On Saturday, March 21, 2015, I had the chance to speak to Central Illinois Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Derek Moss before CIPW's "Judgement Call" in Kincaid, Illinois. Below is a full recap of the entire interview. (Note: This interview was done prior to WrestleMania 31.)
How did you get your start in wrestling, and who trained you?
Derek: I was trained by Guy Smith. I got my start back when I was 17, and was still in high school, this high school that we are in right now. I stumbled upon a friend who told me about training, and he'd known that I had always wanted to be a wrestler, so he was like hey, why don't you get in the car with me and we'll drive up to Decatur and wrestle, so here we are five years later.
You are the Central Illinois Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion here at CIPW. Looking towards the future, what are your goals?
Derek: I think anyone in this business that is not in the WWE yet... The obvious goal is to make it to WWE. That's what we all strive for. I'd like to make it somewhere recognizable, somewhere where I can be a household name, rather than just a local name.
What is your favorite match so far from your career?
Derek: My favorite match. I would say it was in January 2014, I had a match for Pinfall Wrestling Association for the Regional Championship. It was me against Bryan Ealey.
You watch WWE, correct? What are your thoughts on the build to WrestleMania 31?
Derek: Yes, all the time. A lot better than the build up to WrestleMania 30. I think the card has a lot of potential. I'm honestly a lot more ready, and I attended WrestleMania last year, and I'm a lot more excited for this year's than I was last year's.
Roman Reigns has a lot of critics right now as he heads in to his main event match at WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Do you think Roman Reigns is ready?
Derek: I don't think anyone is really ready to wrestle Brock Lesnar, because Brock Lesnar is a freak and he is awesome. I'm not a big fan of Roman Reigns' ring work. I never have been, and I think it all looks sloppy, but that's coming from a wrestler. I don't think he's ready, but hell, he could shock us all at WrestleMania. I'm anxious to see if he steps up to the plate or not.
What are your thoughts on the WWE Divas and the #GiveDivasAChance trend?
Derek: I've always been a firm believer that you should push the ones who actually want to be there and don't push the ones who just want to be there to be a face. I'm sure you've seen wrestling from the late 90's and early 2000's, and watched Lita and Trish Stratus. So Divas now that can wrestle hold a higher place in my heart than the people that are just there to be there.
Are you a subscriber to the WWE Network? If so, what's your favorite thing about it so far?
Derek: Yes. The whole Monday Night Wars documentary. The Rivalries series and the whole Monday Night Wars video packages.
Who inspired your character?
Derek: Who inspired my character? That's a tough one. I would say that, without all the sleaze, Shawn Michaels was my childhood hero. I don't give a whole lot of Shawn Michaels in my character, but he gave me a lot of inspiration that I could do a character.
If you could face anyone from any promotion, who would it be?
Derek: Can I name more than one? A guy that just got signed by the WWE, and is actually NXT Champion right now, Kevin Owens, f.k.a. Kevin Steen. Adam Cole. And The Young Bucks.
Do you have any advice for other wrestlers that are up-and-coming, and are looking to break into the business?
Derek: Don't. No, legitimately, it takes heart and it takes a mindset. It's not something that you casually do and say hey, I can do that. It takes that to get into a ring, but it's what you find inside yourself to keep coming back week after week, month after month whenever you wrestle. It's one of those things where if your heart is in the right place, and you want to do it, you can thrive in this business.
To end the interview on a light note, I asked Derek what his favorite ice cream was. His response:
Derek: I'm a big red velvet fan, so anything with red velvet in it, I will eat. Cupcakes, cake, ice cream, anything, I will eat it.
At Judgement Call, Derek Moss retained the CIPW Heavyweight Championship in the main event against Steven Bishop in a no disqualification match. Moss will team with CIPW Illinois State Champion Tricky Dick Moore to face their rivals, Steven Bishop and Bradley Stephens III on April 11th, at Aftermath.
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