Awe Inspiring: An interview with EPW’s Shane Haste

Shane Haste made his debut in early 2003 and over the following eight years has travelled around the country and throughout the United States and being the first West Australian based wrestler to get his name on the PWI 500. Tez got the opportunity to speak with the former EPW champion to get his thoughts on his career to date. Not long after this interview was conducted, Haste along with Mikey Nicholls went to Japan to work with Pro Wrestling NOAH.
Foreword: So because I’m a big shot (douchebag with an ego) I thought I’d do a quick foreword for this interview. This interview is full of a lot of horrible ramblings and things that probably don’t make sense. I wanted to put a lot of stuff in here you probably wouldn’t hear from me usually cause you never know when I might get asked stuff again and I’ll probably forget some of these stories (laughs). So be warned I’m not a professional writer, I’m not very smart and I forget proper details of stories and even the question sometimes halfway through answering them. But I enjoyed doing this and I hope you enjoy reading it, if you’ve got any feedback or questions please feel free to message me on my Facebook page, it’s Shane Haste or something.
– Shane Haste.
WPW: Can you tell us a bit of the background about how you got into EPW and when you first started training?
HASTE: Well I always loved wrestling as a kid, I didn’t get to see much of it apart from what was on TV (like when Channel 9 used to have WCW on at like 4 in the arvo). So growing up I would always wrestle around with my mates, jumping off couches and generally annoying my parents.
Eventually in high school I started doing the backyard thing (with a few faces that are still around today). And yeah then ECW started up and we went to every show and I thought as soon as I can I’m gonna train there. So I was at the first training camp along with such people as Kiel, Tommy Cartel and I’m pretty sure even Mr. Brett Corvus was there. It was hell, but was awesome fun, there were like 20 odd people there (and I mean odd in both ways) and I got told I was welcome to train.
So I busted my ass off working to save the money and not long after I was there one bright Sunday morning for my first wrestling training session. It’s fun to think back to those days and remember the people who have come and gone and the great nicknames (laughs).
WPW: You made your debut at The Uprising event in February 2003 in a Four Way Match including Bobby BadBlood (Marshall), Kiel Steria and Chris J. Lazareth. What memories do you have from your debut match and your rookie year?
HASTE: Man I remember the weeks leading up to that match, I think it was meant to be a three way then got turned into a four way and back and forth which is great when it’s your first match and you’re trying to think of things to do for it (laughs). It’s funny cause during the planning I needed a top rope move to throw in there and I was just like screw it I’ll do a frogsplash thinking I’d never be doing it again and we all know how that went.
Leading up to it they wanted me to work on the splash a lot, so I practiced the aim onto a crash mat a heap of times, then onto thinner gym mats and then just straight onto the mat. So many times, I think back and think stupid kid what were you thinking, plus ask anyone and when I hit the frogsplash I REALLY hit it so all that time practicing my aim was really for nothing.
As for the rest of the year it was pretty good, pretty sure I didn’t win a single match though. I use to watch my matches back all the time but now just thinking about them makes me think eeewwww, plus I even weird myself out with some of the stuff I use to do. What a dorky kid. I feel sorry for Stormy (Davis Storm) and Carny (FN Carnage) who had to put up with me while I was training (laughs).
WPW: Mid 2004 saw you team up with Kiel E. Lectrifying (now Kiel Steria) as Awsome Inc. The Tag Team division was very strong at the time with teams such as The Brat Pack, The Serial Thrillers and the Genetically Superior Team. Was it a fun time being involved in the division and I have to ask about Rupert. Where did the idea of a watermelon mascot come from?
HASTE: Yeah man those matches were very important to me hitting the next level in my wrestling skills. Bob (Marshall), CJL, Kiel (Steria) and I all came up together, so we were also pushing each other so hard and trying to steal the show.
There were a bunch of matches we had with GST which were awesome (like I could still watch them back these days), including one of my all time favourite matches, the tag match we had at Hell or High Water. Man that was a crazy day, on the way to the show I was driving and Kiel was in the passenger seat and I went to change lanes on the freeway. As I turned to check my blind spot all the cars in front hit the brakes and bam, I went into the right side of the rear of the car in front. We spun a few times and I managed to steer the car off the road but yeah it was a total write off. So yeah that was a wicked way to start the day then in the opening part of the match in the dives CJL breaks his foot. So the whole match we’re like s**t, s**t s**t, what we gonna do!? But as you all know we kept going and CJL wrestled for another like 15 minutes on a broken foot (injuring it far more in the process) and man did that match turn out awesome.
Wrestling the Brat Pack was a different experience but still included car crash like hits (laughs). Those two pretty much beat the s**t out of us, yet Jamie will still claim I was the stiff one. The match we had at Evolution Night 2 (I’m not good with years) (Editor: 2004) and it was us and Fergy Block against them and Rave. It was a match that hell boosted my confidence in the ring. Having no time to prepare because it was meant to be Serial Thrillers and the Blockster against them but because of the s**t beating (Justin) Sane took from Havok the night before we got thrown in on the day.
A funny moment from that match if you watch it back Jamie has me bent over and he’s laying in kicks to my head then I go all Jap on him and Enziguri him, we both tag out and Blocky Kong and Rave start going at it in the middle of the ring. If you watch the side of the screen you can see us with our respective tag partners on the outside, we’re both like totally out of it and their trying to get us to stop walking towards the light (laughs) also funny (but not really) Jamie’s kicks to my head were so hard that the next day I had welts on my forehead from his laces! His soft cotton laces where smooshed into my head so hard they made me bleed!
Rupert’s a good story too. I stole the idea from it from a web comic (bonus points if you know which one). But yeah fruits a great thing to eat before a show because it doesn’t upset the stomach (unlike a pack of donuts and a kola beer) and what’s better then throwing away the outer melon? Freakin’ making a mask out of it, that’s what! I use to carve some good stuff on his forehead too aye.
Also Awsome Inc were robbed by never becoming the tag champs!
WPW: You won the EPW Championship won a Steel Cage match against Jimmy Payne at Desperate Measures in August 2007. Can you describe the experience of winning your first major championship and especially hitting the frog splash from the top of the cage?
HASTE: At the time it was a pretty crazy feeling and looking back at it now I really wish I had done more with it. My reign was pretty forgettable except for how I won it and how I lost it. Which I actually felt was the most important part of my run, when Bobby beat me I knew I was gonna make sure he put me through hell before he got it and sure enough he delivered (laughs).
The splash from the cage was cool though, we had the cage set up down at the factory for the week before the show and damn that thing was high. The first time climbing up it I was s***ting myself (little known fact Shane Haste isn’t a fan of heights) but after a bit I was climbing all over that thing like I was born up there. I watch the splash back and man that was a messy landing; I totally ate s**t over him (laughs). Lucky the next time doing it I was better prepared and it looked a lot better.
WPW: The NWA Australian Tour in November 2007 saw you team up with “Jag” Hartley Jackson to take on the NWA World Tag Team Champions, The Real American Heroes (Joey Ryan & Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson. You won a Steel Cage Match at Challenge Stadium on the first night, earning a championship shot the next night in Bunbury. What was it like working with the Heroes?
HASTE: It was pretty cool; I actually don’t remember much about it though. I just remember it was really easy, their confidence rubbed off on me so I was pretty relaxed. I was already used to wrestling people I’d never met before so there were no nerves for that part and because Jag had wrestled them before and was on a level much above myself he took care of most of it and I just had to do what I always did at that time, be me.
Man that trip was great fun though, getting to hangout with all those guys and kickin’ it with them in Bunbury. (Laughs) Some great moments and stories that unfortunately I can’t share with you but I’ll tell you this the next year while at the NWA TV tapings I caught up with Danielson again and he was playing it off like he remember me but I could tell he didn’t until I reminded him I was the guy who showed him a certain genital trick. For the record it wasn’t his I did the trick on, it wasn’t like that at all, 100% hetro. Ahh, totally dragging my good name through the mud…
WPW: Late 2008 saw you make your first US tour. In only your third match outside of Australia you had a NWA World Heavyweight title match against “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce. Were you surprised that the NWA gave you a shot at the 10 pounds of gold so soon after your arrival?
HASTE: Nah bro, its Shane Haste you’re talking to. But seriously I was told I could have the match before I went over so I’d thought about it enough. The thing with wrestling is you shouldn’t believe anything’s gonna happen till it’s actually happening, so being told I was getting the match didn’t have me convinced it was gonna happen but I was gonna head to the states regardless.
