by Daniel Johnson
Photo Courtesy of JT Dunn
Interviewer’s Note: “The Juice” JT Dunn is a wrestler who estimates to spend his time working for about 12 promotions regularly. He considers Premier Wrestling Federation-New England (PWF-NE) his home promotion and has made a splash at Beyond Wrestling. At the latter company he was part of the heel stable, The Professional Revolution. Yet, typically his high-flying arsenal has made him a favorite amongst independent wrestling audiences. He can be found on Facebook here, on YouTube here and can be followed on Twitter @thejuiceee. If you’re interested in booking The Juice then you can drop him a line right here. In this interview Dunn and I focus on the topic of wrestling for a lot of promotions at the same time.
Daniel Johnson: My first question is in a nutshell how would you describe yourself as a performer?
JT Dunn: I would describe myself as a performer who gives it his all every time I’m in the ring. I’m a performer who loves the chance to learn from those who are willing to teach, and give the fans their monies worth.
Daniel Johnson: How many promotions do you currently wrestle for on at least a semi-regular basis? Also, out of these which one did you work for first?
JT Duun: Oh man, I would say at least 12 different promotions on a consistent basis. The first I believe was PWF-NE.
Daniel Johnson: Was PWF-NE your home promotion starting out? If so then how often do you still work your home promotion? If not then what happened to your old home promotion?
JT Dunn: It was one of them, but now has taken the sole spot. Northeast Championship Wrestling (NCW) gave me opportunities that no one else would. PWF-NE allowed me to creatively be me and gain great exposure working with the top talent from the area. I currently work for PWF-NE on every show they have. My loyalty will always be with those involved. No matter how “popular” or “famous” I become (if it ever happens), PWF-NE will also be on my schedule.
Daniel Johnson: Who are some of the wrestlers from PWF-NE that you enjoy working with and have you worked with them beyond PWF-NE?
JT Dunn: Triplelicious is definitely atop that list. We fought for near 18 months, and in every type of match they had. It definitely helped me cement my name in PWF-NE. To this day I still believe if it wasn’t for New England Hall Of Famer TJ Richter, I wouldn’t be in PWF-NE. My first few matches there were because someone didn’t show, my phone rang and I showed up. TJ made me look like a star in the ring, and I felt like we both had a lot of fire for each other. Him to prove he can still hang with younger guys, and me to fight for respect and approval from a veteran who was there from the start. Other guys on the roster would be Ryan Bisbal, Biff Busick, Da Hoodz, Brickhouse Baker (my original trainer), David Baker and John Munroe just to name a few. All who I have worked with outside of PWF-NE as well. Referee Rich Bass also helped me with my feud with Triplelicious. His personal connection to Trips only played perfectly into the magic we were creating.
Daniel Johnson: How did you get to wrestle beyond PWE-NE? Are there any wrestlers who have spoken up for you to get you work or have you gotten all your bookings by yourself?
JT Dunn: Sure there are plenty of others who have spoken up for me. I keep to myself, and just do my job. So with that I’ve made a lot of friends who will put in a word. A lot of my bookings do come from me personally reaching out to promoters or going to visit a promotion to express my interest. I have been lucky as of late that people come to me, meaning I’m doing something right and my name now carries some value.
Daniel Johnson: How do you decide if you’re going to work a promotion regularly? What, if anything, can a promoter do to keep you around?
JT Dunn: I like this question a lot. Things that I look for are: A good track record with other wrestlers, a locker room filled with talent who I can learn from and put on great matches with. I look for how the promotion uses it’s resources to spread the word about their shows, I like to know how they are going to treat me and what I have to offer the right way. I know that if I can help make them money, everyone wins. If everyone wins, then wrestling is a success. To keep me around is simple, stick to your word, stay loyal to me and others on the show and put out what you want in return.
Daniel Johnson: Ever work for a company just because there was one particular opponent you wanted to wrestle? If so what was the company and the opponent? If not then who are some wrestlers out there currently that you would like to work with?
JT Dunn: I’ve done that a few times. Some promotions have plans set for what they were going to do with talent. If I personally want a match with someone I’d look elsewhere. One guy that comes to mind was probably my second biggest feud of 2012 “Devils Reject” Brandon Webb. Him and I never worked consistently for one promotion, we feuded at several for over a year. It’s rare that promotions will bring in a match who’s battle started elsewhere, but Brandon and I were able to do so. It was a great time and I’m sure in 2013 we will be back at it. Guys out there that I would like to work with are, in no particular order: ACH, Johnny Gargano, Uhaa Nation, Akira Tozawa, Brian Fury, AR Fox, Sami Callihan, Aaron Epic (in his area), Rich Swann, Mike Quackenbush, Drew Gulak…off the top of my head.
Daniel Johnson: You mentioned Akira Tozawa who has done a lot of work stateside as well as his native Japan. Do you have any plans to wrestle in Japan? What about other countries?
JT Dunn: I’m a huge fan of his work and also of Kenny Omega. It is my dream to perform in Japan full-time. I have currently performed in Canada and will be back in 2013. Japan is my ultimate goal. The best performers in the world get to perform there, it shows your hard work and effort are valued.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any particular international promotions that stick out to you?
JT Dunn: There are tons, each with different aspects. New Japan, WXW, DDT, Dragon Gate for example.
Daniel Johnson: What is the furthest away company from where you live that you’ve worked? Was it one in Canada? How often do you work for that company?
JT Dunn: Canada was the furthest so far. It was my first time this year, but I plan to return multiple times next year.
Daniel Johnson: Switching topics years ago an attribute that ECW had that made it stand out was it’s unique atmosphere. What promotion that you work for do you think has the most unique atmosphere and what if anything makes it stand out?
JT Dunn: Hands down Beyond Wrestling. Beyond has such a unique atmosphere. Its studio tapings bring top talents from around the world to perform in front of the other workers. The hardest thing you can do is get a positive reaction from those who know how it works. Also, Beyond’s live shows are like none other. Having some of the wrestlers ringside watching the matches with the fans, interacting the whole time is awesome. Beyond also has the top following for pro wrestling online. It’s YouTube account sets a new view count record with each new upload. I think 2013 is going to be a big year for Beyond Wrestling and those who work hard in it.
Daniel Johnson: For those who don’t follow Beyond Wrestling, what are you doing in the company now and what can you tell readers about it so that they’ll check it out?
JT Dunn: I am currently tagging with “Sure Thing” Mark Shurman. We were recently part of a faction called The Professional Revolution, it wasn’t what Shurman and I wanted out of pro wrestling in Beyond. Now as fan favorites, I’m able to refocus and climb the rankings. Those who don’t follow Beyond really should, you see some of the greatest matches and most innovative styles of wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: I was also just curious what do you think of the idea of the ranking system that Beyond uses as opposed to having titles?
JT Dunn: I enjoy it. Mostly because it’s different. I like the fact that every match is important, you literally have to fight for your spot.
Daniel Johnson: Getting back to some of the other companies you have worked for what company had wrestlers with a style most different from your own that you have worked? Did you try to adapt your style to fit the needs of the promotion?
JT Dunn: I like to think that my style is hybrid. I’ve trained in all aspects of wrestling from anyone who could/would teach me. This prepared me for situations like that. I think Beyond has the biggest style difference because of all the people that come in. Other promotions where I needed to step up were CHIKARA, AIW and PWF-NE.
Daniel Johnson: What would you say are the best benefits of working a lot of promotions at the same time?
JT Dunn: I get to stay busy and work with tons of talent. I’m able to showcase my abilities to a different audience all the time. I think it’s what wrestling was meant to be like. Traveling all over, living the dream.
Daniel Johnson: On the other side of the coin what are the drawbacks of working a lot of different promotions at once?
JT Dunn: It’s a definite drain on my body. I allow myself no time off. The stress of constant travel, having to deal with tons of different people who run promotions a different way. Not that those are that bad but it’s just part of the career I’ve chosen.
Daniel Johnson: As you mentioned working for so many promotions takes a toll on your body. Ever get any injuries or have you been able to avoid them?
JT Dunn: When I first started out I dealt with quite a few. My body nor my life was ready for it. I have broken he right side of my face, dislocated shoulders, hyper extended elbow, broken every finger, popped my hip out of place, then the countless sprains, bruises cuts and such. Now though I’m very good at avoiding them. I have tons of people around me to keep me healthy. I also stretch an hour a day to stay limber.
