Trailblazer – Mikey Nicholls Interview

Mikey Nicholls has been wrestling throughout the world for near on nine years, and is one of the most successful wrestlers to come from the local scene having wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling in Tokyo and dark matches for Ring ofHonor. WPW’s Tez got the opportunity to speak to Mikey about his career not long after Team Murder Death Kill lost the EPW Tag Team Championships in a Tables Match at Hell or Highwater.
WPW: You made your debut at the first ever Explosive Coastal Wrestling show Awakening in November 2001 at quite a young age. What was it like making your debut on what has become somewhat of an significant step in WA wrestling and did it feel like something special at the time?
MIKEY: I was like 16 years old back then and man did it ever feel like something special. Dreams and aspirations were so much simpler back then, it was almost like I was getting everything I had always wanted. I of course have not watched that show back since then, lol, but no matter how awful the wrestling may have been, it was, what it was and like you said a pretty significant step in WA wrestling
WPW: You were part of the very first ECW Championship match, a Four Way Match with
Davis Storm, Jimmy Payne and FN Carnage at Redemption in January 2002, where things went a little wrong. Was there ever any thought of you giving wrestling away at that point and what did you think of the publicity it got it in the major papers like The West Australian?
MIKEY: Nah, there was never a thought of giving wrestling away. I guess its like they say, no publicity is bad publicity right.
WPW: The following show, the first ever Evolution in May 2002, you made an appearance and cut a promo, which unfortunately there were some technical issues with the mic. Even with that the first ever sold out ECW crowd gave you one awesome ovation. Were you surprised with the support the crowd gave you before you made the heel turn?
MIKEY: I’m so amazed that you can remember that far back. Yeah was pretty surprising, I mean we had only done a few shows so it wasn’t like we had build up a huge audience or anything yet. The thing I remember most is the nerves, man i was a such a buildup of nerves, I had such an awesome promo planned out but then of course the microphone doesn’t work. In hindsight was probably a good thing the mic didn’t work (Laughs).
WPW: Mid 2002 saw you join up with the faction known as The Uprising, which pretty much ran riot through ECW/EPW until the classic street fight with Team EPW at Re-Awakening II in 2003. Along the way having some top matches including the Last Man Standing Match with Jimmy Payne. Do you have fond memories of your time in the Uprising?
MIKEY: The stuff we did with The Uprising was some of the most fun times of my entire
wrestling, dare I say, career. It was so much fun turning up to shows and essentially just hanging out with your friends and doing whatever you wanted. In that time as well I think I grew as not only a wrestler but as a character and my confidence of being out in front of people really grew.
The last man standing match with Jimmy was a whole heap of fun, and as far as the Street fight goes, that was one of the most emotional and most fun nights of my life. I think anyone in attendance that night would agree with me when I say that the emotion and drama was off the charts that night.
WPW: You were part of the NWA Australia promotion in Adelaide, which drew 1000+ fans to the Thebarton Theatre for its debut show Turning Over Tradition. Unfortunately, the crowds plummeted to less than 100 within three shows and the company folded. What was the experience like wrestling in front of such a big crowd for the first time and being part of a national promotion?
MIKEY: It was great honour initially just to be asked to be apart of the show, made me feel like I was getting somewhere in Australia. It was also great to wrestle in front of that many people, to meet a lot of the guys from other states and seeing guys that I definitely looked up to within Australia.
WPW: 2004 was quite a big year for you. Feuding with Azazal (Drake Wallace) after the Uprising break up, culminating with a Match of the Year Chain Match, taking on Davis Storm in a couple of number one contender’s matches, finally winning the EPW Championship in a triple threat match with then champion, Davis Storm and FN Carnage. What was it like winning the title for the very first time at Re-Awakening III?
MIKEY: 2004-05 was such a rollercoaster time for me both in and out of wrestling and I think a lot of that showed in the way that I wrestled and the matches that I had. I’m so proud of my chain match with Azazal and was so happy when it was voted match of the year. Then it all kinda came together in the triple threat match at RA when I won the belt for the first time. I like to think that I had a great first run without the belt and had some pretty memorable matches.
WPW: You held the title until Evolution 2005 before Richter cashed in his title shot after you had a hard fought Fatal Four Way with Jimmy Payne, Havok and Jag. You got your rematch at Dirty Deeds, which was the first ever show at the Alma Venville Centre, which was a Street Fight. You climbed up a wall and did a dive off the balcony which was an awesome thing to see. Was that a spur of the moment thing or had you had that idea in mind as soon as you saw the building?
