Diamond in the Rough: An Interview with Bobby Marshall

Bobby Marshall is one of the most decorated wrestlers in the short history of WA Wrestling. Marshall is a former two time EPW Champion, M1W Champion, two time EPW Tag Team Champion and is both the 2009 EPW and WPW/ EPW Wrestler of the Year. Marshall is also a star in the NWA after making several successful tours of the United States since 2006. [Westside Pro Wrestling] conducted the longest interview in the history of WPW with Bobby, covering his career from the beginning until now.
WPW: February 2003 saw you make your debut as Bobby BadBlood in a Fatal Four Way match to earn a Explosive Coastal Wrestling contract. The match was won by future four time EPW Tag Team Champion, Chris J. Lazareth, but also involved Kiel E. (Steria) and Shane Haste. You made an impression on the fans that night by coming out by yourself, when the others came out together, and made sure the people knew who you were off the bat when you held up a sign saying “I am Bobby BadBlood”. Was that your idea to get yourself remembered after your first match?
MARSHALL: (Laughs) Yes indeedy, I remember that one. Actually there’s a funny story behind that. Before I even started training with EPW I made a pretty good name for myself as a royal pain in the ass. I used to get on the internet and message boards in particular and spout off about what I thought about everything and anything.  Unfortunately, when it comes to my words I have about as much grace as the old bull in the china shop and basically pissed everyone off. Bobby BadBlood was my username and after quite a few posts people started daring me to bring a sign to the next show so they could see who I was, and punch me right in my face. Sometimes things just work out. Of course, then I was stuck with the name Bobby BadBlood, which I wasn’t too happy about, but nevermind. Serves me right for being a dick.
WPW: The Bobby BadBlood gimmick drew a great amount of heat with the EPW fans at the time. The hatred turned physical, when your “Blood Bitch” Michelle, was attacked by an enraged fan. Who came up with the gimmick and were you surprised with the amount of heat you got with the fans?
MARSHALL: The gimmick was actually another funny little chance thing that came up. I was getting my head shaved for the show and, as you do when shaving your head, me and my good mate Dan Moore were just mucking around giving me stupid haircuts. Well, eventually he gave me a Mohawk and basically talked me into keeping it because it looked a good mix of stupid and mean, and that was it. After watching the tape back we decided that I kind of looked like a neo Nazi so lets keep the mo, and roll with it. Unfortunately some people were turned away by it, but that’s the way it goes. Was good fun while it lasted!
WPW: As 2003 progressed you started to team with Lazareth, eventually being known as the Genetically Superior Team (GST), and becoming two time EPW Tag Team Champions. The tag team division was quite strong at the time GST started as the Tag Team Championships had just been brought in. GST had battles with teams like The Serial Thrillers, Awsome Inc. and The Brat Pack for the titles. Was it an exciting time to be coming up the ranks with all the competition for the titles?
MARSHALL: Definitely a lot of fun. I’ll never forget the matches and fun we had going up against Kiel and Shane in particular. The four of us all came through together and we had a bit of a style of match that wasn’t really smiled upon by a few of the higher ups of EPW, but we kept doing what we were doing because we just had too much fun doing it. We actually had a killer match at Hell or Highwater one year, which was definitely the breakout match for all of us. It’s funny how me and Shane in particular have always been neck and neck in our wrestling development, and it creates a pretty good bond. Unfortunately he’s starting to edge away from me now and just quietly, is well on his way to pretty decent life as a pro wrestler Jerk
WPW: GST went their separate ways pretty much immediately after being destroyed by Davis Storm and Jag on the first night of Evolution 2006, as you made your first tour of the United States as the redneck Bobby Jo Marshall. The tour saw you feud with WSX’s The Human Tornado throughout California and even teaming up with “Cowboy” James Storm in Massachusetts to take on Tornado and Syxx-Pac. How was the experience for you to get such a push on your first tour?
MARSHALL: That was wild. Getting flown around America to wrestle was just unbelievable, and getting to go up against X-Pac was an especially huge thrill. As a wrestling fan, I was born from the attitude era so seeing getting to wrestle someone who was such a huge part of that was pretty special. I was green as grass, mind you, when we had the match, and I got in trouble by a few of the higher ups because I smiling during the whole match. It was clear that I was just having a bit too much fun out there and forgot myself. Funnily enough, X-Pac used to be my most hated wrestler when I first started watching wrestling and now of course, he’s one of my favorites. I’ve been lucky enough to have been in the ring with a handful of world famous wrestlers, but none of them have been as good to me as he was on that night. He really looked after me a lot more then he should’ve and was just a really nice guy. Can’t say enough good things about him.
WPW: After a short return to Perth you returned to the States in late 2006, for a second tour. During this time you took part on the NWA’s Fiesta Lucha supercard in Las Vegas teaming with Ricky Reyes to take on Colt Cabana & Sonny Samson. What was it like wrestling in front of several thousand fans?
MARSHALL: Now that was fun. Probably one of the best weekends of my life. I was lucky enough to be in Vegas with two very good mates in Drake Wallis and Damian Slater and we just went nuts. See, we were all told that we would just be in the rumble, so we were more looking forward to the partying than anything else. So yes, we got to Vegas on a Friday night and went straight to a bottle shop and got drinking. We were out cruising the strip till well after sunrise and had to be up to do a promotional thing for he show at mid day on the Saturday. Soon as that was done we got drinking, clubbing and even got to spend some quality time with the locals (including a certain young lawyer) again till about 8am. Now, Call time was 10am, so we were running off minimum sleep, and were feeling quite under the weather but were still excited to wrestle in front of a big crowd. Soon as we got there and looked at the card, I was a little shocked to see my name up there with Ricky Reyes and Colt Cabana. Let this be a lesson, never drink before a show! Luckily I survived the match and the rumble and even managed to stay out and watch the sunrise for the third night in a row on the strip in Las Vegas. Man, the three of us had some fun the states. I could sit here for hours and spill stories about what we got up to, but that can wait for another time.
WPW: You had an awesome feud with then EPW Champion, Jimmy Payne over 2006-2007, which culminated in the brutally epic Ladder Match at Evolution 2007. I know of people who actually had to leave the arena because they couldn’t stand the punishment you were putting each other through. Did you suffer any major injuries during the match?
MARSHALL: Surprisingly, none at all. Even managed to head out on the town after the show. Nice bruising though.
WPW: You have taken some of the biggest and nastiest bumps ever seen in EPW. What are some of the injuries you’ve received and during which matches?
MARSHALL: I’m pretty lucky with injuries and truth is, there’s only really one time that I can think of where I was hurt mid-match. Well, two now. The first was in Nate (Dooley) and Jimmy’s (Payne) farewell match and I did a standard top rope leg drop. Unfortunately, I landed awkwardly and lost feeling in my entire upper body and couldn’t move my arms. I sat there like an idiot briefly trying to get feeling back into them and thankfully it came back. Causes me a bit of grief still to this day, but that’s wrestling. Find me a wrestler with no back pain and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t work hard enough.
The second one was actually in the show just gone, in the four way match with Mikey (Nicholls), (Marcius) Pitt and (Tyler) Jacobs. After Mike did his shooting star onto all of us I lost feeling in my arm, aside from this strange burning pain running down it. Well, strange isn’t the right word, it was bloody excruciating! Took me a while to get movement back in it, and I still haven’t been able to hit the gym since, but again, that’s the nature of the beast. These injuries are a small price to do what we love and truth is, sometimes its nice to come backstage and actually feel beaten up and like you’ve really given it your all. Ask me again in 10 years though and I’m sure ill be singing a different tune.
WPW: There was a rumour that the WWE had contacted you before the 2007 SmackDown/
ECW tour about the possibility of a tryout/dark match during their visit to Perth. Is this rumour true?
MARSHALL: Ah yes. Well what happened was Jesse Hernandez told me to shoot Johnny Ace an email and see of he was interested in using me in a dark match, or something while they were in town, but by the time I checked my email for the reply it was too late to hook anything up. Serves me right for being so unorganised…
WPW: The Black Bag storyline. You defeated Shane Haste to claim your first EPW Championship in February 2008, and at the very first Monday Night Wrestling TV Tapings the following day came out brandishing the title in a black bag claiming the EPW fans didn’t deserve to see the belt. Were you disappointed that you didn’t get to show off the belt at all during your first title reign?
MARSHALL: Honestly, it didn’t really bother me that much. There are reasons behind everything, and usually good reasons. Unfortunately I’m probably not allowed to say why we did this the way we did, but good stuff was supposed to come from it. Due to outside circumstances, I just ended up looking kind of silly I thought. Was good fun though, and it sure did get me a lot of heat!
WPW: You have had some of the all time classic matches in this state at Re-Awakening, including the four way tables match at R-A III, The battle with Jimmy Payne at R-A V, The Steel Cage match at R-A 7, and of course the absolutely brutal bloodbath you had with Richter at R-A VIII. What does Re-Awakening mean to Bobby Marshall?
MARSHALL: Re-Awakening means as much to me as any other show I’ve done. Its a fun one because the crowd is usually bigger then normal, so in that sense its a bit more fun, and the pressures switched up a couple notches, but personally, I don’t hold it as being any more important then any other show. If I had a cage match at Goldrush I would put the same amount of time, effort and self punishment as I would if it was at Re-Awakening. I actually think we (EPW) have an unhealthy fixation on it. I don’t see why we cant make every show we do R-A quality instead of waiting till the end of the year to pull out all the stops. I seem to be the only person who thinks like this mind you, so yeah, all good. The fans seem to love it, and that’s what matters most.
WPW: How is it to have to adjust between California and Perth when you go on tour, Does it take long to acclimatize?
