Who is the top hardcore guy in MLW right now? Is it Jimmy Havoc? No, he was sent packing. Is it Pagano? Not yet. It’s Mance Warner. The master of Lariats and Light Beers has taken MLW by storm and now has his sights set on getting all of the gold in the company. We here at Steel Chair got the chance to talk to Mance and asked him about all things MLW, about how to be hardcore, and about the state of wrestling in the COVID ravaged world. Enjoy.

Now that you have had your own Anthology episode, I’d like to ask you how your time has been in MLW so far?

“Oh, man, I got no complaints. From the time that I came in there to now as you said, there was an episode with just Ol’ Mancer matches on there. At the end of the day for a company to sit there and say, “Hey, we’re going to do a whole episode with just you,” I think that’s kind of speaking volumes out there. From the time I went in there, from my debut, you know, the second show I ever did was me vs. LA Park in the main event. So, I appreciate everything I get out there. I show up and I fight people, so I cannot complain.”

What’s it been like to work with the more extreme people in MLW? You’ve fought Sami Callihan, LA Park, Jimmy Havoc, and even Mexican hardcore stars like Pagano. How’s that been?

“I always tell people MLW has got a bit of everything. It’s the type of show you can watch from the beginning to the end, and you won’t get bored because there’s a little bit of something else, something different in every contest and every part of the show. So, every guy I’ve been in there with, I’ve fought. We get in there, we hit each other really hard, and we beat each other up.  You ain’t going to see Ol’ Mancer bust out some sweet dives, well maybe one day, but right now, you ain’t going to see no dives. Every fight I have we just beat the hell out of each other. The last one you named was Pagano, and that was insane because the history in that building out there in Tijuana where we got to have a tag match, it was me and Savio Vega in a tag team, so that’s cool right there, and then you throw in Pagano and Mortiz. I set Mortiz on fire. I put him through a flaming table, and his back was on fire. So yeah, it was absolutely insane, from the history in that building in Tijuana to the crowd, that place was sold out. That was the last event we could do before the Corona stuff hit so that one right there was special, but everything I’ve done out there so far has been pretty wild.”

Fun fact, I have used the Mortiz and Pagano vs. you and Vega match to convert three of my friends to wrestling fans…

“It’s great because you ain’t going to see flaming tables on any other show. Right here, they’ll see that and think what the hell is this, and then they get hooked on it, and then they see everything else.”

So what’s it like to be the most extreme person on the MLW roster right now by process of elimination because you’ve dispatched of Callihan, and you’ve dispatched of Havoc? Right now you’re the top of the hardcore food chain.

“You know, for me, it’s real simple. You show up to fight. I don’t ever get complacent; I don’t just sit there. I enjoy my light beers, but I’m always paying attention. You gotta keep your ears to the ground and keep paying attention to what’s going on. There’s always going to be people trying to make a name off of you. That can happen in MLW or any company you go to. There’s always somebody that’s going to test you, and like I said, you just gotta keep paying attention and keep fighting because, at the end of the day, somebody’s always going to try and get that spot. They’re always going to try and take you out, so they can be the next big dog fighting out there. So for me, I just keep on doing what I’m doing. I’ll always be fighting.”

Now you’ve decided you want to start going after the gold in the company. What made you decide to go after The Dynasty? After beating Havoc you instantly name-dropped Alex Hammerstone as your first target.

“I’ve always said when I first appeared in MLW, I was out here to hit the pay window. So, you start where you start, and you come into a company and make a name for yourself, and you keep climbing that ladder. If you ain’t trying to do that, I think you’re a damn fool. So for me, I come in, make my name, and I fight and I do what I do, and now I want to keep climbing that ladder up, and the next person on the ladder is Hammerstone. You can look into that because I already have a history with them, boys, out there. MJF, I hate his guts, he’s a piece of shit, and you can’t trust him at all. He’s a horrible person, but he’s got his crew of boys out there. I ran MJF right out of the company. So then you have the Dynasty right there and Hammerstone has that gold. He loves to run his mouth and talk shit. Ol’ Mancer doesn’t play like that, so at the end of the day, he’s got that gold. I want that gold. I want to hit that pay window and whoop his ass in there. I think it’s going to happen at some point.”

