Recently, I had the wonderful privilege of interviewing â<80><9c>The Snakemanâ<80> Deven Michaels. Deven set out on his journey in the world of wrestling about six years ago. His story is quite interesting, given that he was trained by one of the greatest wrestlers known near and far, that being Jake â<80><9c>The Snakeâ<80> Roberts. In this interview you will learn of how his career began, along with his vision for his future. I must admit, his story is truly inspiring and today my friends, you will come to know â<80><9c>The Snakemanâ<80> Deven Michaels.
Melissa: Hey Deven thank you for joining us today!
Michaels: You're welcome, the pleasure is all mine.
Melissa: First off, please tell us a little bit about your career and how it all began.
Michaels: Well, my career is like everyone elseâ<80><99>s. There are ups and there are downs like anyone elseâ<80><99>s, but mostly there have been nothing but great times. As to how it all began, it depends on how you consider it all to began. If you consider it beginning the day I met Jake, I can tell you it began in a very interesting way.
Melissa: How did you begin training with Jake â<80><9c>The Snakeâ<80> Roberts?
Michaels: I met Jake when he was working a show Dubois, PA. It was for a promotion called the APWF. I heard the advertisement on the radio and went to the show. While I was there I walked up to his gimmick table and said, "Hey, I want to train." At first I don't think he really thought I was serious, but gave me his number and told me to come to Texas anyway. I really don't think he thought I would do it until he got the call from me telling him I was in Gainesville. I went to his house and stayed with him for a year training.
Melissa: What was that experience like for you?
Michaels: Pure hell. First thing Jake made me do were squats; squats until I couldn't stand. Then he took me to a very large flight of stairs. He had me run those stairs until I puked and I couldn't feel my legs. The man tore me down to nothing. He told me from the beginning that he was going to tear me down to nothing and build me in his own image of a perfect wrestler. Jake said he was the sculptor and I was the piece of granite that he was going to carve into what he wanted me to be.
Melissa: Your ring name is â<80><9c>The Snakemanâ<80>, is that somehow incorporated with the time you spent with Jake â<80><9c>The Snakeâ<80> Roberts?
Michaels: Jake Roberts gave me the name Deven Michaels. I added the "The Snakeman" later in tribute to my mentor. I did it because I honor him with it. He is my friend, the only person that I completely trust. The reason is because I am a lot like Jake. He once told me that 'when he saw me he saw himself 20 years ago'. So yes, The Snakeman is directly attributed to Jake because he taught me everything I know. I respect him and wish to honor his legacy.
Melissa: What do you think you would consider to be one of the most valuable lessons that you have learned, over the course of your wrestling career?
Michaels: Don't trust anyone when it comes to business. In this business you have many acquaintances but very few real friends. I stumbled across Jake on this journey, and I cherish it all the more because I know how rare that is.
Melissa: Okay, I know you get asked a million times about Jezabel(your pet snake), so I will try to ask in a more creative question about her. What was it like for you the first time you brought her into the ring? And how has her presence in the ring, influenced your opponents?
Michaels: For me it was just another normal day. I have played with snakes since I was a child. I have always owned snakes. They are a big part of what I'm about. As for my opponents, it struck instant fear. You never know what a snake is going to do.
Melissa: If you had the choice to had the choice to have your dream match, who do you think it would be against and why?
Michaels: Well, I've had my dream match. I wrestled Jake in Alliance OH last May. It was the biggest honor I could ever have had. I actually was the first man in history to ever DDT it's inventor, Jake "The Snake" Roberts. It was a very momentous occasion for me, one I'll definitely never forget.
Melissa: Your story of how you began wrestling is really inspiring, at what point did the light go off in your head and you came to the realization that this is what you wanted to do for a career?
Michaels: Believe it or not, the light went off when I was a small boy. I believe I was around 6 years old. I know how much I cherish my wrestling toys, dolls, and other paraphernalia. Because, at the darkest point in my life they were always there for me to help me. I remember clinging to my Hulk Hogan action figure begging for advice and asking it to keep me safe. At that time, I realized I wanted to be a professional wrestler so I could help other people when they were having a dark moment and just needed something spectacular to cling to.
Melissa: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Michaels: I will be working for either WWE or TNA in 10 years.
Melissa: What words of advice do you have for our WrestleZone viewers who want to make wrestling their career of choice?
Michaels: If this is truly what you want to do, go to school and get an education. Make sure you go to a reputable trainer. Do not get into a scam. Check references because a scam business won't get you into the business. You need a reputable school to do that. This business is like any other business. You have to be properly trained to do well and get ahead. Always follow you're dreams and don't let the downs keep you there, push past them, you'll be better off in the long rung because of them.
Melissa: Well Deven, we greatly appreciate you being here with us today. And we wish you the best in your future endeavors!
Michaels: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure being here and chatting with you today. Since I've got this space to give my opinions, I'd like to take a moment to thank the fans. If it weren't for the fans we wouldn't be able to do what we do. At the end of the day it's the fans that make us who we are. Thanks to you, Melissa, for asking me to do this interview. If you're a fan or a promoter and wish to contact me go to www. thesnakemandevenmichaels. com I enjoy hearing from the fans and answer all of the fan mail personally.
Deven also added that he invites his fans to check out his MySpace at: www.myspace.com/thesnakemandevenmichaels