Interviewer’s Note: ACH began life in Texas, but since that time has traveled the United States to compete in some of the most well-known and fastest growing independent promotions. He first got into wrestling as a fan of major promotions, but since that time he has jumped into the independent scene as a wrestler and as a spectator. Now a five year veteran of the wrestling industry, ACH has worked for CZW, CHIKARA and Beyond Wrestling among others. While he has enjoyed success stateside in the future he would like to wrestle in Japan and possibly showcase his skills in a Super J Cup competition. In this interview ACH and I focus on the topic of performing in wrestling tournaments.
Daniel Johnson: My first question is for those unfamiliar with your career where and when were you born and when did you debut as a wrestler?
ACH: I was born Born December 7th and in San Antonio, Texas.
Daniel Johnson: When did you have your first match?
ACH: I debuted in February 2007.
Daniel Johnson: How would you describe yourself as a performer in a nutshell?
ACH: Um-mm. Exciting.
Daniel Johnson: Getting into the topic of wrestling tournaments what was the first wrestling tournament you remember watching?
ACH: My first major tournament watching was WWF’s “King Of The Ring”. I don’t recall which one. I wasn’t a huge WWF fan in the 1990s. My first indie tournament was the Texas version of the J Cup.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any moments that stand out for you as particularly impressive or just made you think, “wow” and if so, why?
ACH: I don’t remember which KOTR it was. So, I don’t have any moments from it. But The J Cup from Texas I do remember! That night in the main event it was JT Lamotta versus Bret Thunder. That match was “wow”, brother! They gave me a new outlook on the junior weight class in wrestling! JT Lamotta is one of my favorite wrestlers and that night was the first time I saw him in action!
Daniel Johnson: Nice! Since that time you’ve wrestled in some wrestling tournaments yourself. Do you know how many you wrestled in exactly and what were they?
ACH: Lol. Oh, man! Beyond Wrestling: Tournament for Tomorrow, Magnum Pro [MP]: Battle Royale Cup, Absolute Intense Wrestling [AIW]: The JT Lightning Invitational Tournament, CZW: Best Of The Best, CHIKARA’s Young Lions Cup, and I think I missed a couple. Lol, sorry.
Daniel Johnson: You mentioned CZW Best of the Best. You were eliminated in the first round of that tournament by AR Fox in a three way match also featuring Lince Dorado. How do you think the match turned out? What were the positives and did you feel there were any negatives?
ACH: I think the match turned out pretty good. The positives in the match were I was able to showcase for a different type of fan base. CZW fans can be harsh if they don’t get into you. And on top of that I was in the ring with the most over guy in the promotion being AR Fox! I’m really hard on myself, so you don’t want me to get into the negatives, brother! Lol. Nah, some of my negatives our a bit personal so I wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about them.
Daniel Johnson: Had you seen any CZW Best of the Best tournaments prior to participating in one? If so are there any matches or moments that stick out to you as being particularly impressive.
ACH: Unfortunately, I was very sheltered in the beginning of my career. I wasn’t an indie wrestling fan when I started. Only because I had no clue it was there! But I did do a history report and studied Best of the Best tournaments from the past. And the one that sticks out the most to me was Best of the Best V. The quarter-final match: Mike Quackenbush versus Claudio Castagnoli was poetry, man!
Daniel Johnson: This is a little off topic, but what do you think of CZW’s current status in the wrestling world in general. Do you think the company should be more well known given its longevity and quality? If so why do you think CZW is not a bigger name?
ACH: I think CZW is well known. It’s one the top five indie promotions in the world if you ask me.
Daniel Johnson: Back on topic, more recently you wrestled for CHIKARA’s Young Lions Cup X. What was the experience like of wrestling all the way to the finals?
ACH: Awesome! I got to wrestle five guys with all different styles! Also, I got a chance to wrestle in a new state! The four way that took place in Everett, MA was one of the funnest matches I’ve been in. Matches like that are why I enjoy my job.
Daniel Johnson: Nice to hear you enjoyed wrestling in MA, that’s where I’m from! Anyway, what did you think of the structure of the tournament with four way matches leading into singles matches? How, if at all do you think it helps the tournament stand out?
ACH: Haha. Sweet! I think with it being structured the way it was helped keep it interesting. The curiosity in a four way is always at a high point! And some of the four way matches had fresh faces, so everyone stayed tuned in to what would happen next and wanted to see who would advance. It also keeps the tournament short so fans won’t get burned out so fast.
Daniel Johnson: How much pressure was it to perform in the final match of the tournament? What did you do to prepare for it?
ACH: I was pretty nervous! I remember talking to Quack before the show that night and he pretty much told me this needs to be Wrestlemania! Well, he didn’t say that, but I took his words that way! Lol. I zoned out in the locker room that day. I took myself away from the boys so I could prepare my mind.
Daniel Johnson: The last specific tournament I wanted to focus on was Beyond Wrestling: Tournament for Tomorrow that you wrestled in last year. How did you first get started with Beyond Wrestling?
ACH: Word of mouth. I was getting some buzz back home in Texas and I was in a fray for DGUSA a couple of months before the tournament. A bunch of guys put me over to Drew Cordeiro [Denver Colorado, the man, not the place] and he had an open vote to see who the fans wanted to see in the tournament.
