Chapter Eight: John Hubert Williamns - Grappling With Color
Today, I'm here with John Hubert Williams. He is the youngest member of the PWHS Team and so passionate about both more modern, older wrestling events, and practically every style of professional wrestling known to man. It's always refreshing to chat with him.
So let's get this started. Where/how did you first come across this pseudo-sport everyone reading this loves?
Queens, New York City, 1994. My father was a huge wrestling fan. Coming from St Lucia to the city in the 70's he too was quickly drawn to wrestling. He would tell me stories about watching Hogan, Snuka and Piper during the Rock 'n' Wrestling era. Long story short he was flipping through channels, I think it was World Wrestling Federation (WWF; now WWE) Superstars and Bret Hart was on. First off the colors caught my eye (Pink on a grown man, who would've thought) but, I never seen anything like it though. The moves, the selling the presentation and most of all the fans! The fans pulled me more than the wrestlers sometimes because, they too were apart of the show and they were memorable characters. Being that i'm from the East Coast the one I remember from a very ripe age was none other than VLAD! Ever since then I would watch WWF programming.
Let’s back track to your father first. Did he find wrestling in New York, or had he already been a fan back in St. Lucia?
He discovered it in New York. It gets a bit hazy but he told me he saw Hogan during his earlier stint whether he was Sterling Golden or Terry Boulder - that escapes me. But yeah, he's been a fan for that long. I mean he wasn't obsessed like me as he was a "Street Pharmacist" but he still watched it LOL. Weirdly I don't even think he knew about the NWA but at the same time He might of had because the Superstation came around hen he was growing up still and the NWA was on that channel.
Okay, so Bret Hart was the guy that drew you in. Funnily enough, he was the guy for me too, and just 2 years or so prior to you. Was Bret your guy for years to come, or was he just your “gateway drug” so to say?
Bret was definitely my heroin. He opened up those floodgates to who I am today. He wasn't really my favorite as I didn't really understand technical wrestling (not until 1999 atleast lol) and as a child I needed something with high energy. However, Bret had incredible merch, I always wanted them damn shades. Also how come Bret never gave his shades to a black kid?! My main guys were 1-2-3 Kid and Owen Hart. Those two did highflying moves and did things similar to a Shaw bros flick (another thing my dad was big on), almost like the crackheads I would see on Sutphin Blvd, but more finesse lol. But no, seriously the stuff they did was ahead of its time. Then Jannetty, Snow, Flash Funk AKA 2 Cold Scorpio (a guy I might gush about later on). Now of course I never saw Dynamite Kid or Satoru Sayama (Tiger Mask) wrestle yet, but I felt like seeing what I saw on the WWE programming was exactly that.
Also I forgot to mention World Championship Wrestling (WCW), a company I didn't get into until around a year or 2 later, so I'd say 1995/'96 or there, that's when things changed and became "THE MELTING POT" for me. If Bret was the gateway drug then WCW turned me into a f*****g junkie.
Let's just say that WCW was sort of the first step onto me forgetting to do my homework that night.
Then rushing to do it the next morning in the school cafeteria.
Right, so by 1996 you’ve found WWF and WCW. Makes sense as that’s the beginning of the Monday Night Wars. Who caught your attention down south?
What caught my attention was Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Malenko (the greatest Caucasian luchador ever in my opinion) you know guys like that. They were doing things way more next level than what Owen and 1-2-3 Kid were doing. S**t I wished they were their. The first time I ever heard about wrestling in Japan was through the Worlds Famous...M.O.P. But no, Jushin Thunder Liger, that guy man, from the bodysuit to the mask to the aura it was all packaged within him, plus he was such a small guy. I mean most the guys I named were "small" at the time, but with Liger it was different. Yes, I saw the Mutos and Chono and Dragon etc. in WCW, but with Liger there was something more special than those mentioned.
His body language, the way he would gesture to the crowd, little things like that can get the crowd in the palm of a wrestlers hand. The language barrier and understanding was non-existent when he was in the ring. I wanna jump ahead with the WCW timeline, but during the wars me and my cousin would tape Raw and Nitro over my grandmother's boxing fights as we recorded and paused, record, pause etc. LOL, tedious but I wouldn't change that for the world! Later on I became a MASSIVE fan of DDP and Goldberg. The latter whom I dressed up as on Halloween in the 4th grade. I'm still asking family member about that picture lmao.
