by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: When wrestling fans hear the letters, MCW, there are a number of promotions that may come to mind. For wrestler Rip Impact though, the letters MCW stand for Magnificent Championship Wrestling. Impact was MCW Heavyweight Champion for 182 days in a reign spanning from 2012 to 2013. Aside from wrestling in this Ontario, Canada based company, Impact has also popped up now and then for a number of notable independent promotions including Ring of Honor (ROH), Alpha-1 Wrestling (A1W) and Great Canadian Wrestling (GCW). Impact can be followed on Twitter @ripimpact and has a Facebook fan page that can be found here. This interview was completed on October 30, 2013. In this interview Impact and I focus on his work for MCW.
Daniel Johnson: In a nutshell how would you describe yourself as a performer?
Rip Impact: I’ve been asked this before, and I think it’s sometimes difficult to describe one as a performer. I have heard from others that I’m “well rounded” and that I can fly and hold my own on the mat as well. To describe myself, I’d say I’m hard-working, and that I love what I do. I always try to put 100 percent of me in the ring, and I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve earned, and the fans support.
Daniel Johnson: For those unfamiliar with you where were you born and how long have you been wrestling?
Rip Impact: I was born in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It’s right between Niagara Falls and Toronto and I’m proud to be born and raised here, I truly love this city. I have been involved in wrestling, be it: training, and then performing shows for about nine, near 10 years now.
Daniel Johnson: Where did you initially get trained and what was the experience like? Were there any surprises?
Rip Impact: I was initially trained here in Hamilton, Ontario, and the Living Legends Wrestling Academy, under the tutelage of Ernie “The Executioner” Moore. I later continued my training in Mexico at Ultimo Dragon’s dojo under Ultimo, Skayde, Ark Angel and Jorge Riveria. After that, I also spent time training in Texas at the Texas Wrestling Academy under Rudy Boy Gonzalez. I still continue to train today at multiple facilities on a weekly basis as I believe, you can never stop learning, and I always want to stay sharp.
Daniel Johnson: I was always curious how did you come up with the name Rip Impact?
Rip Impact: I’ve also been asked this question a few times and to be honest, there is no real elaborate story behind it. I was just starting wrestling, and I was thinking of combinations of names and words, and I came up with “Rip Impact” and it stuck ever since.
Daniel Johnson: Getting into your more recent career, over the past few years you have been wrestling for MCW in Canada. How did you first get involved with the promotion?
Rip Impact: Well, come November 24, 2013, it will be the three year anniversary of Magnificent Championship Wrestling and I’ve been with the company since their very first show. I’ve had to miss a couple here and there due to other obligations like wrestling tours across Canada and the States, but it’s a company I always look forward to on my calendar. The start of MCW is an interesting story on its own. I was originally scheduled for another show the date of MCW’s first show (November 26, 2010), but things didn’t work out with said show, and I was happy to give this new company (MCW) a chance and take that booking instead. I haven’t looked back since. I had a fun three way that day (highlight video included here) and really enjoyed myself that night, and from there on out.
Daniel Johnson: What was the first match you had in the company that you were truly satisfied with?
Rip Impact: Well to be honest, I was very happy and satisfied with my first match with the company. It was a three way with Justinsane and Jake O’reilly (seen in the video above). Moving on with matches for me in MCW, I also really enjoyed my first encounter with EZE Eric Cairnie.
Daniel Johnson: Has the promotion grown at all since you first wrestled there? If so then how?
Rip Impact: The promotion has definitely grown over the years. A loyal fan base has developed, while new fans still come to check it out. The MCW brand has gotten out there more and more with t-shirts, local TV appearances, doing its part for the community and partnering up with local establishments.
Daniel Johnson: In October of last year you won the vacant MCW Heavyweight Championship. What do you think about the circumstances in which you won the title?
Rip Impact: Well, I’m not too keen on when a championship has to be vacated, but I understand it has to happen sometimes and I’m always up to face whoever, whenever. I had the challenge of being put into a one night tournament for my chance to become the MCW Champion. On that night, I overcame what I had to, came out on top of my matches and became the MCW Champion. Once I regain the championship, I’ll be glad to defend it against any deserving opponents.
Daniel Johnson: You went onto have a 182 day reign, but only had the chance to defend it a handful of times. Would you have liked to defend it more? If so then why?
Rip Impact: Oh wow, thanks for counting, haha. To answer your question, I definitely would have like to defend my championship more and more, as I am a fighting champion, but I do believe I defended it as much as I could given the amount of shows, while putting it up against as many opponents as I could, having it on the line in four ways and also defending it in inter-promotional match ups, such as for Pure Wrestling Association (PWA) and for UNITY.
Daniel Johnson: On a similar topic do you hope MCW has more frequent shows in the future? Is there anything you think might stand in the way of making this happen?
Rip Impact: I would love for MCW to run monthly shows someday. Though I also understand the hard work that goes to putting on a show, and can see the difficulties in that. As far as obstacles in the way of making it happen? Perhaps just consistently getting the fans to fill the venue up, but let’s hope it can happen someday!
Daniel Johnson: Getting into some more specifics of your reign you made all your defenses in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. For those who have not been there, how would you describe the atmosphere and the fans there?
Rip Impact: Well, I’ll start by saying, I love wrestling in Brantford. I’ve had some of my early matches in my career in Brantford and the fans and the city have always been good to me (thank you!). I have also had some of my favorite matches there as well. Just to correct you though, I did defend my MCW Championship also in Simcoe for PWA in an inter-promotional show as well as in Hamilton at another inter-promotional show presented under the banner UNITY.
Daniel Johnson: In the match in which you dropped the MCW Heavyweight Championship you wrestled EZE Eric Cairnie the same man you originally beat in a tournament for the vacant title. What are your memories of this match and of working with Eric in general?
Rip Impact: I remember the match quite well, as it’s something Eric hasn’t let me forget. Which I wouldn’t want to, as it just has driven me to get better and better and hopefully I can regain my championship come November 24, 2013. As far as wrestling with Eric, I’ve had some of his earliest matches against him. I’ve seen how much he has improved and how good he has gotten over the years. I’ve even teamed with him on occasions years ago. I know Eric very well, as I know he knows me very well, that’s what really brings that dynamic to our encounters.
Daniel Johnson: This is a broad question, but what stood out most for you about your run with MCW Heavyweight Championship?
Rip Impact: Hmm, that is broad. I guess what stood out most to me though, is just the simple fact of being recognized and appreciated that much more by the great fans that come out to support MCW.
Daniel Johnson: In November you have another shot at the MCW Heavyweight Championship in a three stages of hell match. Have you ever been in this kind of match before? What are your expectations going into the encounter?
Rip Impact: I look forward to my next shot at the MCW Championship. I have been in many kinds of matches, two out of three falls, I quit matches and even tables matches, (as well as many other kinds), but putting those together in this three stages of hell match is something I have never competed in, but I look forward to the challenge.
Daniel Johnson: If you have another reign as MCW Heavyweight Championship, how if at all would you like it to differ from your first reign?
Rip Impact: Well, I’m hoping to have another reign as MCW Champion, and become the first ever two time MCW Champion. As far as what I’d like to differ from my first reign, well it’s quite simple and not too different truth be told, I’d like to hold it as long as I can, and defend it as often as I can.
Daniel Johnson: For prospective MCW fans where else can they go to learn more about the promotion?
Rip Impact: You can learn more about MCW on their Facebook Page here. Also, on their Facebook Group here and their official website here.
Daniel Johnson: I also, had some questions related to your career outside of MCW. Recently you wrestled for ROH in a televised match against Tommaso Ciampa. What are your thoughts on that match?
Rip Impact: It’s always an honor wrestling for Ring of Honor (ROH) and I am very thankful for every opportunity I’ve earned to compete for them. It was great to wrestle with Tommaso Ciampi once again, as I did have a chance to wrestle with him in the States for DGUSA awhile back as well, and he is an exceptional talent. It was an excellent experience top to bottom for me to wrestle on national TV for ROH TV, and it gave me so much more exposure all over, and just a tremendous overall learning experience that I will never forget.
Daniel Johnson: This was not the first time you wrestled for ROH. How did you first get involved with the company and is there any chance of you making more frequent appearances there in the near future?
Rip Impact: You are correct, I’ve been fortunate enough to compete for ROH on more than a dozen occasions, both in Canada, and in multiple states in the USA. As I said above, every opportunity is an incredible experience that I cherish. My first two appearances for ROH were in Toronto a couple years back, and it was a double shot weekend which featured Bret Hart and Ric Flair making appearances. It was awesome to share a locker room with those two upon all the amazing ROH stars the company has to offer. I do hope to make more appearances there in the future, and I’m doing what I can to make that happen
Daniel Johnson: In your career you have some rich experiences in training and working in areas as far from Canada as Texas and Mexico. What motivated you to go so far away and what have you found most rewarding about your time in these locations?
