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Exclusive Interview with "Dangerboy" Nathan Brown

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Guest TSMAdmin

Nathan Brown, who works the Ontario indie scene under the name “Dangerboy” and was a regular in the U.S. indies and has even trained down in Mexico with AAA, gave me the opportunity to conduct an interview with him about his career in indie wrestling and his goals for the future.


Jeremy Wall: How did you get started in wrestling?


Nathan Brown: Well, I have always been a fan ever since I was little. (I) started (at) about age eight, (and) that's when I decided I wanted to be a wrestler.


JW: What year did you start training, and when did you have your first match?


NB: Well, I started working out with weights at age ten. In 1994 me and my brother attended an indie show put on in Chatham, Ontario. Al Snow worked the show as a member of the Fabulous Kangaroos (teamed with Denny Kass). Lots of guys said they wanted to be wrestler (to Al). He said just come down to his gym in Lima, Ohio. I was too young, of course. Funny story: when Al left the Kangaroos, Denny replaced him with a young guy from Windy City Wrestling out of Chicago, (who was) Christopher Daniels. Daniels even had to learn the accent. Anyone with old Windy City tapes has a gold mine and they don't know it.


JW: Ok, so your brother "Shooter" Shawn Brown trained with Al in Ohio?


NB: Yes, Shawn moved down to Limafor (for) about two years, living in the gym. I would go down and visit on weekends. I was still in High school. The Blue Meanie is a good friend of his. I got to know everyone in the gym. I was known as Shawn's brother. Few people actually remember my name. The first year I just watched and snuck in the ring when Al would go home for supper.


JW: What was your initial impression of Snow?


NB: A really nice guy. One of the best wrestlers I saw was his Shinobi character. (He's) a joker with a good heart, (and is) willing to help out the young guys. He hadn't done anything major at that time.


JW: Did you train at all with Al, or did you start your training after Sean finished with Al?


NB: Well by year two he got used to seeing my face, (and) as I was in school back home Shawn would come home to visit teach me the basics and bumps. I trained after hours on my high school football field.


JW: What year was this?


NB: I was maybe seventeen so 1995. My dates are a little fuzzy.


JW: Did you receive any formal training at a gym or school after that?


NB: Sure. I trained at the Border City Wrestling school under Irish Mickey Doyle, when Scott D'Amore was busy in WCW. When Al moved up to the WWF and Smokey (Mountain Wrestling) got too busy, he hired D-Lo Brown to head up the training at Body Slammer's (Al's gym), (which was) in '96 maybe. Shawn would drive to Indianapolis Thursday nights to work for Mike Samples all summer. We'd stop in Lima for the weekend so I could train with that class. I knew my basics and how to bump; I just needed to work in a ring. It was perfect. Let's see, that class produced a few guys you puroresu fans might know: Bionic J from ARSION was training that summer. (So was) Iron Shiek #2, Casey Guyer. He has worked a few tours with All Japan in the last few years. At that point Al was getting a lot of people just being SMW marks.


JW: So since that point where have you worked?


NB: Well, I will be honest. I made mistakes (by) not trying harder in school, so I had to stay in Ontario/Michigan wrestling. I used to ditch classes every Friday to go wrestle in Burlington, Ontario for Bob Woods, (who was) one of the craziest promoters I ever met.


JW: Why do you say that?


NB: Well to him the wrestling did not matter. He didn't even know what the NWA was. He was too worried about the lighting (of the events). Wrestling is about the show in the ring, not what color the turnbuckles are. After I finally finished school, myself and my brother got a call from a guy we met working in Detroit. He moved to Louisville Kentucky and was starting a small territory and he needed a few guys.


JW: How long did that end up lasting?


NB: Well we were the only ones to take him up on the offer. He guaranteed $40 a match, so like true pros we doubled our work by working two gimmicks. I was Danger Boy and The Convict: two hooded gimmicks. Shawn was a heavyweight so he got to work a lot of mains. Until I went to the southern U.S. I was a bit of a spot monkey, never thinking about the crowd. After a few months in the school of hard knocks I learned.


