“The Nickelodeon Narcissist”
The MCW Infinity Champion talks about breaking into wrestling, the inspirations for his gimmick, Space Jam, LeBron James, Fuller House, and much more…
How were you first introduced to professional wrestling?
I’m an only child. Growing up, I never really made friends, so I sorta had to rely on my imagination. Professional wrestling hooked me in with all the loud and colorful characters. Going to pro wrestling/local wrestling shows was something my father and I did together when I was young. My father recently got to watch me wrestle WWE Superstar, Rhyno, which was pretty cool.
When did you decide it was something you wanted to pursue?
I’ve been around the local scene since I was a little kid. Around 2011-12, it was something I really wanted to take up, so I found a reputable training school and started this crazy journey.
Who trained you? What was the process like?
I initially started my professional wrestling journey at Mega Wrestling’s pro wrestling school in Elyria. It’s a great school, which is still running strong. I love (Mega promoter) Jeff Traxler. If it wasn’t for him I honestly wouldn’t have ever been given the opportunity to step foot inside a wrestling ring.
As for training: Rickey Shane Page (former AIW Absolute Champion) trained me. Such a good trainer. I’ve had a lot of setbacks, but Rickey stood there and helped me overcome each and every one of them. I love Rickey. He is another person who I cannot thank enough for teaching me the art of pro wrestling. Training is tough, but–if you love it enough and give it your all–you can succeed.
I was in attendance for your professional debut at a Mega Championship Wrestling event. What was your first time in the ring like?
Stepping into the ring for the first time is…indescribable. I was terrified. I went from wrestling at a school in a YMCA in Elyria to standing behind a curtain at Lorain County Community College with a bunch of fans sitting there waiting to be entertained.
I have never been as nervous as I was at that moment. I remember standing there waiting to go out to the ring, my mouth dry and my lips chapped. Stomach full of butterflies. It was too late to drink water so I went out there and did my thing.
As I leaped on the middle rope to vault off and flip back, I felt the rope give, and I crashed to the canvas.
I laid there heartbroken, having absolutely no clue what to do.
After making sure that I didn’t break my neck, I looked around and saw most of the audience in awe, so I got up. Before I could do anything, Sodapop Johnson (AIW Superstar Jerry) scooped me up and ended the match with a piledriver.
So, to say the least, my first match was really hectic.
Describe your in-ring persona.
The “Nickelodeon Narcissist” is simply the love child of Mike O’Malley (1990s Nickelodeon Guts host) and Marc Summers (1990s Nickelodeon Double Dare host). Loud, obnoxious, and–on a good night–I may hit some cool moves. I’m not breaking ring ropes anymore.
You have been in the business for a couple years, how is it different than you expected it to be?
Coming into the business, I was really timid. I learned real fast from people like Rickey Shane Page that a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. So I started the grind of networking and developing an image. I am very active on social media and am a believer of self-promotion.
I love wrestling. I always find the fun in wrestling. If it stops being fun there is no time to be bitter or negative. That gets you nowhere. Like I said, I owe wrestling a lot. I’ve met the greatest–and maybe not the greatest–people through wrestling. If it wasn’t for wrestling I’d have never met my best friend (and tag team partner), Kriss Stark. And other close friends like Eric Ryan, Jeremy G., and Tom Dunn. I talk to these people almost every day. I couldn’t imagine not having them in my life. I love wrestling for that.
You have shot some rad promos. How are they produced?
“RAD.” Love the 90s lingo. And THANKS. I love feedback on stuff I do. This is where I would insert a “thumbs up” emoji if I could.
Moving on to the question, I want to be different. I’ve always wanted to look different, act different, and most importantly stay true to myself.
The best advice I ever received was from Eric Ryan.
“Just do you. Don’t worry what so and so is doing.”
Filming promos are my absolute favorite thing. Behind every “Derek Direction” promo there should be an “Executive Producer: Jeremy Garofolo” credit. Lately, we’ve pulled out the old Betamax for the “Nickelodeon Narcissist” promos. A lot of people have given me good feedback on the look and feel of them.
Who is someone on the independent wrestling circuit who you feel will soon be on the Industry’s radar?
Referee Tom Dunn. One word “DUNN-DERTAKER.” LOL. Just kidding. (I love you, Tom Dunn.)
Honestly, though, Kenny Omega. He is my favorite wrestler right now.
It’s no secret that you are obsessed with 90s culture. How do you feel about the rumored sequel to Space Jam?
SPACE JAM IS MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE MOVIE! I’ve watched this movie so many times. I own multiple copies on DVD and VHS. I just recently went and watched it live on the big screen at the Cedar Lee Theatre with my girlfriend and MOW/ARW ring announcer, Cody White.
I love this question. I’ve often pondered it. I am all in for a sequel. I think it would be good and would obviously make a lot of money.
Who would I cast? Obviously, the Looney Tunes characters are in. However, I would want the lead “HEEL” of the movie to be…LeBron James. LBJ is HILARIOUS. Don’t believe me? Watch the movie, Trainwreck.
Here is my idea, though. Like, somehow LBJ is taken over by some sort of alien power, and various NBA stars also have their powers stolen just like the original.
In the role of lead “FACE” would be the returning Michael Jordan. Then in the finale, there would be a face off between Jordan and James.
Let’s talk Kazaam. In it, Shaquille O’Neal plays a genie. What are the chances that this is the greatest film of all-time?
Follow up: Shaq v. Nicholas Cage. Is Shaq a better actor, or does Cage have a sweeter free throw?
I hate Nicholas Cage…HATE HIM. So, being an avid basketball fan watching all these NBA pre-shows, I know that Shaq knows what he is doing. He is so entertaining. I choose Shaq ALL DAY.
Critique Fuller House.
I hate that it’s now a fad and EVERYBODY is a Full House fan. Soon, everyone will jump back to the Walking Dead bandwagon or whatever is hip and trendy.
Originally, I wasn’t a fan. I watched Full House when I was in high school when it was on Nick at Nite, so I didn’t think Fuller House was going to be as appealing. However, I just finished watching the first season of it on NetFlix last night.
My critique: I hate the little tongue in cheek potshots taken at Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. DJ’s youngest son is annoying. WAYYY more annoying than Stephanie was on the original. I hate him. Other than that, it’s a decent show. (Side note: JESUS CHRIST…STEPHANIE TANNER’S BOOBS!!)
What wrestling promotions do you work for? How can fans contact you?
My home promotions are:
Mega Championship Wrestling in Elyria, OH. Their Twitter is @MegaWrestling. You can find them on Facebook at Facebook.com/MegaChampionshipWrestling. That’s my home. I’m currently the reigning and defending Infinity Champion. Last show I retained my title only to get slimed by the Mega faithful crowd.
Another promotion that I regularly wrestle for is Vicious Outcast Wrestling. Their Twitter handle is @VOWwrestling. They can be found on Facebook at Facebook.com/ViciousOutcastWrestling. I love wrestling there. Like the Mega audience, the VOW crowd throws toilet paper at me instead of streamers.
-Zep the Bear