I had the opportunity to speak with indy wrestler Gavin Alexander this week ahead of Central Illinois Pro Wrestling's "Survival," which takes place in Kincaid, Illinois, this Saturday night. This weekend, Gavin will be facing Christian Alexander in a Falls Count Anywhere match. The winner will be able to keep the Alexander name.
Below is a full recap of the interview:
How did you get your start in wrestling?
Gavin: I got my start in wrestling back in 2002-2003. At the time, I was working at WQLZ in Springfield. I started training out at New Midwest Wrestling. I was trained by guys like Guy Smith, Rip Mystic, Sage Ramsey, and Jason Wells. Yes, most of the guys there now that I'm against trained me. I ended up getting injured and leaving there. I started training at Capital City Championship Wrestling, otherwise known as 3CW with guys like Micky McNelson, Nemesis, Flash Max Powers, and those gentlemen. I've also trained in other various places under other various wrestlers.
What has been your favorite match or moment of your career so far?
Gavin: There's been many. I would say there have been three different moments in my career that have meant a lot to me. A six-man tag team tables match in Great American Wrestling. It was The Clark's and Joey Grunge against myself, Richard B. III, and Billy Reno. It was because I was there with Joey Grunge. Yes, Joey Grunge and I have been on the opposite side of the fence when it comes to facing each other, for three years now, but I respect the man.
Another one is when I wrestled against Tracy Smothers in Springfield. And the third one is kind of a cluster on how I say it, but I think you'll know what I mean - anytime I'm involved in the ring with Kidd Riot and Jonathan Napier. Either working against them, teaming with them, or whatever. Anytime I'm involved with those two, it's always a good night.
Have you worked with anyone that has made a name for themselves on a larger scale?
Gavin: I've worked with guys like Brandon Espinosa, Matt Cage, The Hooligans. There's been numerous guys that I've been in the ring with that have went and gone on to do things, but not in this area. And I respect them. Blake Belakis - one of the best wrestlers going today. There's just been numerous talents that I've worked with that have gone on to travel out of state, or have gone on to bigger and better things in this state.
What wrestling promotions do you watch regularly?
Gavin: My three main ones are Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling. I watch WWE once in awhile, mainly just the pay-per-views to see what's going on. I haven't watched TNA in over two years. I try to catch the news clips on the internet to see who's doing what and how.
Can you talk about your recent knee injury?
Gavin: I tore my knee out a little over a year ago. I had surgery last April. I completely do not have an ACL in my knee. I have to wear a knee brace to wrestle. I tore my meniscus, and they went in an arthroscoped my knee. It's been a hard, long road to recovery. I recovered late in the year last year, and I've been running ever since.
If there was something you could change about anything in the world of professional wrestling or sports entertainment, what would it be?
Gavin: There's many things I would like to change, not just one. What stereotypes a wrestler. You know, being chiseled out of granite. Being 6'8", ripped muscles. That doesn't need to be your typical wrestler, because there are guys smaller height wise. There are guys that aren't chiseled out of granite that can get in the ring and work a match. We're not all Greek gods, but each and every one of deserves a shot.
Do you read the dirt sheets?
Gavin: I try to stay away from them. If someone posts a link on my page, then I'll click on it to see what's going on. I don't really go by it, I just wait and see. I'm not one of those who believes everything that the dirt sheets say, I just wait and watch.
What do you like about working for Central Illinois Pro Wrestling?
Gavin: I like the fact that everyone in that locker room is hungry. Not for food, not for competition. Everyone wants to be the best. Everyone wants to be the standard bearer in that company. Everyone wants to dethrone Derek Moss. Everyone wants to dethrone Tricky Dick Moore. Everyone wants to dethrone The Man Dimes. Everyone wants to be the best. That is the one thing I like about CIPW, because no one wants to stay at the bottom of the barrel. Everyone wants to crawl, scratch, fight, bite, and go for it every time.
If you had the opportunity to tell Vince McMahon one thing, what would it be?
Gavin: Let Triple H take over.
Who is a dream opponent for you?
