by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Bobby Ocean is from the heart of Connecticut: Hartford, Connecticut and began training to be a wrestler at the incredibly young age of 14. Ocean made his in-ring debut at 18 and since then has worked for just about every independent promotion that has come and gone and been based in Connecticut over the last 15 years. Currently, Ocean wrestles mostly for the Connecticut based company New England Frontier Wrestling (NEFW) and has also been to shows run by currently operating Connecticut based companies Pro Wrestling Academy (PWA) and Real Warrior Entertainment (RWE). Until the company recently closed it’s doors, Ocean also worked for Connecticut Wrestling Entertainment (CTWE). Ocean can be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This interview was completed on October 25, 2013. In this interview Ocean and I focus on the topic of wrestling in Connecticut.
Daniel Johnson: In a nutshell how would you describe yourself as a performer?
Bobby Ocean: As a performer my style is a technical wrestler. For some I have been said to be along the lines of Chris Benoit and Bret Hart. I strive to be the very best. I’m always studying different wrestlers and styles of wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: For those unfamiliar with you where and when were you born and when did you start wrestling?
Bobby Ocean: I was born in Hartford, Connecticut. I started training to become a pro wrestler at the age of 14 so it’s been almost 15 years for me now.
Daniel Johnson: When did you know you wanted to become a wrestler and how did you find a place to get trained?
Bobby Ocean: Very early as far as I could remember I believe I was four or five years old and said, “That’s what I want to do,” when I saw “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair when WWF (WWE) did house shows at the Hartford Civic Center (XL Center). It was interesting as to how I found a place to train. I was at a WWE Raw show in Hartford, Connecticut and I saw this white piece of paper on the ground. I turned it over and it had Jason Knight on the flyer who was apart of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and it said, Do you want to walk down that aisle of success?” I said, “Hell yeah I do.” So my father brought me down to Waterbury, Connecticut and walking in the House Of Pain Pro Wrestling Dojo I was in ah at seeing a ring and all the photos from people I had watched on television. Me being really young at the time I was asked why did I want to be a pro wrestler I gave Jason my answer. From that moment on I was invited to see a show that he was booking called Acid Pro Wrestling (APW). I took it upon myself to help in anyway I could. Setting up rings, chairs, doing sound, whatever it was I just wanted to be apart of the business. Then Jason opened up his promotion Assault Championship Wrestling (ACW) and man did I learn a lot from just watching and listening. There would be 30 guys in the locker room from all over New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut. You had wrestlers like Paul Enourmous, Johnny Thunder, Red Hot Russ, Wiqued, Abuni, Backseat Boys, Jeff Rocker, Scotty Charisma, Ron Zombie, Mercedes Martinez, Talia aka Velvet Sky, Ariel, Rednecks From Hell, Dylan Kage, Kurt Adonis, Dr. Heresy, Nick Richards. The privilege I had in learning from guys like Balls Mahoney, Lance Wright, Joel Gertner, New Jack, Chris Hamrick, Kid Kash, Chris Chette, Tony Devito, Homicide and Chris Candido just to sit there and listen to them call matches and see how they worked. I knew I was getting an experience that no one else was getting and appreciated it.
Daniel Johnson: Do you remember the first match you ever had at all? If so then what stands out from it? I was also curious since you started training so young how old were you when you actually debuted and what was the first promotion you worked for consistently?
Bobby Ocean: Yes, I do I was with Assault Championship Wrestling. It was in New Britain, Connecticut n a gauntlet match and I remember I was in there with three other guys. One of those guys was named Mighty Mini. After that I did a tag match with Chris Mooch (Tapu) against Kurt Adonis and Nick Richards in the summer time. Then I moved onto Defiant Pro Wrestling (DPW), which was owned by Mike Milano. My first match there was working Brian Anthony and man was it bad. We both were green, but it was what it was. After that I was with Defiant Pro Wrestling consistently. I was 18 when I debuted.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, what was the promotion you first worked with and do you still work there at all?
Bobby Ocean: I worked with Acid Pro Wrestling, Assault Championship Wrestling, and Defiant Pro Wrestling, all Connecticut based promotions, but those promotions unfortunately are not running anymore.
Daniel Johnson: How many Connecticut based promotions are there that you are aware of that still run and how many have you wrestled in?
