When the Cat’s Away, the Mice Will Play

Hello All,

If you have read my first blog entry then “Welcome back”. If this is your first time viewing my blog page then you have joined us at a good time. Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about my training/journey to becoming a Pro wrestler. I said in my first blog entry that I would start from the beginning…. I was born April 29th 1985. HA, just kidding, I wont go back that far. I’m going to start at the point where my wrestling dream became a reality. As you will soon tell I’m horrible with remembering dates so bare with me.

It all started sometime in 2001 during the big Mtv wwe/wwf tough enough craze. A small wrestling company based out of NJ named Jersey All Pro Wrestling (J.A.P.W. for short) held a contest just like MTV did. Just one of the many difference was that this contest would last 1 day as oppose to the MTV contest that lasted weeks. The prize for winning the JAPW “tough enough” contest was FREE wrestling training. Apparently the actually date of the contest was July 7th 2001 ( I just looked this up on wikipedia myself). I forgot how much it cost to enter the contest but when I found out the date I remember asking my mom and dad if I could do it. Since at the time I was only 16, they would have to drive me and pay for me to enter the contest as well.

Not only did they agree to let me do it, but also my dad actually seemed just as excited as I was. The day of the contest I put on my favorite gym shorts, a no sleeved A.P.A shirt, and grabbed a towel and we headed out. During the drive to the contest I was super nervous. Here was the chance to live out my dream, make all my friends in school jealous, and to become a star! All I had to do was win this contest. I remember my dad asking me several times during the drive “You ready captain?” I always replied “yup”.

We arrived at this crappy looking building that looked like an abandoned mini market and outside stood some of the strangest looking people I have ever met. Some of which I’m great friends with today. We got inside and waited forever for this damn thing to start. This was our first real taste of the indy wresting world so we didn’t know that starting on time was not an option. At this point I was waiting not only for the contest to begin, But I was also wait on my dad to say, “ok I’m going to sit in the car”. Part of me didn’t want him to stay because I didn’t want him to see me lose. But he sat there in the back of the room with a smile, and his straw hat the whole time.

For hours they made us take back bumps, face bumps, and run from rope to rope till you couldn’t breath. Whatever 3 people did this the best would win the contest. At the end of the day they announced the 3 winners and I was not one of them. I didn’t want to even look in my dad’s direction. Luckily, 1 minute later they announced that they decided to pick a 4th winner. Low and behold that winner was me! They then explained to me that originally they were not going to pick me because I was only 16. Thank God they changed their minds. I was so excited that during the whole car ride home I planned matches in my head against Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the Undertaker. I went to sleep that night thinking “ This begins of my wrestling story”.

After I won the JAPW “tough enough” contest I trained at the JAPW School for 6 months. During those 6 months I had a great time learning some of the wrestling “basics” but JAPW was having trouble getting some of the paid students to pay for training. I’m pretty sure that the money from the students that were supposed to pay was going towards the rent for the building (hopefully). At the beginning of the 7th month the JAPW wrestling school closed it doors for good. I was told “the school is closed but you have learned very fast and you are pretty good now so we are going to put you on some of our shows here and there”. I was excited to be wrestling but I feared that there were still many things that I didn’t know and wanted to learn. So I contacted two of my friends who were attending the Mikey Whipwreck School. I asked about prices and if they could see if Mikey would let me join their class. Mikey agreed and I started training the same week the JAPW School closed.

The greatest part about training at Mikey’s school was they had an actual “head” trainer (Mikey). The JAPW School didn’t really have a head trainer. Whoever came in would show you a thing or two. That person would also try and work with everyone who showed up that day. Another cool part about training with Mikey Whipwreck was the fact that I watched him on TV. I was a fan of all wrestling and watched it anytime I could. Some of the old ECW guys would come in and help. Guys like Tom Marques, Roadkill , Simon Diamond, and Balls Mahoney. Mikey also had a way of making everything we learned seem fun. Plus, here I would meet one of my best/closest friends in the world, Amazing Red. Overall I loved Mikey’s school. Though training at Mikey’s wasn’t always fun. Some days Mikey would have to leave early, and when the cats away, the mice will play. Some of the old……old ECW guys would come in and beat us up for seemingly no reason at all.

I remember one incident during a free ring day. Free ring day is where we got to just wrestle around in the ring doing any and everything that we have learned. I was going back and forth with submissions in the ring with this one kid that we called “Burger”. Some of the guys around the ring at the time told us “No pin falls, don’t stop till someone taps out”. One minute into this little game unfortunately Mikey got a phone call and had to leave. Not two seconds after he had walked out of the door, Roadkill (who I was never a fan of) jumps on this apron and says “Jay your shoulders were down for three seconds, now get out”. This was the first time I had ever met Roadkill and I was shocked he even knew my name. Thinking that he didn’t here the rules of our little game I said to him while I had a guillotine choke loosely applied on burger “They told us to go until someone taps out”. Now I guess saying this series of nine words to Roadkill must trigger some kind of flash back to a dream world where there is no more food, because it instantly sent him into a rage. He replied, “You talk too much”. Then he tagged himself in and kicked me about Six or Seven times. These were the hardest kicks I have ever felt before in my life. He picked me up and clubbed me on the back with every ounce of energy his chubby arms could muster. I felt like that carnival game that you hit with a over sized mallet to try and get the ball to fly up high enough to ring the bell. Finally he jumped in the air as high as he could, which wasn’t that high since gravity was on my side. I think during that second he was in the air I somehow pissed off gravity too and she then sided with Roadkill. He splashed me with the weight of all 10,000 chickens that he would talk about in his promos that I would always fast forward through. Then he tossed me out of the ring. I remember thinking to myself “don’t let him see that you were the slightest bit affected by that”. As a matter of fact at the end of practice, as customary I went around shaking everyone’s hand and said, “See you next time”. When I got to road kill I shook his hand and said “thank you for teaching us today”. The truth is I really did learn a few things that day. I learned that you have to pick your battles, I learned a crash course of how to get thrown out of the ring, and I vowed never to be like Roadkill or any one like him.

After some time with all my training and still having matches for JAPW I finally felt like I was officially trained. That feeling developed by late December of 2003 when for the first time I had to wrestle against someone that I had never met. All this time I had been having matches with guys that went to the JAPW School, and guys that I personally knew. This time was different. His name was Derrick Wylde and I really enjoyed our match. On the way home after that show I thought to myself, “I think now I’m finally ready to begin.”

Thanks for reading

Jay