[Brimstome Interview #2]
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Interview With Brimstone
April 2007, Questions by Mike B.
Brimstone and Thank You for answering some questions for us.
When did you first
become interested in wrestling?
interested in wrestling since I was very young. I was never really involved in
regular sports growing up. I played a little basketball with PAL (Policeman’s
Athletic League), and deck hockey on a couple of teams; but for the most part, I
never watched other sports. My father was a professional golfer for a short
period of time, but I rarely ever got to go on the course. I was so
uninterested in watching anything sports related, but began watching wrestling
on a regular basis after attending private school, where I met a small group of
avid WWF fans. After watching for the first time I was hooked. The allure was
phenomenal, and I used to pretend I was a superstar while we would have our
little matches in the living room of the unfortunate home we were watching in!
Wrestling stuck with me over the years, even though I originally went with my
other love of music before getting into the business.
How did you become a professional wrestler?
With a lot of
hard work, dedication, and heart. It is not easy taking this path, even though
people like to pretend it is. I hate the stigma that wrestling is “fake.” It
had always been a dream of mine to be like The Undertaker, or Shawn Michaels
when I was younger, so it was a no-brainer for me to take the leap. In 1996, I
heard about a pro wrestling school opening up in Queens via a wrestling
discussed the idea of training with a close friend of mine Chris Hostile, and we
headed down there to “try out.” When we got there, the Doghouse (as it was
named) was full of hopeful wrestlers.
behind a desk checking in these potential students were Bobby Lombardi, and
Laithon (The Tower of Torture). “So you THINK you can be a wrestler, huh?”
Bobby said with a sneer as he shook our hands. We paid our cash dues and when
we arrived a few weeks later, most of the guys who had come down to the initial
meeting did not even show up. At that point I began learning that the drop out
rate in wrestling is higher than most other sports.
roster of students, who are very well known nowadays, consisted of wrestlers
like Grim Reefer, Mike Kruel, Justin Cage, El Diabolico, Lord Clarence
MacDougal, Maniac Mike Mayhem, Papadon, Major Intensity, Havok (fresh from the
Wild Samoans), G.I. Joe, Deacon Riot, Psycho Tony, Fat Boy Rob, and many
others. Our trainers were some of the best workers on the Independent scene at
the time, and some of them are currently big names in the business consisting of
Homicide, Low Ki, Laithon, Low Life Louie, and Monsta Mack. As tough as it was,
I loved the Doghouse, and trust me, it was tough. We learned raw… we were
learning our bumps on a concrete slab like men before we had the honor of
setting foot into the ring, push-ups with cinder blocks on our backs, cardio
that would make you either puke or break down and cry! This was seriously the
school of hard knocks, and I was a proud member.
at the Doghouse where I met my trainer and mentor, ‘The Original’ Gino Carusso
(Unified Wrestling Federation). Gino had worked in WCW, and every other
federation known to man! I loved him then, and I love him to this day. We also
had guests come down on a regular basis who took the training reigns like Magic,
Sir Christopher Michaels (aka: Da’ Bum), Crazy Clown and Dances With Dudley’s to
name a few.
Who did you fight in
your first professional match? Did you win and what was it like the first
time stepping into a professional ring?
I wrestled my first
professional match against my manager Chavez Raoul at the ECW-made-famous, Elk’s
Lodge. It was a tag match where we both had other partners that were thrown in
last minute. Prior to the match I had the usual butterflies in my stomach with
the anticipation. It was a big deal because not only was it my first pro match,
but it was at the Elk’s Lodge! Hostile, and Mayhem came out to the ring with me
that night, and we had a little surprise ending planned! We worked the whole
match flawlessly, and the end was a major league melee! Chavez and I turned on
our partners and united to show the formation of Critical Mass in a professional
setting (although we had ran with the Critical Mass angle throughout all our
student shows as well). It was great, and the crowd ate it up! The fans that
followed the student shows knew who we were already, but it didn’t matter at
all. Everyone had a blast watching us do our thing.
How did the Brimstone
character come about – or is that just you?
I am actually the
complete opposite of the Brimstone character (unless I am in a really bad mood,
or I’m rubbed the wrong way). The Brimstone gimmick has seriously grown in
leaps and bounds over the years evolving into who the character is now (if I
knew then what I know now, huh!). When I initially started training, I had
ideas of who I wanted to be. I really was unsure though what would work for me,
and what would not work. I fell into the trap that every newcomer falls into,
and I started thinking intently about my gimmick. Fortunately it did not
interfere with my training as much as I have seen it affect other guys’
performances. I think at first I thought about only a name. I wanted a cool
name that was memorable, and marketable. I really honest to G-d have no idea
where I actually got the idea for the name; I just loved it knowing I could use
the name as a stepping-stone for a demonic character. The rest of it just grew
from there. I believe
my gimmick came to a head when I allowed my persona to actually become a focal
point of a match. My interviews became gritty and raw, allowing Brimstone to be
seen as a caged animal waiting to be unleashed. I feel my gimmick has evolved
throughout the years in monumental ways to create the dark character I now
You are an original
member of the Critical Mass – how did the idea come about?
The Critical Mass
faction idea came about while commuting from Long Island to Queens for
training. Chris Hostile and I were already set on working as a tag team. We
had become very close with Mayhem, and at the same time another friend of ours
Chavez Raoul began attending classes as well. The four of us clicked very well
together, and we thought we would look great as a clique. At the time, WWF was
running with the DX and Nation of Domination angles, and WCW with the New World
Order and such. Stables became very popular and were normally a success. Hell,
even the Ministry of Darkness was over with the crowd! Another thing that we
felt was intriguing about ourselves was that all our characters were different
in appearance and culture. All four of us agreed that we could do a lot
together, so we presented it to Bobby Lombardi (LIWF Founder). Bobby liked the
idea, and gave his blessings. We needed a name that would be appropriate,
memorable, and marketable. Hostile, Chavez, and I were on our way back from
training one night when it came to us. Honestly it is a toss up of which one of
us actually came up with the name, so let’s call it a combined effort.
times throughout Critical Mass history, we were forced to work against each
other. The most popular was an angle used by Bobby Lombardi in order to turn
Hostile, and Mayhem against me. Wrestling World Wide loved the idea, so George
Espada ran with it pitting me against Mayhem in one-on-one matches. My two most
memorable feuds were against my two closest friends! No one knew each other
better in the ring than the four of us, and it led to some amazing matches.
This became known as the “Dysfunctional Family” era of Critical Mass. Chavez
was eventually able to reunite the full team.
the years there have been a few additions to the Critical Mass clique- somewhat
of a “revolving door”. Hostile and I recruited Rexx Rockwell for a brief stint
with Critical Mass in the LIWF. Another time (in the absence of Hostile and
Chavez), Mayhem and I recruited temporary members Storm Sasake (Larry McKenny),
and Curse in NYWC. Towards the end of my days with the NYWC, the last official
member initiated into the group was our former student Tyler Payne. None of the
additions ever stuck, or were able to fill the void of our original members.
Mayhem and I are currently planning to re-unite. I think I gave you a little
more than you asked for!
What is your favorite
move? Did you create it, and if so what was your inspiration?
My favorite move is
XiBalba (The Entrance to Hell). I created the move years ago because I felt
that my original finisher, a Bezerker Bomb, was too boring to be my finishing
move. I still use the Bezerker, but during the match as opposed to completing
the match. I’m not typically a high flyer although I do hit a top rope elbow
from time to time. However I always seem to be surrounded by them! I felt I
needed to do something impressive to compete with moonsaults, and triple
corkscrew whatever’s! I wanted to show power, intimidation, and athleticism. I
worked on XiBalba creating many variations, and eventually came up with the
final version where I seat my opponent up in the corner on the top turnbuckle,
grab their wrists, twist my body (so my back is towards them and their arms
become crossed), then I throw the opponent over my body (into a monkey flip)
while I sit out into a pin. I have noticed that other workers started using my
move, and different variations as well. But I still did it first, and I do it
What is the biggest
mistake rookie wrestlers make and what should they do to correct it?
In the beginning,
one thing that everyone who is green falls into, is wanting a gimmick right
away. They all want to be somebody, and you really can’t blame them. They
should really take the time in and out of the ring concentrating on training,
not the glitz and glam. The gimmick, and matches will all come in time. I am
currently working with Pro Wrestling Revolution as an assistant trainer
alongside head trainers Demolition Blast, Bobby Riedel, and former student
Johnny Ova. I’ve been helping to watch over a new class of up-and-comers, and I
have seen the same stuff that I’ve seen a million times! Rather than perfecting
a punch, kick, or even a side headlock, some newbies are more concerned with
their gimmicks and what they are going to do at the next show! People,
wrestling is a lot more than just getting a pop on gimmick alone! Concentrate
on the little things, the special nuances that will make you a well-rounded
worker. I’m not saying that everyone is like that, but a good portion is… I
suppose it is just the nature of the beast.
thing rookies do is work too fast. Slow down! Make each piece of the puzzle
count! They also try to imitate their favorite workers in the ring, which will
normally piss off the trainers and in some cases reap some harsh punishment.
