Brandon Bishop by CMBurnham
WARNING!! This interview contains high levels of profanity. Mr. Bishop does make any attempt to censor himself. Read on at your own risk.
CMBurnham: OK, what led you to start ACW?
BrandonBishop: People called ACW a joke when it started, and they werenīt far from the truth. I ran a club called The Asylum Concert Club and wanted to fill in my Monday nights with some good olī wrestling. I had been a mark since the age of 5 when my mom showed me a scrapbook of these bloody monsters like The Sheik, Bobo Brazil, Irish Mickey Doyle, Haystacks Calhoun, Whipper Watson etc. My mom was a bigger mark than I ever was. Sheīd catch the bus to the Joe Louis Arena every month to catch All Star Wrestling. Anyways, back to the birth of ACW. I wanted to fill Monday nights by showing WWF RAW and just being open, but that wasnīt good
enough for me. I was planning on building a makeshift ring out of wood and mattresses, with rope, etc. But ended up bumping into a guy named Jeffrey DeGeorge who said he owned a ring. This guy was complete white trash, but hell, I needed a ring. When I saw his ring it was in shambles, but I put an assload of money into it, and started training. About 6 monts later we did our first show on a Monday night. We showed RAW during the event and weīve been chugging along ever since. After awhile though, we built a decent fan base and they got sick of us pausing the show to air RAW, so we nixed that idea & starting running on Tuesdays. That made us feel good.
CM: Who was it that trained you?
BB: Hell, Iīm still training. My first bumps and initial training were all under the wing of Magnificent Ty Magnus. He showed me the ropes and the basics and I took it from there. I used to frequent the New Mid South Training days at the old Mid South building. I was mostly there to recruit people for ACW, but learned alot from the boys up there that were training with Tom
Jones & company. But that was mostly just learning in ring stuff. I learned the psycology aspects of this game from people like Payton Scott, Chris Matthews, Angel Williams, Big John OīMalley, and basically just picked it up from experience. Before wrestling I was a touring and recording musician, as well as a stand-up comic for a couple years, a radio DJ, a television talk show host and an agent for several local acts throughout Detroit and Oklahoma. Iīve always been around
entertainment, and Iīve always had a crowd waiting. Wrestling brings the best of all forms of
entertainment. Itīs truly the ultimate form of entertainment. I also learned a lot by watching my idols... (Curt) Hennig, (Roddy) Piper, HBK (Shawn Michaels), (Ric) Flair, (Hulk) Hogan, Dusty (Rhodes), (Rick) Rude, Bret (Hart), you know the usuals.
CM: Who were your core group of wrestlers in the early ACW years?
BB: Let me get this straight. We were hardly wrestlers at that point. On our first few shows we only had 4 guys that had ever worked a wrestling match in front of a crowd before. They were Ty Magnus, Se7en, Jef Tiger & Jeffrey Parker. Guys that started in ACW were myself, J.K. Machina, John Zorthos, Lil Joe, Julian Wolfenbarger, Kool Ade. Cookie Man, Himm, Bitch The Clown, Betty Ray, and a host of other huge names. Ha Ha. But the thing is we still put on good entertaining shows. I was alway able to find the character that worked for these green beans and 99% of the time, they made it work. Our shows might have sucked as far as actual wrestling went, but we out-entertained any promotion I had seen by far. And we still do, we just caught up with the wrestling as well.
CM: Many people have criticised wrestlers who own feds and are the primary booker for "booking themselves to the top". Was this a concern for you? And how did you deal with any such criticism?
BB: Thereīs no harder position in this business than being the promoter, the booker, the creative
and attempting to be one of the boys. It doesnīt work so easily. You find out who your true friends are quickly. Iīve been accused of everything from "putting myself over" to "Not listening to anyoneīs ideas" to "not allowing Matt Garza to eat Tacos during the event". And I could knock off each accusation, but I can also fess up to it. ACW has been around for almost 4 years, and we just celebrated our 3rd year of doing live events and Iīve written nearly every word of every show, and been in charge everytime that ring had been set up. Of course there is going to be drama from time to time. Of course people are going to disagree with me. Of course people are going to quit. But compared to what Iīve seen and experienced elsewhere, we havenīt had squat worth of backstage drama. I only book the people I like. I could care less if they are the greatest workers or not. I do this for fun & thatīs it. Fuck the money. Fuck the stars in my eyes. This is for my
own personal enjoyment and for the enjoyment of those who want to partake. Nothing else. I only promise that I will bust my ass to get everyone in ACW over and I will bust my ass to write the best possible show I can muster. So far the compliment/complaint ratio is well in my favor.
CM: Any particular matches/events/people from the Lawton days you want to discuss?
BB: When I started it was me and J.K. Machina starting this game together. We trained the same days, worked the same moves and basically had the same desire and drive to learn the craft. He was probably the best friend I had at the time and out of everyone that was training we were the best by far. He had a great run in ACW, but didnīt make the trip to Texas with us. That caught me off guard, I never expected him to quit. He couldīve been awesome by now, and I hate the fact that it never came into fruition. Lil Joe had long been the backbone of ACW. Besides myself he is the only one to have made every single ACW event. Heīs always been there for me when I needed help setting up our monster ring and staging. Heīs by far the most athletic bastard in this entire circuit, but legit mental challenges have kept him from attaining the level of in ring skill he should easily be at. But I love Joe like a brother, not just because heīs black. John Zorthos.... geeesh....Zorthos and I have been the best of pals amd the very worst of enemies. The fact that we are the current tag champs in ACW still cracks me up, as well as the fact that I am featured on IZW cards. After all of the crap weīve been through, it amazes me that weīre both man enough to put all of that shit aside and successfully work together and retain a friendship that I do enjoy having. Johnīs heart and mouth were at constant war when he first came into ACW. He has always been a good person, but that damn pie hole just killed it for him. I fired Zorthos in early 2003 from ACW due to the drama cleansing period I was going through. ACW went on. Months later Zorthos introduced IZW in Lawton and threatened to run shows on the same day as I was, and was raiding our roster with promises of higher pay, etc. Then there was the time he came down to Wichita Falls, Texas and tried to steal the Old ACW... Ha ha... Good shit. I laugh about it now as does he Iīm sure. We both needed time to grow up as individuals and grow into this business. We finally started talking about a year ago and then we contrived the whole IZW invasion angle, that was huge money for us. Then to kill off that angle I joined him and went heel. Been side by side as the two most powerful people in independent wrestling ever since. Aaron Neill is by far one of the top 3 workers in this scene. Thereīs a reason why heīs both IZW and ACW champion right now. Sure, we had our drama, and from time to time Iīll read pot shots about me on his web site, but nothing I canīt handle. I legit like Aaron. Heīs a good kid with as much success in front of him ashe feels like taking. Se7en... Se7en is one of a very few guys that I will do the truly hardcore shit with. And Iīm sure he thinks of me in that same light.. And I donīt mean Hardcore sex either. Well, there was that one time in Lawton...uh.. nevermind. I enjoy a good juicing once in awhile and Se7en has always been there to make it happen. Barb wire Matches, thumbtacks, caged ladder matches, etc. etc. etc. Se7en was our first champion back then and Iīve always enjoyed booking him. I just wish he could be a little more reliable. Nothing sucks worse as a booker than advertising the shit out of a match and having to change the whole fucking show because of a no-show. It just screws everyone over, especially me. Hopefully this run heīs just starting with us will be a reliable one. Jef Tiger? Heīs just weird. Had some great ACW moments with him, but the rest of the locker room asked me to stop booking him basically. We just parted ways. He wouldīve been a great permanent roster member if heīd learn how to follow a run sheet. OīMalley... what can I say about the "Gold Whore"? Seriously.. heīs s freaking "Gold Whore". Heīs held the ACW Heavuweight title, IZW title, NWA Oklahoma title, SRPW Hardcore, MSWA Tri State, & Tag Team, ACW Hardcore title 7 damn times, and the tag titles here in ACW 3 times. Heīs a Gold whore and I love the guy to death. Sure, he can be a major shit talker at times, but so can I. I will say though, after everyone weīve had come and go, OīMalley is still here in ACW and I appreciate him for that and for being someone I consider a legit friend. Of course he wonīt admit to being my friend. Irish Prick! And of course our ring announcer Steve O. Heīs been a good friend of mine for years before ACW. Heīs taken awhile to seperate his duties
on the radio from his duties as a ring announcer, but heīs come a long way and heīs got the very best voice and act of any ring announcer Iīve ever seen in the indies. A few of the boys had a beef with him for verbally commenting and appearing to try and get himself over on the boys, but Steve O at that point didnīt even know what "getting over" meant.. A couple of them actually wanted tojump Steve O due to this. Let it be known that if anyone jumps Steve O, anyone...Heīs been my friend for years before ACW...and Iīll be the one beating your dumb ass for it. Be a professional
and talk to those you have a beef with. Thatīs goes for everyone in this circuit. Instead of whining like little bitches, talk it out. Itīs a lot more constructive than being a douche bag about it. Alright next question Mr. Burnham.. Or am I going to have to kick your ass again... Ha Ha!! I would personally like to thank the rest of this circuit for shitting all over an angle that could have been a lot of fun. Itīs almost like they say. "Whats this? Something interesting and Iīm not a part of it? I must defecate on it now!" No wonder this scene sucks so badly. Itīīs because of close minded dumb asses. Got an issue with it? Iīll be at The SRPW show September 16th.
CM: What led to ACW leaving Lawton and were there big concerns that you wouldnīt have the
place/people/etc needed to continue ACW in Texas?
BB: ACW left The Asylum in Lawton, OK for several reasons. First and foremost the owner of the venue turned his back on the place and stopped allowing me to advertise anything, especially wrestling. Then eventually he came up with the bullshit story that the landlord didnīt want wrestling going on in his building anymore. So I packed my crap and moved to Graham Central
Station in Wichita Falls, Texas where we would spend the next 2 and a half years. Aaron Neill and I went down there one night, checked the ceiling height and talked to the managers. They had nothing going on on Sundays and everything falls into place on April 6th, 2003. We did our first show there. It was slow, only brought about 60 people, but after that we never drew less than 125 heads and even topped the charts breaking the 400 barrier a couple times. All of this with not a single name booked.
CM: You mentioned that you lost JK Machina when you moved down to ACW. Did you lose any others as a result of the move? And who did you pick up that?
BB: With all due respect to these people, we took out a lot of trash. We now had the very best wanting to work ACW shows and the ones that couldnīt keep up got left behind in Lawton. Our roster was like the equivalent to driving an ī83 Ford Escort in Lawton, to cruising the streets of Wichita Falls in a new Dodge Stealth. Still not the best car ever driven, but a hell of a lot smoother over the bumps. Machina has done a few spots in ACW since quitting. He even nailed Dexter Hardaway with his finisher in a match once. Ginger Lee (Formerly Bitch The Clown) just returned as well. I forgive more people than Christ.
CM: There are several wrestlers who are well-known on the Oklahoma independent scene who became mainstays in ACW once it moved to Texas. How did they get in contact with you and do you have anything to say about them?
BB: Cream rises to the top baby! Ha Ha!! I met a lot of people through working other promotions myself. Iīve been blessed with the gift of gab and a lot of people got interested real quickly. Also ACW has a freedom that doesnīt really exist in the other promotions around here. Granted I write the run sheet and expect it to be followed, but the spots are written for that individual and I expect them to run with it and make it sing. Those who canīt make them sing usually end up blaming the writing and then accused me of not listening to their ideas when in all actuality they just suck at running programs. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh Yeah. ACW
created a buzz and many wanted to be a part of it. We push the envelope miles farther than anyone around here has the balls to do so and weīve been successful at doing it. Sex sells. Foul language sells. Violence sells and comedy sells and controversy sells. And we sell all of that in ACW. Not to mention itīs fun for us as well. We donīt care if Grandpa canīt bring his grandkids out to an ACW show. Itīs not for them. I hate rap music, therefore I donīt listen to it. Same logic.
CM: While you were running shows at Grahams, you created an ACW Cruiserweight Title. Had you picked up a lot of smaller talent when you made the move?
BB: I did that as a favor to Cade Sydal & Lil Joe. I wanted to get Cade over because heīs a dedicated little son of a bitch and I have a lot of respect for someone that travels four hours each way for shit pay and stays dedicated to the product. Joe...I have always felt like Iīve owed Joe as much as I could give him in my shows. Iīve never been a fan of cruiserweight titles. This isnīt boxing. The little guys can hang with the big guys and get over just as easily in my view. Hell I put our heavyweight title on X-Cal. I killed off the title when there was only about 4 legit cruiserweights left in ACW. It may come back if it makes sense to bring it back. I donīt like having titles just for the sake of having titles. Joe was a four time champion, Dexter held it the longest, I think Kenny Canpbell held it twice. Cade, X-Cal & Philip all held it as well. It was fun, but not fun enough for me to stay interested in it.
CM: What were some of your favourite angles you created (aside from the Payton Scott one, which Iīll address seperately) in this time period?
BB: Man there were so many favorites. I have always made a point to not have a single match on the card that didnīt have a storyline going into it or being created out of it.. So you can imagine how many weīve had. Some of my favorites were the most controversial ones. Like Bernie Donderwitz arguing with Ty Magnus over what was more serious; the Holocaust or Slavery. Weīve done all kinds of toungue in cheek racial spots. Mostly "Giant Penis" spots with Ty Magnus... uhh... others would include me selling to everyone that there was going to be a Japanese wrestler named Yoshiharu Tanaka tourning through our area and doing a show. Of course that was my sexy ass donned in all that crap. Jef Tiger & X-Cal had a odd relationship that always made for great backstage vignettes. OīMalley & Tyler Bateman trading the Hardcore title back and forth over 14 times was funny. The title changed hands at Taco Cabana in OKC, twice in OīMalleyīs living room, once at Wal Mart in the parking lot, great TV. Payton and I had a vicious feud that wouldnīt end for years. He actually brought out my then 2-year old daughter to the ring and held her between us. Cade was fun when he first came in declaring his racial ignorance and offering Lil Joe a watermelon and fried chicken for an apology. Angel Williams & Chris
Matthews had a year plus vicious feud that wouldīve gotten over anywhere. Man my head is spinning trying to think of shit. Go buy ACWīS Best of The Station years DVD, hopefully out next summer. Iīve been blessed with great performers. They usually make my visions out correctly. Then again some times they shit all over them.
CM: Would you care to give examples of some of the angles that didnīt go the way you expected
BB: That basically just boils down to bad acting skills by the individual that the spot was written
for. There are a lot of people in this scene that can work a match to its fullest, but can7acutet get a
storyline over to save their lives. Iīve learned that Hulk Hogan will always outdraw Chris Benoit. I
think maybe Ring Of Honor is a promotion that rears of the few exceptions. They feature a wrestling show based on the athletics of the performers as opposed to the ability to carry a program. Iīm sorry, but the fans Iīve brought in through my doors would leave after 20 minutes. But of course ACW fans or a bunch of crazy bastards. There have been a thousand times Iīve sat
inside the curtain wondering what the hell these people are doing in the ring and wonder if they have the ability to read a run sheet. I usually ask them if they can read as soon as they come through the curtain.
CM: How did you come up with the Payton Scott death angle?
BB: So here it is eh? It wasnīt an angle. He really died and we miss him dearly.
CM: Really? Funny. I saw him in the ring at an NWA-OK show several months after that happened.
BB: That was his twin brother Raymond Scott. They look and dress a lot a like. (laughs) Actually the death of Payton Scott came a long much like any other storyline. I never for a second thought that it would go any further than what Kevin Sullivan did back in WCW. It was all very loose and fun at first. Let me go on record as stating that I am proud of that gimmick. I am proud because it got people talking and they still talk. Bad publicity is still publicity. I know we pissed off a lot of people and that is one part of this that we should have done differently. To Paytonīs credit, we were a two headed monster behind this angle and made huge waves that reached all across the country. I got emails from promotions everywhere sending their condolences, I would
quickly respond by saying "Itīīs a fucking work!!!" 99% of them would email back saying things like "Brilliant" and "Thatīs fucked up, but it was a great job..." ACW ran the forbidden angle and did a damn good job of it, so yes I am proud. If I had to do it again, and yes I would do it again I would have let a few other in on it. Payton and I made a pact with very few others that this would be kayfabed all the way. Well, we didnīt know what a monster this was going to become. We didnīt think about those fans that came to our show every time the ring was up. As much as they hated the Payton character, they loved the man. So there we were, on the phone at 4 in the morning, both of us getting hammered from the entire wrestling community. Heīs in hiding and Iīm on the verge of breaking. Our loyalest fans were highly upset. Their kids were staying home from school crying over 8x10īs of Payton. Other promotions are running tributes. My phone never stopped ringing. Our web site got over 9000 hits in a week. I told Payton that weīre going to have to pull the plug on this. Weīre just hurting too many people. So I called every fan, worker and friend that we could get a hold of. He called a few as well. We slowly leaked it out that Payton wasnīt dead. I ended up putting the word HOAX across the web collage of his newspaper article that I made at home using Photo Studio. That shit looked good, didnīt it? The fallout from it was nowhere near the level I had thought it was going to be. Iīm sure some still have a negative attitde from it, but itīs far past the time theyīve gotten over it. All in all it hasnīt cost us much. I stand by the story and Iīm proud of it and once again I credt Payton but being so damn good at what he does and I can only half heartedly apologize for it. We did nothing that you havenīt seen on daytime TV a thousand times. We are an entertainment based promotion. My goal is to spark emotions in our fans, whether itīs love, hate, happiness, or sorrow. Thatīs my goal and this angle attained that goal, and thereīs plenty more to come. And the ones that are pissed about it, are the ones that werenīt included. Everyone that had the knowledge was well behind it, so poop on you.
CM: Letīs move on to some other federations outside of ACW. Have you worked for other feds down in Texas?
BB: There are no other feds in Texas!
