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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Interview with Shark Boy
July 28, 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 Shark Boy is?

Virtually everything you could want to know about me can be found at my website, http://www.sharkboy.net/. I would summarize who I am by saying I consider myself one of the luckiest guys on the planet just to be making a living by doing what I love!

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

I got hooked on wrestling around the age of 11 and started telling everyone it was what I wanted to do for a living. Nine years later I met Les Thatcher in Cincinnati right before he opened up his wrestling school. He invited me in for a try-out and the rest is history.

3. One of your first gimmicks was Dean Baldwin in the HWA. Who came up with this idea for a gimmick and what lead to the transformation from Dean Baldwin to Shark Boy?

Actually, Dean Baldwin came AFTER Shark Boy and the two characters have managed to coexist at the same time ever since. So many people told me I looked like a young Alec Baldwin that it was just something I decided to go with.

4. You debuted in 1997, and were signed by WCW in 1999. How did it feel to get signed by a major promotion so quickly into your career?

I considered it a major accomplishment. For the first time I felt like I was REALLY a part of the industry and would forever be able to say "I was a professional wrestler".

5. What in your mind sticks out from your WCW run?

My first string of national television appearances on WCW Saturday Night.

6. How did you first become involved with NWA TNA?

Through my involvement with the now defunct WWA, I developed a friendship with Jeremy Borash and Bob Ryder, both of whom really went to bat for me with TNA ina big way and allowed me an opportunity to try out for the company.

7. During your TNA run you had a regular team with New Jack. What was it like working a tag team with someone who's style is so different from your own?

The contrast in styles is what made the team so effective, particularly when it came to the backstage vignettes. For me it was a lot of fun.

8. During 2002, you became involved with Xtreme Pro Wrestling. What are your thoughts on XPW, and how do you feel about the run you were given there?

XPW probably would have had a much longer shelf life if it wasn't for the other business interests that owner Rob Black was involved in. I was incredibly pleased with my run with the company and the fans couldn't have responded better to my character.

9. You were involved with the World Wrestling All-Stars promotion, during the short time it was active. How did you become involved with the WWA? Were you surprised that it shut down within a relatively short period of time?

Once again I would give credit to Jeremy Borash for landing me a spot in the six-way cruiserweight match as part of the WWA Las Vegas pay-per-view. With the quality of talent involved with the shows and the amount of set-up involved, the company was probably just too "big budget" to last much longer than it did.

10. Who are your favorite wrestlers to work with?

Chris Kanyon, Jeff Jarrett, Jamie Noble, and Chad Collyer just to name a few.

11. What in your opinion has been your best match?

My recent TNA match with Jeff Jarrett was a real highlight for me, as was my WWE try-out match with Kanyon last year.

12. You've never to my knowledge wrestled in Japan. Have you ever considered wrestling in Japan, or are you content with wrestling stateside with NWA TNA?

I would love to have the opportunity to work in Japan sometime when the right circumstances present themselves.

13. Recently you've started training wrestlers in your Shark Tank program. What made you decide to become a trainer?

Training wrestlers is something that gives me a lot of personal satisfaction and I look forward to doing it again in the near future.

14. What do you feel goes into training wrestlers successfully?

I think what makes my classes stand out is the amount of focus I place on educating potential wrestlers about the way the business actually works. I don't just teach armdrags and dropkicks and then promise them the world at the end of the course. Rather, I try to give each student a realistic view of the business and explain to them what they will need to do to make it to the next level and how rarely that actually happens.

15. Any advice for inspiring wrestlers out there?

Sign up for my Shark Tank program and work really hard!

16. Have you ever met a wrestler whose personality surprised you?

I'm sure I have. You can often develop ideas about someone's personality based on their TV persona only to find out the individual is nothing like that at all when you get to know them.

17. Any funny or amusing stories from your career that you'd like to share?

I feel like my entire career has been one big funny, amusing story and I hope to write a book about it someday.

18. In general, do you think the indy scene has become better or worse?

It goes in cycles. Right now I would say better.

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

Best way is to visit me at http://www.sharkboy.net/.

20. Any last plugs/thoughts you'd like to throw out?

I'd like to plug the upcoming Buckeye Pro Wrestling show in Middletown, OH, on August 13th. Fans can visit http://www.buckeyeprowrestling.com/ for all the details. In conclusion, I just want to say thanks for following the fin!

by Larz Richards.


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