Today we are joined with Jeremy Wyatt. He is considered by many to be the best wrestler in the Midwest that has not been signed by ROH, TNA or WWE. Throughout his career he has earned the nickname “The Belt Collector”, as he has torn across the Midwest capturing singles and tag team titles while having exciting matches with an array of different opponents.
In 2015, he has shown no signs of slowing down as he is currently the enjoying his fifth reign as the 3XWrestling Championship and is also one half of the Pro Wrestling Phoenix Tag Team Champions with his teammate/rival, “The World’s Fittest Wrestler” Mark Sterling. Wyatt is the first ever MWR Wrestler of the Year and the only man to be included in every MWR Match of the Year before it was retired. So it is with great pleasure that we have in this edition of 10 Questions with Jeremy Wyatt.
MWR: Jeremy thanks you so much for taking the time to join us at Missouri Wrestling Revival.
Jeremy: No problem, thanks for having me.
MWR: Before we get into the serious world of pro wrestling, it is no secret to your fans that you are a hardcore fan of your hometown Kansas City Royals. Last year the boys in blue had an exciting year that saw them make it within one game of winning the Major League World Series. Were you able to make it to any of those postseason games, and if so what was that experience like? As the 2015 season is about to start, have the Royals improved themselves enough to make it back and why do you feel that way?
Jeremy: Yeah, I made it to Game 6 of the World Series. One of the funnest nights of my life. The whole season was a crazy ride. I’ve been going to 15-20 games a year since I graduated high school. I’ve watched a lot of bad baseball, as have a lot of Royals fans. To finally be repaid was so awesome. The whole city came together to support the team and the vibe of the city was amazing. I shed a tear or two when they clinched, won the wild card, then the ALDS, and ALCS. Definitely something I’d like to get used to.
As far as how they’ll do in 2015, it’s hard to say they’ll be better. The only way they’re better is if they win the World Series. I think they’re setup to compete for the Division and make some noise. Have a chance to get to postseason and see what happens. If they can get the lead through five or six innings, they’re gonna be tough to beat again.
MWR: Today, you are among the most respect wrestlers in the Midwest. Were you a wrestling fan growing up and how did you get your start?
Jeremy: Yeah, I’ve been a fan for as far back as I can remember. My dad occasionally will tell stories about how when I was three- or four-years-old, I’d try to wrestle everyone. Go bearhug their leg and try to pick them up, stuff like that. I started with a place called MEW, it wasn’t the best place but it got my foot in the door. Almost fourteen years later, here we are. That’s the much condensed version of the story.
MWR: Before you became known as “The Belt Collector”, you had the appropriate nickname “The Rebel” in Central States Wrestling. That promotion was known for their excellent matches that included appearances of wrestling stars AJ Styles , Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and the Monster Abyss mixed in with several of the top rising stars of the Midwest including Michael Strider, Derek Stone, Dingo, Brett Young, Tyler Cook, Steve Fender, Steven J Girthy, as well as yourself and Sterling. How did you come about “The Rebel” nickname and what were your most vivid memories of CSW.
Jeremy: The Rebel nickname came about because it’s my actual real middle name, and I wasn’t feeling very creative the day I was coming up with a “wrestling name”. Not much more to the story than that, haha. CSW was a really fun place. It was a place that all the guys in the area wanted to work at, much like Metro is now. CSW was the place that kind of started getting me noticed a little bit. I had a hard time getting bookings for quite a while my first couple of years due to some stigma of being associated with the place I started at. It sucked, I just wanted to wrestle and get better but most people wouldn’t give me the time of day because I was an “Estes” guy.
Anyways, after trying for a while, CSW, Joe McDonald and Michael Strider threw me a bone, I took advantage. Other places started booking me after that and I started gaining confidence and my work started improving dramatically.
MWR: CSW suddenly fades away even though the wrestling was top notch and Kansas City is pretty much a ghost town for pro wrestling. Unlike St. Louis, where there are several promotions within 30 minutes or so from each other, you had to drive hours to showcase your skills. You capture titles throughout the Midwest, including the Pro Wrestling Phoenix title in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the 3XW Championship in Des Moines, Iowa and the Lethal Wrestling Alliance in Missouri/Iowa (the current St. Louis Anarchy title) along the way. What stands out about either capturing the title or defending it during your triple reign that made you the only unanimous voted MWR Wrestler of the Year?
Jeremy: CSW going away definitely left a void, at the time. Guys in St Louis don’t realize how lucky they have it. There’s so many places to work in the area, plus you can drive four hours or so to Memphis or Chicago. The main thing about capturing those titles is simply this, multiple promotions believed in me and knew I’d deliver main event matches and angles. I believe the man makes the title, the title doesn’t make the man. Anybody can wear or carry a title around. It doesn’t really increase your value. But, with your work, you can definitely raise the value and prestige of a title. I don’t think any title I’ve won has been worse off or diminished while I had it. Over the years, it’s been a much bigger deal when I’ve lost titles than when I’ve won them–and a lot of my best matches have come in losses.
MWR: One man that has been a constant for the past several years in your career is Mark Sterling. The two of you have been the centerpiece of a group known as the Kansas City Killers with the likes of Mike Sydal and Showtime Bradley Charles.
This is a multipart question as your relationship is a huge part of many moments in wrestling for this generation. Your relationship as friends and enemies continues to this day, including a match that is set for April 3rd Super Spring Showdown against Sterling in Special Stipulation to be announced that evening for your 3XW Championship. First, how did you meet, and where did the Kansas City Killer name come from? One of my personal memories of the two of you teaming were a matchup against the Hooligans at High Voltage Wrestling where the ring fell apart. The four of you did not miss a beat and continued on to have an exciting matchup. What were you thinking at that moment and what advice do you have for a young wrestler if that should happen?
Jeremy: Sterling and I met when I started working at CSW. We knew of each other previously, but that’s the first time we were really ever around each other. I guess around 2007 or 2008, we started traveling together, and have been ever since. We are very similar, but very different. I’m more laidback and quiet, he’s much more hyper and high-strung. We’re a good Yin to the others’ Yang, but when it comes to wrestling we think very similarly. I take to the air a little more, and he’s more power-based but we have pretty similar styles. We believe in the same principles, share the same beliefs as far as psychology goes, etcetera. I’m definitely a better worker because of him, we push each other to be better. I could talk about Mark all day, honestly.
As far as the name, Kansas City Killers was given to us by Keny G. He’s another person who has become a really good personal friend. He and Mark were both in my wedding. When the middle rope broke in the match against the Hooligans, I didn’t really think much beyond “that sucks, but we’ll figure it out”. Stuff like that happens from time to time. Can’t panic. They know what they’re doing, we know what we’re doing, we knew we all would figure it out, and we did. You don’t want things like to happen, but it’s a nice challenge when they do to see if you can get through it.
MWR: You have fought against a lot of the top names in pro wrestling, including being featured in the MWR Best of the Midwest DVD at Dynamo Pro Wrestling against Davey Richards.
Recently you also defeated former ROH World Champion Michael Elgin this past year in Illinois at Dynamo Pro.
I had a friend/fan that asked me how the match was against you and Christopher Daniels at MPW, and I told them that it went an exciting 40 minutes plus as 500 fans were into the match from start to finish, where my friends replay was “I take it they didn’t mail it in?” My reply was “has he ever?” This was the second match with you and Daniels, with the first being several years prior. I know that you are your hardest critic, so I ask you what was your thoughts of the match compared to the first? Also, who were your favorite matches against name opponents and why.
Jeremy: This last match was almost 9 years after the first. I’ve obviously improved leaps and bounds since then. The first match was good but it was obvious that he carried me. I was blown up and just trying to keep up and get to the finish. This time around, while he’s much more accomplished, I felt like I was his equal. I felt like I belonged in the ring with one of the best workers in the world. My confidence is a thousand times more than what it was back then. This may make me sound cocky or arrogant but it is how I honestly feel. While I don’t have the list of accomplishments, or the “name value” of a lot of guys, there’s not a single one of them that I don’t think I can’t get in the ring with and have a good to great match with. My path in wrestling hasn’t taken me the way of being world renowned but I have full confidence I can go with anyone. Other matches against “names” that stand out are a 30-minute time limit draw vs Seth Rollins (Tyler Black) back in April 2010 for 3XW.
We’ve all seen what he’s went on to become, he may be the best all-around performer going today, and will likely be a multi-time future world champ.
Another guy is Adam Pearce; we had five or six matches, all of them were fun, intense, and good. We just seemed to mesh well together.
I’ve been lucky, I’ve gotten to work my fair share of guys who’ve accomplished some very good to great things in this wacky business. Stevie Richards, Colt Cabana, Jerry Lynn, Road Dogg, Samoa Joe, Ace Steel, Eric Young, a multitude of ROH guys. It’s a long list and the experience has been really positive with pretty much all of them.
MWR: One last question of the past: MWR was covering you at one of your title hunts in Illinois for All American Pro Wrestling. I am not going to lie, we have covered over 300 events during the MWR years and it was one of the very few where there was a riot almost started as there was true heat and it was directed at you Sterling. after a match . I remember at the end of the night saying my goodbye to the promoter and some of the fans and the next thing I knew, a small mob was forming to come get you. It is obvious that you hit a nerve at one point from their fans, who were you wrestling and how did it get so heated that the fans were after you?
Jeremy: Heat machine, baby!! I used to always want to get people so pissed that it’d start a riot; I probably should’ve been born another twenty years earlier. I’ve turned it down some but I think people still pay money wanting to see me get my ass kicked. As far as that particular incident, I said something to a guy, he thought I said something else and got all worked up. So, once I knew he was heated, I just tried to get more and more people worked up. Don’t remember the exact details but Sterling may have been at ringside with me or he may have just interfered in the match later on. Pretty sure it was a match against Mississippi Madman.
MWR: I am of the belief that there you are one of only a handful of wrestlers that a promotion in the Midwest can build around to carry a company. We have seen that in Metro Pro Wrestling, 3XWrestling, Pro Wrestling Phoenix and before in LWA, as you are able to be the hated bad guy or the man that they have grown to love.
I know that this may be the hardest question that I throw at you, but what do you feel you have done to have made the fans become so invested in you, as either a good or bad guy in the ring?
Jeremy: I think it mostly comes down to being believable in the ring. Nothing I do is overly intricate, or choreographed looking. I don’t think I do anything that looks fake. While we may be doing wrestling moves, it looks like a fight. Anybody can get people to pop for moves, not everybody can get people emotionally invested. If I can get the same reaction from a chop or punch that someone gets from a dive, for example, I don’t need to dive. I’ll just punch you in the face but when I do dive, the reaction is going to be even bigger.
I also think people can see how hard I work to give them their money’s worth. The whole show could suck, hopefully it doesn’t, but if it does, I’m still going to do everything I can to make them feel like the $10 to $20 they spent was worth it. The main thing is if you can get people to believe in you and invest emotionally in you, the moves you do don’t really matter.
MWR: We had spoken about how Kansas City had become a ghost town for wrestling for quite some time. Thankfully, Chris Gough would spearhead Metro Pro Wrestling in 2010 and pro wrestling is alive and well in Kansas City.
I like to call Chris Gough the Sam Muchnick of Kansas City as both men were/are of high integrity, and were/are respected in the mainstream sports world and brings that attribute to the squared circle. Like Muchnicks’ NWA, the best of the Midwest have pretty much made their way to the Turner Rec Center for MPW including a highly respected match in the Adam Pearce vs. Colt Cabana’s Seven Levels of Hate series, as well as wrestlers Stevie Richards, Kyle O’Reilly, Trevor Murdoch, Ace Steel and Christopher Daniels mixed in with the likes of Metro Pro Champion Derek Stone, ACH, Mike Sydal, SBC, The Commission, Pete Madden, The American Bulldogs, Miss Natural, Kobra Kai Dojo, Lucy Mendez,Dan Walsh, Ryan Drago (NXT’s Simon Gotch) and Tyler Cook just to name a few. What has surprised you the most of Chris Gough and what has been the recipe for success for MPW?
Jeremy: Chris is a good guy, first and foremost. He’s just a good person, in general. As a promoter, he takes care of people, you’ll never hear him say “sorry, the house was light”. With the booking, he has ideas, but if you have a better idea, or an idea to tweak his idea and improve on it, he’ll be more than willing to go that route. He gives people a lot of freedom, but he’s there to reel them in if need be. Some people, if it’s not their idea, they don’t want to do no matter how much more your way may make more sense. I think people perform better if they at least feel like they can contribute ideas to what they’re doing. They become more emotionally invested in the match or angle. He runs the show, the whole shebang, but he makes time for everyone and makes sure everyone is happy and excited to be involved in whatever they have going on that particular night, or for future shows. Chris gets a huge thumbs up from me.
MWR: Last but not least, you are heading into the middle of 2015, better than ever, but the stack is against you wherever you go. You continue to lock down title belts around the Midwest and look for more. This coming week, you will take a break from challenging Sterling for who is the best in the Midwest, as the two of you travel to Illinois to enter the Proving Ground Pro 8-man tag team tournament to add to the PWP Tag team belts to the KCK résumé (Editors note: This interview was unable to be put up on the site in time for this match to happen) , then on the 28th the two of you will be defending your PWP Tag Team Champions in Council Bluffs, Iowa. On April 3rd in Des Moines, Iowa it’s the start of the double shot weekend as you defend your title against your Sterling at 3XW.
The next night you make your way to Metro Pro Wrestling as Commissioner Strider has ordered a special tag match, as you and SBC will meet Sterling and Mike Sydal. If you or SBC is pinned, you are fired from Metro Pro Wrestling. I personally would love to see you challenge for the World League Wrestling Championship this year for your first opportunity to capture Harley Race’s title. All in all though, you will have logged thousands of miles for the love of wrestling. How much fun are you having, and what are your goals as you are expected to once again be in the running for the MWR Wrestler of the Year?
Jeremy: I’ve made it no secret that I’m a lot closer to the finish line than I am the beginning but I’m having a ton of fun. I only work at places that I enjoy, I’ve done it long enough that I can be more selective with my bookings. But I’m also managing to keep pretty busy. It’s funny, the shows you mentioned coming up, Mark and I are either teaming or fighting. Either way, it’s a good combo. I sometimes wonder how good of a team Mark and I could’ve been if we just focused on that. But we both enjoy beating each other up in singles matches too much to strictly be a team.
My goals are pretty simple, have as much fun as I possibly can, this isn’t going to last forever. I want to keep trying to get better. When my last match comes, I want to be the absolute best I’ve ever been. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. I also really want to help guys get better, while I’m still around. I’ve been trying to be more active in giving advice and feedback. It sounds corny, but I want to help make this area better than it was when I started. I’m at least trying to do my part. Those are the main things. There’s guys I’ve never faced, like AJ Styles, who I’d like to get in there with, and test myself against but that’s out of my control. So, if it happens, great. If not, no sweat, I’ve gotten to work a lot of other guys up to this point. And since I’ve been robbed of the MWR Wrestler of the Year award the last six years in a row, I’ll throw winning it in 2015 on the list.
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