He’s the man of many nicknames and one of the most independent indie wrestlers. I am talking about David Starr. We here at Steel Chair got the chance to talk to David Starr again. This is part one, where we asked him about COVID 19, deathmatches, and the promotions he loves. Enjoy.
How are you holding up with the wrestling deficit and the whole COVID-19 situation?
“It’s rough. It’s not the way it was, and it’s not as easy as it was. I’m losing out on a lot of money, a lot of potential money too. It’s tough, but I’m trying to stay positive. I’m trying to keep myself active in a mental way and a physical way, obviously. Gotta try and do that as much as you can, we have plenty of time to do it, just got to do it. It’s interesting as it’s a different phase of life, I don’t think any of us were prepared for, but thankfully there’s social media to keep yourself even more entertained in the meantime. I guess that’s the most positive thing I can say for social media. It’s not easy, but we’re getting through it and trying to be positive the whole way through.”
I just imagine when you come back, you’ll add a new nickname, is even better at Twitter…
“The question is, do I add more nicknames, or do I out of nowhere get rid of them all. Is it something where I’ve gone through some weird mental process in which they’re all gone now?”
So since gory wrestling is my strong point, I’d like to ask a bit about the first deathmatch I saw you in. It was at Beyond Wrestling against Nick Gage, and you wrestled in just your trunks. I cannot imagine doing a deathmatch in trunks…
“Well, that was a bit of a build-up as I was supposed to have a match with Nick Gage a couple of years before that, but it got held off because he got arrested. It was just a build off of that, and I did originally tell myself that every time I would do a deathmatch or really any type of match, I was always going to wear my trunks. That is what I always wanted to do, and I was still doing that in that time period when I wrestled Nicky. That changed when I had the no rope barbed wire match with Joey Janela, and I was like, “Yeah, I’m wearing jeans.” That’s just what I’m going to do, so now I’ve changed my deathmatch attire to not just be my gear, but when my red jeans come out. That’s when I’m going to do some gross stuff.”
Where exactly did Davey Deathmatch emerge from?
“I’d done hardcore matches before, but I’d say my first real deathmatch I had was Dave Crist at CZW. It was at Down With the Sickness in September 2016. It was the first time I did something that I would consider in a way a version of a deathmatch. We did skewers, and we did thumbtacks, there were chairs and falls count anywhere. That was the first time I did that kind of thing. The idea of Davey Deathmatch being a branch off of Davey Wrestling. It was just because I started doing a couple of deathmatches here and there. My series with Joey Janela at Beyond is probably my most well-known deathmatch series I’ve had. But with Davey Deathmatch, yeah, it just kind of became a thing. It became something I use as an alternate persona. It’s not really different in many ways.”
Do you take any extra steps to psyche yourself up for another level of violence?
“Every time, if I know I’m going to bleed before a match, I’ll usually take a double shot of whiskey, preferably Jack Daniels, and I’ll take a couple of aspirin. That’s my preparation, so I’ll take a couple of aspirin a couple of matches before mine, and I’ll take a double shot of whiskey right after the match before mine ends. I’ll take that double shot, and I’ll head out, and I’ll do my thing. But there’s never really a need to psyche me up. I remember there was one time, I think it was before one of the matches with Janela, it was either the fans bring the weapons deathmatch that was on New Year’s Eve 2017 going into 2018, or it was the no rope barbed wire match. I was down by the bar, right before I went up to where the ring was, and I sat there and thought about all the stuff we’d talked about we were gonna do.
I then started thinking about the stuff we didn’t talk about that we’d do. That’s the thing, especially with Janela, most of the things Janela and I did, we went out and did on the fly. We both just went in there with the idea that you’re giving up your body for something, you just got to sacrifice yourself for the day and understand to keep yourself open, and both of us needed to be willing to take anything. Especially if you want to paint this great picture. Nothing really to psyche myself up other than whiskey and aspirin, but I have taken moments to think, “Okay, we’re going to do this now.” I don’t think there’s been that many times where I’ve been nervous about a particular thing. The barbed wire match I was nervous for, but that’s because I was nervous about the match being good. That was honestly it and it ended up turning out really well, so I was happy.”
I’d like to think you succeeded. I remember both Americanrana 18 and 19 were some of the most popular indie events of their respective years…
“I think when it comes to it, Beyond is the best American independent wrestling company. Period. I think between Beyond, Game Changer Wrestling (GCW), AAW, and stuff, I think Beyond is the number 1 at this point. If it weren’t for OTT being what OTT was Beyond would probably be the best indie I’ve worked for. I love Beyond Wrestling so much. From the small shows to the big shows, and I think Americanrana is always a great show.”
It’s funny you should mention GCW. You have potentially already had a MOTY contender against Chris Dickinson, what’s it like working with him?
“I’ve worked with every version of Chris Dickinson. There’s the hardcore and intense version of Chris Dickinson, where you’re in there for a fight. There’s like the most 80s wrestler ever Chris Dickinson, and there’s like somewhere in between. Like I’ve wrestled all the versions of Chris Dickinson. I like working with Chris. I think he’s a no-nonsense dude. I think he’s someone who has, I mean, he’s been told he was blacklisted and blackballed for that reason or that, and he keeps his head down, and he keeps going to work. He had a good run last year, and he was set up for a really good run this year, especially his WrestleMania weekend, that looked wild. It’s a shame that it got curtailed. I like working with Chris, and we did a lot of that stuff on the fly, we just kept fighting. It was great man, Chris is awesome.”
I’d say you both have a similar, very hard-hitting style. Have you ever come across people complaining about your in-ring style? That you hit too hard or you’ve come across someone that’s too intense?
“No, because I’m always the person that’s too intense in the ring. I go by the rule of you hit how hard you want to be hit. So, there’s a difference between hitting hard and hitting unsafely. I’ve hit plenty of people plenty hard. Plenty of people have hit me plenty hard. I don’t ever complain about people hitting too hard because like I said, you only hit as hard as you want to be hit. So, if you’re hitting me like that, I’m just going to return it in kind. It doesn’t bother me. I’m like a weird person because I like getting hit. I like getting hit hard, a little bit. It’s not that bad for me. Obviously again, there’s a difference between unsafe and being hit hard, but that’s it. Have I encountered being hit hard in unsafe places, yeah, I have before, but it’s not something that doesn’t get corrected pretty quickly.”
So, you’re a Minoru Suzuki type then?
“No, I would never put myself in the same category as him. Just because I think it would be disrespectful to say that. You know because he’s a legend and so much more of a shoot badass than I ever will be.”
All images courtesy of Beyond Wrestling, Jon Washer, Voices of Wrestling, Fite TV, Videos courtesy of Beyond YouTube