I had the opportunity to speak with indie wrestler Steven Bishop on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at Central Illinois Pro Wrestling’s “Aftermath” show in Kincaid, Illinois, to talk about his career, Seth Rollins, WrestleMania 31, and much more. Below is an entire recap of the interview:
How did you get your start in wrestling? Where did you train, and who trained you?
Steven: I got started by a guy, his brother is Jason McAlexander. They got me into New Midwest Wrestling. Then I was trained by Guy Smith, Rip Mystic, Michael Shard. I trained in Springfield mostly, and I’m still training everywhere I go.
What has been your favorite match of your career so far?
Steven: Winning the CIPW Heavyweight Title was a big point. I would have to say probably when I went to Iowa and wrestled Tyler Black (now known as Seth Rollins). It was a quick match, but it was still fun.
Is there anyone in particular that you have modeled your in-ring character, style, or finisher after?
Steven: Not really, I just pull from different people. A little bit from this person, a little bit from that person. I’ll change a move up from how they do it, tweak it a little bit. When I was training, I’d always go in and be like, hey I saw this, and what can I do to make it different, to be me. We’d come up with some of the different variations, like with the hip-toss, I sit down with it. And you see some of the other wrestlers, like R-Truth do it. I was doing it years before he was doing it.
Was there someone that you watched that interested you in pursuing a wrestling career?
Steven: Not really. I pretty much just liked wrestling in general. So whenever I’d get to watch it, I’d watch everybody. Then once I learned more about it and kept going with it, the more I learned from different people, the better I got.
Who was your favorite wrestler growing up?
Steven: That’s a tough one. I want to say Jimmy Snuka, but I was also more into the later characters like Bret Hart and Owen Hart. Owen was one of my favorites.
What are your thoughts on #GiveDivasAChance, and the booking of the WWE Divas right now?
Steven: That’s a touchy one, because they make themselves look like they can’t be on the same caliber as the men, but they can be. There’s some really good women’s wrestlers out there. If given the chance, I think they can show what they can do and maybe do something really well. Look at Trish and Lita. They headlined Raw and tore the roof off the house.
When I talked to you at the last show in March, you mentioned you were on the fence about being excited for WrestleMania 31. Did you watch the pay-per-view, and what were your thoughts on the show?
Steven: I did watch it. Overall, it was really good. I think they probably could’ve done a few things differently, but overall, it was one of the better ones they’ve had in the last few years.
You mentioned earlier about working with Tyler Black. Have you worked with anyone else that has gone on to be in a big promotion?
Steven: I’ve been on shows with The Naturals, Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas. Shark Boy, he was there. I’ve wrestled Jerry Lynn. That was a pretty entertaining match. It was a six-man match, but it was still good. Other than that, there’s not very many people that I’ve wrestled that have moved up yet. There’s plenty of opportunities for Derek Moss, he has a real big shot to move out of here and make it places. Guy Smith is another one of them that could do that.
Do you prefer to work as a heel or babyface?
Steven: Heel. Right now, I’m doing both; here I’m a heel, and at Pinfall Wrestling Association, I’m a face. I’ve always liked working as a heel better, I’ve always gravitated towards it more. I find it easier to be hatable.
You will be teaming up with Bradley Stephens III in the main event of Aftermath. If you could team up with any wrestler, past or present, who would it be?
Steven: I’d probably say Owen Hart or Triple H, because they’ve got a great mind for the ring. Owen Hart was taken way before he should’ve and he was one of the best in-ring talents that I ever watched growing up.
What is your strategy for tonight’s main event featuring you and Stephens vs. Derek Moss and Tricky Dick Moore?
Steven: To win. Going against those two guys, it’s hard to come up with a strategy. I’ve worked with both of them separately, and I’ve teamed with both of them at one point or another. So I know what their mindset is and how their thinking.
Do you have any advice for other wrestlers breaking into the business?
Steven: Besides don’t do it? Work your butt off, listen. No matter what you do, just listen and you’ll learn. If you don’t listen, then you’re never going to make it anywhere.
What are your goals for the future? What do you hope to accomplish next?
Steven: I definitely want to get my title back. If I get the chance to travel other places, that would be great. Right now, I’m just taking it one step at a time. I know I’m not going make it like Tyler Black or anyone else like that, because I’m not as talented as they are. I do what I can with what I have. I aim to impress the people around me. That’s all that matters to me.
When asked about what his favorite type of music is, Bishop replied:
“I listen to just about everything, except opera, jazz, hard rock, and metal.”
Bishop and Stephens weren’t able to capture the victory they had hoped for over Moss and Moore, when the match ended in disqualification.
Below is a photo of Bishop going for an elbow drop onto Moss during the post-match attack:
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