INTERVIEW w/ IZW OWNER JOHN ZORTHOS "Why The Big Move?"
INTERVIEW WITH A PROFESSIONAL...
On the brink of IZW'S big move to Oklahoma City, izwrestling.com sat down with IZW Owner JOHN ZORTHOS with many questions that we & you have had on our minds...
IZW: Let's start off with the obvious, Big news in the world of Impact Zone Wrestling. After several years of calling Lawton, Oklahoma you're home, you are packing up the house & moving the show to Oklahoma City? There are many of us that are dumbfounded by this move and never saw it coming, please give us the full scoop behind this relocation.
John Zorthos: Well, after a 1 1/2 year run at the Lawton Boys & Girls Club we finally had a disagreement over certain situations that could not be resolved in a fashion that would make both parties happy. The decision was then made by both parties to end our relationship with the club as it exsisted. At that time IZW Management came to the decision to look outside of Lawton for a new venue due to the lack of good wrestling venues in Lawton, OK. So, here we are.
IZW: After such a long & successful run in Lawton, how hard is it turning out to be moving into an entirely new atmosphere? Especially one that has about a million more people in it?
JZ: So far the transition of putting together a show for OKC as opposed to Lawton has been very smooth. Not a whole lot of differences besides the size of the community you're dealing with. The atmosphere has been great, the wrestlers are excited, MSWA'S Mike Crawford has offered whatever help we need as far as getting the word out, and the fans seem to be excited about IZW coming to Oklahoma City. There hasn't been any real backlash and I don't expect there to be any in the future. There's plenty of room for everybody. Right?
IZW: There has already been a backlash of sorts, mostly from www.izwrestling.com readers, of Lawton IZW fans that cannot believe their show is moving an hour & a half North. What are your opinions about the loyal IZW fans of the past few years & is it hard to leave them behind?
JZ: It's always hard to leave behind loyal fans like the ones in Lawton, but I can assure them that IZW will be back in Lawton, OK again. The fans of Lawton, OK have been the greatest fans we could have asked for but they must understand we as a company have to do what is necessary for IZW and know that we are terribly disappointed we have to leave.
IZW: You mentioned "Room for everyone" just a minute ago, Some may not see it that way, as there is plenty of "Possibly Unfriendly" Competition waiting for you in the city. How will Impact Zone Wrestling go about settling into a territory where others have already settled into? And if there does end up being a conflict, How does IZW plan to handle it? The Rumor mill says that not everyone is thrilled about this news.
JZ: You name one promotion in this state as good as IZW and I'll call them competition. That's how IZW handles these situations. I don't view anyone as competition besides myself, I compete with myself everyday and every show to do better than the day before and the show before. I refuse to be second to anyone. How will we settle in? With the most high-flying, hard-hitting, explosive show you can imagine on March 17th, and we will strive to do better every show after, we will strive to always be the best this state has to offer. We will give the fans of OKC everything they ever thought a wrestling show was supposed to be. That's how we'll settle in.
IZW: Back to your run in Lawton, What were some of the moments & memories that you'll take with you from the first chapter in IZW history? Some of the biggest names in this sport have been in your ring, and some of the greatest matches in Oklahoma Wrestling history have taken place under the IZW banner. What moments do you think have defined IZW thus far?
JZ: I think the first big name show we did with Jerry Lawler at the Lawton High School went a long ways in establishing us as a legitimate promotion, and the show we did with Terry Funk & Jerry Lawler was great as well, but I would have to say the monster show at the Great Plains Coliseum in March 2006 with Al Snow, Big Van Vader, and Butch Reed was the biggest moment I'll take with me from Lawton, the size of the crowd (1300+), the electricity in the building the whole night, our first ever Steel Cage Match, it was the greatest show we had done to date and the largest crowd for an independent show in this state in a decade and I think it firmly established us as the top promotion in the state at the time.
IZW: What have been some of the issues inside & outside of the ring that have made running IZW more difficult than it has had to be? Basically, we all know you're an outspoken person, what are some of the things that have pissed off the owner of IZW in the first few years? And what are some of the things you plan to change about IZW?
JZ: Wow... I guess there have been different issues throughout the process obviously. One of the biggest issues I have had to deal with in and out of the ring was Big Van Vader. We signed him up to a 7 month deal to help build the company and the wrestlers around him. Vader's plans were obviously different than ours as he had grand ideals of staying on a lot longer than we did and he pushed for it constantly. That was probably the worst 7 months of my promoting career. There have been other issues with wrestlers, Brandon Bishop, Se7en, Carnage and others. Some have stayed the course and some have fallen off but it has been a great ride. Other than those issues, the only other issues have been my other businesses being in conflict with this one at times.
