Welcome to part 2 of Steel Chair’s latest conversation with David Starr. In this part, we talked about the planned fight with Jon Moxley, TNT Extreme Wrestling, representation, and what it’s like to be a polarising person in wrestling. Enjoy.

One of the biggest matches that was going to happen this year, which plays nicely into the indies vs. the corporates was you vs. Jon Moxley at OTT ScrapperMania. How much were you looking forward to that fight?

“Yeah, it was a big one. I was looking forward to it. It was going to be the highlight to kick off everything. Especially since I had just gotten my moment at 16 Karat, where I got the ability to say goodbye to wXw and the fans and stuff. That was really important to me, and then the week after was meant to be the ScrapperMania match. I was really looking forward to that as a way of putting the wXw story behind me. A way to show we were going forward, and there’s this to look forward to. I had big plans for that match and for stuff based on that match going forward. So, hopefully, we can make something work out of it, but yeah, it totally sucks it got derailed this way.”

This was another one of those matches I could see getting hardcore as OTT isn’t afraid to bring any level of violence…

“No, they’re definitely not, and that’s why OTT and places like Beyond that give you a variety of everything are the best when they don’t give it to you all the time. Especially when it comes to hardcore. They’ll give you a taste of hardcore, a taste of intergender, they’ll give you some tag stuff, some mixed tag stuff, some scrambles, some singles. You’ll get some stories out of it, some weird gimmicky stuff, y’ know? They give you some comedy. They give you everything you could ask for.”

And then you get Session Moth Martina being bounced off of a cage…

“Yeah, that’s always great. I mean, if she could get bounced off cages all the time, that would be wonderful.”

Funnily enough, I got to see her in one of her first proper deathmatches at Tournament of Survival this year, where I also heard the term Davey Deathmatch as it hyped up your match against Eddie Kingston. That also sounds like a dream match…

“I mean Eddie is one of the best ever. It was great. Having a match with Eddie was awesome. It wasn’t a deathmatch. It was more of what Eddie would say is the King’s Road style. That’s what he likes to do, and he’s the best. Eddie’s amazing.”

I’d say that’s what I like about TNT Extreme, you get a bit of everything…

“TNT again has a bit of everything. They have ELP, OJMO, and a crazy variety of people. They bring in PAC and Jody Fleisch. They have superstars, young guys, local guys. They have established guys from the country and from Europe. TNT brings in a variety of everything, and it is pretty fantastic.”

If we now look forward a bit, when wrestling picks up again, we’ve got Moxley to look forward to, but who else is a potential person you want to fight?

“Let me think of people I’d like to wrestle with. I’d like to wrestle Jordan Oliver again. I’d like to wrestle Lu Fisto. I’d like to wrestle Shazza McKenzie because she keeps talking about it all the time. Charli Evans because she keeps talking about it. Let’s throw in some more women. Let’s say, Millie McKenzie. I want to wrestle Effy. I want to wrestle Warhorse. I want to wrestle Hammerstone, and I want to wrestle Alex Shelley.”

Oh man, you just reminded me of the Big Gay Brunch main event we never got…

“We never got it. Mania being lost from Tampa was a big hit. It was definitely going to be a breakout for a lot of the Twitter wrestling personalities that are out there.”

Is it nice to see a boom in LGBT talent and shows? You’ve been a part of progressive storylines and teams like Sexy Starr with Jack Sexsmith in the past, so I’d just like to get your thoughts.

“Yeah, I think so. I think what I’ve learned from talking to in the LGBTQ+ community and on the same note, talking to people that are in the black community or women who are talking about these all-women shows and all-black shows or all LGBTQ+ shows like, those are great to have. It’s good to showcase that, but don’t just make it a virtue signal. Put your money where your mouth is. Book these people all the time not just when it’s time to make your Facebook profile picture a rainbow. That’s something Effy said in his promo at the RISE promotion in Chicago. You know it’s great to have these pride events, but don’t just talk about it and don’t just do it once a year. Be about it and actually book some of the talents that are there. Don’t just use them for promotional material to prove you’re a good ally actually do something about it regularly. It’s how it has to be.

I’m not a member of any of those communities, at one point, I was talking to one of my friends about having an all Jewish show, but it gets a mixed response. I’ve had talks with pretty famous black wrestlers who don’t like the idea of all black shows. I won’t speak for them, but they just didn’t like the idea for their own personal reasons. They don’t want to be known as a black wrestler, just a wrestler. You don’t want to be a gay wrestler, just a wrestler. There are things like that that some people take differently. I think it’s up to them to decide. But based on my experience from talking to people within these communities that seems to be the sentiment that I’m getting. The shows are great, but be about it all year round. It’s not just so you can put up a poster with some rainbows for some street cred from the rest of the community.”

See, that reflects something else I always see about you. You’re very real, you don’t sugar coat anything. You say what you want to say. What’s it like to be that level of polarising?

“I’m polarising. I understand that. Funnily enough, I said this in a promo before. I think it was my Ring of Honor try-out promo, and I said this in front of Kevin Kelly and Adam Cole. It was something I wrote about a day before, and I thought about it, and it’s still true. The fact that the opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference. I have never met a single person who is indifferent to me. I didn’t invent the first part, the opposite of love is indifference, that’s a song quote, but the point is that being polarising is just getting reactions out of people. I don’t do it in a trolly way. I don’t say things or do things for the purpose of getting reactions. But I say things and do things that happen to get reactions. If that’s the case, then okay. If you’re getting a reaction that is making people think and is making people question their own thought process, then I think that’s a good thing. Especially when it’s not coming from a discriminatory place. When it’s coming from a place of genuine interest for genuine understanding or wanting to be genuinely educated on a subject. I think those are good things to say.

If it’s going to be polarising, it’s going to be polarising. People are going to react to them no matter what. As long as you’re real about it, and if you recognise your own flaws, I think the smartest people recognise where they’re dumb. Like, in what areas they are stupid. People have always had reactions to me when I was in elementary school all the way to now. So, it is what it is. The girlfriend says I have the thickest skin of anyone she knows. I’ve had people come up to me at shows, fellow wrestlers who are like, “Hey, I just vanity searched your name, man I’m sorry you see all that” because people are nasty. It is what it is, and you come out and stand by your principles. You make sure that the things you speak on, you’re educated about, and be open to other people’s experiences and other people’s opinions. Even if you’re open to them it doesn’t mean everyone’s opinion is right or that everyone’s opinion is valid, but just be open.”

Since I last spoke to you in person about 2-3 years ago, you’ve boomed into this superhero for the independents. You’ve worked for countless companies. That has been great to see…

“I appreciate that. I’m trying to learn to take compliments better, but I don’t know if I would classify as a superhero for the indies. It’s just like, I’m enough of a dickhead to not care if my own career gets sacrificed. It was going to happen eventually. Someone was going to talk about the things we’re talking about and to talk about the things that need to be said. It just took somebody stupid enough to sacrifice their own career to say it. Why not me? If I can take whatever it is that I am as a person and somehow create positive change for a lot of people, then that’s a legacy I’m comfortable with.”

Does it ever hurt to let a company go? Especially after the wXw recently…

“Yeah, it’s hard. What I’ve said with wXw like I love and respect wXw like crazy, and neither one of us wanted to stop working together. I think we have mutual respect for one another both to the entity and the individuals within wXw. Neither one of us wanted to stop working together, but it had to happen. You have to be willing to pay a price. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequence. Every yin has its yang. You have to be willing to roll with those punches. The universe is going to correct itself. As long as you keep your head down, believe in what you believe in. I think, especially with wXw, there was a lot of desire to just say screw it, and let’s just do what we want to do. But you have to make decisions or decisions are made that affect a lot of people’s livelihoods. It’s not worth it for one person. It does just come down to that. You’ve got to make a smart decision, and a lot of times, you can’t afford to be selfish.”

I’m glad to see there’s no bad blood. It’s easy to see some people getting bitter about that sort of thing…

“Well, it’s not like wXw and I haven’t had our differences in the past. We have, and we’ve dealt with them as any relationship has. We’ve had really good highs and really bad lows, but we’ve always kept communication open and always worked out what we needed to in a professional manner. There was never any personal animosity towards anybody for any of the things. It just came down to the fact that without wXw, I wouldn’t be where I am today. There’s no question about it. They were the first place to take a chance on me like internationally really. wXw means a lot to me as a promotion, and I understand the decisions that had to be made. We both did. We knew what was going on for a while. I think they’ve come out and said we made the decision in December of 2019. It is what it is man, and again I love them to death. We didn’t want to stop working together, but sometimes your hand is forced.”

As my last question, since Joey Janela has been let back onto the indies, especially GCW, where he puts on social distancing matches, do you reckon we can see another chapter in the Janela/Starr saga?

“I don’t think anybody should be having shows now. I honestly don’t think anybody should be holding shows, empty arena or not. Of course, Joey had a social distancing match. That’s genius, and Joey is a wrestling genius. I’d seen the gifs without realising what it is. But yeah, 100% you can. I don’t know about a new branch of the story, but no question, I love working with Joey. So, if I get the chance to do it again, we were supposed to do it at TNT in April, but it couldn’t happen. I’m sure we’ll wrestle each other again. We’ve had a lot of great matches in a lot of places. If he’s still going to be doing indie shows, then I’m sure I’ll be on them.”

David Starr on social media: Twitter, Instagram

David Starr Merch: Online Store, Pro-Wrestling Tees, Bottom Line

We the Independent: Twitter, Website

All images courtesy of OTT, TNT Extreme, David Starr, Oli Sandler

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