It’s Halloween every day of the week for Vinny Marseglia. The Kingdom’s resident “Horror King” finds enjoyment striking fear in opponents and fans alike. With his trademark mask, ax and blood red balloons, that’s not hard to do. Before one-third of the Ring of Honor six-man tag team champions hits the road for Texas and the State of the Art shows, Marseglia took time out for an interview. Here he delves into infusing elements of horror movies into pro wrestling, company developments and what’s to come for him and ROH.
Right now, is an exciting time for Ring of Honor, yourself and The Kingdom. What it is like for you to have more creative freedom it seems when it comes to your presentation, your entrance and overall persona?
I love it. It’s cool because I’m a big horror movie fan. I love them just as much as pro wrestling. It’s kind of cool for me to bring something that I love into pro wrestling, so the Ring of Honor fans can really know who the “Horror King” is and who Vinny Marseglia is. Being in The Kingdom is the cherry on top. I travel the world with my friends. Being able to do that in a group and having that chemistry we naturally have. I’ve know Matt for 10 years. We started training together at the Spike Dudley Lock-Up Academy, and 10 years later we have our own school the XWA Wrestling Kingdom in West Warrick, Rhode Island. It has just been awesome. For years, I wanted to be a part of Ring of Honor. To be a part of Ring of Honor, the “Horror King” being a two-time six-man tag team champion is awesome.
How far back does your love of horror films go? How did that passion for them start growing up? What was the first movie that kind of got you hooked?
When I was a kid my mother was huge into horror movies. We would always watch all the 80’s ones including the Creepshow and Halloween, and the Friday the 13th series and Puppet Master. I watched all these hidden gems. Ones people don’t know. A lot of ones you have to be in that cult following to know these movies. When I was younger instead of cartoons, I would watch horror films with my mother. I probably shouldn’t have been. She was a big fan.
How old were you?
I had to be at least six, seven. I was young, but we have a four-year-old daughter who can name you off who Michael Myers is, who Freddy is. My whole family is very into the horror scene, except for my dad. He doesn’t care for it much. When I was younger he would ask my mom why she was letting me watch that stuff. I loved it. My mom explained to me it was just a movie. At first, I was afraid yet interested. I wanted to watch it. The Lost Boys is my favorite film period. It’s more of a horror comedy, but that’s my favorite film overall. Then you get to horror I remember the original Halloween I saw early on and going into Creepshow. Then myself and my wife, we collect horror movie props. We have a used Halloween mask. We have a used Lost Boys jacket from the film framed in one of our rooms. We have tons of horror memorabilia everywhere. My family is very big into it. The “Horror King” is very real.
What do you make of all the remakes? You have the red balloons that have become a signature. You have IT and a sequel coming out. You have a new Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis.
A lot of people knock that stuff. It’s a different generation. People views movies now than they did before. A younger generation now looks back at when I loved horror movies and thinks maybe, “oh my God, it’s so terrible.” A lot of them were. The nostalgia of it sticks with you though. I can’t wait for the new Halloween. It looks fantastic. Someone actually sent me a tweet asking what I thought about Michael Myers going on a killing spree in his 60s. Who cares first of all? It has John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis and the castle from the original Halloween. You’re looking to deep. It is what it is. Everyone is excited to see it. I’m not really a big fan of It. I love Stephen King. I love what he has done and reading his books. I love Pet Cemetery, Silver Bullet, but I was not really big into It for some reason. I don’t hate it, but I never really loved it. There was something creepy about the red balloon that I always thought was really cool. I thought having the red balloon associate with the “Horror King” would be pretty good symbolism. People love the red balloons. I love it. It’s cool and fun to do. It’s another layer to the “Horror King” people seem to enjoy. I like it too.
With pro wrestling, it’s all about standing out and showing a bit of yourself. You are being able to do both in this way.
It took me a while. You get into pro wrestling and learn the art of it. You learn safety and how to do it correctly. Then you think you have to be something you don’t have to be. It takes you a while to get comfortable and show yourself. It took a while, but basically what everyone is seeing now is Vinny Marseglia. Everything I love, horror and pro wrestling.
Is there anyone in the locker room that the “Horror King” looks to scare with your horror movie props?
A lot of people are afraid of the ax. It is a real ax. I can understand that. A lot of people are a little standoffish with the ax.
So, you try to freak people out with that thing?
I don’t’ try to freak people out. I guess they are not the biggest fan of it and keep as far away as possible.
Do you bring that into airports? How does it travel?
I keep it on the ring truck stored away. I did fly with it one time when I went to the United Kingdom. That was kind of nerve wracking. It had casing on it. That was the only time, but it travels with the ring. I’m always under the ring. So, it works.
There is some buzz with Ring of Honor and its future. You have Cody and the Young Bucks selling out ALL In and the news from a Sinclair exec about the company venturing into Madison Square Garden. What do you make of all this?
It’s incredible. I got the news the same way you did really. When I saw that, it was cool to see. I don’t know the whole details about the MSG news, but being a part of Ring of Honor wrestling and seeing it grow while being a part of it is incredible. And congrats to those guys for selling out All In. They went for it and tried something and succeeded. That’s awesome. Just to see Ring of Honor and everyone working hard to make things happen. It’s a cool thing to see. This growth building on top of each other. I’m grateful to be a part of it.
You have a big weekend coming up. First, you’re meeting The Boys.
I have a surprise for The Boys.
Anything you can say now? A little hint?
You got to tune in to the live stream on the HonorClub. Check it out. Only $9.99 a month.
The next night you are defending the titles against a team from CMLL headed up by the legendary Atlantis. What is it like for you to work with talent outside of Ring of Honor?
I love that. Anything that is a challenge and new and something different. I love that kind of stuff. I’m looking forward to both days. I love wrestling different talent from all different places. You learn different things along the way you might have not known before. I love getting into the ring with anyone who can possibly show me something.
After that you have Best in the World on the horizon where The Kingdom is facing a team from New Japan Pro Wrestling in Los Ingobernables de Japon. No stranger to six-man tag team success. With New Japan being so big, all eyes are going to be on that match. How are you preparing for June 29? What can fans expect from that one?
It will be something to see. It’s for the titles with us versus LIJ. It’s going to be wild. Tune into the Pay-Per-View, and we’re going to give you the best six-man tag team title match you’ve ever seen.
Anything else outside of Ring of Honor you wanted to mention?
I recently did a movie. A horror film called The Find. The trailer should be out within a week or the next few days. It comes out on Halloween. It’s exciting. I’m not going to give anything away. Wait for the trailer to see it. It’s kind of like a Scream vibe to it. Kids go away for winter break to a big mansion. The killer winds up in the house where all the college kids are. You can pretty much guess where it goes from there.
What is your role? Or can you not say?
I am Damon. The main killer and character. The “Horror King” is Damon, and a character in a new horror movie coming out.
That’s amazing. Got to be a dream come true for you.
It’s awesome. It’s another thing on top of being a pro wrestling. I’m grateful for all these opportunities. I hope there are more of them.
Catch State of the Art shows June 15 and 16 streaming live and free for HonorClub members. Visit www.rohwrestling.com/nonmembership for details.