Great guy to work with and having that match so soon into my trip was great because it taught me the right way of doing it thusly I didn’t pick up any bad habits. Feels pretty rad to be one of few Australians to get to wrestle for it though, so when I see people talk about it I still think f**k yeah.
WPW: What was it like being part of the early days of the NWA Showcase TV tapings, was there a lot of difference to how the show was taped compared to EPW’s Monday Night Wrestling tapings?
HASTE: Yeah there was a huge difference, but that’s the differences between Perth and L.A. Here in Perth we’re pretty laid back and EPW is a family so we’re all looking out for each other and junk where L.A is very business and the guys there are all over the place and there’s so many of them. So mad props to (David) Marquez and all those guys in charge to get a handle on everyone and get the show out there.
It was a great learning experience for sure and I got plenty of good feedback. One of the matches I was wrestling Inspirted Fidel (I’m 100% sure that wasn’t his name but it was something like that) and Pearce interrupted it and threw me into the ring post and shit me it was the hardest I’ve ever been thrown into anything in my life, back on camera I’m probably all looking dazed as I’m heading towards it but in my mind it was AAAHHH!!! I’m gonna die! Then I hit it and just spun … and that part was pretty fun.
WPW: Early 2009 saw the Blitz Team have an excellent series of matches with then Tag Team Champions, Dan Moore and Chase Griffin. Which one stood out your favourite?
HASTE: I don’t know, they’re all just a big blur to me now (laughs) but even if not I probably couldn’t pick a favorite. I have favorite moments from them but it’s mostly the emotion that went into each match that really sticks out to me. Being a worldly seasoned wrestled I am I really wanted to bring out in them what I think is the most important thing in wrestling and that’s the emotion, the raw fire of passion that if you get it right you don’t have to do shit and the crowd will eat it up. When Chase went to cheat in the Goldrush match and I challenged him to swing it out with me, it doesn’t get much rawer then that. I was just yelling at him to hit me and man he brought the fire… and beat the p**s out of me (laughs), so it just shows you get what you ask for.
It was great fun in the second match reversing all the shit we did in the first, I laugh at my herculean like strength when I pushed Dan mid air into Chase when they went for the double double. The table match was a great way to finish it, was so easy and fun. I mean when you got so many tables you really don’t need to put much more thought into it. My highlight from it was dropping the ladder on Moore’s head (laughs) sure felt like a p***k doing it but I knew it’s what he would wanted me to do.
Another little real life of Shane Haste fact after the show that night on my way home, I was in yet another car crash the brakes locked up on my car and I skidded out through a red light and got nailed but another car. Everyone was ok, but man it was a scary moment after when I knew I was fine but then seeing another smashed up car I was like holy s**t. They were fine too and very nice about the whole thing… maybe a little too nice. So lesson to be learnt here: Don’t ask me for a ride.
WPW: Can you tell us about your experiences working for Pro Wrestling Guerilla in 2009?
HASTE: PWG was awesome fun, from the matches to the crowds and especially the backstage atmosphere. There’s a few things that happen like every PWG show and my first match there, I’m pretty sure I did all of them. It was a four way match between Human Tornado, Charles Mercury, JTP and myself, and Tornado and JTP are as about as popular as you get over there so I thought I would side with Mercury. Big mistake, I instantly got pummeled by Tornado and thrown out of the ring cleaning up like five people and spilling two jugs of beer (To those who don’t know PWG doesn’t have guard rails, the crowd just sits up to the ring) then Tornado came flying out of the ring onto me wiping out another five odd people THUS ticking off two things, 1: Messing up where people are sitting and 2: Spilling someone’s full beer.
Later in the match Mercury and I went to give LTP the old spirit squad throw up in the air thingy but we were all so sweaty that as we went to fling him up into the air our hand slipped right off and he got about half a foot up and we looked like we threw an invisible man up. So this got me my first and ticked off #3… the you f****d up chant. Then near the end I was a little jumbled to what I was doing (probably after being kicked in the head so much and hard during Tornado’s corner kick dance) and all I remember was seeing Mercury standing there ready to Powerbomb LTP and I thought “s**t I better take him out” so I did the fourth thing: an impromptu superkick! Now I don’t do super kicks so I know it was the spirit of PWG and Indy wrestling taking over me as I thrusted my foot into the already split chin of Mercury definitely making it much worse.