CM: And, again, I think thatīs not correct. Thereīs NWA-SW, PCW, XCW...I could go grab my most recent issue of PWI and look up results for other federations in Texas.
BB: Well until I work there, they donīt exist.
CM: And you could have just said "No.". But OK. Moving on. Letīs move back up to Oklahoma. You had a pretty decent run in SRPW. Talk a little about your time there.
BB: I enjoyed my last run in SRPW. I had a vicious feud with Brandon Groom and loved every second of it. Groom is a protein shake with legs. He threw me around like a ragdoll. We had a pretty stiff match which is completely how I enjoy working. Iīve heard crap from a lot of people about how Groom is not very good or even safe in the ring. Well in our three or four matches he was very good and very careful throwing my fat ass around. I truly hope we can work again down the line. Iīve learned a lot since our feud and I would love to try it again with Mr. Creatine! My favorite SRPW moment, though, was when I was arguing with then commissioner Sam The Slithering Idiot ,as I called him (Slimy Sam Slither). I was in his face and yanked on his little goatee. Little did I know it wasnīt real. And when it came off it legit scared the shit out of me. I think I stomped on it like a dead bug and left the ring. I got to cut some promo time with Brent Albright, he was cool. And of course my 900 pin fall victories over (Michael)Faith. Ha ha!! I have always looked up to Faith. I like the guy. I have no beef with him what so ever. When they told me I was supposed to go over on him clean in Bristow, I was taken aback a little. I legit wasnīt going to job this guy out. So I came up with some bullshit ending and did my best to make him look good even though I went over. Then again at Mickeyīs I was told to pin him clean, but again I wouldnīt do it. I canīt remember the ending to that match, but I know it wasnīt a clean fall. Iīve heard that this drove a wedge between Faith and SRPW. I hate to have had a part in it, but thatīs the game eh? I consider all parties involved friends and opted to stay clear of the drama. What else did I do in SRPW, Burnham? You remember this shit. I know I put over Prophet once. Which was funny too. I was the number one contender to Groomīs title, but they wanted me to put over Prophet clean. I have no qualms putting anyone over at any time, but I questioned the logic. Prophet was as green as could be, but I bumped my ass off for him. The funny part of this match happened when I first got to the venue. I shook his hand and introduced myself and he immediatley tore into how the match was going to go. Now, Iīm not a seasoned veteran of the ring, but I had a few years on this guy. I basically cut him off and called the match. He was like "Well Dexter said that..." Again I cut him off. I put him over by DQ that night and he still looked good. My beef with a lot of bookers on the indy scene is that if youīre not paying me the money that WWE, NWA or others are paying me, donīt fuck with my match. Give me the story, give me the outcome, but leave that shit up to the people working. My favorite part of this business is calling the matches and doing something creative in that ring. I have no use for someone telling me spot for spot how my match is going to go. Like I said give me the time limit, how you want it to end, whoīs going over and the storyline if there even is one and I will make it sing. Whomever the senior guy is calls the match. Thatīs the way I work. If you want to pay me to work a match move for move, then Iīm your bitch, but until you do that, stay outta my shit. For the record I truly like (SRPW Owner) Sarah (Harmon) & Luc (Lapointe) even though they hate me at times.
CM: Were you running an SRPW "Invasion" style angle down in ACW while you were working up in SRPW? Dexter mentioned a cage match between him and Luc that was SRPW vs ACW.
BB: The SRPW angle was fun. We had Luc, Groom, Summer (Rain) and a couple others. The storyline went that I got fired from ACW by acting owner Payton Scott. But before I got fired I agreed to allow SRPW wrestlers into ACW to push their product. When they came in, I joined SRPW and came into ACW with them. I wore the SRPW shirt and everything. It was a lot of fun. The Dexter/Luc cage match was just another opportunity for them to push SRPW a little and add a match to the card that made sense to be in a cage. We built it up as a feud that has spanned
over several promotions. They both did great, Dexter had a hell of a juice going on. I didnīt know midgets could bleed that much. Weīve never done an ACW vs. SRPW angle. It may happen some day. I donīt think they want their asses handed to them though. Ha ha!
CM: I know then-ACW Champion Chris Matthews defended his title on an SRPW show. Was there any discussion of a similar angle to what you were doing down there happening up here?
BB Groom defended his SRPW title all the time in ACW. I truly wish that ACW, SRPW, MSWA & IZW would all work like that. The scene would be a lot beter. But every one has there fucking drama.
CM: Why did you finally decide to leave SRPW?
BB: That trip is a bitch.. And the day job thing didnīt click with the SRPW schedule. That wasnīt the greatest time for me in the olī personal life either. I told Sarah that I wanted to put over Groom in a Loser Leaves SRPW match and thatīs what I did. I havenīt been back since.
CM: You also worked a few of the early NWA-OK shows. You said earlier that one of the guys you admired most growing up was Dusty Rhodes. Was it at all intimidating working the NWA-OK show with him?
BB: Not really. Iīve never been one to get star struck. I giggle a bit when I see the pictures and
video from that spot, but while I was in there I was cool. I got to cut mics with one of the best of all time "If you wee-yal!" Heīs wined & dined with kings & queens, slept in alleys & dined on Pork & Beans and now heīs cut mics with Brandon Bishop. The honor should be all his. Actually I got to know Dusty a little bit over the phone trying to book his gig in North Texas. Heīs a good guy and Iīm looking forward to meeting him again on September 24th in Lawton at the IZW gig. Thanks to Chris Fox for giving me that spot.
CM: You were in the 6-shot to determine the first NWA Oklahoma Champion. Were you happy with your performance and opponents in that match?
BB: I truly believe that it was one of my best matches Iīve had. Mostly due to the fact that I love working Chris Matthews, John OīMalley & Brandon Groom. I was the first out in the match and stayed in there for about 40 minutes I think. I truly believed that the four of us shined bright in that match & made NWA OK look good. A couple funny spots during that match: OīMalley kicked me in the head and shrunk my neck about 2 inches. He said it was a reciept for an ACW spot that we did a week earlier when I chaired him quite stiffly in the face. So I thought we were even. Until I realized that he didnīt. Later he clobbered me wth a forearm that made me see baby Jesus! But thatīs all fun & games between OīMalley and Double B. Another funny moment was when I came off the top rope to the outside onto everyone. I heard Groom from 15 feet away, praying out loud "Please God, donīt let me get hurt!" Ha ha!!
CM: How about your memories of the Gauntlet Match for the first NWA Oklahoma X Division Title?
BB: The X Tournament was booked sloppy but fun none the less. I got to work with Matthews again whom I think cracked my neck legit with a german suplex that he decided to bridge with. I still have issues stemmng from that very move in Perry, OK. But Iīm the sloppy one right? I also got the chance to work with Scotty Charisma from Jersey. Scotty is an awesome person and I thank him dearly for the advice that I got from him and the match that he gave me. He went with a few of my silly ideas and I appreciated it greatly. Scotty has been on RAW a lot recently doing stints here and there. That dude that did the hometown challenge with Kurt Angle, he had the hood on trying to look like HBK, that was Scotty. Truly hope he gets as far as he wants to in the business. Good people are a bitch to find. Iīm glad that Dexter won that deal. If anyone in this scene deserves to win an X Division title, it was him.
CM: Any memories of your match with Dexter against Shark Boy & X-Cal?
BB: I have three different opinions about that tag match. First off, it was my first chance to work with Dexter Hardaway outside of Battle Royales, etc. I hope to do a lot more upon my return to SRPW. Dexter and I have completely different styles in the ring which would make for fun not only tagging with the punk, but especially beating his ass in a match. More on him later though, I owe him a reciept for his interview. Anyways. X-Cal is one of my favorite people in this scene. I could care less of his opinions about me, but I like the character he stumbled into. X-Cal is another young punk I canīt wait to work with somewhere down the road. X-Cal wasnīt even supposed to be in that match though. Iīm not looking for a pat on the ass or anything, but I lobbied quickly for X-Cal as soon as we found out Olī Doink The Clown was a no-show. So we stuck X-Cal in there and allow me to explain something that I got a lot of heat for from the NWA brass. When we decided to stick X-Cal in the match, I desperately wanted it to make sense to the fans why this skinny little ethnic smorgasboard was in there and not Doink as had been advertised for the gig. I asked management if we could run a quick promo explaining the deal and the exact response I got was "Go do whatever makes sense". So we did it. We had X-Cal go out and cut a promo about wanting to fight for Dexterīs (then) NWA OK X Division title. Dex and I ran out and beat the poor half-black son of a bitch down. We cut a promo about how Doink was drunk or something and couldnīt make it. Then Shark Boy ran out and cleared the ring. He made it apparant that he wanted X-Cal to fill in for Doink and the match was set up properly! So the night comes and goes and the next thing I know I get heat for "Calling my own spots" and "Not listening to anyone", all of which was later denied being said by everyone. Well, sombody said that shit. Was it Jesus speaking through a medium? I doubt it. I saw a flaw in the booking that needed to be fixed, I got permission and I fixed it. That was just some of the crap I got from that night. Which leads me to Shark Boy. I have always enjoyed the character, especially some of the stuff he did with New Jack on early TNA shows. He seemed alright at first until the chain smoking and complaining started. This guy would whine & bitch about a 10 second orgasm. First he didnīt want X-Cal in there because he wasnīt sure if he had ever wrestled before. Then he bitched about something Dexter wanted to do in the match. Then all the while he was bitching to them about "If I was a worker or not". Then after all was said and done he bitched all the way to the airport about NWA-OK, the venue, the match, etc. etc. etc. All he did was chain smoke and bitch the entire night. And yes I screwed up a spot in our match. Yes I did. But it was an easily fixable spot. At least it should have been. I went for a reversal towards the end of the match and my sweaty nasty hand slipped off his sweaty nasty hand and the reversal never happened. When I went to fix it, he started up with an atitude during the match which pissed me off and completely made me not give a shit about this masked idiot. From what the crowd said and from what the boys said, it was a good, solid match. We never lost the crowd and I was happy with it. Yes I messed up a spot though and we all know how great everyone in this scene is to where they never mess up in the ring. Maybe I donīt get to do this for a living every night of the week. Maybe I donīt want to. I mess up from time to time just like everyone else does. Does Snitsky ring a bell? How about Heidenreich? So shut up. After the match and about 40 cigarettes, Shark Boy came up to me and tried to apply some knowledge, in which I soaked in and somewhat appreciated, but I
had already branded him with the label "Douche Bag" by this point. Thanks to Dexter, X-Cal, NWA People and even Shark Boy for that match. For the record I have never worked for NWA since.
CM: Why is that?
BB: I donīt know. I made myself available. Mr. Fox asked me a couple times online if I wanted to work. It just never came to be, and thatīs cool. Sure Iīd like to work there just as I would like to work anywhere, but I really donīt take it to heart nor do I care one way or another. I like Chris a lot and I like to think that I helped him get into this scene in my own way. Chris and I had met through the music medium way before ACW or his NWA endeavors. I ran The Asylum Concert Club in Lawton and he was the tour manager for an awesome band called Boy Hits Car, who does Litaīs intro. Some drunk jarhead marine broke into their tour bus and I got him in the olī cobra clutch and tossed his ass out of the RV. It was funny because he had a VHS in one hand and a beer in the other, totally crashed out on the bed inside. Idiot. Fox contacted me when the NWA OK concept came around and I got into his vision and did my best to assist. I really had nothing to gain out of it. I just wanted to attach my name and contacts to something new and interesting. But without doing so I never would have gotten to work with Dusty Rhodes, Smoke Boy, err...Shark Boy, Scotty Charisma, etc. I appreciate those memories. And itīs no secret, Iīm hardly a body donna at this point of my life. I hardly have the wash board abs and 24 inch pythons. I can outwork anyone in this scene on the mic, which has been the basis for any push Iīve ever gotten in this scene. I know my in-ring work is better now than ever. A couple years ago I thought I knew what I was doing, but watching tape letīs me know otherwise. Ha Ha!! I know that I can add to any show I am put on.. Iīm not going to win a body building contest, but I will entertain any crowd put in front of me. I always have and I always will. If NWA, SRPW, IZW, TPW, MSWA, etc. etc, want someone that will push the envelope just enough to peek inside, as well as entertain their crowd in a manner that no one else on the bill can, then book me. If you have no need for this, then donīt. I have a 3 year old daughter that I would much rather spend the weekend with as opposed to 200-300 pound sweaty bastards or reporters in the front row distracting me with their super unwashed New England Squirrel mullet.
CM: Nice. You mention TPW. Youīve worked 2 times for them and I think itīs fair to say that the experiences were vastly different. Letīs start with your first experience there.
BB: I was supposed to work Brandon Groom for the SRPW title that night, but I was travelling with John OīMalley whom was booked at TPW earlier in the day. I was sitting there and (TPW Booker) Rocco (Valentino) asked me if I wanted to work. I said "What the hell?" and suited up. I worked Romero(Contreras) in the main event and put him over after stretching his ass out and working him nicely. The match was okay. I was just being goofy and having fun with the situation and all in all it was a positive experience. TPW reminded me back then,of ACWīs earliest days. I had a good time and wanted to come back eventually.
CM: What led to your return and how was the environment different?
BB: Well I told the new owners of TPW that I would be willing to come in for literaly pennies to help them get on their feet. My true intentions were to get a couple of my boys, "The Kidd" Matt Garza & Carnage, some experience outside of ACW. So it all got booked up and ready to happen. During the period before the show I decided to get on their message board on their web site and talk a little trash just to make sure that everyone knew that Double B was on his way and make sure that everyone would be talking. Water isnīt cool as soon as you stick it in the freezer Burnham. Howīs that metaphor? I had no other way to promote myself and my character to the TPW fans other than this stupid web site. Upon booking I had no idea that TPW pushed the
family thing as hard as they did. I come from a differnet universe all together. I like people to be talking about me before I walk through the door. Iīm the "cubes are frozen before they even crack open the freezer door" See how I carried that into another metaphor? And I accomplished exactly what I had set out to do. I know this because I had about a third of their crowd pay to see me. I have their names in my memory if you donīt believe me. Well due to the message board
assault, I got a few of the boys in TPW slightly heated and thatīs fine with me. I can handle myself. I even heard through the grapevine that a couple of dumbasses up there were planning on kicking my ass. Ha Ha!! The funny thing is that I got permission to assault that forum from management and I did basically what I was given the OK to go ahead and do. Maybe I crossed the lines a little, but I certainly didnīt break any of the rules. I never said fuck, shit, cocksucker, faggot, pussyfart, bitch, Goddammit or even the worst of them all...ass! I even kept my content PG for the most part, but I still managed to get my word and messages across and I made them money that night in doing so which was another of my intentions. Get my boys some ring time and make TPW money. I did both. Well the king pin of the Anti-Bishop foundation was the legendary Rocco. Now I could easily trash poor Rocco to hell and back for disrespecting me and basically acting like a complete douche bag, but I wonīt. Rocco and I are diffeent animals in the same small jungle. We see things very differently. He likes his show to be clean and church like. I like my shows to be filthy and laced with the blood of the almighty Satan. I can book an interesting show, he can book his kind of shows. I get over with the crowd by expressing anger, sarcasm and legit sounding promos. He gets over by coming out to "Thatīs Amore". I really have no use for Rocco in any fashion, nor do I have anything to gain by thrashing him. I was pissed off that he failed to shake my hand when I promised him before the show that he had nothing to worry about. I was pissed when he and that fat chic (TPW DJ Anna) cut off my mic in the middle of my promo. I was pissed off that he had Carnage, who by the way is 420lbs of a pure evil wrecking ball, completely job out to Romero in under 5 minutes by clean pinfall. And I was pissed that he couldnīt open his mind and shut his mouth long enough to absorb someone elseīs ideas & style. But like I said, the only reason I went up there, took off work from two jobs, worked for pennies, for a total of about -$230 is to get Garza & Carnage in the ring and help them make a few buck. I did both and I got another name or five to add to my prestigious "People I have pissed off" list. I like the management up at TPW, though. They have always been two of my favorite people in this scene for some reason.
CM: Thereīs another Brandon Bishop who wrestles in the Mid-West. Have you ever had contact with him and are you aware of any confusion between the two of you?
BB: Well for the record there is only one Brandon Bishop and that&Acutes me. At least thatīs what I
would say in character. Chicagoīs Brandon Bishop goes by the moniker "The Physical Fascination" and I couldnīt think of a title more fitting for that monster. The guy has muscles on top of his muscles and he makes me sick. He has the best physique of any person I have ever met. And yes we met. I contacted him via email in September of 2004, and made kind of a joke about us sharing a name. Shark Boy of all people has worked both of us and informed us both that we knew of each other. Finally our e-mails turned into phone calls and our phone calls led to me booking him in ACW He came down from Chi-Town in January to a big build up. In the shows, I stated that I knew of him, but he wouldnīt be stupid enough to come down from Chicago just to
confront me over a name. In the shows I even said that I threatened to sue him for rights to the name. Payton Scott said he was coming down someday, but didnīt say when. Of course that night The CEO Group, consisting of John Zorthos, Aaron Neill and myself beat the crap out of Payton, prompting a suprise run in save by this muscle bound monster I shared a name with. Later in the night we wrestled each other, Bishop vs. Bishop. Outside of the storylines, I have met very few workers that are as cool as this guy. He paid most of his own way down here, just to make this storyline happen. And he was a pleasure to have in our dressing room. Now I admit to hating the fact that my name kin has a body made of gold and armor while his name kin has a body of ricotta cheese & Play Dough, but it was a classic moment for ACW and the fans were amazing to him and the storyline, even though it was hard for them to cheer for anyone. I think they started up a "Chi Town" Chant. Clever fans we have. Last I heard the other Double B joined the National Guard. Hopefully he has some time in the future for some more work in this area. If we had 10 of him in this scene our circuit would be amazing.
CM: You mentioned earlier that you were planning on heading back to SRPW. By the time this interview sees print, the next SRPW show will mark your reappearance. What brings you back to them and what do you hope to accomplish there that you didnīt before?
BB: Once again Iīm just using whatever conacts I have to get my boys a push. Carnage will be a force in this region as soon as he wants to be, which is not too far away. Matt Garza is a little Mexican punk that I took under my wing. Heīs one of the best trainees I have ever had and if I can use my name to get him booked, heīll take it from there and get himself recognized. Iīm proud of these bastards, but they need to see more of the world than ACW. Also like I said I like SRPW. Plus I owe a few people up there a couple of reciepts. Bobby Burns and I had a nice forum war. Why do I always mess with people twice my size? Also in character I would like to mend the screw job they gave me over a year and a half ago.
CM: At this point, I want to throw out some names of people that we havenīt talked much about and you just give me your impressions or memories of them. Start with Jeff Parker.
BB: Are you serious? Jeffery Parker? Wow youīre starting off with the cream of the crop arenīt you? Parker was a toothless, 98lbs guy I met that owned a wrestling ring, which he eventually sold to me. That ring is currently rusting outside behind the old Asylum Concert Club. Parker used to come at us with stories about how he was the original NWO Sting and how he had a
contract with WCW and westled for the WWF with his brother under the tag team name The New York Express. He was old, brittle, and clueless. Generally he was a nice person, with his heart in the right spot, but he failed to do anything but piss everyone of and just simply annoy us. I kept Parker on the early roster because A) I needed faces and B) he did help us out a lot in the beginning. I worked up a white trash trailer park resident gimmick for him and he played it to a T because it really wasnīt two centimeters from the truth. He had a character wife named Betty Ray who would beat him in the ring and complain when he lost that she wouldnīt be able to make the trailer payment. We even ran a gimmick where he was under the influence of a couple of black people that turned him into a pimp. That shit was hilarious. My fondest memory of JP was when we had John Zorthos, whoīs gimmick used to be to hyptnotize his opponents, he had Parker under and told him that whenever he heard the song "Sex Bomb" by Tom Jones he would break out into dance. Well sure enough during matches weīd jam out "Sex Bomb" and right there in the middle of the match Parker would break into dance which caused him to lose. Classic shit. Iīd like to bring that gimmick back. Not Parker, but the hyptnotism. I can hear Zorthos screaming as I say this "Noooo!"
BB: Himm was my sound man at the Asylum club. When we started ACW, it was he and I tooling around the ideas. I think heīs the one who introduced me to Parker. I truly liked Himm as a friend, but as a wrestler he wasnīt anywhere near good. But he was dedicated to his character to say the very least. Shaved his head into a mohawk and dyed it purple. Wore a white jump suit & carried a stick with a skull on top called "Papa Voodoo". All he could say in promos was "Himm!!!" Lucky for us, our ring announcer Steve O spoke fluent "Himm" and could translate. I put a group of greenies together to run in small spots & called them the Inmates. Himm was the leader, The Cookie Man & Bitch the Clown were the other Inmates. The gimmick was great, the talent just wasnīt there. I think our friendship went to shit due to his lack of push in ACW. I guess he thought that just because he worked there and was my partner that he
deserved a bigger push. Shit, I gave him 4 Hardcore title runs. By the way his Skull on a stick, Papa Voodoo, actually beat Himm in a match, and won the Hardcore title. Yes, I put a title on an inanimate object & Iīll do it again. Himm faced Papa Voodoo later in the night and won his title back. You gotta love ACW. Ha Ha!!
CM: Julian Wolfenbarger.
BB He is John Zorthosī legit brother. He was one of very few that had actually wrestled a match before working in ACW when we started. At first Julian was cool. The Wolfenbarger Family had a huge role in helping get ACW off the ground in the beginning and keeping it off the groud for several months. Julian and I stopped seeing eye to eye and looking back on things now I understand. He was a decent worker. I loved the gimmick of The Attorney I threw on him. He played it alright. I made him an original member of The CEO Group with Zorthos, Ty Magnus and I and I put the tag straps on him and Zorthos twice. We still donīt like each other very much and I think weīre both fine with that.
CM: Dexter Hardaway. You said you owed him a receipt for the interview I conducted with him.
BB: I said that jokingly, but then again "Iīm not the smartest man around." For the most part Dexter put what I did over. I think his "not smart" comment was based on some of the storylines Iīve decided to run with, and Iīd almost have to agree with him there. Dexter would fit nicely into ACW, and I would love to have him on the roster full time and in a capacity where I can rely on him and push him. He would have a lot of fun down here in Texas if he gave himself a chance and committed. But as far as me not being smart... I hope heīs not comparing me to the rest of the business people in this scene.
CM: Bernie Donderwitz.
BB: Thats a touchy one there. I really have no beef with Bernie. ACW gave birth to the Bernie character and at first it got over great. After awhile no matter who I put him in there against it just didnīt work, and he seemed bored with coming down. One time he asked me if he was still the Hardcore Champion, like he didnīt give a shit whether he was wearing title in my promotion or not. From that point I stopped giving a shit about that character. Why should I if he doesnīt give a shit about the promotion? So when he no-showed us after a highly publicized match, after having talked to him he night before, he proved that heīs not good enough for us, and not worth the time and effort I spent building him up. As many will tell you, I work my ass off trying to make everyone on my roster look as good as possible. I really had high hopes for the Bernie character. It was unique, controversial, and entertaining, but it fizzled away like a taco fart. I wish him luck elsewhere and hope he has a long safe career. Thatīs all.
CM: Tyler Bateman
BB: Tyler is a fun person to have around. I really like the stuff he did with Kenny Campbell as Team Shenanigans in ACW. Iīve seen Tyler be the best worker on the card and Iīve seen him not give a shit. When Tyler is on, heīs really on. Heīs on hiatus from ACW due to work issues, and thatīs completely understandable. I miss having him around, and have always enjoyed working him. I think when Tyler gets a few years older heīll go as far as he wants to go. Tyler has always been one of the lucky ones that can decide their own fate. He could succeed beyond all expectations or he can fuck it all up. Itīs up to him. I truly hope he gets far and makes it back to ACW soon.
CM: Cade Sydal.
