Interview with Vordell Walker
June 9, 2005 -- by Alan J. Wojcik -- http://www.alanwojcik.com
Vordell Walker: I grew up and still live in Savannah, GA. Amateur wrestling is where I first started during my time in high school. I was the first wrestler for the high school I attended, which helped open up doors for other schools in Savannah who didn't have a team yet. I never really got the credit I deserved for this, but its water under the bridge now. I wrestled for one year while in high school and then decided to move on. After watching UFC 1, I fell in love with NHB and thought that would be the direction I wanted to go in. So I found Judo and that is where it all began for me. I believe I was 14 when I started Judo. Being a pro wrestler was something I've always wanted to do even while I was participating in other activities, but breaking into the business is easier now then it was when I was growing up. I had no idea at 14 where to go or who to talk to about being a pro wrestler. The only thing I could do is stand in the back of the Savannah Civic Center when wrestling came to town and hope that I could catch one of the wrestlers going to their car and ask them.
Vordell Walker has been in the news recently thanks to a match he was involved in with former WCW/WWE wrestler Rick Steiner on an SCW-Florida event. I decided to find out all about that match and more importantly how a shoot fighter comes to be a professional wrestler.
Alan Wojcik: Let's start out simple. Where did you grow up and which came into your life first martial arts or wrestling?
AW: Which disciplines are you skilled in?
Vordell Walker: I've trained in Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Goshin Budo Ju Jitsu. Goshin Budo is an art form that focuses on striking and ground work. Goshin Budo is what prepared me for my many submission competition and NHB fights.
AW: Where did you go to college and why did you pursue a marketing degree?
Vordell Walker: I attended Savannah Technical College. I choose Marketing because I enjoy sales and I want to one day open my own business. I'm leaning more towards opening a supplement store in the future.
AW: On your website (http://www.geocities.com/vordellwalker/) you have the layout for a workout, is it the exact one you follow to keep your muscular physique?
Vordell Walker: If you are asking me if I have used the "gas", then my answer is hell no! I've have done just fine being all natural. What you find on my site is supplements that I'm using now or have in the past that have worked for me. I try to work out at least 4 to 5 days a week depending on my work and wrestling schedule. I train hard because I owe it to the fans, the guy I'm wrestling and mostly myself to be in the best shape possible so that I can give 100% each time you see me.
AW: Also on your site is a tribute to you mom, please talk about it.
Vordell Walker: What can I not say about my mom. I miss her dearly, but I know she is always with me. I wish I had 5 minutes with her to tell her thank you for being the best mom you could have been to me. I would tell her how brave she was for fighting her battle with sickle cell for so long. I would tell her that I was hurt for so long for her going on, but I'm happy I didn't have to watch her suffer anymore. I would tell her I miss taking care of her and I would gladly give up my time with my friends in order to take care of her if I had the chance to again. It was hard loosing her at 15, but it has made me a better man because of it. I want to honor her memory and have her memory live on through me in everything I do.
AW: Why transition from MMA and shoot fighting to professional wrestling?
Vordell Walker: Professional wrestling has always been the dream I've had for myself from the time I first started watching wrestling as a kid. All of my MMA and shoot fighting background was my preparation for what god put me on this earth to do. I miss competing, but my love will always be for wrestling.
AW: Which is harder learning to wrestle or learn a martial arts discipline?
Vordell Walker: Both were hard in there own way. Going through the transition from one to other was a little rough for me, but I eventually got the hang of things. Both sports have taken a toll on my body so much. The martial arts have made me use to getting hit lightly and really hard at some times during training. I get this joy sometimes from getting hit hard. It brings back good memories of me training and how my instructor would push me to keep fighting strong.
AW: Who trained you for professional wrestling and how long did you train before your first match?
Vordell Walker: Rick Mead, Bryan Perry and Ray Kinsey. I trained for like 3 months before I got my first match on March 18th 2001. I knew just enough to get me by and continued to learn from other guys I wrestled against and trained with before the show.
AW: How much of Vordell Walker is in the wrestler Vordell Walker?
Vordell Walker: Vordell Walker is me turned up to the max. Vordell Walker is me. Vordell is my middle name and Walker is my last name. Me in the ring is almost the way I was when I would competed in submission and NHB matches. I'm much different in a wrestling ring though. The intensity is always there, but I also have safety for both of us in the back of my head as well. 9 times out of 10 the guy I'm wrestling has two jobs just like me on Monday morning and a family to feed.
AW: What was the reaction from friends/family/loved ones when you told them you were going to be a wrestler?
Vordell Walker: I think most of them felt I would grow out of my obsession with wanting to be a pro wrestler. However, they were all wrong. Many people listened to me talk about being a pro wrestler one day, but more than likely laughed at me as I walked away. I don't really tell too many people that I'm a pro wrestler, because most people don't believe me anyway or ask stupid questions. Now that my friends and family have seen my success, their opinion or what I'm trying to do for the rest of my life has changed.
AW: Through the early part of your career you worked all through the southeastern part of the US. Which promotion did you consider your home promotion and what things did you learn that you might use to this day?
Vordell Walker: GWF is what got my foot in the door here in GA. GWF thought me some good stuff about the business, but more of the negative crap that happens behind the scenes. Next was ECPW out of SC. I learned so much from working with this group. At the time they had some of the best talent that you could find anywhere. Being green as hell and being in a locker room with those kind of guys made me feel good. SGWA here in GA help put me on the map as well and so did GIWA.
AW: One of the promotions you are currently working for is SCW (Southern Championship Wrestling). How did you come to work for them and for those that have never been to an SCW event, how does it differ from other Florida promotions?
Vordell Walker: I would have been in Florida before my Florida debut with NNW (No Name Wrestling), but the person who was trying to get me work didn't have the rep like he made it sound like he did. I couldn't get work with a certain fed in Florida because this guys opinion was not worthy of being considered by others. I had my debut match for NNW against Erick Stevens and MSL (Mister Saint Laurent) thought I would bring something to the SCW table. After a few months of negotiating, I finally made it to SCW. I feel like SCW is just like most feds I've worked for in the past. I've never had heat with any of the boys (that I know of), I speak to most of the guys on the roster once a week, we go to eat after the show, and my thoughts on the company are considered. Basically, everyone in SCW is like family to me. I feel like I'm working for one of the top feds in Florida and look forward to a long working relationship and friendship with many of the guys for many years to come. SCW is one of the main reasons I'm where I'm at today. My match with Steve Corino for SCW helped put me on the map. I thank SCW and Steve for what you did for me.
AW: You mentioned wrestling Florida standout named Erick Stevens. Please talk about this match I saw on DVD recently.
Vordell Walker: Where do I start with this match? I was very pleased with the match we had. I feel most of the people who left that show had a new respect for both of us. I would wrestle Erick every night of the week if I could. We have amazing chemistry and it shows in the ring. I wish him nothing but the best in the future. Stevens Rules!!!!!!!!
AW: This past Saturday you won the SCW Southern Heavyweight title defeating "the Korean Monster" Ryze.
Vordell Walker: I'm looking forward to taking the company on my shoulders. I look at holding the SCW belt as an honor. I represent the company right now and I have to make sure that I represent them well. I look forward to all of my future matches and hope to have a long title reign.
AW: Another promotion you have worked for is Georgia Championship Wrestling and in the promotion you worked with former WCW star Lash Leroux. How does GCW differ from another Georgia based promotion called Combat Fusion?
Vordell Walker: GCW has an awesome venue in which they run shows. Combat Fusion does as well. GCW has the money to bring in the guys from all over. Combat Fusion doesn't right now, that doesn't mean it will stay that way forever. Toward the end of my time with GCW I had a disagreement about numerous issues. I felt it was best to finish my bookings I had with them and part ways. I've never had any problem with anyone with Combat Fusion. Combat Fusion runs shows right where I live in Savannah, GA. I'm really trying to do my best to help Combat Fusion and some of the top guys in Florida get more work here in GA. Please check out both shows if you ever get a chance. I miss the fans of GCW more than you guys know, but the true Vordell fans will never forget about me.
AW: You also currently work for three different but popular promotions. The first being NWA Florida based out of the Tampa Bay area. How did you come to work for them and what were your initial impressions of Ron Niemi?
Vordell Walker: It took sometime to get work with NWA FL because of a choice I made a few years ago when IPW was around. That is all water under the bridge now and we have ironed our differences out. I started working for NWA FL about a year ago after Ron Niemi was working on a FIP show with me a few months prior. He watched my match that night, he pulled me to the side when I got back to the locker room and the rest is history. NWA FL is the way every locker room should be. Their locker room is just the way I described SCW's. It took me a little time to get to know some of the guys, but I feel like most of those barriers are down now. I can't thank Ron enough for what he did for me with the WWE. Also, thank you to Steve Keirn for sticking your head on the line for me.
AW: How does the NWA Florida fans and locker room differ from others you have been part of?
Vordell Walker: The locker room and the fans don't really differ to me. I see quite a bit of the NWA FL fans and wrestlers at other shows in the Florida area. I have really grown to be more than just Vordell Walker to many of the fans in Florida. I really try to get to know the fans that pay their money to watch me and many other wrestlers do what we love to do.
AW: During your debut you were paired for a brief time with Scoot Andrews and Antonio Banks in their war with Lex Lovett, Billy Fives and Buck Quartermain. With your martial arts background what was it like to be working with another martial artist in Billy Fives?
Vordell Walker: Everybody was ribbing me hard about working Billy. Many of the guys kept telling me to make sure I had my head on tight because Billy would take it off. I loved every minute I was in that match with Billy. I always enjoy working someone who knows how to wrestle the same style I like to. I heard that Billy doesn't like to wrestle many people who he doesn't know really well, so I was honored that he accepted to wrestle me. I was sad to see Billy retire, but Billy is moving on to better things now.
AW: How did you come to work for TNA Wrestling and could you talk about being in the ring with Hector Garza on Impact?
Vordell Walker: I wrestled on a show in Alabama against Disco Inferno (Glen Gilberti). I think Disco was doing the booking at the time and I was so nervous because I knew what was on the line with this match. The match went well and I approached him afterward about working for TNA. Disco told me to contact Bill Behrens and tell him that he and I spoke. Well I did just that and I had a TNA Impact date in Jan of 2005 in a six man tag against 3 Live Kru. After that I came back a few months later and wrestled Hector Garza. This was a different match that I was use to at the time. Garza speaks very little English, so you can imagine how I felt going into this match. I got so much offense on Garza that I couldn't believe it when I watched the match on TV.
AW: The next promotion I wish to ask you about is Full Impact Pro. How did you come to work for FIP and please talk about working the current ROH Heavyweight champion Austin Aires?
Vordell Walker: I worked a show in Gainesville, FL and after the show was approached by Jaison Moore to come work for FIP. I spoke with Jaison for a few weeks and spoke with the owner of FIP and everything was set up. My first show for FIP was in Arcadia, FL and I believe it was held at the civic center in Arcadia. This is the same show were I had a conversation with Ron Niemi to come work for NWA FL. Wrestling Aires was a big deal because it was the first ROH title defense in Florida. This was an important match for me heading into the Do or Die in the coming weeks after this match. I needed a good showing so that I would have some creditability heading into the Do or Die match.
AW: Was it working for FIP that you became Mick Foley's mystery opponent for Samoa Joe on an ROH event in February?
Vordell Walker: Being Mick Foley's mystery opponent was something I found out about maybe a week or two prior to the show. I had a good showing at the last FIP show before the ROH event in February and this is what brought about the Foley deal.
AW: On March 5, 2005 you were part of the Trios tournament with Samoa Joe/American Dragon as your partners. Please talk about working against James Gibson, Spanky and Nigel McGuiness, followed by the Rottweilers (Romero, Homicide and Reyes).
Vordell Walker: The first match in the 6 man was really difficult for me. I didn't feel like I clicked with the first group of guys like the second group I wrestled against. Maybe on a different night I would have had a better showing against Gibson, Spanky and McGuiness. Nothing against those three, I just had an off moment.
AW: According to your site you will be working for ROH on their shows in Lake Grove, Long Island and also in NYC in July. Are you excited to be traveling north?
Vordell Walker: I believe this is my third show for ROH. I excited about going because my girlfriend and a friend of ours will be going as well. I look forward to a great road story from this trip. I've got some friends who live in NYC as well and I look forward to getting to see them as well.
AW: You also have worked for UXW. How does it differ from ROH and the other northeastern promotions you have been part of?
Vordell Walker: I like working for both groups. UXW shows run a little long though. I had a good debut match for UXW a few months ago against Matt Striker. I had a great time with the boys in the back and look forward to going back up north for UXW in September.
AW: Before we get to the stuff everyone wants to read about. I was hoping to get your thoughts on being part of the 2005 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup and facing former ECW star Tony Mamaluke in round one on June 10th.
Vordell Walker: I'm very excited about wrestling Mamaluke in the first round of the JPC. Mamaluke is a really good mat technician and I'm looking forward to taking the match to the ground. I hope we can put on a wrestling clinic for the fans.
AW: Let's get right into it. Take us through the now infamous shoot at the recent SCW event in Ocala with Rick Steiner where you were partnered with Dustin Rhodes against Steiner and Erick Stevens. After talking us through it, do you think you acted properly in the incident?