Okay, going back in time. Being that WCW was the only company that treated Luchadors and Puroresu stars with respect (boy, was I naive) they showcased more of what those guys could do. Don;t get me wrong, WWF would book guys like Taka Michinoku, the Great Sasuke, Negro Casas, Tzuki and many others. But, they weren't on PPVs or on the main show i.e. Nitro. WWE would throw the foreign flyers on s**t like Shotgun. It showed they didn't really care and it's a shame, because those Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion (AAA) guys could've done something good especially with Cibernetico and company.
So, it was through WWF in small part, but WCW mainly, that you got into Puroresu and Lucha Libre?
Oh yeah, oh yeah. But, during that time, don't forget there was a little something called E...C...W! Man, I wanna thank my mother because she let me stay up through the wee hours of the night to watch Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). on Thursday I would watch the old replays of Video Music Box then when 3:00 Am hit off to the MSG Channel for ECW. That was 1997. The music, the subculture the rabid aura, I've never, ever seen anything like that in my life. Then I went to shows, today you see crowds and companies try to replicate ECW though I've never been to an ECW show - NOTHING can compare to that company, NOTHING.
It was the first company I seen run rather local (Northern Blvd, we'll talk about that later) and the first time I saw the real "Flash Funk", 2...COLD...SCORPIO!!!!! Excuse my language but dawg I NEVER seen a N***a do the the type of shit he did in the air. F**k Michael Jordan, Scorpio was "His Highness". I would dream about Spike Lee and Scorpio shooting a commercials together. He should've been in black cinema films in the '90s DAMMIT! Picture him in "Mo Better Blues" or "Do The Right Thing" or "Crooklyn"!! That man was a F*****G STAR!!!! He oozed charisma his music "Whoop There it Is" was amazing the brashness he carried my GOD! Plus he could back it up in the ring with the best of them.
First off he was a bigger dude (no d**k Jokes dammit!) then most in height and weight, but would move in ways like a feather through the air, or as it floating off that swan that was swimming through a beautiful lake or some expressive s**t.
Sabu was another guy that changed my life, he lived up to EVERYTHING! Homicidal, Suicidal, Death Defying , the way Paul Heyman would say his name over promos to showcase the video collection of past shows, the way he would talk about what Sabu did in the ring, that was mind blowing gave me chills. It gives me chills just thinking about it.
Barely Legal and the Michinoku six-man....SHEESH!!!!!! This made me fall in love with the legendary Gran Hamada. Yeah, Sasuke and Taka were there whatever, here you have a middle aged man stealing the show (aside from Terry Funk) in the style and fast paced environment that would soon be re-invented via Toryumon, than DragonGate. Seeing Hayabusa and seeing Jinsei Shinzaki, who I remembered as Hakushi, wrestle together in the states made me flip out. That match they had with RVD and Sabu was the first match I can remember that made me go ballistic in my house!
So many moments and memories watching ECW. To MSG to TNN I worshiped that company. On Northern Blvd lies the Queens Center Mall and within that mall, a kiosk was what REALLY altered my life.....Jac Sabboth is the man that gave my first experience in the tape trading game.
Now I wanna back track a bit, I mentioned Jushin Liger earlier but my first real exposure to Puroresu was Jinsei Shinzaki versus Great Muta from April 29, 1996. I didn't see the video, however, I saw a snapshot of Muta strangling a crimson faced Jinsei and the photo was at the back of a PWI as the snapshot of the week! That was in '96.
Now continuing back to QCM the Kiosk had everything from New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW to Frontier Martial-arts Wrestling (FMW) I bought three tapes. two were FMW tapes, I believe it was an Onita Comp, one was a NJPW tape I forget it and the contents of that video, but man, let's just say this, that was a gamechanger for me. Sometimes I don't wanna get too deep, because I get emotional lol, but, i'll summarize the best I can:
This was 1999 and wrestling in Japan was still hot, you had the four Pillars (Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue) in All Japan Pro-Wrestling (AJPW) along with Jun Akiyama, Yoshihiro Takayama, Tamon Honda killing s**t (I've been a Takayama fan for so damn long man llmao), NJPW Kazuyuki Fujita burst onto the scene, Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, were flourishing. Masahiro Chono and Keiji Muto were BOSSES!!! FMW and Hayabusa were doing well, may not of been 1995 but still doing well.
