had already put into motion.
My first match on the tour was scheduled to be against Sasuke, and it wasn’t until the guys were warming up in the ring before the show started to open that I began to smell a rat, and a pretty big one. Sasuke had come up to me and basically told me that our match was only going to go five minutes. Now, straight away I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t show it. You see, none of this was agreed when I signed my contract, and apparently I heard that they didn’t like me trying to negotiate with them. But hey, Michinoku or not, if the terms aren’t right, I am not f**king going. I am not a wrestling prostitute.
Now, some of this needs to be brought up because the shit still smells from this incident, and I don’t like it.
Sasuke said that I was going to dominate him for a while and then he would fight back in a real flurry, and spin-kick me for his big-quuuuuiiiicckk f**king submission finish. Well, I had apparently already pissed them off (sorry for swearing so much, but it just annoys me) because I refused to wear the stupid mask they had made for me. Now sorry, but the DBK isn’t a masked wrestler, so why the f**k did they want me on a masked-man tournament. I managed to compromise with them, and say that I’d wear it to the ring only, and then rip it off, where I would wear the usual biking-face mask that I usually wear during my ring-entrance. They didn’t like it, I could tell… but agreed to it.
Sasuke really didn’t want to talk with me, so our match was not even 1% planned by the time we got to the ring; he obviously didn’t offer me that kind of courtesy. When I got into the ring, I ripped my mask off and threw it at the ref, but not maliciously, just for show. Then Sasuke made his entrance, but I could tell once he was in there, that the atmosphere wasn’t quite right. But, you know… I thought too myself that maybe it was just me being…me! lol
The match got under way, and everything seemed fine…although it felt strange because there was no…and I mean no resistance from him at all, he just did everything I wanted. I was still pretty pissed at the five minute thing, but inside my head agreed to do it as I wanted to be professional about it, as it was the first match of the tournament and to see how things progressed, and how the other guys faired against him (which I now know…was a loooooooot better than me). I just didn’t want to go down to some lame arsed 20-second comeback that made me look like Mickey-mouse.
So, when he started to comeback, he kicked me twice to either side of my head which was ok, then ‘wam!’ he hit me with his trademark spin-kick, that should of put me down. But I didn’t go down, because I didn’t want too. He hit me hard in gut with the kick but I just stood there selling, so he did it again… ‘WAM!’..But I still wouldn’t go down. I mean Sasuke has to learn, that if you try and f**k one of your wrestlers, they can f**k you back, and I was being treated like shit from the start of the tour. Kick, kick, kick, WAM, WAM, WAM… he kept kicking me, but I just stood there, and took them all like a man, and believe me, he was shooting on me by then. Sabu had always taught me not to let myself be stomped on, and I adhered to his every word. He would have been proud.
But then the BIG ONE came, ‘WAM’ again. But this time his kick caught me right under my ribs, where my cartilage injury was, and I just fell like a chopped down tree, as all the air went out of my lungs in that 100 degree non-air condition hall. I knew I was seriously hurt, and just lay there as Sasuke, put the boot in (the f**king coward) and kicked me at least three times full-on in the face while I laid there, not being able to breath. I wanted to tell him, the ref, anybody…that I was hurt and to finish the match, but couldn’t get any words out at all. The next thing I knew, Sasuke picked me up, and went for a submission finish (remember, he wanted a quick win over me!) and I let him do it, because I was gone, totally… and needed to get out. Only the arsehole, shot on me again and almost broke my neck, but I should have expected it.
Now, I knew my tour was finished, either through injury or the fact that my card was marked, but hey, I am a man, which is more than that p***k. It ended up full-circle more by luck than anything else on his part, and I tried to act professional from the fans perspective by offering my hand to Sasuke as he celebrated, even though I felt like s**t.
But Sasuke, just gave me a not very nice hand gesture…LOL
If Sasuke didn’t like me, or had a problem with me then he should have been upfront about it, and said it to my face. Then, if he still wanted to punch me then we could of arranged a shoot, which at least would have give me some notice, instead of the sucker-punch he tried to line up for me. I killed his finish, but hey, he deserved it. It was only by my own misfortune that he still managed the quick win over me.
It wasn’t until the next day before my next match at the arena, that I had to go to hospital, because I started to cough up blood. It was there, that they told me that I had to have a minimum of six weeks off wrestling as my cartilage in my chest was badly cracked over my whole rib cage, and that one more kick, could be very serious. See, one small crack and now, lucky-b*****d one big crack.
I had to go back to England, and the British guys apparently were lapping it up, especially Jason Cross, the no good b*****d, who took great pleasure in seeing me go.
I looked at it all like fate stepping in really. For you see, before I flew out, I was due to miss the birth of my first child (which was agreed with my wife) due to what we felt was an important work commitment that needed to be honoured, as it was my first tour of Japan. I was really split mind you, and did think very hard about not going, but my wife helped persuade me. In the end, it just seemed like I was destined not to be there, because when I got back, my wife gave birth a couple of days later and I never missed a thing. So, a good ending really, although Sasuke needs to know that if it wasn’t fate that intervened, I would still be standing there right now, taking his f**king kicks!!
Was there any sort of confrontation between yourself and Michinoku boss
No, although Jason Cross tried to stir one up from what I was told. I realise now, after he yo-yo’d between our dressing rooms trying to spark one. But Sasuke knew, that I now knew… that something was amiss, and that if he came looking, injury or no injury, he could and would get something back. But, he never came looking, which was wise. Things seemed quite bad, to the point where I didn’t know who I could trust, honestly.
Sabu was pissed when I told him and advised me to buy myself a big-f**king razor blade to take with me into the ring in case, I got set-up again. You see, even though I was badly-injured I was still planning on wrestling, even though when I tried to move anything faster than a walk, it was absolute agony. It was only after the doctors intervened that my mind was made up for me, and that Michinoku couldn’t and wouldn’t let me wrestle anyhow for insurance reasons.
I went along for the rest of the week on the tour and got on well with some guys, especially Super-Boy who’s great and Wellington Wilkins Jnr, as well as Black Warrior who also left the tour with me over money. Some people were realising all the s**t about me, really was a load of rubbish. But Sasuke and me, still travelled at opposite ends of the bus, and he never made any attempt to apologise, which to me, really was bad.
Do you believe The Great Sasuke hit the kicks stiff on purpose and do you
Yes, as I’ve already answered above. And like I said… I took them all!!
Have you spoken to Sasuke since?
No. I asked for a re-match by fax, but it wasn’t even acknowledged let alone, answered. You see, a re-match doesn’t suit their agenda, they have the victory over me, and that’s that in their heads.
What where you overall thoughts of MPW?
My experience wasn’t good, but they have good wrestlers and generally have good shows, although it is very conservatively booked around Sasuke.
Why do you believe that Karl Kramer sidestepped your cannonball body block
Yes, and he is a low-life. He knows what he did, he’s admitted it to various people and goes round bragging that he ruined DBK’s career. To be honest, he’s a weak person, who couldn’t stand up for himself when being pressured by the old fossils in Brian Dixon’s All-Star Wrestling Circuit. Up until that time, I thought he was a friend. I was very wrong. And thankfully I came out of it, not paralysed, and learned a valuable lesson that I always adhere too, when dealing with and trusting people.
What are your thoughts on Karl Kramer now? Who?
Have you spoken to him since? Who?
Finally, a word association. Basically I am going to say eight or nine guys
Paul Heyman:- Good Booker with a great mind for wrestling, and a very charismatic guy, but not a trusting person to deal with. Was always polite enough to me, but felt at times like he had too, because I was with Sabu, and I didn’t like how he treated Sabu with his contract dealings after everything Sabu had done for ECW, when the time came for Sabu to finally make some decent money in WCW.
Tazz:- Answered that already really.
The Great Sasuke:- Answered that already really.
Alex Shane:- A Friend.
Vince McMahon:- Never met the guy, but basically the man who has transformed the entire wrestling business, for better or worse.
Sabu:- Awesome, and a real good friend.
The Rock:- A Real talent. Got the Film Star quality, deserves his break.
Mick Foley:- Very nice guy, very polite and funny.
What are you up to nowadays?
Just taking things a day at a time, and thinking about possibly returning someday, but the deal will have to be good lol. There may be a lot of people on this side of the pond that don’t want me back, but hey, who gives a f**k what they think.
I hope, that if there are any people who may want me back, it’ll be the fans who I always admired. But, we’ll have to see. I would be nice anyhow, if somebody wants me back…anybody… lol
Finally, what can we expect from Jason Harrison in the coming months and the
This will have to be left open, I still have my injuries really and that is a problem, but I would always make an effort guaranteed. We’ll just leave it open for the time being… hmm maybe I could team up with Sabu for a return… lol
Do you have anything you would like to plug? Yeah, Sasuke’s head.
I would like to thank you so much for taking time out to do this sort of
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My usual “On The Ropes” column will return shortly, with it’s usual format. Until then, keep the fantastic feedback coming and please, take care.
*Note – lol is a shortened abbreviation of the term “laughs out loud”