Sunday, 17 September 2017
'The Green Machine' discusses character evolution, initial WWE Performance centre visit and giving prestiage to a championship
‘The Green Machine' Mike Orlando continues to showcase his talent in the ring after a successful NCAA college football career. With a persona that originated in his football roots, Orlando has evolved into a premier performer both in the ring and on the mic. One of the most notable skills that Orlando has continued to demonstrate is his adaptability. And whether it is competing in front of a raucous crowd or a more intimate audience, he strives to give those he is performing for exactly what they want.
With an array of technical moves and the ability to showcase high-flying maneuvers, Orlando aspires to personal greatness before anything else. Standing 6'5 and weighing 275 lbs, Orlando has been encouraged to remain a solid technical wrestler, but that doesn't mean he won't resort to pushing his body and skill set in a new direction. Orlando demonstrates a willingness to never rest on his laurels and a desire to make himself the best. As a current trainee of the Monster Factory, Orlando is surrounded by such notable names as head coach and trainer Danny Cage. Orlando's dedication to his craft says a lot about him, but major promotions may want to have him as part of their roster.
Fans can communicate with him on various social media, such as Twitter and Instagram, where he can be reached @thebigorlando
Tell us a little about the evolution of Mike Orlando. Where did the character originate from? And how it has evolved?
When I first started I was a bodyguard in Old Time Wrestling, and that was where I was called the Smasher Mike Orlando, which was handed to me. It was pretty funny. It was for about a year and a half, and that was where I learned the ropes and whatnot. Then, I evolved into the Elite Athlete, which was more me, and brought in my college persona, college football background. I was a football player, so I took everything from the football field and made it a wrestling type thing. Over time I just kind of outgrew football in real life. I don't like football actually, I never enjoyed it all, and I wanted to kind of drift away from that. I was more of a workhorse, and I kind of incorporated with that the fact that I played football. So, I still incorporate that with the whole green machine gimmick, which is a true reflection of myself as a person, and as a character as well. It's been a long ride, and it's been a learning experience, to say the least.
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
'All Good' Anthony Greene discusses introduction to wrestling, working under Tommy Dreamer, aspirations for the future
|Mr. TV Ready with that PPV tan has really impressed with his development.|
‘All Good' Anthony Greene continues to showcase his skills inside the ring. A fan with a lifelong love of professional wrestling, Greene started as a referee, but wanted to accomplish more in the sport he was passionate about. However, his pursuit for more wasn't focussed on wrestling alone. His career began eleven years ago, but today, as a budding independent wrestling star, he is just as dedicated to his craft as he was when he began.
A former trainee of Spike Dudley, Greene has been focused on reinvention and storyline development throughout his career. His passion for the sport is equaled only by his passion for life. He has begun to make a name for himself both as a singles wrestler and as part of a tag team. In the interview, Greene shares his thoughts about wrestling, working under Tommy Dreamer, training under Spike Dudley, and how a wrecked car couldn't stop him from achieving a career goal early on.
Fans can communicate with him on various social media, such as Twitter and Instagram, where he can be reached @allgoodag.
Where did your initial passion for professional wrestling begin? What was the moment that turned you on to professional wrestling?
|The future is bright for Greene.|
If we go all the way back, I couldn't tell you the exact moment I became engulfed in professional wrestling. But I remember one Christmas, my mom bought me the old, they were the fake LJN action figures that WCW made. Vader, Jimmy Hart, Hulk Hogan, I got all of them for Christmas one year. I couldn't have been older than maybe 3 years old, maybe 4, probably closer to 3, and I just locked myself in my room. They gave me the ring, the steel cage, and I just played with them all day and all night. The next day, which I guess would be Boxing Day, I just played with my figures.
Oddly enough when Hulk Hogan turned heel in 1996 that was July '96, and I was born in August 93' so I don't know how I can remember it unless it was my child memory, or my mom taped it all or I rented the VHS or something, I clearly remember The Outsiders having a third member. I know that was the big promo ‘The Outsiders have a third member.' It turned out to be Hulk Hogan. Fast forward a little bit, I think the first time I really thought I would be or could be a pro wrestler was maybe in first grade, maybe during the first season of Tough Enough. That's also where I found my favorite professional wrestler of all time, I became the biggest fan of Maven, Maven Huffman, who ended up winning the first season. After that, I kind of saw the reality of pro wrestling behind the curtain a little bit, how to take a bump, how to hit the ropes and how to travel on the road. I realized then that I really want to pursue this.
Your early training has some ties to some really notable names. Take us through and how you connected with some of those notable names in wrestling.
My original training started in 2006. I was 13 years old, and all the people are still very close friends of mine, I still talk to them, I wouldn't say weekly, but I'll say monthly. I still have a relationship with them. It was just not a good place to train, they didn't know everything, and I was probably too young to be stepping foot in the ring at that age. But, my parents signed the waiver. The best thing I gained out of that was that I gained connections, and I was able to start setting up rings at other shows. I would go show to show, at different local shows, and I would just set up the ring. When I was 14 years old, I somehow snuck my way into a Mike Quackenbush seminar and I trained with him for a day. But, I never really trained until I was maybe 17 or 18 years old, but at that time I was already refereeing.
I started refereeing when I was 16 at a couple local promotions, one was called Baystate championship wrestling and the other UFO wrestling. I continued to find a couple of shows to referee on, not really knowing or training full-time. I could take a bump. I could take a hip toss, an arm drag, a body slam, whatever. I really thought that my calling at that point of my career at 16, 17 years of age was going to be refereeing. I honestly ended up being a really good referee. But, for me, it wasn't enough. It was just an easy way out. I loved wrestling altogether, I didn't care what way I was involved. I used to just set up the rings, and now at least I'm on the shows, so that was much cooler for me. I got to travel and I got to work with names. I got to referee big matches for guys like Tito Santana, Superfly Snuka, guys I watched on video tape. I obviously never got to watch them live, so that was cool for me. If this is the way it was going to end up then I was okay with that.
It wasn't until I did a seminar for Brutal Bob Evans, of Ring of Honor fame, he hosted a seminar on a Wednesday night at a local wrestling school with Mike Mondo, Mikey from the Spirit Squad. At the end of the seminar, a bunch of people were there, a few referees, myself and another one and a bunch of wrestlers, and he said to us basically, ‘There are two people who should be at the regular classes every week,' and he pointed at me and he pointed at another guy. I will say that I was the only one of the two that showed up the next week, and started training full-time at Spike Dudley's Lock Up wrestling academy with the head trainer Spike, H2O Ryan Waters, and Nick Steele. And that's where I began my full-time wrestling training. I was 18 years old, which was in 2012.
In 2012, you were recognized as Rookie of the Year for NCW. What was it about that year that made you stand out above others in the promotion?
When I was working for NCW, Northeast Championship Wrestling, I had been a full-time referee for that promotion, and then when I started training full-time I was already aware of most of the basics. It was more the intricate stuff, psychology, storytelling that was the stuff I learned at Spike Dudley's school. So, I got on shows rather quickly, whether or not I was ready. They had faith in me. A promotion such as NCW has given opportunities to a lot of young guys that have ended up making it. Guys like Kenny Dykstra, Fandango, Donavan Dijak who was with Ring of Honor for years and has been killing it on the independents, and who knows where he is going to be next. They gave me an opportunity and during the five months I started wrestling there full time, I wouldn't say I was necessarily leaps and bounds better than everyone, but I definitely proved myself, and showed that I wanted to be there and I wanted to take wrestling seriously.
During that first year was there a moment that you felt that things were just coming together and knew that this was going to be something you were going to pursue?
|With Brie Bella by his side, Greene was ready for a fight.|
Yes, there was. As you were asking the question, I was wracking my brain. I said, I know where he is going with this and I don't have an answer, but I do. The moment when I thought when I got it and was like, ‘Wow this is really cool, I definitely can do this and I can definitely be really good.' It was an odd moment actually. I was wrestling for a promotion called CTWE, Connecticut Wrestling Entertainment, and I was in a storyline where I was a referee turned wrestler, where another wrestler beat me up after a match and that led to a match. That night I was led to the ring by Brie Bella and he was led to the ring by Nikki Bella. I think that was my first time I was in the ring with a name. So that was really cool for me. This promoter, of all the guys on the roster who had been there for years, he thought that the match that could get the most over was going to be my six-minute comedy match as the referee turned wrestler, so that was really cool.
For fans that aren't aware, in the earlier part of your career, your character was seen as being goofy, fun-loving, a pushover, but that transitioned a bit. What made the change in character now?
A lot of my pushover, fun-loving Anthony Greene stuff isn't a character. Honestly, it's me. I'm a fun-loving guy, I'm like the guy next door. I'm not the biggest guy, but I'm deceptively tall though. But, I'm a pretty skinny fella. There was a guy from Paragon Pro Wrestling, I had wrestled in Vegas for just about a year and one of the producers, his name is Jared Ganem. He really helped me mold the millennial type character, which is more or less who I was, but he was helping me boost my wrestling character times ten.