MARSHALL: Oh yeah, big time. Its lot of fun wrestling multiple times a week against guys you don’t really know and have never seen in so many different styles, in so many different cards. Sometimes your the brutish bully, then follow it up by being a loud mouth cocky bad guy and then wrap the weekend up by being a fist pumping babyface. Its a lot of fun to wrestle like that, and the improvement that it forces you to make is amazing. Coming back to EPW and only wrestling once a month or so is tough to get used to. It kind of takes the gloss or the challenge I should say away so you kind of get lazy and therefore your matches suffer because of it. Once you settle back into it, and the way we do things its not so bad. The locker room environment here is the best in the world in my experience too. We have a real family thing going on that no where else that I’ve wrestled has come even close to matching. Its something to really want to go out there and put your body on line for no other reason then to push the brand name that you believe in, and so badly want to succeed. In America its all about self enhancement, over here its about doing what’s right for the team. I know which one I like best too. If I could make a career out of wrestling in Perth, that would be magical. Its definitely my dream. Unfortunately, its a big time pipe dream, but that wont ever stop me from trying to make it a reality.
WPW: What did it mean to you to after four years to win you first title (M1W Championship) in [SoCal] in December?
MARSHALL: Winning belts in wrestling is a funny thing, seeing as you don’t actually “win” them. I like to think of championship belts as a nice pat on the back that your doing the right thing, and heading in the right direction, so in that sense it was great. The best thing about it was that it guaranteed me big matches every week and forced me to improve. I was lucky enough to wrestle ROH guys like Joey Ryan and Johnny Goodtime a few times over, and also top level [SoCal] guys like Willie Mack, James Morgan, and Johnny Yuma just to name a few, on a regular basis and it really forces you to step up and improve. Every week I needed to be at my best to hang with these guys so its a fantastic challenge. Soon as I stop improving will be the day I hang up the boots.
WPW: Would you like to challenge for the NWA Heritage title in the future? The title is seen as a stepping stone to the legendary 10 pounds of gold, NWA World Championship. Is it a goal for you to get a NWA title reign in the States and bring it home to Australia?
MARSHALL: Its not something I really think about to tell you the truth. It would be nice, but its far from the top of my list of things to do in wrestling. I’m a long way from being in line to win the NWA title, so ill keep plugging away till I feel like I can give it a real push. Just quietly, that belt looks pretty good on Adam Pearce anyway, who for my money, is the best unsigned wrestler going around anywhere in the world. We’re lucky to have him as our World Champion.
WPW: What have been some of your personal favourite matches, both here and in the States during your career so far?
MARSHALL: The ladder match is one of my favorites, as it just went about as good as it possibly could’ve. I love throwing myself around, but a lot of the time its all for nothing so when it comes off in such spectacular fashion it really makes you feel pretty good. That was also my breakout match in EPW, so that definitely made it mean that little bit more. Another one that comes to mind was the six man tag with me, (Tyler) Jacobs and Jay (Taylor) vs. Nate (Dooley), (Davis) Storm and Jimmy (Payne). It was one of the few times where I’ve come backstage knowing full well that I had nothing left to give. It was lucky that the locker room cleared out to say their farewells to Jim and Nate because I was just a mess laying on the floor in the empty room. Couldn’t move a muscle. Good fun though, it is nice to feel like that sometimes, well, all the time. Its why I wrestle.
WPW: You have taken on some of the biggest and best names in the Australian Wrestling scene. Is there anyone from either in EPW who’s coming up in the ranks or interstate that you would like to face in the future?
MARSHALL: Honestly, no one really comes to mind. I think Damian Slater is the best wrestler in the country right now, along with Shane (Haste) of course, so that would be a nice challenge to see if I could still keep up. Other then that I feel like me and Stormy haven’t had the match we should be able to have yet, so he’s right at the top of my list of guys id love to have a few more matches with. Also, for personal reasons, I’d love another go around with Tyler Jacobs. These two guys both taught me how to do what I love, and I feel like I could thank them the only way I know how. By smashing them in the face with a chair or two!
WPW: From when you debuted back in 2003 to where you are now, are you surprised about how far you have made it? From all the accolades, achievements and titles you have won in your seven year career. Could we possibly see Bobby Marshall in TNA, ROH or WWE in the future?
MARSHALL: Well, I’ll never say never, so lets just see what the future holds. I’ve never wrestled for tomorrow, only for today, and for whatever the hell moment I’m in at the time, and I’ll continue to do that until the body breaks down completely. As long as I’m enjoying my time in the ring, I’ll continue to move forward to whatever end it takes me.
WPW: Do you have any plans to return to the States in 2010-2011?
MARSHALL: Not anytime soon, but we will see. I’m not really big for planning ahead. Let the future stay in the future and I’ll live for the here and now. It makes things simpler when you don’t plan ahead. And simple is my middle name!
WPW: Thank you for your time Bobby.
Westside Pro Wrestling is a Western Australian Newsletter that celebrates Pro-Wrestling in Perth and its surrounding areas. The free newsletter is available via email subscription to find out more, please check out their Facebook, Westside Pro Wrestling To see Bobby Marshall in action along with the entire Explosive Pro Wrestling, please check out LocoTV’s EPW Channel

Leave a Reply