by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Kekoa is the current holder of the ECWA Unified Heavyweight Championship, having just won the title earlier this month. The ECWA Unified Heavyweight Championship is the most prestigious championship the ECWA has to offer and has been held by the likes of Christopher Daniels, Christian Cage and The Amazing Red. Before Kekoa defeated “Greek God” Papadon for this championship, Kekoa held several other championships including the ECWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship, the ECWA Unified Tag Team Championship and the WXW Ultimate Hybrid Championship. Kekoa can be found on Twitter here, Facebook here and Instagram here. This interview was completed on November 12, 2013. In this interview Kekoa and I focus on the topic of the ECWA Unified Heavyweight Championship.
Daniel Johnson: How would you describe yourself as a performer in a nutshell?
Kekoa: In a nutshell, I would describe myself as, “The one person you will pay to see.”
Daniel Johnson: For readers unfamiliar with you where and when were you born and how long have you been wrestling?
Kekoa: I was born July 22, in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania and I have been wrestling for seven years now.
Daniel Johnson: When you knew you wanted to become a pro wrestler how did you go about finding a place to get trained and what did a regular day of training look like?
Kekoa: I knew I wanted to be a wrestler from the time I was a little kid, it just so happened that a series of events led to me signing up with a wrestling school. I wasn’t out looking to join a wrestling school because I knew I couldn’t afford one. Back then it was you either pay half tuition up front, or all of it. And I didn’t even have close to half. Basically a man named Bud Carson thought it was time to open up a school in his pro wrestling memorabilia shop, and he knew I had some athletic and natural ability. He asked me to sign up and we worked out a deal and next thing I knew I was on my way. A typical day of training was rough. We trained in the summer and in the back room where the ring was. It had no windows, and our trainers wouldn’t allow the air conditioning to be on while training. We would be drenched in sweat after starting training with an hour to an hour and a half of conditioning drills, then if and only if you made it through that, you got to participate in learning how to wrestle, which we would work on for the next hour or hour and a half. Then finish with 500 to 1,000 squats. We did this every day of training, which was two to three days a week and I trained for about six months.
Daniel Johnson: Do you remember your very first match at all? If so what was it like and what most stands out from it for you?
Kekoa: My very first match was a tag match with three other fellow students. We worked a tag match in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey for Richie Rotten and Bodyslam Wrestling Organization (BWO). It was Chrono Chris and myself versus “Pretty Boy” Eric Hiller and The God of War Mars. What stands out the most to me to be honest was something more on a personal level outside of the business. To make a long story short, I learned a valuable lesson, the ones that are always there to support you, that have always been there, especially in the wrestling business, are the ones you need to keep the closest to you in your heart because wrestling will destroy friendships and relationships. But when you have those certain special people in your life, hold onto them, and don’t take them for granted.
Daniel Johnson: How did you first get involved with the ECWA?
Kekoa: I got involved with ECWA by pure luck! I had messaged them years prior looking to work for them but they were filled up. I believe they messaged me and said they would like to use me down the road but were just filled with a set roster at the time. One day I got an e-mail asking me if I could work their show that weekend because the person Chris Wylde was supposed to defend his Mid-Atlantic title against was injured and couldn’t make it. So I went, Chris and I tore the house down to the point the fans were chanting, “This is awesome” and it made quite an impression to Mike and Joe, who then as soon as I walked to the back after my match was over they offered me a full-time roster spot! And I’ve been there since then!
Daniel Johnson: What was the first match you had in the ECWA that you were really satisfied with and what stands out for you about this match?
Kekoa: Well, I was really satisfied with my first match with Chris that I just spoke of. Reason being, its my first time ever in that building, the first time those fans probably have ever seen me, and they gave me such respect and appreciation for the match Chris and I had just had. They got behind that match like they have been waiting for it for months and months. And what stands out the most to me was, it got me a job! Take your opportunities when you’re presented them!
Daniel Johnson: What do you consider to be your best match with the ECWA be to date and what makes this match stand out for you?
Kekoa: My best match without question has to be Aden Chambers’ retirement match from July of this year. Aden and I were so excited to give the fans this amazing work of art, and I thought we gave them just that. Some fans have called it their favorite match of ECWA ever, and one said he has been going to ECWA for years and years and it was the best match he’d seen since Christopher Daniels and Amazing Red in 2002 I believe he said. So this match blew this persons mind away and he hass been going to those shows for over 10 years! That really is something special. And not only were we getting great reactions out of the crowd, the wrestlers that surrounded the ring were in amazement as well and gave us such praise for what we had done. Its without a doubt, my best match at ECWA, and probably my career.
Daniel Johnson: What are your thoughts about your match with Papadon in which you won the title? Does anything in particular from that match stand out for you?
