by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Argon is a Norwegian masked wrestler who has performed mostly for the Norwegian Wrestling Federation (NWF). Before dawning a mask Argon briefly wrestled under his given name, Asgeir. Argon won the NWF Young Blood Tournament 2013 and was a participant in the finals for the NWF Young Blood Tournament 2014. Argon has also wrestled for other Nordic companies in Norwegian Elite Wrestling (NEW) and Svensk Wrestling Syd (SWS). The masked man has also ventured far beyond his homeland to wrestle once for World Association of Wrestling (WAW) after traveling to Norfolk, England in the United Kingdom to train at the WAW Academy. Earlier this year Argon wrestled Kid Fite, a star of the Union of European Wrestling Alliances (UEWA), for the UEWA Cruiserweight Championship. Outside of the squared circle Argon has shown another wrestling related interest as he designs his own ring gear including his masks. Argon can be found on Facebook here. This interview was completed on November 29, 2014. In this interview Argon and I focus on the topic of being a masked European wrestler.
Daniel Johnson: To start off for readers who you may be new to, how would you describe yourself as a wrestler in a few words?
Argon: A hard hitting, technical and talented wrestler that can go in any sort of wrestling match.
Daniel Johnson: How did you decide on the name Argon?
Argon: Argon is a long story. At the time I was about to make my debut, the board and I were very unsure of what to do with me. Actually, I wrestled for about six months under my real name, Asgeir before one of my best buds in the business came up with Argon. He is a teacher in chemistry and thought that Argon which is a gas sounded cool and I agreed. That’s about it, really.
Daniel Johnson: What made you decide to wear a mask?
Argon: The mask is something I personally had been thinking of for a long time. At the time, around, we didn’t have many masked wrestlers, so I saw it as an opportunity to stand out from the rest of the guys. I have also always been a big fan of Dr. Wagner, Jr. which is one of the most famous masked wrestlers in Mexico now and I wanted to make my gear a lot like his. And of course, masked wrestlers are cool and I can go out in the crowd after my matches and hang around like any other person without anyone noticing.
Daniel Johnson: What do you think makes a good wrestling mask and how many do you have?
Argon: The mask has to be easy for the fans to recognize. The design has to really stand out, that’s why I personally design all my wrestling gear myself so I am sure nobody has the same and so that I stand out. The design you put on has to be spectacular and nice and you have to use a red line throughout the gear, from the knee pads to the singlet/trunks and mask. Personally, I have five masks that I use as Argon, but I also am a collector, so I have around 20 in total.
Daniel Johnson: Awesome, do you have a favorite? If so then what makes that one stand out for you?
Argon: My personal favorite Argon-mask is my blue and golden one. That’s because the whole outfit I use is amazing! I have a big cape, nice knee pads and a trunk that really makes me stand out in Norway. But if I should choose a favorite from my other masks I would say my custom designed Argon-inspired Dr. Wagner, Jr. mask.
Daniel Johnson: You mentioned Dr. Wagner, Jr. as a wrestler you have enjoyed. I was curious what other wrestlers masked or otherwise have influenced you? Also, how exactly have they influenced you?
Argon: A bunch of wrestlers have inspired me, as I have said, Dr. Wagner, Jr. is my biggest inspiration, but also Dynamite Kid has been an inspiration. He has the greatest top rope move of all time, the diving headbutt in my opinion. A brilliant, quick, technical master of the ring. Shawn Michaels and HHH have also been big inspirations which I have tried to take a lot of moves from and try to make my own.
Daniel Johnson: The way I first found out about you is by watching some highlights on YouTube of matches you had for the NWF. How did you first get involved in that promotion?
Argon: NWF is one of two promotions here in Norway. The other one is NEW. But NWF is the one that runs the tryouts for the ones that want to start with wrestling. I saw a few shows and decided to send them a mail and join a tryout back in 2009. I didn’t manage to get taken in, I was only 14 and a skinny little kid. After that I started in the crew, putting up the ring, selling tickets and everything. I traveled around as often as possible to help them out and get into the business. After that I tried out again in 2010, was taken in, but was not allowed to continue training by my parents. Then I had to take another tryout in 2011 and this time I came in at the age of 16 and made my debut six months later!
Daniel Johnson: Speaking broadly for a second how is Norway as a scene for young wrestlers? Is NWF the only game in town as far as a place to get trained? Also, who was your head trainer?
Argon: At the moment we have quite a few wrestlers around 20 that are wrestling, and also a few guys under that are still in training. At the moment NWF is the only place in Norway where you can get trained, but I think that is a good thing as we all become one big family. The best wrestlers from NWF get a chance in NEW and luckily I am one of them.
Daniel Johnson: Speaking of your work outside of NWF for a second what other companies outside of NWF have you worked for? Also, how much have you worked for these companies?
Argon: My head trainer was Erik Isaksen, the man that started the whole Norwegian wrestling scene, and whom is one of the most respected wrestlers in Europe I think. Also, guys like Hannibal and Garm Stoylen have played a huge role in making me the wrestler I am today. I have yet to make a really big name for myself outside Norway. I have been to England at the WAW Academy and wrestled on one of their shows. I have also been to Sweden at SWS where I have wrestled two matches, winning their first Rumble match ever. But things look very good for the future and I have a few bookings coming up here and there.
Daniel Johnson: Getting more into your NWF matches correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe your first match for NWF was in 2012 against Havard Ryan. What are your memories of this match?
Argon: Yes, my first match was against Havard Ryan, the guy that came up with my name, and who is now known as Hannibal. It was a short match, maybe three to four minutes. I was not wearing any mask, just simple boots and tights and just my real name. The only thing I really remember from it was being hit with a vicious lariat from the back and almost botching an old school headscissor. But my actual debut was a few months earlier for NEW, so by the time I was about to debut in NWF I had already had eight matches or something. But it wasn’t supposed to be at the end.
Daniel Johnson: I was curious when did you start wearing the mask and how different was it for you from performing without one?
Argon: I started wearing the mask in December 2012 I think, in a storyline where I was told by my mentor to find the real me. There was no big deal for me performing with or without the mask as I had done many matches with a mask in NEW already.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, one thing I’ve heard masked wrestlers say before is that it can make things a little tougher in the ring because you can’t make facial expressions to show signs of pain or joy. Do you agree that this is an obstacle? If so then how do you get around it?
Argon: Yes, the mask takes away a lot of the facial expressions. But if you are a good wrestler you know a few ways to get around it. I use a lot of head movement and body movement, every little move I make I try to make look 20 times bigger. I also use a lot of noise when I wrestle, not too much, but enough to make the crowd understand how I feel in the ring.
Daniel Johnson: Switching gears a bit, in 2013 you wrestled in two tournaments including winning the NWF Young Blood Tournament. Before that one though you started off the year teaming with Samhain in the NWF Tag Team Championship Tournament where you wrestled just one match. How did your team with Samhain come about and what did you think of this match?
Argon: 2013 was a good year for me, I won the Young Blood Tournament after defeating the huge talent, Adrian Storm in an epic match. My team with Samhain started at PowerSlam X in 2012, at the same show I debuted with the mask. Samhain was eliminated from the tournament by the same team that went on to win, Erik Isaksen and Daniel Sebastian. The match was what I would call a good show opener, both teams were heels and that was a bit interesting, I did a lot more high flying than I usually do and all in all it was a pretty decent match.
Daniel Johnson: What was it like wrestling Ruslan and Adrian Storm on the same night to become the winner of the NWF Young Blood Tournament 2013?
Argon: Fun, unfortunately I broke Ruslan’s nose in what turned out to be a brutal match. The match with Adrian Storm was one of my personal favorites. Fourteen minutes of high paced action, and cool moves put together in a perfect finale to the tournament. To go two matches is always fun, and getting the chance to win was a huge upset for me. I was really happy that I got to go home with the trophy as I felt the work I had put in was really paying off.
Daniel Johnson: Also, in 2013 you wrestled in a Royal Rumble style match for the NWF Heavyweight Championship number one contendership. Is this the first time you have been involved in a match like this? Also, what was the experience like?
Argon: That was fun! Haha, I was eliminated after 1.8 seconds and then I had to come back out 30 seconds later. I had entry three and four, the second entry I had changed my mask to disguise myself as Geist to eliminate my nemesis, Knoke that eliminated me. In total I was in the ring for maybe 25 seconds. But I had a very good match against Erik Isaksen before the Rumble so I just had a lot of fun!
Daniel Johnson: One match you had that I thought was really cool was the street fight with Knoke who you had been feuding with throughout the year. For readers unfamiliar with this program how would you describe it and how do you think this match in particular went?
Argon: That match is the best I have ever had! It was 12 minutes of us beating the shit out of each other. The match was perfect in every way and it all ended with me getting slammed in almost 1,000 thumbtacks and getting a chair crushed over my head. I keep that as my greatest match yet! It was really, really fun. You can check it out at www.wrestling.no.
Daniel Johnson: This year you have kept performing regularly for NWF. What has been your favorite part about your wrestling career in 2014?
Argon: That’s a good one. I think it’s got to be going up against Kid Fite for the UEWA Cruiserweight Championship, I really liked that match or going over to Sweden for the first time and winning their Rumble.
Daniel Johnson: You also wrestled in the NWF Young Blood Tournament 2014 defeating Tommy P before losing to Mark Fit in the finals. What are your thoughts on these matches and generally how do you think the NWF Young Blood Tournament showcases young talent?
Argon: The match with Tommy P was fun, I have played a big role in training him and I wanted to go with him and the match turned out really fun. Mark Fit coming over was a very different thing for me as I usually am the one doing the high flying in my matches, but this time I had to be the big guy, haha! I think that the tournament gives the young guys a very good possibility to match up with smaller guys and really shine more than they sometimes do. I really like Young Blood, only bad thing about it was that I didn’t manage to keep the title for a full year, I missed that by one day! Haha!
Daniel Johnson: Haha, you mentioned Kid Fite earlier who is a world traveled performer. You also mentioned you have gotten the chance to travel a little yourself. What are some other world traveled performers you have worked with and do you have any good stories you could share?
Argon: Most of the world travelers that I have worked with are also Norwegians. Erik Isaksen who has wrestled in Japan for NJPW is the best I have ever worked with. But also guys like Bjorn Sem and Aron Frost and Victor Dale are guys that’ve wrestled on several continents that I have worked a lot with. I have a ton of stories, one of my favorites is from one of our road trips with NEW. The ref on the tour used to have a little bit of trouble explaining what he was talking about when he told us his stupid stories, and he often used a lot of different hand gestures to make it easier to understand. So when we were about to have the last show on the tour, all the good guys used these hand gestures on our entrances and in the match and the ref couldn’t take us serious and I was laughing so hard together with the others. Another one is when our smallest wrestler somehow managed to break the ring two hours before the show, we still bully him a bit to this day!
Daniel Johnson: Haha, cool. Speaking of being world traveled are there any promotions or countries you hope to perform in, in the near future? If so then where?
Argon: I have always wanted to try wrestling for Westside Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) in Germany or maybe one of the WAW shows in Epic Studios. It would be a cool experience. But I really want to wrestle anywhere outside Norway!
Daniel Johnson: Likewise, looking to the future what do you most want to achieve in 2015?
Argon: In 2015 I will turn 20, the first thing I want to do is to win the tag team titles in January with my partner, Daniel Sebastian. Then I will hopefully win one singles title, maybe the UEWA title if I get that chance again and travel as much as possible.
Daniel Johnson: Getting back to being a masked wrestler I had just a few more questions about that. Have you had a lucha de apuesta match such as a mask vs. mask or mask vs. hair match yet? If no then is this something you would like to do in the near future?
Argon: I have not done a mask vs. mask/hair match yet, simply because all the masked wrestlers in Norway have been on my team this year. But it’s definitely something I would like to do!
Daniel Johnson: Cool, as a fan have there been any luchas de apuestas matches to stand out to you?
Argon: I really liked the main event of [AAA] Triplemania XX, Dr. Wagner, Jr. vs. Mascara Ano 2000, Jr. in a mask vs. mask match. Not because it is the greatest match of all time, but the feeling I had when I was watching was so chillingly good. But there is of course a lot of other matches, but that one is one of my favorites.
Daniel Johnson: Mexico seems to be by far the place where masked wrestlers get the most attention. Do you have any interest in wrestling in Mexico sometime in the future? If so then where in Mexico would you like to work?
