by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Jay Skillet is a native of Germany and has been making waves on the wrestling scene there. Skillet primarily wrestles for Westside Xtreme Wrestling (WXW), but has also worked for Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), German Stampede Wrestling (GSW) and German Hurricane Wrestling (GHW). Skillet won his first singles title, the GSW Breakthrough Championship, late last year. Prior to this Skillet held the WXW World Tag Team Championship on two separate occasions, once with Jason Hendrix as The Wanderers and once with Jonathan Gresham as RockSkillet. This interview was completed on September 3, 2013. In this interview Skillet and I focus on the topic of being a young wrestler in Germany.
Daniel Johnson: In a nutshell how would you describe yourself as a performer?
Jay Skillet: I would say I’m the typical nice boy who surprises you when you don’t expect it at all. Wrestling wise I try to focus on doing basic stuff the best way possible and throw in a few special things or techniques.
Daniel Johnson: For those unfamiliar with you when and where were you born and how long have you been wrestling?
Jay Skillet: I was born in Solingen, a small town in Germany on September 14, 1991. I have been wrestling for almost three years now.
Daniel Johnson: What was your earliest memory of watching professional wrestling as a fan?
Jay Skillet: I remember watching WWE SmackDown for the first time at a friend’s house who was a big wrestling fan. As soon as I saw Chris Benoit make his entrance i was hooked by his appearance and then of course his style of wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: Before becoming a wrestler did you go to any live shows that promotions in Germany had? If so what promotion or promotions did you go to and did any of the local talent stick out to you?
Jay Skillet: To be honest no. The first wrestling show i ever went to, I was part of.
Daniel Johnson: Once you knew you wanted to become a pro wrestler how did you find a place a train? Also who was your trainer and what did a regular day of training look like?
Jay Skillet: My first ever wrestling seminar I had at Alex Wright’s wrestling school in Nuremberg, which I simply found out about on the Internet. Since Nuremberg is a five to six hour drive from Solingen I couldn’t go there every weekend. So I looked for wrestling schools nearby and found the Westside Dojo, run by Westside Xtreme Wrestling in Oberhausen. Most of the seminars by that time were run by Tommy End, Emil Sitoci and Bad Bones, but also guest stars such as Niguel McGuinness and Daisuke Sekimoto. I would usually get up at around 5 in the morning because i had to take the train to Oberhausen, which is an over two hour ride. Then we would set up the ring and as soon as the coach was there we would train for four hours.
Daniel Johnson: Wow, it sounds like it took a lot of work just to start a day of training. I was curious though as a brief side question you mentioned going to an Alex Wright seminar at first. What was it like meeting Alex Wright? Also, I have recently heard that he might return in a more full-time capacity to wrestling. Have you heard anything about this? Also, is Wright still well known in wrestling circles in Germany?
Jay Skillet: Meeting Alex was cool. He is a very nice guy and obviously knows his craft. He is running the training school as well as a promotion and is still well known. As far as his plans of returning go, I don’t know.
Daniel Johnson: I believe the first place you had matches at was Westside Dojo. For those unfamiliar with Westside Dojo how would you describe it. Also, how long was it between working there and working for the Westside Xtreme Wrestling promotion’s main roster, which I believe is the company you have worked for the most?
Jay Skillet: The Westside Dojo is the cheapest training school in Germany with the best training and coaches. Not to take anything away from other German wrestling schools, but to me the Westside Dojo is the place to be if you want to become a pro wrestler. I believe it was a little over nine months until I had my debut in the WXW main shows. Yes, WXW is basically my home promotion and I’m a proud part of the main roster.
Daniel Johnson: In your memories what stands out from your first year at WXW and how you do you feel you have grown as a performer since then?
Jay Skillet: Getting to know many wrestlers who I watched on TV or the Internet and becoming friends with them, being a part of the locker room and just living wrestling stands out the most. I think I have grown a lot since stepping into the ring for my debut. I am very self confident about what I do and of course everybody who I worked with has influenced me and made me a better wrestler.
Daniel Johnson: A lot of German readers may know you best from WXW for your team with Jonathan Gresham, RockSkillet. How did this team first come about and how do you think your styles blend together? Also, have you worked in a lot of teams outside of this one?
Jay Skillet: Jonathan and I had a match against each other and there was a certain kind of chemistry. So we decided to form a team since I still had a WXW World Tag Team Championship rematch and my former partner was injured. I believe Jonathan and I had very opposite styles, but influenced each other a lot. I also wrestled in a team called The Wanderes with Jason Hendrix who is now retired.
Daniel Johnson: As RockSkillet you held the WXW Tag Team Championship. What memories most stand out from this experience?
Jay Skillet: Spending time with Jonathan who is a great guy and a good friend of mine, also growing as a wrestler. I also had some of my favorite matches during that time.
Daniel Johnson: Is there any one match that stands out to you the most from this time?
Jay Skillet: Yes, RockSkillet versus The Champions of Champions from WXW live in Fulda.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, what makes that match stand out to you in particular?
Jay Skillet: I usually don’t like watching my own matches. But this one I always come back to and am very proud of. We got a lot of positive feedback on it and I believe to this day it is the longest match I wrestled.
Daniel Johnson: What would you like to accomplish next in WXW? Also, do you have any more long term goals for the company?
Jay Skillet: WXW has a new championship, the WXW Shotgun Championship. This one I would like to win and of course one day I want to become the WXW Unified World Heavyweight Champion.
