Interview with Chris Hamrick
May 18, 2003 - by E-Gore
On Sunday, May 18, 2003, I had the oppurtunity to speak with former ECW star and current U.S. independent standout performer "Confederate Currency" Chris Hamrick. The accomplished young athlete spoke candidly on a variety of issues, including how he broke into the business, his early work on the indy circuit, his couple of appearances on WWF (now WWE) television, his tenure in ECW, and his current association with XPW (along with his thoughts on the current state of that promotion). Hamrick was also willing to confront for the first time in any interview that he's ever done some of the more controversial issues that he has encountered during his career, including the heat he once had with former-ECW colleague EZ Money (a.k.a. Jason Jett during his brief time in WCW), his rumored marriage to former-porno actress and indy wrestling valet Kristi Myst, why he never returned to CZW again after his one-night appearance in the promotion, the real-life assault on indy wrestler The Messiah, and other topics which - until now - remain yet to be discussed by him.
QUESTION: First and foremost, where did you grow up?
ANSWER: I grew up in Mooresboro, North Carolina.
QUESTION: How and when did you become a pro wrestling fan? Name some of your favorite wrestlers/tag teams and your favorite promotion(s).
ANSWER: I started going to wrestling when I was 7 years old. It was our "family time." Me and my family would go to the matches every Saturday and Monday nights. I only had one wrestler at the time that I liked - "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. I would only go to the shows if Ric was wrestling on them. I became his bag boy in Spartanburg, South Carolina, meaning that I would meet him at his car and then after the show, carry his bag for him to the door and then to his car, which was awesome. I was 7 years old. Being from the South, we only had one promotion - Jim Crockett's Mid Atlantic Wrestling, which later became WCW. We didn't get WWF.
QUESTION: When and why did you decide to become a wrestler and how did you break into the business?
ANSWER: My dad bought me a wrestling ring for my ninth birthday. I had my first match when I was 16 and went on a week long tour in Oklahoma after that and pretty much wrestled every weekend after that.
QUESTION: What are some of your earliest memories of working on the indy circuit?
ANSWER: I just really loved the business then. I would show up at shows I wasn't even booked on, just hoping that someone wouldn't show up. I really wrestled for little to no money. I wrestled in front of crowds as low as 25 people before. I hooked up with Itallion Stallion and George South, who ran PWF. I had a ball working for them. George was always very religious and he swore that I was the Devil's son. I would be messing with rats and he would catch me. I remember one time, I took a rat into the shower when we walked out, there was George. Ron Killings (a.k.a. K-Kwik) came into the promotion and at first he was my manager, then my partner, and we would always do shit to make George mad at us, such as cussing on promos and Stallion just thought all of it was funny as hell. I remember my first $50 payoff. I thought, "Damn, I have made it in this business." (laughs) I remember the first time Ricky Morton got me $150 for a payoff. I thought he was the greatest guy ever. I remember one great match we had was myself and Ron against Ricky Morton and Dave (Tyler Morton) Jericho (a.k.a. Kid Kash). I remember sitting with Kash on indies in Tennessee and the Carolinas, wondering if we would ever make it any bigger than the indies. There's alot of memories I have, bu I don't want anyone to be bored, so I will quit telling them.
QUESTION: You wrestled on several early editions of WWF/E Monday Night RAW Is WAR against - among others - the late, great Owen Hart. How would you describe your experience working on such a high profile stage this early in your career? What are some of your favorite memories of working in WWF/E?
ANSWER: As I said, we didn't get WWF in the South, so when I first went, I didn't know alot of the guys there. The cool thing was that every guy I wrestled told me that if I wasn't comfortable or didn't think I could take their moves, we could change it. They knew I was there to make them look better and didn't want to hurt me. At that time in my career, working there - even though I was a jobber - was great. I got to work with the stars,and,was on tv,I made more there than I was making on the indies. It was pretty cool to sit home and watch RAW and watch yourself on TV. I remember the first night I was there, I wrestled Tatanka and did that bump through the ropes and after the match, Owen Hart asked me if I meant to do that and when I told him, "Yes," he told me that was the most awesome bump he had ever seen. The night I wrestled Owen was great, too. He actually requested to wrestle me. That made me feel good. I remember going to the ring with no music, people telling me I was going to get my ass kicked, and then the ref tells me that I have to go back to the dressing room - that Owen wasnt ready. I was like, "Damn, I have to walk through this crowd again later," so I looked at the people at ringside, and said he's scared and they popped. Owen was such a great guy. I am honored I got to wrestle him. I also remember Shawn Michaels and Curt Hennig talking to me about my bump through the ropes and I was thinking to myself, "Here are the two greatest bumpers in the world, talking to me about something I did." I will never forget that.
QUESTION: How and when did you break into ECW?
ANSWER: Kid Kash got me and EZ Money a tryout match with ECW in Columbia, SC. We wrestled against each other in the tryout, with ALL the ECW boys sitting at ringside watching. We did our match, went to the back, and got dressed. Well, Tommy Dreamer came out with a piece of paper and told Kash,the first match that night would be Kash and Chilly Willy against us. I was speechless. We did the match and worked for ECW until they folded.
QUESTION: What caused your dislike for EZ Money?
ANSWER: The deal with that was this - Kash put his name on the line with ECW for me and EZ to get a tryout. He was totally responsible for us getting the tryout. He didn't have to do that. Also,when we got the match against him and Chilly Willy, Kash told me and EZ that he and Chilly already had jobs with ECW and for me and EZ to go out there and do our shit, so we could get jobs. They could have went out there and just jobbed us out, but they didnt. So, when EZ got a job in WCW and Kash was getting a tryout, Kash asked EZ to borrow his rubber bands to work out with and EZ made some lame ass excuse and pissed Kash off. Kash reminded him that he got him his job in ECW and EZ looked Kash in the eyes and told him, "Yeah, but we are not there anymore." That is the most disrespectful shit ever. Me and EZ are cool with each other now. We are not like the best of friends, but we have been on some indy shows together.
QUESTION: What are some of your favorite memories (matches, storylines, rivalries, etc.) while working in ECW?
ANSWER: My favorite memories are meeting all new friends. ECW had the best locker room ever. Some of my favorite matches were me, EZ, and Julio against Christian York, Joey Matthews, and Tommy Dreamer. I also liked my match with Nova at Guilty As Charged. Our first fued with New Jack and Balls Mahoney was fun, too.
QUESTION: You worked at Guilty As Charged on January 7, 2001, ECW's last Pay-Per-View against Nova. Were you aware when working that match that it was on the last ECW PPV?
ANSWER: No. I mean, everyone had heard rumors about ECW, but you didn't know it happened until it did.
QUESTION: When did you become fully aware that ECW was going to file for bankruptcy and cease operations? What was your opinion upon learning this?
ANSWER: I became aware when I read the reviews for the last two shows they ran - how all the boys were in the ring together drinking beer and shit. I hated to hear it, but I knew that I had built a good, respectable name for myself to where I could make good money on the indies. I didn't go to the last two shows either, so that kind of sucked.
QUESTION: Did Paul Heyman owe you any money?
ANSWER: Yes, he owed me like $300. You have to understand that we weren't making hardly any money at all, but we were getting exposure. So, we knew the money would come later. By "we," I mean me, EZ, Julio, Joey, and Christian, since we were the last to get hired.
QUESTION: Was it difficult readjusting back to the indy circuit after ECW ceased operations?
ANSWER: Hell no - when that happened, I had a certain guaranteed price to do these shows. I was making good money and was usually the star on the show. That's a good feeling.
QUESTION: Is it true that you were at one time married to Kristi Myst?
ANSWER: No, let me explain this. I met Kristi while doing a show in Cleveland, Ohio. She walked me out to the ring. Well,a s it ends up, I went back to the hotel room with her. She was supposed to leave the next day, and we overslept. So, she was going to catch a later flight. I asked her if she wanted to stay the whole week and go to shows and hang out with me. She agreed. Well, while we were together, we went to my friend's house (that of J-Rocc) in Cleveland. Anyways, we spent the week together and decided to get matching tattoos. It was her idea. We played a couple of ribs on my friends. One was that we called all of my friends and told them that we were leaving the hotel in Philly and got to messing around in the car in the parking lot and got caught by the police and that they had us downtown questioning us. I told them that they took her into a room by herself and that I was scared because I didnt know what she was telling them. Now, all out everyone that I called, I told her that two people would never buy the story, those being Julio (Dinero) and Christopher Daniels. Well, them two were giving me legal advice and shit about it. (laughs) One of my friends called his bank after he got off the phone with me to check to see how much money he had in case, I needed bail. OK, back to the marriage. We went back to J-Rocc's house after we got the tattoos and told him we got married for Valentine's Day. We told him not to tell anyone because we wanted to keep it a secret. The next day, that shit was all over the Internet.
