Saturday, November 4, 2023

Archive Interview: Mad Man Pondo

(originally published 1/8/05)

Long before hardcore wrestling became popular, Mad Man Pondo began traveling across the United States and all over the world, wrestling in some of the wildest hardcore matches ever seen. He has also worked for TNA.

Q: How long have you been involved in the business?

A: 15 years, 16 years June 24th of 2005.

Q: Why did you enter the pro-wrestling industry?

A: I been watching live events since I was a young child, Lawler's group out of Evansville Indiana, Angelo Poffo's, Lanny Poffo's, and Randy Savage's group ICW, wrestling at the Chase in St. Louis, and many Chicago feds; my mom says I'm the child whose dream came true since I have always said, "I want to be a wrestler".

Q: Where did you receive your training to become a pro-wrestler?

A: Only Illinois from a guy named Bud Chapman, then went on to bigger things.

Q: What do you like the most about being in the business?

A:I had sex with alot of women out of my league, I'm on 2 video games, I go to Germany, England, and Japan, I'm in a movie with Robert Englund- not too bad for a small town kid from Flora, Illinois, all because of wrestling!

Q: You tend to work for promotions that have a high risk style, such as IWA Mid-South, Big Japan Pro Wrestling, and CZW. What is it about the hardcore style that appeals to you?

A: Early in my career I knew I wouldn't have a great body, or high-flying ability, so I watched and took the road of what I could do, because i wanted to be a wrestler. I was doing hardcore, before hardcore was cool!

Q: You are best known for participating in the most unusual types of hardcore matches and spots, such as, "Thumbtacks Death" matches, and a hardcore spot in which a dollar bill is stapled to your face. What is your favorite type of hardcore match, and what was the most unusual hardcore spot that you ever participated in?

A: Hard to say, I like them all, but i think I like the way lightubes sound so loud. And the bump me and JC Baley took off a 18-foot scaffold on to a barbed wire net was pretty @#%$ up.

Q: With the amount of hardcore promotions that exist and new ones constantly appearing, do you think that the hardcore style is the future of professional wrestling?

A: I wish I could say yes, but its getting harder to find buildings who will let you do the hard stuff, and plus so many more wrestling groups with just high-flying and wrestling are getting popular. I'm hopeful though!

Q: WWE and WCW both had their own Hardcore divisions at one time. What were your opinions of their versions of hardcore wrestling, and is it a style of hardcore wrestling that you would like to take part in?

A: When Mick Foley was doing, I would to have loved to been there. But in reality, my hardcore and theirs are way different!

Q: You were one of the stars of JCW. To your knowledge, what is the current status of that promotion?

A: JCW happens at least one time a year at the Gathering of the Juggalos!! But all JCW wrestlers are hoping for more.

Q: Although backyard wrestling gets negative press by mainstream publicity and is discouraged by WWE, the, "Best of Backyard Wrestling" video series is well known, and there are now, "Backyard Wrestling" video games. You are involved in the video games. Do you feel that the fact that you're a pro-wrestler and IWA Mid-South star who has this type of involvement in backyard wrestling helps backyard wrestling become more acceptable to the mainstream press, the pro-wrestling industry, and pro-wrestling fans?

A: I'm on a game, I don't care what people think. And if not for backyard wrestling, we wouldn't have some of the stars we do today! True fact!

Q: Which persona appeals to you the most: Face, Heel, or Tweener?

A: I love heel. You can be a nice guy in everyday life, have fun with your job I always say.

Q: What is your gimmick?

A: Hard to say what is Mad Man Pondo, but if you seen me wrestle, you know I'm not sane, therefore mad man best describes it!

Q: Which do you feel has been your best match so far?

A: Me vs Necro Butcher for JCW 3 was damn good, seemed to flow through even though there wasn't a middle rope.

Q: Which has been your favorite match so far?

A: Me vs Mister Danger Masanaga. He was the one I was watching to realize I wanted to do deathmatches, and I get to wrestle him. Big bonus!

Q: You have worked for TNA in the past. Are you interested in returning to TNA, or perhaps working for WWE?

A: I'll work anywhere, but don't look like either of them are in my future.

Q: You have wrestled in countries all around the world. Which country is your favorite to work in?

A: Number 1 has to be Japan!

Q: It has been rumored that you have an interesting first-time meeting story involving Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake. What happened?

A: No Comment.

Q: The horror film, "2001 Maniacs" will be coming to theaters this year, and you were a part of the making of this film. What was the experience like?

A: A dream come true. I'm still in shock I'm in a horror movie with Robert Englund!

Q: You currently run IWA East Coast. How did you come about deciding to start your own promotion?

A: I moved to West Virgina and had some guy Sherwood Spencer, Ed Crowzer, and the rest of the 108 crew who wanted to run their own thing but need someone to help with talent. First show on a Tuesday drew 250. Good for the biz now days. You can see it at

Q: What is the concept behind IWA East Coast. How is the talent roster different from other pro-wrestling companies such as WWE?

A: Well, I use all my friends on the show. Since they're my friends they want to work hard to help me. We do use Zack Gowen of WWE, and Abdullah the Butcher. But I also have Big Japan Wrestling send me talent so you can see guys from another country without the 12 hour plane ride!

Q: When did you start IWA East Coast?

A: Oct 5th was the first show, I left for Japan on Oct 19th. So when I get home on January 11th it will start up and get bigger in 2005.

Q: How do you go about evaluating whether or not there is a place for someone in IWA East Coast? Do you watch tapes of them, scout talent in person, or go by word of mouth?

A: I go by seeing them in the ring, and if I like what they do, or the crowd likes what they do, then I know they're good for IWA East Coast!

Q: When deciding whom to bring in, which do you put more value on: the potential IWA East Coast talent's ring skills, or their charisma?

A: Both are important. I want everyone on my show to have a better match then me, so if I suck, at least my whole show doesn't!

Q: You spent the last part of 2004 in Japan scouting wrestlers to bring into IWA East Coast. Which wrestlers from Japan can we expect to see in IWA East Coast?

A: In about 3 hours I have a meeting with Chono, plus I've talked to Kojima, Dick Togo, Taka Michniko, Ricky Fuji, all interested in coming in. It’s gonna be a great year!

Q: What is your long term goal for IWA East Coast?

A: To make it known like IWA Mid South and CZW. Give me something to remember me by when I'm gone!

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Mad Man Pondo. In 2003, I began running my own website, World Wrestling Optimum, which consisted of news, articles, and interviews, including this one.

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