Daniel Johnson: Beyond Wrestling seems like a pretty unique promotion. For instance when it first started they didn’t have any shows in front of fans. What, if anything do you find is still unique about Beyond Wrestling and can other promotions learn from the company?
ACH: I love it! I think other promotions can learn to trust the product like Beyond does. He lets you go out there and have fun. It’s a job, but you get to express yourself freely while getting yourself over.
Daniel Johnson: You wrestled AR Fox, Pinkie Sanchez and Aaron Epic in three separate matches for the tournament. Did any of the three matches in particular stand out as being the best one for you? If so why do you think that one is the best?
ACH: I loved them all the same. I don’t compare the matches because each one had a unique thing about it. But if I had to pick one…AR Fox. Only because it was my coming out party to the east coast.
Daniel Johnson: Did the tournament include any talent that you saw for the first time there? Are there any matches that you didn’t wrestle in that stuck out to you just as a fan?
ACH: I can’t recall any of the matches that night. There were so many! But JT Dunn is one of the guys that stuck out that night!
Daniel Johnson: The Tournament for Tomorrow was another case of you wrestling all the way up to the finals of a tournament. What is it like to go into a new place and get the fans immediately behind you as was shown through your success that night?
ACH: It’s breathtaking, man! If you ask me, I’m just Albert from Austin, Texas enjoying his career and life. It really means the world to me to hear all the kind words from people.
Daniel Johnson: Will you be wrestling for Beyond Wrestling’s Tournament for Tomorrow II this year or CZW Best of the Best XII next year? How about CHIKARA’s Young Lions Cup XI?
ACH: I talked to Drew about it already. And he said…no, lol! And for the other two, I couldn’t tell you, man! I would love to, but I don’t know right now.
Daniel Johnson: That’s too bad I’m sure your fans would have loved to see you in another Beyond Wrestling tournament! Going beyond just Beyond Wrestling though have any wrestlers in particular impressed you with their endurance in being able to have multiple quality matches in the same night for a tournament?
ACH: Nah. Everyone I know or have seen in a tournament trained hard. Everyone was always at their best that night whether it was their second match of the night or third!
Daniel Johnson: How important is it to use the time for resting between matches in a one night tournament? Do you just lie down at those points or are you afraid of cramping up?
ACH: Very important! But you don’t want to get too relaxed. I try to get a moment to myself to get my wind back, then I try to stay loose so I won’t cramp up.
Daniel Johnson: What advice would you give to anyone planning to wrestle multiple matches in a one night tournament?
ACH: Make sure you are at your best! Drink water, but not too much. Also, make sure that you keep your mind clear of all outside problems and never hold anything back!
Daniel Johnson: Wrestling tournaments are often talked about for the prestige that they give the winner or even just the participants. What wrestling tournament do you think is the most prestigious one to compete in?
ACH: The Super J Cup over in Japan. But overall all tournaments are special. You have a group of the best going for one goal.
Daniel Johnson: Looking to the future, I don’t believe you’ve gotten a chance to wrestle in Japan, a country known for having some great wrestling tournaments yet? Would you like to go there in the future? If so what company would you wrestle for even beyond just considering wrestling for tournaments?
ACH: Oh yeah! That is my current goal right now. I would love to wrestle for Dragon Gate [DG] and one day take part in a Super J Cup!
Daniel Johnson: This is a broad question, but what is your favorite single wrestling tournament of all time both as an observer and participant?
ACH: The Super J Cup 1994 of course! Wild Pegasus, Ricky Fuji, Dean Malenko and everyone on that show!
Daniel Johnson: Yes, it was a great show to watch and re-watch! I also had just a few more non-tournament related questions. I always like to hear about ribs and road stories. Do you have any that you would be able to share?
ACH: Haha. Old Arik Cannon pulls ribs on me all the time. I’m just going to say that!
Daniel Johnson: Do you have any plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
ACH: Somewhere doing what I love around people I love! I can’t see inside the future, brother. But bet your top dollar that I will be feeling the same way about wrestling the way I did growing up!
Daniel Johnson: As part of my last few questions I like to ask five non-wrestling related questions just to bring a little uniqueness to the interview. If you don’t have an answer or don’t want to answer one of them just feel free to say, “skip.” Outside of wrestling, what television shows do you enjoy watching these days?
ACH: Dragon Ball Z (that was easy!), Martin, The Wayne Bros., Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil and every show on The ’90s Are All That.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
ACH: The Avengers.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
ACH: A California roll. Good looking out Davey Vega.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out this year?
ACH: I have been using Lupe Fiasco “The Show Goes On” for some time now. I don’t plan on changing it!
Daniel Johnson: Did you vote in your last local election? If so would you be willing to say for who?
Daniel Johnson: No problem. This is a broad question, but one I try to ask everyone: What is the weirdest part of being a professional wrestler?
ACH: Being half naked and rolling around with oiled up men! Lol.
Daniel Johnson: My last question is just is there anything you would like to add or talk about that we haven’t talked about already?
ACH: Um. I don’t have anything, bro. Oh! I would like people to check out all the places I wrestle for via Smart Mark Video!
Witness ACH’s performance in the final match of Beyond Wrestling: Tournament for Tomorrow! Here he takes on Aaron Epic after already defeating AR Fox and Pinkie Sanchez in the same night: