Pro-wrestling star Danny Limelight recently spoke with PWMania.com’s T.J. Stephens for an in-depth exclusive interview covering all things pro wrestling.
During the discussion, Limelight opened up about his time in AEW, working with Konnan and Tom Lawlor, his acting career and his stint with Impact Wrestling. Limelight also discussed working for New Japan, AAA, MLW and much more. You can check out the complete interview below:
One of the hot topics has been AEW, of course, all the backstage happenings we’re not really going to go into that because I think enough people have done that. But you did spend some time with AEW during the pandemic. You got to wrestle guys like Konsuke Takeshita, Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, what was your experience in AEW, like and you know, with Moxley becoming the face of the company right now what how did what was your experience with Moxley like more specifically?
“First of all, like, I had an awesome time when I was in AEW, it was during the pandemic and I think that one of the things that I was most grateful for was that I had a place to wrestle. I have a place where I was making money I was able to provide for my daughter, I had a company that was investing all this time and money into me, to have me on these shows, to put me on Dynamite with Kenny, to have me on Elevation and Dark every week and really give me a platform to showcase my talent to the world.
“A lot of people hadn’t known me before that so the almost year that I spent there, was, you know one of the best years of my life. I had a lot of fun and got to wrestle some of the best talents in the world and like you said my match with Takeshita was my favorite match ever, my favorite one-on-one I have ever had. And then, of course, wrestling Moxley twice and Kenny twice, then you know wrestle guys like, Phoenix and Sydal and they just threw the best at me.
“I have nothing but good things to say about everybody there you know. There’s isn’t anybody in particular right now that I could think of that I had any issues with that to this day that still bothers me. It was a fun place for me, I was able to interact with somebody [Jon Moxley] who’s been everywhere, won World Championships everywhere he’s been, from seeing him in AEW, and seeing him on New Japan Strong, and just being able to get in the ring and learn from somebody like him. It’s a learning experience, I have nothing but good things for him to say about him. He struck me as a true professional, as someone that cares about this business. And I had a great time in the ring with him. And I’d love to do it again someday down the line.”
You mentioned that AEW gave you your platform, not a lot of people knew about you before that. So let’s get into that. How did how did Danny Limelight get his start in wrestling?
“I started training to be a wrestler in 2014, but I got kicked out of my school. The promoter told me I’d never wrestle again, because I had picked up another indie booking in another city somewhere else and it was one of those places where you know the promoter says: “You’re supposed to wrestle here you’re not supposed to do this and you can’t win matches there” and just like stuff like that. I don’t even talk about that company because they get no love from me anymore. You were paying me almost nothing to wrestle on your show, and now that I started picking up other bookings you got upset. To me that was unprofessional. I was told I was never gonna wrestle again. He started bad-mouthing my name to a lot of indie companies in the area and they didn’t book me until one man by the name of David Marquez, you might have heard of him from United Wrestling Network, brought me into Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, and that’s where I felt like I got my start. I was less than a year in the business wrestling on his TV program, and all I learned how to do is wrestle TV style.
“Like a lot of people take pride in being like indie stars or indie darlings, whatever you want to call them, and I wrestled in a lot of independent companies, but I’m a TV wrestler. I learned how to wrestle for TV, I learned how to cut promos, I learn how to work the cameras, find the cameras, know when that red light is on and I think that that helped me when I got to New Japan Strong. Rocky Romero was another guy that I give credit to because he invited me to try out for New Japan Strong at the LA Dojo. I participated in The Young Lions Break tournament and went to the finals, then right around that time is when AEW had hit me up.
“When I got to AEW, I was I was ready to work TV. I was quickly put into positions in that company where I was wrestling top talent, guys like Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho. Especially after my match with Kenny on Dynamite, a lot of people took notice of me and I think that if it wasn’t for (David) Marquez bringing me in and teaching me TV and guys like Aron Stevens formerly known as Damien Sandow who really worked with me with the character stuff, the “Papi” that you see on TV now and you see with a microphone, he would have maybe not have come to light you know. I think that I really found myself working with all these talented people but more so working with TV style wrestling.”
You were in MLW from ’17 until ’21.
“With MLW, right after I got done with AEW, that’s when Konnan hit me up to come to MLW. He had this idea to start the new LAX with me and my boy Slice Boogie. At the time I was teaming with Slice Boogie and Papo Esco at Championship Wrestling United Wrestling Network, we were called “The Bodega,” which essentially, is basically LAX in that we were Puerto Rican dudes, street guys, being ourselves on TV. I had worked with Konnan prior for AAA and “The Crash” in Tijuana and stuff like that. Boogie was my boy, we had chemistry already. I was like, “Yeah, let’s do it, let’s run it.”
“MLW was the first company besides United wrestling, to give me a microphone and said, “Do what you do.” I hadn’t had an opportunity to cut a promo on a mic at AEW. I think that if I had been given the opportunity, maybe more stuff would have came out of that. But also, I had a specific role that I was filling there that I was cool with because it allowed me to wrestle some of the best talent in the world. When MLW gave me a microphone and started let me cut these promos backstage. And just let me really say what I wanted to say that’s when I felt like people started really paying attention to me. Then they started giving me a live mic in front of the crowd. Now that that transcended to New Japan now giving me a microphone in front of a crowd. Go out there, do your thing and I love that because that’s kind of what the fans look forward to now when I come out, and what type of sh*t is going to come out this guy’s mouth? You get to see me talk from the heart and I speak true, I’m charismatic and I have fun with it.
“Slice Boogie was recently injured, he ruptured his Achilles, so we’re praying for a speedy recovery for Slice. But I’m doing good. I’m chilling. I’m still talking my sh*t, I’m still wrestling. I got a lot of upcoming dates coming up specifically with New Japan as well. I’m still part of Team Filthy with Tom Lawlor. So we’re gonna see what happens. Maybe I get to Japan soon.”
You were on Team Filthy with Tom Lawlor. Tom Lawlor was kind of a guy who six or seven years ago kind of hit the wrestling world by storm and then really became one of the top Indie guys around. What’s it been like being in Team Filthy with Tom Lawlor?
“Can I tell you how much I love Tom, when you talk about genuine guys that work their ass off and love their business, Tom is one of those guys. I had heard Tom’s name for a very very long time. When I was an independent, I asked: “Who the f*** is Tom Lawlor?” You know? I thought that was an MMA guy. You know what I’m saying? Because we hear a lot about the MMA guys that want to come to be pro wrestlers, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. They’re very few like, Ronda, Marina, Shayna, there’s a few people that come from that background and that. Riddle is another, and just do well but there are a lot of guys that tried doing it and they can’t but Tom, it’s just something about him that is so captivating when he’s in the ring. And when Rocky put me with Tom and Kratos at the time, it was me Tom, Kratos, and Tyler Rust, and then Rust got signed to WWE. So he left and they put Dickinson in the group. Then Dickinson got kicked out and it added the West Coast Wrecking Crew and I think when Jorel and Royce joined me Kratos and Tommy kind of completed the “Filthy Five” so he’s been working with those guys non-stop for the last almost two years now.
“It’s been fun like I’ve literally been part of Team Filthy for almost two years now. I was one of the original ones that join and it’s just been it’s been a lot of fun and I learn a lot from these guys. As I listen to them, the way, the way they come up with things, for certain types of matches and just seeing his work, you know, I really enjoy it and on top of that, we have a good camaraderie like those are my brothers, we go out together, we go to bars together, we go to restaurants together like going on the road together, it’s all love and I really enjoy being part of that group.”
With the companies, you said you worked for AEW, New Japan, and AAA, you’ve worked in three of the biggest organizations in three different countries. There’s a vast difference between the three audiences. In your experience, what are some of the differences in the audience between Mexico and the United States?
“So I’ve wrestled for AEW and I’ve wrestled for AAA in Mexico. I’ve wrestled for Impact. I wrestled for United Wrestling, MLW, AAA, Impact, New Japan Strong, AEW. So they’re all different audiences. But I think that that one thing about me it’s like, I’m like a Swiss army knife. I’m very adaptable. I had my first crack at wrestling in Mexico, very young in the business back in 2016. Konnan had brought me out to “The Crash” and the main event was El Hijo del Santo and his son (El Santo Jr.) versus Angel Blanco Jr. and Rayman but then it was like Lince was on the card, PENTA, Phoenix, Willie Mac, and here I am, one year and a half in the business opening up the show to 5000 people in the Fausto Gutierrez Auditorium. I got a crack at Mexico really early, I kind of understood more or less how those fans are. They’re really passionate fans.
“When I worked for AAA, come up with my Puerto Rican flag, I talk some s*** in Spanish, and English. And it’s like Spanglish really, and they hate that. They are a loud crowd, I get hit with pesos and stuff like that all the time. Then the MLW crowd, they’re more of like a hardcore crowd of like, real passionate fans, you know, it’s a smaller company than, let’s say, the New Japan or AEW, but the fans are passionate, they show up to the shows, they boo, they scream, they’re involved with it.
“A lot of the shows that I did with MLW was in Philly in the ECW arena, or was in Texas or a lot of down south states. So just going down south and dealing with those kinds of crowds of people. And here I am a northeast city boy, you know, Puerto Rican at that matter, like, and I’m talking some s***, they don’t like that very much.
“When you talk about AEW, unfortunately, I didn’t really get to wrestle in front of the crowd like that. AEW, it was during the pandemic time, but one of my last matches there was against Evil Uno in front of a full crowd for Elevation. And I had a really fun match, Uno’s great. I think we had some good chemistry. And the crowd was hot. It was fun. You know, they only really knew me if they were like Elevation or Dark watchers. And I think from that time period, if you think of like Elevation or AEW Dark, my name is one of the things that popped up… often, because I was there every week wrestling, the best wrestlers having the best matches on the card on those shows, and it was a lot of fun.
“I only wrestled for Impact once, the crowd was very similar to like the MLW crowd, where it was a hot crowd, smaller crowd, but like, full of life and energy, and wrestled for the X Division side. It was like me, Trey Miguel, Ace Austin, Jake Christ, and I think Adrian Quest, and we had a five man scramble, it was a lot of fun. I had a great time. I’m surprised, I never came back. I’m surprised I’ve never heard back from Impact. Especially now that I’m a free agent. I don’t know. But yeah, just like learning from all these different crowds, all these environments, all these cities, countries, it’s kind of like sink or swim, you get thrown into the water, then you know, you either gonna adapt or you or you’re not, you know, and there’s nothing wrong with people who can’t wrestle certain kinds of styles. Everybody has their own style.
“I just like to be able to wrestle in any kind of environment, whether it’s singles, whether it’s tag or a group, like Team Filthy, I feel like I could do all of it. Lately, I’ve been doing more tag matches and group matches because of where I’m at. But when I’m put into singles matches, I can do that too. Like that’s really where I really got my name at was doing singles at AEW.”
If you could wrestle one guy right now, who’s who was on the top of your wish list?
“I’d be dumb to not say Roman Reigns.
“Let’s be honest right now, that’s the only company I’ve never wrestled for. Well, Ring of Honor either. But so I guess I would say Roman Reigns. That’s my pick. I’ve never wrestled at WWE, but he’s the guy who’s been the guy for like the last two and a half, three years probably now. And I think he’s doing some amazing work. I’m really good friends with Sefa, or, Solo now. I just love what that whole group is doing. Even with Sami there, I think it’s great. I think it’s great television. There, that would be my pick.
“If I was thinking of like, a match that could happen right now, not fantasy booking, a match that that can happen right now, me and Ospreay. I think me and Ospreay in New York City for New Japan Strong would be fire. That would be somebody else’s name that I would throw out there.”
You’re pursuing an acting career. So where are we going with that? Have you done anything yet or is anything in the works?
“So originally, I was doing stunts. And at the time, I was really just doing stunts for like films, or like projects or like little fight scenes with friends, and I had done some stuff. I was in John Morrison’s film “Speed of Time”, which went to the film festivals. That was a good little run of the festivals that the film did and it played at Comic Con this last year, which was cool.
“I did some films with Treach from Naughty By Nature and Rampage Jackson called “Lord of the Streets”. I just finished a film with Byron Mann. He was the original Ryu from Street Fighter. Back in the day, he was on “Altered Carbon” and “Wu Assassins” right now on Netflix. So he’s the main guy and also has Robert Patrick from Terminator Two in it. It’s about… kind of like a super soldier kind of like have you seen “Universal Soldier” with Jean Claude Van Damme? Yes, it’s kind of got those vibes to it. I played one of these like enhanced soldiers that are super turned up and I have this cool last fight scene with Byron in it. I’m excited to see that when it comes out. But the biggest things that I’ve done is last year, I was a co-star on an episode of NCIS.
“I just finished filming for Netflix with Michelle Yeoh from “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” I just finished filming for Netflix this month. The show was called “The Brothers Sun”. It should be dropping on Netflix sometime next year hopefully. And it’s about this triad family and a bunch of action and it was sick. The scene is sick, I co-starred in an episode. I’ll be in episode seven of the TV show that’s in season one so it’s a new season. And it’s kind of cool to be to be part of that cast because it was really an Asian cast full of all this all these talented people that are legit ninjas like these guys are badass. I’m watching these guys and I think that I could do some cool shit. But these guys are on another level. So I’m excited for the show. I think it’s gonna do really good I guarantee. It’s gonna hit top 10 on Netflix. I’m just excited to be part of that.
“I have a little girl she’s eight years old. She’s an actress. She just finished a movie with Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. and Clifton Powell. It’s a scary movie coming out soon was called “Skeletons in the Closet”. She plays the main actresses Valery Ortiz she plays her younger version. The film also stars Appy Pratt, this little girl who’s on Netflix in “The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Lady in the Window” on Netflix. So she’s on that show and she just finished filming for “Dungeons and Dragons” and stuff like that. So it’s gonna be a pretty cool movie when it comes out. She’s done a bunch of commercial, she’s done a McDonald’s commercial, cereal commercial. She does more acting stuff than me. Let’s just put it like that. But it’s been good.
“I feel blessed that I have a really good agent. His name’s Matthew Fox. He gets me all the auditions that I need. A lot of it is for military or police type stuff or like gangster number, number one or two like just the action-y stuff. I wrote a film called Joe Riv, produced it, starred in it, did my own stunts, took it to the festivals as we went six awards at the festivals. And I’m in the process right now, of writing the full-length feature film for that one. So I’m staying busy.
“I go to school every day Monday through Friday, I’m taking four classes. I go to the New York Film Academy in LA it’s an acting school I’m getting my bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. I’ve just been mastering my craft and everything that I’ve learned in school I’m also applying it to my wrestling, like just camera control, presence, stuff like that. So when I’m on the microphone, cutting promos and doing things in the ring, facials and stuff like that, like I’m learning a lot from school so suddenly take my game to the next level.”
Is there anything you want us to know about you that we may not already know?
“I’m a free agent. I’m a free agent open to whoever’s ready to bring a Latino superstar to their company. I have a lot to offer, and I’m ready to make some real money and maybe help a company make some real money. And I want to wrestle the best wrestlers in the world. I care about what I do. I’m passionate about what I do. And I think that everybody who’s been following me from the beginning or just started to follow me gonna see real fast, serious I am so let’s do it this work. If you’re not following me already, I’m available on all social media at @DannyLimeLight.”
I’m Officially a Free Agent. Where to Next 👀
— Danny LimeLight (@DannyLimeLight) September 8, 2022