(I affectionately refer to this post as “RELOADED” because of the issues getting the Youtube links to actually take intially when this went up. I take pride in providing good content to go along with (hopefully) good writing; so the lack of that rather upset me. With that set, I hope you enjoy the blog post the way it was meant to be read. Have great one, I strive for quality control – Management)
“I-ya/ I against I/ flesh of my flesh and mind of my mind/ two of a kind but one won’t survive/ my images reflect in the enemies eye/ and his images reflect in mine the same time.”
Been getting a lot of questions lately since my Resistance Pro debut about how I went from this…..
What can I tell you? I aim to cause cardiac arrests.
But it leads me to the subject matter of our blog this day. Why can change be such a scary thing? Once you start bending the rules of what is engrained; grounded people can become irrational and unhinged. Isn’t that life however? No forevers or constants? The only promise being the promise of change. No memos, carrier pigeons, telegrams, texts, or psychic messages.
Get with the program or get gone.
Wrestling has GOT to be one of the best examples in terms of a fanbase who lives by “if it ain’t broke etc etc etc…”. As vocal as they can be about what they don’t like; sudden changes go about as well as death metal at a Baptist revival.
“Sugar, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I don’t? -Ahem-
1. JBL’s title reign
2. Get the “F” out (WWE’s name rebranding).
3. John Cena: From “Word Life” to “Serious, Never Give Up, Main Eventer”
4. The Roster Split
5. Brodus Clay: Monster Big Man to Dancing Dinosaur
List goes on and on. Some complaints are warranted, others not so much. My point being that without change, we enter a new realm defined as “stagnant”.
stag·nant/ stagnənt/ Adjective;
- Showing no activity; dull and sluggish: “a stagnant economy”.
So when I was approached by Resistance about the idea of Lock-UP, I wasn’t sure how to handle it or think on it. It wasn’t a change I was interested in on the surface. I can’t stand stereotypes. I’d like to think people are how they are and while they may be funny to laugh at or poke at, a life being defined as one can be insulting. Wrestling especially hasn’t been kind to most African-Americans in terms of portrayal. Hell, a lot of nationalities for that matter. When you plot a gimmick around race as the BASIS instead of the character as the basis and their race as a support, then offense and lack of feeling for the character often follow. So when I decided I was going to take on a basketball gimmick and later, a racier prisoner persona, I always made sure to go into these with ONE thing in mind.
“I want them to see a basketball player/wrestler/prisoner first. It just so happens I’m black.”
I’d like to say it’s been mission accomplished no matter how you see me. I also want to assure that my wholesomeness and dedication to entertain hasn’t been compromised because of my moonlighting as a prisoner of KOA Penitentiary. Did Denzel suddenly stop being an incredible actor because he did dirt in Training Day? Or perhaps the late Heath Ledger lost all of his pretty boy status the moment he did his iconic portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight. Both of these MASTERS of their craft not only won Oscars for their work, but they challenged everything we thought we knew about their abilities. In the process, they even challenged themselves. The change you started out hating became a standard you’d never accept anything less than now.
I’ve always hated when any performer finds a formula and gets lazy. They lose the fire to better themselves and ultimately, create a better experience for the eyes fixated on them and the hearts waiting to be sent into a frenzy.
So when a packed house at The Excalibur stopped seeing me as a smiling, slapstick cartoon of a wrestler and got behind an intense, sharp, caged animal of an imprisoned scraper fighting for eventual freedom; voices in unison as they chanted for our performance as we were being chained back up like wild dogs….it changes what you know you’re capable of. There is no “act” as one telling of Sugar vs the other. They are all sides, thoughts, and emotions of the same soul who’s writings you’re reading. It’s the layers that separate the guys who fill holes on cards vs. the ones who actually stand out. They saw a change that they couldn’t deny once they accepted it.
If all you see is a strut or an orange jumpsuit, look closer. The nuances and details are what breathe life into content. There are heels and then there is William Regal. For my Regal fans out there, you know why he’ll live on as one of your favorite villains and it’s not because he played it safe with the material he was given. He ran with it. Even when he was a good guy, he made a hell of a good guy and it was a change we welcomed.
As a performer or looking on at this art, change is what leads us to new frontiers and grand experiences that surpass the ones we knew. We can’t fear a new take on an idea we’ve grown comfortable with and I never knew a time when our business thrived on being boring. Challenge yourself. As a fan, open your mind to like something unless it’s obvious no care has been put into the change. As a performer, taking that unknown step may be the step on the gas pedal needed to carry you to the next level. Have the guts to make that move. Scared money don’t make none and history isn’t written by the wusses of this world.
- I’d like to give shouts to newest #KOA member TAKA Suzuki (@takasuzuki1real on ze’ Twitter). Ken Scampi and Bill Carr of Team TREMENDOUS, and Beyond Wrestling for allowing this match below to have happened. Most fun I’ve had this year and I’m so pleased at the response this has gotten as a whole. This year has really been about letting go and just GOING FOR IT in my matches lately, be it serious or fun, and with results like this; I’d say that mantra is what I needed. I have received questions about it and YES, myself and TAKA are available for bookings as RUSH HOUR (yes, original I know. So is every other thought in wrestling :p) and we look forward to turning out a ring near you. Enjoy guys!
-Upcoming shows for me including AIW‘s April 6th event “Straight Outta Compton” vs ACH, Gary Jay, and Eric Ryan; HWA‘s Heartland Cup tournament on April 20th & 21st; Midwest Wrestling on April 22nd which will feature the first LIVE edition of the Halfcourt Lounge, & I AM confirmed for AIW’s JT Lightning tournament on May 11th & May 12th which should be quite the field! Come check me out and those are just a few of the dates I’ve got going on. More in the future and in between!
- Special shout and good will going towards my dude, Uhaa Nation (Give the sensation a shout over on @UhaaNation). Jonathan Gresham was always high on Nation, telling me that if he ever got a real chance, he’d blow the wrestling’s mind. He did just that on a faithful day in Indiana during Dragon Gate’s tryouts and not only impressed, but went on a tear that encompassed DGUSA, overseas for Dragon Gate, CZW, EVOLVE, and others. Most of all, he’s a humble soul with a real love for this business. His work ethic is insane and it hurts to hear about his DGUSA injury coupled with the fact that he will see nearly a year of inactivity due to it.
Some guys are blessed with tools, but lack the heart for you to care if they make it or not. No question about the heart on Nation. He wants it and I expect him to be back on a tear like no other when his body is ready for it. From a fellow Down South Georgia Boy who could see what all the hype was about in the PERSON, not just the matches, you need to get back and soon. I’m sure it won’t just be me that’d agree, daddy-o. Best wishes.
Well, no rest for the big-haired. Another blog another time with more thoughts, more stories, and definitely more reason for you to stay tuned to the escapades of a cat with a dream ya just can’t suffocate. Truth be told, even for the people that don’t want it for me, I want success more than I want to breath…so watch me work.:)