NWA Heavyweight Champion “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce joined The Rack Thursday Night. In a nearly 25 minute interview he talked about the ‘Seven Levels of Hate’ finishing up this weekend with a steel cage match against Colt Cabana in Melbourne, Why Australia was the destination for his final match, his lengthy feud with Colt Cabana, what his plans are in Australia aside from the last Stage of Hate, what his favorite level has been so far, the lack of lengthy feuds in wrestling today, what it means to him to hold the prestigious NWA World Heavyweight Title and be linked with guys like Harley Race and Ric Flair, if the NWA Title has lost some of his luster, the stipulation if he doesn’t win the ‘Seven Levels’ he’ll leave the NWA and much more.
Why Melbourne, Australia was picked to be the stage for the last match in the ‘Seven Levels of Hate’ series: “I was going to say; what’s not awesome about Australia? You know, initially Australia was always kind of in the running for the seventh stage just simply out of what I like to call ‘supply and demand’. We initially wanted to do it potentially in Los Angeles, because that’s kind of where everything was born and obviously (Colt) Cabana and I had been working for Dave Marquez and what was known as NWA Championship Wrestling in Hollywood since its inception, for a couple of years anyway So, once things went south, between Marquez and the National Wrestling Alliance, we knew we were no longer going to be able to do that in Los Angeles and Australia, which had always been on the back burner, jumped to the forefront. And here we are.”
How is he preparing for this final stage of the series, which is a cage match : “To be honest with you, I’m more worried about the flight than anything else. You know, 15 hours on a plane is no fun, so to mix it up with Cabana for a half-hour, 40 minutes in the cage; I’d rather do that than get on the plane, so first things first. But what a road it’s been; it’s incredible to share this experience with someone I’ve known for, jeez, literally close to half my life now in Colt Cabana and to make a nice couple week tour out of it in Australia; it’s a good life.”
What it meant to win the prestigious NWA World Heavyweight Title during this series: “Kansas City was a big deal (the night he won the title). The 21st of July was a good date; our partners there in Kansas City, Metro Pro Wrestling were the ones who put on the event and that night it was two-out-of-three falls, that was the stipulation, and for me personally, it was kind of a bigger night and not so much in a good way. I had been sick, jeez, for about four or five days previous to that with a pretty bad case of the flu. So, when I got on the plane and flew in, I was terrible and I shouldn’t have even been in the ring. Honestly, if Cabana wasn’t my opponent and there wasn’t so much on the line, I probably would have missed the date. That morning, I had woken up with and still had 102 degree fever, and I hadn’t been able to hold anything down for a few days, so as you might imagine, I was dehydrated, and cranky and the last thing I wanted to do was anything athletic. And we still went out there and did about 38 minutes, and I give most of the credit of that match to Cabana because I was pretty useless, to be honest.”
What do you think this series means to wrestling as a whole, as a throwback to old style wrestling and feuds : “That’s by design, to a large degree; that’s what we intended it to be, for it to feel like the way pro wrestling used to feel and to kind of give some of that older, darker dynamic that you don’t see much anymore especially with the television products staying right around PG. It’s hard to bring in some of the diabolical things wrestling has been known for over the years and certainly a heightened level of violence which was par for the course in say the 70’s and 80’s with these type of feuds and needless to say with Cabana and myself, this is a blood feud; that’s what it is and it’s largely been one of those things that pushes the level of violence. And be that as it may, the wrestling fans today, particularly the younger ones, don’t necessarily need to see that, but for the older fans who kind of misses some of that or for the diehard wrestling fan, this has given them kind of a taste of perhaps how things might have been and we’re proud of that.
In terms of what it means to wrestling, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer that necessarily but for me personally, what it has meant is a culmination of a couple of years of my life, interacting and working with someone that I care a lot about and giving, trying to give, our take on that art form and we’ve been largely successful, I think; at least from the feedback we’ve both received both from peers, professionals and our colleagues, especially those we’ve worked with on the series. Everyone seems to be happy and as long as my checkbook is still able to work and my wife can go shopping, I’ll be happy too.”
What it was like to win the NWA Heavyweight Title for the first time: “You know, here we are five years later and I still struggle to answer that, because everything happened so fast. For people who don’t know, the NWA and TNA severed their relationship in 2007, and the NWA split apart, they held a tournament and I think did a pretty decent job getting a national tournament, sometimes in some obscure places but at the same time had some really good talent. And the final four came down to myself, Bryan Danielson (WWE’s Daniel Bryan), Brent Albright, and Claudio Castagnoli (WWE’s Antonio Cesaro); people always forget about those semi-final guys. But Brent went on to beat Claudio and Bryan went on to defeat me and then the week before the tournament final, which was held in Puerto Rico, we (Bryan and Ada) were on a card for Ring of Honor in New York City and Bryan was wrestling Takeshi Morashima from NOAH and had his elbow bone fractured and his retina detached. So that happened on Saturday; Bryan went to the hospital that night and I got a phone call on Wednesday when it became clear Bryan was not going to be medically cleared to go, an there was even a chance he couldn’t have flown, but as it turned out he was there as the special guest referee wearing an eye patch. Like I said, I get a call on that Wednesday asking if I could be in Puerto Rico on Friday and then having the match on Saturday and of course I went;
I assumed at that point I was there to put Brent Albright over and when I got there I found out there were going to go the other way, which was shocking to me considering the circumstances. I don’t mind spilling this; Bryan was supposed to win the whole thing and that would have jumped off to a feud between Brent and Bryan going forward and as it turned out, it turned into me and Brent and the history will speak to that and we’ve had our brawls and matches all over the damn place, most notably in New York at ‘Death Before Dishonor 6’ for Ring of Honor which is probably, still to this day, my favorite match that I’ve had. But it was crazy just to be in front of a rabid crowd in Puerto Rico. It was a great place to work, in front of a full house and to have that kind of responsibility thrust upon you at that point in my career when you aren’t expecting it is sort of a big deal. And then, having to prove yourself to a bunch of promoters that I hadn’t really work for largely; it took a good year or so before you start to earn the trust and here I am, 5 years later, and four reigns later, on the stage of what I would say is probably, without question, the biggest, most notable thing around the NWA Title that there’s been in probably the past 15 years, between me and Cabana. It’s flattering, it’s humbling and it’s turned into largely, what my career will be remembered for.”
For more information on the final ‘Level of Hate’ cage match this weekend in Melbourne, go to http://www.warzonewrestling.com.au/ for ticketing information, details on the event. You can also follow Adam through his personal Twitter (@ScrapDaddyAP) or through his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ScrapIronPearce) to keep up on his career and latest news and notes.
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