Interview with Adam Flash
September 22, 2004 -- by Alan Wojcik -- http://www.alanwokcik.com
Alan Wojcik: Where did you grow up and was wrestling part of your childhood?
ADAM FLASH is one of the top stars of the famed Combat Zone Wrestling promotion. He has worked for MCW (Maryland Championship Wrestling,) IWA-Mid South, WCW and ECW over his 10 plus year career. This interview was conducted before Flash made his NWA Florida debut on Saturday September 4, 2004 in a match with NWA FL star OG Scarface.
Adam Flash: I am from York, Pennsylvania which is outside Harrisburg. I started watching wrestling around five years old and I began competing in amateur wrestling and because I watched it on TV everyone thought that was what I would do when I got older. As far as favorites growing up I would say Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and Curt Hennig.
AW: What led to you give up amateur wrestling for professional wrestling and who trained you for the ring life?
Adam Flash: Watching it on TV and attending shows at my middle school led me to help in setting up the ring for shows. Joey Marella (former WWE referee and son of Gorilla Monsoon) was someone who helped set up the ring. One night he saw me outside with no ticket and brought me into the building telling people he was my older brother. He walked me from the back of the line right into the locker room. At that moment I knew this was what I wanted to do. I met Tito Santana, Don Muraco and Andre the Giant. I trained in a place in York called the Circus Asylum and was trained by Max Trasher and a friend of my brother named Curt Dread. I checked it out and decided it was for me. About two months of training I had my first match and that was 12 years ago, it's been a real long but fun road.
AW: Early on in your career you did some work for WCW on their TV shows, talk about how you got that chance and please tell me some of your memories of WCW.
Adam Flash: I was working for MEWF based out of Maryland run by Bob Star and he had contacts to Jody Hamilton who booked the TV show. He asked Bob for some guys and we went down to Orlando. I was with them on and off for eight months and it was a great time for me to be part of the Worldwide tapings. My first match was Quinn Nash and me taking on the Nasty Boys. This was when I wore the purple tights with the Atom on the back. We got told one of us was taking the pit stop and the other was taking the elbow for the finish. I was nominated to take the pit stop. Well the pit stop didn't happen and I was happy as hell. In the back we were sitting there and I found out Booker T watched the matches doing his own commentary. I was getting dressed while he was looking for "the kid with the honey combs on his tights." Well I didn't pay any attention to it and Rockin Rebel pointed me out to him and Booker asked "Boy what's on your tights?" I told him it was nuclear atom since my name was Atom Flash. He said "No that's a honey comb." So he stuck me with the name the Honey Comb Kid. Guys that didn't know anything was going on like Sting would see me and say hey what's going on Honey Comb? The name ran its course through my working for them. I had a mild friendship with Booker. I also worked Scott Norton, Alex Wright, Kevin Sullivan and Brutus Beefcake.
AW: At what point in your career did you become Adam Flash and how much of you is in him then and now?
Adam Flash: When you go into training the hard part is coming up with a viable name, gimmick, persona and an outfit that will get you over. I began wrestling as Tyler Martin and didn't like the name, it was way too cheesy. I realized I could get double paydays on shows if I wrestled under a hood so I came up with the Kabuki Kid and it was cool since I admired the Great Muta and his dad the Great Kabuki. I used to mimic their moves. So I would work as Tyler Martin then work as the Kabuki Kid. It got me money but also ring time which is real important when you are starting out. Adam Flash came from my middle name being Adam. There was a guy back in the day called Atom Smash so I played on that by adding Flash and wearing an atom on my tights. Atom Flash was born. Early on the name and character was real basic and I knew I didn't want to wear the traditional ring outfit. Around that time Raven was wearing the black jean shorts and cutoff shirt and plus I had long curly hair. I changed it once more to Adam Flash. I dressed like that and I got called a Raven clone so I changed to khaki shorts and flame colored socks. As far as how much of me is Adam Flash that sort of happened over my career. I got paired with my friend "Doomsday" Danny Rose in a tag team which we called the Rachies. I played the drunk of the duo and it lead to some real good promos. I am not a drunk but I do dabble in some drinking games from time to time. Your persona comes with you on the road; he is out all the time until you are alone or with close friends you drop Adam Flash and Doug Becker comes through. You need to separate the two when you are home with your wife and family. Sometimes people recognize me and say hey Adam how are you and it takes me a moment to realize he is talking to me.