This is easy to fix though. Don’t get in the ring and start making DX chops to
your crotch! I really don’t think I need to elaborate.
Sometime around 2002,
you disappeared from the wrestling spotlight – what happened?
I dipped into the
shadows for a bit because I had a lot of things going on in my personal life,
but in actuality I never really left. Building the business that was/is CMPW &
NYWC took a major toll on me. I spent too much time with my wrestling family as
opposed to my real family. My career at the time was in the middle of a huge
upswing (where there was a lot of jealousy), and my personal life was on a
downward spiral… I had separated from my now ex-wife, and needed to take a step
back to concentrate on getting myself straightened out. My business partners
knew about this, but one of them took the opportunity to black ball me as much
as possible during my short-term absence. There were issues between this person
(that I had brought into the company) and myself. These differences finally
came to a head, and in 2002 I took a step back from all the hard work I had done
to focus on myself. I spent the time constructively, most of the time
continuing to promote everything Brimstone behind the scenes. As for CMPW/NYWC,
the same person to this day tries to “change history” and act as though I never
existed, when in theory they exist solely because of me. I believe in karma,
and I know everything always comes full circle. I’ve moved onto bigger,
brighter pastures- now working with PWR, “The Borderhounds”, and as always,
What match do you remember most and why?
If I had to pick my
one of my most memorable matches, I would have to say Critical Mass (Brimstone &
Mayhem) vs. The Bad Boys (Rocky Shore & T-N-T) for Real Deal Wrestling. I wish
I had a copy of that tape! It was very early in our career, and we worked
against those two a lot. They would normally win, considering they were the
ones getting us booked (Rocky owned a ring and wound up working everywhere he
rented it- I paid some of my dues helping them put up and break down the ring in
my early years). Now not only did we work against them all the time, but they
were known for always working hardcore matches! Sometimes we would get stuck
working three hardcore matches on three shows in two days putting up, and
breaking down the ring for every one. Most people, even most workers, do not
know what a toll it takes on your body to repeatedly go through tables and get
hit with chairs or kendo sticks day-in-and-day-out. Well, this particular night
it had been decided that WE would be going over! Mayhem and I literally looked
at each other with the hugest smiles on our faces, LOL… it was a long time
coming! Mayhem and I proceeded to find anything that was not attached and
prepare it for the match. I am not lying when I tell you we even grabbed a
kitchen sink! The Bad Boys entered first, and as they walked out to the ring we
bum rushed them! We didn’t warn them at all, we wanted the reaction… Hahaha,
we hit the two of them with everything and anything that we could. It was
divine. Payback! Hahaha, revenge is a dish best served cold! I loved these
guys, do not get me wrong; but putting them through those tables was one of the
greatest feelings I ever felt! We won the match with a double pin, and the
crowd ate it up! Yeah, to this day I have tried to get a hold of that match,
but with no success! I’m sure it will surface one day when least expected!
You have a new comic
book based on the Brimstone character – what can you tell me about it, and
why should I buy it?
Borderhounds comic is currently in the works! I am extremely excited about it
because I have always had a love for comics, and one of my career goals was to
be portrayed in comic book form. The book actually has nothing to do with
wrestling, except it is based on the actual “history” of the Brimstone character
and Critical Mass. My long time friend Marcello Carnevali (Lord Clarence
MacDougal) and I came up with the storyline, which is unlike anything you have
ever read. We recruited our teammates Penciler Sajad J. Shah, the most talented
artist in the world and our inker Allen “Vandal” Chickering who is utterly
amazing! I can’t wait for it to finally be completed. Honestly, I can say that
everyone who has had a sneak preview of The Borderhounds is begging for more. I
suppose that’s a good sign? Feel free to check out
www.theBORDERHOUNDS.com for more information.
Who is your favorite old
school wrestler and why?
hands down. He has been around forever and has never skipped a beat. I do not
think anyone in the business gets as much respect as he does… his presence
literally commands it. He has also tied the old school and the new school
together seamlessly. He is just as popular now as he was back in the day. I
consider it a major honor that I am compared to him on many occasions.
If you were stranded on
an island and could pick any three people living or dead to be stranded with
– who would you pick and why?
This is an easy
question, my Fiancé, and my two children. They are quite simply, my life.
What does the future
hold in store for Brimstone?
Right now I am
taking things one day at a time, although I seem to be in demand. I’m enjoying
myself being back in the public eye, and I am looking forward to seeing what new
opportunities will arise. As for the future, I don’t know what it holds, but I
can’t wait to see the story unfold in front of my eyes! So far, I have no