The reason I was changing was honestly, maturity. I'm growing up. I look different. At the time, I had a Jew-fro, very Jewish hair. I had a very clean-shaven look, no body hair, I was skinny, I had abs. I don't want to say I'm pudgy because I'm not. I'm still the same Anthony, I'm just more serious. I want to be taken more seriously. I'm not the kid that I was years ago that everyone sees me as. I get people that will say, ‘Oh, Anthony I am so proud of where you've come from and what you are doing now'. I appreciate what they are saying, but I don't want to remember myself as that because what I am now I am really happy with.
Where do you see the character going? What can you foresee the character in the future?
This is very insider. You are getting a scoop. I have only explained this to a couple of people, one of which being my friend Jared from Paragon. All Good Anthony Greene, the pushover, was Hannah Montana, and Anthony Greene now is Miley Cyrus. I am really coming into my own. I need to do something out of my realm, to get people to say ‘Oh, Anthony Greene is a lot different now'. He is not that kid anymore.
To date are there any particular matches, whether as a tag team or singles that you are most proud of? How was the story told?
There is actually a few matches that I am really proud of. One, in particular, was with a promotion, Limitless Wrestling, that night myself and my opponent were both booked to wrestle other people. I was supposed to wrestle Chuck Taylor, my opponent was supposed to wrestle Hot Sauce Tracey Williams. Due to unforeseen reasons, neither one was able to make the event. The promoter Randy Carver Jr. kind of put us under some pressure and said ‘You guys are wrestling each other now, and you guys are going to be the opening match, and you need to kill it.' So, there was no pressure on us as we were both lesser independent names that had to wrestle each other when the fans are expecting one thing and getting something else. Honestly, Brandon and I are really good friends, and we kicked the shit out of each other. We wanted to make sure we had the best match on the card even though we were the opening match. We wanted to give them the main event right away. So that match I am really happy with.
Another match would be one that I had earlier this year. It was myself and Ace Romero against Mikey Webb and Donovan Dijak, also for Limitless Wrestling. The show was stacked, it had guys like Flip Gordon, JT Dunn, Cody Rhodes was in the main event. A top-notch card, and we had the match of the night, we absolutely killed it. Those two in particular, and if we are going to do the trio of Limitless Wrestling matches, in May the promoter gave me the opportunity to wrestle Paul London, and that was really cool for me. With that promotion, I had been undefeated for the past year and a half or so at the time, and they had me wrestle Paul London, which was a humbling experience because I had met him as a fan. I had a picture with him as a young kid with a championship belt that he had won that night, and to think that I was in the ring with him 8 or 9 years later was really cool for me.
At the end of the match, I cut a promo and I wanted to thank him for the match, and he grabbed the mic and started talking about me, and the promoter surprised me with an 8 x 10 of me and him when I was a kid, and at the end of London’s speech, he picked up the picture and said, ‘Can you sign this for me?’ It went full circle for me. I asked him for his autograph 8 years ago and now he’s asking me for mine. I was borderline in tears; my girlfriend was in tears.
I have another tag match that means a lot to me, it was with a guy who is another partner with named Cam Zagami. We had teamed up as the Cam-An Connection, or the Cam-An Reconnection. Old backstory on Cam and I: we had known each other, and in 2012 we started teaming together. In 2013 at a random show, Cam came up with the name as a total spoof on the Can-Am Connection. So, we started teaming, and I never knew how far he and I would get, but we ended up becoming the Chaotic Wrestling tag team champions, and I still feel that although we were the champions, we started to prove ourselves to the wrestlers and the boys in the back and the bookers and promoters. I don't know if the fans were still 100% behind us, which is the most important because the customer's always right, the fan's always right. So, we had a street fight in May against this tag team known as the Logan Brothers. They had been wrestling about 12 years, at least, and we wrestled them for the tag team titles as defending champions. It was in their match, their special match, which they had never lost, a street fight, going through the barricade and getting hit with trash cans and Singapore canes. I think we finally started to earn the respect of our peers and all the fans.
It's interesting that you noted the use of Singapore canes. One place you had the opportunity to work was under someone that was synonymous for using them, Tommy Dreamer at House of Hardcore? How was that experience?
Just a quick backstory on how I got booked on that show. I wrestled on the show in November 2014, but in August 2014, Tommy Dreamer and the other trainers at his school had a seminar in Poughkeepsie, NY, and three other guys went up to try out. It was half try out to get booked by House of Hardcore, and the other half was that one person that never wrestled before would get a free scholarship to House of Hardcore's wrestling school. So just a very cool interesting concept. I did it. I paid whatever it was, $100, hoping for the best and maybe I'll get an opportunity. Maybe talent relations will get a look at me and know who I am by the end of the day. So, I did it. I was wrestling one of his students, I didn't know it was one of his students at the time, his name is Joe Caldo, and we had a pretty decent match. Tommy Dreamer said it was the best Joe Caldo match he had ever seen, so that was a pretty good sign.
After that he didn't announce who won. It wasn't like ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the seminar, Joe Schmoe'. There was no announcement at all. I just wanted to keep in contact with him. So, I gave him my resume and I said I'm sure you get a million of these and is it okay if I give you mine? He said ‘Well, now it's a million and one'. He took my resume, and I got his email address and I emailed him maybe a week later maybe thanking him for the seminar, and asked what day he was going to be at his school, I just wanted to show up. So, he told me which day he was going to be there, and when I showed up, he was there. I trained, he liked my match again. He said, ‘Anthony I really liked your match and your work. I want to announce on Twitter that you won the seminar and want to book you for an upcoming House of Hardcore.'
As you can hear by my voice, I'm like ‘Oh, shit this is real. I am going to get booked'. This is the end of August, I don't talk to him again for a month. No contact at all from him. I'm thinking ah, man, is this really going to happen? Did he just say this? So, I contacted someone who knew him personally and I said can I have Tommy Dreamer's number and he said sure no problem. I had his email, but he probably gets like fifty million emails a day. Finally, I grow some balls and I text him. He goes “Anthony Green?” I go, “Yeah.” “Are you available this date?” I say, “Yeah.” “I want to book you for this date for House of Hardcore.” I am like “Perfect”. That's how I officially got booked.
Now if we want to talk about the day of, which I assume you do, the day of, Donovan Dijak and Cam and I all drive up, and I somehow hit the biggest pothole in history and my car is like ruined. If I go over 60 miles an hour it makes just a terrible noise, and instead of stopping and checking it out. I am like, I need to get to Philadelphia and we are only in Connecticut. There is this three-hour drive, I am like, screw it I am going to deal with it. I put the music loud so I didn't have to hear it, and I drive all the way to Philly not knowing what I was going to do on the show. Mind you, this is the first House of Hardcore show at the original ECW Arena, and not only am I wrestling for an ECW Original at the ECW Arena, I'm against an ECW Original in Little Guido. My mind is just blown, this is incredible and mind boggling. I can honestly say that I only gave one offensive move the entire match, and I absolutely killed it.
How did you calm the nerves and focus on what was going to happen in the ring in front of this crowd?
Honestly, once I parked the car, I totally forgot the car was wrecked. That was an issue for another day. I was literally doing bucket list stuff. I completely forgot about the car. Now in terms of the match, I was going ballistic. This show had the Hardy Boyz versus the Young Bucks, Austin Aries versus Drew McIntyre, the Dudley Boyz versus Harry Smith and Lance Hoyt. It was just filled with superstars, and then there is our match. The best way is to describe our match is everyone involved was extremely talented. It was myself, Ben Ortiz and Vic Delicious against Team Tremendous and Little Guido.
I think as a fan, and this isn't me discrediting anyone in the match, but as a fan you see us all come out and it's a bunch of students and indie guys that nobody cares about, and they are putting Little Guido in the match to make the fans a little interested. No one knew who I was. And then the match happened and then honestly, we had the normal ‘holy shit' chants, an ‘ECW' chant, we got a ‘please come back chant,' a ‘that was awesome,' chant so it couldn't have ended up any better with a raucous crowd. That crowd is not forgiving, and if it sucked it sucked. So, I was very happy that we proved them wrong because we came out to crickets, no crowd reaction, but by the end of the match we were beloved by the fans.
I should shill my stuff. You can reach me on twitter, Instagram and snapchat @allgoodag. On my Facebook I sometimes accept wrestling fans if I’m actually looking. You can look me up, Anthony Greene. I also have a fan page, which is ‘All Good’ Anthony Greene. Other than that, I have a few awesome shows coming up.
Thursday, 10 August 2017
|Kazarian's passion for wrestling is matched by his passion for music.|
|Daniels championship win was as much a win for Kazarian as it was for his closest friend.|
|Kazarian's passion for music as the bassist of VexTemper is matched by his dedication in the ring.|
|The future is just as bright for Kazarian in music with VexTemper as it is in wrestling.|