Argon: Mexico is a big dream! Maybe the biggest I have. To go to AAA or CMLL would be fantastic! I am a huge fan of both CMLL and AAA, and that would be something that could top my career to get a chance to wrestle there.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any current Mexican workers you would love to get to wrestle? What about workers in general you have yet to work with who you would like to?
Argon: Dr. Wagner, Jr. would be a dream come true, but other guys, Blue Demon, Jr. or Drage would be sweet. But there are too many guys I would like to wrestle for me to mention.
Daniel Johnson: You mentioned this before, but other than yourself there are not a lot of masked wrestlers in Norway and to some extent this is true of the rest of Europe. Why do you think there are not more masked wrestlers in Europe?
Argon: I don’t know really, maybe there is something about the fact that guys think you have to be a small high flyer to wear a mask? I really don’t know. It could be anything. But it is definitely easier to work without the mask and that is most likely the main reason.
Daniel Johnson: I probably should have asked this earlier, but better late than never. Anyway, you mentioned designing your own ring gear. How did you get into doing this and how long have you been doing it?
Argon: I have done this since my debut. The worst thing I know is when guys just find themselves a pair of tights on the Internet and just wrestle. Every wrestler should put a lot of effort into making themselves solid characters and good wrestling gear helps a lot along the way. And by designing your own gear you will always be sure to stand out from any other wrestler and that is something that you should always try to do as a wrestler. Be unique and interesting. I use a lot of time on designing my gear, I want it to be perfect and cool for the audience and it should also fit my character. The only way to 100 percent get what you want is by doing it yourself.
Daniel Johnson: Other than your own gear have you designed gear for anyone else? If not is this something you’d be interested in doing sometime in the future?
Argon: I have helped a few guys out with their gear in NWF. They have asked me if I could do it for them and then I will of course help them look as good as possible.
Daniel Johnson: That’s nice of you. To end interviews I like to ask five non-wrestling questions then a few more short wrestling questions. First, what is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Argon: The last book I read was Have A Nice Day[:A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks by Mick Foley, a must read for every wrestler and fan!
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite movie to come out in the past year?
Argon: Hmm, maybe Pioneer. A Norwegian film about the deep sea divers. Or Guardians of the Galaxy. But I really don’t watch a lot of movies.
Daniel Johnson: No problem, what do you like to watch on TV?
Argon: Top Gear! Or a good wrestling show of course.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, what is your favorite song to come out in the past year?
Argon: The Next Day by David Bowie is definitely the best album and the best song must be “Like a Rocket Man” from that album. I’m a big Bowie fan!
Daniel Johnson: Have you tried any new foods in the last year? If so then what has been your favorite?
Argon: I tried a Chinese century egg actually, but it was not very good, hah!
Daniel Johnson: lol, Getting back to wrestling with just a few more questions pranks can be fun. Do you have a story or stories you could share involving a wrestling rib?
Argon: What’s a wrestling rib? I haven’t heard of that before. Haha.
Daniel Johnson: Haha, oh it’s just a like a prank or joke someone pulls on you backstage or you pull on them. Like hiding a title belt so the champ thinks he lost it, something like that.
Argon: Aha, I see. Hmm. One of our guys broke his arm at one of our shows, but he’s a tough guy so he asked me to get some ice, only problem was that we didn’t have ice so I had to run to the The Red Cross and ask for ice, but they were only selling waffles! So I had to run to the supermarket and buy some frozen peas.
Daniel Johnson: Moving on what if anything, is the weirdest part about being a masked European wrestler?
Argon: Nobody recognizes you, with or without the mask. Haha.
Daniel Johnson: Haha, who is one wrestler 25 or younger other than yourself readers should know about?
Argon: Adrian Storm! Brilliant wrestler, every booker should have him on their show sometime, a really good guy!
Daniel Johnson: What is the worst wrestling mask you have ever seen?
Argon: Naco Libre’s mask from the movie! Or maybe one of the Histeria wannabe wrestlers. The original is cool though!
Daniel Johnson: Lastly, is there anything you would like to add?
Argon: Check out the NWFs WebTV at www.wrestling.no and like both NEW and NWF on Facebook!
Check out Argon in action! At NWF PowerSlam XI, Argon wrestled his rival, Knocke in a street fight where the two risked tearing the Kanonhallen venue to pieces:
Categories: Wrestling Interviews
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