INTERACTIVE WRESTLING RADIO INTERVIEW - ALEXANDER HAMMERSTONE

Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: Alexander Hammerstone
Date: 08/04/19
Your Host: James Walsh

 

Let the Hammer Fall!

"Your Boy Hammer" Alexander Hammerstone joins the Wrestling Epicenter for the first time ever to talk about his MLW National Openweight Title win, MLW's growth, the new relationship between MLW and NOAH, and even a little about his former familiar look that many compared to Triple H. Plus, he we talk about the rise and fall of Paragon Pro Wrestling and Ring Warriors. And, we close out with a tip of the cap to the one and only Jim Cornette.

MLW Fusion TV airs every Saturday night on beIN sports and streams free on YouTube the following week. MLW will also debut its first ever live pay per view event on November 2nd called Superfight. The event is projected to cost a very reasonable $20.


 


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ALEXANDER HAMMERSTONE:

 

On his time in MLW thus far:
"It is great. I have absolutely no complaints. It was kind of difficult because I had some different avenues I could have gone down... You're trying to look at your choices, weigh up your options, and kind of figure out what way is going to pay off better for you. But, ever since signing, we've seen growth like signing international TV in the UK and Ireland, TV in Africa, then we announced our first pay per view, and now we just announced this new deal with NOAH. Then, they announced I was going to be the first MLW guy going over there! The growth has been extremely rapid and rampart. I've been fortunate to work my way into the cluster of guys who are going to be at the forefront of it. It is going great and I couldn't be happier!"

On what the MLW National Openweight Title means:
"Basically, it is something to be represented at a high level. It's going to be at the forefront. And, just to kick it off, they started with 4 guys who have been working their way to the top but maybe had not reached that upper level. We had that mini-tournament and I was the one who came out on top. The idea behind the Openweight Title is it is not uncommon, these days, for a wrestling company to have a 175 pound guy as World Heavyweight Champion. MLW has been doing its best to enforce those weight regulations so if you see a Heavyweight title match, it will be two heavyweights. Middleweight title, it is going to be middleweights. With this title, it opens the opportunity for the light heavyweights to have a match with the heavyweights and vise versa. The possibilities are endless. The idea behind this title is it is for all comers. The idea is presenting the best possible match ups across weight divisions."

On the problems with Paragon Pro Wrestling:
"The thing with Paragon is it was off to a very rocky start. But, once it got into its groove, it was charming in its own way. We had ample talent there. We had a solid group of guys. But, there was also a big divide between the core group of guys that could carry that show to success and then the undercard talent. There was a strong step down. You had this core of guys that could carry the show and then you had guys who basically were not ready for that level of exposure. They were kind of just happy to be there. Part of the problem is the owner - He kind of liked that attitude. The guys who were happy to be there were going to do anything he wanted to do and were going to behave versus, when you get some of these more established guys, they have a little bit more of a chip on their shoulder, they have a little more attitude, they want a little more say so in how they are presented which is a good thing but can also be frustrating when that image doesn't line up with what the show wanted to do. That is basically where I was. I ended up quitting a few months before the show went off the air. It basically became very unpleasant for me at a certain point. But, I do look back on it and I got some great matches out f it. I learned a lot! And, it was kind of a prerequisite being part of a national TV product regardless if people were watching it or not. (laughs) I learned that skill as to how to be a television wrestler as opposed to just another indy guy."

On his team with Alex Chamberlain:
"I definitely loved tagging with him. But, I hated the idea of it at first. As far as I could tell, the only thought there was "Hey, these guys are both named Alex!" (laughs) That goes back to what we were talking about earlier. The direction of the show was strange. When I started that show, I was traveling with a tag team partner. My partner was Joe Grays. He was brought into Paragon for a very brief moment. They brought us in as a tag team, split us up, and then made me tag with this other guy. I was like, "WHY?!" It was like, "Lets just mess with these guys and see how they do." That is how it felt. But, when you give me chicken shit, I try to make chicken salad. So, I definitely learned a lot from Alex (Chamberlain). More than anything, that was my first time trying to stand out as a personality. We were there together as a team and he was getting the major singles push. He was getting pushed to the top and I was kind of the... Realistically, I was the guy that would put over guys on their way to wrestling him (Chamberlain). That is what I ended up doing for like 6 months. I kind of got tired of it. But, some of the best stuff that I did on that show was promos. I learned some of that from Alex where you don't want to be exactly like your tag team partner. You want to make sense together, but you definitely want to stay in your own lane. That is something that I do now with the Dynasty in MLW."

On Samstown Live being used by so many companies:
"With MLW, I don't think they want to use the same place that is being used by so many companies. But returning, that would be awesome for me. I love Samstown. That is probably the first major venue I performed in back in like 2012 with FSW. That is an awesome venue. So, so to kind of come full circle and return there with MLW would be awesome!"

