INTERVIEW WITH IZW SUPERSTAR COPYCAT
by Drew Archer
“My son knows that his daddy loves him. And the wrestling is for him and everyone I care about.”
The wrestler known as Copycat burst onto the national wrestling scene earlier this year with his debut in IZW only a few short months ago. In Copycat, IZW has gained another gifted wrestler that can compete with the best of the best from the IZW roster or anywhere else on the Independent circuit. Currently competing in tag team matches with partner Cody Jones, Copycat makes up one half of the freshest team to hit the IZW tag team division in some time. For Copycat, who’s already lived a full life outside of the squared circle, getting to wrestle in front of a worldwide audience is a dream come true; a dream that was fostered by hard work, commitment and perseverance.
“To start things off, I backyard wrestled in junior high and high school, then dibble-dabbled in it off and on after high school. Never thought I would pursue the dream [as a professional] until early 2011. I joined the Army after high school, served four years, then got out. During that time I married Stacy, a girl I dated through high school, and we had a son named Eden,” Copycat said.
After a split up and divorce, Copycat’s situation could have ended up as a negative, but instead there was a silver lining, prompted by the love of his son and the inspiring words of his ex. “I kept my son every other week until Stacy couldn’t afford to live in Longview, Texas anymore. So Stacy and her new family had to move away to better her family's life. I understood her problems, but it left me with a problem as well. Do I stay in Longview, Texas? Or move to the city where my son Eden had to move to? I didn’t know what to do. I felt screwed either way I looked at it!”
Copycat continued, “Staying in Longview would mean I would rarely see my son while living paycheck to paycheck bored out of my mind. Moving meant I had to start from scratch.... again. So in trying to find out my next step in life, Stacy encouraged me to go do the wrestling full time! Even through our mess, she knew my talent and believed in me. So I took her advice and searched the Internet to find out the best way to learn the business correctly.”
That pursuit put Copycat on a collision course with one of the premier wrestling schools in the world and the official development territory of WWE.
“I found the FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) Training School online. FCW was holding another training course in three months. I knew I had to be in the class. So I saved up the money for the training and about two thousand dollars extra. I collected most of the money by selling about ninety percent of the items I owned. I only kept a few memorabilia that I couldn’t part with. Then left for Tampa, Florida the Saturday before the Monday in which the training started,” Copycat remembered.
Once in Tampa, Copycat benefited from some great people in the area who displayed a heaping helping of Southern hospitality. “Everything that I had was in my truck and that is where I slept too. After posting on my Facebook that I was in Tampa, a former Army buddy wrote me saying that he lived in Brandon and that I could sleep on his couch during my time with FCW. In my training class I trained with fellow wrestlers Ronnie Grey, Ryan Howe, he was the long blonde hair guy from the newest Tough Enough season. I’d say Skid-Marks, but he hates that name, Opps!! Said it anyways,” chuckled Copycat.
“Chris Kedrowski, who’s a very nice guy, and Milton Hytower. Milton helped me out a lot. He lived in Brandon, Florida as well and would give me rides to the FCW arena. He would just buy me things, for no reason, he is a very helpful man. Me and him are great friends even after the FCW training. He is my brother from another mother. Yes, he’s black!” Copycat joked.
Now a true professional wrestler in 2011, Copycat wouldn’t mind traveling the world again, only this time while wearing a pair of wrestling boots instead of combat boots. “I lived in Idar-Oberstein, Germany for three plus years. During that time I never wrestled in Germany or knew anything about wrestling there. I would love to go back to Germany and mix it up. Right now in my current situation, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing. That’s wrestling. The other jobs I do outside of wrestling I have to do what I have to do to survive, but I definitely want to be a full time wrestler. That is one of my goals.”
As for the down side of the business, (the part of the business that most fans don’t know about), for most it’s dealing with the injuries that come with using your body as a crash test dummy night in and night out. But for Copycat, his pain comes from the heart. “The number one thing that comes to mind [about being on the road], is not being able to spend any time with my son. I get to watch him grow up from a distance. I think about all the life lessons that I’m failing to teach him because of my absence. It’s the hardest thing I have to deal with. Luckily for me, I have a very awesome ex-wife that still is one of my good friends. Me and her stay on the same page very well, and she helps me out with my son. Traveling is hard, time is hard, sleep is hard, but not seeing my son is the hardest,” Copycat said.
But with great sacrifice comes great rewards and Copycat is finally starting to reap what he has sowed over the last few year. Getting to work in IZW is one of those opportunities that can change a career. “IZW is inventive. IZW puts a lot into their brand and prides itself on what they deliver. If you haven’t seen the fans that come to the live shows, they love it! They get into what everyone brings and are not afraid to get loud. I love the fact that the fans there yell and bring the noise.”
Along with the fans at the Impact Arena, Copycat and every other IZW wrestler plays to a worldwide audience, either on the GFL Combat Sports Network every Saturday at 8pm Eastern or now once a month on the nation’s largest cable operator, Comcast. “It’s a very big deal. How many companies can say they have lifted their company to the next level; and still pushing their company to the next level beyond that? I view IZW as a wrestling company that is bringing their fans what they want plus more. Comcast is a great opportunity for the company and for all the people involved in the company. Exposure is the best thing that can happen for a wrestler,” Copycat remarked.
If Copycat is to become a champion in IZW, chances are his opponent or opponents will get an up close look at how he earned his wrestling moniker. “My finisher is the CopyCap! Like busting a cap. I use my opponent’s finisher or someone else's to finish my opponents. Its gives me the edge I believe. Opponents can’t train for a specific move if I use theirs, or someone else’s. For the bigger guys, I usually use the ‘Stunner’, Stone Cold’s Stunner for the people who don’t know what that is. If I can’t hit my Face Mob Knee drop to their head, then I can utilize the stunner on them. The bigger guys usually fall the hardest.”
Copycat also goes by another more morbid name in some parts. “I have the title of ‘Worst in the World’. W.I.T.W. means that I bring the pain! By the end of my match, regardless of the outcome, my opponent knows that he has just survived a match with Copycat and it was brutal. I could be your Best Friend Copycat or the ‘Worst in the World’ Copycat.”
If you ask Copycat which Superstar has made an immediate impact on him since arriving in IZW, you’ll get a quick answer. “I’ve only been in IZW for a few months now. Cody Jones would have to be somebody that I won’t forget. We went at in at the IZW Pay-Per-View Redemption. He’s a very tough guy and I love to watch him in the ring. He does his thing and it is awesome. Now we tag team together and I couldn’t ask for a better partner.”
As for what’s next with Copycat, chances are he will be vying for championship gold sooner than later. “The next PPV is IZW Chaotic Christmas. I don’t know who my opponent is yet, but I believe Copycat and Cody Jones could face Aerial Assault soon. If we win, that could put us in line for another shot at the Tag Team Championships,” Copycat added.
Ask Copycat to talk about his most memorable moment in wrestling, and you get the sense that he’s all about the fans and bringing them an entertaining product. “After doing a show, a man came up to me and started telling me how he loves to watch me wrestle. Then he just started raining complements on me. It made me feel great about what I bring and that I need to continue to do what I do best! Wrestle, Win and Entertain.”
Near the end of the interview, Copycat got a bit introspective and offered some insight into how he conducts himself and lives his life. ‘I pride myself on the way I handle myself and the self-control that I have. The hardest thing to control is self-control and I handle it well. I live poor, I work hard, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To really appreciate life you got to hit bottom and learn how to grow from there. Becoming strong is very hard; if you believe in yourself then nothing else should matter. I wouldn’t trade any of the good or bad things that have happened to me in my life to succeed quicker. I would love for everyone to live in my mind for twenty four hours and see what I see, and figure out what I can figure out. You can be cocky, but there’s no reason to speak it! Show it! Copycat isn’t just who I am. Copycat is a symbol of things that could be, that have happened, and history that will be made. The dark, the light, the good, the bad, the pleasant, the horrible, the joy, the pain, the sacrifice! Copycat can be all of those things.”
“For all my fans, I appreciate you more than you will ever know. I talked about my son before but I LOVE bringing the house down for you guys! My fans are what make me who I am. I have sweated for my fans, bled for my fans, and been in a lot of pain for my fans. And I will do it ten times again for my fans. Cheer for me or boo at me, Copycat is here for you guys. Follow me on twitter @CopycatWrestler or on my Facebook page Facebook.com/CopycatWrestler. Find me on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/copycatt05 or just search Copycat Wrestler in the search field.”
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