IZW: Will IZW still feature the roster it has recently offered? And what is in store for the OKC fans on Saturday March 17th?
JZ: The plan is to keep the roster intact as it is currently constructed but IZW does have an open door policy and our roster has undergone changes numerous times throughout our three year run, so you never know who to expect on an IZW show. As for March 17th, like I said earlier, it will be explosive, there will be a Steel Cage Match for the IZW Heavyweight Championship, a Dog Collar Match between myself and Brandon Bishop, IZW's first ever women's match between Marianne Albright and Lily McKenzie, plus the Impact Title, Cruiserweight Title, and Tag Team Titles will all be defended as well. We hope to make March 17th as unforgettable as possible.
IZW: Your Love/Hate feud with Brandon Bishop has been well documented throughout IZW & his ACW promotion as one of the hottest & most brutal feuds in all of Indy wrestling for several years. Does this feud have a visible end? And how much more blood needs to be spilled between the two of you before some kind of cease fire can be initiated?
JZ: I don't see an end to the agony I'm going to put him through anytime soon. We have had some of the most brutal matches imaginable and I have no problem wrestling him in as many more as I possibly can. Anytime I'm given the opportunity to shed Brandon Bishop's blood I'm going to take it. He's a loser just like the idiotic toothless droolers that cheer for him, and to top all of that, he's a deadbeat dad and a flop as a promoter as well, and he can't stand to see me where I'm at. I hate Brandon Bishop with every ounce of being that I am, he tried to end my wrestling career before it even had a chance to get started, when I walked out on ACW he tried to blackball me with every promotion around, told everybody anything he could to make me look like the bad guy and it took me 18 months to get back in, so you know what, I'm going to take every opportunity I can to try and end his miserable, pathetic, excuse of a wrestling career.
IZW: Your faction within IZW, called IMPACT INC. (Including member Gary tool, Brad Michaels, Bernie Donderwitz & Aaron Neil) has reigned over your company since it's inception, will this continue in Oklahoma City? And what are some of the plans IMPACT INC. has ready for those who oppose you when the shows kicks off in OKC?
JZ: Of course it will continue, why wouldn't it you moron? Didn't you just pay attention to the names you rattled off, they are the best of the best, the upper echelon in Oklahoma wrestling, there is no one that can oppose us and anyone who thinks they can will see a whole new side of Impact Inc. in OKC. Impact Inc. is going to be more ruthless and brutal than we have ever been and if you or anyone else has a problem with that then be in OKC on March 17th, at the National Guard Armory on 200 NE 23rd (Off I-235) and tell us about it. Then you can find out personally just how ruthless and brutal we can be.
IZW: Michael Barry defeated IMPACT INC. member Aaron Neil for the IZW Heavyweight Championship a few months ago and has fended off every challenge since. What does it mean to you having him represent your company as it's champion going into this new endeavor in Oklahoma City?
JZ: First, Michael Barry is just keeping that gold warm for Aaron Neil until March 17th. Second, I have no problem with him representing IZW on it's first show in OKC. He will be the perfect sacrifice for Aaron Neil to show OKC just how good he really is and what the fans in OKC have been missing out on.
IZW: Who, in your opinion, are the brightest stars in Impact Zone Wrestling? Who will be the future of IZW that will represent your business in the years to come? Outside of yourself & your fellow IMPACT INC. members of course.
JZ: Some of the brightest stars we have right now outside of Impact Inc. I'm going to stay away from this one, IZW has a great roster full of great talent and they all do the job that we ask of them. They all know how well they're doing by the way they are used on the shows. I do think guys like Michael Barry, Ryan Davidson, Mitch Carter and others will be around for awhile unless something drastic takes place. All in all we are in a pretty good position as far as talent goes right now and I'm pretty glad about that.
IZW: Finally, tell us everything we need to know about Saturday March 17th, IZW at the National Guard Armory in Oklahoma City. And if you have any final words for us, please let them fly.
JZ: The show March 17th will be at the National Guard Armory on 200 NE 23rd (Off I-235). Tickets are all General Admission and only available at the door on the night of the show. They will be $10 for Adults (Age 11 & Up) and $5 for Kids (Age 10 & Under). Doors open at 6 PM and the show starts at 7 PM. For everyone in OKC who's ever wanted to witness what wrestling was meant to be, then be at the National Guard Armory on March 17th and............ FEEL THE IMPACT!