This afternoon I had the pleasure of sitting down with the “Lone Star” Curt Stallion, an emerging name on the U.S. independent scene that may be on the verge of a major breakout as we head into 2019.
The born-and-bred Texan was trained by former ROH World Champion and current New Japan Pro Wrestling star Michael Elgin, marrying a blend of speed and technical excellence with a deep love for hard-hitting Japanese Strong-Style wrestling.
Stallion competed in the 2017 Ring of Honor Top Prospects tournament making it to the semifinal round, and has since become a mainstay on the midwest indie scene; a regular for Chicago’s AAW promotion and the current reigning Glory Pro Crown of Glory Champion. He will also be making his debut for EVOLVE Wrestling this December for two big events in New York.
I want to thank Curt, as always, for taking the time to sit down with me and discuss his upcoming EVOLVE debut, as well as a myriad of topics including his love for Disney movies, wanting to work the 2019 BOLA tournament, training at the New Japan Dojo in Los Angles and more!
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SO, TELL ME ABOUT HOW THIS EVOLVE BOOKING CAME TO BE?
“That’s a really good question.”
“I honestly can’t say how it came about. I did an EVOLVE camp in 2016, and I was nothing special then. I hadn’t been in contact with Gabe since then. If I had to make a guess, my assumption is that Matt Riddle put in the call for me. I’m pretty sure that’s what it was.”
“I was sitting at my friends house and I got a message on Facebook. I look and it’s Gabe Sapolsky. He was like, ‘Do you know who I am?’ I’d have to be an idiot not to know who he is. He asked when I was free, and we got New York set up for two days. I just saw on WWE.com that I’ve got AR Fox in a singles match, and Colby Corino and two others in a four-way.”
IS THAT HOW YOU FOUND OUT? ON WWE.COM?
“Yeah, man! Isn’t that crazy? I had no idea what I was doing until I saw it there.”
WELCOME TO 2018, I GUESS…
“I’m very, very excited about the opportunity to wrestle for EVOLVE. It’s a new platform for me, and it’s a new place to showcase what I’ve got. I know there’s going to be people there that I want their critiques, and hopefully I’ll get them.”
DO YOU SEE THIS AS A WAY TO POTENTIALLY SLINGSHOT YOU INTO WWE DOWN THE LINE, OR IS THIS JUST ANOTHER STOP ON THE JOURNEY?
“Do I think it’s a way for me to skyrocket myself to WWE? I could be, but that’s not what I’m going for right now. That’s always the end goal, but right now my goal is to do as best as I can to get another EVOLVE booking. I’m not expecting anything. It’s one step at a time, and that’s the way I’m trying to do it.”
IT SEEMS LIKE THERE ALMOST ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES IN WRESTLING RIGHT NOW, AND SO MANY PLACES YOU COULD END UP. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU REALLY WANT TO DO IN 2019?
“Japan. The UK. BOLA.”
PWG’s BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES?
“BOLA is going to be my goal every year until it happens. That’s the goal right now. Once I do BOLA then I’ll start being like, ‘Where do I want to get signed to?’ But until then, BOLA is my f—ing goal. That’s the first indie highlight video I ever saw on YouTube. I know that’s where the cream of the crop go. Not just signed guys, not just bigger names from other places — that’s where the cream goes, and I want to be on that list of names.”
YOU RECENTLY SPENT SOME TIME TRAINING AT THE NJPW DOJO IN CALIFORNIA. I KNOW SHIBATA IS ONE OF YOUR PERSONAL HEROES, SO WHAT WAS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE FOR YOU?
“It was the most intense thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. Not only because the work-outs were so rigorous and intense, but it’s not just that. It was the fact that my hero was standing over me, starring at everything I do, making my brain – which was ready to give out – you can’t quit, and you have to keep going. Just that stress, with him there. I had a blast, and it was such an awesome learning experience, but holy s— was it intense.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO GO BACK?
“I would love to! It all depends on scheduling, and being able to get myself out there. I have to pay my way to get out there, like I assume everyone that goes out there still does. But it’s free for people that return. If you’ve already done it once, you don’t have to pay again. If I could line up bookings out there for the weekend…”
HOW DID YOU ACTUALLY MAKE IT TO THE DOJO IN THE FIRST PLACE?
“I asked [Michael] Elgin if he was the person to put my name in the hat, but he didn’t even know they were doing it. I just applied for it. On my resume I said I was in the ROH Top Prospect tournament and had worked in Canada and Mexico. They picked me for the first class! I think Kevin Kelly had a lot to do with it as well.”
I KNOW YOU LIVE THE JAPANESE STRONG-STYLE OF WRESTLING. I’VE SEEN YOU CONSTANTLY STUDYING THOSE MATCHES. HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED PACKING UP AND MOVING EVERYTHING TO JAPAN, AND JUST TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN?
“Absolutely. Every day I think about that. I wonder if I could pack up and just go live there for as long as they let me. But I don’t have the means for it right now, and nobody is going to pay my way for me. So I just have to grind my way there, and if it happens it happens.”
TOTALLY UNRELATED QUESTION. PEOPLE MIGHT NOT KNOW THIS ABOUT YOU, BUT YOU’RE A MASSIVE FAN OF DISNEY MOVIES. SO WITH ALL THESE REMAKES COMING OUT I HAVE TO ASK — LIVE ACTION REMAKES, YES OR NO?
“Yes. It’s a way to get people invested in the past that are young little bastards that don’t have any way or want to branch out. Kids nowadays are like, ‘That looks old, I don’t want to watch that.’ But if they watch the live-action version and they get into it, they might watch the stuff that was made before. I just think it’s cool.”
DESERT ISLAND QUESTION. IF YOU COULD ONLY TAKE ONE DISNEY MOVIE WITH YOU WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
“Aladdin, definitely. My three favorites are Lion King, Aladdin and Nightmare Before Christmas. Some people think Nightmare Before Christmas doesn’t count so I’m like, ‘Fine! Alright b— it’s Hercules, than! I’ll choke people over this s—!”
“I have so many memories of Aladdin from when I was a little kid. My mom would sing me the songs and I would go to sleep watching it at night. I loved that movie. And it’s got such a good message and story to it.”
FINAL QUESTION, AND IT’S ONE I’M ASKING EVERYONE AS 2018 COMES TO A CLOSE. BESIDES YOURSELF, WHO IS YOUR PICK FOR WRESTLER OF THE YEAR, AND IF YOU HAD TO PICK ONE FAVORITE MATCH YOU SAW LIVE WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND PEOPLE CHECK OUT?
“The best match I saw live all year long was Bandido and Flamita against Pentagon and Fenix for AAW at Logan Square. My wrestler of the year — I want to say Fenix but I also want to say ACH. It’s a draw between those two bastards, for me.”
THAT’S ALL I’VE GOT, UNLESS YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE…
“Just go buy my merch and follow me on Twitter @CurtStallion!”