Alan Wojcik: Since 1998 you have been in wrestling. What made you say, “I think its time to start a wrestling promotion.” Take us from the birth of Pro Wrestling Fusion as a concept to the debut show on May 3rd, 2008.
Joey Machete: Well to be quite honest…I was at a cross roads. My partner Shawn Murphy was looking to retire from the business, our tag team Black Market had just finished a long and successful 3 year run in Full Impact Pro. I didn’t want to just be considered as “only” talent any longer. I wanted to do more, I wanted to offer my wrestling knowledge to a company that I could really get behind, who in turn wanted to get behind me. I was looking for the next best thing. I thought to myself, I want to work for a company that I can be proud of, a company I can bring my friends and family to and not have to make excuses about the lack of talent, production, professionalism, etc. So I started something new and fresh…Pro Wrestling Fusion, by gathering people I respected, the best of the best, true professionals that all wanted to be a part of something special. Pro wrestling Fusion is about pride, it’s about excellence. I gave myself 6 months to plan our May 3, 2008 debut event “Release The Kraken” and we blew it out of the water. The show was amazing and we were the talk of Florida Wrestling. Here we are 16 months later with 18 incredible shows under our belt, our last three shows have been beyond stellar and we are growing at a very healthy rate.
Alan Wojcik: Everyone reading this interview knows you and Shawn Murphy worked as a duo (the Black Market) for several Florida promotions. Did any of the promotions contact you to say “you better stay away from our rosters” or was it more like “great another promotion for the wrestlers to earn with?”
Joey Machete: We had our run of the usual trouble that the wrestling business and the people within the wrestling business have to offer. I wouldn’t say I was threatened but I wasn’t welcomed with open arms either, ya know. I don’t get discouraged by obstacles…I welcome them. I feed off of them. I need to have obstacles to overcome. And let’s be real, I do not, nor does anyone else, own the wrestling business and the wrestling business does not own me or anyone else for that matter. I’m just a guy who is doing his own thing and trying to make it the best thing possible, just because I’ve been very lucky and I’ve done some cool shit doesn’t mean I am better than anyone else. I found out a long time ago that this business doesn’t owe my anything and I am just grateful that I am allowed to be doing what I love and have loved since I was a child. There will always be haters out there…I just needed to learn to laugh and appreciate the fact that I was worthy of their fear.
Alan Wojcik: Let’s talk talent since Florida is filled with it. Who was the first person you chose to be part of the Fusion roster and what was your “Sales Pitch” to get other people on board?
Joey Machete: STEVE MADISON was my first choice along with KING KONG FU…sales pitch??? Uhhh….well I know they were both phone calls and I’m pretty sure they both went something like this.
Me: Hey bro, I doing my own thing and I got a date for ya…
STEVE MADISON/KING KONG FU: Right on…anything you need.
These guys and many of my other guys were my family before we started FUSION…there is a love, mutual admiration and respect that has developed over the past decade between us. That is what makes FUSION tick…this is the magic of FUSION. For the record…my last pick was Francisco Ciatso.
Alan Wojcik: Florida wrestling fans will look at the website (www.prowrestlingfusion.com) and recognize some familiar faces. I am going to list some of them (not the entire roster) and I ask you to give a few words about each, lets begin with the current champion The Sheik who just earned an NWA World Heavyweight championship match.
Joey Machete: The Sheik is the most vicious heel in wrestling today. The real deal…no one gets heat like The Sheik. Well Francisco Ciatso gets some sick heat as well but don’t tell him that, he already has trouble fitting his GIANT head into his little crinkled hat.
Alan Wojcik: Former Fusion champion “Modern Revolution” Steve Madison.
Joey Machete: Steve Madison is professional wrestling. In my opinion, when he is on…He Is One Of The Best. I love watching him wrestle…I always find myself smiling when I watch him or FU in the ring. Steve pops me when he walks into the room, he is just that funny, even when he isn’t trying to be funny. I love him like a brother and respect the hell out of his talent. He is an important part of our team and he brings a huge amount of knowledge to the promotion.
Alan Wojcik: The current tag team champions Jon Davis & Kory Chavis the Dark City Fight Club.
Joey Machete: These guys are the FUSION Florida Tag Team Champions and I don’t see anyone taking that from them any time soon. I only wish that the tag team scene had more depth in Florida so that these guys could be challenged on a regular basis. These guys are the real deal and if you want to get into the ring with these boys you better pack a friggin’ lunch. These two bruisers know how to inflict damage and I predict that they will cut through the tag team scene like a buzz saw through warm butter, making a big ol’ mess in the process. I’d like to see them across the ring from the NWA World Tag Team Champions – The SKULLKRUSHERS in the very near future, that would be some sick shit right there.