The other two times I worked for them I was more confident and fist pumped for the crowd which was way more fun because for some reason they took me as a big guy, so I got to man handle everyone and use my power moves. Backstage was great too, as some of you know PWG get some of the best Indy guys in to work and at PWG shows they’re so relaxed and having a good time. So listening to their stories and seeing them prepare was wicked for learning and getting to know what to expect from wrestling and working in America. One of the shows also had Dragon Gate guys there so it was packed back there and they’re a lot of fun too with their over politeness.
The crowds there were awesome too, they would pop for everything! Someone did a Russian leg sweep and they lost their s**t (it probably helped that they were mostly drunk). So all in all I reckon I had a good run there though it’s funny I got booked there cause the promoter saw me doing a 630 dive and thought shit yeah we’ll get a cool flippy guy yet once I got there all I did was throw people around and maybe did one standing Moonsault.
WPW: You were booked to take on Teddy Hart at an Alternative Wrestling Show card in September 2009, but apparently AAA wanted him to stay in Mexico. You ended up taking on former Wrestling Society X star, Scorpio Sky. Were you disappointed that you didn’t get to take on Hart?
HASTE: I was pretty surprised I got put up against him in the first place, usually over there they don’t really put you up against the out of town names. So I talked to a few of the guys there who had worked with him or had met him and all I kept getting back were these horror stories, people who met him said he was a nice guy and seemed normal but the people who had wrestled him where telling me about how much of a nutbar he was… but still a nice guy.
So leading up to getting to the show that day I was pretty worried thinking what’s this guy gonna be like and how awful is this going to be, then we get there and they tell me has had to go back to Mexico and can’t do it. And to be honest I was like thank god, then when they told me I’d be up against Sky I was as excited as you’d think I would be to wrestle Hart (laughs).
Sky’s a great guy and an awesome wrestler and was defiantly on my list of people to go against there. I really wish someone had put the match up, I never even got to see it back but man it had some awesome stuff in it (to toot my own horn) and he nailed me with so many knees and elbows. But yeah it turned out to be a great night and hell yeah I’d love the opportunity to not wrestle crazy Hart and work Scorpio again.
WPW: Late 2010 you attended the Harley Race Training Academy. How was it and were you nervous at all taking part in the NOAH/WWE tryouts?
HASTE: Not really. I’d gotten into town about 2-3 weeks before it so I’d met the guys down there and gotten to know what it would be like. Also the weekend before we went to Kansas to go see a show some of the local guys were on and it turned out it was like a 4-5 hour long TV taping and I was wearing shorts and a T-Shirt. What does that matter you might ask well for those 4-5 hours I was sitting watching this show in the freakin’ freezing cold weather, it was shit cold. So I ended up catching a cold, awesome thing to get two days before the camp (oh yeah I should mention it’s a NOAH/WWE camp, not a try out).
So the year before this camp had 50+ people to it, WWE and NOAH wrestlers there to take it and show people new and amazing things but for us there was only eight of us… and no one from WWE came. Two upper office guys from NOAH came, who though not wrestlers still had a wealth of knowledge and interesting things to teach. Also of course Harley was there too and though he’s getting on his age and can’t move like the king used to he’s still as sharp as ever with his wrestling mind and picks up on a lot of things and has great advice.
I managed to scrape through the first day but the sickness killed me that night and I was unable to make it the next, the rest of the week I wasn’t at full power either but I think that worked in my favour as it slowed me down which meant more control of my body and helped improve my pacing. So it was a long week for us with a lot of matches, some good and some bad. I remember Mike almost losing his shit a few times (laughs) but luckily we had plenty of trips to Starbucks to cheer us up. In the end it turned out to be great for us because even though a WWE rep never came we had impressed Harley which with his connections turned out great.
A few days after the camp we went in to say bye to Harley and thank him for the training and wisdom, we told him we were gonna head to Florida to give it a crack there and he said to wait here a little bit longer and he’ll give WWE a call. So for 3 days Harley kept calling WWE for us just to put in a good word which is awesome of him, I mean he’s Harley freakin’ Race he don’t have to do s**t for no one (laughs). So eventually Harley got through to them and after a bit of conversation they said they’d love to have a look at us and we should head down to FCW in Tampa. And that’s when the real tryout happened.
Now I can’t tell everything that we did and all that cause I’m sure we signed confidentiality papers but I’ll give you a vague description of what went down. We spent a week there, trained with their guys did a few taped things that would be sent off to WWE offices and watched/helped out at the shows that weekend where we could. It was such an awesome experience there, the place is like heaven for wrestlers who want to learn, the amount of experience and wealth of knowledge there is incredible and everyone is so helpful and fun (laughs).
Tampa is a beautiful place too, so many places to eat, the weather was great and it was the first time in awhile we’d seen some pretty girls (laughs), gotta remember we’d been in Eldon, Missouri for a month and a bit before that. So the tryouts were great and we were having such fun there that I didn’t feel the nerves and Harleys camp turned out pretty good for us I mean we still keep in contact with the NOAH guys now too.
WPW: Do you have any plans to return to the States in 2011 and possibly appear for NWA Hollywood?
HASTE: I don’t have any plans to but if I was in the area I sure would, the set up they got for it looks great and I love working with the guys they have there. We (Mike and I) were going to try be there for one taping while we were in the states last year but ended up in Tampa that week so we didn’t make it.
WPW: The past couple of years in EPW have seen you as part of two very successful Tag Teams. Having Championship reigns as part of the Blitz Team with Alex Kingston and TMDK with Mikey Nicholls. Are you hoping to get back in contention for the EPW Championship in 2011?
HASTE: This year I kinda wanna have a crack at everything. I love tagging with Mike so you’ll definitely see us keep on going, BUT that new belt does look awfully good. Since my last title run was pretty forgettable, I do wanna take a hold of the championship again and really do something with it but of course that would require beating Davis Storm and I haven’t been able to do that yet (laughs). Also with the Hardcore Shield being added it seems like I’m not a grand slam guy anymore SO I’m gonna have to get that too (laughs). And the Rising Star Cup too I guess… I don’t know how but I’ll find a way.
WPW: You have wrestled some big names over the course of your career, which have been some of your favourites to wrestle, both here and in the States and who would you like to face that you haven’t had the opportunity to?
HASTE: Haven’t really wrestled big names (laughs), met a few. But to the question, I guess I’d have to say probably John Cena you know just starting small (laughs).
But for realsies, Overseas I’d love to wrestle a few guys in L.A. like Johnny Yuma, Brandon Parker, Johnny Goodtime, Chris Kadillak and some others I’m forgetting at the moment. A lot of those guys are really good friends of mine, some who are fairly new still and have come a long ways from when they started. Other US guys would be guys like Davey Richards and Bryan Danielson who would have rocked my world if I had got to test myself against him while he was still in the Indies. The biggest on my to do list though is KENTA, dudes my fave and even though he’d probably kick me into a coma it would be awesome.
Back here in Australia there’s a few too, from over east there’s the Fitness Maniacs and I reckon there’s a match of the year to be had with them against TMDK for sure. Ryan Eagles would be a fun match too aye. In Perth, I’m really looking forward to see how good some of the new guys coming through here are, guys like Marcus Pitt, we had a match many years ago when he was pretty green and he’s come a long way since then so I’d like to see if he’s gotten better (laughs). Chase Griffin and I have tangled many a times in tag matches but I wanna roll with him in a singles, maybe even hardcore (we haven’t seen me do that yet). Alex Kingston is on my list for singles too, now that we’re not full time tag partners I’d like to test “the kid”. He’s starting to travel around the country and getting some wicked experience so I think it’s time to see if he’s ready to become “the man” (laughs). I’m pretty funny aye.
WPW: After nearly eight years in the business, what does Shane Haste still hope to achieve in his career?
HASTE: I really wanna wrestle all over the world. I like the idea of traveling but I won’t go anywhere there’s not wrestling; wether it be matches or just training. Eight years really isn’t very long in wrestling time I don’t think and I feel like I’m starting to hit my stride now so I’m hoping it’s all uphill from here. I wanna recapture the EPW title and defend, defend, defend it, around Australia where possible too.
In the long run I want to be in the WWE, do all the things you can there, travel, have the moments and junk. It looks like a lot of fun. After that I’d love to come home and help make EPW bigger and better known. Hopefully if I accomplish something in wrestling and it will make wrestling in Australia bigger and Australian wrestlers will get recognised for their skills.
But really the short answer to it is: To make money and sell out. Sex, Drugs AND then rock n roll.
WPW: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to WPW, Shane.
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