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Victor Andrews Interview

by Dave Pendleton

bloodandspandexlogo

Photo Courtesy of Victor Andrews

Interviewer’s Note:  I had the opportunity to interview Victor “Mr. Everything” Andrews at the end of 2013.  Andrews had a wonderful 2013 traveling throughout the southern United States wrestling for Allied Independent Wrestling Federations (AIWF), New Skool Wrestling (NSW), Championship Wrestling Entertainment (CWE) in Florida among many others.  Andrews has trained with CW Anderson and caught the eyes of Bret “The Hitman” Hart at a training seminar and Kevin Sullivan at last year’s Wrestlecade in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  Andrews is still very young in the wrestling industry and is one of the hardest working men on the North Carolina indie wrestling scene.

Dave Pendleton: Let’s start at the beginning, when were you born?
Victor Andrews: 1982.

Dave Pendleton: I read that you graduated from Ft. Knox in Kentucky. Were you active duty in the  army?
Victor Andrews: Yes. Two years E2 77F. Petroleum supply.

Dave Pendleton: What does E2 77F mean?
Victor Andrews: E2 was my rank 77F is petroleum supply.

Dave Pendleton: That’s fine, I didn’t know if you were comfortable talking about your military service. I saw that you graduated high school in 2001 and it looked like you may have enlisted right after. Of course we all know what happened in 2001 and I was wondering if you joined for opportunities like school and GI funding or did you join out of a patriotic necessity after 9/11?
Victor Andrews: I was actually in during 9/11. I joined because I really didn’t have a plan after high school.

Dave Pendleton: I can’t imagine what the atmosphere would have been like on 9/11 being in the army. As a civilian it was the most frightening day of my life. Were you deployed overseas after 9/11?
Victor Andrews: It was the most on edge experience I ever encountered. I was medically discharged from advanced individual training for stress fractures.

Dave Pendleton: Do the stress fractures have any affect on your wrestling ability or everyday life now?
Victor Andrews:Truthfully no not really that much. I drink a lot of milk.

Dave Pendleton: That’s good. Were you a wrestling fan growing up?
Victor Andrews: Yes. My mother got me into it. Always loved watching it with her.

Dave Pendleton: Were you born and raised in Carolina?
Victor Andrews: Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and moved here in the Summer of 1997.

Dave Pendleton: Okay, so what wrestling promotion did you grow up on? WWF?
Victor Andrews: WWF and WCW.

Dave Pendleton: I started watching wrestling at a very early age and we weren’t able to pick up WWF until about 1989. I watched Jim Crockett and World Class on basic channels. I was more or less wondering if your exposure was limited back then because not everyone had cable back then and most promotions were definitely not on every station. Our age group kind of caught the tail end of the territories age. I used Pro Wrestling Illustrated to keep my knowledge up. Did you get into the old Apter mags?
Victor Andrews: Never got into the magazines. We used to get the cable stations from outside help. Lol.

Dave Pendleton: Who were your favorite wrestlers?
Victor Andrews: Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, The Undertaker, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. Top favorite is Undertaker.

Dave Pendleton: Was there a specific match or moment that made you sure you wanted to become a wrestler?
Victor Andrews: Not really. I just always wanted to do it. I got into wrestling through boxing.

Dave Pendleton: When did you start boxing?
Victor Andrews: 2005 and started wrestling in 2008.

Dave Pendleton: Were you trained for wrestling by CW Anderson?
Victor Andrews: Yes this year. I started in New Jersey with ACE [American Championship Entertainment] trained by Lady Lee Boria.

Dave Pendleton: ACE is the name of the promotion?
Victor Andrews: Yes. Its in Union City, New Jersey.

Dave Pendleton: What was your training experience like?
Victor Andrews: A whole lot different from boxing. Lol. I loved it despite the headaches.

Dave Pendleton: How many students were in your class?
Victor Andrews: About 10. Everybody already had experience. I was the new guy.

Dave Pendleton: Are any of your classmates still wrestling?
Victor Andrews: I don’t know. When I left New York I didn’t really keep in contact.

Dave Pendleton: I know you said North Carolina was home as of 1997, why did you choose to train in New Jersey instead of training with say Jimmy Valiant or George South in Virginia and North Carolina?
Victor Andrews: I was living in New York at the time and boxing. Lee was a manager for a model and talent company I was under and that’s how I got linked with her. When I moved here I kind of just found my place in different promotions and made the connections I needed to get the fundamentals I needed.

Dave Pendleton: When was your first pro wrestling match? Was it with ACE wrestling?
Victor Andrews: It was with TMPW/IWA [Total Mayhem Pro Wrestling] in New Jersey. I wrestled as Rage.

Dave Pendleton: How long did you wrestle as Rage?
Victor Andrews: Just in New Jersey. When I got fixed with a promotion here I was Vector, then I graduated to Victor Andrews. I went back to boxing when I moved here before I began wrestling here.

Dave Pendleton: How long did you wrestle in New Jersey? Did you have any memorable programs or matches?
Victor Andrews: Not long. About a year. I only had two matches.

Dave Pendleton: Okay, so you went through initial training, wrestled two matches and then came back to North Carolina? Is this just in 2008 or was it 2008-2009?
Victor Andrews: Just 2008.

Dave Pendleton: You moved back to North Carolina in 2008. How long were you strictly boxing before you started wrestling again?
Victor Andrews: I moved back in 2009. I did boxing for three years alone then I did both together until I started getting continuous bookings with wrestling.

Dave Pendleton: So you just started wrestling again in 2012?
Victor Andrews: No, in 2009, I’m sorry 2010.

Dave Pendleton: You didn’t wrestle at all from 2008 until 2010?
Victor Andrews: Just those two matches in New Jersey.

Dave Pendleton: What promotion did you start wrestling for in 2010? Why did you decide to start wrestling again after being out of action for so long? Why didn’t you just continue boxing full-time?
Victor Andrews: ICW [Impact Championship Wrestling] and GOUGE [Gimmicks Only Underground Grappling Entertainment].  I didn’t know who or where to start when I moved back. I lived in Selma and didn’t have the money to start over at another school. I stopped boxing because I got bored. I was just training and wasn’t really getting any fights. When I sparred I had to spar with guys 100 plus my weight just to have a workout. And even that wasn’t enough at times.

Dave Pendleton: Did anyone help you find wrestling bookings? When did you begin training with CW Anderson?
Victor Andrews: I did all the footwork. I started with CW early this year.

Dave Pendleton: I saw something on your Facebook page where you wrestled with OMEGA [Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts] in May 2012 and were introduced as CW’s student there and you met Steve Corino that day as well. Did I get the date wrong?
Victor Andrews: That was this year.

Dave Pendleton: Okay, so that happened in May of this year?
Victor Andrews: Really started going strong with CW. Began traveling with him to shows and gaining recognition as his student.

Dave Pendleton: Okay, awesome. Sorry I got that info wrong. I saw that you trained at a seminar under Bret Hart in 2012. I find that extremely exciting. Tell me about that experience and what you learned under him.
Victor Andrews: Oh man. That was a spectacular experience. I got connected with that from TNA’s Chase Stevens. I went to Nashville, Tennessee, very first time there, and loved the whole experience. I worked a quick five minute match and Bret loved the way I worked, my athleticism, and ring awareness. The only criticism was as always is my size. If I could just gain weight or look bigger I’d be set.

Dave Pendleton: You debuted with the AIWF in July 2012 and wrestled your first cage/ladder match in August in the money in the piggy bank match. What was that experience like and how did you get involved with Rick Deezel and his crew?
Victor Andrews: A great experience. I got started with them at a show they had in Winston Salem at the Infinity Mini Flow Dealership. I faced Sgt. Stryker.

Dave Pendleton: They started in my little town Martinsville, Virginia. I used to watch them every Saturday on our local cable station based about five minutes from my house. Rob Van Dam and Chyna came through at a very young age. Since the AIWF has become a governing body of promotions how would you compare them to the NWA of old?
Victor Andrews: They’ve definitely built themselves a large federation but not a carbon copy of NWA. They’ve built they’re own identity.

Dave Pendleton: I agree, do you think an AIWF title could ever have the same respect in wrestling as the NWA title? Do you see wrestling smarks talking about the AIWF like they do Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) or Ring of Honor (ROH)?
Victor Andrews: If its represented right and placed on the waists of individuals who will give it a respected face. I hardly pay attention to what’s said about different organizations because its all a matter of opinion not definition.

Dave Pendleton: We could probably talk about this all night, but I know you have people to elbow drop later so lets move on, lol. I read something where you mentioned going to ZERO 1 in Japan but I never saw where you went. Did you ever get to go to Japan?
Victor Andrews: No not yet. My eyes were too big for my pockets. Lol. I’m still striving to make it happen.

