Interview with AACW Commissioner Damien Strange
Oklafan associate editor Mike Iles recently conducted a phone interview with All American Championship Wrestling commissioner Damien Strange and asked him several important questions pertaining to wrestling in general and the future of AACW.
Mike Iles: Commissioner Strange, thank you so much for taking my call and agreeing to this interview. I know it was short notice and you have been extremely busy as of late.
Damien Strange: It's no problem at all Mike. I appreciate Oklafan covering our league on their site.
MI: Well, let's get right to it. First off what is your background in wrestling?
DS: I have been in the business for the past 20 years. I was trained by Mando Guerrero and he and I remain close. I also have a cousin that is in the business so you might say that wrestling is in my blood. I have stacked up many injuries over the years and now my knees are pretty much shot, so that's why I retired from active competition.
MI: OK...I am going to cut right to the chase if you don't mind. There are rumors circulating that AACW is already finished and won't be having a show in July 15th, nor have Wrestlerock that is slated for later this year. People have been saying that Prince al-Farat held the promoter's license and since he has been released from AACW, the company will shut down. Any truth to that rumor?
DS: Mike, that couldn't be farther from the truth. We will have a show on July 15th and Wrestlerock is going to happen. Al Farat was a valuable member of our roster and of course was our champion. But he did not hold the bond (promoter's license). Rick Garrett (Otis) is the promoter, he is the owner of the company, and he owns the building that we hold our shows, The Underground Arena. We plan on being a major player in Oklahoma when it comes to wrestling.
MI: So Wrestlerock is still a go as well?
DS: Absolutely. I have been in contact with several wrestlers from around the state and most of the promoters as well. We actually want to give every Oklahoma fed at least one match at Wrestlerock. In fact if Brandon Bishop's fed (Asylum Championship Wrestling) down in Wichita Falls, TX would like a match as well, he should contact me. Any wrestlers or promoters that I have not contacted can get in touch with me via e-mail or even on our message board. We want to make Wrestlerock the biggest show that Oklahoma has ever seen.
MI: You said you have been in touch with several wrestlers regarding Wrestlerock. Any major names?
DS: We have been in touch with more than a few. We are trying to secure an agreement with a few legends from the Bill Watts ran Mid-South and UWF. By the way, we are also going to keep the ticket prices reasonable. Every ticket in the house is going to be just $10.
MI: Where will Wrestlerock be held?
DS: We are still in negotiations at this time. Unfortunately, I can't say where as of yet.
MI: Back to the present time. Why was Al Farat released?
DS: I wish Al all the best. He was our first champion. But due to personal and professional differences, we decided to part ways with him. We wish him nothing but the best.
MI: So a new champ will be crowned this Saturday?
DS. Yes. On July 15th at The Underground Arena we will be crowning a new AACW Heavyweight Champion. It will be in a Battle Royal and the last man standing will be crowned the new champion.
MI: How do you see the wrestling quality in Oklahoma as a whole?
DS: I think it is a region that is ready to explode. I sincerely mean that. I saw that IZW down in Lawton just signed Jerry Lawler vs. Terry Funk in a Hardcore Match for their big show on September 16th. That is a major accomplishment for Gary Tool and John Zorthos. Congratulations to them. Plus they are drawing over 1000 to those super shows. They are one of the strongest promotions right now. We want to duplicate their success.
MI: Tell us about some of the guys on the AACW roster. I will name them off one by one.
DS: OK shoot.
DS: Hell of a guy. Is one of the most charismatic guys in the state. The fans love him and I am proud to have him in the House of Strange and representing AACW as the Television Champion.
MI: The Disciples of Allah
DS: I don't see eye to eye with Mustafa Sharmoot. But the guy is a vet just like me and also comes from a wrestling family. Kareem Sadat is a good young talent.
MI: Trailer Park Trash
DS: They don't look like much do they? But they bring their A game every time they step through the ropes. With Otis at their side, they are destined for greatness.
MI: Dexter Hardaway
DS: Our current Mid-American Light Heavyweight Champion. He has held titles all over the state and is a vet, yet still relatively young.
DS: One of the best high flyers I have seen in a while. That Shooting Star Press of his is pretty impressive. It is only a matter of time until he is able to wrest the title from Hardaway.
MI: The Family
DS: That group is led by that sawed off runt Tommy D. Beau Dalton has held a bunch of titles I know. Overdose is a power house. I guess it is a wait and see with them.
MI: Corporate America
DS: They started off with the fans loving them but now they are starting to work my last nerve. If they want to get booked for a show then they need to contact me. Not crash the party so to speak. Crying and whining in Guthrie. Running in and attacking TPT. They are going about things the wrong way. But 3rd Rail is a monster. Michael James & Terry Pantera are two solid wrestlers. Talon I guess is the brains of the operation. They should be a force, but they are going about things the wrong way.
MI: Glen Steel
DS: Great young talent. He was just on the verge of capturing the AACW Title from Prince al-Farat when al-Farat was released. He is going to be a top contender or a champion for years to come.
MI: Anyone else I left out that you wanted to comment on?
DS: Outlaw & Slash are known as The Disciples of Discipline. They are a couple of wily veterans and also very successful in the past. They have tons of tricks up their sleeves that is for sure. The newest member of the House of Strange is Striker, yet another highly successful veteran. He held titles in New Mid-South, down in Texas, and several promotions here in Oklahoma as well. We are very pleased to have him on board. Handsome Jack Dalton starts with us this Saturday and I expect great things from him. He comes highly recommended and highly touted. Of course he is the one doing all the recommending and touting. We have one of the best locker rooms around right now and it is only going to get better.
MI: Any final words to the fans?
DS: Absolutely. We hope that you come out to support AACW this weekend and every time we have a show. You won't be disappointed. Also, be sure to check our website at www.aacwrestling.com for updates on our shows and announcements for Wrestlerock. It is going to be HUGE!
MI: Well, thanks again Commissioner Strange
DS: Thank you Mike. And thanks again to Oklafan for covering us.