Really sorry about the lack of activity on the site in the last few days guys; Me and Big Poppa T are just back to college so things are a bit hectic. But we’ve got some really cool interviews on the way for you guys aswell as actually having a long term plan made for the direction of the site.
Here’s our chat with independant wrestling sensation Jimmy Rave to keep ypou guys happy untill we get back on track!
Hey Jimmy.How are ya?
I can’t complain! Everything is looking positive for me right now. I have a lot of positive stuff happening in my life and feel healthier than I have in a really long time. So I’m doing awesome…
How did you get started in wrestling?
I grew up in Marietta, GA and went to Sprayberry Highschool (same school as Buff Bagwell and Austin Creed) and they had an event there one Saturday night and I was hooked. I sought out a wrestling school and hooked up with Murder 1 and we began training when I was 15 years old and the rest is history.
What promotions did you watch as a kid?
I was a military kid so when I moved around the availabilty of some things changed. I watched WWF from the time I can remember and that was what sparked my interest. When I was about 12, I found ECW on the MSG Network and that was unbelievable. When I moved to Georgia then I just started watching everything I could and started ordering tapes of promotions that I had heard of.
How was your training with Murder One?
It wasn’t a walk in the park. Training to be a pro wrestler is harder than any sport I ever was involved with. I got a lot of hands on experience because I would go to shows and help set up rings or play music whatever I could do to help me get my foot in the door and learn.
Getting into ROH was a huge break. How did that come about?
I had been wrestling for IWA Mid South, Combat Zone Wrestling and some TNA here and there but was capitivated by the ROH product. So I hoped in the car with Jeremy Lopez and we went up to that first show December 8th, 2002 I believe. Ironically, that is my birthday! I wrestled AJ Styles on a pre show match and it was okay. About 3 months later Gabe called me and I started at the very first Do or Die show wrestling CM Punk vs. Chris Daniels vs. Kazarian and with those guys it was pretty hard to have a bad match.
What were your highlights of your time in ROH?
There have been so many really. The whole time in the Embassy was magical. People throwing toliet paper at me. Wrestling Punk in our feud was a great stepping stone for me. Even when I returned for a short while in 2009 and Nana announced me in NYC that was a highlight for sure. I was really blessed with my time there.
You wrestled Bryan Danielson at the 4th anniversary show. That must have been a huge honor as being seen as a contender for the ROH title is an honor that very view wrestlers get?
Yeah man, that was one of my favorite matches there. We had just got out of doing some angles and Gabe gave me that opportunity and it was something really special. I tend to wrestle as my position on the card so wrestling for a title I turned it up a little bit. I alot of people don’t get that about my style. When I’m wrestling an open 6 man scramble it is totally different that wrestling the World Champion.
You were also notorious for getting heat from the fans, even having them throw toilet paper at you. Did you take this as a sign that you were doing your job well?
I was doing my job very well. We had a ton of legit heat for a long time. It goes back to how I was working also. Sometimes I see heels do dives and very flashy things but that just receives praise from fans. If I see a cool dive what am I going to do… clap! We were doing something very special to have people go buy toliet paper and throw it into the ring. Man, if I would have kept it all …. would probably have saved a ton on my grocery bills.
You teamed regularly with Alex Shelley. How was that? Do you keep in contact today?
Oh man, Alex is awesome. We had a blast working together! He is one of my good friends and we try to talk at least once a week. We had a great chemistry. He and Chris Sabin came back to ROH for a little while and we tried to do a 6 man group which I thought would have been really fun. I learned a lot from working with Shelley.
You then earned an opportunity to work with TNA.How did this come about?
They got ahold of one of my ROH matches and saw the entrance and that I was a heel. Vince Russo emailed me while I was on tour for Dragon Gate in Japan and we talked for a little bit about ideas. I think the orginal idea was for me to be apart of VKM as in the role of X Pac… which would have been AWESOME just because any time I get to do a crotch chop I’m all for it! But timing wasn’t right and I stayed on with ROH a little longer and when I left they called Bill Behrens and asked me to start at a PPV tagging with Lance Hoyt.
