Machine Gun It is well documented the success of the National Wrestling Alliance has been on an up-turn as of late. Carrying on the legacy of yesterdays legends, are the names of the future. Karl Anderson, the Machine Gun is one of the many that are carrying on the history and tradition of the oldest wrestling alliance in the World. In this interview we discuss the NWA British Common Wealth Championship, his involvement in the NWA 57th Anniversary Show, the tag team the “Real American Heroes” and what will be coming next from this super star.
JAY CAL: The man you beat for the NWA British Common Wealth Championship was Fergal Devitt, who is now, a very successful Junior Heavyweight currently wrestling in Japan with NJPW. The man who defeated you for that title, Alex Koslov is now wrestling in championship bouts in Mexico in CMLL. And as it is well known you are one of the top tier wrestlers in the National Wrestling Alliance. Can you share your feelings about the British Common Wealth Championship and its impact on your career?
MACHINE GUN: Honestly man, and I don’t mean any disrespect to the current British Commonwealth Champion, Paul Tracey who is a good friend of mine, but I think that belt was lucky to even be worn by the guys that wore it. I don’t mean that in a cocky way at all, I just mean that the belt happened to be on Fergal Devitt when he decided to come to the New Japan Dojo in Santa Monica. I happen to be there when Fergal signed his contract, and so the belt was put on me. Alex Koslov happened to also be attending the dojo at that time and was able to win the belt from me. The belt didn’t do anything for my career because it was only defended in front of about 20 people every Sunday! And that is a shoot. It is a BEAUTIFUL belt, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not like that thing elevated me in anyway. And talk about Fergal and Alex. Those guys are two of my best friends in the World. They worked hard as hell to receive the success that they are having. From training at the dojo everyday and being broke as shit and being told lies that we were all going to go to Japan. It was a long, tough road and those two guys are doing awesome and THEY ARE RICH now!!!! So good for them
JAY CAL: In terms of high profile matches, one of your first was at the NWA 57th Anniversary Show. You wrestled Scott Murray. This match was said to be the match that got you discovered by NWA Pro officials. How did you feel about that match and did you think wrestling at this show, would later afford you the opportunities you’ve received since?
MACHINE GUN: Yea, you’re right. This was probably the most important match of my career up to this point. I was hooked up on this show by the promoter of the short-lived NWA Indy named Rob Williams. I thought for sure that this would be a great opportunity…. Until I got to the show! Which was the BIGGEST CLUSTER-FUCK of a show I had EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!!!! 15 matches on the card in front of about 50-75 people. I looked around at a lot of the other guys on the show, and thought to myself “Get me the fuck out of here!” I happened to have a good match. Dave Marquez happened to be in the crowd and Mr. Marquez worked his magic on me and talked me into moving out to Los Angeles. That was 2 years ago. And the first year that I moved to LA I would say I thought that I made the worst decision of my life. But after sticking it out and making a lot of friends, this past year has been the MOST beneficial of my entire career for sure. So I guess if you put it into perspective, then absolutely that match that I had at the Anniversary show was a big turning point in my life.
JAY CAL: The next super-card I want to talk about is the highly successful The Copa De Lucha, which was a huge hit for the NWA Pro. In what was seemingly your National debut as a tag team with Joey Ryan saw you defeat some of the best tag teams of the NWA; what did winning the Cup, mean to you?
MACHINE GUN: Actually, to be completely factual we DID NOT win the cup…. The dirty Mexicans beat us for the cup in Las Vegas! But we stole the cup back from them at later TV tapings.
JAY CAL: Oh yeah, I must have been a little confused on that. Speaking of The Real American Heroes, you and the Magnum were formed earlier this year. Joey, aside from competing regularly from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla was teaming with Disco Machine on MTV’s take on Wrestling, WSX. As that 70’s Team, Joey Ryan adopted his sleazy look. What were the events that lead up to your meeting Joey Ryan and later teaming together for the NWA?
MACHINE GUN: I had met Joey a couple of times and even wrestled him at the Dojo out in Santa Monica. And to be honest that match we had was one of the funniest matches I have ever been involved in. And Actually I have to give Dave Marquez credit for putting Joey and I together. After our first match teaming together I think we both realized that we had a lot of chemistry and that our styles of wrestling are very similar. Marquez put us together and we just ran with it.
JAY CAL: Aside from your tag team success, you won the NWA Midwest Heartland States Heavyweight Champion. At the same time you defeated the Human Tornado to with the NWA Pro/Empire Wrestling Federation’s American Heavyweight Championship. This was in the midst of the NWA re-crowning a New Worlds Champion. Your pleas to be invited to participate in this tournament fell on deaf ears while you were a double champion. How did you feel about not getting a tournament spot?
MACHINE GUN: Politics, just strictly, ridiculous politics. Look at some of those guys in that tournament and tell me that I didn’t deserve a spot?! [It’s] unbelievable. But either way, I am one half of the NWA World Tag Team Champions. So, now at least my pay days are sweeter than some of the losers in that tournament!!!!
JAY CAL: It seemed that you got somebody’s attention. Because it wasn’t long after the tag team titles were declared vacant that Joey and yourself, along with the Kidman/Waltman tandem, and Sicodelico Jr. and Incognito were allowed to share an opportunity to be the next Worlds Tag Team Championships. You and Joey were able to over-come the gauntlet and win the tag team titles. Could you explain what impact that made on your professional and personally?
MACHINE GUN: It was sweet man. You know, I grew up in Ashville, North Carolina … the home of the NWA. I grew up watching NWA on TBS my whole life. I watched Arn and Tully. My idol was Ric Flair. And to be a co-holder of the same belts that those guys won? Man that is sweet. No matter what all the haters have to say, I am a champion, and they are not!
JAY CAL: So your successes in the NWA have afforded you other opportunities in the wrestling realm. You debuted for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla earlier this year and recently joined the Ring of Honor Ranks. What are your ambitions in the wrestling world? Where would you like to be next?
MACHINE GUN: I just want to keep moving up. Every year for me has been better. Every year I move up. I have made A LOT of plane flights this year. A lot of wrestlers would KILL to be flown somewhere, put in a hotel and then get paid to wrestle! I am very fortunate to be in the spot that I am in, in the NWA. I am fortunate to have gotten into Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. I am very fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to work for Ring of Honor in Las Vegas and San Francisco. I just want to keep moving up and keep doing everything that I can to get as far as I can in this business.
JAY CAL: Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers of this interview?
MACHINE GUN: SUPPORT INDY WRESTLING. SUPPORT WRESTLING IN GENERAL. GO TO LOCAL WRESTLING SHOWS and cheer for your favorites and boooo the wrestlers that you don’t like! I blew my knee out in front of 15 people wrestling for free 4 years ago! Wrestlers go in the ring night in and night out and put it all out there for the fans! Just show some support and keep the “You fucked up” chants to yourself, or meet us outside and get fucked up yourself! Thanks for the interview!!!!
JAY CAL: Karl, I have to thank you for the interview. 2007 has been a tremendous year for you and I hope that your 2008 will be a even better year. Thank you for your time and thank you for what you do in the ring.