Thursday, November 17, 2011

Exclusive Interview: Eddie Edwards Discusses Survival of the Fittest, Kings of Wrestling, CHIKARA, and More!

 When you take a gander at the third biggest promotion in the United States, Ring of Honor, one of the names that is first brought up is, "Die Hard," Eddie Edwards. Being the first Triple Crown winner in ROH history and a former World Champion, Edwards is a New England native who has been a staple in Ring of Honor for years.

Also being half of one of the most renowned tag teams, the American Wolves, alongside current ROH Champion, Davey Richards, Edwards has done almost everything possible on the wrestling circuit at such a young age. Being an in ring specialist and one of the most renowned name in wrestling, I was able to catch up with Eddie before his bout at Survival of the Fittest tomorrow night! I thank Eddie very much for taking the time and I hope you enjoy reading!

Rallo: First off, Eddie, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. My first question has to be, you have recently been announced to take part in the upcoming ROH show, Survival of the Fittest 2011. There you will be joining the likes of Adam Cole, Rhett Titus, Kenny King, and Roderick Strong just to name a few on this very well known event for ROH. As a former winner of this tournament, can you give me your thoughts on this tournament and how you feel about taking part in it this year? You previously won it in 2010, which later propelled you to the World Championship. What are your thoughts on the tournament this year, and how it varies from previous years? Also, what did it feel like to win last year and how do you feel it impacted your career?

Edwards: I'm excited to take part in SOTF again this year, I was able to win it last year and in turn, I was able to go on to win the word title. Its a big event for ROH and its a completely different type of event than you will see anywhere.

Everybody involved in this years tournament has a legit chance to win. There is a nice mix of guys who have been there before and guys who are trying to take the next step in their career so its going to be a very interesting tournament.

Winning last year was obviously a huge moment in my career. Like i said, after winning the tournament I was able to go on to win the world title. It was what gave me the opportunity to win the ROH world title.

Rallo: Moving on, there's something I'd like to bring up in regards to your tag team partner and the ROH World Champion, Davey Richards. Over the past few months, a real debate has been who is truly the one to own the title of, "Best in the World," today. Davey Richards has been regarded by some, as has CM Punk, just to name the two top names involved in this conversation. In your mind, what do you feel are the traits someone deemed, "Best in the World" must have? Who do you believe is truly the one to be named this? Do you believe your tag partner is the best today, and what is your real generalization on who is the best in the world today and why? Thoughts on this title being thrown around since late last summer?

Edwards: I don't think that one person is the absolute "Best in the World'. Its an opinion, Everybody is entitled to their opinion. I cant go out and say this guy or that guys is the best in the world because there are so many talented guys out there right now its not fair to label ONE guy as THE guy

  Rallo: Although you are very highly regarded as a household name in Ring of Honor and several other promotions, it has been noted that you have worked some CHIKARA events at the end of last month. Could you tell us of your thoughts on CHIKARA as a whole and why you chose to start working with them? It is a hot time in CHIKARA, especially with their first ever iPPV, High Noon that had taken place November 13th. Could you tell us on why you want to work with CHIKARA, what you feel makes it special and unique, and your expectations of the evolution of CHIKARA in the coming months? Is there anyone in CHIKARA you especially want to face? Is the Grand Championship a goal for you?

Edwards: Chikara is a great company. Its something completely different for the fans and the events are always a good time. I have always heard great things about the company and from what I saw I knew I wanted to be a part of one of their events at some point so when I got the chance, I jumped.

I'm up for facing anybody in the company as there are a lot of guys that I have never faced so I think it would be a great opportunity for some fresh new matchups

As far as the Grand Championship, if I am able to work my way to a title shot, its something I would love to hold.

Rallo: In your career you have faced some of the best the world has to offer, two of which being the Kings of Wrestling, who are now on their way to WWE. As a matter of fact, Claudio is now working as, Antonio Cesaro in FCW, while Chris Hero's deal is in its final stages. As someone who has encountered both men in the ring, could you tell us your thoughts and feelings about both men going to the pinnacle of sports entertainment, WWE? How do you feel both men, who are Indy sensations will work in WWE

Edwards: I think Claudio and Hero are two unbelievable wrestlers, they will be able to succeed anywhere they go including WWE.

Rallo: It is also noted that this year, you were named one of the top ten wrestlers of 2011 in the yearly PWI rankings. Normally, I personally do not like long lists ranking people, but I feel as though this was an appropriate ranking for someone who had such a big year and continues to grow and flourish like never before. This past year has really seemed like your breakout year, so I would like your own personal self evaluation of this past year in terms of improving yourself all around. You are also the first Triple Crown winner in ROH history, so it is certain you are leaving your mark and your legacy in the organization. How does it feel to leave such a legacy at such a young age and what are your career goals from here? Do you aspire to one day be in WWE? What are your major goals now and for the future?