You worked with Lance Hoyt and Christy Hemme in the Rockn Rave Infection. Who came up with the gimmick?How did you feel about it?
We were searching for a gimmick for a few months and we pitched some ideas and finally this was like a combo of ideas that came to be. I LOVED it because it ment I had a job. Plus I got to be a different character that was fun to do. We just tried to have as much fun with it as we could. I knew I wasn’t going to be in a main event spot with the gimmick but whatever the company needed, ya know.
Is Christy Hemme just as hot in real life?
I’ve seen hotter… just kidding… she’s hot but my wife is much hotter.
What were the highlights of your time in TNA?
Anytime we got to work with the Guns, LAX, Lethal, Sonjay or Petey. Plus being around all the older guys was amazing. I learned a bunch from Brother Ray, Dutch Mantell, D Lo and guys like that. I had a blast there.
How did you find the backstage atmosphere in TNA compared to ROH?
TNA is big money company so there is a lot more that goes into it. There is a million people that aren’t on camera running around doing different things like production, pyro, camera men, security. ROH is a great blend of professionalism with a laid back atmosphere.
Given the opportunity, would you be open to working with both ROH and TNA again?
Totally, I valued my time at both places. Honestly, right now I’m finally 100% healthy which I haven’t been since 2005 and getting back into the shape I want to be in plus I’m extremely motivated right now. At this point I just want to wrestle and do my thing.
Did you ever suggest to TNA management that you and Hiyt work a programme with Shelley and Sabin, based on your past with Shelley?
We worked with those guys a lot at house shows and Xplosion but they were in a big push position so the timing was never right. We did have some pretty fun matches that only a few got to see but working those guys for me was a night off. I never went to management and asked to work specific people because I don’t think thats how ideas should be pitched.
You went back to ROH after your time in TNA. Had things changed in ROH?
Gabe wasn’t there when I went back so that was a bit different and there were a lot of newer guys that had came in or were new when I was leaving. Plus ROH had just got the HDNet deal so they had that going for them. As far as atmosphere I don’t think that changed much. I wasn’t prepared to come back though. My body was very beat up and I just was let go from TNA so I had serious doubts about myself at the time.
You then worked with Great Championship Wrestling and beat your trainer, Murder One, for their world title. How did that feel?
It was a great time for me. GCW was super close to home and they had a ton of talented wrestlers there at the time. It had been years since I worked for a promotion regularly in Georgia and as a babyface. It was a good learning experience and helped me get over some of those insecurities I had of myself.
Who in wrestling are you impressed with today?
I think the best kept secert in wrestling right now is a guy named Kyle Matthews. He wrestles for a company that I’m heavily involved with in Georgia and has had some incredible matches with everyone there. We recently had Bryan Danielson in for our Sizzling Summer Bash 2010 show and Kyle more than held his own with Bryan. He’s also scheduled for a tour and training session with Zero One in Japan for the month of October. Keep your eye out for him. There’s a ton of talent out there and especially here in Georgia.
Who would you most like to do a programme with?
Hmmm… that’s a good question. I haven’t really thought about it but there are a ton of guys I’ve never worked with in Evolve, DGUSA and ROH that I think we could do some great business. I don’t know the right answer for that. I want to wrestle guys that are going to push me like I was pushed working with Punk, Styles and Danielson.
What bookings have you got coming up?What’s next for Jimmy Rave?
Right now my focus is on RPW in Warner Robins, GA we wrestle there twice a month. I’m going out to Fresno, California next week for a few shows out there and have been in talks with a few other notable companies. Just keep checking my Facebook (search Jimmy Rave) and see what I’ve got coming up. Check out RampageProWrestling.com to see what we have going on or if you want to have book me you can contact Bill Behrens at Showbis@aol.com . Big things will happen soon….