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: Boone, NC
Pro Debut: September, 2002
Tournament history: 2008 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup (lost to Erick Stevens in the finals) FCW Tag Team Tournament
Where have you seen him: Full Impact Pro, WWE, Florida Championship Wrestling (WWE developmental), CWF Mid Atlantic, Heartland Wrestling, NWA Wildside
Championships held: Current FIP Florida Heritage Champion, Two-time FCW Tag Team champion (w/Nic Nemeth), two-time CWF Mid-Atlantic Tag Team champion (w/Brad Rainz)
Alan Wojcik: What does being part of the 2009 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup mean to you and were you surprised to invited to be part of the 2009 event?
Brad Attutide: Like I said last year, this tournament means so much to me and I’m always proud to be a part of it. It is one of the premier indy tournaments in the world so you know you are doing something right in your career when you are chosen to be in it.
Alan Wojcik: What made you wake up one day and say I want to become a professional wrestler and describe the training process you went through.
Brad Attitude: I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a pro wrestler when I grew up. My family used to take me to Starrcade’s in the 80’s when they were in Greensboro and me and my dad watched wrestling religiously throughout my childhood so I didn’t know of anything else I could be. When I was done with high school and collegiate athletics, I chose to take a job with CWF Mid Atlantic setting up rings and doing odd jobs. Once a month, I would drive 2 ½ hours from Boone to Burlington to set up the ring before the shows and get trained in the time before the show started. I eventually moved back to Greensboro so the training would be more frequent and after 9 months of it, I had my first match.
Alan Wojcik: You have been a regular in the Mid-Atlantic area with CWF. Talk about that promotion and working in a territory that is legendary thanks to the Crockett’s.
Brad Attitude: Being a professional wrestler from NC is something I’m very proud of. I grew up in the middle of “Flair Country” and was a huge fan of the NWA growing up. The stuff that the Horsemen did with Dusty, Magnum and the Road Warriors was revolutionary for the wrestling business during that time. Fast forward to me getting into the business and creating friendships with the Hardys, Shane, Shannon and the rest of the Omega Crew gives you a sense of pride but also some big shoes to fill knowing that so many from the state have become so successful.
Alan Wojcik: You told me in an email you did some work for Hearland Wrestling on their TV tapings. Do you have any good HWA stories you wish to share?
Brad Attitude: Early in my career, I was befriended by Matt Stryker (with a Y), he was a mainstay in Cincinnati with HWA at that time. So sometimes, I would make the 8 hour Tuesday drive to do TV and then have to leave right after to be back in time for work on Wednesday morning. I have nothing but great memories because I was just learning so much at that time. I do remember that HWA was the first time I ever saw a time cue being given so loudly. Cody Hawk used to have an interesting way of throwing a chair against the dressing room wall if your match was taking a bit too long out there.
Alan Wojcik: You also mentioned doing work with WWE for nearly four years before they signed you to a developmental deal. What was the tryout process like and did you ever think, “why aren’t they signing me I am as good as the other talent here?”
Brad Attitude: I never thought that way because you will drive yourself crazy worrying about that. Even if you are good at one thing, they might be looking for something completely different. It’s about the look, about the work, about the gimmick, but it’s also about timing and sometimes you gotta wait longer than others. I enjoyed my “enhancement” work while I was there and I got to work with some really good wrestlers in front of the biggest TV crowds I’ve ever worked in front of. Plus after a while, I started working every time I went to TV so that’s a boost to your confidence when they trust you that much.
Alan Wojcik: WWE sent you here to Florida Championship Wrestling run by the legendary Steve Keirn and Dr. Tom Pritchard. Talk about a typical day in the training facility if there is one to reference.
Brad Attitude: FCW is a top notch facility in a beautiful city, what isn’t there to love about it. Steve Keirn is a great teacher but an even better friend and mentor. Dr. Tom is the ultimate when it comes to WWE developmental, nobody knows more about training than him. I mean, this man trained the Rock and Kurt Angle in the first developmental class so he knows what he’s talking about. Norman Smiley knows almost every hold in the book and has a ton of international experience. Kidman knows the business inside and out. Then you got Dusty helping with promos and characters, what else can you ask for. FCW truly is the future of the WWE.
