Westside Pro Wrestling’s Tez interviewed Gavin McGavin just days before he defended the EPW Hardcore Shield at Goldrush 3 in April.
WPW: What made you want to become a wrestler and who were your influences?
McGAVIN: It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. Some kids want to be a fireman growing up, I wanted to do fireman’s carry’s. Then they want to be a cop when they are a little older, then when they are a little older still they want to be an accountant. For me, it was always a Pro Wrestler. If Pro Wrestling was on at the local PCYC I would have done it. Amateur was the next best thing, so I used that to tide me over.
As for influences, I’m a textbook case of a wrestling fan of my age. When I was five I wanted to be Hulk Hogan. Once they stopped showing wrestling on Saturday mornings it became pretty hard to keep up with it. I wasn’t until High School that I got back into it. I was channel surfing and saw Raw late one Friday night. I was hooked again. This time I wanted to be Steve Austin just like every other teenager. In the last 10 or 12 years though I’ve become a huge fan of guys like Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero. I think they are the guys I try to emulate the most. And of course guys like Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar who have been able to transition from amateur to pro are a real inspiration.I mean, neither of those guys amassed a record like 163-0, but they were pretty good amateur wrestlers none the less (laughs).
WPW: How did you decide on the company you ended up with?
McGAVIN: I had a friend training with Explosive Professional Wrestling so it was always in the back of my mind. To be honest I put it off for a little while because I thought I was too small. Once EPW heard about my impressive undefeated amateur career they approached me and asked me to think about it. I made my mind up when I was sitting in the crowd at Challenge Stadium, watching the finals to crown the first ever NWA Australian Champion. The quality of the guys in the ring was above anything I expected to find in this country. I didn’t care how big I was, I was going to win that belt some day. I never even looked into any other schools. I knew EPW was for me.
WPW: Had you been training for long, before you made your debut?
McGAVIN: I had been training nine months before my first match. That is nine months, four nights a week, three hours a night. There would usually be another training session on Sundays every couple of weeks as well. All of the amateur training gave me a good head start on the fitness but it was still bloody hard work. Nobody makes it into a wrestling ring unless they nearly kill themselves trying to get there.
WPW: When you made your debut, what was the experience like performing in front of a paying audience for the first time and what do you remember most?
McGAVIN: It was incredible. Even though I spent my entire life wanting to be a Pro Wrestler, never in a million years did I think it would actually happen. I remember being so nervous that I wanted to scream, so that’s what I did. I stepped through the curtain and let out an almighty roar. I was a bundle of nervous energy so I just started pacing up and down in the ring and doing squats and star jumps. The rest of it was basically a blur. Mainly because Jamie Jurah spent the entire match kicking me in the face. I do however vividly remember a “dogface gremlin” chant at some stage during the match (laughs).
WPW: Re-Awakening 8 saw you become the first ever Hardcore Shield holder, in a match everybody expected KrackerJak to win. and have held the title since November last year. What was it like to get your first title win in front of such a big crowd and at the biggest EPW show of all?
McGAVIN: Championship reign, day 153 (as of April 7th) (laughs). That was wild. The crowd was incredible that night and the match got a great reaction. When the ref handed me the shield it was the greatest moment of my life. You know that makes me undefeated at Re-Awakening right! Winning a title, any title, was a goal I set myself from the very beginning but I never expected to be the first ever Hardcore Shield holder within nine months of debuting. Let’s face it, my amateur background doesn’t exactly lend itself to the hardcore style. Although I think I have been able to adapt my style into a bit more of a hybrid now. Amateur Hardcore if you will. I think there is a T-Shirt in that (laughs).
WPW: What goals are you hoping to achieve in the business?
McGAVIN: Priority one right now is to keep a hold of my shield as long as I can. I’ve Got Goldrush 3 coming up on April 17th, funnily enough on day 163 of my title reign. So I’ve got to make sure I defeat the six other guys in my match and leave the Cyril Jackson Rec Centre still the champ (McGavin lost the Hardcore Title, and received a nasty cut to the head requiring 17 stitches, after receiving a shot to the head with a clock). Long term I want to get my hands on any other titles I can of course. Looking at the names that have held the EPW title, it would be an amazing achievement if I could add mine to the list. I also want to wrestle internationally. The USA, the UK, and Japan are the big three I want to visit. No matter where I go though EPW will always be my home and helping to raise the profile of the company is the one common goal the entire roster shares. It’s the greatest wrestling company in this country and we want to get our product out to as many fans as possible. I love Pro Wrestling so I’m going to do whatever I can do to help bring it to the masses in Australia.
Check out Gavin McGavin’s Facebook page.