by Daniel Johnson
Photo Courtesy of Giant Tiger
Interviewer’s Note: Until earlier this year Giant Tiger was a cornerstone of Inter Species Wrestling (ISW). Founded in 2005 the company has run shows out of Montreal, Quebec in Canada and Danbury, Connecticut in the United States with Giant Tiger taking part in all sorts of mischief along the way. Such mischief has included heading his own stable known as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. With this group watching his back Giant Tiger captured the ISW Championship from Player Uno and held it for an extraordinary amount of time especially by today’s standards. He can be followed on Twitter @giant_tiger In this interview Tiger and I focus on the topic of being the face of a company.
Daniel Johnson: My first question is for those who are unfamiliar with you how would you describe yourself as a performer?
Giant Tiger: Performer? Well, I guess you can say I’m a wrestler who doesn’t wrestle. I’m loud, vulgar, offensive and racist at times. I think people like that.
Daniel Johnson: Who would you say are your top three wrestling influences and your top three comedy influences?
Giant Tiger: Wrestling would definitely be Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage.Funny enough I don’t watch that much comedy. I don’t like comedians. They always try to be funny even when they’re not. It’s like a porn star always talking about fucking. We get what you do.
Daniel Johnson: How did ISW first come together and how did you get to be a part of it?
Giant Tiger: ISW started on MSN Messenger I believe with Mike Rotch and this babe named Val. Both of them knew me and Twiggy very well and contacted us to help them put on their first show. So we contacted a guy that we worked for about using his venue and ring.
Daniel Johnson: What is the back story behind you first becoming the ISW Champion?
Giant Tiger: Well, I became champion after Uno and El Generico. I came out after their match and pinned Uno after he accepted my challenge. After I won I got in my underwear and jerked off in the ring. I literally jerked off. I think that’s why I became champ. Because I did stuff like that.
Daniel Johnson: I believe you had the title for 819 days? Is that correct? If not then please correct me. Anyway, what is it like to have a title run in this day and age that is that long regardless of what kind of promotion it is?
Giant Tiger: It was cool! I had that belt for a long time and didn’t really defend it that much. I’ve missed a few ISW shows in my day, but the ones I’ve done I like to think I made count.
Daniel Johnson: I recently interviewed Twiggy who described you as “the poster boy of Inter Species Wrestling.” Do you feel this is an accurate description? Why or why not?
Giant Tiger: Well I do, but not entirely. I think ISW became popular in my opinion because it was different and they were doing crazy things. Five years ago the only thing in ISW that was wild was my feud with Beef Wellington. So yeah I think I was a major part in making ISW what it is. Just like ISW made me who I am in some ways.
Daniel Johnson: Oddly enough as the face of a company you wear a mask. How did you first become Giant Tiger and put on your mask?
Giant Tiger: Well, I was wrestling for a spot show in Chateauguay. It was going to feature a first ever match from this new fed called ISW. Giant Tiger was wrestling Spliff Jones. Rotch gave me the mask in the parking lot before the show. The character Giant Tiger developed through years of drug abuse.
Daniel Johnson: So were you a fan of Tiger Mask beforehand or is it just by chance that you got that mask?
Giant Tiger: I had no idea who he was. I just got the mask.
Daniel Johnson: What pressure is there in being viewed as the poster boy of a promotion?
Giant Tiger: Honestly, not that much. I haven’t done a couple shows now and I’m taking a bit of a break from ISW. Focusing on my stuff and myself here in Montreal. When I was there full time it wasn’t bad. It motivated me to work harder.
Daniel Johnson: Who were some wrestlers that you had matches with that helped establish you as a top guy in the company early on?
Giant Tiger: Honestly, I owe everything I know as Giant Tiger to Beef and Twiggy.
Daniel Johnson: What matches have you had overall that you are most proud of?
Giant Tiger: Me vs. Steven “The Turtle” Weiner in Connecticut, me vs. Twiggy in Connecticut and all my matches with Beef in Montreal.
Daniel Johnson: Top performers of companies are sometimes expected to carry themselves a certain way and be an example to the locker room. Did you try to act as an example to the locker room? If so how? If not then why not?
Giant Tiger: No, I keep to myself. I show up with my mask on and leave with my mask on. I don’t want people talking to me. I kind of act like a kid backstage, showing everybody my dick.
Daniel Johnson: If you could have wrestled against the face of any other company in any other time who would it be?
Giant Tiger: Oh man I don’t know. That’s tough, but the only guy I really want to wrestle is Pasquale The Italian Chef from ISW.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, would you describe the experience of working as the face of ISW as being a big fish in a small pond? If so why do you feel this way? If not then why not?
Giant Tiger: No, not at all. I didn’t think I was bigger than anybody really. Some people might tell you otherwise, but I thought I was just a regular guy that people wanted to hang out with more than other wrestlers because I would talk about snorting Ketamine with hookers.
Daniel Johnson: How has 2012 been a different year from 2011 for you?
Giant Tiger: I stopped wrestling in ISW in 2012. I got back into being sober after a relapse.
Daniel Johnson: What plans do you have for 2013? What involvement will you have with ISW, if any?
Giant Tiger: Nothing right now. I’m just focusing on Montreal right now.
Daniel Johnson: Getting back to your work for ISW how did The League of Extraordinary Gentleman come about?
Giant Tiger: It started with me doing promos saying how I had this new group. Adding small people to it. Then backstage at an ISW show me and Eddie Kingston really got along and I asked him if he wanted to party with me and he said yes. Sexxy Eddy joined after we have an alcobrawl and I asked him while we were both wasted.
Daniel Johnson: Do you think leading a stable helped to further the view of Giant Tiger as the face of the company? Why or why not?
Giant Tiger: Yeah, I definitely think so. I mean like I said I don’t know if I was the face of the company more than Bamboo. I just talk a lot so people liked that. It helped me be seen more because suddenly The League became the new funny thing to talk about. I made out with a chick in the ring and then in the bathroom during an in-ring promo once and people kept yelling “The League” at me. It was great.
Daniel Johnson: What stables influenced The League of Extraordinary Gentleman?
Giant Tiger: Zero. Honestly nothing at all. We wanted to be loud and call people cunts. I wanted to ride girls faces in the ring. I wanted to be drunk for my matches.
Daniel Johnson: Are you a fan of wrestling stables in general? If so then for your money what is the best stable out there today?
Giant Tiger: I’m really not actually. I loved the Latino World Order (LWO) though. They knew how to fuck shit up. I bet they got so much poon.
Daniel Johnson: Switching topics a bit are there any comedy spots that you have performed in matches that you are particularly proud of?
Giant Tiger: I don’t really do comedy spots. I just do moves that look bad. That’s my thing. I guess I enjoy my Razor’s edge.
Daniel Johnson: I always like to hear about ribs and road stories. Do you have any that you would be willing to share or that you have yet to mention?
Giant Tiger: I’m actually pretty quiet when I’m not doing Giant Tiger. The only story that I remember that was nuts was one time me, Twig, Sexxy Eddy and Shayne Hawke were driving back home from a booking. We stopped to get gas right before the border coming home. Eddy said, “Man imagine if we lit a bag of shit on fire for the bitch at the border.” We all laughed and I took a shit in a paper bag beside the convenient store. We decided it would be great so when we pulled up the guard said, “Do you have your passports?” I handed them the bag because Hawke was driving. He lit it without them seeing. Eddy said, “Our passports are in the bag…holy shit it’s on fire!” Then when they got out of the booth to put it out we drove off.
Daniel Johnson: Nice! Were you worried about the repercussions or anything?
Giant Tiger: Nah, not at all.
Daniel Johnson: This next one is a broad question, but what separates ISW from every other company out there, if anything?
Giant Tiger: I haven’t been to a couple shows lately, but I’m going to go ahead and say ISW is pretty hip with all the inside jokes. It’s kind of a cool crowd. They just want to party and have a good time.
Daniel Johnson: Speaking of crowds, what is the best crowd and worst crowd (or most quiet crowd) that you have ever worked for as part of ISW. Why do you think each crowd was the the way it was and what did you do to get the best reactions possible from each?
Giant Tiger: The best crowd was in Connecticut when I wrestled Turtle. They were having a great time. I could have taken a shit in the ring and they would have loved it. Awesome crowd. The worst would be a show we did in Gatineau years ago. Me/Fred la Merveille vs. Beef/Twig. It was just small and quiet.
Daniel Johnson: Did you manage to get any kind of reaction out of the second crowd or was it just sort of dead?
Giant Tiger: Nah, just dead. They didn’t want to party.
Daniel Johnson: Outside of ISW how many other companies have you worked for and which did you most enjoy?
Giant Tiger: I worked for like six I think. I most enjoyed C4 Wrestling and definitely BATTLEWAR in Montreal.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any companies that you are disappointed that you did not get the chance to work for?
Giant Tiger: I don’t think so. I mean I would love to work everywhere.
Daniel Johnson: Do you have anything that you would like to promote?
Giant Tiger: Yeah, definitely. Go to my Twitter, BATTLEWAR’s Twitter and Twiggy’s Twitter.
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?
Giant Tiger: I don’t watch TV.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
Giant Tiger: Again, I don’t watch new movies. I’m kind of lame with new shit.
Daniel Johnson: That’s alright. What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Giant Tiger: Cheese in a can.
Daniel Johnson: Really? If so where do you get that?
Giant Tiger: I got it from a friend who was in the United States for a bit. It’s real good.
Daniel Johnson: I’ll have to look into that. Anyway, do you have a favorite song to come out this year?
Giant Tiger: Yeah, I’m really into Vinnie Paz’s new album.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, any particular song?
Giant Tiger: “Cheesesteaks.”
Daniel Johnson: Did you vote in your last local election? If so would you be willing to say for who?
Giant Tiger: Not for the Province of Quebec.
Daniel Johnson: Have you purchased anything at the Giant Tiger store lately?
Giant Tiger: No?
Daniel Johnson: Hmm, thought you might have heard of them since they’re in Canada. Anyway, what is the weirdest part about being a professional wrestler?
Giant Tiger: It is not weird, but just annoying. A lot of wrestlers are real losers. They are like a bunch of high school kids so that’s frustrating.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to add or anything that we have yet to go over that you would like to talk about?
Giant Tiger: No, I think we covered a lot.
See Giant Tiger win the big one! Here, he attacks Player Uno after Uno had just defended the ISW Championship against El Generico: