A look into hopes and dreams of “The Brand New Classic” Johnny Vinyl
By Kari Williams
“Ever since I found out you can make a living at wrestling outside of WWE, it’s what I’ve wanted to do.”
When Johnny Vinyl walks to the ring, he hears the echoes of jeering fans, but that has not stopped “The Brand New Classic” from pursuing his dream — in fact, “getting someone so mad that they take a swing at you is a great feeling.”
Vinyl’s initial attraction to wrestling was a casual glance on Saturday mornings, but soon grew into much more.
“I became a serious watcher the same time everyone else did, the Attitude Era. Some kids on my baseball team at around 2nd or 3rd grade were talking about it during our Monday afternoon practice. That night I went home and turned on Raw. I remember the first main event I ever saw was Austin/Undertaker vs. Mankind/Kane vs. Rock/D’Lo Brown vs. New Age Outlaws,” Vinyl said.
However, it was not until seeing the straightedge superstar C.M. Punk that Vinyl had an interest in pursuing wrestling as a career. He noticed that Punk did not have the biggest and best body (at the time) and that he was not 6’8”, but still had a presence that translated to fans.
“Throughout school I was always on speech and debate teams, and did a little bit of drama for half a year before I realized the girls weren’t as hot I was hoping. So I knew I could talk in front of people and if I could just get the athletic side of things down, I’d do alright,” he said.
Opportunity presented itself to “The Brand New Classic” in the form of the now-defunct Gateway Championship Wrestling (GCW) in the St. Louis, MO area. For approximately 18 months, Vinyl trained under Ring of Honor (ROH) star Dingo.
“Davey Vega and I went to [GCW] shows all the time in high school. One day they put up an ad on their website about guys interested in training. I was the only one to respond to it. Since I was 17 at the time, I had to drag my mom out there to Overland, which is where they were doing the training at the time, and she was pissed,” he said.
In addition to the GCW Dojo, Vinyl has “done seminars with Samoa Joe, Nigel McGuinness, Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin and Mike Quackenbush.”
For Vinyl, getting “Quackenbush to namedrop [him] and wear [his] t-shirt on the CHIKARA Podcast was pretty cool.”
However, he may not go so far as to call that a success because of the circumstances.
“I don’t know how much of an ‘accomplishment’ it was since it was a big rib, but I still enjoyed it,” he said.
Within the next two years, Vinyl aspires to be working for CHIKARA, however, his overall dream is to wrestle “in Europe and Japan and make a living through wrestling.”
Up to this point in his career, two specific matches have stuck out in his mind — one was working with MsChif and Daizee Haze, which he considers “a real cool honor,” and the other is being involved in the eight man elimination street fight main event at Lethal Wrestling Alliance’s [LWA] upcoming “Circus Maximus” on July 12, 2008.
“When Vega and I were put together, a whole lot of people only saw us a jobber team that would probably be dumped in a couple of months, so being in the main event of what could end being LWA’s biggest show to date is really a great feeling. When you look at that card and you see Ms.Chif on there, you see Billy McNeil’s comeback, you see Adam Raw and Nick Tyson wrestling each other for the last time, it’s going to be very diffilcult to main event that show, but we’re going to do our best to tear the house down,” he said.
Lastly, Vinyl has a shout-out of sorts to all of his female fans.
“I’m considering making a baby tee or spaghetti straps or something like that for my next [shirt]. If any girls would be interested in buying something like that or, even better, have some idea on what style to make and what to put on it, visit my Myspace at myspace.com/bncjohnnyvinyl and give me some feedback,” he said.
Johnny Vinyl Fast Facts:
Years Wrestling: I first walked into a wrestling school three and a half years ago, [and] I’ve been doing shows for almost two years now.
Companies Worked For: I wrestled a couple [of] matches under a mask for GCW, but as Johnny Vinyl I’ve worked for LWA, UWA [Ultimate Wrestling Alliance], LAW [Lethal Attitude Wrestling] in Arkansas, TLCW in Tennessee, one match for CSW, [and] maybe a couple others here and there.
Most Important Lesson From Wrestling: If I could sum up the wrestling business in one word, it would be ‘respect’. Wrestling taught me to respect people who deserve it, even if you don’t personally like them that much.
Favorite Match Thus Far: Fairview Heights with [Davey] Vega against K.C. Karrington and Steven Kennedy. Nobody thought we could pull off that match because all four of us weren’t exactly loved by the crowd. But we did some mic work at the beginnning and some little touches in the match that got the crowd behind the Ego’s. And the finish with Vega blasting Tiffany LaFane with a forearm was the loudest reaction I’ve been a part of yet.
Dream Match: Myself and Davey Vega versus Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black. I think those two as an overall package are the best tag team going in North America. No offense to the Briscoes, Motor City Machine Guns, or Steen and Generico because they are all fantastic, too, but I enjoy The Age of the Falls’ gimmick, character, and chemistry together. I would love to have that match.