AW: You mentioned Raven and if fans bought one of the RF Video/Fancam tapes they might have seen you compete for ECW. How did you come to do work for ECW?
Adam Flash: Jeff Jones and Axl Rotten who are friends of mine were working for them. Originally I just went to shows with them. One weekend I took my gear in case and Tommy Dreamer asked Ian if I wanted to work. I got to work Paul Diamond in a match that had a blown spot in it but I'm not going to name names. When we got to the back Paul Heyman told me he liked it and asked if I wanted to be part of ECW. But it drug out and I would go several weekends without working. I was losing more then I was making so I needed to sever my ties. There were some great people working there like Taz, the Dudley Boys and Raven. One night D'von came to stay at my house and my son was real pumped up. I am glad to see some of them are still working and making money.
AW: You have some interesting names for finishing moves. Where did the Move of the Month (super sitout face plant), the Rachie Rat Slam (choke slam) and the Last Call (top rope leg drop) come from?
Adam Flash: Danny and I didn't want to copy other teams like the Hart Foundation so we came up with stuff. The Move of the Month came from Eric Gargulo and I talking backstage one night during a drinking angle and we decided to change the name each month. First I did names of drinks I liked then I decided to make names that would make the boys pop. The Rachie Rat Slam and the Last Call are self-explanatory.
AW: As a member of the Rachies you have faced several teams and I wish to ask you about working with indy favorites Trent Acid and Johnny Kashmere AKA the Backseat Boyz.
Adam Flash: If you ask them about the first time I met them they would tell you they didn't like me. I think it was an age difference. Once I got to know them they came to be great friends and that includes the party aspect. When you are wrestling them and you are on the apron waiting to be tagged in you have fun watching them work. They want to make the best match possible every time no matter the opponent or if it's a singles, tag or three way dance.
AW: Before we talk about CZW we need to talk about your time with the unfortunately now defunct Maryland Championship Wrestling. What led you to work for MCW and what were your initial impressions of the promotions management?
Adam Flash: There's nothing unfortunate about it being closed because as far I was concerned it started out great. They had a good core of guys with Ian Rotten, Dan McDevitt and Hermie Valentino. We were drawing big houses and things were going great but then things went down hill I am not sure if they lost interest. They went down the shit hole fast and as far as I am concerned Dan McDevitt is the biggest piece of shit in this business. I know one of your questions ahead of time so I'll answer it now. Dan put out an article on Pro Wrestling Insider (and Pro Wrestling Between The Sheets) talking about egos in wrestling and all the guys he has dealt with in ten years in wrestling and he brought my ego up more than anyone. To shoot on me like that is a slap in my face because he had no room to say it. Anything he asked me to do I did it. I gave everything for that son of a bitch and the thanks I get is he puts out an article online. Most people that read it knew it wasn't true my ego is unheard of. I am one of the nicest people you will ever meet until you fuck me over then it's not my ego coming out its the asshole side of me. All of this came from my match with Eddie Guerrero. Dan brought Eddie into MCW when he was released from WWE for reasons everyone knows about. I didn't ask to work Eddie, Dan put me into the match. We worked out what I thought was a great match. He did a dive onto the outside which caused my back to go out like it does from time to time. When we got back in the ring I asked Eddie to scratch the brainbuster we had planned because I wasn't sure my back would go with it. Next was he would miss the frog splash I hit the Last Call. If you watch the tape it is clear as day when I hit the Last Call I leaned over and said thank you twice. When I got into the back I said it two more times. I had my friend Chad Henry who scouts for the Detroit Lions with me and he's a big Eddie Guerrero fan so I brought him back to meet Eddie and I thanked Eddie again. In the article Dan said I shook off the brainbuster in the back which is total bullshit plus he said I didn't have the common courtesy to thank Eddie. He has no fucking clue since he was nowhere to be seen. With guys like Dan as a friend who needs fucking friends. This guy sat with me at the Hard Rock Café in Baltimore a week before the article came out and babyfaced me to my face like he was my friend. Thank god he is out of the business as wrestling is better off without him.
