Interview with Jerrelle Clark
May 3, 2007 -- conducted by Mike Waters
Also See: Jerrelle Clark Profile - Jerrelle Clark Gallery
MW: What was your life like growing up?
JC: I was raised by my mother. I was an only child but spent most of my time with my cousins. We grew up in the ghetto. My mom, tried to get a better life for me by moving about into the suburbs. When she got married, we moved into the outskirts of Cleveland where I stayed until I graduated.
MW: Did you play any sports as a child?
JC: I started gymnastics when I was 4 after watching Kung Fu Theater. I just went outside and did a flip, landed on my head, got a band aid, went out and kept doing it until I finally got it right. I was then sent to get proper training. I started Shao-lin Gung Fu when I was 10. When I got into 9th grade, I played football, wrestled and ran track until I graduated during the summer when I was in high school, I was on the swimming and diving team. I also played 1 year of baseball for my church. I don't like baseball, not that I couldn't play, I was a .250 batter. I just didn't like it.
MW: Did you attend college, if so, which one?
JC: I received a wrestling scholarship to Morgan State University, where I also played football (1 season), pole vaulted (1 season) and cheered (1 season). I graduated in 1999.
I attended the International Academy of Design and Technology in Orlando, FL where I graduated in 2003.
MW: What did you study while there?
JC: At MSU I received a BA in Graphic Design and Advertising. I received an AS in Computer Graphics from IADT.
MW: What was it about what you studied that drew your attention?
JC: I like to draw.
MW: When did you meet your wife?
JC: I worked at Disney over the summer in 97. I was given the day off so a few of my friends and I went to Epcot. My wife was there with her friends playing in the water that shoots out of the ground. We motioned for them to come talk to us and they said no but wanted us to come to them. We didn't feel like getting wet so we walked away. We didn't know they followed us. When we saw them again, we started talking and the rest is history.
MW: How did it feel when you two got married?
JC: DUH, happy.
MW: What was it like becoming a father?
JC: The best feeling in the world.
Ok let's cut to the chase. Let's talk about what everyone is waiting for, the wrestling.
MW: When did you first become interested in wrestling?
JC: When I was young.
MW: What was is it about wrestling that caught your attention?
JC: The larger than life characters.
MW: Who were some of your favorites to watch?
JC: Hogan, B Brian Blair, Lanny Poffo, Steamboat.
MW: Do you have a favorite match/angle you remember watching?
JC: Macho man giving the top rope elbow drop to Steamboat with the bell.
MW: When did you decide you wanted to get into wrestling?
JC: I was approached by someone who knew that I loved pro wrestling. He offered to train me if I gave his son some extra training in amateur wrestling.
MW: When was your first match and who was it against?
JC: May 2000 against Saxxon the Cutthroat.
MW: Take us through your first match. From the moment you were standing behind the curtain, to the moment you got in the ring in front of a crowd for the first time, to the first bump you took in front of a crowd, to when you walked behind the curtain to go lick your wounds.
JC: Nervous, scared, nervous, tired, nervous, pinned, nervous, hungry, sleepy
MW: What did you learn from that match?
JC: A lot, and I'm still learning.
MW: How do you think you have grown as a wrestler through your career?
JC: I've become a smarter wrestler. I don't take stupid risk. I tell a story, and focus on whet it takes to grow even more.
MW: How honored did you feel when you became the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion?
JC: Knowing the heritage of the title, I was very honored. It's not like a small promotion in one state, this was an actual world title that I defended with pride.
MW: What was your reaction when TNA first contacted you?
JC: I first contacted them. I was happy when they let me know that I was going to do a dark match. I was then contacted by them a month later at an NWA convention show to do a PPV match. Now that was awesome.
MW: You are known for being Mr. 630, obviously referring to your amazing finishing maneuver. If I may...WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?
JC: Nothing, just got up there and did it.
MW: Speaking of the 630, does it get under your skin when people sometimes refer to you as a "one trick pony" as they say?
JC: F*** them. They don't care to learn that there is more to a person, then so be it. I'm out there to entertain, it they are not entertained by my work and they don't take the time to understand what I'm doing, then the way i see it, there are plenty other fans that appreciate me. I do my best everytime I'm out there. How often have I done the 630? For 1 year, that's all I did. I cut back every year after that because I learned that there is more to wrestling than just flipping to impress everyone. That's one reason I don't do it anymore period.
MW: You and Mikey Batts had great chemistry and worked together very well in the ring together. Was that because you all are good friends outside of the ring or that you are both just good wrestlers?
MW: Who would you say that your best friends in "the business" would be?
JC: I really appreciate AJ Styles showing me a lot. Elix Skipper and David Young were always cool with me. But as far as Best Friends in the business, Kenny King and Chasyn Rance come to mind.
MW: Any people you don't perticularly care for?
MW: You have been in the ring with some of the top names in wrestling today. For example, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Monty Brown, Petey Williams, BJ James, Ron "The Truth" Killings, Shocker, Konan and both members of LAX as well as plenty other people that I am sure I am forgetting. Is there anyone that you have wrestled that you prefer to wrestle over some else. If so, why?
JC: AJ gave me two great matches under 3 minutes. I would love to have a full match with him one day that is not constrained by TV time.
MW: If you could wrestle any 1 person that has ever been in the wrestling business, past or present, that you have never wrestled, who would it be?
JC: Lanny Poffo in his prime.
MW: Do you prefer working for TV audiences like at TNA or in front of an indy audience like for say ROH, FIP, NWA Florida, etc.?
JC: Indy, because my time on TV was limited. My TV role never gave me time to develope a character, so the only real persona I have is in the Indies.
MW: Do you like working for a major company like TNA more than an indy company? Or is it the other way around?
JC: Both, they each have their ups and downs.
MW: How did you feel when ROH contacted you to be on the other side of the ring when Generation Next was to have their last match as a stable?
JC: Honored. Gabe put a lot of faith in me to work with 4 of his top guys alongside some great up and comers. It was a weekend that I will never forget.
MW: You have taken some insane bumps in your career, do any of them stand out in particular?
JC: Triple team super Canadian Destroyer.
OK, now I would like to do some word association with you. I'm sure you know how it works. I say a name and you give me the word that comes to mind.
MW: AJ Styles
JC: Awesome (or would that be phenomenal?)
MW: Roderick Strong
MW: Mikey Batts
JC: Bad ass
MW: Briscoe Brothers
JC: Good friends
MW: Canadian Destroyer
JC: Over talented
MW: NWA Florida
JC: Getting better
JC: bigger than anything going.
JC: see previous
MW: Any advice for those out there wanting to get into the wrestling business themselves?
JC: Don't do it for the money cause you ain't making shit. Do it for the love of the business.
MW: Any thoughts on the WWE you would like to share?
MW: Any aspirations of going to the WWE?
JC: They call, I'll go.
MW: So what does the future hold for Jerrelle Clark?
JC: More wrestling.
MW: Anything you would like to say to your fans out there?
JC: Visit www.Mr630.com for all your Jerrelle Clark news.
MW: Would you like to plug your website or any merch?
JC: Only merch I have at this time is Autograph pics.
MW: Final thoughts?
JC: Not really, just if you are a backyarder, don't contact me and tell me. I don't condone it, I don't care for it, I don't want to hear about it. It's a way for people to cut corners and say that they are in the business. Get proper training, please.
by Mike Waters ..
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