"Straight Shootin with the Champ" The Chance Prophet Interview
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler,
The back biter
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
Most of these were just shot from the hip. I did a lil’ editing afterwards, but for the most part, I set up a camera and went with what was on my mind. I’m pretty sure that there will be new ones coming soon. The flavor will be a little different, but the format will still be the same.
Jay Cal: The videos were incredible and I look forward to their return. But let me take you in another direction. The Date is August 5th, 2003. The Opponent is fresh off his victory against Jeff Jarret for the Worlds Heavyweight Title. The Phenomenal AJ Styles enters NWA Bluegrass, a young Chance Prophet receives his first Words Title shot. What did this match mean to you? How did this match impact your career?
Chance: It meant more than most people think. I’d been wrestling for a little over 3 years, and I was facing THE top guy in the NWA at the time. The matchmakers at NWA Bluegrass had enough faith in me that they’d book that match, and I’m forever grateful to them for that.
AJ is simply what his nickname states, phenomenal. I learned a lot from him in one match and it opened up a lot of doors. I started talking with Bill Behrens, who facilitated me getting shots on Xplosion, and bookings with NWA Wildside among other places.
Jay Cal: One big even eventually led to another. A little over a year ago you were accepted to join WWE’s key developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling. What did it mean to you to be accepted? Did the invitation help your career? How did you make the decision to not join those ranks?
Chance: I received a call to sit-in and participate in one of the weekend training sessions. I enjoyed the atmosphere a lot. Rip Rogers was more than informative, and it was a definite education in what they expected of their performers. The invitation helped create a buzz among certain promoters, but I decided to forego it at the time being because I’d been offered a chance to come out to the NWA Pro/EWF dojo and wanted to explore other options. Both the OVW invite and the NWA Pro Dojo got a lot of things going. Some I’m not at liberty to speak of right now, but this year should be interesting to say the least, if things go as planned.
Jay Cal: Speaking about NWA Pro’s Dojo, a lot of people would say that the Dojo in Santa Monica was like a breeding ground for the top names in the NWA. At one point travelers from Ireland, Canada, Australia, Mexico, and all across American competed for the NWA. Chance you were no different, competing in EWF/NWA Pro against Bobby Marshall? What did you think of your time spent in the NWA Pro Territory? What do you think of your cotemporaries who you shared your time with?
Chance: I’ll say this about NWA Pro There’s a reason why they’re drawing houses in the thousands when most companies are lucky to draw in the hundreds. They really know what they’re doing and it was a true privilege to work and train with them. With guys like Jesse Hernandez, Rocky Romero, TJ Perkins, and Karl Anderson pushing you to be your best, you really have no choice to get better. I worked and lived with the EPW crew from Australia (Bobby Jo Marshall, Damien Slater, and Azazal) and it was one adventure after another with these guys. Working Bobby was a treat because we hadn’t really had much ring interaction in training sessions, but we clicked really well once we got in the ring.
Jay Cal: If there was one wrestler who represented the resurgence of the NWA, it was you. As National Champion, you put yourself out there and took on all challengers. How did it feel to truly be the Flag Bearer at the NWA Legends show against the Pure Talent Chris Escobar
Chance: Honestly, it was a pretty nerve-wracking ordeal. I had wrestled for a few promotions in North Carolina, but for the most part, I was coming in as an unknown to the crowd even though I was the National Champion. Bob Trobich, David Marquez, Rick O’Brien, and Ed Chuman got together with me and told me that they wanted me to carry the banner out there. I was like “whatever you guys need me to do, I’m there”. The NWA was what hooked me on wrestling to begin with, so to carry the NWA flag, that was a pretty big deal to me.
Jay Cal: I’m sure I speak for many, in saying you did a great job representing the NWA. During your tenure in and out of the alliance, you’ve faced some prominent names in the wrestling industry; Steve Corino, James Gibson, Chris Daniels, Nigel McGuinnes, Matt Stryker, Chad Coyller, and Abysss. What have been some of your favorite matches? What have you learned from facing some of your contemporaries who’ve wrestled for the WWE, ECW, and TNA?
Chance: I had a blast wrestling Corino and Gibson. I think I took away more from working those two than most others. Jamie (Gibson/Noble) is one of the best to come out of WV, and one of the best out there period. He’s accomplished a lot and we came from a similar upbringing. Corino is just classic. He’s a professional through and through, and if you wrestle him and don’t learn something, then you’re in the wrong business. The same goes for working guys like Nigel and Collyer. These guys are in a league of their own. Collyer is another one of my favorites, because he’s a machine. He’s Dean Malenko all over again, and I know a lot have compared him to Malenko, but its so true.
Jay Cal: Speaking of some of the big names you’ve faced, what about some of the shows you have wrestled at. You are one of a few who’ve wrestled both Anniversary Shows for the NWA, the 55th and 57th. And as mentioned before you also competed at the Legends Festival. What is your opinion of these co-promoted shows?
Chance: I really enjoy them. The last night of the Anniversary show in Nashville was a lil’ cluttered to say the least. (My match was number 16 of 22 I think). But it was still a great experience.
The Legends Festival was awesome! To get to meet and talk with some of the true legends of wrestling, it was an honor. I got to meet many of my wrestling idols during the weekend, and made some lasting friendships as well. I’d encourage everyone to go to www.nwalegends.com to check out just some of the interviews that they have posted in their video section. The Q&A sessions, the wrestling, and the environment is just great.
Jay Cal: Going back to your match at the NWA 57th Anniversary Show It was one of the few times all the eyes of the Alliance were collectively looking at the talent on hand. You defended your Tri-State Heavyweight Championship against Trik Nasty. 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?
Chance: Trik and I had wrestled 15 to 20 times that year. If I was going to face anyone with the NWA Board of Directors in attendance, I was glad it was him. I think the match was one of our better ones. Our feud carried us over 3 or 4 states, so sometimes the matches run together, but anytime I was in the ring with Trik, I knew he’d bring out the best in me. We pushed each other to our limits time and time again.
Jay Cal: Its funny you mentioning pushing your limits. Your work ethic and dedication to the improvement of the NWA lent credibility to the title you wore. After your injury, the board was forced to pull the title off of you. Can you give the readers an idea of it felt and when you plan on returning to the ring?
Chance: Them stripping the title off me was rougher than the injury. I had bookings and defenses lined up for a few months down the road and each time I had to make those calls was like a knife in the gut. Then I had to Fed-Ex the belt down to Tennessee for a new champion to be crowned. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do concerning wrestling.
I’m about 3/4’s finished with my rehabilitation of my leg, and I’ve talked with my doctor about returning to action. According to my progress, I should be good to go in late February/early March. I’ve accepted a few bookings to test it out. Due to an incident that occurred at a recent show I was appearing at, I’ve already got a grudge match in my hometown of Logan, WV coming up. Its a Texas Bullrope match for the ASW Heavyweight title against the Juggulator (my former tag partner who I’ve feuded with for the better part of last year). That’s slated for March 22nd, but depending on my clearance, I will probably have my first match back against Sterling James Keenan and Teddy Fine for Xero Underground in Maryland on Feb. 23rd. Whether I’m cleared or not, I’ll be in attendance there.
Jay Cal: I am certainly looking forward to your return. However in your absence the new contenders for your title came down to Upstate’s Pepper Parks and the man you beat for the title Kory Williams. What did you think of your replacements? And what do you think of the defending National Champion Pepper Parks?
Chance: I thought they were more than fair in choosing those two as the top contenders for the title. Pepper had made a good showing in the NWA World Title tournament, and Kory had never received his rematch due to scheduling conflicts. Either would have made a good representative for the title, but I’m glad Pepper won it. I had seen him work more than a few times on shows in Ohio, and he has an impressive volume of work against some of the best in the business. I think he’s doing a good job in carrying the title, but I’d like to get it back around my waist real soon.
Jay Cal: I’m sure regaining your title isn’t the only thing you want to finish real soon. Your last standing feud prior to your injury was with the Atlas Wrestling Company, when the Wrong Crowd stole your title after your match with Scottie Gash. Your injury cut short your ability for retribution. Representatives for AWC even suggested that they had a hand in your injury. Obviously you have some unfinished business, what do you have in store for them upon your return?
Chance: These guys are really good at running their mouths. I beat Gash twice, and they still had something to complain about. So they jumped me, stole the title, and held it ransom so they could “earn” themselves a shot at a B.O.D. controlled title. They’re facing the current NWA North American Tag Champs, the Old School Empire, this weekend in Ashokie, NC. And nothing against the OSE, but I hope that the Wrong Crowd win so they can stop all the whining about the NWA Board of Directors “screwing them”. They’ve got the ability to do big things, they just feel that running their mouths and jumping people from behind is a better tactic than proving it in the ring. I don’t know when I’ll run into them again, but if its sooner than later, I wouldn’t mind getting a partner and shutting them up myself. All in due time though.
Jay Cal: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me Chance. I wish you all the luck in the new year.