AW: At the 2003 Shane Shamrock event you took on the late Crash Holly AKA Michael Lockwood.
AW: During its heyday MCW annually held the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup event. You were part of the inaugural event facing off against Jeff Peterson, Joey Matthews, Christian York, Quinn Nash and Rich Myers. Can you talk about your emotions going into event?
Adam Flash: Shane Shamrock was a great guy in and out of the ring. It was a tragic event that led to him being taken from us. To do the show was a no brainer and to be put in the main event was even better. It was weird at the event they showed a highlight reel right before our match and it crushed me. At that point I was in no shape to wrestle but you are going out there for him and his family. The event became annual MCW show. Shane had two kids and the proceeds went to his family but knowing Dan McDevitt who knows now where the money went. It was great to be part of it as the event grew. To hear when Ring Of Honor began to run at Michael's 8th Avenue was cool but then I caught wind Dan gave them permission they could use the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup as the name of their show. That is the biggest slap to the face. Some but not all of the guys didn't even know who Shane was. Dan did it for the money.
Adam Flash: That night was strange since most of the show was up in the air. Right before we began they told me I was going to work Crash and I found him to be a nice guy. The match went on great and he had the idea of us playing a connect four game in the middle of the match. It was funny as hell and you should find it on tape if you can. Anytime you get to work a WWE worker is a learning experience. It's a shame to talk about guys that have passed away at a young age.
AW: What goes through your mind when the call comes from Stanford, Connecticut asking you to be part of a WWE TV taping like Raw or Smackdown?
Adam Flash: I can't remember how I got on the event but I went to the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island with Julio Dinero and Jimmy Cicero. I knew the Headbangers and Tom Brandi from back in the day. I ended up working Skull Von Crush now known as Big Vito in a dark match. It was the match right before RAW began and it was nerve-racking walking down the ramp. The match was nothing too highflying which seemed like their staff wanted. Later in the night they asked me to be a druid for the Undertaker. I carried out a casket that Shawn Michaels ended up being inside. It wasn't as fun as working for WCW.
AW: Many people regard you as the franchise or mainstay of Combat Zone Wrestling. How did you come to join CZW and how does their locker room and fans differ from other promotions you have worked for?
Adam Flash: I wouldn't call myself the franchise Alan I'm just a piece of the puzzle. Leading up to working for CZW I used to see Brian Logan on other shows asking if I wanted to come see CZW. All I heard of them was sick stuff with light tubes and other crazy shit. I told him that wasn't my style. Danny Rose got into CZW the show before my debut and I rode with him to an event called "Stretched in Smyrna" and it had one of the sickest matches I have ever seen with Johnny Kashmere & Justice Pain against June Kowhai (sic) and Nick Mondo. Well this match had light tubes shattered everywhere and June's elbow cut open and the tendons were hanging out. I thought do I really want to do this? Mike Burns called me and asked me to work the next Delaware show. I debuted with Nick Berk and made a pretty good match putting him over which I didn't mind doing for anyone. The CZW locker room was so different from anywhere else; there were no big heads in there. Everyone is family and there aren't many locker rooms like that these days. John Zandig is good guy. One good thing about John is that he is a worker so he knows the frustrations the boys have. He isn't tight on money and he wants to put out the best product for the fans to enjoy. I enjoy working for CZW and I have yet to do anything suicidal but I am sure we'll talk about that in a few.
AW: I am sure you get asked this often. What's it like to work in Viking Hall formerly known as the ECW Arena?
