Photo: Explosive Pro Wrestling
WPW: Before you made your EPW debut, you had been wrestling elsewhere since March 2006. Just over one year into your career you won the Heavyweight Championship, holding the title for 175 days before losing it to NC Viper. Can you tell us a bit about your title reign?GARRY: It was a good pat on the back at such an early stage of my career. I was the most marketable bad guy in the company at the time and was getting some great reactions with some entertaining bouts. A couple of title defences were a little disappointing during this time as I felt I didn’t step it up and I can base that purely on experience. I can also be my own worst enemy sometimes too (laughs).
The other interesting thing to note is that the match where I won the title, I had new tights made...that were a bit too loose. And at this time I also decided to wear a man-G underneath as I’ve been told it’s better for...um...stability for my…eh um...breathing downstairs. Anyways, during the match, my pants kept falling down and well...I guess you could say I made quite the "ass" of myself for so much of the match. In the end, I remember this title reign most for a great and funny match to win it and I felt I went out with a bang when I lost the title to Viper in a fun match.
WPW: During early 2008, you travelled to Canada along with Jarrad Slate to train at Lance Storm’s world famous Storm Wrestling Academy. What was the experience like training under a superstar like Storm?GARRY: Storm was such a great trainer. His programme was top class and very fair. At first the guy was quite intimidating but then he became more of a friendlier and helpful trainer. I learned so much about ring psychology and gained such a new level of confidence. Plus he tells Dad jokes...Dad jokes RULE!
WPW: How long did you stay in Canada and are there any (non-incriminating) stories you can tell?GARRY: I stayed in Canada for three months basically. As for stories, well...Carlo Cannon comes into play here as I was staying in the same house as him as well as a women’s wrestler called Tenille Tayla (who’s actually in WWE developmental...go girl).
I took my ice cream out of the fridge after a long day out checking out sights in Canada, went to the toilet, came out and found that my big tub of ice cream wasn't where I put it. I looked around the kitchen thinking I put it somewhere else but couldn't see it. Carlo and Tenille were watching me from the lounge room and asked "what the hell are you doing" and I explained that I could have sworn I brought out ice cream.Anyways I then go and check in the weirdest areas like the cupboard, under the seat and even in the oven. I was going out of my mind to the point where I started to question if I even bought ice cream? I then asked Slate in the other room if I had even bought any and he said I did whilst looking at me in a funny way. I then go back into the kitchen and proceeded to go downstairs and there it was. The ice cream was downstairs. I took it, asked Carlo and Tenille and was like "wait a minute...you...the ice cream...you guys!" They lost it laughing and admitted they were moving and hiding it the whole time. In wrestling we call that a rib, to me I call that a major blonde moment (laughs).
WPW: You made your first appearance for EPW in 2008, coming out with “Bruiser” Barry, but didn’t make your in ring debut until The Great Aussie Bash in January 2009. How long had you been training with EPW before then?GARRY: I started training November 2007 and then went to Canada for 3 months for more training from May to July in 2008. On the last week of training I actually broke my left radius bone when working with Mikey Broderick (completely my fault, by the way). So my in ring debut was delayed until I got the all clear at the start of January 2009, then it was all go from there.
WPW: At Re-Awakening 8 you received the Rookie of the Year award, as voted by the EPW fans. How did you feel being accepted by the fans, especially not being a fan favourite?GARRY: Winning Rookie of the year was a great honour. At the end of the day, the landscape of who to cheer and boo has changed. Fans these days can love the bad guy because they do some outlandish cool things or just respect their entertainment value. I like to think that many of the fans enjoyed what I did as an entertainer and as someone who brought a new flavour into EPW.
WPW: For a couple of months in 2010, Barry and yourself had a column called “Schmidt Advice” in the WPW newsletter, where WPW readers wrote in asking for advice. Did you enjoy doing that while it lasted?GARRY: Schmidt advice was certainly fun but was very brief. It’s hard to openly get fans to send questions in to ask two wrestlers that more than likely belittle you (laughs). I’d prefer it in a live audience sense and I think that dynamic would work as great entertainment value for the fans.
WPW: Do you have a preference between singles matches or teaming with Barry?GARRY: I honestly prefer singles wrestling based on the fact that it’s a direct one on one situation where I’m the prime focus (as well as my opponent). I have more confidence in this in terms of ring psychology also. But don't get me wrong, I like tag wrestling still and love what I have been doing with Bruiser Barry. We have developed better as a team and I feel a greater sense of confidence in the past 10 months as how we operate as a tag team.
WPW: At one of EPW’s biggest ever shows Road to Glory 2 you won the Rising Star Cup. Do you consider this as the biggest moment of your career in EPW so far?GARRY: To win the Rising Star Cup was an awesome achievement and the interaction with McGavin and me in the end went pretty well. To be honest, it’s not the biggest moment though. What I value greater than this was my final match with Gavin McGavin at Midday Mayhem. Sure we took each other on so many times but by the end of it we had grown so much in ourselves as performers and knew exactly how we needed to tell this story in our match. To also hear a certain EPW veteran praise the match in saying "this is the best match you have ever had" was just the icing on the cake. That match is so far my greatest highlight.
WPW: In June you travelled to the States and made a couple of appearances for Mach One Wrestling in California. What were the matches like and how did the fans take to the “Gorgeous One”?GARRY: Mach 1 was a great place to wrestle. Many of our guys have done some matches down there and the EPW guys are well received. I was put into a triple threat match with two young guys and although the crowd was small, I certainly proved my worth and had a nice entertaining match. The other match I had was a tag team match in which one of the opponents was named Chef. Certainly a very interesting guy to say the least and we had a fun match with the promoters being very happy with my work. I certainly made a good impression down there and may return there sometime soon in a wrestling dedicated holiday. Oh and the fans, well, they hated me, so good job.
WPW: When you returned from the States the landscape of the WA scene had changed in that short time. What are your thoughts on the new alliance between EPW and SHWA?GARRY: Talk about change, WOW! In the space of one month the WA wrestling scene evolved and I strongly believe it’s for the best. There are several promotions in WA and so many talents that want to hone their craft on a more regular basis in front of a crowd. Giving these opportunities can only help talent develop greater and for someone like me who loves to perform, I couldn’t be happier to do something I love on a more regular basis.
WPW: This past weekend you made an appearance after SHWA’s Midyear Mayhem, basically introducing yourself to the SHWA fans. Are you happy with how the appearance went?GARRY: It was certainly a different way to debut but I was very happy with how it went because it delivered a bit of "shock" value. The clip seems to have been well received on the net as well. Do I think I could have done better? Absolutely. But hey, I’m my own worst critic. Either way, jerk face debuted, people got annoyed and things got interesting. Mission accomplished.
WPW: On August 6 at Running Wild, you will be making your SHWA debut against a former SHWA Champion in “Mad” Mike Massive. What are your thoughts going into the match?GARRY: My thoughts are honestly excitement. Not only debuting for a new company in the ring, but to also wrestle someone which I had on top of my list of wrestlers I wanted to compete against in SHWA. I like to battle the big man wrestlers, bit of a Shawn Michaels mentality because the story is easier to tell I guess...big man...littler man. For what Massive does in the ring, he does it well and he knows who he is as a character. He doesn't do something that he can't do well and he’s got the whole "just one of the blokes" deal which is a real connection to the crowd. I think we can do some great things in the ring together and blow the roof off the place.
WPW: Who would you like to lock up with either in EPW, SHWA or from around Australia that you haven’t had the opportunity to face yet?GARRY: AZ Vegara is at the top of my list. I have always enjoyed his work as a wrestler and how he has even bettered himself over the last year. He is always a hard worker in the ring and character wise has taught me a thing or two on how to convey your motives in the ring a lot better. I feel we would put on a great entertaining match and heck, if we had a programme and have Amber involved too, I think it could make for some entertaining matches for the EPW fans.
WPW: Where do you see yourself in the wrestling world in five years time? Do you have any specific goals?GARRY: The toughest question at the end (laughs). In five years, I'd like to have worn the EPW tag team titles, had some great entertaining feuds and become EPW champion. Big goals I know, but I feel that I have something special to offer the wrestling world and I am always on the rise to better myself. I’d like to have wrestled interstate and created a bigger name for myself around the wrestling scene. I’d also like to go back to Canada or America and wrestle for six months dedicated and see whether or not I could get a WWE tryout, be that it as a manager or wrestler, I don't care. I was born to perform and be on stage trying to steal the show in my own unique and sometimes crazy way.
WPW: Thank you for taking the time to talk to Westside Pro Wrestling, Garry.