Daniel Johnson: A singles championship you have held outside of WXW is the German Stampede Wrestling Breathhrough Championship for GSW. Is this the first singles title you have held? If not then what other singles championship have you held?
Jay Skillet: Yes, this is the only one.
Daniel Johnson: Do you think it is important to have a title like the GSW Breathrough Championship for young talent. Why or why not?
Jay Skillet: Yes, I do think so. Especially GSW is full of big guys so it is very difficult for younger and smaller guys to get a spot on the card. A title like the Breakthrough Championship gives us younger guys the chance to get a spot on the card and also be in the center of attention.
Daniel Johnson: As reigning champion I believe so far you have held the title for over 200 days. What is it like holding a title for that long and what is the one match that has stood out the most so far from this reign?
Jay Skillet: I don’t count the day so this is new to me lol. I would say the match where I became champion. It was an elimination four way with three other, very talented guys that really pushed me to the limit.
Daniel Johnson: For readers who might be interested in checking out wrestling in Germany, but have never seen it before what would you tell them that may influence them to give German wrestling a chance. Also, are there any places online you would suggest for readers to watch German wrestling?
Jay Skillet: Obviously everybody reading this is somehow interested in wrestling. So I can only say that checking out WXW is worth every second. It’s Europe’s number one company and working with CZW and BJW. For free matches I suggest checking out their YouTube channel or just go to wxw-wrestling.com and order a DVD.
Daniel Johnson: Perhaps the promotion you have worked for that American readers would be most familiar with is CZW. How did you get the chance to work for this promotion and do you have any fond memories of working for them?
Jay Skillet: I got the chance to work for them through the WXW office. The memory that stands out the most is a singles match I had at an underground show against Karsten Beck, which I still consider my best match so far. Apart from that I like the CZW guys for who they are even though they are crazy lol.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, so far you have only worked for CZW during their visits to Europe. Do you have any interest in working for the company in the United States? Is this a goal of yours?
Jay Skillet: Sure it is. I would love to go to America since I’ve never been there and of course working for CZW there would be great.
Daniel Johnson: Although CZW is home to many styles of wrestling these days a lot of fans still associate it with hardcore wrestling. What was the most hardcore match you have been involved in, in CZW or outside of the company?
Jay Skillet: One of my first matches was a three on three street fight at a Dojo show. That I would say was my most hardcore match. But to be honest I don’t really enjoy doing these matches.
Daniel Johnson: I can see why. I know hardcore matches can lead to injury, but then again that can be said about really any type of wrestling match. Have you been able to avoid injury so far or have you had to cope with any?
Jay Skillet: I have not been injured since starting wrestling, I’m a very lucky guy lol.
Daniel Johnson: How would you rank 2013 so far among your years as a wrestler?
Jay Skillet: It sure has been the best and most successful but also the most emotional year with my former partner retiring.
Daniel Johnson: Oh yeah, I can see how that would have an impact. Speaking about other wrestlers are there any opponents you have yet to work with that you would like to? If so then who?
Jay Skillet: Tough question, I usually try to focus on the here and now and just let things happen or come the way they might. But i really would like to work with Daisuke Sekimoto the next year and also another match one on one with Gresham would be great.
Daniel Johnson: Awesome, I also like to ask five brief non-wrestling related questions in each interview to make interviews a little different. My first of these five questions is what TV shows do you currently enjoy watch on television?
Jay Skillet: I have to admit I haven’t watches TV in a long time. Last time I did I watched old episodes of King of Queens, Kevin James is just hilarious.
Daniel Johnson: Did you get a chance to go to the movies at all this year? If so then what was your favorite movie?
Jay Skillet: Life of Pi in 3D was amazing!
Daniel Johnson: Cool, what is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Jay Skillet: I tried protein shakes with rocky road flavor for the first time this year and I´m loving it lol. In terms of other food I don’t know.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out this year?
Jay Skillet: “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore.
Daniel Johnson: What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Jay Skillet: Die Vermessung der Welt is the title [by Daniel Quinn], i had to read it in school and it was just boring from start to finish lol.
Daniel Johnson: Haha, I then just had a few more brief wrestling questions. Who is one wrestler 25 or younger that you think readers should know about?
Jay Skillet: Freddy Stahl from Germany is an amazingly gifted athlete, you should check him out!
Daniel Johnson: What is the weirdest part of being a pro wrestler?
Jay Skillet: Standing in front of a crowd half naked and enjoying it lol.
Daniel Johnson: Haha, similarly I always find road stories and ribs interesting. Do you have an interesting road story or ribs you would be able to share?
Jay Skillet: I get asked that question a lot and i might seem boring, but I don’t really have that much to tell. Of course you have fun with the guys and laugh a lot, funny things happen, but I can’t think of anything that stands out that much.
Daniel Johnson: No problem, is there anything you would like to promote?
Jay Skillet: Watch out for me in the future because i can tell you there is a lot more of me to come. And of course check out WXW, the product is great and we have amazing talent over here you don’t want to miss out on.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to add?
Jay Skillet: I think I said it all. Thank you very much.
Check out Jay Skillet in action! In this episode of WXW Shotgun Jay Skillet takes on Vincent Schild and there is a non-Skillet match between Ilja Dragunov and Robert Schild:
Categories: Wrestling Interviews