QUESTION: Describe what you saw during the famous melee between the XPW wrestlers and ECW wrestlers at HeatWave 2000. Which side do you think was responsible for it occurring? Were you at all hesitant to enter XPW, knowing that they had been involved in it?
ANSWER: I wasn't at that show. It was the first time I ever even heard of XPW.
QUESTION: You debuted in XPW in mid-January 2002. How did you break into XPW?
ANSWER: New Jack called and told me that if I came to LA, he could get me a tryout match with XPW. So, I went and they put me in the BattleZone battle royal. I got to do a lot of my shit in there. I remember after the match, when I was leaving, I ran into Lizzy Borden. I introduced myself and she asked me if I was the guy in the ring that jumped off of GQ's shoulders and did a leg drop? I told her, "Yes. I was trying to get a job." She told me," Well you definitely got one. Kevin called me and told me I was hired and (I) have been with them ever since.
QUESTION: What did you think of your matches vs. "The Rock Superstar" Kaos over the XPW Television Title from early to mid-2002?
ANSWER: I really liked those matches. I'm glad they put me in there with Kaos. I knew I could have some really good matches with him. I think the fans really enjoyed our matches. I want to explain about the three-way ladder match with me, Kaos, and Psichosis. I know alot of people were disappointed with that match. Well, that was my fault - when I put them between the two ladders and gave them the Van Terminator. I knocked myself out with that move and wasn't worth a shit after that. Trust me, it took everything I had to do the finish, especially hanging on that chain like 15 feet in the air. I am sorry for the shitty perfomance. Just thought I would get that off my chest.
QUESTION: You held the PWF Universal Heavyweight Title for several months. Who were some of your favorite opponents in the PWF while holding that title and what was your favorite title defense?
ANSWER: I love the PWF. They have so much talent. It's unbelieveable. I guess one of my favorite matches while holding the title was with the Rocking Rebel. Here's why - I was supposed to wrestle Ricky Morton, but he no-showed. So, Steve asked me if I would care to put the Rebel over, just to make the people happy for Ricky no-showing. I was like, "What?" He said, "OK, what about if you put him over without him knowing." I was like, "Yes, I would do that." So, we told Rebel that the match was going to end in a DQ. I told him to hit me with his finish and I would kick out at 2 3/4. He hit me with it and I hooked the back of his neck,so,he couldn't get up and he pinned me. The look of surprise on his face was worth losing the match. I also had a good match with AJ Styles.
QUESTION: What was your opinion when you heard the announcement that XPW would be running Hostile Takeover in Philadelphia, PA, ECW's former East Coast stomping ground, and of your Ladder Match vs. Kaos at that show?
ANSWER: When Kevin told me that they were coming to the East Coast. My first words to him were, "Tell me you aren't going to run the arena." He said that was the plan. I was like, "There is a show in that place once a weekend. At the time, there were. Here's another funny story - a week before XPW was doing Hostile Takeover, I was on an indy show with Sandman. Now, I had been with XPW for awhile, and me and Sandman talked to each other on every show in LA. Hell, we were even on the same flights a couple of times. So,anyway, he comes up to me on this indy show and tells me that he has a proposition for me. He tells me that XPW is coming to the arena next weekend and that he is going to get me on that show. I was like, "Hak, I am in the semi-main event in a Ladder match for the XPW TV title." He was like, "Are you sure?" I told him, "Yes, that's what they are telling me." He says, "Nevermind then." (laughs) I liked my ladder match with Kaos. The people really responded good to it.
QUESTION: What happened between The S.A.T. (Joel Maximo & Jose Maximo) and XPW leading up to Hostile Takeover? What did they tell you in regards to working or not working the show?
ANSWER: I knew about them coming to Philly about two months before it was announced. Kevin told me they wanted Red and the SAT's for the show. I called them and they told me that they wanted to do the show. Well, when XPW made the announcement, I called and reconfirmed with them. They told me, "Yes" - they still wanted to do it. Then, I read that they were doing the Haas Memorial Show. They never even called me to tell me they changed their minds. They told me later that they were afraid Mikey Whipwreck would get mad at them. He is the one that trained them.
