Courtesy of Alan J. Wojcik and http://alanwojcik.com
In May 2003 IPW Hardcore promoters created the JEFF PETERSON MEMORIAL CUP in tribute to the fallen cruiserweight star who passed in 2001 after a long battle with cancer. Since then the event has garnered a list of international stars who supported the event and honored Jeff’s memory by putting on five star caliber bouts. The previous winners were “Reckless Youth” Tom Carter, Justice, Chris Sabin, Milano Collection AT, Chris Hero & Erick Stevens. On November 20-21 sixteen men will come to Brooksville & Crystal River, Florida to try and join those names. Could this year’s winner be:
Hometown: Miami, FL
Pro Debut: November 2006
Tournament History: 2008 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup (lost to Erick Stevens in 1st round) 2007 MPXW Florida J-Cup
Where you have seen him: Dragon’s Gate USA, Pro Wrestling Fusion, Full Impact Pro, GEAR (FL), Division 1 Pro Wrestling (FL), UXW (Defunct), Dropkick Pro Wrestling (GA), Great Championship Wrestling (GA), AWA World 1-South, MXPW, WCEW, All-Star Wrestling (FL), Coastal Championship Wrestling (FL), American Wrestling Elite (AL).
Championship Held: Current PWF Florida Jr. Heavyweight champion, FIP Heritage champion, D1PW Cruiserweight champion, ASW Tag Team champion, NAWA Welterweight tag team champion.
Alan Wojcik: What does being part of the 2009 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup mean to you and were you surprised to be back after being in the 2008 event (Jones defeated Chasyn Rance to qualify)
Chris Jones: Being part of the JPC 2009 is a huge deal to me. As a Florida wrestler, I think everyone wants to be in it. It is a show where a spotlight is cast upon everyone in the tournament and everyone is given the chance to shine. I really wasn’t surprised to see myself back in the tournament this year. I had been determined all year to get back into it after last year’s loss to Erick Stevens in the first round.
Alan Wojcik: You are a trainee of Soulman Alex G. Your Myspace profile says you trained in his dojo for over a year & a half. Why were you trained for so long and what did you learn from that experience?
Chris Jones: I was kept in the dojo for so long just because I was very young and Soulman wanted to make sure I was ready. I trained in a lil crappy w arehouse in the middle of Miami’s Little Haiti district. Not the nicest area, but Soulman say that I was showing up everyday after amateur wrestling practice or after cross country practice and he loved my determination to get good and learn. So he really helped me and wanted me to be ready when I first start working shows. Plus, as I said, when I started with G, I was 14 years old, had braces and weighed 115 lbs, haha.
Alan Wojcik: I believe you are the youngest ever JPC competitor (Chris will turn 19 this fall). What do you think had led to your amazing success at such a young age?
Chris Jones: Mental toughness and swagger. I never let anybody tell me, I can’t do this, or I can’t do that just because I am a teenager. I ain’t hearing any of that man. When I reach for a goal and set my mind to something that I want to do, nobody could stop me. I am climbing that mountain till I get to the top regardless of age, size or whatever else.
Alan Wojcik: In photos found of you, your ring tights have the numbers 87 & 32 on the side. What is the signficance of those numbers and who created the “mixtape” video which has been featured on several sites?
Chris Jones: Haha, you know, I get asked about my tights all the time. I never really give a straight answer, but i’ll let y’all in on the secret. It’s kind of an urban thing, rapper Young Jeezy coined the phrase “87 32 What it do” and it’s basically a shout out for everybody on their grind, everyone who is hustling hard, putting in work to reach the top of the mountain, man. I got it on my tights as just a reminder to myself to keep working hard, stay true to myself and stay on my grizzy. A lot of people are confused by it, but it’s unique and I like it. As for my mixtape I made it. I’ve been trying to push and get as many views as possible. It’s just an introduction to Chris Jones for those who have n’t been able to watch me wrestle, yet. I had limited match selections on my computer, but I liked how it turned out.
Alan Wojcik: Let’s talk about what many called one of the best matches in JPC history when you took the eventual winner Erick Stevens to the limit last year.
Chris Jones: I lost, that’s all that’s important. Erick got the better of me that night and eventually won the whole tournament. Going in nobody even gave me a shot to win, I am pretty sure that night, quite a few people believed I had the match won at a couple points. Erick has a rare combination of speed, and raw power that is difficult to match, and nearly impossible to beat. You really gotta be on your A game to beat him. That match left me wounded and very drained, so much so, that I couldn’t compete on the second night of the tournament.
Alan Wojcik: You got to compete on the pre-show for the initial Dragons Gate USA PPV (working agaisnt Louis Lyndon, Up in Smoke, Johnny Gargano & Lince Dorado.) You talked about it in a recent Myspace blog, but I was hoping you could summarize the experience and will we be seeing you in DG USA again soon.
Chris Jones: It was crazy. I had gotten a call during the week seeing if I was interested in going up to Philly for the Dragon Gate USA show. Of course, I was stoked! The experience was awesome, walking into the ECW Arena for the first time, absorbing the atmosphere was a fantastic experience. I didn’t feel too out of ease or nervous, really, as a life-long wrestling fan I just had a great time at the show! It was kind of like a wrestling convention with all the merch sellers, and diehard Philadelphia wrestling fans. I got to watch the PPV tapings from the eagle’s nest next to my fellow Florida brother, Lenny Leonard and Leonard F Chikarason which was very cool.
Alan Wojcik: As PWF Jr. Heavyweight champion you have defended against former WCW superstar Prince Iaukea. Was this an intimidat ing or learning experience for you and why?
Chris Jones: Both. I knew coming in that Iaukea had been in the ring with some of the best wrestlers EVER. Malenko, Guerrero, Benoit, Finlay, Regal… He’s been there done that. So stepping into the ring with something with that much skill and knowledge is definitely intimidating. At the same time, it’s a learning experience because Prince has so much knowledge to give back to the business. He had a great run, one that a lot of people wish that they could of had. He put me through hell and back in Fusion for a couple of months, but after my program with Iaukea, I can certainly say I became a smarter wrestler.
Alan Wojcik: You also have defended against fellow JPC competitor TJ Perkins. Give the fans a scouting report on Perkins.
Chris Jones: Beware of flying armbars, and assorted wacky submissions. TJ is really talented at what he does. It’s easy to see, he has been wrestling for a good majority of his life. So me people are sleeping on TJ Perkins heading into this tournament, all I gotta say is, I am glad that he is on Team FIP with me.
For full event info, VIP ticket packages and profiles of other competitors log onto www.JPC2009.com