Monster Factory is giving fans a look at the work it takes to become a pro wrestling star, and the challenges performers face along the way.
The World Famous Monster Factory is a wrestling school based in Paulsboro, New Jersey. The school, first opened in 1983 by Larry Sharpe, boasts famous alumni like Bam Bam Bigelow and Sheamus. Danny Cage took the school over from Sharpe and has since helped talents like Damian Priest and Matt Riddle make it to WWE. Now, Gabriella ‘Gabby Ortiz’ Belpre, Lucas ‘Twitch’ Disangro and David ‘Goldy’ Goldschmidt are some of the current students featured on the show that are working to make their pro wrestling dreams come true.
WrestleZone spoke with the cast of Monster Factory ahead of its March 17 premiere on Apple TV+ about the development of the series and what fans can expect to see.
Danny Cage: “This has been going on for like six years now. This was been going on before there was an Apple TV+. We’ve been working with this group of guys and girls from Public Record and Vox Media and working on this and got the deal done. It got the green light July 31st of last year and that was the deal. We couldn’t say anything until last week. So yeah, it was tough, man. It was tough keeping my mouth shut for so long. I rarely do that.”
Twitch: “In my case, there were moments where I kind of had to try and get people to come to the shows, and I was nudging them a little bit more than I usually would. It ebbed and flowed. There were certain moments where I had to be really good at keeping my mouth shut. And then there were other moments where it was fairly easy to not let anything slip.”
Goldy: “Yeah, in wrestling, there’s a lot of times where you have nothing going on and you wish you did and you wish you could tell everyone all this cool stuff you have. In this case, we couldn’t, so it was hard.”
Gabby Ortiz: “I always have weird projects going on, so I would tell people that I was working on something and nobody was shocked about it or cared at all. So, it was easy to kind of just be like, ‘Yeah, I’m filming some stuff, and then if they asked or were a little bit more interested, I’d be as vague as possible about it. But it sucked, not being able to really divulge what was truly going on.”
Chasing Your Dreams
Lucas ‘Twitch’ Disangro’s wrestling persona pulls from him having Tourette Syndrome in real life. In the past, some wrestling characters used this (or a stutter) strictly as a gimmick. As seen in the show, Disangro said he was initially reluctant to use ‘Twitch’ for his ring name. Now, he says he hopes people watch Monster Factory and see that he’s not letting this get in the way of his pro wrestling dreams.
Twitch: “The interesting thing is that I haven’t gotten a lot of people asking me if it’s a gimmick. The way my character is portrayed in the ring is just, it’s me, and my Tourette’s isn’t — I think the difference between those gimmicks you brought up before was it was kind of manufactured. You had to force the stuttering and the movements and the twitching and such. And for me, this is how I go about my everyday life. Sometimes it’s intense, sometimes it isn’t. Honestly, I barely tick when I’m in the ring, which I feel like can be a bit of a problem, but I think it’s just because I’m so focused and I’m doing something that I love. For me, I guess the one thing I would want people to know about what I go through with my everyday life is, for the most part, it’s fairly normal. I just make horse noises a lot of the time when I’m when I’m doing that. But also, what I want people to know is that, if you struggle with this, this disorder, you can still go after something that you want to go after. You can still pursue your dream. It’s not a deterrent.”
Gabby Ortiz has had television exposure with companies like Ring Of Honor and All Elite Wrestling before. She now hopes Monster Factory can show a non-wrestling audience exactly how much work goes into being a pro wrestler.
Gabby: “Normally when you talk to someone and you say, ‘I’m a professional wrestler and stuff,’ [people say], ‘oh, the fake stuff?’ That’s what they’ll go and say to you and you’re just like, ‘oh, you know…’ and then you got to get into the whole thing. I hope that this kind of eliminates that part of the conversation and shows that like, ‘okay, yeah, it is predetermined, it is what it is. But it is still real.’ These are real people with struggles and stories and that a lot of work goes into it. I hope that it opens me up to a whole new audience and opens us all up to a whole new audience and gets people watching professional wrestling that may have never watched it before.”
The Genuine Article
Trailers only give perspective viewers a brief glimpse at a show, and such is the case for Monster Factory. Asked what he hopes fans will learn about his students, Cage shared his thoughts on each and said his goal was to make sure their show was a genuine effort.
Danny: “How much Goldy has helped me and become my right hand. How much I love Twitch, but I tease the shit out of him and how much that Gabby is usually my rock. She’s the one I can cry to and tell her things.”
Twitch: “I think they get you teasing me quite a bit in the trailer. I think they’re going to pick that up.”
Goldy: “The trailer, great. Amazing trailer. Awesome, but it doesn’t do it justice for what really happens in the show. There’s stuff — I didn’t know Gabby’s story. I didn’t know the extent of Twitch’s story. I don’t think many people know my story. I’m a very closed person. So, being able to see the inside of these people’s real lives in an industry that’s so fake, being able to see the real side of everything is amazing.”
Danny: “Yeah, it’s refreshing. I’m so glad that they did that because that’s what I wanted. And I told them before I was like, if this is going to be some — no offense to all the other kind of shows out there — but I didn’t want this to be like the Pawn Stars or any of that stuff. I didn’t want it to be Storage Wars and sh*t like that. I wanted it to be a real show.”
All episodes of Monster Factory are available now on Apple TV+. Watch our full video interview with Danny Cage, Gabby Ortiz, Lucas ‘Twitch’ Disangro and David ‘Goldy’ Goldschmidt below: