Interview with Notorious 187 AKA Homicide
April 18, 2008 -- by Alan Wojcik -- http://www.alanwokcik.com
In the same question about working for WWE or TNA you said, "Who knows they might kill the Homicide character." How do you feel TNA and its writers have handled him or do you feel being placed in the LAX (Latin American Exchange) hasn't brought out Homicide to the fans like JAPW, ROH or FIP?
"The Notorious 187" Homicide and I first spoke when he participated in the 2004 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup. Many things have happened since then including his addition to TNA Wrestling's roster and a lengthy reign as Full Impact Pro Heavyweight champion. So here's a new conversation with him (minus any discussion of a former friend), starting with one of the last questions I asked him in 2004.
At the 2004 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup, I asked if you would accept an offer to work for WWE or TNA. You said at the moment you would turn down an offer. As we speak today you have been working for TNA Wrestling since the end of 2005, what made you say yes to TNA Wrestling?
Homicide: I am a family man and TNA Wrestling works great with my schedule. If you work for WWE you are on the road four days and then home for three. I am going through some personal stuff plus being a single parent complicates things when I am trying to provide for my son. Right now the weekends are rough since I am booked all over the world. TNA is great for me because of their taping schedule, one PPV a month and one taping every couple of weeks.
Homicide: The Homicide in TNA isn't the one you see on the Indies. He has been toned down due to the fact TNA is on TV and geared towards children and I don't blame them for doing it. The LAX is a good thing since I get to represent my community and my heritage. Wrestling in Latin countries is huge, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic for example. There aren't many guys doing that in wrestling. The LAX is bringing people memories of Pedro Morales, Carlos Colon and others. It won't be too far down the line when you see the LAX grow out of the soft touch and we will get hardcore.
In the LAX you are paired with the Mexican wrestling legend Konnan. Were you intimidated by his reputation and what things have you learned working with him?
Homicide: I think it's an honor to work with a legend like him; the people that don't like him are playa haters. He is a great businessman. Everyone in the locker room listens to him when he wants to dispense some knowledge. As far as teaming with him or working for him in the LAX, it's an honor to learn from him. I have been blessed to work with him and recently Terry Funk. I have been able to blend the Lucia Libre style with the Texas style. Now I think people fear me because I can wrestle every style there is in wrestling.
At one point Gran Apolo was the third member of the LAX but was let go due to "travel issues" with the TNA office. Do you feel TNA handled it properly and what did you think of the addition and recent subtraction of Machete (Ricky Vega) and Hotstuff Hernandez; is this finally the core group of LAX?
Homicide: There are too many changes going on in the LAX. Apolo was a good choice but he was screwing up with the travel issues so they let him go. Ricky Vega was a good choice being trained by Johnny Rodz. He did a great job but like Konnan said he wasn't a great soldier. So he will take some time to learn from his mistakes and be back someday soon. Hotstuff Hernandez is a great addition to the LAX. He is built like a linebacker and we need that kind of size. We are like the movie Goodfellas and I'm Joe Pesci's character. I am small but I can still break your knees and I won't back down because you are bigger then me. Hotstuff and K-Dogg make us deadly trio in TNA.
For most of your time in TNA you have been working with the former 3 or 4 Live Kru which is now known as the James Gang (Kip James AKA Billy Gunn and BG James AKA Road Dogg.) In a match with them and Konnan as your partner you are the person with the least experience working for a nationally televised promotion, do you feel you are in their shadows and what have you learned working against a veteran tag team?
Homicide: You put in the key word there Alan because I am not in anyone's shadow. They have their own issues and I am a team player helping Konnan settle old scores. They will see what the 187 is about whether TNA keeps me or releases me. Fans will say that 187 guy is amazing in the ring. Right now Konnan is asking me to aid him against the James Gang, the studio gangsters, they're not a gang they're running on who they used to be. I am here to rule the promotion not be cheered by the crowd. It's going to be over with the James Gang soon, in our favor.
Along with you TNA has brought in several big name stars like Rhino, Team 3D, Sting, Christian Cage and now Scott Steiner. What's the locker room atmosphere like with these veterans of wrestling including you in that grouping?
Homicide: The locker room is a big family. TV wrestling is different then working normal Indy shows. So I am getting pointers from the guys that worked for WWE, WCW and ECW. No one is a moron or a dickhead who sees the red light on the camera and says this is my world and I rule it. TNA has a great locker room and everyone is a team player to make the overall package better.
With TNA Wrestling being seen weekly on Spike TV have you seen an increase in promoter interest to your bookings?
Homicide: Actually it's the same because I am working somewhere every weekend. People have told me they have seen me on the show. I don't have an ego about being on TV but it's nice to have people tell me they are watching the show.
On March 17th TNA and the ICP hosted what is being called by writers "TNA's first house show." If TNA runs more of these events and becomes a touring promotion like WWE do you see them asking you to cease all non-TNA bookings and if that occurred what do you think your reaction be.
Homicide: That's something they will work on with each member of the talent roster. I am enjoying the freedom to work for ROH, FIP, JAPW and all over the place. They will need to sit down with me when and if that occurs.
During his twenty-one month reign as ROH World champion you wrestled Samoa Joe on numerous occasions. How do you feel he has adjusted to working for TNA and do you hope TNA might pair you based on you ROH work? I mean after an ROH World title match you tossed fire in his face; I think the fans want more of Joe/Homicide.
Homicide: Well like I said earlier TNA needs to loosen up the Homicide character if they were to set us together in a storyline. Right now there is still a big rivalry between us even though I just finished a feud with Colt Cabana in ROH. Joe and I still have the eye contact every time we are in a locker room and its saying I could beat your ass right now if I wanted to.
You still work for ROH and were one of the people Matt Hardy worked with during is sabbatical from WWE. What was it like to work with him and were you surprised he went back to WWE instead of going to TNA Wrestling?
Homicide: I wasn't surprised since you know how promotions take people back all the time. It was great working with him; he was another guy showing me some things I never used in the ring. I am glad he showed me some stuff because it comes into play now that I am on TV.
When I asked you to mention a dream opponent or someone you wish to work with in the future you answered Roderick Strong, Masa Chono and Jay Lethal. In October 2004 as a member of the Rottwielers (w/Rocky Romero) you wrestled Strong and Jack Evans (Generation NeXt) and you wrestled Lethal in several matches during 2005. Do you still think Strong and Lethal are part of the future of wrestling?
Homicide: My view has not changed one bit and both have bright futures. All I need is Chono and my dream opponent list will be complete. Strong and Lethal both have futures with TNA and ROH spotlighting them in the next few years.
In September 2004 you defeated Joshua Masters, Austin Aires and CM Punk to be crowned the first Full Impact Pro (FIP) Heavyweight champion. Was it ROH's Gabe Sapolsky's involvement that led you to working for FIP and being given the proverbial ball to run with it to the end zone?
Homicide: I didn't really get the ball and run with it, I had the potential to be the champion of the sister promotion to ROH. I love working in tournaments and that one was exceptional. I had that belt for so long and busted by ass defending against so many different in-ring styles and even defending after my shoulder was injured. I am ready to go back to Florida and get my belt back. That is not American Dragon's (Bryan Danielson) belt, he won it on a fluke I was not 100 percent. I was about 5 percent. FIP is being run great by Sal and Gabe; he is concentrating on two different promotions and neither is slacking. Working there reminds me of stories I heard about the Mid-Atlantic territory. Young kids cheering for all the talent in the promotion. I've got kids chanting "187, 187" and calling for Homicide. I'm a babyface, it that weird or what?
In FIP you went on a Samoa Joe-like championship run, holding the title from September 25, 2004 until you lost it January 14th to "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson in a match where Roderick Strong was also a participant. Were you surprised you held the title for so long and was there a point when you said I need time to myself, take it off me?
Homicide: I guess this could be called a shoot statement. I was really pissed because before the injury I was on such a roll. Everything fell apart, its sounds like a drug user when he hits a hole and uses all of his possessions. I lost all the belts I was holding some I lost in the ring others were stripped by the bookers. I am a fighting champion and if I lose the belt it should be by competition. My doctors told me I need surgery and still do as we talk. I need to get that belt back now that I am about 85 percent. I got taken to the limit by Cabana last weekend. I love this business so much I am willing to do anything for it. Look at Terry Funk and Sabu. Terry is 60 years old and still competing. Sabu wrestled with his arm split open by barbwire. My shoulder isn't going to stop me now or ever.
During your tenure with ROH, JAPW and UXW you have wrestled in front of many northeast crowds that like to crap on the crowds down south. Since you have worked for FIP and other promotions in Florida and other states give your assessment of the southern wrestling fans.
