Thursday, September 29, 2011

Exclusive Interview: Green Ant Discusses CHIKARA, King of Trios, Overcoming Injury, and More!

 Being best known for their King of Trios Tournament, held yearly, CHIKARA is home to the best six man tag team action in the world today. One of the most promising groups and last year's champions, The Colony had seized their first victory of the tournament. Soldier Ant and Fire Ant were recently accompanied by, Green Ant, who replaced Worker Ant, who had to retire due to injury.

Green Ant is a very unique competitor in CHIKARA, who has a more technical style opposed to the high flying niche that CHIKARA is renown for. He brings an innovative style and has captured the hearts of all CHIKARA fans for his, "Resilient Rookie" persona. Battling the likes of Mike Quackenbush and Tursas, Ant has become an underdog in CHIKARA. I was recently able to catch up with Green Ant and discuss a variety of topics!

Rallo: First off, I'd like to thank you for the time to conduct this interview. I would like to start off simple by asking, what motivated you to be a part of the wrestling business? Who were major influences in your life in and outside of the ring that motivated you to carry on this profession? Had there been any particular wrestling styles or wrestlers you saw that inspired you to go forward with your moveset? Where did it all begin for you?


G.A.: Thank you for choosing me to do this interview, I appreciate it. I've been motivated to be a part of the wrestling business since I was a little kid. My grandfather has always been a huge wrestling fan, and when we would visit him in Canada, my brother and I would sit and watch his VHS collection for hours every day. So wrestling has always been a part of my life, and it's the only thing that I really want to do. As far as wrestlers who inspired me, the first name that comes to mind is Bret Hart. He was my favorite wrestler throughout my childhood. Then, as I got older I became enamored with the Japanese style of wrestling. I'm also inspired greatly by Kazushi Sakuraba. He has one of the strongest hearts in the world.

Rallo: Moving on to your training, could you tell us if you had any previous experience in Pro Wrestling before going to CHIKARA? Where there any names that really aided you in your training and helped you get to the CHIKARA Wrestling Factory? Speaking of which, what had propelled you to continue your training there? How where your experiences training and what is your overall impression of the school that sets it apart from any other wrestling facility? Any stories or moments from experiences at the school you'd wish to share that are to this day very important to you in your career?

G.A.: I had no previous experience in Pro Wrestling before my training at the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory. When I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in Pro Wrestling, the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory was the only option in my mind. In my opinion, it's the most advanced and professional school in the United States. Nowhere else in the USA will you find such an understanding of the lucha libre style. The three names that most aided me in my training were Mike Quackenbush, Claudio Castagnoli, and Sara Del Rey. They were there on the first day I ever stepped foot in a ring.

Rallo: Known as the, "Resilient Rookie," you are the third and youngest member of the stable known as, The Colony. I know you were not there for the initial start of the stable's run, but can you tell us what exactly was the motivation behind the ant gimmick? Also, how was it that you became a member of the group behind the scenes? You debuted right off the bat as, Green Ant, so was that the initial plan for you and your original ambition or were you more so a replacement made for Worker Ant's retirement? Did you feel any pressure replacing Worker Ant, as you were really going into a lot of pressure to perform very well from the get go.

G.A.: Motivation behind the ants? We are ants, this is our life! The Colony is all we know. I believe that I fit in with Fire and Soldier, and through Worker Ant's retirement at the hands of FIST, an opportunity opened up for me, a young wrestler not yet at the level of the other members of the Colony. My career's beginning was very sudden, so there was a high amount of pressure to fill the gap in the Colony trio. However, being here in this group is what I was meant to do, so I did my best to learn quickly and never let my partners down. A couple years later, we defeated FIST to win the 2011 King of Trios Tournament. That moment stands out to me as the true solidification of the new Colony - Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, and Green Ant.

Rallo: Either way, you did join, The Colony and became one of the most successful trios in Professional Wrestling. When I think of teams in mainstream wrestling, the only art I find more dead than tag team wrestling, is six man tag team wrestling. Can you tell us of your thoughts on six man tag team matches as a whole and how you feel they could contribute to a bigger promotion today? When you look at events such as the, King of Trios Tournament, you can see that they can be some of the best matches in the world today. Could you elaborate on the art of six man tag team matches, why you enjoy it, and your feeling on the usage of it, outside of CHIKARA?

G.A.: Trios matches were never really a hot item in American Professional Wrestling. CHIKARA is heavily inspired by the lucha libre style, and the concentration on trios action is a reflection of that. I think this focus sets CHIKARA apart from other American promotions. I wouldn't say that trios matches are a lost art, because you can find some of the best trios action in the world in CHIKARA. As far as the art of a six man tag match, it allows for many different interactions within the structure of one match. Since I've been involved in CHIKARA since my first day of wrestling, I feel very comfortable in trios matches.

Rallo: Speaking of the, King of Trios Tournament, yourself and The Colony, had been  victorious, winning your first true accolade in the Pro Wrestling industry. Could you describe the atmosphere of that event and how you felt about not only working it, but winning it? Still working as one of the youngest stars on the roster in terms of the experience factor, how do you feel this bolstered your young career? Were there any moments at the event, besides winning, of course, that had been very memorable to yourself? Also, in terms of match quality, which match do you feel you had your best outing in and why?

G.A.: The King Of Trios 2011 Tournament was huge for me. The two biggest matches of my career were the 2011 King of Trios Finals against Team FIST at The ECW Arena in Philly, and the Osaka Pro Tag Team Championship Match with Momo no Seishun Tag at IMP Hall in Osaka. Matches like these have such an intense and exciting atmosphere. Being in a match like that so early in my career is a huge honor. I owe thanks to my partners, Fire Ant and Soldier Ant, for taking me under their wing, helping me reach such important milestones in our tenure as a tag team, and watching my back every step of the way.

There were many memorable moments throughout the King Of Trios 2011 event. One that stands out was watching 1-2-3 Kid and El Generico have this amazing match on the big screen, and then realizing that we were on next in the finals. Also, towards the end of the finals match, I got knocked loopy by a pedigree from Icarus, and when I was climbing up the Super Mega Antapult Splash tower, trying to get my right foot up onto Soldier Ant's shoulder, I nearly fell off backwards. That was a scary moment!

Rallo: Something else, I'd like to discuss is your wrestling style. You have been known to fly around and keep a more technically sound moveset opposed to the high flying craziness most CHIKARA athletes partake in. Could you tell us of how you chose the moveset that you incorporate into your matches to date? Does your larger height play any real factor or did you want something more unique in terms of the mix of your high flying and technical style? What went into choosing your moveset?

G.A.: I've always been interested in the technical, hold for hold style of wrestling. Most of the wrestlers who inspire me are well-versed in this style. I only hope to be as good as them one day. My larger height plays a small part in my style, I guess, as I'm not as naturally inclined to flip around as some of the shorter, more gymnast-esque guys.

Rallo: One of the other topics I'd like to discuss is your injury that you suffered at this time last year. Breaking your humerus in a match with Keita Yano on Night 3, which put a setback on your promising career. You had missed a half year of action and can you tell us what it was like to endure an injury so early in your career? What were your initial reactions to said injury, and did you return on time, before, or after the original time you were diagnosed? Do you feel this injury had taken any real damage or taken anything away from your young career? What are your overall thoughts on being so young  in the game and already taken a pretty hard fall?

G.A.: The injury only motivated me to get better and return to the ring. The healing process was slow and tedious, it's very frustrating to go from training almost every day to not being able to move one of your arms at all. I returned around the time I expected to. I don't think the injury has taken away from my career. These things happen, and it's just a part of being a wrestler. When you fight as often as we do, injuries are inevitable. I think it's almost a good thing that it happened early in my career. Like I said, it only inspired me to get better.

Rallo: As well as you are known in your stint with, The Colony. There is no denying you have fared very well in singles competition as well. I would like to ask for your thoughts on some of your favorite matches you have had to date in the singles division? What were your thoughts on your matches with, Mike Quackenbush? Also, one of your recent feuds beginning at, King of Trios was with, Tursas. Could you describe your feelings on that feud as well as the added patriotism to your character? What was your motivation behind, The Flex Express idea.

G.A.: I have definitely enjoyed all my singles matches with Mike Quackenbush, and I hope to continue our series very soon. It's awesome to be in the ring with my trainer, and someone who shares a passion for technical wrestling. My favorite singles match to date would have to be either my match with Tursas at C-Rex, or my match with Tadasuke at YLC IX. Even though I lost both of those matches, the intensity of both of them makes them stand out in my mind. The support that I received from the crowd at C-Rex meant a lot to me. Tursas had been bad-mouthing the USA for months and months, and I felt that someone had to stand up to him. This was the inspiration for the Flex Express. I wanted to show the good people of this country that they don't have to take guff from a bully like Tursas. Even in a one on one match, Tursas couldn't resist having his little friend Jakob cheat for him to protect him and get him a win. My quest to put Tursas in his place is far from over.

Rallo: As a loved member of, CHIKARA, I'd really like to ask you about your thoughts on the company as a whole. Working as a family friendly product filled with a wide array of characters, what other aspects in this promotion do you feel help it flourish on to a bigger scale? Also, in WWE, the most popular topic has been this new, "Reality Era" or sorts. Do you feel as though characters with more cartoon-like gimmicks could be just as hot of a commodity on the mainstream of Pro Wrestling/Sports Entertainment (WWE/TNA) or do you believe that gimmicks such as, a colony of ants, just would not make it in a place such as, WWE? Speaking of, has that ever been any sort of goal for, yourself? Thoughts overall?

G.A.: I think that without CHIKARA, I wouldn't have a home in the world of American Pro Wrestling. I'm extremely glad that CHIKARA now has a good relationship with Osaka Pro in Japan, because I feel that these two companies are a very good fit. When I went on a tour for Osaka Pro with Fire Ant and Eddie Kingston, I accomplished one of my biggest goals in wrestling. It's never been my goal to go to WWE. For some people, WWE is their passion, that's what they look at as the holy grail of wrestling. I just don't feel the same way.

Rallo: Before I let you go, I'd like to ask if you have any final words for your fans? Are there any upcoming matches, appearances, etc, that you would wish to plug? Any words of advice to any fans or anybody aspiring to become a Pro Wrestler? Final thoughts?

G.A.: I'd like to thank all the fans of CHIKARA and The Colony who have stuck with me and shown support. It really means a lot to me. I'd also like to thank all the fans in Osaka who were so welcoming to all the CHIKARA members that have toured there. You guys are amazing.

Since you asked about advice for people hoping to become wrestlers, I will briefly speak on that subject. First of all, I feel that the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory is the best option for anybody looking to get started on the independent level of professional wrestling. Next, if you are planning to start training, please get serious about it. This is not an easy thing to do, and not everybody can do it. You have to work hard and dedicate a huge portion of your life to this if you want to make something of it.

I'd like to ask everyone to please check out CHIKARA's first ever iPPV show, "High Noon". It will be broadcasted via GoFightLive at www.gfl.tv on November 13, 4:00 PM EST. This is a huge deal for everyone at CHIKARA. You can order it at any time right here: http://www.gfl.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/CHIKARA__High_Noon/1159 .

I'd also like to thank you very much personally for doing this interview and supporting CHIKARA.

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