Gavin: That's a tough one. If I had one person to choose... There's so many that I would like to work with. Personally, I would love to work in a tag match against Dave and Jake Crist, Ohio Is For Killers. I would love to work a singles match with Shane Douglas. There's many guys who are dream opponents, so it's really hard to say. If there was one, it would be me and a tag partner against Dave and Jake Crist.
Heel or babyface?
Gavin: Heel. There's no question about it, I love being a heel.
What's your favorite type of music?
Gavin: Rock. I love rock. Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Guns N' Roses, Metallica. And I mean good rock, none of that techno-pop stuff. It's gotta have thunder to it.
What was your favorite rib, and who pulled it on you? (Fan question)
Gavin: There have been many. The Music Man from 3CW kept playing Oompa Loompa music. The promoter tells me to smack his face off the table, it was a work, and he has blood that will run down his nose. I go into the pit and whack his face off the table, and didn't know I actually busted his nose. He started gushing blood and the whole locker room came out. It almost became a me versus the whole locker room situation. Come to find out, no one else in the locker room found out about it besides the promoter, Music Man, and myself, so when all the other boys came out to fight me, it became a rib on me because it almost turned into a legit fight. That was a pretty rough one. It became really real.
What are your views on respect in wrestling? (Fan question)
Gavin: To earn it, you gotta give it. You can bust your tail all day and have a crappy attitude towards people, that's not showing respect. First one in the building, last one to leave, but you have a crappy attitude, no one is going to show you respect. You respect the boys, they respect you. Wrestling is supposed to be a family, a dysfunctional family. You do what's right by business, you're going to get that respect.
Fellow wrestler Kidd Riot wanted me to ask about your Anger Management gimmick?
Gavin: It was right after the time that both of my parents had passed. I was angry. I was hateful to the world. I would show up to a show and I was a total jerk. Well, the promoter of one company said, "Hey, we're going to put you in anger management." Oh, for real, I'm going to end up going to classes to keep wrestling? No, we are going to team you with a guy, and he's going to be your anger management counselor. When I tried to do anger management, it ended up going south because it just didn't click.
How are you preparing for your match against Christian Alexander this Saturday? Considering your last name is on the line, have you thought about a new last name if you do come up short?
Gavin: Now we are going to address the elephant in the room, huh? How am I preparing? I'm letting my mind go to a dark, dark place. A very dark place. He's walked around carrying a name that I've carried with me for over ten years now. He has gone around boasting that he is the Alexander. No, he is not the Alexander that matters. I am going to go to a dark place that I haven't been to in years. I am going to hurt Christian Alexander. I do not feel that the Army, Marines, National Guard, no one is going to save him. God himself will not be able to save him. I've been studying videos of matches we've had together, looking for weaknesses. I've been studying videos of things to do to a human body, of things to make him scream, to make him wither and cry.
To the change of the last name, if I don't beat Christian Alexander, I'm not just going to have to change my name. I will never be able to show my face again. Granted, Christian is a fighter. Christian has one thing that some people think I've lost over the years, and that's heart. I haven't lost the fact that I have a heart, mine's just grown dark and cold. I have no problem ripping his out and showing it to him. I will have him carried out before I lose my last name. I will not lose to Christian Alexander. He will be carried out by any means. Even if I cannot stand on my own accord, I will not lose.
Do you have any advice for others that are breaking into the business?
Gavin: Keep your ears open and your mouth shut. Soak up all the information you can. Learn from anyone before you. Anyone offers advice, take it. Some of it might be good, some of it might be terrible. But learn from your experience. Do not get discouraged. When you have your first match, when you're in the gorilla pit ready to bust out through and make the crowd know who you are, breath and relax.
What are your goals for the future? What do you hope to accomplish next? Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Gavin: In the next five years, I do not know where I see myself. Hopefully on a brighter future. What do I plan on doing next? The only thing I have my mind set on now in the 16th of May. The only thing I'm accomplishing on the 16th of May is letting my voice be heard throughout Central Illinois Wrestling.
You can catch Gavin Alexander vs. Christian Alexander in a Falls Count Anywhere Match this Saturday in Kincaid, Illinois, at Central Illinois Pro Wrestling's "Survival!"
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