JW: How long did you stay down in the southern US?


NB: We spent eight months down there, living in the ghetto of Louisville. That's the home base of OVW and Ian Rotten's IWA. Louisville, that is. (We were) working double shots three times a week plus anything else we could find. My average week went like this: Tuesday we worked twice, Wednesday (in) Evensville for Shelby Abcott, Thursday we worked twice, Friday we worked twice, Saturday (twice a month), Sunday off. I dropped thirty pounds and had killer abs. (We) lived off tuna cans and Mr. Noodle. The last few months were not very good, (but) the first three months were fine. The next five months the meals just kept getting smaller.


JW: How difficult is it for a performer to make a living off the indie scene?


NB: Impossible. I know some guys in the southern U.S. can do it. Chris Michaels can. Tracy Smothers can. In any place other than the deep south you can't, at least in the U.S. or Canada.


JW: So what happened at that point?


NB: The crowd had already seen Tracy Smothers (who was working there at the time) and his name value in the towns was getting used up. Near the end Midwest Pro Wrestling was drawing in the 40s, (and) to cut costs he (the promoter) started booking us only once a night. We decided to come home in May of 2000.


JW: Did you proceed to start working indies here in Ontario?


NB: A little here and there. Ontario is not a hot bed for wrestling. Your average promotion is students from a school and a few of the local names, with most of the work in the greater Toronto area. Guys in the southern (Ontario) area might ask for a little extra for gas.


JW: So was that the last time you made an extended trip to the United States?


NB: Yes. If you don't have a place to stay it is very hard to afford an extended stay anywhere. Wrestling doesn't cover a lot of bills. Without the proper work Visa, Canadians have to survive off wrestling alone. That's really tough.


JW: Now since your last stay in the US you've been down to Mexico to train just this year. How did that opportunity come about?


NB: Well like everything else you just have to know people. I was sitting at my computer like I do every night and my old friend Chad (Casey, the promoter from Louisville) pops up. We start the talking, I explain that I want to take a vacation. He says come down to Mexico. He would introduce me to the right people. I have always taken my gimmick as a luchadore very seriously, so I decide to go down. I was saving my money to go to a Japanese Dojo, but I figure this is the next logical progression.


JW: Which company did you train under down there?


NB: Mexican wrestling is divided into two groups: CMLL and AAA, with two wrestling gyms. Chad had recently jumped to AAA. So I attended Gymnasio Latino Americana, (which is) the AAA training facility. It is a four story building with two rings and a large matted area along with a large weight area. I will not say what it cost a month to join, but the rings are always busy.


JW: Who were the trainers for that gym?


NB: There are different trainers with slotted times of classes. The second ring is used primarily for top guys to train. Toryumon officially has classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday 6-8 at night. Jorge, the trainer of Toryumon, also teaches at eleven in the morning everyday for the not-so-advanced students. Jorge works mostly in Mexico as Stryder. My Spanish was very rusty and it made things very hard.


JW: How long were you in Mexico?


NB: Three weeks. I had to learn everything from scratch.


JW: Was the experience of being down there and training down there helpful?


NB: I trained with as many different people as I could when I wasn't attending the Toryumon classes. Every wrestler is willing to teach as long as you are willing to learn. I came back with a new outlook on wrestling.


JW: Did you make any contacts down there to try and get future work in Mexico?


NB: Well since I have a unique look and I already knew someone, I had to opportunity to met the Vince McMahon of AAA, Antonio Pena.


JW: What was your impression of him?


NB: He recently had a stroke so he did not look in the greatest of health. My impression is he one of the smartest guys to ever not officially promote a show in three years.


JW: How did the opportunity to meet him come about?


NB: My contact had to meet Pena to talk about a possible AAA TV syndication deal in the U.S.. I was asked to come along.


JW: How strong is kayfabe in Mexico as compared to Canada or the U.S.?