Bobby Ocean: There’s always some new promotion popping up. Right now in Connecticut you have three. I have wrestled for eight promotions in Connecticut.
Daniel Johnson: Out of the three that are around now which one do you feel you fit in best with?
Bobby Ocean: Right now NEFW fits me best and I am not saying that just because I work for them. I’m saying from a standpoint of where someone who’s been around and knows what to look for. I’ll be honest with you about each one. NEFW, they have great talent there from the guys they bring in like Amazing Red, Brian XL, Mike Mondo, Chris Masters to veterans of New England in Brian Fury. And the wrestlers that are coming. What I like about this particular promotion is they give those wrestlers coming up a chance. PWA is run by Josef Von Schmidt I have been to only one PWA show, but I know that he’s got a great group of young wrestlers that are hungry and want this. RWE, they are trying to do something different and mix things up. I think it’s always good to have competition as long as things are done the right way.
Daniel Johnson: Who are some Connecticut based wrestlers that you think readers should know about?
Bobby Ocean: As far as from the past or today’s wrestlers?
Daniel Johnson: Today’s wrestlers, but you can mention past wrestlers as well if you would like.
Bobby Ocean: As for wrestlers that I got to watch and see when I was coming up I think they should know about Jason Knight, Justin Credible, Samu (The Wild Samoans), Nick Richards, Kurt Adonis, Dr. Heresy, Maverick Wild, Fred Curry Sr., Fred Curry Jr. , Ron Zombie, Dylan Kage, Ariel, Mercades Martinez. In my opinion if your a wrestler in Connecticut (man or woman) I feel these are the ones you should be studying. As for today’s wrestlers I’d say William King, Biff Busick aka Frank O’Rouke, Jay Freddie, Antonio Thomas, Slyck Wagner Brown, Sean Burke, Lance Anoia, Afa Jr., Blk Jeez, Ricky Reyes.
Daniel Johnson: What are some of your favorite venues to work in, in Connecticut and what makes them stand out for you?
Bobby Ocean: Meriden Independent Club sticks out in my mind because it is where I truly got my feet wet sort of speak. Riders Cafe in Waterbury also. We always had fun there during the Assault Championship Wrestling days with the bikers. There was this one club in New Britain, I forget the name of it, but I liked it because of the staging. It had that wrestling feeling. Another one that sticks out in my mind is the Danbury Arena. It was where I got to wrestle with Big Time Wrestling (BTW) teaming up with Slyck Wagner Brown as the newest member of Black Talent’d Wrestlerz against The Delfonzo Brothers (Tony and Bam Bam) in front of 1,000 people.
Daniel Johnson: Do you remember the hottest crowd you have ever worked in front of in Connecticut? Was it the tag match with Slyck Wager Brown? Also, what was the experience like of working in front of your hottest crowd and what did you do to get the most out of the fans?
Bobby Ocean: It is always hard to pinpoint the hottest crowd. I think the hottest one was myself vs. Jay Freddie at WrestleJam and the reason why I say that is because it was pure wrestling. I think any Big Time Wrestling crowd is going to be hot. I’ll put it to you like this: working in front of 50, 500, or 1,300 people. The most I get out of the fans is that they appreciate my work for what I do in the ring whether I am a heel or babyface. I’ll put it to you like this: working in front of 50, 500, or 1,300 people to me they are all hot because they came to see wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: On the other end of the spectrum have you ever worked a completely dead crowd in Connecticut? If so what was the experience like and what did you take away from it?
Bobby Ocean: Oh, of course. Yeah, it is a different feeling when the crowd is dead. You start to wonder, What do I have to do to wake these people up?” There are two ways to look at it. Certain people need to know their positions on the card and realize that there are 10 matches or however many. Work towards the main event or that steady climb to it.
Daniel Johnson: This is kind of a broad question, but is there anything unique about wrestling fans in Connecticut that makes them different from wrestling fans elsewhere?
Bobby Ocean: That’s a good question. I don’t think there is anything unique about Connecticut fans from any other fans. If you’re a fan of wrestling then you’re a fan of wrestling. That’s it.
Daniel Johnson: Perhaps the most well known independent wrestling promotion based in Connecticut in recent years, CTWE recently closed. How do you think this will affect the landscape of independent wrestling in Connecticut, if at all?