Daniel Johnson: Speaking of difficulties in wrestling what is the toughest crowd that you have ever had to work in front of and what did you do to get the best reaction possible out of them?
JT Dunn: The CHIKARA crowd. The first time I was there I didn’t know how they were going react. I stayed calm, and just did what I would normally do and by the end they were cheering, “Please Come Back.”
Daniel Johnson: Nice! Again, on the other side of the coin what was the best crowd you worked in front of and what did you do to get the best pop possible?
JT Dunn: I think one of the best was at PWF-NE when I wrestled Triplelicious in both our ladder match and cage match. Crowds were sold out and were into our match.
Daniel Johnson: Looking to the future in the United States what, if any promotions have you yet to work for that you would most like to?
JT Dunn: CHIKARA full-time, DGUSA, EVOLVE, PWG, ROH,TNA and WWE.
Daniel Johnson: Ever think about auditioning for TNA Gut Check?
JT Dunn: Sure have.
Daniel Johnson: Have you filled out their audition application or anything or just thought about it so far?
JT Dunn: I have not, just a thought.
Daniel Johnson: I also had some more general questions, where would 2012 fit in your career so far? Would you say it is the best year that you have had as a wrestler?
JT Dunn: Hands down the best year for me.
Daniel Johnson: I always like to hear about ribs and road stories. Do you have any that you would be willing to share?
JT Dunn: I’ve been there for tons of ribs in all kinds of promotions. I will not mention names, but one time a wrestler took another wrestler’s gear and nailed it to the ceiling. The dude spent over an hour trying to find it, couldn’t find it before his match and had to borrow gear. Only to come back sit down look up and see it on the ceiling. A fun time I had on the road was driving to Cleveland, Ohio. I survived a few snow storms, some crazy car accident, not sleeping for 72 hours, melts with some good friends (Uhaa Nation, Aaron Epic, Eddie Graves). Then being able to perform for AIW Gauntlet For The Gold 7.
Daniel Johnson: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment in wrestling thus far?
JT Dunn: Competing in Young Lions Cup for CHIKARA, wrestling my mentor Dave Cole, wrestling the best in my area Brian Fury. My 18 month feud with Triplelicious, being able to travel internationally, and being labeled as the fastest rising star in New England.
Daniel Johnson: What would you like to say your biggest accomplishment in wrestling was when all is said and done?
JT Dunn: That I was able to provide for those close to me, and be recognized as one of the best.
Daniel Johnson: What plans do you have for the upcoming year? Any New Years Resolutions?
JT Dunn: Travel more internationally, work for more promotions that have top talent. Just be a better role model, and man than I was this year. I want to inspire and motivate people.
Daniel Johnson: Do you have anything that you would like to promote?
JT Dunn: My Facebook page, Twitter and YouTube. All the ways people can reach me. A promoter/promotion can reach me via e-mail.
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?
JT Dunn: I’m a huge fan of Netflix. I watch all kinds of things: The Walking Dead, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. On regular TV I just watch SportsCenter.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
JT Dunn: The Dark Knight Rises.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
JT Dunn: Honestly, apples. I never ate fruit, then this year I changed my diet and I love apples now.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out this year?
JT Dunn: Hmm…I really enjoy the song “Clique” by Kanye West.
Daniel Johnson: Did you vote in your last local election? If so would you be willing to say for who?
JT Dunn: I did vote, if I have an opinion and the forum to express it, I certainly will. Who I voted for I’ll keep that to the secret ballot. Haha.
Daniel Johnson: What is the weirdest part of being a professional wrestler?
JT Dunn: Being half naked in front of people you don’t know, and it’s considered normal haha.
Daniel Johnson: Haha, then is there anything you would like to add?
JT Dunn: Just thank you for the time, and a big thank you to all of those who support me, my dreams and independent professional wrestling. Without all of the support I and others wouldn’t be able to do what we love. Also, for my sponsors: Check out Gimmick Wrestling Tees and SBV Fitness.
Get a taste of The Juice in action! Take a look at this match from UFO Wrestling that Dunn personally suggested. Also, check out this AIW match from the official YouTube channel of Beyond that pits Dunn against Aaron Epic: