Alex Marvez conducted this recent interview with Austin Watson (Consequences Creed) who came through the attention of TNA through a recommendation by AJ Styles and myself. As Austin Creed in NWA Anarchy he was 1/2 of the NWA Anarchy Tag Team Champion tag team called Awesome Attraction with Hayden Young. Creed is also a champion weightlifter in "drug free" competitions holding bench press records for his weight class.
Marvez: Another daunting challenge for Consequences Creed
Submitted by SHNS on Thu, 03/05/2009 – 14:46.
His character may be named after Apollo Creed, but Austin Watson’s entree into TNA Wrestling is straight Rocky Balboa.
Like when the obscure Balboa challenged Creed for his heavyweight boxing title in "Rocky," Watson received his chance for stardom on a national stage. In October 2007, TNA officials sought a new tag-team partner for Ron "R-Truth" Killings after NFL player Adam "Pacman" Jones wasn’t contractually cleared to wrestle at the "Bound for Glory" pay-per-view show. Having impressed on independent shows in Georgia and South Carolina, Jones was chosen and renamed Consequences Creed.
The moniker was fitting. Watson knew the consequences if he had a poor debut teaming with Killings against Tyson Tomko and A.J. Styles, the TNA standout who had recommended him for the gig.
"It was a weird position for me," Watson said this week in a telephone interview. "I was having a tryout on a pay-per-view show that was going to be watched all over the world. Either I was going to get a job or not be able to wrestle anywhere else ever again."
Watson handled the pressure well, signing with TNA after an impressive performance. But he now faces another daunting challenge on the "Destination X" pay-per-view show Sunday, March 15, in Orlando, Fla.
Watson will be participating in his first Ultimate X — a scramble-style match where two intersecting cables are strung high above the ring. The bouts are known for high-risk maneuvers off the structure that showcase the agility and fearlessness of TNA’s lighter performers.
"I’ve watched TNA since the beginning (in 2002), so I’ve seen these types of matches and know the potential for injury," Watson said. "I’m not going to lie: I’m kind of nervous. But at the same time, I’m very excited for the opportunity."
Watson also should be thrilled at what he has accomplished both in and out of the ring.
At 22, Watson already has reached the wrestling stardom he began pursuing after graduating from high school in Marietta, Ga. Watson continued training while attending Furman University, making the 300-mile round trip from South Carolina on weekends by borrowing a friend’s car. Watson then began working part-time for independent promotions as he completed a double major in psychology and philosophy.
Watson’s athleticism was never an issue (he was a high-school wrestler who learned how to execute back flips during a short stint as a Furman cheerleader). But if he was going to reach the big time, the 5-foot-9, 202-pound Watson needed to craft a high-energy wrestling character that would showcase his personality and help compensate for being undersized.
After realizing there wasn’t much of a future in his initial gimmick as The Batman — "I would pop people with a baseball bat," he said — Watson began patenting his persona and ring mannerisms after the boisterous Apollo Creed. A red-white-and-blue ring vest handed down from original trainer Rob Adonis was the finishing touch.
"I no longer had to pretend I was someone else," Watson said. "I could act like myself. Whenever you see me performing, I’m smiling. That’s not fake. That’s how I really am. I’m living a dream."
Watson, though, does realize his dream will eventually end. A reminder came recently when Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams — two longtime X Division grapplers — were cut by TNA despite having consistently entertaining matches. Other X Division performers fear for their spots as TNA places its main focus on heavyweights and its women’s division.
"Guys getting released freaked me out because they were my buddies," Watson said. "Those were the guys I looked up to and wanted to be like before coming to TNA. It’s made me look inside myself and train a little harder because I don’t want to be there."
Although his job security seems safe as Jay Lethal’s tag-team partner, Watson is making sure he has another non-wrestling career option. He will begin pursuing a graduate degree in child psychology later this year while continuing to work for TNA.
"I love kids," said Watson, who plans to focus on working with autistic youngsters. "The biggest thing is, some of them have so much to say but nobody there to listen. A lot of problems can be taken care of at an early age. Once you get to a certain point in life, you’re stuck with them and they become a lot harder to deal with."
Kurt Angle vs. Sting headlines "Destination X." For more information, visit www.tnawrestling.com.
For more information on Watson, visit www.gocreedgo.com.
(Alex Marvez writes a syndicated pro-wrestling column for Scripps Howard News Service. E-mail him at alex1marv(at)aol.com.)
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