by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Joey Mayberry is a 24 year-old performer based in Florida who debuted for I Believe in Wrestling (Believe) just last year. Mayberry trained in the Team Vision Dojo and has worked with fellow independent wrestlers like head trainer Chasyn Rance as well as Aaron Epic in preparing for his career. Although Mayberry is still working on his ring work and mic work, this man from South Carolina had an advantage over some other young workers starting out. Mayberry is an experienced stage performer who is very comfortable in front of a crowd. This comes through particularly well in his heel work when he shouts down hecklers as a self-described redneck. This year has been a big one for Mayberry as he debuted for Full Impact Pro (FIP), became a fixture in Believe and continues to hone his skills all around. Mayberry can be found on Facebook here, on Twitter here and has a YouTube channel here. This interview was completed on December 28, 2014. In this interview Mayberry and I focus on his work for Believe.
Daniel Johnson: In a few words how would you describe yourself as a wrestler?
Joey Mayberry: I’m the redneck, white and blue. When I get in the ring I’m going to be my country self with the excitement of a fireworks show. It doesn’t matter if I win or lose, you’re going to see a show.
Daniel Johnson: How did you first come to work for believe?
Joey Mayberry: I’m straight out of the Team Vision Dojo. I started my career there and I’m continually working to prove I deserve my spot on the card.
Daniel Johnson: For readers who have yet to check out Believe what would you like them to know that may convince them to give the promotion a shot?
Joey Mayberry: If you come to a Believe show, you’re going to see some of the best indpendent wrestling around. You’re going to get established TV stars like Jesus Rodriguez, Yamamoto and Santana Garrett. You’re also going to see top indie talent like Aaron Epic, Chasyn Rance and Lince Dorado. Then there are the guys like myself, Rhett Giddins, Chico Adams, we’re just getting our feet wet in this business and showing fans what we bring to the table. So based on the caliber of talent and quality of shows being held, Believe is really a force to be reckoned with and I could see it taking indie wrestling by storm in the next few years.
Daniel Johnson: Speaking of Aaron Epic and Chasyn Rance I believe you were trained by these two individuals. What was that experience like?
Joey Mayberry: Still an ongoing experience, both of these guys are still helping me become better every week. But being trained by both of them has been invaluable to my career. They both have their own style in the ring, so I’d say Epic showed me how to break your arm and Chasyn showed me how to look good doing it. It’s not been easy, I’ve drug myself to the dojo beat up and exhausted many times, but it’s been completely worth it.
Daniel Johnson: Do you remember your very first match for Believe at all? If so then when was it exactly and what are your reflections on it?
Joey Mayberry: I do, it was December 20, 2013 against “Sweet Thang” Willie Brown. I actually watched it recently and all I can do is thank God for training because it was not me at my best. It started with a dance off and I’ve got the two left feet of a dead chicken, so you can guess how that went. I won the match, but the ref did a restart because I used the ropes and I turned into a bomb from Willie, so changing my first “W” into a first “L.” So it didn’t go the way I’d hoped, but it was fun walking out in front of the Believe crowd for the first time. I remember jumping up on the turnbuckle and hearing someone yell, “Squeal like a pig,” and that took every fiber of my being not to die laughing at. I think as far as first impressions go, that was the best I could have given at the time, so I am proud of it.
Daniel Johnson: How do you believe you have grown as a performer since this match?
Joey Mayberry: I’ve been a stage performer most of my life, so I’m used to being in the spotlight and in front of a crowd. Since that match though I’ve grown much more wrestling wise. I came into that Believe match last year with not much in-ring training to my name. A year down the road has really shown a difference in what redneck, white and blue brings to the table.
Daniel Johnson: You mentioned being a stage performer most of your life. I was curious what your background was in being a stage performer and how has this helped you transition into wrestling?
Joey Mayberry: I was an athlete as a kid and then in high school it was my grandma that convinced me to take a drama course. I took that and the teacher Melody Surrett said she liked what I was doing and offered me a part in The Odd Couple. Turns out, I’m a good actor. Since then I’ve been in over 35 stage plays, written four and my biggest accomplishment was getting my BA in theatre from Limestone College. When I transitioned into wrestling, I still felt at home in front of the crowd, which helped me out immensely. Like I said earlier, I bring a show, so when my music hits, the fans know that no matter what’s going down, they’re about to be entertained.
Daniel Johnson: Since I first saw you wrestle I was always impressed by your mic skills. I was curious if anyone influence you whether they were wrestlers or otherwise?
Joey Mayberry: Thank you very much man, I appreciate that. Two guys that I’d have to say are huge influences on me are Chris Jericho and “Stone Cold” [Steve Austin]. I got into wrestling about a year before the big [WWF] inVasion storyline and during then Jericho and Stone Cold couldn’t be touched on the mic. I remember watching Jericho go back and forth with Stephanie [McMahon] about her boob job and Rhyno and all of Stone Cold’s guitar promos. The way both of those guys could talk, fire insults and work a crowd was nothing short of God like.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, I was wondering of the programs you’ve had so far what do you think has been the best?
Joey Mayberry: I’d say recently against Santana Garrett has been the best. I told her she needed to get out of the ring and in the kitchen. I also told her to trade in her boots for a dress, so it ultimately ended in a loser wears a dress match. I didn’t win, but the way the crowd was that night and throughout all of our matches was awesome in every sense of the word.
Daniel Johnson: You mentioned wrestling Santana Garrett. I was wondering what your thoughts were on intergender wrestling?
Joey Mayberry: I am all for it. I grew up a massive fan of The Hardys and Lita, like most kids in the early 2000s, so I’ve always liked how the intergender dynamic worked in matches.
Daniel Johnson: What are your thoughts on intergender wrestling becoming more common in recent years?
Joey Mayberry: If a girl can get in the ring and hold her own, then I don’t have a problem with it.
Daniel Johnson: Switching gears a bit I was curious how you came up with your current character?
Joey Mayberry: I really didn’t, my name really is Joey Mayberry and I am from Clover, South Carolina. I’m a country boy that makes a lot of jokes, I just turn the volume up in the ring. It’s funny, I spent four years in school trying to get rid of my southern twang for different roles on stage, so I’m having to teach myself to talk naturally again.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, what do you think it is about your character that motivates fans to react to it?
Joey Mayberry: I’m just me, I go out in my blue jeans, I make a few jokes and I punch people in the face and I think that’s something relatable.
Daniel Johnson: Could you ever see yourself playing a considerably different character in wrestling? If so is there any type of character in particular that interests you?
Joey Mayberry: I’m never gonna say never on that, because I can’t predict the future and who knows how far my career will go. I’m more than confident about being a different character, but for right now I’m going to keep it country.
Daniel Johnson: Cool. You have had your share of hecklers in your career so far. What has been the most memorable heckler you have had so far?
Joey Mayberry: This older lady at Riot Pro Wrestling (RPW) in Titusville, Florida. When I was in the ring she was telling me I sucked and to go to hell, just non-stop insults. Then she walks up to me at the end of the show and says, “I only yell at the sexy ones.” She had to have been in her late 60s, it was definitely something I’ll never forget.
Daniel Johnson: I know in some of your matches you have a valet. I was wondering how you got paired up with your valet and what you think the importance of having a valet is?
Joey Mayberry: Yeah, Ashleigh Lynn Ford. It was just a case of, “You’re a country guy, she’s a country girl, go wrestle” I think having a valet isn’t the most important thing, but it’s great, it really makes me think classic wrestling. When I hear valet I think of [Randy] Savage/[Miss] Elizabeth or everyone/Sunny. But to answer the question, I’m indifferent on valets, they can be good or bad, just really depends on the pairing.
Daniel Johnson: This is kind of a random question, but I think your entrance music really fits your personality. I was curious what the name of the song was and who is it by? Also, how important do you think it is to have good entrance music?
Joey Mayberry: Yeah, once I heard it, I thought it had been written as my own anthem. But the song is “Itz Just What We Do” by Florida Georgia Line. And if you don’t think entrance music is important, then just picture Ric Flair entering to silence.