MIKEY: (Laughs) That was most definitely the first thing I thought of when I saw that building. It was the first show we had done in a new venue so I figured I was in a situation to make it as memorable as possible.
WPW: You made your first overseas trip in late 2005 to SoCal training and wrestling out of the Inoki Dojo with “Jag” Hartley Jackson and Davis Storm. What was the first overseas experience like for you training with guys like Fergal Devitt and Karl Anderson?
MIKEY: It was always a dream of mine to train at the Inoki Dojo and it really just sorta happened out of nowhere. I look back on that time now as the most fun and also the most intense time in my life. I made some great friends out of it and we were all kinda going through the same thing together you know, so it made it even better. The first overseas experience was definitely an eye opener for me to how the rest of the wrestling world works. Made me realise we have it pretty good here in Perth.
WPW: Returning to Perth in February 2006, you dropped the EPW Championship to Havok at Stand & Deliver in March, before returning to the States. Your second tour succeeding your first as you along with Karl Anderson challenged Alex Koslov for the NWA Heritage Championship and Rocky Romero for the CMLL Championship in a Two out of Three Falls Match. Was the push you received during this tour where you felt like you could make a name for yourself on the SoCal Indy scene?
MIKEY: It wasn’t so much that I thought I could make a name for myself it was more the fact that I was so shocked and excited to be in the same ring as those guys. The triple threat match was a whole lot of fun and it was such an honour to be selected to wrestle someone who I have the utmost respect for and definitely someone I look up to in Rocky. I also think that the 2 out of 3 falls match took me to a whole new level with wrestling.
It was like I had to bring myself up tohis level, which I still maintain is the best way to better yourself as a wrestler. Train and wrestle with people who are better than you and you will always be forced to come up to their level. Because if they are any good they sure as hell wont get dragged down to yours!
WPW: In what is an awesome achievement, yourself along with Hartley Jackson were the first ever Australians to compete for New Japan Pro Wrestling, taking part in a Tag Match against Minoru & Hirooki Goto in Tokyo Korakuen Hall. Did it get overwhelming or did you feel like it was just another step forward in the career of Mikey Nicholls and would you like to go back?
MIKEY: Man was it ever overwhelming. I don’t think I have ever been so nervous in my entire life. Trying to get everything together in a different country, with people who don’t speak the same language man it was a trip. At the time it was a huge step forward for me and it kinda disappoints me a little that I didn’t capitalise on it more, but cant dwell in the past. I would give anything to go back.
WPW: September 7, 2007 at EWF’s Gold Standard, you became the first ever Western
Australian wrestler to win a title in the United States when you defeated then champion Karl Anderson and Ryan Taylor in a 30 Minute Triple Threat Ironman match to become the new EWF American Champion.
MIKEY: It felt real good to hold some gold in the states. Definitely made me feel like I was on the right track. I also think I had a couple really good matches while I was the champ, made me a lot more confident with my wrestling.
WPW: 2009 saw you make a change of scenery moving from the SoCal scene to Ohio to wrestle for the Northern Wrestling Federation and during the nine month stay you got to make your debut for Ring of Honor in a few Dark Matches. What was that experience like?
MIKEY: It was a real surreal experience. For the longest time I had, like most people, had been watching ROH stuff and wishing I was there, well all of a sudden here it was right in front of me. The whole atmosphere was great, I met some great guys and also had some real solid matches.
WPW: Returning to EPW in late 2009, you were voted by the fans as the partner for Shane Haste to take on Slex and Carlo Cannon for the EPW Tag Team Championships at Re-Awakening 8. You won the titles in a brutal Ladder Match and defended them in some great matches before losing them just recently in a Tables Match. What is your next goal in EPW?
MIKEY: I’m not sure yet. I was having a whole lot of fun doing the tag stuff with Shane and I think that we had a pretty memorable run. Its been a while since I held the EPW title, maybe I will have a go and try my luck at that. I think there is still a lot of fire left inside Mikey Nicholls.
WPW: Do you have plans to return to the States in 2010-2011 and where would you like to go, back to SoCal or Ohio?
MIKEY: I don’t know man, I’m never one to make definite plans, I prefer to just take it as it comes and see what happens. I will go back to the states for sure, not sure how or when, but it will happen.
WPW: What does Mikey Nicholls hope to do in the wrestling business before he retires?
MIKEY: I guess just keep having fun and keep bettering myself. Once that enjoyment goes its kinda hard to keep motivated and also becomes hard to keep justifying to yourself why you do it you know. But I guess as long as I’m moving forward and having fun, I cant complain too much.
WPW: Thank you for speaking to Westside Pro Wrestling Mikey.

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