Sunday, July 25, 2010
Robby Phoenix - My Journey Part 1
My interest in pro wrestling started out as a fan. I loved wrestling. I couldnt get enough of wrestling, even though wrestling was on T.V. a lot back then (this was the mid 80s). Id watch the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) programming. Shows like, Wrestling Challenge, WWF Superstars, Saturday Nights Main Event, and Tuesday Night Titans. I would also watch the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) and their T.V. shows, like NWA World Wide, NWA World Championship Wrestling, and NWA Saturday Night Wrestling. Then of course there was the WCCW (World Class Championship Wrestling), and the AWA (American Wrestling Association) T.V. programs. So as you can see, for a big wrestling fan like myself, it was great to be a fan in the mid 80s.
At this point I was consumed by wrestling. Wrestling was all I thought about. I would sit in class and draw wrestlers. When I was in the third grade, I had to write a paper on what I wanted to be when I grow up. You can probably guess what I wrote about. At home, if I wasnt watching wrestling on T.V., I was watching it on videotapes (Again, this was the mid 80s. No DVDs). I also collected the wrestling action figures. I still do today (What a mark).
By the time I was twelve years old I knew that I really wanted to be a pro wrestler. From that point on I lived my life acting like a wrestler. I remember one time, my sister was just messing around with me, and she pushed me. Now she didnt push me that hard, but I sold it hard. I threw myself into the wall, and fell to the floor, all the time selling that she really hurt me. My younger brother and I would act out wrestling matches. A lot of times we wrestled each other, but there were some times that we actually teamed together. Now that was crazy, cause when we teamed together we had to pretend there were opponents across from us. In other words, we had to wrestle the air. We would copy all of our favorite tag teams. We would copy The Road Warriors, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, The Rock N Roll Express, and The Midnight Rockers.
Back then I had two goals in life.
1 was to play football.
2, was to be a pro wrestler.
I accomplished my first goal rather early in life. I started playing football at eight years old, and continued in the sport till I was eighteen years old. While I was playing football, I still watched a lot of wrestling. And of course, when Nintendo came out (Old school baby) I had whatever wrestling games they had for the system.
Back then I was a pretty good street fighter, and I admit that I really didnt know how to really wrestle, but I thought I did. So one day, as I was walking home from school with some friends, and for some reason some guys walked up to us, and one guy got in my face, and asked me where I was from. Now in most towns people would think that this guy was asking me my country of origin, but I grew up in East L.A., so I knew that wasnt what he was asking me. I told him that I dont gangbang, but that wasnt a good enough answer for him. He pulled out a mini baseball bat. You know the ones that they give out at Dodger Stadium. Anyway, this little cholo( ha ha) pulled out a mini bat, and tried to hit me with hit. I dodged the swing, and now its on. I backed up a bit to give myself room, and waited for his second attack. When he did, I gave him probably the worst looking arm drag that Ive ever done. After the ugly arm drag, the bat flew out of his hand, but he still charged after me, so I gave him a well, placed super kick. The super kick hit the little cholo right in the nose, and broke it, but just to make sure that this fight was over, I walked over and picked up the mini bat, and walked over to the guy, and applied the camal clutch. But I didnt apply your normal camal clutch no, I applied it with the mini bat under the guys chin. Basically I was choking the guy out with a combo of the camal clutch, while pulling on the mini bat that was on his throat. The little cholo finaly gave up. And I won the fight (And won my first hardcore match).
While in high school, I did dabble in high school, amateur wrestling. I tried out for my high schools wrestling team my sophomore year, but I didnt last long. I found out real quick that amateur wrestling, and professional wrestling were, two different monsters. A lot of the moves I saw on T.V. were actually illegal in amateur wrestling.
So I quit the team. But not before I learned how to take care of myself on the mat. What I learned in that small amount of time has helped me still today in my wrestling career.
When I graduated high school, I had no idea where, or how to get into pro wrestling. A couple of years went by, and then one day I was at home listening to a cable T.V. radio show, and the host plugged a wrestling school that was located in Sun Valley, California. The school was called Slam U (Slammers University). I wrote down the number, and called the next day. I told the person that answered the phone that I was really interested in becoming a professional wrestler. So they took down my name, address, and my phone number, and told me that they would get in touch with me. A couple of weeks later I got a package in the mail from Slam U, and the SWF (Slammers Wrestling Federation). After I read through everything, I came across an order form, with a note on top of the form saying that I was required to order, purchase, and watch some video tapes in order to get an appointment with the owner of Slam U, Verne Langdon. So I ordered, purchased, and watched the videotapes. It took a while but I finished watching the two videotapes, and when I was done, I called Slam U to set up an appointment, but there was one problem, no one would answer the phone.
I tried calling for a couple of weeks, and still no answer. So finally I gave up. I later found out that Slam U, and the SWF had closed down right around the same time I was trying to get into the school (1st road block). So there I was, wondering when, and if I would be a pro wrestler. Another couple of years would pass before another wrestling company would start up a wrestling school. That company was XPW (Xtreme Pro Wrestling).
The school was the Asylum. The asylums head trainer at the time was The Real Deal Damien Steele. But by the time I contacted the Asylum, there was a new head trainer. His name was Dynamite D. Now I had been to a few XPW shows before I contacted the Asylum. So I was real familiar with XPWs product, and characters. Out of all the characters, or wrestlers in XPW, including some wrestlers that were previously in ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling), there was four wrestlers that became my favorites. The first wrestler was a young dare devil, high flyer named Kid Kaos. The second wrestler was another athletic young guy named the Messiah. Now the third wrestler was a crazy, out of control, hardcore, human horror film named Supreme. The fourth wrestler was a real entertaining character, and a real good wrestler named Mr. 80s Dynamite D.
So now I contact the XPW office to start my training. The person I talked to was XPWs vice president Kevin Kleinrock. Kevin informed me that there would be an orientation a couple of weeks from our conversation. Kevin also informed me that I would be in the second Asylum class. There was an Asylum class that started when Damien Steele was the head trainer, so Dynamite D just took over that class. So now Im excited, Im finally going to start training to be a pro wrestler. Im going to live my childhood dream. The next week while I was at work, I was driving a stand up forklift. As I was passing by a big doorway, out came another guy on a forklift full speed, and crashed into me. The guy hit me so hard that I bounced out of my forklift and crushed my ankle (2nd road block). The day after my accident, I called Kevin Kleinrock, and told him what had happened, and also to cancel my orientation. Kevin was real cool about everything. He told me to give him a call when I was healed, and he also told me get well soon. Now heres a guy who number one, doesnt know me at all, and has a wrestling company with all kind s of wrestlers to worry about, but yet he still took the time to wish me well. I always thought that that was cool of Kevin.
While I was recovering, the then WWF was in town for Wrestlemania. Ten months of relaxation, and rehabilitation, and I was healed. The first thing I did after I went back to work was called Kevin Kleinrock. He told me that he was glad to hear that Im all healed up. We set up another orientation, but this time I would be in the third Asylum class. Now this is it, its now or never. I was going to be a professional wrestler dammit!!
Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!