Interviewer’s Note: Twiggy is a proud member of the Inter Species Wrestling (ISW) locker room. In fact, he’s not only a member, he’s also the current holder of the ISW Championship. ISW began in 2005 and since that time have had a slew of shows across two countries. They are based out of Quebec, Montreal in Canada and Danbury, Connecticut in the United States. Their next show is coming up this Saturday, November 17 and is titled ARMAGEDDOCALYPSE. More information about the show can be found here. This interview took place on October 18, 2012 and in it Twiggy and I focus on the topic of being the top champion of a promotion in 2012.
Daniel Johnson: My first question is: In a nutshell how would you describe yourself and your career?
Twiggy: I would wager to say that it’s a good little underdog story. A lot of people, including myself never really thought I would have accomplished a lot of the cool things that I have been able to thus far. I’m just an easy going dude who’s goal has been to have fun in wrestling and I feel having that attitude has opened a lot of doors.
Daniel Johnson: Were you a fan of wrestling growing up? If so what kind of wrestling did you watch? If not then when did you first get into wrestling?
Twiggy: I was absolutely a wrestling fan growing up. My entire family watched it so I was basically raised on the stuff. I was a massive WWF fan as a kid. Hulk Hogan was my Jesus!
Daniel Johnson: Are you still a Hulkamaniac? Has your taste in wrestling changed at all? If so how?
Twiggy: I think I’ll always have a huge soft spot for the Hulkster, even if he is filming himself having sex with someone else’s girlfriend. These days I find myself a little disillusioned with mainstream wrestling. I certainly don’t feel as stimulated watching it as I once did but then again, it may be due to fact that I’m involved in wrestling so perhaps that kills the magic for me a little bit. At the end of the day, if wrestling is available to watch, I will definitely watch it.
Daniel Johnson: Prior to working for Inter Species Wrestling were you a fan of any comedy promotions? If so what are some of your favorite memories of these promotions?
Twiggy: Promotions, not so much. I certainly had an interest in comedy matches early on. At that time, I found a lot of entertainment in stuff that guys like Colt Cabana and Beef Wellington were doing. I also really enjoyed the series of matches between Ebessan and Kuishinbo Kamen.
Daniel Johnson: How did you first get involved with Inter Species Wrestling?
Twiggy: While working for the IWS, I met Mike Rotch and we instantly hit it off and became friends. Fast forward a couple of years and he has this wild vision for what he would like in a wrestling promotion. He asked me if I wanted to take part in it, which of course I did. The rest is basically history!
Daniel Johnson: How did you become the ISW Champion?
Twiggy: In November 2011, I took on Giant Tiger who at that point had been champion for over two years. We had a pretty physical match, which Giant Tiger is not known for. In the end, I ended up with the title!
Daniel Johnson: This is a broad question, but what is it like being the top champion of a promotion in 2012?
Twiggy: Well, it’s always an honor to hold any title in a promotion, let alone it’s main title. It’s especially neat to hold the ISW Title as I was there from it’s early days and I’ve been able to see it grow.
Daniel Johnson: A wrestling stereotype might be that wrestling champions are big oiled up He-Man types, but you are a smaller guy. Do you think this stereotype exists today and if so will it ever go away?
Twiggy: I think it’s a stereotype that has always existed and will likely continue to exist. I don’t even fault the stereotype, it makes absolute sense to me, but I feel like wrestlers do and should come in all different shapes and sizes. That is what especially makes independent wrestling special and unique. Even in the WWE, guys who haven’t been the biggest dudes have managed to make it as champions. Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels all the way down to Daniel Bryan.
Daniel Johnson: On a similar note according to Interspecieswrestling.com you are 5’9″ and 130 lbs. What do you think of a lot, if not most promotions, calling their top title a heavyweight championship. Is it significant at all that ISW doesn’t do this?
Twiggy: Well, with a company like ISW, if you look at their roster page, there aren’t many guys or girls that would be filed in the “heavyweight” category. So at the end of the day, I don’t feel like it’s significant whatsoever.
Daniel Johnson: At times promotions have used their top champion as the face of the company. Do you feel that you are pushed as the face of the company? Either way how, if at all important do you think it is to have one person serve as the face of a company?
Twiggy: For me, Giant Tiger has always been the poster boy of Inter Species Wrestling and that’s the way it should be. That character put the company on the map. With that being said, there are so many different characters that contribute to ISW and help make it special. I think with any company, it’s a team effort all the way.
Daniel Johnson: Some wrestling critics have said there are “politics” that may keep a performer from becoming a champion or on the other hand can be used as a way for a wrestler to stay champion? Have you had to deal with any “politics” in wrestling either in ISW or elsewhere? If so how?
Twiggy: I personally haven’t seen it happen in ISW or anywhere and if it does, I don’t know about it. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, because I’m sure it does. In wrestling, there will always be disagreements between talent and people in charge as to what should or shouldn’t happen on shows. It’s just one of those things that happen so you just have to grin and bear it.
Daniel Johnson: How important do you think top championships are in wrestling these days? Do you think they have become more or less important in the last couple of decades?
Twiggy: I would say that titles have probably become less important in the last decade. In my opinion, the reason is simply because there is so much talent on shows in each promotion so everything has some importance to it.
Daniel Johnson: The ROH World Championship has been described as a title that some of the best independent workers have either had or will go onto have. Likewise, is the ISW Championship significant in any comparable way? In short, how important do you think the ISW Championship is?
Twiggy: Well, ISW and ROH are in two completely different universes. ROH has established itself as the number one independent wrestling company in the world. I don’t even know if I could label it as an independent at this point. ISW is still growing and there is still a lot of growing to do but the future certainly looks bright.
Daniel Johnson: Changing gears a little bit, who have been some of your favorite opponents to work with in matches for the ISW Championship?
Twiggy: At this point, I’ve only defended it twice but the two times I did defend it, I thoroughly enjoyed squaring off with Giant Tiger and the man they call “Shitty.”
Daniel Johnson: If you had to pick one what is your favorite championship match that you have wrestled in and why? You can count your matches as a challenger too.
Twiggy: I would have to go with a scramble match for the International Wrestling Syndicate Tag Team Championship back in 2008. It featured 3.0, Super Smash Bros., The Untouchables, Franky The Mobster and myself. We won the titles on that night so it was a pretty special moment.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite championship match that you have watched? You can go as far back as you like for this one and include any promotion.
Twiggy: Bret Hart versus Shawn Michaels in the iron man match at WrestleMania XII is a title match that always sticks out in my mind.
Daniel Johnson: Some say a top title is not a “world” championship until it is defended in a foreign country. Do you believe this factor should play a role in whether a title is defined as a world championship?
Twiggy: I would say there is truth to that. I would say what makes a world title is that it’s a championship taken to and defended in countries all around the world.
Daniel Johnson: A little earlier you mentioned Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart who both held the WWF Intercontinental Championship before getting the big one. ISW also has the ISW Other Championship. What importance do you think secondary titles have on today’s wrestling scene?
Twiggy: I think it’s extremely important, if not as important. Secondary titles often dictate who is on their way to the top.
Daniel Johnson: Sometimes promotions will cross promote and a title will be defended on another promotion’s show. What do you think of this concept and do you think you will do this in the future?
Twiggy: I think it’s smart, it can definitely help both companies. ISW has been known for featuring showcase matches in other promotions. For example, the ISW Championship was defended during the 2009 edition of the CHIKARA King of Trios.
Daniel Johnson: Do you think it is likely ISW will do something like that again with their top title any time soon?
Twiggy: It’s entirely possible and something I am always up for as long as I hold the title.
Daniel Johnson: In a similar vein are there are any promotions that you would like to wrestle for that you haven’t as of yet whether or not the ISW Championship is involved?
Twiggy: In all honesty, I would love to work with any promotion who would like to have me! I would especially like to go back to Europe and perform in countries I didn’t get the chance to my first time around.
Daniel Johnson: Any country in particular?
Twiggy: I would definitely like to make it out to England or Germany.
Daniel Johnson: A lot of wrestling fans are really passionate about championship belts. Have there been any belts in particular that you have liked the design of? Do you have a favorite design?
Twiggy: The “Winged Eagle” will always be my favorite.
Daniel Johnson: In the past some champions have rejected championships as a way to cause a blow to a former employer. Like Madusa tossing the WWF Women’s Championship in the trash on WCW Monday Nitro. Do you think this act would have as much of an impact today. Do you think that something like this will happen again any time soon?
Twiggy: Well, I think if a talent were to jump from any top company like WWE to TNA or vice versa, it would still have the shock factor effect to it. I would say the same thing goes for anyone who would do that in any top independent promotion.
Daniel Johnson: I also had some more general questions to ask. My first one is: Have you ever gotten any weird responses when telling someone that you work for Inter Species Wrestling?
Twiggy: I would say any time you tell people you work for Inter Species Wrestling or let people know what goes on in the shows with particular characters, you definitely get some interested and curious looks and responses!
Daniel Johnson: Nice! Have you ever Google searched the company and come up with anything strange?
Twiggy: You know, I never have but now that you mention it…I just might. I certainly hope I find some nice weird stuff!
Daniel Johnson: Haha. Again, I”m going super broad here, but how has Inter Species Wrestling changed, if at all since you first began working for the company?
Twiggy: I would definitely say it has changed. The locker room on day one is nothing like the locker room that exists presently. So many faces have come and gone. Even the style of shows have changed. In the early days, it seemed the shows were almost purely comedy based where now it seems the aim is to offer exciting wrestling with characters you can’t see anywhere else.
Daniel Johnson: Has this affected your personal style of wrestling at all or do you feel like what you offer is pretty much the same as on day one?
Twiggy: I am always aiming to improve but the core of who I am is the exact same as who I was from the day we started this wild ISW journey.
Daniel Johnson: I always like to hear about ribs and road stories. Do you have any that you would be willing to share?
Twiggy: I’ve been asked this question so many times and I always wish I had a great answer or story. Anytime I am in a car with 3.0′s Shane Matthews, my aim is to make his life a living Hell. I did spend a couple of hours in a car with him and Jagged as we listened to Jeff Jarrett/Jesse James’ “With My Baby Tonight” on loop trying to memorize all of the words.
Daniel Johnson: Haha, I’ve had someone do something similar to me with “Cooking by the Book” by Lazy Town. Anyway, is there anything that you would like to promote or that you think reader of this interview should check out?
Twiggy: As always, check out anything related to Inter Species Wrestling! They have a show in Connecticut on November 17! Interspecieswrestling.com. You can also find me in Ottawa’s C4 Wrestling! They are located on the web at C4wrestling.com. I am also a big part of Montreal’s BATTLEWAR promotion which is growing quickly as well. Any fan of the old IWS will love what BATTLEWAR has to offer. Facebook.com/battlewarinfo. I also perform improvised comedy every week at Montreal Improv! Montrealimprov.com!
Daniel Johnson: Awesome! 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?
Twiggy: I’ve always been a massive fan of Seinfeld and The Simpsons. Current shows I am really into these days are Dexter, The League and Breaking Bad. I also recently discovered Freaks and Geeks which I am over a decade late on!
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
Twiggy: I really enjoyed Lawless!
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Twiggy: It certainly isn’t the first time that I have had a poutine but I recently discovered my favorite poutine in the city of Montreal over the past few months at a place called Chez Claudette.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out this year?
Twiggy: I am really out of touch with modern music. I do like The Sheepdogs very much so my answer is going to be their recent single “The Way It Is”.
Daniel Johnson: Did you vote in your last local election? If so would you be willing to say for who?
Twiggy: I am shameless in admitting that I took too long to register and then when I went to do so, I found out I was too late.
Daniel Johnson: Oh, that’s rough. This is a broad question, but one I try to ask everyone: What is the weirdest part of being a professional wrestler?
Twiggy: For me personally, I would say pro wrestling makes you just a tad cynical, which isn’t a great way to be!
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?
Twiggy: I just want to make it clear that I absolutely love the refreshing taste of Coca Cola!
Take in a showing of Twiggy in battle! Here he takes on Eddie Kingston at the ISW Burger King of the Ring event. Twiggy gets tossed all over the place before, after and during Kingston verbally abusing and mooning the audience: