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:
“The Anarchist” Arik Cannon
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Pro Debut: 9/22/01
Website: http://www.arikcannon.com or http://www.myspace.com/arikcannon
Tournament History: 2004-2006 IWA-MS Ted Petty Invitational, 2005 & 2006 CHIKARA Tag World Grand Prix, Winner 2006 CHIKARA Young Lions Cup, 2006 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup (lost to in 1st round)
Where you have seen him: AAW, F1RST, Pro Wrestling Phoenix, IWA-MS, AWE, 3XW, NIW, MPW, CHIKARA, X-Jam Wrestling, CZW, N.O.W, Dragons Gate, Hybrid Pro and ROH.
Championships held: Current AAW Heritage champion, 3XW Cruiserweight champion, IWA-MS World Heavyweight (2 times), MPW Cruiserweight (3 times), MPW Universal, NIW Impact, PWO Cruiserweight, NOW champion
Alan Wojcik: In 2006 we spoke about your feelings on being in the tournament. Were you surprised to be coming back this year and could you share you memories of the ’06 event.
Arik Cannon: The 2006 tournament was a great time. Even though I was eliminated by the eventual winner; Milano Collection A.T., I still enjoyed my time at the ’06 JPC. It was two nights of great wrestling action, for an even greater cause. It was a pleasure being asked to be a part of it. Now, here we are a few years later and it’s that time again… I’ll be honest, I’m pleased to be involved again, but this time… I am looking for a different outcome! I’ve stepped up my game, and this time around I don’t intend to be a stepping stone for my opponent.
Alan J. Wojcik: What led you to become a pro wrestler and be trained by Chris Hero?
Arik Cannon: A lot of people make the mistake of thinking I started w/ Chris Hero which is not the case. I grew up in a small town, and to prove just how small the world really is, Nora “Molly Holly” Greenwald, was/is from the same town. I was friends with her younger brothers, and wound up asking her for some advice on how to get into the business. I wound up training at the MPW Training Camp in Minnesota. As for how I wound up training with Hero, I met Dave Prazak here in MN and gave him a tape. I also sent one to Hero, as IWA had a try-out show, so to speak, coming up, and I wanted to get on it. I got the opportunity to work for IWA, and have been learning from Chris since.
Alan J. Wojcik: What led you to call yourself “the Anarchist” and for fans that have never seen you work, describe you ring style.
Arik Cannon: I’ve always kind of played by my own rules. Sure, I’ll hear what you have to say, and listen to what you think is right, or how things should go, but when it comes down to it, I’m going to do it my way, with my rules. How I want, when I want. My ring style… good question. I think my strengths are mat/technical wrestling, and my strikes. A technician with Japanese influences, and a splash of Lucha Libre training.
Alan Wojcik: You’ve been a busy person since we spoke in 2006. One of the biggest changes in the closing of a former home, IWA Mid South. Some other JPC competitors shared their thoughts on the promotion. Could you share some please.
Arik Cannon: Ian Rotten and IWA Mid-South definitely played a big part in helping me grow as a wrestler, but also to spread the word about “The Anarchist” Arik Cannon. I was put in the ring with some great talents over the years at IWA M-S. I appreciate what Ian/IWA M-S did for me during that time. I felt my time at IWA Mid-South had run it’s course, and I sat down with Ian and told him I would be looking for work elsewhere and thanked him for what he had done for me. As for IWA Mid-South closing… Alan, you liar. :)
Alan Wojcik: In November 2006 you worked for the very short lived MTV/Big Vision Entertainment “Wrestling Society X.” What were your thoughts when you were asked to be part of a 30 minute heavily edited wrestling show?
Arik Cannon: I was excited. It was a big opportunity, and a chance to be seen on an international level. The talent they brought in for WSX had potential by the bunches… It’s too bad it didn’t work out. It was heavily edited, and maybe a bit over the top, but it was still fun. In the end, I think MTV is to blame for WSX’s downfall. They didn’t put anything behind the program. Unless I called you, to tell you it was on, you likely would’ve never known. That, and the chicks on The Hills are way hotter than I am. MTV threw a bunch of money at WSX and then let it die, I was more than happy to accept to take my cut.
Alan Wojcik: In 2007 you founded the F1RST promotion. What was the brain child of the promotion and how did you feel things are going in year two?
Arik Cannon: At the time, the local wrestling scene here in Minnesota had grown very stale and there weren’t many promotions running in general. Those few promotions that were running in the area, were fairly lazy about it. They did little to no promoting. No advertising. Nothing beyond the internet. I believe there is a market for wrestling here, and with a little hard work those people could be reached! To date, F1RST Wrestling has run a total of 19 shows. All in all, I’d consider those 19 shows, a success. While the idea and the concept was mine… F1RST Wrestling isn’t a 1 man ship. We are a team. We succeed and fail together.
Alan Wojcik: Also in 2007 you worked abroad for Dragons Gate. Talk about the Japanese experience.
Arik Cannon: Working for Dragon Gate in Japan, as cliche’ as it sounds, was a dream come true. I was like a kid in a toy store. I’ve been watching Toryumon/Dragon Gate for years… It was rather surreal to find myself across the ring from my opponents each night. Those 6 weeks were far and away, the best 6 weeks of my wrestling life to date. Each night I was in the ring with some of the best in the world.
Alan Wojcik: This year you are part of Team AAW with Shane Hollister, Silas Young & Johnny Gargano. For those not doing You Tube searches, give a scouting report on the three men.
Arik Cannon: I’m not exactly sure why AAW felt the need to send these guys… But, either way I’m not about to waste my interview time talking about these chumps!
Alan Wojcik: Doing research for this interview brought up matches against some of the other 15 people in the tournament. Is there someone you think could be the one person that can stop you from winning it all?
Arik Cannon: In a tournament like this… I’m not sure you have to worry about that “one” person. There is always the unknown, that is a concern all on it’s own. But of those I do know, the guys I am familiar with my main concern is seeing Drake Younger or Davey Richards across the ring from me. Drake, who is notorious for torturing himself to defeat his opponents isn’t exactly something or somebody I am eager to punch in the face. As for Davey Richards on the other hand… He’s notorious for torturing his opponents to get the job done. Davey can come at you from all angles. There is a reason he’s one of the best in the world at what he does. Certainly someone you don’t want to find yourself up against in a tournament setting. Even if you manage to get by him, or Drake, what will they have done to you in the process?
For full event info, VIP ticket packages and profiles of other competitors log onto www.JPC2009.com