Vordell Walker: The stuff in the ring is a blur because I totally zoned out once we started shooting. SCW and I had problems all day with trying to get Steiner to speak to everyone involved in the tag match. Dustin, Erick and I spent most of the time talking and we were just going to tell Steiner what we had planned when we got in the ring. I wasn't a big fan of the idea to do that. Erick and I started to get a bad feeling about this tag match because of the way Steiner was dodging us about the match. I was trying to be optimistic about this situation because I know quite a few of the old school guys like to call stuff in the ring. That is fine with me; I can work like that too. I found out I was working Steiner like two weeks before the show and I told one of the guys who trained me that I was wrestling against Rick and he told me "good luck" basically. He pretty much told me that Steiner is stiff with young guys. I've wrestled Erick Stevens like three times and he can't be any stiffer than him. Anyway, let me get back on track. Dustin Rhodes didn't even walk to the ring with me. He came from another dressing room in the back and I had to peek out of the tent I was in for the thumbs up to finally walk out. I'm saying to myself that this is going to be match of the year for me. We get to the ring and then they announce Erick and Rick. I remember hearing Steiner bark and the rest of the crowd following right behind him. Rick gets in the ring and just starts talking shit to the ref. I was thinking that this guy really does get into character. I'm still down playing all the signs of a bad situation about to happen. I started off with Erick for a few moments and then tagged in Dustin. They do a little and then Erick tags in Rick. They work a little bit and Dustin comes over to tag me. I start working the crowd to try to get them behind Dustin tagging me in. I turn my back to the crowd and next thing I know I'm in the ring. I heard from someone that while my back was turned working the crowd that Steiner tried hitting me and I guess I no sold it. I no sold it because I didn't feel the damn punch. Anyway, I got brought in the ring and as soon as I got through the ropes I took a really stiff kick to the face. I'm not sure if I took anything else after that. I think I took a stiff punch as well to the face. If I had known he was shooting on me then, I would have covered up better. I started to see blood come out of my mouth and my thoughts were this mother %^&*** is shooting on me. Anyway after taking a few strikes Steiner put a work choke on me (a knee on my throat) and told me "youre going to sell that bitch". Right then I was ready to fight. I remember my whole mindset changing and got up and rush his ass and back him against the ropes and put a technique on him to where I had my leg hooked behind his so that he had a hard time trying to move and when I felt the time was right I started my take down attempt. I had him in a front choke and let it go after a few moments. I think we wrestled for a bit and I ended up getting the better of him. I don't remember throwing strikes and kicks, but many who witnessed the shoot said that I did. Steiner and I shoot again and I got him down and he eventually gives me his back and I put on several chokes on him and then let them go. After holding Steiner down for a few, Dustin tells me to tag. Let me get off the subject for a minute. I'm really not the best person to ask about this because I was in a different frame of mind and don't remember much after I started shooting back on him. There were points in the match where I remember thinking Steiner was going to start working, but it was too late for me to work with him at that point. I wasn't going to keep working with him. However, I did try to save the match when Erick Stevens and I were in the ring together. At the end Dustin and Rick are legal and start fighting to the back. I remember looking at Erick and both of us are like what the %^&&. I figured the match was about to get counted out because t
self control. I gave him a chance to fight me straight up and he chose not to.
AW: Who designed your website and how interactive are you in its content?
Vordell Walker: Got Gimmicks did the site for me. If anyone had a chance to check out my last web site, then you know I'm not that great at web site building. The design is totally my idea. I wanted something different for everyone else. I haven't come across a site with a magazine theme and that is what I wanted. Everything on the site has been at my request. When I had an idea block about colors or the format of the site then Got Gimmicks gave me some ideas to help me make a decision. I send them updates on my bookings and pics from shows and fans. My forum is where you will find my results from shows, interaction with fans and my feelings on wrestling related/personal stuff.
AW: What do you hope for Vordell Walker in the coming months?
Vordell Walker: I hope to be a major player in the wrestling business soon. I'm going to keep learning and improving, hoping that one day I'll get that call to work for someone who can provide me with the ability to make a living wrestling. I've been blessed with much success as of late and I'm very thankful for all of it. Thank you to everyone who has stood by me these past four years. It has been a long hard road of paying dues to get to where I'm at today and the dues are still being paid. The sky is the limit for Vordell Walker.
AW: Let me end by saying thanks for your time and honesty in this interview:
Vordell Walker: Thank you Alan for asking me to do this interview for you.
Please view http://www.geocities.com/vordellwalker/ for all things Vordell. Vordell will be part of the 2005 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup, www.nwaflorida.com and www.petersoncup.com, SCW returns to action July 16th, www.scwflorida.com , FIP's site is www.fullimpactpro.com , and Ring of Honor in July, www.ROHwrestling.com Combat Fusion information is on www.combatfusion.com and they run June 25th.
by Alan J. Wojcik --- For More Interviews, go to http://www.alanwojcik.com..
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