Adam Flash: The 1st show CZW had there was the Cage of Death. When I worked for ECW I had attended some Viking Hall events but didn't get the chance to work there. It was a cool feeling bringing CZW to the Hall with that show. I worked a three way match with Nick Berk and Nick Mondo. The show before that one was at our other home base Champs Arena in New Jersey where I took on Justice Pain who was the CZW World champion. I was still part of the Rachies with Danny. I saw my name on the sheet and thought this will be cool. We gave the fans a hell of a match with hardcore and wrestling mixed into it. I came up with a finish where the ref took a bump, Danny came to the ring to help me out and in the end I cover Pain for the win with help from a second referee. The fans went nuts thinking no way Flash is beating Justice Pain since the Cage of Death was supposed to be Pain against Wifebeater. I grab the belt and the fans were still going nuts as the original referee popped up saying he was the official and he didn't count the pin. Pain hit me with a finisher to beat me. That match was a defining moment where I got elevated in CZW. We were sitting at the next show thinking of ideas for the match. I wanted to put Nick on a table on the floor and climb an 8 foot ladder to hit the leg drop. Nick gets a wild idea about using the 20 foot ladder and I said are you out of your fucking mind?!? He wanted to do it even though it would be all him taking the bump. We had a good match to set up for the big move. I had two guys ringside holding the ladder as I climbed up. I looked down thinking holy shit this is high and I couldn't stand right on the top since it wobbles. I took a step down and did the leap onto him. I landed on Berk and covered him. I broke my pinky from bracing myself but I was more concerned for Berk who ended up with a concussion. I thanked Berk for letting me do the move. I pull it out once in a while.
AW: As a result of that match you won the CZW Iron Man title but you lost it in a high stakes match with Justice Pain, Nick Mondo and the man known as Messiah. What's it like to be in the ring with hardcore wrestlers when it's not your style of wrestling?
Adam Flash: Well the hardcore comes with the territory. We did a sixty minute match which isn't done too often. I have to say it was fun but exhausting. I took a bump from a scaffold through a stack of tables which was hidden by a big tarp. The fans went apeshit as I laid there for almost ten minutes getting my breath and faculties back. The match ended up going sixty-six minutes and it was long and drawn out but so much fun to be part of. You mentioned Mondo who isn't wrestling anymore and Justice Pain who has just come back to CZW for the betterment of the company. Plus you add Messiah who came from XPW. I looked at him thinking who the fuck is this guy? He always busted my balls since he thought I was shitting on him as an outsider. We hung out after that and have been friends ever since. He has gone though so much shit in his life that most people will never experience. He is a good worker and one of my best friends.
AW: This might be a sensitive area but I have to ask what your reaction was when you heard about his thumb being cut off in what was then called a gang incident or better we call it a personal incident and how did you come to work Frankie "the Future" Kazarian and B-Boy on the EPIC event in tribute to him?
Adam Flash: The incident had nothing to do with a gang. Anyone who knows about the business knows what it was about and who did it but I won't mention their names here. It was kind of scary because a month before it happened I stayed with him and slept on the couch where it happened. I think in hindsight I wish I could have been there. He defended himself but if I had been there I could have saved his thumb. It's a fucked situation if you know what it pertains to that a guy would lose his thumb over a woman. I got called after it happened by a friend and I tried to call him over the weekend. He called me back and said hey dude what's up and it sounded like nothing ever happened. That's how strong a guy he is. I made sure he was taken care of; I would give him my last 10 bucks if he needed it. The EPIC show came up and I didn't hesitate for a second. I told them don't pay me just fly me out for him. I got to see Messiah and he was in good spirits when I got to work B-Boy and Kazarian. Like I said he is my best friend and I would do anything for him. He lived to tell the tale of it.
AW: You lived to tell the tale after being in the Cage of Death 5 match where you teamed with Nate Hatred, Messiah, B-Boy and the Backseat Boyz against John Zandig, Nick Gage, Lobo, Ian Knoxx, Wifebeater and New Jack. How do you prepare for it and what's the Cage of Death experience like?
