Tell us a bit about yourself and how did you break into the wrestling business?
Rudy Charles: Well, first thing I want to do, is say thanks for having me. Its great to be able to tell the readers a little bit about myself. I grew up in Evansville, Indiana and have lived here most of my life. I grew up in a great home; my mom and dad were and are still very loving and supportive, and I have one brother who I am still very close to.
I got into the wrestling business by training with Mark Vance, a referee who worked for USWA some. I met him at one of the shows at the infamous Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Evansville (yes, the same one mentioned in Mick Foleys book!).
WrestleZone.com: Did your childhood have anything to do with wrestling? How did you get into it?
Rudy Charles: My brother and my dad and I used to wrestle around all the time. I never could pin my dad, but of course he had a 100 pound weight advantage on me. Id catch wrestling sometimes on TV, but I was never really into it too much. I finally started watching it more and more and keeping track of what was going on after seeing the 1992 Royal Rumble. I remember how exciting it was with Ric Flair winning it all and becoming the new WWF champion. I started catching USWA on TV about that time, too. I was hooked.
WrestleZone.com: Why did you choose to be a Referee and not a wrestler? Would you like to become a TNA superstar one day?
Rudy Charles: I started refereeing soccer when I was in the eighth grade. Refereeing is something that I love doing. I got into pro wrestling at 18, and I would see those who refereed but aspired eventually to become a wrestler. That’s okay, but that’s never been my goal. Being in the middle of all the action and the thrill of being a part of something like pro wrestling is why I love it.
WrestleZone.com: What has been your toughest match you have had to referee so far in your wrestling career?
Rudy Charles: That depends what you mean. Endurance wise, it would have to be the Chris Hero vs. C.M. Punk match that went some 92 minutes. That is unreal in wrestling today! I knew it had the potential to go a long time with it being 2 out of 3 falls, and it was a major challenge for me.
My toughest match nerve wise was probably Jeff Jarrett vs. Raven for the NWA title back at the Asylum in 2003. There was so much hype surrounding that match, and I was still fairly new working with those guys. It was fun but challenging to be out there with them.
WrestleZone.com: What do you think about TNA moving to Thursday nights on Spike TV? Possible competition for WWE?
Rudy Charles: I think the move to Thursdays has been nothing but positive. We are not even with WWE yet, but were getting closer and closer and more wrestling fans are finding out about us!
WrestleZone.com: If WWE offered you a contract?
Rudy Charles: I love TNA and have become good friends with a lot of the guys here. They’ve been very good to me here and have enabled me to make a living doing something I love for the past four years. TNA is my home!
WrestleZone.com: What are you thoughts of the TNA & WWE referees?
Rudy Charles: Both TNA and WWE are blessed to have some very good referees. Working with the best wrestlers in the world can only make you get better, as well. I have become good friends with both Andrew Thomas and Slick Johnson, although I’m not sure what Slicks deal has been as of late. I’m happy to see Mike Posey doing well. He had refereed with TNA for a while and is now working with Deep South Wrestling and even appeared on SmackDown recently.
WrestleZone.com: Are there any funny or scary road trip moment in your wrestling career which you could tell us?
Rudy Charles: Several funny stories come to mind, but none that I could tell without getting somebody into trouble. 🙂 I remember a scary incident from back in 2004. Back when we had Wednesday night PPVs in Nashville and TV the next day in Orlando, several of us took a charter flight to Florida. It was hurricane season and the weather was very bad. The plane started shaking around pretty good. At one point, we dropped about three hundred feet and heard a bang. I didn’t know what it was, but it was the luggage underneath slamming against the roof below. It was quite a flight and we were all glad to be back on the ground when it was over!
WrestleZone.com: What is the atmosphere backstage in the TNA locker room?
Rudy Charles: It really is great. Everybody works hard; they want this company to succeed. The guys play around and have a good time, but when the lights go on, they get down to business and go out to the ring and kick some rear-end!
WrestleZone.com: Who would you say the greatest wrestler in the industry at the moment is?
Rudy Charles: That’s very hard to say. Jesus Mysterioso, perhaps?
WrestleZone.com: What stars do you think will help the company more, any big heavyweight names or light division?
Rudy Charles: I think its been proven that the more recognizable heavyweight names attract people to TNA initially, but then our X Division guys keep them coming back. Its good to have both.
WrestleZone.com: If you could ref a WWE vs. TNA match, what superstars would be involved, what type of match and what stipulations if any?
Rudy Charles: Good question. There are a lot of extremely good matches that could be made, but I would say A.J. Styles vs. Kurt Angle or Chris Benoit in a one-hour ironman match. Or perhaps Abyss vs. Undertaker? Tough to say!
WrestleZone.com: What next big name do you most likely see come to TNA next?
Rudy Charles: Who knows? I never expected Christian Cage to come to TNA. You just never know!
WrestleZone.com: When was the last time you watched the WWE, what do you think of their shows?
Rudy Charles: Last time was last weeks Raw. I enjoy their shows for the most part. World Wrestling Entertainment focuses more on the entertainment, which I do like, whereas TNA Wrestling focuses more on the wrestling, which I like, too!
WrestleZone.com: Are you currently accepting Indy bookings? If you are how can we contact you?
Rudy Charles: Yes, I am accepting bookings. I can be contacted through my website (http://www.rudytheref.com) or on my MySpace site (http://www.myspace.com/rudytheref). I’m also helping to promote some shows for IWP Pro Wrestling here in Evansville, Ind. Our next show will be on June 22 at the CK Newsome Community Center. If the fans would like some more information, they can go to http://www.IWPwrestling.com.
WrestleZone.com: I would like to thank you very much once again for taking this time to take part in this interview, I wish you the best of luck in the future and do you have any messages to say to your fans?
Rudy Charles: Thank you guys for giving me this opportunity. The message I would like to give to fans is that if you’re passionate about doing something, do it! There is a lot of people out there who are just going through the motions, wishing they were doing something else with their lives. Follow your dreams and don’t live with any regrets. I’ve been lucky to get where I am, but I’ve also worked very hard to get here, too! God bless!