Daniel Johnson: Haha, true. Looking at your work so far what do you think has been your single best match and why?
Joey Mayberry: I’d have to go with my match with Chasyn Rance at Southern Championship Wrestling (SCW) in Sanford this past March. I think it was March. But I can think it was the first time I felt like I put on a solid wrestling match. I didn’t see many flaws and the crowd was really into it. It was the first time I really just felt completely content with a match.
Daniel Johnson: I was curious since Rance and Epic trained you how, if at all, do you think wrestling the same person who trained you impacts your bouts with them?
Joey Mayberry: It’s really easy because you kind of already know their mindset going into something. But it also drives you too, because you don’t want to screw up against your trainer because you know you’re not living that down for a while.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any wrestlers in Believe you have yet to work with that you hope to sometime soon? If so then who are they and why would you like to work with them?
Joey Mayberry: I’ve actually faced Rhett Giddins before, but I’d like another match with him now, because I can bring a lot more to the table now and I think it’d be a great fight. But as far as never faced, I would think me and Josh Hess would be one hell of a show.
Daniel Johnson: Aside from Believe what other companies do you most enjoy wrestling for?
Joey Mayberry: Full Impact Pro has been awesome, I get to be on a show with tons of great talent and it’s the only show I’ve been on that’s broadcasted live, so that’s an awesome experience. I also like Championship Wrestling Entertainment (CWE) in Port St. Lucie, Florida, it’s got a great set up and is worth checking out. I see them being a big name in Florida in the next few years.
Daniel Johnson: In 2015 do you plan to wrestle for any promotions you haven’t worked for yet? If so then where?
Joey Mayberry: As of this moment, I don’t have anything booked. You can book me by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Boom! Cheap Plug!
Daniel Johnson: Awesome. To end interviews I like to ask five non-wrestling questions followed by some more brief wrestling questions. First, what do you enjoy watching on TV these days?
Joey Mayberry: The Walking Dead, How to Get Away with Murder and Once Upon a Time are the shows I’m caught up on. Then I watch Family Guy, South Park and all the other animated shows in that genre.
Daniel Johnson: What has been your favorite movie to come out in the past year?
Joey Mayberry: Guardians of the Galaxy by far.
Daniel Johnson: What is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Joey Mayberry: Spanking Shakespeare [by Jake Wizner]. It was a book about a kid who was named Shakespeare and how much his life kind of sucked because of it. I’d recommend it if you like comedies.
Daniel Johnson: Have you tried any new foods in the last year? If so then what has been your favorite?
Joey Mayberry: Chocolate Bacon. Not too delicious, but it’s bacon dipped in chocolate.
Daniel Johnson: To get back to wrestling what, if anything, has been the weirdest part of working for Believe?
Joey Mayberry: The weirdest part is meeting so many people that you’ve seen on TV or in a ring and getting to know them as people and friends. You meet some of the most eclectic bunch of people you’ve ever met backstage at a wrestling event.
Daniel Johnson: Cool. Who is your dream opponent and why?
Joey Mayberry: I would kill to wrestle Ric Flair in his prime. He’s the wrestling God of the Carolinas so it would be great to step in the ring with The Nature Boy.
Daniel Johnson: Ribs and road stories can be fun do you have any you could share?
Joey Mayberry: I did a show at the fair in Callahan, Florida. It was me with Ashleigh waiting to enter from behind an ice trailer. We were approached by a guy who asked how we liked doing this. We went through a whole conversation with the guy about wrestling, but he thought we sold the ice.
Daniel Johnson: Aside from yourself who is one wrestler 25 or under that you think fans should know about?
Joey Mayberry: “Sweet Thang” Willie Brown. Guy’s fun to watch in the ring and he’s a hell of an athlete.
Daniel Johnson: My final question, is there anything you would like to add?
Joey Mayberry: I’ve come really far in my short career and I know I can’t do that without the fans so big thank you to all the wrestling fans out there who cheer or boo me, you guys are awesome!
Categories: Wrestling Interviews