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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Interview with Josh Prohibition
June 20, 2004 - by Larz Richards


1.Well for the benefit of fans who don't follow the indy scene, can you give them a good idea of who Josh Prohibition is?

I'm and independent professional wrestler from Cleveland, Ohio who has been wrestling professionally now for 3 years. I've been lucky enough to have wrestled all over the United States and had the pleasure of traveling to Japan and England as well. I've had the opportunity to step in to the ring with some of the greatest wrestlers in the world during my young career and for that I am grateful.


2. What made you decide to get into the wrestling business and how did you go about getting into it?

-In 1998 my hopes of playing pro baseball were cut short by a shoulder injury. Without baseball in my life I found myself incredibly bored and began occasionally backyard wrestling with my friends and my brothers. For some reason we gained a lot of local and national attention because of the matches we put on. After about 5 backyard matches a very bootleg backyard fed who rented a ring and called themselves an indy fed contacted us and asked us to come put on a few matches at local high schools and party centers. We put on some really insane matches where my friends and I took way too many risks because we didn't know how to actually wrestle. I really loved being in a wrestling ring and performing but I knew I was going about it the wrong way so I decided to do the right thing and signed up to receive professional wrestling training from a wrestler in Cleveland named JT Lightning. I began training for months and had my first professional match on April 21st, 2001.

3. You've wrestled for quite a few independent promotions, what have been some of your favorite place to wrestle and why?

-I really enjoyed the time I spent with XPW. I feel M-Dogg and I were given a big push right from our debut as a tag team and I feel we did well with the chance we were given. I was given the opportunity to step in the ring with some great wrestlers like Chris Hamrick, Tracy Smothers, Danny Doring, Christian York, Chris Chetti, Shark Boy, Bobby Quance, Jardi Frantz, Halloween, and Damien 666. I was only about a year and a half in the sport when I joined XPW so stepping into the ring with these guys really helped me learn a lot and helped me mature as a wrestler. I've also really enjoyed my time in IWA Mid-South. Ian Rotten has always put me in there with some great wrestlers and the crowds are always very appreciative and all around good wrestling fans. I really like wrestling for the International Wrestling Cartel in Pittsburgh. M-dogg and I have had a lot of success as a tag team there and we have been given a lot of creative freedom with our characters and matches. I liked the direction I was heading my last few months in CZW as well because I always prefer to be a heel when I wrestle.

4. Who are your favorite wrestlers to work with and why?

-I've been having a ton of fun working with Tracy Smothers and Chris Hamrick as of late and learning a lot at the same time. When we aren't tagging M-Dogg and I have put on some entertaining matches. I've always enjoyed stepping into the ring with Sharkboy, Bobby Quance, and Super Dragon as well.

5. Do you prefer wrestling in singles or tag matches and why?

-I love working singles but I really haven't done it in a long time. I've been tagging with M-Dogg everywhere I go and because of how flashy and spectacular his array of moves are we end up being a "face" tag team. I really dislike being a face. I feel I'm a fairly solid wrestler but I'm not flashy. It's hard to be a face when you don't do flashy moves. I feel I excel as a heel and hope to begin working predominantly as a heel in singles action again soon. I also don't care for having to worry about what other people are doing in the match and would rather concentrate on one single opponent.

6. Before making your debut on the indy scene you were a well-known backyard wrestler, do you think that backyard wrestling has an unfair negative stereotype?

-I think if you want to be a pro wrestler you should go to a pro wrestling school and get trained. Don't even bother with backyard wrestling if you have aspirations of being a pro. It's not worth getting banged up in the backyard and getting a reputation as a backyarder. I think too many kids are taking insane risks in the backyard thinking that some how those risks are going to get them a place in the professional wrestling world and that couldn't be farther from the truth. I only had 5 backyard matches and 5 untrained in ring matches and some people still consider me a backyarder even though I've received professional training and have had 150 professional matches in my 3 years in the sport. If you are just backyarding for fun and have no aspirations of a career in the sport then do whatever floats your boat but don't risk your neck because it's not worth it. Besides scars and broken bones you aren't going to get anything from backyard wrestling.

7. Speaking of backyard wrestling, there is actually a documentary on yourself and M-Dogg 20 called Backyard Wrestling: A Passion for Pain. How did you become involved in this project and how does it feel to have your own documentary?

-It's a pretty cool documentary, which basically documents our rise from backyard wrestlers to fairly well known independent professional wrestlers. It's got highlights from our backyard days and well as various indy highlights. We also threw some of our "jackassesque" stunts in there as well to break up the wrestling action. I feel it came out pretty cool. Unfortunately 2 days before I was scheduled to leave for England to wrestle Backyard Wrestling Incorporated contacted me and said they needed a finished version of the video. So I scraped together all our footage last minute and threw the documentary together on my home computer and overnighted it to California. For my first time ever using editing software I feel it came out well and it was even shown on In Demand Pay Per View as well as being sold in major stores all over the country. I wish I would have had more time and more warning to really make the thing snazzy but those are the breaks. M-Dogg and I are working on our next DVD though and this one will rule. You can check my website for more information on when the DVD will be coming out and also get copies of the Passion for Pain DVD.

8. One of your big breaks came in CZW, which regularly featured you and M-Dogg 20, how did you first become involved with CZW?

-Mike Burns from Smart Mark Video taped a local show in Cleveland and saw M-Dogg wrestle and suggested him as a possible candidate for their upcoming Best of the Best tourney. M-Dogg and I had been feuding our entire first year in the sport at that point and I was brought in to be his opponent for our debut match for CZW. We just went to CZW and put on the match we had been putting on all over the Midwest and upon completion of the match we were informed we were both permanent members of the CZW roster.

9. You made some waves when you and M-Dogg 20 jumped to XPW, do you have any regrets over that decision?

-No I don't have any regrets. I thought long and hard before I made the decision and I'm very content with where I'm at in my wrestling career. I don't ponder or question things that took place in the past because that can drive you nuts if you are always 2nd guessing yourself. I'm living an amazing life and I'm thankful for everything I have and I'm thankful for the roads I've taken to get me here.

10. In your debut match in XPW, you won their tag team titles along with M-Dogg 20 as Youthanazia from Mexico's Most Wanted. Were you surprised to get such a big victory in the short time you had been with the company?

-Yes I was incredibly surprised. We didn't know we were going to win the tag belts until we arrived at the building our first night. If my opinion carried any weight at that time we wouldn't have won the belts. In all honesty I didn't feel comfortable taking the belts from wrestlers like Halloween and Damien. I'm happy though the match came off as well as it did and I was very proud when Halloween and Damien put us over after the match.

11. Your second reign with the XPW tag team titles was actually the last reign before the company folded, do you still have the belts?

-Yeah unfortunately some bad business decisions led to the end of XPW. It was a great locker room and a real fun place to work. In all honesty XPW really wasn't a good wrestling company until the last year or so of its existence. It had just hit its prime when It folded. I do still have the belt at home and it's a beauty. I'm considering selling it though because of my current financial situation. So if you want to email me a money offer go for it. I'll entertain all offers.

12. Do you think that XPW got a lot of unfair press when it was active?

-I can totally see why XPW got a bad reputation. I used to hate XPW when it first came out. I was ECW for life and I felt XPW was trying to steal ECW's thunder.

I used to watch XPW's television show which was on right after ECW's Hardcore Television and I would think to myself "what the hell is this crap, this sucks!" I also viewed a couple of the early XPW videos and I couldn't believe how bad they were. Besides excellent production quality the product needed a lot of work. With time though XPW seemed to get its act together by bringing in a lot of great wrestlers and really improving their product. Unfortunately though first impressions last a long time and I think XPW suffered because of that.

13. Do you think that you might return to CZW?

-I would have no problem returning to CZW. Even though I received a ton of negative press, shoot interviews about me, and hate mail, I never said a negative word about CZW or the wrestlers who work there. I feel I handled my departure well and I don't think I permanently burnt any bridges. I still have some good friends in CZW and would definitely entertain an offer to return. Plus I get a kick out of the theme song.

14. In addition to wrestling all over the United States, you've also wrestled in England. What are the fans like over there, and is it different wrestling in front of them instead of a standard US crowd?

-I had a great time wrestling in England. I thought the crowd was very appreciative of what they saw and I hope to go back there soon. Only complaint was they would chant, "you fucked up" when a move was countered which didn't make much sense to me because American fans reserve that chant for obviously blown spots. I think the English fans haven't been desensitized as much as the American wrestling crowd which makes it easier to impress.