Adam Flash: When you hear the name the Cage of Death you know what you are getting into. I didn't think too much of it until I got to the ECW Arena and saw this creation from John Zandig's mind. When you see it on tape you'll know why it sent chills up my spine. I stood there thinking holy shit, there was a scaffolding fence up at roof level that led to the Cage of Death. Underneath the scaffolding is a ring with 1,000,000 thumbtacks in it. I looked at the roster I was working and it was as scary as the match itself. All of us sat down to work the match out and it seemed all of us wanted to take a huge bump. Around this time I was feuding with Ian Knoxx. I climbed down into the thumbtacks ring after Ian and B-Boy took a big bump into it where B-Boy was eliminated from the match. Ian jumped up and grabbed the scaffolding fence trying to get himself out of the ring. I climbed onto the top rope and as he was hanging I hit him with a spear not thinking when we land in the ring I am going to be getting thumbtacks in my hands among other places. On tape it looks amazing. I had tacks in my hands that hurt like hell. We went into the cage for some more violence and then Wifebeater and I got onto the scaffolding. We decided a sidewalk slam from there would be our bump into the thumbtack ring. He grabbed me as we hung over the ledge making sure I was ready. Our impact in the ring made every single thumbtack go up in the air about five feet. Both of got eliminated when he clotheslined me over the top rope. I got to the back and collapsed as paramedics tried to take tacks out of my back, hands and the back of my skull. It was sick and I highly suggest you buy the tape since no one was seriously hurt. We made it out in one piece and went to the bar to celebrate.
AW: Past or present if you could have a dream opponent who would it be and why?
AW: Thursday you got to work with Monty Brown for TNA Wrestling on their Impact tapings. What was it like and would you work for them again?
Adam Flash: I definitely would work for them again. It started out with me being booked to work for NWA Florida through Eric Loy who is a liaison for the promotion. Eric asked me if I wanted to work for TNA the Thursday before. I told him you don't have to ask me twice. A funny side note about three months ago I worked Jeff Jarrett on a show in Pennsylvania and I think he remembered me from it. Loy talked to Ron Niemi who spoke to TNA about using me. It was weird since WCW taped at Disney and now TNA is taping at Universal Studios. It had the same feel as the WCW shows. I was either going to work Jeff or Monty Brown who I met about eight months ago at a show in Detroit. I found him to me really cool and I ended up working him on the Impact taping. It was a good little match to get him over since they are putting some stock in him. It was a payday and I would come back to work if asked.
Adam Flash: Hands down it would be Ric Flair. He has meant so much to the business. He has done things with so much class and I am sure most of the people you have interviewed will say he is their dream opponent. I just finished reading his book and it was great to read about his life. He started out so little and now he can call matches with anyone. He did those amazing sixty minute matches with Steamboat and other guys. I would also put Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels on that list but Ric Flair would be at the top.
AW: In closing what do you hope the future holds for you and how long do you see yourself wrestling?
Adam Flash: I can go until my body says stop. My body has held up over the years I have been doing this with no broken bones or heavy stitches. I better knock on wood after saying that (laughs.) CZW launched on PPV September 2nd and I would like to CZW grow to bigger things as the money comes in. I want to keep working in the ring as well as at my full time job to support my wife and children. I love traveling and hope to see more places. I have been to Italy and I am close to going to Germany. Traveling the US is awesome and you get to meet fans like I did here at this NWA Florida event thanks to Ron Niemi and Joe Price. I hope they like the match OG Scarface and I worked out. You need to network yourself to get known. I keep hearing it at home how much longer am I going to do this shit. I am going to do this until my body can't take it and even then I am probably going to be a crippled old manager. Once you get the business in your veins it's like a drug you can't kick. I think five or ten years from now I can still be working. My body or the fans not caring anymore will decide when I hang the boots up.
Thanks to Adam Flash for his time. Thanks to Eric Loy for setting this interview up. For more on Combat Zone Wrestling log onto www.CZWwrestling.com and for information on NWA Florida look at www.nwaflorida.com
by Alan Wojcik --- For More Interviews, go to http://www.alanwokcik.com..
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