Homicide: I think it's like going to Japan and other countries. You are going to be more intense since the ring style is snug. Wrestling in Mexico you better be ready for a cardio workout in the ring. In the northeast its different fans they are into fast paced athletics. Some parts of Florida are stuck in the old school, NWA 1980's match. Those people on the boards don't know about anything since they have never been in the ring. No one is stupid just people who don't know about how the business works. Back to your question, I think it's great to see different styles, take working California or England. California is Lucha influenced while England is more mat based.
In January you worked for 1PW of England taking on Johnny Storm and Jody Fleisch. How do you feel the English fans took to the "Notorious 187?"
Homicide: Those two are great workers. Both of those guys are high flyers and they might be here for the World X Cup. I was surprised by the reception I got until I found out there is a wrestling TV channel in England and they saw my ROH matches. I was happy working there and I hope to return soon.
It wouldn't be a complete interview if I didn't bring up Steve Corino. Despite your public hatred for the "King of Old School" promoters keep booking you to face him. Has your view of Corino changed at all since we talked in 2004 or is there still heat?
Homicide: It's still the same attitude I had when we spoke in 2004. I think there's more heat in there because of December 2005. (Go to www.ROHwrestling.com or www.highspots.com for DVD information) I think like a boxing promoter. If you want to make money, you book two guys who hate the living shit out of each other. But those two men are professionals who have respect for the industry and want to make money for themselves and the other boys. Everyone wants to be Don King or Vince McMahon or Gabe Sapolsky. I don't hate Corino like I want to kill him like someone you know and you have interviewed but we're not going to talk about him ever again. Corino and I have respect the business and for legends like Dusty Rhodes and Terry Funk. We have hatred for each other but not to the level I want to kill his kid or he wants to harm my son. This isn't 2pac and Biggie Smalls killing each other over a beef. We are two guys that don't like each other. Look at my shoulder I have a sick looking bump, he's cant hear out of one of his ears. I still want to kick Corino's ass. "King of Old School" versus "the future of wrestling."
Let's more onto some more controversial guys. You have done some work for Pro Wrestling Unplugged run by Trent Acid and Johnny Kashmere. How does their approach to promoting differ from other northeast groups like JAPW, ROH and USA/UXW?
Homicide: I think it's the same as those groups. Every group has a set style and gimmicks that work. It's a good company and Johnny has a good mind for the business. Trent and I have been feuding since 1998 and he has my PWU belt I lost due to injury.
I mentioned your work with JAPW. In October 2005 you won the tag team titles with someone who causes more controversy then anyone in the business, Teddy Hart. How much of the controversy do you think is real and there is something wrong with him or is it intentional to keep the spotlight on him?
Homicide: I seriously think there is something wrong with the guy (laughs). I don't know what the hell is wrong maybe the Canadian air or too much time in the Dungeon before they sold the house. He has a big mouth and someone needs to shut it. He has a great ring style and if he could shut up he would be going places. Teddy is in a different world and I am happy not going there too often.
As a fellow NY'er I am sure you are getting ready for another season of New York Yankees bashing by the rest of America. Tell the people why this year our team will return to the World Series victories of only six years ago.
Homicide: I think they are hungrier. Over the last four years we have been embarrassed but this year is different because of the secret weapon, Johnny Damon. I saw them begin the season in Oakland and they were like the teams that won the World titles, hitting around in the order and dominating from the mound. Boston is done they were a one year fluke. Konnan is a Red Sox fan and I am a Yankees fan so that is the only rift between us. I told him the title is ours when we beat the Mets in another Subway Series.
I also have to bring up a sore subject that came up after a TNA taping and we watched the New York Knicks get beat down national TV. Who is to blame for this season's failures Larry Brown or Isaiah Thomas?
Homicide: Oh my god I remember that game against the Lakers. I don't know what the hell is wrong with that team. Thomas is from Detroit and I think needs to go back there or work for Indiana University. Many people are blaming Brown because is style is different and he is clashing with (Stephon) Marbury and the other players. We should have gotten Ron Artest not Sacramento since he is a NYC guy. (Artest played for my alma mater St John's University.) Thomas says the future is on the court we need a trophy. We got close when we lost to Houston and San Antonio. Maybe Steinbrenner needs to buys the Knicks.
Thanks to Homicide for taking time for our phone conversation. TNA Wrestling airs on Spike TV, Thursday's at 11pm and reruns Saturday's. Homicide doesn't have a website or a Myspace account you can find information on him at www.TNAWrestling.com, www.ROHwrestling.com, www.fullimpactpro.com and
by Alan Wojcik --- For More Interviews, go to http://www.alanwokcik.com..
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