Dave Pendleton: Is ZERO 1 the place to be? If you could wrestle anyone in Japan who would it be? Which promotion is your dream to work for in Japan?
Victor Andrews: All Japan [Pro Wrestling] would be my dream pick. If I could work someone it would be Shinjiro Otani.

Dave Pendleton: Are you a fan of the AJPW King’s Road style? I peg you more of a NJPW Juniors fan.
Victor Andrews: Truthfully I become accustomed to the recommended.

Dave Pendleton: Did you suffer an injury at the end of 2012? If so, what happened?
Victor Andrews: I broke my left hand during training, practicing a top rope move I was comfortable doing but the guy I was training with wasn’t used to taking.

Dave Pendleton: How long were you out?
Victor Andrews: Three months. But I came back stronger like I never missed a beat.

Dave Pendleton: You came back and faced Chase Owens for the NWA Junior title. What did challenging for a title steeped in that much history and held by the likes of Ultimo Dragon, Verne Gagne, Dory Funk, Jr. and Otani mean to you?
Victor Andrews: It wasn’t the matter of challenging for it but being looked at as a respectable opponent that really gave me a great honor. I had to beat Chris Banks and Cedric Alexander on separate shows to get the opportunity and I didn’t hold nothing back when I got it. I’d be honored to be granted a rematch.

Dave Pendleton: You attended a seminar with Ricky Morton in 2013. How much tag team wrestling do you do? How was the experience of working with Ricky Morton?
Victor Andrews: I don’t do much tag team work. I’ve had guys request to tag with me and I don’t mind doing it because its losing its label but the guy I tag with has to have more than ability. The seminar was a great experience. We sharpened the basics and whatever we were having trouble with.

Dave Pendleton: I read that you won the championship in the NSW. Was that your first championship? Who did you defeat?
Victor Andrews: New Skool Wrestling. Yes my very first. I won it in a triple threat match against Ooga Booga and Lou Marconi.

Dave Pendleton: The latter half of 2013 really seems to be heating up for you. You won titles in CWE and Ring Wars Carolina (RCW). Do you feel that something has changed these last six months or so or that you are gaining more momentum?
Victor Andrews: I didn’t win the title at CWE I advanced to get the title but the match never happened. Winning the No Limits title at RWC and getting positive feedback from Steve Corino was a great way to close out the year with RWC for me. I feel my continuous training is really standing out more along with my natural athletic ability is catching more positive attention and is helping with more and more opportunities as time goes.

Dave Pendleton: Of getting positive feedback, I read what Kevin Sullivan said to you after your Wrestlecade match. How was the whole Wrestlecade experience for you and did you receive any more feedback from the legends?
Victor Andrews: An amazing experience. Spectacular talent, legends, and opportunities in the entire building. I spoke to Carlito, [Michael] Tarver and [The] Hurricane after the match. Just picked their brains a little. I mostly grabbed feedback from my indie peers especially the ones I was in the match with and they loved and appreciated everything I did.

Dave Pendleton: It was an amazing match and great performance. You made an instant fan out of me. I know you have the AIWF cruiserweight tournament next February and your last show of the year tonight. If you can give me a plug for the AIWF tournament and any closing thoughts you may have. I’m sure you need to get ready for the show since we’ve been talking for like four hours.
Victor Andrews: Don’t show me what you can do unless you can show me what I can’t.

Dave Pendleton: Nice. Victor I really appreciate you taking so much time to talk with me and I’ll be sending you a couple of different articles more than likely since we talked about so much and I have a couple of different angles with the NWA stuff and the AIWF stuff. I can’t wait to see you in person again and best of luck tonight. I did mean to get around to your personal life and your daughters especially your oldest’s gymnastics and your work in anti-bullying. Anything you want to add on those subjects?
Victor Andrews: Yes, they can follow my oldest’s fan page at Journhi Conyers “Future Olympic Gynnast.”  She’s eight and loves gymnastics. My youngest daughter Honesty is four and she’s building her character.

