Jeff Peterson Cup Profile: Chris Hero

Please credit Alan J. Wojcik of  http://alanwojcik.com if used, thanks.

2007 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup Profile: Chris Hero

Chris Hero
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 230
Hometown: Metropolis
Pro Debut: September 1998
Myspace: www.myspace.com/thechrishero

Tournament history:
Finalist 2004 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup (lost to Justice in three way with Roderick Strong),
Winner 2000 IWA-MS Sweet Science (now called Ted Petty Invitational, Lost in 2001 to Adam Pearce, lost in 2002 to CM Punk, Finalist in 2003, lost in 2004 to Mike Quackenbush, lost in 2005 event to Arik Cannon and lost in 2006 event to Roderick Strong)
Winner 2005 IWA-MS Revolution Strong Style Tournament
Finalist 2005 Chikara World Tag Grand Prix (w/Mike Quackenbush),
2005 CZW Best of the Best (lost in second round to Kevin Steen),
Winner 2006 Chikara Tag Tournament (w/ Claudio Castagnoli),
Winner 2006 CZW Last Team Standing (w/ Claudio Castagnoli),
Winner wXw (Germany) 16 Carat Gold Tournament
2006 King of Europe Cup (lost in second round to Doug Williams
Finalist 2006 PWA Queensland (Australia) Rise of the Warriors
2006 PWG Battle of Los Angeles (lost to Genki Horiguchi)

Where you have seen him: CZW, Ring of Honor, IWA-MS, Chikara, TNA Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, IWC, Jersey All Pro and Cleveland All-Pro to name a few. (Please see his myspace blogs for full 2005-06 listings)

Championships held:
CZW World Heavyweight,
CZW Tag Team (w/Claudio Castagnoli),
CZW Iron Man,
ROH Tag Team (w/Claudio Castagnoli),
wXw Heavyweight and IWA-MS Heavyweight (4 times)
CHIKARA Campeones de Parejas (w/Claudio Castagnoli)

Alan J. Wojcik: You made it to the finals of the 2004 JPC and have been to Florida only a handful of times since, so why return for the 2007 event. Is it about winning the whole event or something else?

Chris Hero: Actually this will be my first time back in Florida since the 04 JPC.  I’ve wanted to come back for some time now and I look forward to winning this tournament in the memory of Jeff.  I’ve become a much more proficient competitor in the last 3 years and once this tournament is in the books, I’m sure you will all agree.

Alan J. Wojcik: You were part of the CZW vs. ROH inter-promotional feud in 2006. What were your memories of the series and did you think it was a success for either promotion?

Chris Hero: It was a success in every way.  It brought CZW up a level and knocked ROH down a peg.  It also put me in the national spotlight and, thankfully, I stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam. 

Alan J. Wojcik: Normally the CZW Cage of Death is a premiere show in CZW, but last year it was the battle ground for CZW vs. ROH. For fans that have never seen one, describe a Cage of Death match.

Chris Hero: You’re surrounded by a black and yellow steel cage.  There are a number of bloodthirsty opponents, brutal weapons and although you have quite a bit of room to move around, there’s always someone or something dangerous lurking right around the corner.  Even the fans get involved.  They’re right up on the cage talking trash the entire time.  Last year when I climbed up to moonsault onto my foes, the fans shook the cage.  Unfortunately for them, I’m a superior athlete and I didn’t miss one step.

Alan J. Wojcik: In the last few years you have been tagging with Claudio Castagnoli as “the Kings of Wrestling.” What makes your team so successful is it teamwork, tape study or something else?

Chris Hero: Three years ago Claudio Castagnoli was my student.  We had great chemistry thanks to the student/teacher relationship and with time he just grew bigger and better.  Many would argue that he’s surpassed me completely but I’ll let you decide.  Our size and natural athleticism made us great and our synchronized wrestling brains made us the best.  Unfortunately, WWE drove a fork between the team and since they made the offer to him, we haven’t been the same as a team.  We’re still one of the best, but we find ourselves on different pages much more frequently nowadays.

Alan J. Wojcik: Also in the Kings group is “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney. How in any way does he differ from Castagnoli?

Chris Hero: Larry Sweeney is a white hot ball of charisma.  He’s been serving as my agent in ROH and he has assembled the greatest faction in the history of Ring of Honor.  He’s no slouch in the ring, but right now he knows where his bread is buttered.  You gotta strike while the iron is hot and Sweeney is becoming a grand master of his craft.

Alan J. Wojcik: You have worked for the California based PWG. What makes them a success in live events and DVD sales and what is your favorite promotion to work for today?

Chris Hero: I don’t have a favorite promotion.  I’m able to find different things I like about each promotion I work for.  And if you watch the footage, you’ll know that I’m quite chameleon like in the sense that I’m a bit different in every group I work for.

Alan J. Wojcik: Since our interview during the 2004 JPC you have wrestled extensively overseas in France, Switzerland, Germany, England, the Netherlands and Italy. How do the European wrestling fans differ from North American ones?

Chris Hero: The European market isn’t as oversaturated as it is here in the US so, in general, the fans are satisfied more easily.  Plus, being from another country makes you a sort of a commodity.  I’ve been in and out of Europe around 20 times in the past 5 years and each time I come back, the fans hold me in an increasingly higher regard.  Also, this year, I made my return to Japan working for Pro Wrestling NOAH.  What an amazing experience that was.  The whole nation carries such a devout respect for wrestling.  It really makes you feel like you’re doing something special.

Alan J. Wojcik: Since March of 2005 you have been the head trainer at the Chikara Wrestle Factory. Talk about the school and how your teaching style may differ from other schools like Steve Keirn’s School of Hard Knocks or the school run by Brother Runt?

Chris Hero: I never stop training.  I never stop learning.  So in my 9 years in wrestling, I’ve been able to attend numerous schools, clinics and the like.  At CHIKARA, Mike Quackenbush and I can pass on the countless hours of lucha libre techniques that we were fortunate enough to learn from Skayde/Jorge Rivera, formerly the head trainer of Ultimo Dragon’s Toryumon Gym in Mexico City.  I an pass on basics that I learned at Les Thatcher’s school in Cincinnati and at Dory Funk’s Conservatory in Florida.  I can also pass along what I learned from Dave Taylor, Fit Finlay and William Regal at Dave’s old school IN Peachtree City, GA.  Not to mention all the tricks of the trade I’ve picked up in the 27 states and 14 countries I’ve traveled to for wrestling.  Each school has their own pros and cons.  I would never say our school is the best, but we do offer a vast variety of wrestling styles and techniques.  Check it out: www.hpwf.org/~chikara/WrestleFactory/Home/index.html

Alan J. Wojcik: On your Myspace page you have some DVD’s and shirts for sale. How much input do you have in the shirt designs and the matches chosen for the DVD’s?

Chris Hero:  I make all the decisions when it comes to my merchandise.  There have been a few DVDs that were released by outside companies like Smark Mark Video, but if it’s on my site, it has my approval.  I’ve actually just put out a new shirt and new DVDs.  Be sure to check it out.  I’m a wrestling fan at heart so I think I have a pretty good eye when it comes to knowing what fans will like.