Alan Wojcik: If at all possible talk about the enigma of King Kong Fu.
Joey Machete: King Kong Fu is the funky monkey baby, he’s part Dusty, part Godfather, part Boogie Woogie. He’s a one man travelin’ circus, he’s a disco dancin’ machine! The ladies love him, the parents love him, the kids love him, everyone loves FU! He’s a big bright shining star!
Alan Wojcik: You have four legends in their own time working for Fusion namely Bruiser Bradley, Freedom Ryder, Scoot Andrews and Billy Fives.
Joey Machete: It’s an honor to have these men on the roster, you know they don’t work for just anyone…it is my honor, my pleasure and it humbles me to have these men in our ring. Pouring their hearts out for the fans after they have retired. It’s a great rub because I know, the wrestlers know and the fans know that these men are here because they want to be here and they want to wrestle a few more times in a place that they know will show the proper respect to this business and to them. They want to have challenges and not have to worry about political bull crap…they can just lace up their boots and have a fantastic time with old friends and I’m glad that we provide that type of environment, especially to guys that I have such respect for.
Alan Wojcik: Lastly the current Jr. Heavyweight champion Chris Jones.
Joey Machete: Chris is a great addition to our roster. He has the heart of a lion. He has come such a long way since he got into this business and he is a prime example of a young kid listening to the veterans around him and allowing their knowledge to take him to the next level. Everything I ever told Chris, he took in and learned and prospered from. Every spot I ever gave him, he learned from. I am very proud of him and all that he has accomplished, I am also proud to have him on our roster, holding a title and doing his thing for our fans who are absolutely in love with him.
Alan Wojcik: Since the debut show your roster has grown to add former WCW star Prince Iaukea and former WWE stars 2 Cold Scorpio & Sinn BoDHI. Talk about adding these unique stars to the established roster.
Joey Machete: It is just another example of FUSION being the place to be. We are very lucky to have so many talented professional wrestlers in the great state of Florida and we are honored to have all of the wrestlers who work with our company, these guys are the real deal, the best of the best in this industry. Prince Iaukea has been a very big help to us for a very long while. Prince helps out the younger guys in the ring before and during the shows, he is an amazing talent and really knows his way around a wrestling ring, Prince helped run WCW’s Power Plant with the Sarge back in the day. We are very excited to have Prince as a integral part of our team. His presence is huge in our locker room, a locker room which is built on respect. Sinn is new to our roster and a very exciting talent to watch and a great guy to do business with. He is here to help and has a fantastic attitude and amazing talent, we are very happy to have him as part of our locker room as well…and Scorp??? He is the man…what a vast amount of knowledge he brings to the table and such a different style, shades of lucha, strong style, old school…he can do it all.
Alan Wojcik: On some of your Ft. Pierce events you have brought in wrestling legends like Greg Valentine, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, King Haku and “Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko. Is this just for the audience’s benefit or is there also something for the talent to learn from these men?
Joey Machete: It is to benefit both the audience and the talent. Let’s face it…old school rules. These men are all legends in their own right and it is a treat for our fans to see these mega stars at such an economical price. For the fans to get up close and personal with these legends is something that they will never forget and the same goes for the wrestlers in the back. To be a young guy in this business, having a master of the craft in your presence for the night is a very special deal. It is a great way to bridge the gap between the old school and the new. We are very fortunate to be able to do what we do for our fans and our wrestlers and hope that we can continue to deliver the FUSION Legends Series for a long time to come!
Alan Wojcik: Fusion is currently affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance. Take us through how this partnership came to fruition and how does Fusion benefit from it.
Joey Machete: Well my first taste of the NWA was when I met Ed Chuman about 2 years ago. The first thing I thought when I talked to Ed was…”WOW…This guy is the definition of Moxie!” Ed quickly became a mentor to me, as he is someone who I respect a great deal. I am proud today to call Ed one of my best friends in the world and my business partner. Ed brought me on to the NWA deal and I’ve had a blast working with the company. Ed and I have a whole lot of plans for FUSION and the NWA. Lots of things are currently in the works and this will benefit our fans and wrestlers mainly. I don’t like to talk about things until they are finalized but keep watching as we will be doing a lot of great things over the next few months/years.
Alan Wojcik: This past month Fusion expanded out of its normal southern Florida towns to add Temple Terrace (suburb of Tampa) and Daytona Beach. Is this the beginning of something where you could run multiple nights like the old Championship Wrestling from Florida?
Joey Machete: Of course, we plan to run in as many places and as often as we can. We have big plans for NWA/FUSION and we are having a whole bunch of fun with this company! Please join us for the ride.