Check out Victor Andrews in action! In this match from Xtreme World Wrestling (XWW), Andrews takes on Chase Owens for the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship at XWW 2013 Tournament of Champions:

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Justin Overstreet Interview

by Daniel Johnson

justinoverstreet

Photo Courtesy of Justin Overstreet

Interviewer’s Note: At age 24 Justin Overstreet is already a four year veteran of the independent wrestling scene. Overstreet has wrestled for a slew of promotions based all over the country including, but not limited to those based in North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. He made his debut in Southeastern Xtreme Wrestling (SXW) and since that time has gone on to notably wrestle for the AIWF World Heavyweight Championship. Although he wrestles all over the country when he is in North Carolina he can be found most often at National All-Star Wrestling (NASW). Overstreet can be found on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. This interview was completed on September 24, 2013. In this interview Overstreet and I focus on the topic of wrestling on the independent scene in North Carolina.

Daniel Johnson: In a nutshell how would you describe yourself as a performer?
Justin Overstreet: Charasmatic. Passionate. Determined.

Daniel Johnson: For those unfamiliar with you where and when were you born and how long have you been wrestling?
Justin Overstreet: Dothan,Alabama, March 6, 1989. I just recently passed my four year mark.

Daniel Johnson: Do you remember any details of your very first match? If so then where was it, who was it against and what stands out most about it for you?
Justin Overstreet: Haha, yeah I do. Dothan, Alabama for SXW, I wrestled a masked wrestler by the name of Ravage, threw nine clotheslines in 10 minuets lol. I was not ready for the ring yet.

Daniel Johnson: About how far along in your wrestling career were you before you wrestled for the first time in North Carolina?
Justin Overstreet: I was three years in.

Daniel Johnson: Do you remember your first match in the state at all? If so what stands out from that match for you?
Justin Overstreet: Yes, I was in Reidsville,North Carolina for NASW, just walking into the building and making the fans feel like they got their money worth they spent with the attention we showed towards them.

Daniel Johnson: For those unfamiliar with wrestling in North Carolina how would you describe it in a broad sense?
Justin Overstreet: I’ve only been four times, I’d say it is a hotbed for good talent, but at the same time has a lot of guys that need to be trained or go back to Walmart. Also infested with indie shows. But there are a few good ones.

Daniel Johnson: What venues most stand out to you as good places to wrestle in North Carolina?
Justin Overstreet: I’ve only wrestled in Reidsville, Eden,and Mount Airy, North Carolina. Mount Airy was great, the fans there love their wrestling and are really hot about it.

Daniel Johnson: Are North Carolina fans unique from other wrestling fans at all? If so then how?
Justin Overstreet: I’d say they’re more like a Mississippi crowd. They enjoy the old school, they appreciate a headlock.

Daniel Johnson: How many promotions have you wrested for in North Carolina and what are they? Also, are there any promotions you have yet to wrestle for in North Carolina that you would like to?
Justin Overstreet: I’ve wrestled for three thus far going on four this coming Saturday. I’d love to wrestle for RWC [Ring Wars Carolina], NWA Greensboro, HVW [High Velocity Wrestling] and NWA WWWA [NWA World Wide Wrestling Alliance].

Daniel Johnson: Is there any one promotion you work for more than any other in North Carolina? If so then what keeps bringing you back to that promotion?
Justin Overstreet: The majority of my work was for NASW in Reidsville, North Carolina and the thing that kept bringing me back was the possibility to get in the ring with George South Jr., very underrated wrestler in the United States, and the laid back homey feel of the owner.

Daniel Johnson: You seem to have a very technical style of wrestling. How has this meshed with wrestlers you have worked with based in North Carolina?
Justin Overstreet: Tough man, not many guys know how to handle technical wrestling, but attending a seminar taught by Cueball Carmichael and Mike Howell was great because everyone that attended knew the style and how to work it.

Daniel Johnson: Similarly who have been some of the best North Carolina wrestlers you have worked with and what makes them stand out to you?
Justin Overstreet: Matt Smith, Kama Kozy Kid, Justin Flash and George South Jr. These four guys just had that fire, that passion that made you appreciate your own fire, rather. They were funny or good in-ring wrestlers or just all around good bodies to have in the business. All four guys were really great to be around.

Daniel Johnson: Are there any North Carolina wrestlers you have yet to work with that you would like to? If so then who are they?
Justin Overstreet: Cueball Carmichael of course for learning purposes, George South Jr., Gunner, Matt Hardy and Justin Flash again. There are a lot of good guys out there that I’d like to work with.

