La Pulga Interview

by Daniel Johnson

lapulga

Photo Courtesy of La Pulga

Interviewer’s Note: La Pulga is arguably the hottest young Spanish talent in wrestling today. Debuting in 2009, this 23 year-old has wrestled for a variety of promotions in his homeland including Revolution Championship Wrestling (RCW), Pro Wrestling Euskadi (PWE) and the Super Wrestling Alliance (SWA). SWA has a working relationship with ZERO 1 in Japan and has been called ZERO 1 Spain. Although many Spanish wrestlers may dream of wrestling in Japan, far fewer will actually do it. In 2013 Pulga became one of those few when he traveled to Tokyo to perform in the legendary Korakuen Hall. In Japan, Pulga worked with Ikuto Hidaka, Ryouji Sai and Mineo Fujita among other established talents. In Spain, Pulga represents RCW as a marquee name and the current holder of the RCW Championship. Pulga can be found on Twitter @lapulgawrestler and has a Facebook page that can be found here. This interview was completed on November 25, 2014. In this interview Pulga and I focus on his work for RCW.

Daniel Johnson: For readers who have not watched you wrestle before how would you describe yourself as a performer in a few words?
La Pulga: I am like a high flying superhero, always fair and providing justice.

Daniel Johnson: What is your earliest memory of watching wrestling as a fan and when did you know you wanted to become a wrestler?
La Pulga: The first time I saw a wrestling match, was in a friend’s house in 2008 when the WWE had a big impact in Spain. I started watching it “late,” never as a kid, I was 16 at the time. I have always loved to do flips and all of that and when I saw a match of [Rey] Mysterio, I knew I wanted to do that too.

Daniel Johnson: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe your primary trainer was Jorge Catalina Sanchez. How did you come to meet Sanchez and what did a typical day of training look like for you?
La Pulga: The same friend from the previous question, found an academy in Barcelona, where we live, and there was Jorge, we talked to him and he invited us to join them, the SWA. My friend, who is also a wrestler called Bad Boy and I joined it. When I started to train, I felt good with the trainings. I was very motivated, especially with the bumps and rolls, but I knew I had to work a lot with the holds and cardio. I had never done martial arts before and I felt weak with those, but I worked as hard as I could and I improved in both things. Jorge taught me everything and brought a lot of professional wrestlers like TJ Perkins, Dick Togo and Paul Tracey in to teach us even more. He is the man that created SWA, the first wrestling academy in Spain, and he deserves all my respect for bringing the wrestling here.

Daniel Johnson: Have you had any additional training since working with Sanchez? If so then where about?
La Pulga: The only thing that helped me for wrestling was that I did flips and acrobatic stuff on my own, especially after PE with pads, in the school. The teachers still don’t know that haha.

Daniel Johnson: What was the first match you ever had and what are your memories of it?
La Pulga: It was in 2009. It was a tag team with Bad Boy against a tag of two brothers. It was the most incredible experience I have ever had! I was nervous and excited at the same time. I think all wrestlers never forget that first feeling. Plus, it helped us because a misunderstanding happened with the referee and the match was over sooner than we expected. That taught us that things may change and we have to be ready for it.

Daniel Johnson: Getting into your more recent career you are now in your second run as RCW Champion. How did you first come to work for RCW?
La Pulga: The promoter and his team have always watched the SWA and they followed my career since I started. After some time, they decided to count on me for their shows and I am very grateful to them, they are very professional and it is a pleasure to work with them.

Daniel Johnson: Is there anything that makes RCW different from other promotions you have worked for?
La Pulga: The principal thing that makes them different, is that they count on Spanish and international wrestlers for their shows. The common shows here are made by local wrestlers and, maybe, someone from outside as an invited star. It’s because of the cost mostly. There have been shows in the past with just international wrestlers, maybe one or two Spanish wrestlers were also on the show. But RCW put a lot of work into their shows and they put us all together. That is what makes them different and strong. It is a great way to work, for us, for them and for the enjoyment of the crowd.

Daniel Johnson: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe RCW mostly holds shows in Barcelona. I was curious how do crowds in Barcelona compare to other audiences you have worked in front of in Spain?
La Pulga: I mostly worked in Barcelona, the crowd is not especially big here because wrestling is not a common show to watch in this country. But the crowds of Barcelona and crowds of other places in Spain where I worked, have the same spirit. Like in soccer, they are very intense and cheerful. This is said by wrestlers from outside the country, we have awesome crowds!

Daniel Johnson: Please forgive me, but I was a little confused about RCW’s history. It seems the company began in 2010, but you became the company’s first champion in February 2014? Why did the company go so long without a champion or do I have that wrong? Also, if I am correct then what has been the experience like of being a company’s first champion?
La Pulga: It is correct. RCW started in 2010. They co-promoted a show with the SWA, I had a match there too. I can’t tell why they had that break, but I have to say that in Spain it’s very hard to have a promotion. Maybe it’s not because of that but, doing a show here means that the promotion is going to lose money and it’s a hard bet to do a big show here, but now they are proving that it is possible to do it, they are doing it great.

Daniel Johnson: You won the RCW Championship in a tournament final in a four way match also involving Paul London, Paul Tracey and Noam Dar. What stands out most to you about this match?
La Pulga: That match meant a lot to me. I came from ZERO 1, Japan less than a month ago and not having a break I had to wrestle against an incredible ex-WWE pro wrestler, Paul London and there were Tracey and Dar who taught and trained me before and I respect them a lot. I did my very best to work with them and in that match, with those amazing pro wrestlers and the feeling of holding a belt for the first time was a big mark in my career.

Daniel Johnson: The three men you wrestled are all critically acclaimed performers. Have you had the chance to wrestle any of them in singles matches? Which of the three do you think you could put on the best match with?
La Pulga: I wrestled Noam Dar and Paul Tracey individually. Both of them are great performers and they interact and entertain the crowd in an incredible way. I would love to wrestle with London, he has an amazing high flying style and it would be nice to put our skills in a match together. Of the three? I am sorry but I can’t tell, they have a lot, individually, to offer to me and to the crowd and I don’t know which would be the best match.

Daniel Johnson: Speaking of singles matches you faced your trainer Sanchez as his Ronin Rider character for one RCW Championship singles match. What are your thoughts on this match?
La Pulga: I was nervous because I had the fatal four way a few days before and I just recovered from an injury I got in Japan and I was pushing myself to the limit. I just wished the match would go well and my body to be well, so I could defend my belt and I finally could rest. Well just for a while haha.

Daniel Johnson: Another well known performer you wrestled in a singles match for the RCW Championship was Doug Williams. What do you think of Williams as a performer and how was the chemistry for your match?
La Pulga: He is an awesome pro wrestler, his physical state and skills are enviable. The match was fantastic, I enjoyed it from the beginning until the end, he is very professional and a great worker.

Daniel Johnson: Your first RCW Championship reign ended when you were defeated by Santiago Sangriento, 175 days into your run. What did you think of your run lasting so long and for Sangiento being the one to end it?
La Pulga: I think it does not matter for how long a belt can belong to someone. I have always worn my belt with humility. Belts are not forever, but it is the feeling of having one and because of that I train hard and wrestle in the best way I can because I want to be the best champion that I could be. Then I will not have regrets the day that I lose it. Santiago Sangriento is one of the toughest and scariest performers I have ever met and I think that losing my belt against him in a no rules match was hard, but I learned from that match, I learned that I will lose sooner or later and I will have to take it.

Daniel Johnson: In October you regained the RCW Championship in another match with Sangriento. How did you think of how that match went?
La Pulga: That match was also hard, but because of the hard work, we had a very intense match and we got the crowd again because they did not expect that I could become the champion again so soon.

Daniel Johnson: How if at all would you like your second reign to be different from the first?
La Pulga: I would like to defend it outside the country. It is my primary goal and RCW is working on it. And I also would like to have more matches for it.

Daniel Johnson: Is there anyone on the RCW roster you have yet to defend the RCW Championship against that you would like to? If so then who?
La Pulga: As I said before, Paul London, and I would also like to wrestle Tommy End and two Hungarian wrestlers, Ikarus and Dover from Hungarian Championship Wrestling (HCW).

Daniel Johnson: Has there been anything you would change about your time in RCW so far? If so then what?
La Pulga: I don’t think I can complain about anything, I am having a great experience there.

Daniel Johnson: I like to end each interview with a few brief non-wrestling questions then a few more brief wrestling questions. First what was the most recent book you read and would you recommend it?
La Pulga: I am not a reader actually, the last books I read were the Harry Potter’s [by JK Rowling]. Those books are awesome. Of course, I recommend any of them!

Daniel Johnson: What is you favorite song to come out in the past year?
La Pulga: Actually, none I am sorry.

Daniel Johnson: Have you tried any new foods this year? If so then what have they been and what did you enjoy most?
La Pulga: I tried a chocolate bar called CalorieMate from Japan and it is delicious! And I cannot remember if I tried other new foods. I usually eat what is in my diet.

Daniel Johnson: Other than wrestling what do you enjoy watching on television these days?
La Pulga: I now watch Gotham, The Big Bang Theory and I also love the old Simpsons episodes.

Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie to come out in the past year?
La Pulga: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I like the spirit of [Steve] Rogers.

Daniel Johnson: Getting back to wrestling what has been the most surprising part of your reign as RCW Champion?
La Pulga: The most surprising thing was that the night I won it, I was being interviewed and the interviewer announced to me that I had to defend it one or two days later against Ronin Rider, as I told before. I had no idea and my face was a poem haha.

Daniel Johnson: This is just a random question, but I’m curious who is your dream opponent? Also outside of RCW, are there any other wrestlers you have yet to work with that you could see working with in the near future?
La Pulga: My dream opponent is Rey Mysterio, I am doing this because of him and I would love to show him my skills. About the opponents, I don’t know if in the near future, but I think again Tommy End, Ikarus and Dover.

Daniel Johnson: Where would you like to be in five years in wrestling?
La Pulga: I would like to be traveling everywhere at every time doing matches around the world.

Daniel Johnson: One thing I always find interesting about wrestling is all the different road stories wrestlers have. Do you have any that you would be able to share?
La Pulga: I went to Portugal once with Bad Boy and my trainer, Jorge. The next day after the show, two guys from there were taking us to the airport. We were in the most shattered van I had ever seen and the driver was falling asleep because it was 6 AM. We were going to say something to the driver, but his pal, fortunately, was alert and told him to stop at the next gas station. Then we heard a hard boom! Luckily it was just a window that was pasted with tape that felt down. Moments later, we heard a screw hitting everywhere. Bad Boy and I were praying for our lives at that point. After a few eternal minutes, we stopped in the gas station and we heard two things: A deep snore from Jorge and the radio. I said, “How the hell can this man sleep?” And Bad Boy said, “Oh, was the radio on? I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear it because of the goddamn noise of the spare parts of this shitty van!” That’s the story, after the other guy, who was awake, drove us to the airport we had to pray just for the van haha.

Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would would like to add?
La Pulga: I just want to thank this website, johnsontranscript.com, for the interview and all the people who helped me along my career and of course I want to thank you reader. Thank you for reading these words!

Check out La Pulga in action! In this match from ZERO 1, La Pulga wrestles under the name Dios Maradona and teams with Ikuto Hidaka to wrestle Manabu Hara and Mineo Fujita:



Categories: Wrestling Interviews

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