Rip Impact: I’ve been very lucky to be able to travel the world, doing what I love to do! It’s been awesome to compete in all the provinces and territories in Canada, and so many states in the USA. Training and competing in Mexico was truly a dream come true. I loved everything about the time I spent there, be it, learning a new style of what I love to do, or wrestling in front of close to 12,000 fans and I would love to go back sometime! What motivated me to go to Texas and Mexico (upon any and everywhere I go) can’t be answered with just one answer. I love to travel, I love to wrestle for new companies, I love meeting new people and wrestling different opponents all while learning more and more wherever I go. I’m so thankful for the things I’ve accomplished in my career, and everything I mentioned above were just some of the rewards I was able to have.
Daniel Johnson: As a result of your extensive career you have gotten some recognition including recently being ranked this year in the PWI 500 at number 462. Is this the first time you have been ranked by PWI? What was the experience like of finding out you made the cut?
Rip Impact: I love the PWI 500, and what PWI does every year (and every month for that matter). I’ve been following their magazines since I got into wrestling, and I always looked forward to checking them out. It was not my first time being ranked in the PWI 500 (and I sure hope it won’t be the last, haha), as I had been ranked before, but the experience of it, is always one that I cherish. It’s great to be able to show friends and family the issue of the magazine.
Daniel Johnson: This is just a random question, I always try to throw in, but I always like to hear ribs and road stories. Do you have any that you would be able to share?
Rip Impact: Hmm, tough question there. I’ve often been told what happens on the road, stays on the road. Haha. Having said that, I haven’t been a part of too many ribs, though I do have a lot of stories from the tours and long road trips I have done. From picking up hitch hikers and going cliff jumping and swimming with them, to sleeping wherever we could between shows on the road. Too many stories to share!
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?
Rip Impact: Hmm, I don’t really watch all that much TV. I did enjoy Breaking Bad as well as Prison Break and some other shows along those lines as well superhero/comic themed shows such as the new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
Rip Impact: Tough question, I enjoyed a lot of movies from 2012, like The Avengers. This year, I enjoyed Iron Man 3 a lot, and I look forward to the new Thor movie [Thor: The Dark World], as well as the new Captain America movie [Captain America: The Winter Soldier]. I’m sure there are some comedies I enjoyed quite a bit as well. The Internship and We’re the Millers and others that the titles aren’t coming to me, as I tend to try and check out a good amount of movies when I can.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Rip Impact: Hmm, it’s tough to answer that to a specific food. I enjoy a lot of ethnic foods on a regular basis, from Indian, to Thai, Japanese, to Mexican and more. Lots of variety!
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out this year?
Rip Impact: Honestly, I couldn’t pick just one.
Daniel Johnson: What is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Rip Impact: The last book I read (outside of comics, haha) was probably the re-reading of Chris Jericho’s second book Undisputed [How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps] (though I re-read both back to back) and I’d definitely recommend both.
Daniel Johnson: I wanted to close with just a few more brief wrestling questions. What is the weirdest part of being a pro wrestler?
Rip Impact: The weirdest part of being a pro wrestler? Hmm, I’ll have to get back to you on that one, haha. There are a fair share of weird things I guess you could say, but I love it all.
Daniel Johnson: Who is one wrestler 25 or under that you think readers should know about?
Rip Impact: Hmm, it’s tough to name just one. Especially as I don’t know the exact age of many haha! But there is a lot of great young talent coming out of Ontario right now that I enjoy working with as well as many in the States. Keep your eyes out for all of them, as many are breaking out!
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to promote?
Rip Impact: Sure! Be sure to check me out on -Twitter @ripimpact, Facebook at my group page. Also, on Facebook by searching Rip Impact. I’m sure there is also a Myspace floating around, but I don’t use it anymore. Haha. Also SLAM! Wrestling has an article on me as well. Website and Instagram are both coming soon and links for those will be available via Facebook and Twitter.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to add?
Rip Impact: I’d just like to take this time to thank you Daniel for the interview as well as everyone reading it. I’d also like to thank all the fans out there for the continuous support, as it’s truly appreciated and never goes unnoticed. Thank you, and all the best everyone.
Check out Rip Impact in action! The match where Rip Impact won the MCW Heavyweight Championship can be found here. Below, Impact takes on rival EZE Eric Cairnie with Nicky Martin in Impact’s last defense of the MCW Heavyweight Championship to date:
Categories: Wrestling Interviews