Friday, August 26, 2011
Interview with Jimmy Rave of Rampage Pro Wrestling
TJ Hawke: If I'm not mistaken, you're currently working for Rampage Pro Wrestling in Georgia. How is it going with that promotion? Are there other promotions that you are consistently working for?
Jimmy Rave: RPW is amazing! We are featured on FOX 24 in the Macon, GA area along with Cox Cable and MyNetwork TV, so we are very visible. The amount of great talent they've brought in just in the last year alone: Bryan Danielson, Luke Gallows, Colt Cabana, Davey Richards, Adam Pearce, Dark City Fight Club and so many more. It's a show where you will get more actual wrestling than anything else you will see on tv. I'm very supportive of them. Check them out at www.RampageProWrestling.net. I've been working with NWA Chattanooga, Elite Championship Wrestling in Ozark, AL and a few others but RPW is every other Sunday so it's a more regular thing.
TJ: Most wrestling fans probably last saw you on the national stage on Impact Wrestling in June. How was it to go back to TNA? Are you hoping to get back there full-time soon?
JR: It was amazing to go back and get to wrestle Austin Aries and Kid Kash. I felt like we all had great showings. The best part was getting to see all my old friends and hanging out. I'd love to go back because I'm in a better place in life and a lot more clear headed so I think I have way more to offer than my previous run there.
TJ: How do you feel about your first run in TNA? Was there something about that time that you are most proud of?
JR: I had a great time working there. We were on a lot of the house shows and those matches were awesome. Especially working with the Machine Guns, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Abyss and so many others. That is really where I had a great time. I let myself get out of shape and made a ton of excuses for myself. But now I'm in a good place and totally motivated and loving wrestling again.
TJ: While you probably received the most national exposure from your time in TNA, your arguably most celebrated time in your career was during your stints with Ring of Honor. Were there any big differences between your two different runs with the company? What were the reasons for you suddenly leaving the company in 2009?
JR: There was a huge difference between the two times I was there... My 2009 run, I was a complete drug addict to be honest. I didn't give a damn about wrestling because I just cared about scoring more pills and numbing myself. Which people probably could notice about what kind of shape I was in and how I looked and even my wrestling. ROH officals saw that and rightfully said "hit the road". In turn, I went to rehab, got a job as a director of a Wellness Center, and I now help people realize they throw everything away that they love when they start abusing drugs. My first run was amazing though. I learned so much and had the greatest times of my life there. I love the ROH product and a lot of the boys there have been my closest friends since I was 19.
TJ: You also have competed for two of the biggest wrestling companies in Japan: New Japan Pro Wrestling and Dragon Gate. What was it like to travel and compete in Japan? Was that always one of your goals?
JR: Yes, Japan was always one of my main focuses. Wrestling there was a whole new level of professionalism and hard work. They don't have a cruise control, it's go go go. I loved it and it motivated me so much. They were two of the best companies I've ever worked for and treated me with a great deal of respect. I still keep in contact with some of the friends I've made over there.
TJ: For this section of the interview, I was hoping you could share your thoughts on some prominent matches from your career:
Sunday Night Heat 3/14/05: Jimmy Rave vs. Chris Masters
JR: This was my first time doing anything for WWE and I was super nervous. Luckily, I had a ton of supporters there and they helped me out a lot. Chris was awesome to work with then, and I imagine he's 100 times better now. Plus, this was the night the Rockers reunited so that was pretty sweet! I think Jake Roberts did the Raw that night, too. Very random.
ROH Nowhere to Run 2005: Jimmy Rave vs. CM Punk in a Steel Cage
JR: This feud and match MADE me in ROH as a top guy. Punk and I had been having great stuff for months and to blow it off in Chicago in a steel cage was insane. The finish of this match was absolutely terrifying but I'm glad we did it. I learned a ton working with Punker and he's been a huge support for me in my career.
ROH Unscripted 2006: Jimmy Rave & Adam Pearce vs. Bryan Danielson & CM Punk
JR: I remember landing in NYC and getting to the hotel and seeing Punk. I knew then he was a dude that stood for what he believed in. He wanted to help ROH and help me and Pearce. The match was fun.... Pearce looked at me while the crowd was chanting "Jimmy sucks dick" and says, "it's okay that they know". We still laugh about that to this day.
ROH Anniversary Show 2006: Jimmy Rave vs. Bryan Danielson(c) (ROH Title)
JR: By far one of my favorite singles matches in my career. Bryan is the freaking man and being able to work with him was awesome. I think that was a match where people could tell that I may know how to wrestle, just a little bit.
ROH Anniversary Show 2009: Jimmy Rave & Bison Smith vs. Bryan Danielson & Colt Cabana
JR: Very emotional! I was so shocked about the reaction I got coming back then Cabana's reaction was even more insane. One of those perfect wrestling moments.
DGUSA Open the Southern Gate 2011: The Breakout Challenge
JR: I enjoyed that whole WrestleMania weekend run with DGUSA. Loved my match with Gargano actually. I needed to do this because it was the first time I had an opportunity to show I can still go since I got cleaned up.
TJ: Thanks for doing the interview Jimmy. Is there anything you want to promote (Twitter, Facebook, upcoming appearances, booking information, etc)?
JimmyRaveXTC@hotmail.com for bookings