On the rise and fall of Ring Warriors from WGN America in late 2018:
"I think the Ring Warriors roster was even better than Paragon. There were so many guys there. But, there was a complete and utter lack of direction. There were a couple cooks in the kitchen and we were trying to figure out who was the top guy we needed to listen to. That was so hard. It was like pulling teeth sometimes. There were some good ideas. But, there was a lack of clarity from the get go. When you jump into this and you have this show on national TV, you almost have to do a show that is not televised just to make sure things run smoothly and see what lane everyone is going to end up in before you jump into the water without knowing how deep it is, for lack of a better term. I look back at my time with Ring Warriors even more than my time with Paragon and I'm proud of everything I did there. Every single match I had there I would be willing to send out as a match that was one of my best. Eli Drake, Marty the Moth, and even some of the lesser known guys like Damien Drake. All the guys had really good matches there. But, a wrestling show is not going to survive on really good matches. It was a wrestling show that was 95% wrestling matches with no substance behind it. You didn't know who was what or why you were supposed to cheer guys or why you were supposed to boo guys. It is just not going to work! People complain about RAW being too much talking or too much gimmicky stuff. On the flip side of that, too much wrestling is just as bad! There is no reason to care about any of it. And then, you've watched an hour, you've seen every move but you weren't hoping to see moves. You were hoping to care about something! So, that was the problem of that. I wish it would have lasted a little longer than it did. But,then, it kind of ended up letting me end up where I did."

On deciding to cut the long hair that many said made him look like a young Triple H:
"I was kind of thinking of going back to the drawing board with my look throughout 2018. I remember talking about it with a couple of close friends. The way I looked, the way I talked, the way I presented things... At the end of the day, that look had worked for me and was going to continue to work for me on a certain level. It was guaranteed I was going to get bookied on the indies. It was guaranteed I was going to get X amount of dollars. It was guaranteed I was going to be at the level that I was at. But, basically, the thing that was holding me back was I got comparisons to specific wrestlers. I embraced it to some extent. I worked for PCW Ultra. The fans there heckled me even when I was wearing white boots and lightning red trunks. They would call me "Single H". Eventually, I had my T shirt guy print up a mock Single H shirt. Eventually, I got the black gear with the silver H on it. I played into it as, sort of, a joke. But, it got to the point where certain people thought I was a Triple H parody wrestler. I was like, "Oh Gosh, I've got to get away from this!" Obviously, there were other ways I could have done that without cutting the hair. But, on a whim, the hair went first. I was actually trying to get a job with a different company at the time. They said, "if the hair goes, we'll hire you." Then, they didn't hire me. (laughs) That's not too important. But, I did a couple of shows after that and I was going through the motions. Everyone comes into wrestling thinking what they should look like how they should present themselves to get signed and I kind of threw that all out the window. Even when people told me, "Don't do this! Don't do that! Don't change your music! Don't wear that to the ring!" I kind of just said "SCREW IT!" because I think that is going to get over organically and is going to resonate as real."

On the challengers he's faced thus far defending the MLW National Openweight Title:
"Personal opinions aside as we haven't always gotten along since I got in the company, everyone in MLW is there for a very good reason. Even a guy like Brian Pillman Jr who is very young in the business, not very experienced yet. Obviously, natural ability kind of covers up where experience lacks. And then, Davey Boy Smith Jr, he's just on another level. After wrestling him a couple weeks ago and then seeing the match he had with Timothy Hatcher, I'm convinced he's one of the best wrestlers in the country right now."

On choosing MLW:
"It is awesome. As I said earlier, I was guaranteed to be at the level I was at. But, I wanted next level competition. Steel sharpens steel. There's no jokes, no play timers in MLW. I'm enjoying working with these guys because I want the best. I want people to see what I do and who I go up against and see that I either hold my own or outshine guys who they've respected for years."

On MLW being overlooked at times right now:
"There is a little bit of that vibe right now and it is frustrating at times. I look at the YouTube comments and I see a lot of, "WOW! This is better than WWE. Why haven't I been watching this?" Well, yeah! Why the ... Well, why haven't you been watching? We're growing. Obviously, the goal is to keep growing. The thing is, right now, there is an over-saturation of wrestling on TV. There is Ring of Honor on TV, Impact on TV, there's New Japan on American TV, and of course WWE... And now, AEW is a thing. So, when you're already watching 6 hours of wrestling a week, the hard part is getting people in. The thing is, once we get them in, we usually keep 'em in! Yeah, we all want to be the talk of the town. But, it is a matter of when, not a matter of if if we all keep putting in the work. Rome wasn't built in a day. It is going to take time. But, a lot of us are very committed to making that happen."

On the help of Jim Cornette:
"Jim Cornette has been invaluable to me. It sucks that not only wrestling fans but even other wrestlers have this weird, twisted view of person he is. He's an incredible mind. When you've been in the business as long as he has, it is baffling to see how he can spit off ideas. You could give him an inch and he could show you how to make it a mile. He's extremely helpful. He's extremely passionate. He's gone above and beyond everything he's been asked to do. Now, with the Internet, a lot of things or perceptions that people assume to be true because someone said something bad about someone, reality is setting in. I'm one of the guys who is not at all afraid to say Jim Cornette has been extremely helpful to my career and extremely helpful to some of the fans' favorites who they might not even realize. As much as people shit on him or think he's out of touch with current wrestling... A lot of things that are currently on the show came from him!"