by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Ethan HD is currently a major player in the Oregon based West Coast Wrestling Connection (WCWC). Ethan HD had his greatest success in WCWC so far when he defeated Nick Madrid in an I quit match to capture the WCWC Championship in January 2013. More recently Ethan HD has won the WCWC Tag Team Championship with partner Mike Santiago as The Amerikan Guns. Outside of WCWC Ethan HD has also worked for a variety of other promotions including Championship Wrestling from Hollywood (CWFH), Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW) and Don’t Own Anyone Pro Wrestling (DOA). In DOA he has been particularly successful holding the DOA Heavyweight Championship and the DOA Pure Wrestling Championship. In addition to wrestling Ethan HD also makes hip hop music under the name John Robot and several of his tracks can be found on Sound Cloud. This interview was completed on December 7, 2013. In this interview Ethan HD and I focus on his work in WCWC.
Daniel Johnson: In a nutshell how would you describe yourself as a performer?
Ethan HD: I consider myself a showman first and foremost. My goal is by the time I’ve gotten to the ring you’ve already developed how you feel about me, so by the time I get in the ring you’re connected to everything I do in there.
Daniel Johnson: For readers who are unfamiliar with you where and when were you born and how long have you been wrestling?
Ethan HD: I was born June 16, 1986 in the beautiful city of Chicago, Illinois, and I’ve been doing this whole slamming dudes for money thing for eight years.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, when did you move to the west coast and where did you get trained?
Ethan HD: I moved to the Seattle area when I was 12. Originally I was trained in a warehouse next door to a Russian chop shop by a guy named Havoc. That’s where I learned the basics. I was also lucky enough that the guy who owned the school Cecil Reed was kind enough to bring in guest instructors such as Dr. Tom Prichard, Davey Richards, Tony Kozina and Jack Evans.
Daniel Johnson: Awesome, I first saw you wrestle in a match you had for the WCWC. How did you first get involved with this company?
Ethan HD: WCWC was one of he first places to book me back when I was still training full time and pretty scrawny. I was given the gimmick of being a Hawaiian surfer. It was fun, but eventually I left after about a year to focus on performing down in the Northern California area.
Daniel Johnson: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you first came back to WCWC in 2011. What brought you back and how did it change since you had left?
Ethan HD: The WC’s roster became less of a group of local guys and became a much broader talent pool. With guys from SoCal, Canada and the east coast coming in. I wanted to be able to take what I learned in my travels and test myself against these guys.
Daniel Johnson: Do you remember the first match you had when you came back to WCWC at all? If so then what stands out from it?
Ethan HD: I believe it was Eric Right and myself against the WC Tag Team Champs Paynefully Large. We didn’t win, but I think it did a lot to help establish myself and what I can do in the WCWC. Shortly after Eric and I split as a tag team and I was left to be a singles guy.
Daniel Johnson: More recently you won the WCWC Championship in January of this year and held it until September. What was it like to have a title reign for that long and have you had any other title reigns that can compare?
Ethan HD: Funny, right before I won the WCWC Championship, I’d just lost the DOA Championship which was the main title for a company based out of Portland. Over there I’d held the title for 420 days. So I definitely wasn’t a stranger to long title reigns and I enjoy having that pressure of being the guy who has to close the show and make sure the fans feel like they got their money’s worth.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, taking a closer look at your WCWC Championship reign you won the championship by defeating Nick Madrid in an I quit match. What is your opinion of the match and of working with Madrid in general?
Ethan HD: I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad match with Nick. The I quit was a fun one to have as I think Nick and I have similar styles and pacing. He’s definitely one of the guys who I have a strong feeling that he’ll go far in this business.
Daniel Johnson: You got to wrestle a good number of shows as champion. Is there any one match in particular from this time that stood above the rest for you?
Ethan HD: It’s very hard to pick just one. Though my defenses against Ryan Taylor and Gangrel are my two favorites. I think both of them brought the best out of me and allowed me to show everything I can do as a performer.
Daniel Johnson: That brings me to my next question. Your title reign came to an end in a four corners match at the WCWC Back to School Bash in September. In that match you wrestled Gangrel, Mike Santiago and The Hobo in a match that was ultimately won by Gangrel. What did you think of the way your reign came to an end and what are your thoughts on that match?
Ethan HD: I have mixed feelings about it. It definitely isn’t embarrassing to lose in a match with wrestlers of that caliber, but in the same vein, I’d done such a good job cheating and finding loopholes to retain my title. That I was let down I couldn’t find a way in that predicament.
Daniel Johnson: I was also just curious what is it like to work with Gangrel? Have you worked with him a lot or was this recent stretch of matches the first time you worked with him?
Ethan HD: We’ve been in the same locker room before, but until WCWC we’d never faced each other. Gangrel is a great worker and has such a presence. It makes my job as a villain so much easier. Also, he was great for giving advice and pointers and where I could improve. I have nothing but positive things to say about him.
Daniel Johnson: Since your WCWC Championship reign ended you have been teaming with Mike Santiago as The Amerikan Guns. How did this team come about?
Ethan HD: Mike and I have been traveling together for over five years and he’s one of the few people I consider to be like a brother to me. We’d already been a tag team for a while in Canada and won the ECCW Tag Team Championship from The Bollywood Boys. So I think it was just natural for us to bring our winning ways to the WCWC.
Daniel Johnson: Just a few days ago The Ameikan Guns won the WCWC Tag Team Championship. Do you expect to transition into being more of a tag wrestler or do you hope to still work more as a singles performer?
Ethan HD: I still get the opportunity at the other companies I work for to be a singles competitor, and Mike and I always give each other 100 percent. So if we’re the WCWC Tag Team Champions I’m putting all my efforts into keeping those belts for Santizzle and I.
Daniel Johnson: What teams would you most like to wrestle for the WCWC Tag Team Championship?
Ethan HD: Pretty Intelligent (Causmo and Ashton Vuitton) are a great duo. Also Nick Madrid and Eric Right look to be forming an alliance as well. I wouldn’t mind seeing Danny Duggan finding a partner and coming after us either. Oh, and since we’re on the subject, if PPRay from CWFH want to come up and get some of the Guns, they’re more than welcome to.
Daniel Johnson: How would you say this team compares to past ones you have been a part of and what makes you and Santiago mesh as well as you do?
Ethan HD: I’ve only been a part of a few tag teams and I’ve been lucky enough they were all with guys I consider good friends. What makes Santiago and I such a strong duo is that we know each other so well from traveling together. There’s been weeks where I’ve spent more time with him than my own girlfriend. I think it helps translate in the ring where I can shoot him a glance and he knows exactly what I’m thinking. It’s hard to beat telepathy. Just ask Jean Grey.
Daniel Johnson: Generally speaking what would you most like to accomplish in your WCWC Tag Team Championship reign?
Ethan HD: WCWC has a great history of bringing in outside talent and I’d love for them to bring in teams from all across the country and truly show how great of a unit Mike and I are.
Daniel Johnson: This question is a little random, but one I always try to ask. Do you have any ribs or road stories you would be able to share?
Ethan HD: One of the best ones ever was tricking one of the rookies into drinking magnesium citrate, which is the stuff that clears you out before surgery. We then hid all the towels and toilet paper from the hotel bathrooms. Needless to say it was an eventful night.
Daniel Johnson: Haha, coming to an end I just had a few more questions. First, I have five short non-wrestling questions I like to ask everyone just to make interviews a little more fun for the readers. On that note outside of wrestling, what television shows do you enjoy watching these days?
Ethan HD: My favorite shows are Archer, The League and Community. Two shows I just wrapped up watching were Breaking Bad and Spartacus.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
Ethan HD: I’m pretty bad at seeing new movies, but I did get a chance to see Now You See Me and I was pretty impressed. I’m a big Woody Harrelson fan, so if he’s in it, I’m always game to watch.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Ethan HD: I got to enjoy crocodile meat for the first time at a restaurant in Portland called The Montage. It sounds cliche, but it tastes like chicken.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out this year?
Ethan HD: I’m a huge Childish Gambino fan. Like, back since his I Am Not A Rapper mix tape and his song “Centipede” was off the charts in my opinion.
Daniel Johnson: What is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Ethan HD: The last book I read was Moby-Dick [by Herman Melville]. I’d definitely recommend it especially if you’re someone who likes to be immersed in whatever you’re reading. It’s an easy book to get lost in.
Daniel Johnson: I just wanted to close with a few more wrestling questions. First, what is the strangest part of being a wrestler?
Ethan HD: The traveling and the people you meet. I met a guy outside of a burger joint who told me about the otters in the nearby river for no reason. Wrestling puts you in a position where you end up interacting with some strange folks.
Daniel Johnson: Who is one wrestler 25 or younger that you think readers should know about?
Ethan HD: Jorel Nelson. I had a hand in training him and the kid has all tools to make it in wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: Awesome. Lastly, is there anything you would like to add?
Ethan HD: In addition to wrestling, I also make hip hop music under the name John Robot and I’ve got several tracks available on Sound Cloud. Other than that, thank you for your time and giving me this forum.
Check out Ethan HD in action! In this brief encounter from this past summer, Ethan HD wrestles Ian W. Sutton for CWFH:
Categories: Wrestling Interviews