Every week I would go to QCM and buy tapes and I bought an All Japan Women's Joshi (AJW) now wow...what a change up for me beautiful women that were dangerous and aggressive and compelling the total opposite of America's b******t. I was familiar with Akira Hokuto from WCW, but Aja Kong and Manami Toyota were the ones I fell in love with right off the bat. Manami had the beautiful, long dark hair pretty face - but would do bat s**t dives like what the f**k, and can take an ass kicking almost better than Ricky Morton. Aja on the other hand the TOOOOOOTAL opposite, a heavyset woman who DOMINATED period! For Aja I gained more of a loving feel for because I remember researching and finding out that she's half black. Her dad was from New York City and of course a military guy and yadda yadda yadda.
I continued going to that kiosk until they left in the early 00's to open a store happily titled "The Wrestling Universe" here in Queens New York. Recently I saw Jac, told him I remembered the store and he was stunned! One of my best friends Rob use to work for Jac, when Jac started up Impact Championship Wrestling (ICW), which was kinda the first real indy since Tri-State Championship Wrestling (TCW) in the Tri State area in the early 90's. They booked Low Ki, Amazing Red, Eddie Guerrero etc. they are the fathers of this New York s**t in my opinion, man. So much innovation within that company and guys are still imitating, man, haha, Shoutout to Jac and the Doghouse Family.
As for Lucha, I had Galavision and I would watch a lot of that stuff. I was really into the Los Cadetes Del Espacio and the Los Rudo De La Galaxia etc. those guess again blew my mind, not for the moves (because that s**t was amazing too) but the fact that they can move in those damn costumes!!! MIND BLOWN.
Wow. A whole lot of ground was covered there. Let's talk about Toryumon and Dragon Gate. Those two companies are so underrated in terms of their importance to the current wrestling scene. It could be argued that without them, half of WWE's current roster wouldn't exist, plus All Elite Wrestling would not be happening.
Tell us more about those two promotions specifically.
I wanna start off with this UWF (Universal Pro-Wrestling)/FULL (Federacion Universal De Lucha Libre) they were the ones that gave Lucha the spotlight in Japan. Yeah NJPW would bring in Lucha guys mainly for TM and AJPW would also do so with Mil Mascaras and Dos Caras main eventing some shows and also being super successful in the meantime. UWF would bring in Blue Panther, Perro Aguayo Villanos etc. They would also create future stars such as Yoshihiro Asai later known as Ultimo Dragon, Masa Michinoku aka Great Sasuke. Promotion lasted 5 years but the impact left is ever lasting as Japan has a HUGE lucha fanbase. Later in the 90's AAA and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) would run their own shows there, now NJPW Fantasticamania or Mr. Cacao's Cacaomania, it's always cool to see the blueprint of UWF as it was essentially the first Lucha promotion in Japan. Fun fact International Wrestling Enterprise (IWE) was the first major promotion before NJPW and NJPW to bring in Luchadores.
Now, I wanna start off with this GIVE SKAYDE ALL HIS RESPECT! Without that man Lucharesu wouldn't be as advanced. Hamada is the father as well as Mach Hayato and Ultimo Dragon is the son but it was Skayde deserves to be put on a higher pedestal within the wrestling community. With the help of Jake Shannon, Skayde molded those kids into something special from helping them during excursions to making them stars at home. Skayde in his own right was a true Maestro . Trained by Robin Hood (From the famous Alvarado Family) Skayde style is something to behold. I have never see a man work so smooth so quick and at the same time tie you like a bow, even till this day I'm still amazed and mind blown.
The first time my face was melted was when I bought a tape that featured CIMA. Seeing CIMA brought me back to when I first discovered Jushin Liger except CIMA didn't sport a bodysuit lol. The brashness, the look, the charisma hearing " I LOVE COLAAAAA" good god it was infectious. Toryumon was in the same vein as UWF a lot of Lucha talent. Hijo Del Santo, Vampiro , Los Brazos etc. and they packed houses. The only difference between them and the former was that Toryumon had a better mixture of Youth and Experience and often gave the spotlight to the youth and enter....DRAGON GATE!
Skayde is a name that does not often come up, thank you for shining light on him. Continue with DragonGate, the whole sleuth of talent that really got a break and advanced their styles thanks to guys like CIMA, and the whole Muscle Outlawz and everyone else involved.
