Welcome back to part two of Big FN Joe, the interview. Ahead of Games of Death 2020, The Rise Wrestling figurehead had so much to say that we had to break it into two parts. This time, we chat about dream deathmatches, ring attire, and the US invasion of British deathmatches.
With Rise planning on making history at G.O.D, and with you already making history by having the first no ring deathmatch in the UK, what other types of deathmatches would you like to bring to the UK from Japan, United States…?
The ultimate fantasy booking would be an exploding, no rope barbed wire match, but I think that would be hard in England with the props, explosions, finding a venue, even a promoter with enough money to do something like that.
Let’s just put a ring up in a field and use fireworks…
Trust me, I’d be, up for that. But, unfortunately, struggling artists can’t afford to do such things. I’ve got some stupid ideas knocking around that I’d love to do. I kinda like the old school gimmicks like can you remember the really bad junkyard match from WCW? Not like Zona 23. A lot of the vignettes border on like comedy and whatnot. I kinda like that stuff in wrestling too. All the old obscure videos with like the Head Hunters brawling in the saunas.
The old FMW days…
Yeah, I loved those types of things. I’d probably steal the more obscure gimmicks because pretty much everything has been done except the exploding barbed wire.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the infamous exploding barbed wire in the middle of a lake where a guy gets gutted by a sickle match recreated anywhere…
Yeah, that’d be fucking awesome, but trying to get it to happen in this day and age would be impossible. Maybe, I would like to see a Cage of Death in England. If TNT is working with CZW, then that would be cool. It’s just a case of having a promoter invest the kind of money to invest in a big crazy gimmick.
Speaking of CZW, will we see you in Tournament of Death again this year?
I’d like to be as I want to get my name out there more this year. Whether or not it happens yet, hasn’t been decided. However, it does make sense not to bring me back. They always have their British guy. First, they had Havoc, then Drew Parker, then me…
Aren’t you our top new wave deathmatch talent though?
I’m trying to be. I want to be in it, and I want to have a better showing this year.
You’ve definitely got a big showing coming up with No Holds Barred Volume 2…
Yes, against Matt Tremont. I cannot wait for that show. It’s completely mad, they’ve got Essa Rios, and I’ll finally meet Nick Gage. It’s gonna be cool.
As we were talking about the US Invasion of TNT, you guys have SHLAK as an entrant, that has to be a dream opponent right there?
I’m so happy he’s coming over. He’s 100% a dream opponent. That would be a great match for me. People who only follow SHLAK will see me, which hopefully means being exposed to a whole new audience.
In terms of improving its reach, G.O.D has done great, you have Clint Margera, SHLAK coming in, increasing the number of competitors to nine…
To be honest, I don’t like the 9-man tournament. I prefer uniform tournaments, either 8-man or 12-man tournaments. I’d personally love four four-way matches like the NGI tournament. I would personally like more people involved. I think four-way matches lead to more craziness, and people can do really fucked up shit. But I’m not the booker. It’s definitely got a bigger reach this year, and a lot more people are talking about it. Which is good as that was our intention with the first one.
Can you see British and American companies continuing to collaborate?
I hope so because there are some really good guys in England, but it’s a case of wait and see. Hopefully, there’s a market for them, and these types of shows continue. I do hope we all work together. I dunno man, it’s wrestling, anything’s possible.
This is a more obscure question posted by one of our writers, why the underpants?
Why not? In real life, I work security. I work doors, and the number of times you have your trousers ripped in a real fight; you’d be surprised. I was just joking with Darwin once when we were shooting a promo video in London. I was pushing him in a wheelchair and I sort of said would this be more comedic if I was pushing you in security gear like trousers and a shirt or would it be more comical and get more attention if I was in a pair of tighty whities. Like my fat arse has ripped my trousers and it just got a lot of attention for doing nothing, a cheap pop. It kind of got people talking either way whether they liked it or not, so I just kept it. It adds more comedy if I’m brawling around the streets in a pair of tighty whities.
To me, wrestling is so abstract and stupid anyway that why can’t a guy be in a pair of tighty whities? They’re no different to trunks. So why don’t they get the same response? If I was in white trunks, no one would fucking talk about it. But because they’re tighty whities… If they were white trunks, you wouldn’t ask that question. You’d think he’s got a fat gut hence the shirt and trunks combination. Plus, wearing the tighty whities takes the heat off everything.
Also, I like the idea of all these deathmatch wrestlers will wear so many fucking clothes. At least when I wrestle, yeah, I’ve got a top on, but it’s really thin, and I don’t really care if it comes off and I’m wearing tighty whities. I don’t wear any knee pads or elbow pads. I think that takes a level of commitment. Whereas a lot of deathmatch wrestlers wear jeans and three or four t-shirts.
So, I remember a line from commentary during G.O.D last year say, “Big FN Joe created this tournament, created this tournament because he thinks deathmatches are too sanitized.” Is that still the case?
It doesn’t really piss me off because I don’t want to hate on anyone’s hustle y’ know, do whatever you need to do to get visible, but so much of deathmatch wrestling is so shit. They’re bastardizing the word deathmatch. We’re going to have a Lego deathmatch, a Christmas deathmatch, a summer and beach ball deathmatch. There’s so many who wanna play deathmatch wrestler, but they’re not real deathmatches. They’re not even hardcore matches. So, it was a response to that. To people who say they want to do deathmatches, so let’s do a deathmatch. Not just jump on the bandwagon.
When we first did hardcore matches, me, (Danny) Darko and (Michael) Caden in Rise, they were pretty much deathmatches, but we called them hardcore matches so that when we actually did a deathmatch people would be like, “shit if that’s a hardcore match, they’re better than most of these other promotions deathmatch.” By the time we actually did a deathmatch, it meant something.
I do agree with you there. I’ve seen examples of overhyping for the limpest of matches, especially when it comes to deathmatches…
There’ve been deathmatches I’ve worked where no guy’s got colour, and they may have used a steel chair and a Singapore cane. Like, it’s not a deathmatch. It’s all in the terminology, isn’t it? Like, if you say deathmatch to an actual deathmatch fan, there’s a certain criteria of things it could be. You might not get them all in a match, but you’ll at least get one or two of them. Just so many guys in shows all the time bastardizing the word deathmatch just so they can say they’re a deathmatch wrestler. It’s kinda lame.
Clearly, deathmatches mean a lot to you, what do you think of the people who hate on them?
I fucking love Jim Cornette. I’m super liberal, so I don’t care what you do as long as it doesn’t hurt or affect me in any way. But that’s where Jim Cornette, who says he’s a liberal man, goes off on a rage towards deathmatch wrestling. Who cares? I like deathmatch wrestling, I like Lucha Libre, and I like the World of Sport style of wrestling. We’re all adults here. I think if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Just don’t fucking talk about it. I don’t like Love Island or anything to do with it, but if you want to watch Love Island go for it. I’m going to watch Nick Mondo and John Zandig. Just live life a bit more, just stop wasting all that negative energy on shit that isn’t going to do you anything in the long run. It’s not going to change deathmatch wrestling that you hate it.
To close out, are there any warnings you want to give the other competitors in the tournament?
I just want them to put on the best matches that they can. I’m not going to do a kayfabe one like, uh, I’m going to beat you and all that shit. It is what it is, and I want everyone in that tournament to bring their best. We all step up, so we all get over. We all bring our best, so the deathmatch scene stands up and takes notice.
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Tickets for Games of Death here
Images and videos courtesy of Deathmatch Outlaws, Big FN Joe, Rise Underground, Carl Gac Photography, Tony Nox
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