15. Is there any specific indy promotion out there that you would like to work for?

-I think working for ROH or TNA would be good exposure. I would like to go back to England and work for FWA as well.

16. What in your opinion is your best match, and why?

-I'm weird about my "best matches." My opinion of my matches changes month to month. At the time I may think a match is good but when I go back like 6 months later and watch it again I think the match sucks because I have improved during that time period and I notice little things I don't like about the match. I go back and watch my first couple best of tapes and I get embarrassed at how bad they are. So if you own one of those tapes send it back to me and I'll send you a new tape with better matches. If I had to choose my best matches I just recently had a match versus the SAT for JAPW that I really enjoyed and thought was good. We faced Homicide and B-boy at IWA Mid-South a month ago and it got a great reaction from the crowd. Come back in a few months and ask me the same question and ill probably say those matches sucked though because I'm very critical of myself.

17. What's the worst injury you've ever had?

-I broke my ankle in two places in the fall and that was rough. Probably the most painful thing I've done though was when I broke a rib this winter and tried to work through it, which isn't too smart. The pain is just constantly there because even breathing hurts and it's still bugging me right now. So if you can avoid breaking ribs do so!

18. Who are your best friends in the business?

I have a lot of guys I consider best friends in the business: M-Dogg20, Chris Hamrick, Tracy Smothers, Colt Cabana, Super Dragon, Raymond Rowe, and Alex Shelley to name a few. There are plenty others that I didn't name as well. I've met some really great and interesting people during my short time in the sport of wrestling. The characters you meet are one of the main reasons I enjoy doing what I do.


[Josh Prohibition]

19. Any funny or amusing stories from the road that you would like to share?

-I can't think of just one good story off the top of my head but my website has commentaries from my past couple years in the sport so there should be some pretty entertaining stories there.

20. In general has the indy scene become better quality wise or worse?

-I think in most in cases the quality of wrestlers and matches has definitely improved but the fan reaction has gotten worse. I think if you go back and watch old ECW tapes circa 1995 a lot of those matches weren't very good by today's standards, but the crowd reaction was amazing. You'd think those fans were watching the main event at Wrestlemania based on their reactions. I think that's missing in today's wrestling. I think part of the problem is the market is over saturated with too many federations and there are too many shitty workers who wrestle 6 times a year for one federation that give indy wrestling a bad name. Another part of the problem is the fans have seen so much stuff that they have become a bit spoiled, and the final part of the problem is a good portion of fans don't want to be just that, "a fan." They want to be insiders, bookers, critics, and smart marks. They want to overanalyze every match and be extremely critical of every little thing instead of enjoying the show. I loved being a wrestling fan. I still am a fan of this sport. I love watching guys putting on excellent matches. I try not to focus on the negatives when It comes to wrestling and I've noticed that when you get some friends together and go to a wrestling show and go absolutely ape shit you will have a much better time then if you sit there taking notes on every match so that you can run home to be the first one to post the results and your opinions on the message boards.

21. You debuted in 2001, and since then you've wrestled for several big name indys and have wrestled big name independent talent like Super Dragon and Colt Cabana. How does it feel to have accomplished so much in such a relatively short time in the business?

-When I began wrestling training 3 and a half years ago I never could have imagined making it as far as I have in such a short period of time. I've worked hard and I've got a lot of breaks that I am thankful for. I don't take for granted where I've gotten and I'm appreciative of those who have helped me get here. It's been a wild ride and I look forward to seeing where this wacky world of professional wrestling will take me next.

22. How can the fans keep up with your career?

You can get the latest updates about what's going on with me at www.joshprohibition.com along with the Passion for Pain DVD we mentioned earlier. There is also some other cool merchandise along with some commentaries I write that seem to get a good reaction from the fans. You should go buy some merchandise because I'm really poor and I need a few bucks for gas and food.

23. Any last plugs you want to throw out?

-Thank you very much for the interview. The questions were very good and I appreciate you doing your homework regarding my career before interviewing me. Fans can feel free to email me at Josh@JoshProhibition.com with any responses or questions regarding this interview. You can also send hate mail, love mail, or naked pictures of your girlfriend, sister, or mom. Thanks for having enough interest in me to read this entire thing.

by Larz Richards.


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