Edwards: Of course I was very happy with how my year has been. I was able to win the ROH world championship, one of my goals for so long now. There are always things I can improve on and get better at and that's something I constantly try to do. Hopefully next year will be even better than this year. As far as being the only triple crown champion in history, well that's a huge honor. You look at the the talent currently in the lockeroom and guys who have been there in the past, its a a huge accomplishment to be able to do something NOBODY else has done. I look forward to winning the ROH title for a second time and that is my main focus at this point in my career.

  Rallo: Something else I'd like to discuss is your initial training by the legendary, Killer Kowalski. Of course, being a New England native, that is where you would primarily train. Kowalski has helped train the likes of WWE's Triple H to go on to become successful stars. Of course, he clearly was a very important in your training, but could you tell us of some of your experiences in your younger days training under him? What was it like working with such a legend at first hand in a very prosperous training facility where legends have been born? Were there any others in those days you felt really aided your career and helped develop a unique move set that you have today? What were the experiences behind working with the likes of Killer and how was the training itself? Overall thoughts on your training and any stories at all?

Edwards: I really enjoyed my time training at Kowalskis. He was such a great man, he was there each and every class, the first there when you walked in the room. At the time when I joined, he was not as active in the ring due to his age and health but he was MORE than vocal outside the ring haha. At the time Wagner Brown was the head trainer and he helped me out more than I can say. I also did some traveling north to NH to train with Steve Bradley, one of the greatest minds I have been around. He taught so many guys in my area the important little things that so many people overlook. I was also lucky enough to be able to travel to Japan and live and train in the pro wrestling NOAH dojo. It was an amazing experience. Its something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Although the training was difficult at the time, it turned out being one of the most important times in my career. Overall, all of the training I was able to get was more than I could have ever asked for.

Rallo: One question I always enjoy asking up and coming talented names is about the atmosphere of the promotion they primarily work for. With that said, there is much going on in ROH at the moment including the new Sinclar Broadcasting. Tapings have begun as have the airings of it on television. My question to you is, how do you feel ROH has grown over the past year and what are your thoughts on it for the future? How is the overall backstage morale of all the talent, veterans and relatively new? Do you feel as though the balance in the locker room is stable or there is any sort of issues at all? Overall thoughts on ROH and the future as well as the locker room morale? Also, do you feel it's more difficult to transition to TV matches due to some time constraints? overall feelings on this transition?

Edwards: This is a very important time for ROH. Sinclair is giving us the opportunity to show the world what we can do. ROH has the most talented lockeroom in the world and its great that we finally get to show it. As far as the morale in ROH, its amazing. It really has that family atmosphere. Its a very positive vibe and I believe it shows in the product we produce.

  Rallo: Moving on to a few more fun questions to think about, I'd like to ask you if you were to face on star of the past, one of the present, and one up and coming future wrestler who you have never faced before, who would it be and why? Any wrestler you see in the present that you also really want to face? Who has been your favorite opponent that you have faced and what has been what you feel to be your, "defining moment" in your career thus far? Lastly, what do you feel has been the best overall event you have ever taken part of and why?

Edwards: This is always a difficult question and i tend to avoid it as there are so many guys that I would love to be able to be in that ring with. As far as my defining moment, I'd have to say winning the ROH world title for sure. It was an amazing moment for me and an amazing experience.

Rallo: Just as somewhat of a bonus question, I am also a Boston native and Boston sports die hard currently residing 15 minutes from Beantown now. Just for the heck of it....What are your thoughts on the Red Sox this past season? As someone who also covers Boston sports here and there, I feel as though it is time for a major overhaul in the organization, albeit it has already started. What are your general thoughts on the Sox this season and going forward? Thoughts on Francona, Epstein, the team as a whole...anything really? Hell, share any thoughts you want on Bruins, Celtics, Patriots...whatever is on your mind if you wish.

Edwards: Man, the way the Sox ended this past season was absolutely pathetic. to see a team that has so much money invested in it to just fold up like they did. I fully believe it falls on the players. they are professional athletes that are paid so much to just go out there and play to the best of their abilities but apparently that was too much to ask for. I hope Tito and Theo both go on and have success just to prove that it wasn't their fault. However for the most part, its an amazing time to be a Boston sports fan. And on the NBA, well Id rather not get started on that.

Rallo: Before I let you go, do you have any final words to your many fans? Anything coming up that you wish to promote or discuss? Events, appearances, social networking? Anything you want to plug? Any words for wrestling fans or aspiring kids dreaming to become Pro Wrestlers? Final thoughts before we close this interview?

Edwards: Thank you to everybody that has supported me in my career. Please continue to support ROH and TRUE professional wrestling. Continue to support independent wrestling, we all need it.
Follow me on twitter @TheEddieEdwards and check out my website
Thanks again!!!

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