Kekoa: It was a hellacious 42 minutes. Hard hitting and I’m still feeling the effects from it even after 10 days. But those are the things you expect when you face a guy as tough as Papadon. And what stands out the most is just being handed the title, and the feeling you get as you see it get closer to you, and the thought that ran in my head was, “Its yours, you’ve earned it.”
Daniel Johnson: What would you like to accomplish during your reign as ECWA Unified Heavyweight Champion?
Kekoa: My highest hope is to be the longest reigning champion but that bar is pretty high set, so I know it will take a lot of effort to beat Papadon’s 560 days.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any past ECWA Unified Heavyweight Champions that you have yet to face, but would like to? If so then who?
Kekoa: Well to be selfish I would love to face Chris Daniels and Christian but I don’t think those two are in my path anytime soon. But I would love to face Aden again!
Daniel Johnson: Outside of past champions, is there anyone else in particular you would be interested in having a match with for the ECWA Unified Heavyweight Championship?
Kekoa: Ricky Martinez, hands down.
Daniel Johnson: Do you have any interest in defending the title in another company for a cross promotional event? If so then where?
Kekoa: I don’t think I’m allowed to! But if ECWA gave me permission then it doesn’t matter to me where I defend it.
Daniel Johnson: How would you like to see ECWA grow in the near future and what will you do as champion to help this happen?
Kekoa: I believe in my time with ECWA, the best feud that was going on was ECWA versus The Blackhearts and the cage match was such a great payoff. I feel if we got back to something along those lines where its really drawing people in ECWA can grow again, not that its down, I just feel ECWA was at the top of its game at that point. And I’ll do whatever I can to keep the fans coming back.
Daniel Johnson: What if anything do you think makes you unique from past ECWA Unified Heavyweight Champions?
Kekoa: Forgive me I don’t know my history of all the champions or how their careers went compared to mine. But for some reason, fans just connect with me easier than others. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t care if I ever figure it out. As long as they keep coming to see me!
Daniel Johnson: For readers who have yet to check out the ECWA what is one thing you think they should know that might influence them to check it out?
Kekoa: YouTube me. I guarantee if anything, It’ll spark your interest to come out at least one time to see us.
Daniel Johnson: I also had some more general questions about your career. This is not the first time you have held a title in ECWA. Which of your past title runs were you most proud of and why?
Kekoa: I’m most proud of this one, its the highest spot you can be in, it completed my triple crown of holding every title in the company and it shows I am a major player in this business.
Daniel Johnson: You wrestled for CZW a couple of times in 2011 and 2012. Is there any chance of you wrestling for that company more often and would you like to?
Kekoa: I feel like I haven’t had my last match with CZW, I’m not sure if I “fit” in there as far as my style of wrestling. Maybe its just because its new and I see what other guys are doing there. I’m not sure, maybe I needed more time. But we’ll see what the future holds.
Daniel Johnson: I always like to hear ribs and road stories. Do you have any that you would be able to share?
Kekoa: I recently ribbed my friend Matt by telling him I gave a “very friendly wrestling fan” his number and she was going to text him later. It was us texting him the whole time. He was freaking out pretty good. We were texting him from my ex’s phone.
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?
Kekoa: I love The Walking Dead, Family Guy, Breaking Bad I haven’t finished yet I have the final season to watch and its not on Netflix yet. And I just got into How I Met Your Mother. I’m still on season one but the show is hilarious. Oh and New Girl which I’m waiting on more seasons to come out on Hulu.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
Kekoa: I believe Grown Ups 2, one of Adam Sandler’s best movies.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Kekoa: I don’t think I tried something “out of my comfort zone” but I would say Mahi fish tacos from a place called Messa in Easton. I’m not a big fish guy but they recommended it so I gave it a shot. It was quite tasty.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out this year?
Kekoa: “Leader of the Broken Hearts” by Papa Roach.
Daniel Johnson: What is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Kekoa: I’m not a big reader, I have only read wrestling books and autobiographies if I do read. But I’m currently reading a book called Codependent No More by Melody Bitties, which I would recommend for anyone that has trouble trying to help others and they don’t worry about themselves and their own happiness enough. Really hits home with me.
Daniel Johnson: I wanted to close with just a few more brief wrestling questions. What is the weirdest part of being a pro wrestler?
Kekoa: Putting on skimpy clothing, and having to do “unmanly” things such as tan, shave your body, etc.
Daniel Johnson: Who is one wrestler 25 or under that you think readers should know about?
Kekoa: My answer would be Adam Cole but the world knows about him already more than me!
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to add?
Kekoa: If you already know who I am, and have been to a show, bought merchandise, watched me on YouTube or supported me in any way thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Witness Kekoa in action! In this match for Elite Wrestling (EW), Kekoa takes on Caveman Chad in front of a pumped up crowd:
Categories: Wrestling Interviews