BB: Iīve had beefs with Cade in the past over petty little shit, but Iīm a promoter. I have to have
beefs with everyone from time to time. Thatīs my fucking job. The only negative thing I will say about Cade is that he needs to add mass and color to his frame. Everything else about him is positive in my eyes. Heīs the most dedicated guy in this circuit and one of the best self-promoters. Iīve seen around here as well. I enjoy watching Cade in the ring and he gets better with every match. Cade is one of those people I talk to almost everyday through some medium of comminication and we always come up with something fun to do. I wish I had that opportunity with everyone on the roster. Maybe if Bernie wouldīve called me from time to time and ran through ideas with me, heīd still be on the roster. Cade & Mitch Carter are currently The Pretty Young Things in ACW and they are getting over huge. I will continue to push Cade and make him look like a millions bucks for as long as he wants me to. I genuinely like the kid and will work my ass off for those who work hard for me.
CM: Kool Ade.
BB: Kool Ade. Man, if I could go back and pluck a guy from the old roster and keep him around it would be Kool Ade. He had a great look, great mic skills, great personality, and had the potential to be a very good worker. He was a bowling ball of a man at about 300lbs, but could do leap frogs and frog splashes and every other move with the word frog in it. I guess he messed
up his back and had to quit. He came back once and did a run in on Jef Tiger, where he ended up slamming Sonny C in ACW for whatever reason. Kool Ade will always have a place in ACW, he was kind of like the Big Daddy Moore of ACW. Not just because they were both black either. Donīt try that shit on me damn you!
CM: Angel Williams
BB: Angel Williams was another name that started in ACW, before he was known as the Dark Angel, a name that I never liked and Iīm glad he agreed to go with a name as opposed to a gimmick. When Angel came in I think he was just there to beat the shit out of us poor ītards and teach us a thing or three about wrestling. We learned. I learned. I learned plenty from working with and against Angel in and out of the ring. If anyone in this scene has a legitimate shot at walking down one of Vinceīs ramps itīs gonna be Angel Williams. Right now heīs in the process of relocating to Louisville with an attempt of making that happen. I told him that heīll always have a home in ACW and Iīll always be here for support if Iīm needed. I only put my titles on people I figure that I can rely on and trust to represent my business well. Heīs a two time former heavyweight champion and I held the tag titles with him. Heīs also the longest reigning ACW Heavyweight Champion weīve ever had at 9 months. That should say enough about my opinions on The Widowmaker.
CM: Chris Matthews.
BB: Well heīs a three time former ACW champion and another one Iīve regretfully lost to a Louisville relocation. Iīve seen Matthews work in every promotion around here and I truly believe that his best stuff was displayed in ACW by far. I wish the rest of the scene could have seen some of the shit weīve done with Matthews. When heīs got a good storyline and some motivation behind him, heīs by far one of the best weīve ever had. Chris Matthews is also a cool
guy that doesnīt let business and friendship get all intertwined. I hated losing both Matthews and Angel, but like I said a thousand times I support their decisions to give it a shot out there. Matthews is another one I loved working in the ring and learned a ton from. I thank him for that and canīt wait until the next time we roll.
CM: What do you have to say to the fans that have supported you for the past few years?
BB: Our fans are the hottest anywhere and you would know that if youīd make the trip, you lazy bastard. Weīve lost a few fans with the transition to the new venue here in Wichita Falls, but we still have a loyal following. I had these people cheer my name at the top of their lungs, scream "ACW" like manaics and curse me out of the building like drunken pirates. I adore ACW fans. I wish all promotions around here could have fans like ours As far as the fans everywhere else I work, Just thanks for coming to the show. Keep doing it. Bring friends. Bring family. There is some good stuff happening in IZW right now. Theyīre about to rise up from the bottom of the pack and claim this area. NWA was doing good, but I heard through the grapevine that they may be closing up shop soon. Tulsa has their silly little war going on, but both promotions are worth the price of admission. I think weīd have a much better scene if these lazy fucking wrestlers that show up to shows, wrestle, and then go home complaining about the turn out, if they would get off their asses and promote themselves and the promotion theyīre working for weīd basically double our draws. Iīm not talking about the boys that have to travel 4 hours to get to a
gig. Iīm talking about the locals. How many people are on a MSWA show? about 18? How many people are they bringing? About 75? Imagine if those 18 workers passed out 100 flyers each, which the law of return means they would bring in about 10 heads a piece. Thatīs 75 regulars plus 180 fans that the wrestlers brought in. Not to mention concessions and merchandise sales would double, if not triple. Just get off your asses people if you want this scene to kick ass, kick it in the ass.
CM: Well, I guess that just about covers it all. Any final comments?
BB: Of course. This is Brandon Bishop youīre talking to mister.
CM: Well, feel free. This is your chance to open wide and express yourself as the last thing the readers read.
BB: Letīs see, what can I say that I havenīt already said in this epic interview? What can I put into
words that will without fault cover my true opinions and expressions about this wrestling scene and the wrestlers in it? Itīll have to be somewhat in character, somewhat shoot, somewhat worked and somewhat controversial if I want to retain any such aura that I currently display. How about I end this interview in song.?
"Thereīs always someone...talking shit on someone
and that someone is usually me!
So when that someone talks shit on this one
let it be known that, Im proud to be me.
So if youīre that someone, talking down to this someone.
like Iīm noone you best be prepared.
Because this someone will beat the shit out of you for fun...
Nah, why would I bother? Because I donīt care...
(OK BURNHAM SING ALONG!!!)
I donīt Care! I donīt care! I donīt care!
Youīre all gay, thatīs what I say.. Yeah, I donīt care!
I donīt care who you are , or who you know
I donīt care if your name is Rocco..
I donīt care if you canīt get it out of your head.. that PAYTON SCOTT isnīt really dead..
I donīt CAAAAARRREE!!!!
I donīt care if you think I "ainīt" smart.
just because you come up to my belt and you suck in my farts.. I donīt CAAARE!!
I donīt care! I donīt care! I DOOOONNīTT FUCKING CAAAAAARRREEE!!!!
Ah.. I feel much better!