Bobby Ocean: I was with them from the beginning towards the end. I find it interesting that I have seen so many eras of wrestling in Connecticut. But as for CTWE I believe you will see some of the guys in different promotions. I know Northeast Wrestling (NEW) has taken the Bethany Town Hall and making it a brand extension.
Daniel Johnson: What will you miss most about CTWE?
Bobby Ocean: The most I’ll miss about CTWE is the wrestlers that I have been able to share a ring with, the bonds I have made there, and the fans because every show I was on they chanted my name, showed me that respect and appreciated how hard I worked for them.
Daniel Johnson: This may be kind of a silly question, but one I figured I’d throw out there. Since WWE is based in Connecticut do you think it helps to wrestle a lot in Connecticut to get on their radar? If so how?
Bobby Ocean: People would think that, but I don’t agree with just wrestling in Connecticut will help you be on WWE’s radar. If that was the case every wrestler in Connecticut would be signed. But it would be nice if they had the scouts come to shows like they did back when. Now that’s a thing of the past.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anywhere online you would suggest readers check out to keep up with independent wrestling in Connecticut?
Bobby Ocean: Usually TheBurningHammer.com is a good source. I use those guys a lot as to finding out whats happening.
Daniel Johnson: I also wanted to ask some questions about your general career. Looking beyond just Connecticut you have wrestled all over New England including for New England Championship Wrestling (NECW). David Marquez recently announced the formation of United Wrestling Network, an alliance of promotions throughout the country. How, if at all, do you think this will change the wrestling landscape and what involvement do you plan to have in UWN?
Bobby Ocean: I was very happy when David Marquez announced the United Wrestling Network. Finally a network full of wrestling. What’s not to love about that? I believe UWN is something we all need. My involvement with the network right now is uncertain at this point in time, but something could happen in the future.
Daniel Johnson: A lot of wrestlers have the end goal of working in WWE or TNA? Do you consider this your ultimate goal and which company do you think you would fit in better?
Bobby Ocean: It’s always an ultimate goal is to be in the WWE. That’s where I want to head, that’s where I want to go.
Daniel Johnson: Do you have any goals in the more immediate future?
Bobby Ocean: Goals I have are to be signed by a promotion (WWE, TNA, ROH) to wrestle overseas and to hold my first heavyweight championship.
Daniel Johnson: This is a question I always try to ask. I always like to hear ribs and road stories. Do you have any you could share?
Bobby Ocean: I was in Rochester, New York. We just got done doing a Big Time Wrestling show there. Sometime in the night four wrestlers went out to the club with these girls. The guys got wasted and ended up coming back to the hotel. Well, one of the guys was passed out. So I guess on there way back they bought some Burger King and what not. So as this particular person was asleep they proceeded to draw on his body with a sharpie, and put mustard and bbq sauce all over his feet and chest area. Then they drew a big Ultimate Warrior symbol on his back. And smacked him with a cheeseburger twice.
Daniel Johnson: Haha, 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?
Bobby Ocean: I watch The Walking Dead, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Scandal and Real Husbands Of Hollywood is what I’m into now.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
Bobby Ocean: Prisoners.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Bobby Ocean: Calamari. Calamari isn’t that bad.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, what is your favorite song to come out this year?
Bobby Ocean: “Started From the Bottom” by Drake and “Meek Mills Gasoline” by Jay Z. I got a couple.
Daniel Johnson: What is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Bobby Ocean: Dwayne Wade’s book, A Father First and yes I would recommend it.
Daniel Johnson: I like to end with just a few more brief wrestling questions. What is the weirdest part of being a pro wrestler?
Bobby Ocean: Weirdest part is being in a restaurant, school, or gym and people know who you are.
Daniel Johnson: Who is one wrestler 25 or less that you think readers should be aware of?
Bobby Ocean: Lance Anoia.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to add?
Bobby Ocean: As for shows not right now. I was on the go like crazy every weekend for years and just this year I had to put it on hold for a bit because of the job.
Witness Bobby Ocean in action! Being accompanied to the ring by JJ Alexander, Bobby Ocean wrestles Mike Mondo at an NEFW show:
Categories: Wrestling Interviews