Daniel Johnson: For young prospective wrestlers based in North Carolina are there any wrestling schools you would recommend in the area as a possible place to train?
Justin Overstreet: Cueball Carmichael is the man to get a hold of. If you want the total package of training this guy will put you on the correct path, not just take your money.

Daniel Johnson: What has been the most memorable part of working in North Carolina overall for you to date?
Justin Overstreet: There are a few. I keep saying his name but spending five hours with Cueball Carmichael and learning, joking, wrestling, it was just a good five hours that I wish went longer.

Daniel Johnson: I always like to hear ribs and road stories. Do you have any that you would be able to share?
Justin Overstreet: Haha! A few good ones, I was on the road with two other guys to Mississippi and one fell asleep in the back, we should be ashamed because he just worked an eight hour shift overnight as well, but we pulled over to the side of the road near a tree and just started screaming to the top of our lungs and he starts screaming from his sleep! Lol. Another good one was a full Dodge Durango, five people and it is a 20 hour drive to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Now keep in mind the only thing I ate all day was Mexican chicken, raw egg shakes and a protein shake. I start lighting the car up with gas and about thirteen hours in everyone was sick of it. Lol, we finally get to our hotel and even my wife and wrestler Mackenzie York told me to go take and shower and stop passing the gas. Fun times on the road trips.

Daniel Johnson: Do you have any short term goals you would like to accomplish over the next year or so? Is so then what are they?
Justin Overstreet: Short term goal at the moment is to get my body looking better and finally win the AIWF World Heavyweight Championship.

Daniel Johnson: What about looking more long term, basically where would you like to be in five years?
Justin Overstreet: In five years I’d like to be in the middle of a good run in TNA or WWE. I want to get my name famous enough so I can come back to the indies and make enough money on the weekends to live and be home with my family.

Daniel Johnson: Speaking of the future, you actually have your own YouTube channel. How important do you think it is for an independent wrestler to have an online presence these days and do you think it will only become more important in the future?
Justin Overstreet: It maybe is the best thing for young wrestlers now. I mean back in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s you had to air mail videos of your work to big promoters and hope someone talked good about you. Now it is one click away. But it can be a hazard as well if you’re not a professional. When i send videos i send a resume. This is a job you need to treat it like one. Write out a full resume as if you’re applying for a job to feed your family.

Daniel Johnson: This is a super broad question, but what do you consider your greatest accomplishment as a wrestler to be to date?
Justin Overstreet: I really don’t know. Appearing in PWI magazine in the [PWI] World Title Rankings. Being in the fatal four way for the AIWF World Heavyweight Championship. Maybe even meeting my wife in the wrestling business, date to marry is October 12, 2013, two weeks away.

Daniel Johnson: I also like to ask five non-wrestling related questions just to bring a little uniqueness to the interview. Outside of wrestling, what television shows do you enjoy watching these days?
Justin Overstreet: The Walking Dead, LSU [Louisiana State University] football, NFL, any shows about natural disasters, The History Channel for wars from the past, anything about history of where I came from.

Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
Justin Overstreet: So far this year I don’t know if I’ve watched a 2013 movie yet, i liked Killer Joe, Transit and For a Good Time Call.

Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Justin Overstreet: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream haha.

Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out this year?
Justin Overstreet: “Good Man” by Devour the Day or “Easy” by Sheryl Crow. The unedited version of “Redneck Crazy” by Tyler Farr.

Daniel Johnson: What is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Justin Overstreet: I don’t read books regretfully, I read a lot of articles though and magazines. I just read about wrestling though.

Daniel Johnson: I wanted to close with just a few more brief wrestling questions. What is the weirdest part of being a pro wrestler?
Justin Overstreet: Having to do things you consider “for women” like tanning or shaving your body hair. Lol, but you grow to accept it.

Daniel Johnson: Who is one wrestler 25 or under that you think readers should know about?
Justin Overstreet: Myself haha, only 24. I don’t know many wrestlers by their age honestly.

Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to promote?
Justin Overstreet: My Facebook page, Twitter and YouTube channel. Everything Justin Overstreet you can connect to through my Facebook. I’m always open to talking to fans and people interested in wrestling.

Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to add?
Justin Overstreet: If you’re young in the business or looking to get into it, find a real school, not some indie show looking for money to train you. Don’t get abused and trained wrong just because you don’t have patience for getting in the ring.

Watch Justin Overstreet in action! In this match that occurred in North Carolina Justin Overstreet wrestles Justin Flash for the AIWF World Heavyweight Championship:

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