Alan Wojcik: Not long after your FCW debut you became a tag team with “the Natural” Nic Nemeth (currently Dolph Ziggler). The two of you were fun to watch every week. Was it fun to be partnered with someone who already had been on WWE TV?
Brad Attitude: It was fun to be partnered with Nic period, it had nothing to do with the fact he was on TV before. As much fun as we were to watch on camera, we were even funnier off of it! In my opinion, a great tag team needs to get along and have that chemistry outside of the ring because it translates over and I think we had that. He is truly one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and now the world is seeing how good he is week in and week out on TV.
Alan Wojcik: Also not long after your debut, WWE shut down Ohio Valley Wrestling and moved the rest of the developmental roster to Florida. Were you worried about it seeing now there was going to be 60-70 people in the training facility?
Brad Attitude: Actually, I wasn’t worried at all but looking back on it maybe I should have been a little more conscious of it. I was a bit naïve in a way because I knew a lot of the OVW crew and I was looking forward to working with them again. It probably put a lot of pressure on the trainers having to look after so much talent but it also created some new feuds and introduced fresh faces for the fans of FCW. I made many lifelong friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life from Florida Championship Wrestling and I wouldn’t trade any of it!
Alan Wojcik: As I mentioned in the opening question you were part of the 2008 event. I am sure you thought you would advance to the finals. But can you summarize your matches against Nooie Lee, Jaison Moore, Gran Akuma and your loss to Erick Stevens.
Brad Attitude: Each match was difficult in its own right because I didn’t really get a chance to prepare for any of it. Those two nights were so hectic and everything happened so fast that you had to be ready or else you were going to look stupid. I’m glad I had the opportunity to work each guy and lucky that I came out on top when I did.
Alan Wojcik: You expressed personal reasons about being in last year’s event (Google search it my reader) and you wanted to use the JPC to show Florida fans who you were and you felt you needed to prove something to yourself. Do you feel that goal was accomplished?
Brad Attitude: Yes, I feel I proved almost everything I wanted to last year other than winning the entire thing. The Peterson Cup, and fighting cancer in general, both mean so much to me that I always take this very seriously. I believe that nobody thought I was going to do what I did last year and I’m going to continue the hot streak I’ve been on since last year’s tournament.
Alan Wojcik: Since your release from WWE you have carved yourself a niche in Full Impact Pro. Talk about working for the promotion and your thoughts on the expanding talent roster.
Brad Attitude: FIP is one of the best in the country, bar none. It’s ran by honest, top notch, classy people and with its relationship with ROH, and now Dragon Gate, you can tell why it’s held in such high regard. I’m very proud that they gave me an opportunity after the WWE and I took it and ran with it!
Alan Wojcik: 2009 is going real well for you in FIP capped by winning the Heritage championship from Rhett Titus and his co-horts in Heartbreak Enterprises. Some will say you won fair but having the legendary “Outlaw” Ron Bass in your corner didn’t hurt either.
Brad Attitude: That was pretty cool I must say. Having the “Cowboy” in my corner to even out the odds was sweet. They deserved everything they got that night and if Mr. Bass needs my help at the Peterson Cup to make sure its even in his Bullrope Match then I will be happy to lend my services.
Alan Wojcik: This year’s event features FIP competitors along with stars from CZW, AAW and Hybrid Pro. What do you know about the other promotions and how do you prepare for talent from these promotions besides seeing them online or on DVD?
Brad Attutide: There’s really no way to prepare for a tournament like this. All of the promotions are successful in their own right and that’s why this tournament is probably the toughest it has ever been. The Peterson Cup always feature the best wrestlers in the country, but now four of the best promotions are being represented so there’s an extra sense of pride involved. Even though I’m familiar with a couple of guys, for the most part its going to be surprises around every turn. All I know is that myself, TJ, Chris, and even Davey will be bringing our “A” game that weekend and be ready to make an IMPACT!
For full event info, VIP ticket packages and profiles of other competitors log onto www.JPC2009.com