Any wrestling fan with a love for the history of the business would think that the legendary Von Erich name would harbor a great deal of weight on the shoulders of Marshall and Ross Von Erich as the brothers continue forth in their squared circle careers, but key factors in their lives wash that pressure all away.
The current MLW World Tag Team Champions took a generous amount of time to speak with WrestleZone’s Dominic DeAngelo about their career trajectory so far and how they’ve become closer as brothers and also made certain to enjoy every moment that life gives them.
MLW CEO Court Bauer has erred on the side of caution and has put a temporary hold on all live events for the company until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, but the brothers have found a way to scratch that squared circle itch.
“We’re huge Japanese Wrestling fans,” said Marshall.
“Anything with [Mitsuharu] Misawa, [Kenta] Kobashi, Kawada [Toshiaki], you know it’s going to be a classic,” added Ross.
“Yeah it’s going to be a classic, it’s going to be brutal, it’s gonna be nuts. Guys complain about bumps and bruises and I’m guilty of it too but you see guys like Misawa and he’s wrestling with like a broken neck and your body only has so many bumps in it,” Marshall said, who took more than just ring work away from such a tragedy of Misawa’s passing in the ring
“Just to see a move he’s taken like a thousand times and to be his last, one thing we always try to [do] is never take a day for granted but stay in the moment and tomorrow is not guaranteed. We definitely learned that from our family history so we try to make the most of our moment and most of being with each other, being with the family.
“A lot of people didn’t like the quarantine, kinda felt like stir crazy, but it is a cool way to just, it kind of put a pause on everything, a pause on life even. I got to re-watch my nieces and nephews grow up. I’ve got to spend more time with them. I got to know my nieces and nephews better and my son, I’ve got to be home and be with him so that’s part been really really special. It’s hard not get our and nephews into wrestling. That’s all we’re watching. We’re watching Japanese wrestling, everything MLW has and so we’ve got a whole bunch of wrestling fans living over here…”
The Von Erichs signed with MLW back in May of 2019, but before that, they spent time training in Japan and working in countries like the United Kingdom and Israel. They sure learned plenty of their in-ring acumen across the seas, but they also learned how to just be themselves when it came to having a presence in the ring.
“I think it all began in Japan,” said Ross. “Any pride that we had was beat out of us. Just from all the hard training and sparring, it’s so just insane over there. I felt like that it really helped us build our foundation and believing it, you really can, it becomes more easy to project the kind of way we are.”
“You can’t really fake what they’ve seen our family go through,” said Marshall, who said being able to wrestle for MLW in the greater Dallas area and then major cities across the United States really helped loosen them up as well. “They’ve seen our family go through triumphs and tragedies. They’ve watched us grow up and stuff. The Texas crowd, there’s nothing like Texas, but we were expecting Texas to be kind of it for us and then to go to Chicago, win the belts in Chicago. That was just like a turning point for us, like, ‘Whoa, this can happen anywhere.'”
“To go there and have successes you know, and something we can build off, it just really lights a fire under our belt and we just really want to continue to do,” he said. Even the little things that Court would do, helped drive the brothers to work their hardest as the two made note of the time they won the Tag Titles back in Chicago.
“He had us, beginning of the show, sit out in the front and greet every fan as they came in and that’s something we usually do in Texas,” said Marshall. “We weren’t sure people would really even know us, but to see just the out pour of support and stuff was really, really encouraging and it just made us want to do our best when we got out there.”
“It’s almost like you don’t want to let them down,” Ross said. “It’s just like they believe in you and you got a chance to talk to these people and put a face behind the voices and stuff and it’s just an awesome experience for us.”
As for the development and growth of Major League Wrestling, it all starts with “the captain” steering the ship as Marshall stated.
“MLW never sleeps because Court Bauer never sleeps. He’s always on the ball. He’s trying to make MLW bigger and greater than it already is. We couldn’t imagine working for a better boss.”
“Everybody in the back, they all want MLW to succeed and everybody has the same motives. In a weird way, it’s really beautiful to see too, to see all these men with the same goals and the same outlook. It is a team effort and if you go out there and you don’t try your hardest or pour yourself into it, you’re kind of screwing, not just screwing over all the fans, but you’re screwing over the guys that went before you, the guys that are after you. We always want to make it every match it gets better and better and better. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to outdo each other. It’s good competition I think and it all starts with Court Bauer. He’ll come in before the show and give us a pump speech and get us all like ready to run through a brick wall.”
Obviously someone else who Marshall and Ross have taken a lot of their wisdom from is their legendary father.
“My dad, he’s been such a blessing to us in so many aspects,” said Marshall. “He’s a great father but he’s a great trainer. He’s just overwhelmingly supportive. When we told him that, ‘Yeah, dad. This is what we want to do. We want to be wrestlers. This is the door that God is opening in our lives.”
“There’s a lot of things that he says over and over again that don’t register until you’re in the situation and you’re like, ‘Oh, shoot this what my dad was talking about…We’ve had matches in Japan where we felt like we tried our hardest and did our best and you get in the back and the trainer, ‘Bad match. Not good,” but this in itself became a moment where Kevin Von Erich gave them veteran advice.
“My dad was like ‘No, listen to your trainers. These guys know more than you. They’ve worked longer. Japanese wrestlers are pros.’ That whole Japan time was just such a learning experience and growing as brothers, growing as men and not having our phones so we couldn’t really call home….”
Marshall and Ross certainly felt at a cross roads during their 90-day stay in Japan, but got a sign when they happened to see their father and late Uncle David’s names etched in the stone on top of the building they wrestled in Japan. That’s when the two knew that pro wrestling was indeed their calling. From there, the brothers carried on their path and found that faith is what helps to alleviate any worries that they have inside or out of the ring.
“That’s the number one question you get the most, ‘Do you feel pressure from your uncles, and your dad, your grandfather?’ All these great wrestlers that are larger than life, that are Hall of Famers. The only way that I cannot feel pressure is knowing that this is ordained by God and God has brought this to me. I didn’t force anything to make this happen. Anything that I made happen has crumbled in my face and so it’s kind of taught me and Ross this that we want God’s will in our life, we want what He wants for us because ultimately He knows our worries, He knows our concerns and someone that doesn’t know our family history we’re obviously people that are hard on ourselves. We can think too much about things and over critiquers and my uncles let that get the better of them and it caused them to take their lives and so my dad said, ‘If you’re going to learn anything from our lives, from our paths is to take something from it,’ and that’s one thing that Ross and I use as our anchors is God. This isn’t as good as life gets. We’re going somewhere after this, that’s where our hope is.”
Plenty more transcriptions to come from this exclusive interview, but you can listen to the entire conversation below. It includes Ross & Marshall talking for the first time about stopping a violent situation from going down between two gang members in San Antonio. In addition to that, the two share some details on some brotherly scuffles.
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