Thrillbilly Silas Mason recently appeared as a guest on the Wrestling Epicenter program for an in-depth interview covering all things pro wrestling.
During the discussion, the NWA star spoke about the NWA 75 show, being involved in music before wrestling, meeting his hero Terry Funk, having a drag queen as his valet, his feud with EC3, his dream match and more.
Featured below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On NWA 75: “After NWA 75, people are going to see the Archduke in Serbia as just a footnote in history after what I’m going to do.”
On the 3 way match at NWA 75: “I think if you took all 3 of us, put us up on a scale, you’d see that we are literally the biggest match in the NWA! I don’t knwo about Kratos and old Odinson. I’ve tangled with those guys a few times and I think my record speaks for itself. You’re looking at the next NWA National Champion!”
On being involved in music before wrestling: “I was a front man in a punk band which is totally different from being a singer in a rock band. I’m not too good at the singing part. But, we were more a punk band. The band was called Lead Knuckle. And, after it, I found out why Led Zeppelin spelled their “Led” that way. We kept getting called “Lead” Knuckle, like the leader of the pack.”
On what first captured his imagination about pro wrestling: “I was a little kid and I saw Ultimo Dragon and La Parka wrestling on WCW. I was like, these are two action figures come to life! And, I wanted to be an action figure!”
On getting cast as Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy in The Iron Claw”: “Yep. I literally just got a call out of nowhere. Luke Hawx who used to wrestle for us in the NWA called and said, “We needa Terry Gordy!” So, i shaved my face and shaved my chest. The rest is history! But, it was an amazing experience! I’ve been ripping the guy (Terry Gordy) off ever since I started wrestling! So, it was real easy for me personally. Everyone always said I look like Gordy and I talk like (Michael) Hayes!”
On getting advice on set from classic wrestling legends like James Beard: “I love James (Beard)! You know, I never got to be around the Freebirds. I’m a little bit younger than James, just by a hair! But, James was there for that. He was a referee for World Class. So, we wold be on set, and this was all free form with what we were going to do wrestling wise. And, James would say, “Hey, man. I think Gordy would do this.” And, he’d tell me. Man, James’ insights were immeasurably helpful. I loved having advice from that guy.”
On being so young yet naming Terry Funk as his favorite wrestler: “If you could see me right now, you would see agove my bed, literally, is a big picture of Terry Funk. I also have an action figure of his that my mom got me one year for Christmas. Man, I don’t know what it is about him… Because, the first time I saw him, he was Chainsaw Charlie. That ain’t Terry Funk! Well, it is but not really. I didn’t have the Internet until I got to college, right? And, when I got on the Internet, I found my way to old school wrestling forums and that is where I got really into classic wrestling. But, when I saw Terry Funk’s classic stuff, I was like, “This is exactly what a professional wrestler should be!” So, I started watching a bunch of his tapes. I went back and saw tape of his stuff with Jerry Lawler in Memphis, and his stuff in Japan. I’m not much into the whole “Death Match” thing. But, him and Foley! And, that was another thing, Mick Foley, who was my favorite wrestler as a kid – Him and The Rock, was always putting over Terry Funk in books and things. So, I figured if Mick Foley is putting this guy over, I have got to check this dude out!”
On meeting his hero Terry Funk: “I met him once at a TGI Friday’s in Las Vegas! It was the Cauliflower Alley Club and I was hammered drunk! My friends were like, “That’s Terry Funk! Be cool!” And I said, “Fuck that!” and I ran up to him, I said, “Mr. Funk, it is a God damn honor to meet you!” He was real nice. He said, “Oh, you yung men, I see a bright future for you. But, we’re old.” Then an older referee came up to him and they started talking about the good old days. It was amazing seeing a guy who always said he was “Middle Aged and Crazy”, that is what he called himself, turn into this real nice older guy, it was great, man!”
On wrestling losing some of its larger than life personalities for a while: “Man, there was a time when it seemed like some of the big characters went away. But, I’m looking at a poster right now, an NWA poster and I’m on it too. I can say most of these guys on here are a little crazy. I mean, if you choose to leave your families and go to a place, put on your underwear, and fight in a ring in front of a room full of strangers, there has to be something wrong with you. Right? Well, I’m looking at this poster and I see Mecca Wolf and Bestia 666. These guys dress up like demons. And, that is who they are! It has gotten to the point where WWE and AEW took u so many people and so many athletes and even some people who weren’t already in the business – Or, maybe in AEW’s case, little trampoline cowboys. But, now, it is time for the real mother fuckers to show back up!”
On quoting Jim Cornette with the “Trampoline Cowboys” remark: “I love Jim Cornette, man. He’s the smartest guy in the business… He really is! Whenever I listen to his podcast, it isn’t just for entertainment. It is also for education.”
On having drag queen Pollo Del Mar as his valet: “She’s a big character. But, right now, she’s becoming a problem. When we’re out there, she needs to realize the Thrillbilly is the star. She just needs to stand there. If she can do that, I’ll let her keep doing the books and cooking my beans back home. But other than that, she just needs to be staying put!”
On bonding with Billy Corgan over music as well as wrestling: “Well, we were both played on the same radio station so we’re the equivalent of each other. I know about being a rockstar, he knows about being a rockstar! But, the debate is closed on if there is a difference between being a frot man and being a singer. He can do this… (Tries to hit a high note) and sing in this high range. And, I can’t sing like that. But, I’m entertaining. So, I’m a front man. That said, I can do Rebel Yell by Billy idol karaoke better than anybody, though!”
On the NWA giving a nostalgic vibe with new breed physicality: “In terms of feeling, yes. That is one of the things we have going for us. Nobody has the budget of WWE. But, what they do is they go to every building all over the world and they make every place look exactly the same. They have the budget to make every place look exactly the same. But, the best show they did recently was the one in Puerto Rico where they didn’t have enough room because there were too many damn people so it was just the aisle and the ring. So, for us at the NWA, for us to step up to the next level, we need to embrace the vibe and the feel of these individual venues. We travel to a lot of cool places. So, we should find cool venues that look and feel like where we are. If that’s Chicago, find a place in Chicago that feels like Chicago. And, in the South too.”
On his recent feud with EC3: “EC3 is a guy who likes to manipulate people. He’s very good at it. But, the fact of the matter is this, it should be me in there challenging for the NWA World Title because I had his ass on the ropes many times. But, he manipulated the weakness of a woman like Pollo Del Mar. It should have been me who traded in that National Title for the Title Shot. But, when he wins the NWA title, I just want him to know there’s a target on his ass and there’s a missile coming for it and it is the Thrillbilly, baby!”
On who he sees winning between EC3 and Tyrus at the NWA 75 PPV: “I know Tyrus and I’ve met his wife. They’re both very business minded people. I mean, look, he’s making all that money from being on FOX News! He wouldn’t put his career on the line unless he knew he had this in the bag.If Tyrus really wanted to change things up, though, he’d put me in on FOX News one time. I’d change that thing up real quick! People would have no idea what is happening!”
On his dream match: “I want to defend the NWA World Heavyweight Title in Tokyo, Japan at the Tokyo Dome at Wrestle Kingdom.”
Check out the complete interview via the YouTube player embedded below.