Saturday, August 27, 2011

Interview with Former WWE Star, Shawn Spears: WWE, Favorite Experiences, and More! (August 2011)

Shawn Spears, Pro Wrestler. Formerly, Gavin Spears in WWE
Recently, I was able to interview former WWE Superstar, Shawn Spears. Known as, Gavin Spears on WWE’s version of ECW in, 2009…there is more that meets the eye than what the WWE Universe has seen on their televisions in 2009. 
Spears is a very passionate talent who has been able to work all over the world in a plethora of different performers. One of the best performers wherever he goes, Shawn Spears was kind enough to let me conduct this interview with him. Hope you all enjoy!

Rallo: First off I’d like to thank you for taking time to do this interview. My first question is rather simple. Where did your passion for Pro Wrestling begin? Who were the major influences you watched growing up that inspired you to take up the art of Pro Wrestling? When did you decide this was for you? 

Spears: Wrestling had been a passion of mine from a young age. I was devoted to it as a fan. As I got older, my devotion for that form of entertainment grew to the point where it became an obsession. I was blown away by how many of the top stars were able to captivate an audience the way they did. I  had always kept the idea of pursuing the sport in the back of my mind and finally decided to give it a shot in 2002. I was heavily influenced by mostly ”bad guys” Rick Rude, Rick Martel and Mr. Perfect. To me they had tons of charisma. At first My family wasn’t exactly thrilled about the idea of me becoming a professional wrestler and tried to talk me out of it. They don’t do too much of that now. :)

Rallo: Breaking into the business is sometimes the hardest break to catch in the Pro Wrestling business. Can you tell us where you got your first start? Were there any people responsible for helping you catch your “big break?” Also, who trained you and mentored you in your younger years in this industry? Did they play any role in further developing your career? 

 Spears: I was lucky to get hands on training from ”Showtime” Eric Young of TNA. That was the key in development for me. Many schools nowadays have a teacher who may not be able to be hands on all the time. There is a big difference in telling someone what to do and then showing them first hand. I was very lucky. Eric Young started me off in the basics and once he felt I was comfortable, and he had confidence in me, then he moved me upward and onward. There have been plenty of guys who have helped me out along the way that I still talk to and get advice from to this day. Guys like Derek Wylde, Cody Deaner, The Highlanders, Colt Cabana have been a huge help in terms of shaping my career.

Rallo: Unbeknown to a majority of modern day WWE fans, you were once part of the pinnacle of sports entertainment, the WWE. Signing a contract in 2006, you were sent to former developmental territory, OVW. For a good while, you spent time there feuding with the likes of Colt Cabana and Paul Burchill. My first question here to you was….What was it like in OVW? Were there any key moments in the territory that you feel helped your career for rest of your career? Did you have any doubters/supporters down there that possibly talked of your future in the WWE? Lastly, what do you feel were your favourite experiences in OVW? 

 Spears: Both OVW and FCW are fantastic facilities. The difference is the trainers really. Just different styles and there are more trainers at FCW then there were in OVW which makes access to knowledge more easier. In FCW you have Joey Mercury, Norman Smiley, Steve Keirn and not to mention Dr Tom Prichard and of course The American Dream Dusty Rhodes himself…you can’t go wrong. But for me OVW was where I cut my teeth. It’s where some of my fondest memories occurred. Feuding with Cody Rhodes and Colt Cabana, working with CM Punk and John Cena etc…It’s where I really learned how to work. I was fortunate enough to be apart of some great stories there and learn how, in a small degree, to draw money. It’s where I learned how to work TV format, when and why things are done in matches and true psychology. We were wrestling shows 5 days a week at the high points of OVW so I really learned how to pace myself and use my mind in the ring instead of always killing my body. I owe a lot to OVW. OVW does and always will, hold a special place in my heart.

Rallo: In 2009, you debuted on the ECW brand as, Gavin Spears. Your time in WWE was short as you did not even last a full year on a WWE televised product. Your time was split between ECW and WWE’s newest developmental territory at the time, FCW. Can you tell us of your experiences in the WWE? Do you know if there were any initial plans to push you more than you were eventually…treated? Did you have any experiences backstage with any of the Superstars that led you to believe you either had a bright future or a dark one with the company? What happened to you when you were called up to prime time? 

 Spears: I know your looking for some juicy backstage story or heated battle with someone that could of possibly lead up to my release but here’s the thing, Everyone is responsible for their own careers. I have been emailed and told by many fans that “sucks you weren’t given the chance to go far…or, “they didn’t know what they were doing letting you go”…Thing is, this is an entertainment company. It’s the same as Record Labels in Music and Production Companies in Film etc. The company backing you can only do so much, the talent has to meet the company half way as well. I had a lot of interaction with many stars and all positive as far as I know. I never for one second doubted my talents as a potential top performer, could have done more on my behalf to get myself in a better position? Sure, one could always do more but that was then and this is now. No point in worrying about something I have no control over. Its important to learn from your mistakes and move on.
Rallo: Following your release, you really had fallen off the Pro Wrestling radar in some capacity. You had appeared in many companies including TNA, ROH, and WWC. You captured some titles here and there along the way. Can you explain what happened following your release leading to as late as today? Have you had any primary interest in joining a bigger organization such as TNA or especially ROH, where your in ring ability would fit in well with the mold? It seems as though you have been anywhere and everywhere since departing the WWE.

Spears: I didn’t get any bookings for the first 3 months after my release. Unfortunately I had broken my hand in the ring a day before I was released so I had to wait until I had healed correctly before venturing out again. But once I was healed up, through some good friends  I was shipped to Puerto Rico to work for WWC. I did work with ROH and TNA and both were very receptive however timing and outside projects prevented things from materializing. I have other projects in the works at the moment that are not wrestling related but I am always open to negotiations. Until then I will keep taking my talents all over and do what I do best.
Rallo: Seeing as you are only 30 today, what do you see in your future? Do you see yourself settling into a bigger organization or jumping all around like you have recently? Have you ever had any interest in pursuing different types of wrestling in places such as Mexico or Japan? Have you already had experiences in said places? If so, how were they and what did you prefer there? If not, has that ever been something you aspired to do? 
Spears: I have moved around quite a bit. It’s should always be a goal of any wrestler to work for a major company. If you don’t want to be a world champion, you shouldn’t be in this industry. I have worked in both Mexico and Japan and that had always been a goal of mine This past year I was enjoying working in AJPW but my time there was cut short by the horrible Tsunami that hit the country. Working in both Mexico and Japan were great experiences and it was important for me to work in different styles. The American style of wrestling is more Entertainment and psychology based. It seems that TV invests more time into characters and who these men/women really are that are being exposed to an audience. I found that the Mexican and Japanese styles are more wrestling based. Mexican or Lucha is much more faster and high flying. Exciting is probably the best word I would use for describing Lucha Libre, there is always something happening regardless if psychology is involved or not. The Japanese style is a well rounded style. It’s very hard hitting and its about as real as it gets. I found that the Japanese training is also the best in the world, hands down. If you want to know more about the training, you’ll have to go to Japan :)

Rallo: As a talented young wrestler, I have to ask what your favorite experiences have been in your career thus far? What has been your favourite match and your favourite person to work with? Also, do you have any other stories about anything in your career you’d like to share?

Spears: Just being fortunate enough to wrestle the places that I have. Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, Canada, the United States. I’ve worked in Ring of Honour, NWA,TNA and of course the WWE. I’ve been very lucky to accomplish some goals that I set for myself years ago. In terms of matches, I have worked with some of the best in the world today; John Cena, Cm Punk, Randy Orton, Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, Colt Cabana, Tyson Kidd, Cody Rhodes etc. of course there are a few more i’d like to put on that list but if my career ended tomorrow, I could close this chapter of my life a very happy guy.

Rallo: Well, Shawn. I appreciate you taking time to do this interview. Before this interview ends, do you have any words to your fans out there? Where will you be taking your talents to next? Any appearances coming up for your fans to see?  

Spears: Many people have dreams but don’t pursue them. Usually its because of fear or because they don’t know how to get started. #1. Ask for help to get started, someone knows something. #2. Don’t be afraid of rejection. If your always afraid of rejection, then your not taking enough chances to succeed. Bottom Line, no matter what it is or who stands in your way….Go get it. As for appearances, Keep your eyes on for all details about Shawn Spears.

Thanks for Reading….

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