QUESTION: A few weeks before Hostile Takeover occurred, former-XPW wrestler and current CZW wrestler William "The Messiah" Welch was physically assaulted in his home in a small suburb of Los Angeles, California. Do you have an opinion on the backlash that XPW received following the incident, considering that no evidence that links anyone in the promotion to the crime has been found?
ANSWER: When I first heard it, I knew everyone would blame Rob Black. I personally don't think Rob is dumb enough to have it done. First of all, he knows he would be the number one suspect. Also, why would he risk losing everything he has worked for on doing something like that? Rob is way smarter that that.
QUESTION: You worked with The Messiah one time when you and Adam Flash wrestled he and John at CZW A Higher Level of Pain. What was your opinion on the quality of that match? Is the Internet rumor true John Zandig was angry that you botched a flying leg drop during that match and therefore he refused to invite you back to CZW?
ANSWER: I thought the match was the drizzling shits. It wasn't even a match. It was just four guys doing nothing. If it had been a regular match, it would have been better.I never even got to do anything with Messiah except for the promo. I hate to say it, but Kronus fucked everything up. I did it as a favor to John Zandig, since he couldn't get Kaos. The leg drop spot was fucked up because when I went up to get on Adam's shoulders, when I looked down, Kronus had rolled out too far for me to hit him from where I was. I had no other choice but to jump. I had never heard that rumor, but thanks for letting me in on it. All those nights I sat at home and wondered why Zandig never called me back, wouldn't take any other bookings, just hoping he would call and book me. Well - damn - that explains it. Zandig, if you are reading this, I did you the one favor and this is how you repay me. Now, you can't afford me.
QUESTION: What was your experience like in the Jarrett family's NWA-TNA?
ANSWER: Honestly, it was just a Wednesday night payday. I did my dark match with ((PWF star) Chi Chi Cruz for them. They told me in the back that they were looking for someone to do a masked Lucha gimmick and asked me would I be willing to wear a mask and be their lucha. Well,I asked them if I was going to get paid and they said, "Yes," so I told them I would do it. Hell,I would valet park if they payed me. (laughs) I thought the three-way with AJ Styles and Jorge Estrada went very good. Then, I just did the next match to put Sonny Siaki over. Then, they never called me back.
QUESTION: During a match of yours vs. Angel, an angle occurred where one of you tried to (in storyline) attack the other with a scissors. Many Internet fans interpreted this as an uncalled for and immense show of disrespect for the real-life incident that The Messiah underwent. What's your opinion on that stance?
ANSWER: When we did that angle, it had nothing at all to do with the Messiah incident. Think about - if a homo came across two rednecks and started fighting with them, more than likely they are going to cut his ding ding off. Well, that was the point we were trying to get across and since we couldn't use fingernail clippers, we had to use something everyone could see. Shane (Douglas) suggested scissors. I suggested garden shears. Sorry, but I do not think about the Messiah incident 24/7. So, when I suggested them, I didn't think about that.
QUESTION: What have you learned from Tracy Smothers so far during your partnership with him in XPW as Southern Comfort?
ANSWER: I have known Tracy forever. It is fun as hell teaming with him.
QUESTION: What was your opinion when you heard that Justice Pain had jumped from CZW to XPW?
ANSWER: I didn't even know who he was. I'm glad he jumped now. We have become good friends.
QUESTION: How and when did you first meet Josh Prohibition and M-Dogg 20? What was your opinion upon hearing that they had jumped from CZW to XPW?
ANSWER: This story will tell you what marks they were. The first time I met them was when I was doing an indy show in Cleveland, Ohio. They were sitting at ringside with a confederate flag, yelling their asses off for me. I put the local guy over and they are sitting there with the flag drapped over both of their heads. I thought that shit was funny. I had tried to get Kevin to hire them before we ever came to the East Coast and he told me that they would be interested when we did come to the East Coast. I was totally responsible for getting them in XPW. I was the one talking to them on the phone. I told them they shouldn't work for CZW because Zandig wouldn bring me back because I fucked a leg drop spot. (laughs)
QUESTION: You recently beat The Zebra Kid to win the FWA All-England title on a tour of the UK. Describe your experience on that tour.
ANSWER: I had a blast on that tour. I got to wrestle Jonny Storm, and Juvy (Juventud Guerrera), too. Everyone treated me with respect over there. The FWA is a great promotion. They have some very good talent over there, too. The fans are awesome there - they respect wrestling for what it is. There are no stupid "You F*cked Up!" chants. The fans (in the UK) are having a great time watching wrestling, not trying to steal the heat from the shows.
QUESTION: How did you feel upon hearing that your former rival, Kaos, along with his manager and real-life close friend GQ Money, was leaving XPW in early March 2003?
ANSWER: I hate to see them go, but that's their decision. I wish them the best.
QUESTION: With XPW's recent legal trouble and rumored financial problems, what do you see in XPW's future?
ANSWER: I honestly don't know, but I hope they rebound back stronger than ever. When they do, I will be there for them.
QUESTION: Seeing as how you've worked in both regions before, do you prefer wrestling on the East Coast or the West Coast?
ANSWER: I don't care where I wrestle, as long as I am there busting my ass and they (the fans) appreciate it.
QUESTION: Viking Hall a.k.a. The ECW Arena recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary of featuring wrestling cards. What are your thoughts on the legacy of Viking Hall in pro wrestling, your favorite memories of your own work in the building, and anything else that you'd like to add in relation to the building?
ANSWER: The very first time I pulled up to the arena, I thought we must have been in the wrong place, but once you got in there and the show started, the chemistry in that building was like no other. My favorite match that I personally have had there was the ladder match with Kaos for XPW (at Hostile Takeover).
QUESTION: Who would be your dream opponent(s) from the past or present world of pro wrestling?
ANSWER: I have three - Ric Flair back in his prime, Curt Hennig in his prime, and Shawn Michaels in his prime.
QUESTION: What's your affiliation with www.HiFlyingChrisHamrick.com? When and why was it created? Do you it or does somebody else run it?
ANSWER: A guy by the name of Eric St. Clair runs it for me. I started it when I was in ECW and recently changed it over to XPW. There's no use hanging on to the past. The reason I created it was I wanted to know what the fans felt about me. I love associating with the fans. They are why I am in this crazy ass business.
QUESTION: When you're not wrestling, what other hobbies, interests, talents, etc. do you have?
ANSWER: When I am not on the road, I usually just chill at home and play on the Internet. I am a big NASCAR fan. Go Gordon!
- Paul Heyman: He gave me a chance when no one else would.
- ECW: Where I made a name for myself. I still miss it.
- EZ Money: A friend.
- The S.A.T.: They are my boys. I love all three (Joel Maximo, Jose Maximo, & The Amazing Red) of them guys.
- PWF: I love the PWF. Besides XPW, it is my favorite promtion to work for.
- Lizzy Borden: She's a sweetheart. She really tries so hard to give everything she has for the fans. How can you not respect that?
- Rob Black: Rob is a great guy that loves the wrestling business.
- XPW (CA/PA): My favorite promotion.
- Brian Heffron and Jasmin St. Claire's Pro-Pain Pro Wrestling (3PW) (Philadelphia, PA): I have no heat with either one of them. I have friends that work for them. I hope they have continued success.
- Impact Championship Wrestling (formerly USA Pro) (NY): I worked for them last night (5/17/03).
- Donnie B.'s Phoenix Championship Wrestling (NJ): I like Donnie B....
- Jason Knight's Assault Championship Wrestling (CT): I don't get to work for them as much as I would like to, but when I do, they are always fun to work for.
QUESTION: Do you have any last words for the fans reading this interview?
ANSWER: Fans, sorry this was like a damn book, but I hate when I read interviews and they give like one line answers. I just wanted to let the fans know a little bit more about Chris Hamrick. Hope I didn't bore you too much...And don't forget to visit my official web site at www.HiFlyingChrisHamrick.com/ !
I'd like to thank "Confederate" Currency Chris Hamrick for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak about the variety of topics which he so candidly discussed in this interview. Hamrick remains one of the most talented and most talked-about performers on the U.S. indy circuit and I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors in the sport of professional wrestling. To keep up with Hamrick's future exploits, you are encouraged to visit his official web site, located at www.HiFlyingChrisHamrick.com .
by E-Gore @ [email protected]
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