How did it feel to kick MJF out of the company?

“Amazing. Amazing, because like I said, he’s a piece of shit. He’s always running his mouth, always talking shit. So I go out there, and I believe that was the first empty arena match because now you’ve got empty arena shows in every place in the damn world. But I believe that was the first one right there. In any other fight, I’m used to having the crowd out there, that if Ol’ Mancer is getting beat down, they’ll get me back up. Now, you gotta take that out of the equation. All you got out there, is MJF and Mancer just fighting. There ain’t nobody else out there. You got a cameraman. At one point, he took a cigarette and burnt me in the damn head with it. I threw him off some stairs you know? Tit for tat, we just beat the hell out of each other until I hit that lariat and got 1,2,3, and he got the fuck on out of there.”

This war with the Dynasty has led to what was dubbed the Triple Tower of Doom. Can you explain this stipulation and how you came up with the idea?

“Well, you see this is an old one going all the way back to the 80s. You take a cage, build it around a ring. You take another cage, build it on top of that cage, and then on the tippy top, you got a smaller cage. So the way Ol’ Mancer wants to do it, I got Moon Man working on this. I’ve been working on this too, but I like to drink, so sometimes I gotta take a break. You got to build the cage up and essentially put all the goodies in there and layer it out. When it goes down, it’s gotta be a surprise as to what kind of goodies we’ve got in there. Maybe some tables, Ol’ Mancer loves those doors, gotta hit up Lowes and get me a little sponsorship, get them doors in there, chairs, maybe some light tubes, maybe a little bit of fire, some thumbtacks, some barbed wire, and you’ve got to take all the goodies and spread them about that cage. It’s just one of the things. You’ve heard Ol’ Mancer likes to do some drinking and thinking. There you go, I start drinking, I start thinking, and I come up with devices where I can beat the hell out of people.”

You’ve also stated in one of the most recent Pulp Fusion episodes that you might not stop there. That you also have your eye on CONTRA’s gold, more specifically Jacob Fatu’s title. Is there ever a chance that we will see you go after that too?

“Brother, Ol’ Mancer wants all the gold. You sit here, and you see them out there, talking all this shit. Once again, saying they’re going to take over the company, take over the program. Ol’ Mancer can’t just sit here and drink beer and watch that go down. So, basically, the way it works, if you offend Ol’ Mancer, he’s going to say something. I ain’t ever been good at being quiet. That ain’t been an attribute where people can say, “Oh yeah, Ol’ Mancer is great at being quiet.” It’s the opposite. I’m always saying what I think. I’m always voicing my opinion, and I’ll go right to fisticuffs baby. I’ll start throwing hands with anybody. You know, headbutt, eye poke, kick them in the face, it doesn’t matter, hit them with something. When they say, they’re going to come in and run something, well let’s see man. I will never back down from nothing, and I will say what I want to say.”

If you do complete your quest for gold, what else would you like to do in the company? Anyone, in particular, you want to fight? Anybody, you want to bring up?

“Anybody and everybody. At the end of the day, I’ve always said ask the fans, see what the fans think. They’re spending their money to come here and support the product, so what do they want to see? Who do they want to see? Who do they want to see in the company? Who do they want to see Ol’ Mancer fight? It’s up to them. I think MLW does a really good job with that. They listen to the fans. They don’t bullshit them. They sit and listen to what the fans think, what the fans want to see. Hopefully, down the road when we get back to business, Ol’ Mancers gonna get right back to it, whooping ass and fighting around arenas doing what we always do.”

Since we’re seeing Pagano making his way to the company, is there any extreme or maybe outlaw stars you want to see MLW take a chance on?

“I ain’t no booker. I show up, and I fight. So, whoever thinks they can step up and get in the ring with Ol’ Mancer, that’s fine. If they want to do technical wrestling, that’s fine. If they want to do fist fighting, amazing. If they want to get in there and just brawl over the place, great. Strong style, whatever it may be, I’ll get in there and fight anybody. It doesn’t matter. With MLW, they got all types of styles and people doing different things. You got Lucha Libre, hardcore, deathmatch, strong style, whatever the hell it may be, I just love fighting. I get paid money to fight people, and I ain’t going to get arrested for it. So, bring in anyone who wants to get in there, and we’ll go to work. If people are going to be entertaining, then the people are going to enjoy what they’re seeing.”

How would you describe your relationship with Court Bauer?

“He’s one of them guys where he essentially lets Ol’ Mancer do whatever the fuck Ol Mancer wants to do. People have asked me, how do you come up with your promos? I don’t laugh at them because I’m no asshole, but my promos are just me talking. I just say what I say, and I’ll go out there and say what I want to say. If I get in there, you can watch me, and like I say, I do fight. So I get in there and do fights, I fight people. They got a guy with a camera waiting for Mancer to cut a promo after that because I’m worked up and ready to keep on fighting. So the best thing for me is to let me say what I want to say, and let me do what I want to do. I got no complaints. MLW gives me that freedom, which is refreshing.”

As you’ve said, your matches are fights and often involve hardcore/deathmatch elements, how do you ever prepare for that style of fighting?

“For me, I’m already crazy, man. Ol’ Mancer’s routine is that before he walks out there, he goes into another zone. People have seen me at shows, you can ask people, I’m just pacing around going crazier than I already am. So by the time I get out there to the ring, I’m ready to rock and roll, it doesn’t matter what it is. That means I’m ready to get him and to hit somebody. For me, there ain’t no secret. I just know what’s coming. Once you’ve been in there, and you know what’s coming, you’re always ready for it. There ain’t no magical process or thing you do or say, you’re just ready, in the zone, let’s go. Then you do what you do.”

And how does it feel to have your tongue stapled to things? You’ve had it stapled to boards, pumpkins, and all sorts of other things…

“Oh man, it’s painful. Like I said before, there ain’t no trick to it. I’m getting my tongue stapled to something. So when people say, “Oh, that’s bullshit, or this is bullshit.” Everything I do out there is real. I ain’t bullshitting you. You’re seeing us hit each other. There is no bullshit in that. Ol’ Mancer doesn’t get paid to bullshit. I get paid to fight. I believe there’s a match with Sami Callihan where I got my tongue stapled to a door, and I couldn’t get my tongue off the door. I was stuck onto that damn wood. I think we continued to fight whilst I had a staple stuck in my tongue. It’s one of them things where you’re going to war, and you’re going to have scars. You get into pro-wrestling, when you walk away, you ain’t always going to be the same.”

How do you think MLW has handled the Corona Pandemic?

“Amazingly because, basically, all of this blew up at one point. I can’t think of anything at any time where everything is shutdown. There’s nothing you can do. You have got to take precautions; you’ve got to make sure people are safe. So that means, for the time being, you ain’t going to see no shows, no events. At some point, we’re going to get back to it. I don’t know when you gotta ask management that, but we were out in Tijuana when shit started to hit the fan, and we got that show done, and then we got told to just sit back and see what happens. They made sure everyone was safe. They weren’t going to put us at risk. They’re not going to have us flying around going here, there and everybody else. I think with what’s going on, and the knowledge we all got, all we could do was see where it goes.”

And do you think MLW is going to come back stronger after this?

“Oh, hell yeah. I’ve told people, it’s like we’re sitting in prison right now. You’re sitting pretty much in a damn cell, and all you can do is eat and work out and tape study. You can just watch old wrestling and study and study. You see people talking shit on social media, you see people saying what they want to say, and you just gotta get ready. At some point, we’re all going to be back out there, and we’ll see how many people are still talking shit at that point. So, once we get back to it, you know we’ll be ready to go. There ain’t no turning back at that point. The people that talk shit, they know what’s coming. The people who don’t talk shit, they know what’s coming.”

Find Ol’ Mancer on Social media:

Twitter, Instagram

Mancer’s Pay Window (merch)

Doublehell.com

Pro Wrestling Tees

MLW

All images and videos courtesy of MLW, Basil Mahmud – Special thanks to Stephanie Franchomme for helping to make this possible.