by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Joe Pittman began wrestling just last year, but has already worked for promotions such as Resistance Pro, Wrestling is Heart (WIH) and New Generation Wrestling (NGW). He broke into wrestling after training at the School of Roc under trainer Billy Roc. Pittman is a native of Indiana and last month became the first ever holder of the NGW Hoosier State Championship. This achievement also marked the first time Pittman held a singles title. He can be followed on Twitter @thejoepittman and his Facebook fan page can be found here. This interview was completed on July 22, 2013. In this interview Pittman and I focus on the topic of being the first ever holder of a championship.
Daniel Johnson: In a nutshell how would you describe yourself as a performer?
Joe Pittman: Hmm, that’s a good question. Being that I am still so new at this, my first match was back in October 2012, I would say that I am still very much developing. I’m learning new things every time I wrestle. Little things you would never even think about.
Daniel Johnson: How old are you currently and what made you decide to start wrestling in October 2012?
Joe Pittman: I’m 26. I’ve grown up in love with pro wrestling. I’m not really sure what kept me from starting sooner. I wanted to finish school first. After that, I think it was just a matter of figuring out where to go and how to do it. And of course there were the nerves. What if I sucked? What if I got hurt? Excuses you make up to delay making big decisions.
Daniel Johnson: How would you describe your style of wrestling and who were you influenced by?
Joe Pittman: Right now, very power-based. I can’t say that one wrestler has directly influenced me style wise. I’ve tried to take little things from my favorites and apply them to my own move set.
Daniel Johnson: Are you from Indiana originally? How did you first get involved with the wrestling scene in Indiana?
Joe Pittman: Yeah, I grew up about 30 minutes south of Indianapolis, and trained at the School of Roc in Lafayette. My trainer, Billy Roc, was able to help in making contacts with several of the promoters in Indiana.
Daniel Johnson: How did you meet Roc and how did you decide on him as your trainer?
Joe Pittman: I first saw him wrestling at an Insanity Pro Wrestling (IPW) show in the summer of 2010. After I had made the decision to look into training, I sent some messages to some friends that had some contacts in the Indy wrestling scene. Everyone was unanimous in their praise for Billy Roc as a trainer and as a person. So, I e-mailed Billy and set up a tryout around November of ’11.
Daniel Johnson: What was a typical day of training with Roc like?
Joe Pittman: Starting out, it was mostly a lot of cardio and calisthenics. We learned a lot of technical wrestling skills, chain wrestling, etc. Billy was excellent in teaching us all the fundamentals and making sure we had a thorough grounding in that before moving on to more advanced moves and styles. He also worked with us on promo skills, match psychology, how to market ourselves. It was a very valuable experience; a great introduction into all of the different facets that make up professional wresting.
Daniel Johnson: Prior to becoming a pro wrestler what was your athletic background. Do you feel it benefited you at all during training?
Joe Pittman: I played college football at Butler University. I also played basketball in high school. Absolutely it benefited. I had kept pretty disciplined in the gym from sports, so I was able to carry that over into training.
Daniel Johnson: How long have you worked for NGW in Indiana and how did you get involved in the company?
Joe Pittman: I started working for them in January. “The Zombie” Rob Ramer put me in touch with their booker.
Daniel Johnson: You recently became the first ever holder of the Hoosier State Championship for NGW. What was the experience like of winning the championship and being crowned the first Hoosier State Champion ever?
Joe Pittman: It was pretty darn cool. Especially to attain that level of success this early on. I didn’t think that was possible. This was my first singles title so it will be a night I’ll never forget.
Daniel Johnson: You won the title in an eight man, one-night tournament on June 22, 2013. What was the experience like of wrestling three times in one night and have you you done it before or since?
Joe Pittman: I have not done it before or since. It was grueling. Especially after getting smashed with an elbow off the top rope from Marc Houston. I’d ramped up my cardio conditioning in the weeks prior, though. I was as prepared as I could have been.
Daniel Johnson: You defeated “Sexy” Shawn Cook in the tournament final. Do you feel this was your best match of the night or do you think one of your previous two tournament matches was superior?
Joe Pittman: I liked each match for different reasons, though I think the match with Shawn was my best.
Daniel Johnson: How many matches have you had as the Hoosier State Champion? Which one sticks out most for you and why?
Joe Pittman: NGW’s next show is August 18. The card has not yet been announced, but I will be fully prepared to defend my title. The word “hoosier” is of course associated with the state of Indiana.
Daniel Johnson: How was the championship named and what do you think of the name of the title?
Joe Pittman: I’m not sure what went into the name of the title, but I like it. It denotes a certain amount of pride in the state of Indiana, which is where I grew up. Likewise, the belt has a unique look to it.
Daniel Johnson: What are your impressions of the design of the belt?
Joe Pittman: I think the belt looks awesome, though I’ve been told they might have a new design for it in the works. I don’t believe it is complete yet.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything else you would like people to know about NGW or your reign as Hoosier State Champion?
Joe Pittman: NGW has a great, passionate fan base. If you are near the area and have not checked it out yet, I encourage you to do. It’s family friendly entertainment.
Daniel Johnson: I also had some wrestling questions related to other parts of your career. Outside of NGW you have also worked for Resistance Pro. I believe you have only wrestled one match for that company to date. What were your impressions of working with Tripp Cassidy in your debut for that company?
Joe Pittman: I love working with Tripp Cassidy. We are students of Billy Roc and have wrestled each other countless times. Working with him on that stage was a lot of fun.
Daniel Johnson: Did you get a chance to meet creative director Billy Corgan when you went to Resistance Pro? If so what was the experience like?
Joe Pittman: Only briefly. Nothing outside of a handshake and a hello.
Daniel Johnson: Do you have any plans to work more for Resistance Pro in the future?
Joe Pittman: No plans in the near future.
Daniel Johnson: An Indiana-based promotion you have also worked for is the brand new promotion, Wrestling is Heart. How did you first come to work for that company?
Joe Pittman: Wrestling is Heart grew out of the School of Roc. Luckily that was a connection I was able to make to have the opportunity to be a part of their shows.
Daniel Johnson: What has been the most memorable part of working for Wrestling is Heart to date and what do you hope to achieve there?
Joe Pittman: I think my most memorable part of working for WIH so far was tagging with Mr. Touchdown against Green Ant and Mat Russo. It was my first main event, and to be in the ring with competitors the caliber of Touchdown and Green Ant was surreal. I hope to achieve all that I can while there, to elevate my game with higher competition, and to show my skills on an even higher stage.
Daniel Johnson: What are your short-term goals for 2013 in wrestling?
Joe Pittman: To learn something new every match. Win or lose, if I can walk away with more knowledge than I started with, I’ll consider that a victory in my rookie year.
Daniel Johnson: Likewise, what are some of your more long-term goals? Where would you like to be in five years?
Joe Pittman: I think it’s just about everyone’s goal to make it to the WWE. In five years, I’d like to make that a reality.
Daniel Johnson: What is the weirdest part of being a pro wrestler?
Joe Pittman: Probably being in front of people in what is essentially a pair of underwear.
Daniel Johnson: Where would you rank 2013 compared to last year as a wrestler?
Joe Pittman: Well, since I didn’t start 2012 until late in the year, I think it’s tough to rank my progress.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anyone you have yet to work with that you would like to work with? If so who is it and why?
Joe Pittman: I’ve yet to wrestle Billy Roc. I’d love to test my skills against the man who trained me.
Daniel Johnson: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement in wrestling to date?
Joe Pittman: I got a chance to perform at the Timmy Foundation’s Timmy Takedown in Park Tutor last fall. It’s a benefit event for kids with special needs. They got a chance to climb in the ring and beat up on me and their doctor. It was a very rewarding experience.
Daniel Johnson: Who is one wrestler under the age of 25 that you think readers should know about?
Joe Pittman: Tripp Cassidy.
Daniel Johnson: What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a pro wrestler?
Joe Pittman: It’s cliche, but put your education first. The chances of success in pro wrestling are very slim. The chances of injury are high. Without a backup plan, you put your future in a very dangerous position.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to promote?
Joe Pittman: Wrestling is Heart’s next show is back at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds on August 18 at 2:00 p.m. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Children 12 and under get in free.
Daniel Johnson: I also had five short non-wrestling related questions I like to ask everyone to make interviews a little unique: Outside of wrestling what television shows do you watch?
Joe Pittman: My favorite show of all time is Scrubs, closely followed by The Office. I’m currently getting caught up on Breaking Bad and finally getting around to watching Lost.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie to come out this year?
Joe Pittman: I haven’t had a chance to see many this year. I thought Man of Steel was quality.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Joe Pittman: I’m not sure if I’ve tried any new food that stands out. Sushi is always my favorite.
Daniel Johnson: What is you favorite song released this year?
Joe Pittman: Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive.”
Daniel Johnson: What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Joe Pittman: Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel. Definitely recommended. It’s a kick in the butt.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to add?
Joe Pittman: [Skip].
Check out Joe Pittman in action! Here he takes on “Sexy” Shawn Cook who Pittman would defeat about two months later to become the first NGW Hoosier State Champion:
Categories: Wrestling Interviews