NB: Kayfabe is easy to keep in Mexico as 90% of the guys work under hoods, (and) just use first names when walking around the city.


JW: How passionate about wrestling are the Mexicans down there?


NB: Mexicans are loyal to their wrestling. AAA fans will not watch or attend CMLL. I have heard stories of people deciding to go to wrestling with their last fifty pesos rather than buy something to eat. It is a growing concern among the boys that the TV is lowering the crowd that attend the live shows. There is no pay per view in Mexico. The Arena Mexico is the top show every week. And it's on Friday night and it airs on Saturday morning the following day.


JW: Do you plan to do down to Mexico again, either to train or to find work with one of the promotions?


NB: I really do hope to go again this time to CMLL. It has stronger ties to New Japan Pro Wrestling, and they work a harder style than the AAA wrestlers. Ultimately every wrestler has to have a goal in mind. You have to know what it is and make steps toward it.


JW: Right. What are you current goals for wrestling?


NB: Currently I am learning Japanese, to make that (speaking the language) better. For the next little while I'll prepare my tape to send to the New Japan Canadian agent in Calgary, (and) by working as many shows as I can (and) try to wrestle the best guys I can. After that, I might go down to Inoki's dojo in LA. Due to my size I know I will never work for the WWE, so I try not to work that style.


JW: How many dates are you working a month at this point?


NB: Currently I am working only two dates a month, (and) a lot of the time it is with less that caliber opponents. Keep in mind no wrestler is ready to go big in less than five years. If they go to the top to fast they mentally are not ready to handle it.


JW: In your opinion, what sells tickets on the indie level?


NB: A good promoter with a good crew. On the indie level people need to know their limit. A promoter should not try to run all of Ontario, (and) just run one or two shows every month at the same venues, (and) draw a good crowd in your small corner of the world for six months straight before you think you can take over the world.


JW: Which wrestler(s) influence your style of wrestling?


NB: I always loved wrestling since I was little. As I started to get older I realized I was not going to be the next Hulk Hogan. I was going to be small. It wasn't until I saw Jushin Liger and Brian Pillman that I though, 'yeah I could do that'. The match that really sparked my undying love for wrestling was (on the) WCW Japan Super Show, Jushin Liger versus Ultimo Dragon.


JW: In your opinion, how difficult is it to go from the indies to the big-time, whether it be WWE, Japan, or elsewhere where the big money is?


NB: Well, it's a matter of time. Most guys don't have patience. If it doesn't happen fast enough they quit the business or just become weekend warriors. (You need to) know the right time to make your move.


JW: Where do you see yourself in one year's time?


NB: I see myself probably still here in Canada with one tour (of Japan) under my belt. I study ever aspect of this business. I listen and learn. Japanese groups test a guy out give him one tour, then not book him for six, just to see what he does, see if he quits.


JW: Do you have any shoot or martial arts training?


NB: Shoot, yes, but martial arts, no. I have been working in the finer art of 1900 catch wrestling. It is hard to find but it is out there. (An example of a catch wrestler would be) Tony Chechine out of Chicago, (who was) trained by Lou Thesz. If you don't believe me I have competed in the last two years in the Canadian Open Grappling Tournament each year in Hamilton, Ontario.


JW: So you trained with Chechine?


NB: Only a little. My crew has gotten a reputation of being shooters. Chicago is a long way to go (from here). Shawn (Brown) and Mike (O'Shea - promoter of Ontario Pro Wrestling) have also spent a few weekends at Dan Severn's estate. Dan's another one of Al's original students. We train on occasions to stay sharp. My last match a few of my crew expected me to sneak something in. Maybe next time.


JW: Is there anything you want to add to the interview?


NB: Sure, wrestling is one of those things that is filled with good and bad options. Anyone looking to find the easy way (will get burnt). You will soon realize if you take it, (but) years down the road. It never is worth it. The harder something is, the better it is. If it was easy to succeed it would not be called success.


If you enjoyed the above interview, there's plenty more of exclusive articles, TV and tape reviews and interviews in the Touch Of Evil newsletter.


Details of the March 24th issue:


History of WrestleMania and preview of WrestleMania X9


We take a look at the history of WrestleMania including the best and worst moments and ideas in WrestleMania, the best and worst attendance records and buyrates, booking after WrestleMania that lend to negative trends in business, and a match-by-match preview of this year's event plus more.


Angle to work WrestleMania


Notes on Angle's decision to work WrestleMania, what doctor's are saying, what his trainer is saying, and what could end up happening in that match


Review of the 2/23 All Japan Show


Match by match review of the show featuring Shinya Hashimoto defeating Great Muta for the Triple Crown title.


Review of the 3/13 NWA-TNA show


Match by match review of the show plus a look at the value of the show and if it was really worth paying $10 for.


TV reports for Raw, Smackdown, Portland Wrestling, New Japan WPW and OVW TV


Reviews of recent TV from all of the above listed shows.




- Very detailed notes on all of the recent house shows


- Shark Boy appears on Raw but barely anyone knows it


- Rock vs. Brock rematch notes


- Notes on minor injury at Smackdown tapings


- Notes on the Girls Gone Wild PPV locations


- Update on Edge's neck surgery


- Fozzy getting great pub from King Of All Media


- Notes on Smackdown being renewed


- Notes on the recent Smackdown South African tour and figures for that


- Shawn Michaels wants to work against two legends in WWE


- Raw writer removed from creative team


- WWE subsite reopened


- Tons of results.


- More.




- New format for the Champion's Carnival


- Expected main event tag match for All Japan to be announced


- Mutoh trying to convince two stars to work next W-1 show


- Notes on Yuji Nagata's record tying 10 straight title defenses and who he wants to wrestle for the tie-breaking match, who the other person is who he's tied with, and who Nagata may actually end up working against


- Notes on Makai Club angle


- Notes on foreigners being used for current New Japan tour


- Top shootfighter to work wrestling show


- WMF angle ran to set-up three way match


- NOAH TV ratings


- Masked wrestler wanting to run for office, and problems with that


- Rumored wrestling opponent for Bob Sapp


- WJPRO TV ratings


- Tons of results


- More.




- Notes on the Rash Report


- What I did and didn't agree with in the recent TNA nudity


- Dark matches from the 3/13 show


- Notes on TNA advertising


- More.




- Legends match announced


- Notes on Portland Wrestling possible revival


- XPW notes, and how and why they're failing


- Benefit show run by cop shop


- MLW new hiring


- Wrestling legend admitted into hospital


- Another man responsible for WCW's death no longer in power


Mixed Martial Arts


- Notes on the upcoming K-1 shows, including the Sapp vs. CroCop fight


- Top Middlewight fighter to return to Japan


- Rumors of DSE folding and PRIDE being sold


- Notes on Kazushi Sakuraba


- Notes from an interview with Nino Schembri


- Major MMA company inks new PPV deal


- King Of All Media plugs UFC


- Another legends fight for UFC


- UFC 41 figures


- Plans for UFC's Heavyweight division


- Notes on Ricco Rodriguez's injuries


All this plus more!


You can get your subscription started by clicking here. Specials for this month are listed below.


The special for the month of March is one free back issue, plus a four week subscription, plus a FREE COPY of the 2002 Inoki Bom Ba Ye event! You get all of this for US$11 (CDN$16, Overseas US$13). And that price includes shipping!


Touch Of Evil subscription special for this week only: Purchase a 12 week subscription (12 issues for US$27, CDN$40, and overseas US$33) and receive TWO free tapes from Sleeping Dragon. Again, this special runs for one week only. Check the links below for more details on the videos and the publication, and for other specials offered


I'm also looking for some people to write guest columns on the Touch Of Evil website. The columns would also be printed in the Touch Of Evil newsletter itself, and anyone who sends a column in gets a free copy of the newsletter where their column will appear. Click on my email link below to contact me.



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