by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: “No Shame” Jimmy Shane is an emerging talent coming up through Ohio Championship Wrestling (OCW). After becoming a fan of the OCW product, Shane began with the company as a cameraman and on ring crew before wrestling for the first time. In OCW, Shane has been part of the tag team The Winners with partner Robby Starr. Shane has wrestled for the OCW Heavyweight Championship and more recently for the OCW Ohio Heritage Championship. Although Shane has yet to win gold he looks to change that in the near future. One thing Shane has won has been a consistent spot on the Dustin Batdorff Invitational (DBi), an annual tournament held as a charity event to combat drug addiction. Shane has also wrestled for Wrestling and Respect (WAR), Rockstar Pro Wrestling (RPW) and Pennsylvania’s Renegade Wrestling Alliance (RWA). Shane can be found on Facebook here, on YouTube here and on Twitter here. This interview was completed on November 28, 2014. In this interview Shane and I focus on his work for OCW.
Daniel Johnson: To start off in a few words how would you describe yourself as a performer?
Jimmy Shane: Entertaining and able to deliver in any scenario. I’ve done everything from dance offs to steel cage matches and like to think I don’t disappoint in any situation.
Daniel Johnson: Correct me I’m wrong, but I believe you are not originally from Ohio. When did you move to Ohio and how did you get involved with OCW?
Jimmy Shane: I’m an Ohio guy born and raised actually.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, when you knew you wanted to become a wrestler how did you go about getting trained and what did a regular day of training look like?
Jimmy Shane: OCW is all to thank, and maybe even to blame, for me ending up in this wild world of professional wrestling. When I was around 15 my buddy and I went to an OCW event at a local high school. In the program there was an ad for the Big Guns Pro Wrestling Academy (BGA) and we knew from that point that we would end up there. High school football and a knee injury kept me away a bit longer than expected, but I eventually ended up heading down to the BGA and trained under Jeff Cannon, although I had been paying my dues as a cameraman and part of the ring crew for the past three to four years. Training never felt like training in a weird way because it was something I loved. We’d get there and stretch, do some warm ups, run a few agility drills, chain wrestle around for awhile, and then we’d get to the big stuff, and then wrap up training with exhibition matches. But every so often Big Guns would shake things up a bit and have us do more out of the box drills or we’d spend the day talking psychology or even defining our characters.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, I didn’t know you worked as a cameraman and ring crew. I was curious does having that background help at all as a performer now? Do you believe it gave you more insight into knowing how your work comes across onscreen and to a live crowd?
Jimmy Shane: I think so. I had the best seat in the house for years. I got to be at ringside and see every single match. I learned what to do, what not to do, what I would do differently, and really got to pick and choose little pieces of everyone to try and form who I wanted to be in that squared circle.
Daniel Johnson: Before I dive into my questions about your work I was curious for fans who have yet to see any OCW at all what would you like to tell them that may inspire them to give OCW a look online or even buy a ticket?
Jimmy Shane: This is not just a marketing campaign, I believe with all my heart OCW is the best kept secret in the midwest. There is something for every type of wresting fan to enjoy. If there is a style of wrestling that people are fans of there is a wrestler on the roster that can fill that role. And we are currently in the middle of a very interesting period where several top stars have stepped away from the business and now the younger generation is very hungry to move up and make OCW their show.
Daniel Johnson: Getting into your work in OCW, what are your memories of your first match there?
Jimmy Shane: My first match there was my first match ever. And I sort of got thrust immediately into the spotlight. The crowd already knew me as. Jimmy the Camera Guy, so I had to instantly change their perception of me and I did that by interjecting myself into the break up of The Hi-Def Supernovas and aligning myself with Robby Starr in his feud with Matt Mason. And then at the next show when I finally got to have a match it was against none other than Joey Vengeance, who was the friend that I had gone to that OCW show with many years ago. Being in the ring with someone I have known since childhood kind of took all of the jitters away too.
Daniel Johnson: Speaking of working with Robby Starr what most stands out for you from your work together and what did you learn from working with Starr that you most value?
Jimmy Shane: No one expected Robby and I to have such good chemistry together, not even us. But when we go out there we aren’t just on the same page, we are usually on the same sentence if not same word. Robby did not have to take me under his wing and go to bat for me but he has on numerous occasions and I owe him for that.
Daniel Johnson: How did you decide on the name, The Winners?
Jimmy Shane: That was a total accident. The very first match I won, he happened to win that night too. So we both were just being obnoxious at ringside and then at the after party yelling, “Winners!” It probably would have ended there, but then as a joke for the next show I made us t-shirts that looked like the Barack Obama “Change” poster and had each of us with the caption “Winner” and then it just caught on.
Daniel Johnson: At the end of that year you wrestled in a war games match at OCW War Games 2012. Had you ever been in a match like that before? If not what was it like being in a war games match for the first time?
Jimmy Shane: I’ve been in more since, but that was my very first war games and very first stipulation match as a whole. It was kind of nerve wrecking to know I had a big match ahead of me, and that I would be starting the match for my team so for several minutes I would be wrestling a one-on-one steel cage match against Matt Mason. But as nervous as I was, it also was so exciting to be in a match that I had always wanted to be in. And it was like a who’s who of some of the biggest names in OCW and I was part of it in my rookie year.
Daniel Johnson: Getting into more of your singles career, in 2013 you won not one, but two battle royals for OCW. The latter of these matches was for the number one contendership for the OCW Heavyweight Championship. What did you think of these matches? Also, some wrestlers seem to enjoy battle royals while others find them a pain to be in. Which category do you better fall under?
Jimmy Shane: Both were very interesting for me. The first was at OCW’s 10 Year Anniversary show and it was mainly full of OCW alumni and I somehow snuck my way into and then out of the match as I hid under the ring until everyone thought that Sherman Tank, who made his grand return to OCW that night, had won it and then I knocked him out to score the win. My first of two that night, winner. Then the next one I had Robby Starr in there with me and whenever he and I are in a match together, especially a battle royal we tend to work purely as a team together. And when I won it, I was given my first shot at the OCW Championship, which was pretty amazing. And battle royals, if you’re smart you can have fun in there. I usually hide under the ring or have Robby watching my back so I fall more on the fun side.
Daniel Johnson: The same night as that second battle royal at OCW Summerfest Showdown 4 you faced Jeff Cannon for the OCW Heavyweight Championship. What are your thoughts on wrestling for the OCW Heavyweight Championship and of Jeff Cannon as a wrestler?
Jimmy Shane: Jeff Cannon is great. He trained me and countless other OCW stars and I owe him so much. I’ve never seen him have a bad match. And believe it or not, the big guy can move! Haha. And getting to wrestling for the OCW Heavyweight title meant a lot to me. That was one of my first real opportunities to show I could shine outside of Robby Starr’s shadow. I may not have got the title on that night, but that is for sure on my list of goals to one day hold that championship.
Daniel Johnson: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you have yet to hold gold in OCW yet? How important do you think championships are not just in OCW, but in wrestling in general? Also, have you held gold elsewhere?
Jimmy Shane: I not only haven’t held gold in OCW, I haven’t held gold anywhere. I have my eyes firmly set on the OCW Ohio Heritage Championship right now though. To me a championship means a lot. If you hold a championship you better go out there and have one of, if not the very best, match on the entire card. That’s not saying a non-title match can’t be a show stealer, but if you are a champion you better make sure you do everything in your power to have the best match possible.
Daniel Johnson: Speaking of the OCW Ohio Heritage Championship this year you wrestled Ernie Ballz in a best of three series for the number one contendership of that title. How do you think these matches turned out and would you like to wrestle a series of matches with any other opponents?
Jimmy Shane: That was an interesting situation. Both he and I were looking to make a name for ourselves. He was a veteran who felt he had been stuck with a certain label and me as an up and comer trying not to get stuck with that same label. Each match was very different from the last until the point when we finally got to match three it was more of a fight than a wrestling contest. And OCW is loaded with guys I wouldn’t mind being in a series of matches against. Joey Vengeance, Juice Jennings, Matt Taylor and Ohio Heritage Champion [Hisaka] Takahashi all come to mind right off the bat.
Daniel Johnson: After winning the series you wrestled Hisaka Takahashi for the aforementioned championship. How do you think your styles meshed for the match and what would you like to do with Takahashi to make future matches even more solid?
Jimmy Shane: We are two very opposite ends of the spectrum. He is a smaller competitor who uses his speed as an advantage and I’m a bit bigger and specifically against him tried to use a power game to take him down. And I nearly had the match won until he caught me with a quick roll up. I might have taken him lightly. I think now in future matches, now there is a definite issue between he and I. We kind of came into this match without too much history in the ring and now we really are starting to develop a bit of a rivalry.
Daniel Johnson: I also wanted to ask you some non-OCW questions, but before we move on is there anything else you wanted to say about the company or your work there?
Jimmy Shane: I want to reiterate that OCW is a fantastic, family friendly wrestling event. We have been really hitting it out of the park every show lately and the show has unlimited potential. It’s been called the best kept secret, well I think it’s time the secret gets out there.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, Going a little outside your OCW work, in 2013 you made it to the finals of the Dustin Batdorff Invitational. For fans unfamiliar with this tournament how would you describe it and also how did you get involved in this event?
Jimmy Shane: The DBi is without a doubt my favorite show to be apart of every year. Before we even get to the wrestling part, it is a 100 percent charity event. None of the wrestlers get paid a dime, none of the staff gets a penny, we all donate our time to help raise awareness for drug addiction and hopes of finally putting an end to the epidemic that is addiction. The show is held in honor of Dustin Batdorff who is the younger brother of one of my best friends so the second he thought about putting on a wrestling event for the cause I volunteered my services. As for the actual tournament, it is a fun one night concept. Throughout the night there are several qualifying matches ranging from one-on-one matches, tag team matches, fatal four way and even battle royals. The winners of the qualifying matches all meet in an elimination six way scramble match where the last man standing is the DBi winner.
Daniel Johnson: What are your thoughts on your performance in the tournament in 2013 and your opponents that night?
Jimmy Shane: I will be completely honest when I say that was not my best performance. I often wish I could go back and redo that whole night to try and up the ante and put on a better show. But interestingly enough I mainly only had one opponent that night. I wrestled Sherman Tank in a qualifying match and thanks to the help of my, Shane chain I advanced to the finals. But as luck would have it, Tank won a battle royal to join me in the finals. And from the get go I pretty much solely fought against him, for part of the match with the help of another tournament finalist Kaden Assad, until Kaden turned his back and I rolled him up for a quick elimination, and then I ended up losing to Sherman Tank at the very end.
Daniel Johnson: On May 30, 2014 you came back for this year’s tournament. How, if at all, was that experience different from the previous year and what are your thoughts on your showings that night?
Jimmy Shane: It was a much different experience because I was scheduled to take on Mikey D in a qualifying match and it was a known fact that regardless of the outcome of that night, Mikey D would be stepping away from wrestling for awhile to deal with some health issues. The very first thing I ever did in this business was hit Mikey D with a camera and ever since then he and I had a long standing rivalry wherever we went. OCW, WAR Wrestling, even RWA out in Pennsylvania, we always were at odds with one another. So to know that no matter what I would be his last singles match for awhile we knew we had to do it in style. We had a very entertaining match that I am still very proud of even if I did not get my hand raised at the end.
Daniel Johnson: I like to close interviews with a few non-wrestling questions then some more brief wrestling questions. First, what was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Jimmy Shane: Hm, actual book would have probably been Chris Jericho’s second book, [Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps] which not only would I recommend, but I am sure most people reading this interview probably have read it since they are wrestling fans. But the last thing I actually read was the very first volume of the The New 52 line of Batman, Court of Owls. And if you are a comic book fan or a fan of Batman I recommenced picking it up. It was real good. I actually just ordered volume two online right before this interview.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie to come out in the past year?
Jimmy Shane: I would have to say that is a three way tie between Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and Gone Girl.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out in the past year?
Jimmy Shane: That is a really good question haha. For some reason I can never change the station when “Don’t” by Ed Sheeran comes on so that might have to get the win. And I can’t forget to give props to Taylor Swift for “Shake It Off.” That songs addictive.
Daniel Johnson: Do you have a favorite food you tried for the first time in the past year? If so then what is it?
Jimmy Shane: Nothing is really ringing a bell.
Daniel Johnson: No problem, Getting back to wrestling who is one wrestler 25 or young that you think fans should know about?
Jimmy Shane: Not just because I’ve known him since we were like 9 years-old, but Joey Vengeance. He’s pretty damn good in that ring and wants it more than most people I know.
Daniel Johnson: Outside of OCW, who are some wrestlers you have yet to work with, but are hoping to work with in the near future?
Jimmy Shane: That is a hard question. I have a bunch of wrestlers in OCW I still haven’t had the chance to work with that I am chomping at the bit to like Matt Taylor, Kaden Assad, Bruce Grey and even newcomer Levi Connors. Outside of OCW I would like to work with Ron Mathis, Aaron Williams and especially Chance Prophet.
Daniel Johnson: Likewise, are there any companies you are hoping to work in the near future that you have never been before? If so then where?
Jimmy Shane: I am always looking to get out there and try new places. I would not mind adding American States Wrestling Alliance (ASWA), Remix Pro Wrestling (Remix Pro), and a few others to my list. Obviously including the larger companies in the business as well.
Daniel Johnson: Ribs and road stories are always fun. Do you have any you could share?
Jimmy Shane: I am always terrible with this question and never think of them until after the fact. One time for WAR Wrestling, we were doing a show at a high school. I came out and made a comment about how I could sing better than the choir who sang the national anthem and then began to sing “Baby” by Justin Bieber. I set the microphone down and the choir director starts cutting a promo on me and then her choir start singing back at me. I was blown away because I legitimately had no idea they were going to do that to me.
Daniel Johnson: lol, that’s pretty good. What, if anything, is the weirdest part about wrestling for OCW?
Jimmy Shane: In a good sort of weird way it is that I have had a crazy journey from fan to cameraman to professional wrestler all within the confines of OCW. And I wouldn’t change that for the world.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, my last question is just is there anything you would like to add?
Jimmy Shane: I just can’t stress enough how much fans need to not only give local indie wrestling a chance but to get out there and support it. This is where you will see the stars before they are superstars.
Categories: Wrestling Interviews