Seeing the Toryumon at first was mass confusion because there were so many guys in one match doing craziness after craziness so I picked up whats left of melted face off the floor then it melted again. The intricacies, the inner weaving of stories, people praise Gedo for long term book, HA! M2K versus Crazy Max was something to behold...I just got on the internet and I would look for wrestling communities about Japanese wrestling. Long story short M2K and Crazy Max were talked about a lot.The ultimate power struggle of two factions trying to hold all the power within one promotion.
Crazy Max was something VERY different, lead by the ultra charismatic CIMA they had this gang mentality, something I've seen in wcw with the NWO, but not this cool lol. They were young and way more talented. They would work the crowd in a frenzy like no other. Seeing Sumo Fuji, SUWA, TARU made me excited because with Crazy Max you never know what could happen. As for M2K all I gotta say is...TOKYOOOOOOO, GO! GO! GO! Though not the leader of the faction, but in my opinion the most memorable from the faction M2K was blessed to have the goddamn Japanese Sex Symbol in Magnum Tokyo!! I would dance to Disco Inferno, but this Tokyo Go! song was something major to me. He would come out with dancers, all women like a goddamn boss he would gyrate and the camera would zoom in and out and I'm just going f*****g nuts in my room lmao. I was literally like "Yeah man f**k that air Magnum." I'm listening to the song right now. I can go on and on about Magnum's entrance but as great as that was he is an equally great wrestler. He had a ring general sense (same with CIMA) when he stepped foot between the ropes. He balanced power with aerial maneuvers well.
Masaaki Mochizuki the founding the leader and one of the three founding members was the first guy I saw that can kick the soul out of your damn body. A man who was conflicted between good and bad was kicked out of his own group for wanting to do good for a change. Toryumon was like the first faction that has a two "Tweener" factions go at it, never have I seen the borders played with like that in wrestling and would do it so damn well. The Japanese Italian Supermodel Milano Collection and his Italian Collection stable was amazing. Milano was this very gangling guy with super charisma and is one of the greatest guys from Japan that can do the maestro style with ease. The Supermodel would also come out with his invisible dog, HA!
His stablemates Condotti Shuji was a a cannon, very small but a lot of power, the first small powerhouse guy that worked beautifully with the Lucha style I've ever seen and bar none the fastest wrestler I have ever seen in YOSSINO like seriously how were their no burn marks we'll never know. The match that brought me in was Dragon Kid versus K-Ness in their mask versus mask match. WOW, The drama, the near falls, K-Ness being the super heel and working his ass off to look like a threat and Dragon Kid looked like a STAR! Seeing Dragon Kid's mask all ripped up as he went for his Dragonrana and get the pin. That match left me breathless. There were others within the promotion I loved but I loved more in Dragon Gate.
What was done for Toryumon was now perfected upon in Dragon Gate. Also this was now CIMA'S promotion! Crazy Max and M2K was around and in this promotion is where they both fell but i want to jump ahead of the outcome...A new M2K versus Crazy Max Do FIXER versus Blood Generation! The first time I saw this rivalry take place was in Ring Of Honor (ROH), also I think I wasn't the only one who saw this for the first time as the crowd was in awe and so was some journalist out in California, who gave out a 5 star rating - forgot the guys name though.
Originally Do Fixer was intended to be Magnum Toyko's group but plagued with Injuries the group was lead by Ryo Saito and Genki Horiguchi two guys who I liked watching, but played the background was now pushed to the forefront. The group also had Susumu Yokosuka a guy who I adored in Toryumon in the M2K faction (he would soon leave Do FIXER to go back to some old pals). The fan favorite Dragon Kid was apart of that group. Funny enough Do Fixer also had K-Ness and with Kid in, K-Ness left! Storyline progression!!!! The group a had a few others, but to me the main core was Saito, Genki and Kid.
Now on the other spectrum Blood Generation the heelish and evil group led by none other than CIMA! with Shingo Takagi (an original member of Crazy Max) was his second and two guys I was fond of in YOSSINO a guy who I talked about previously as he left Italian Connection, cut his hair and begin a new life as he went under his real name Masato Yoshino. The other was Naruki Doi who left Final M2K (I'll talk about them later) and became a guy I didn't expect to care for, Another guy who relished on opportunity and was a stud! He was a dick and a bastard but an awesome one. Reminded me a lot of CIMA I might add. DON FUJI was there as well and do I need to explain how great he was? No! Magnitude Kishiwada and GAMMA were two guys I never cared for since I first saw them...BOOO!
Blood Generation started integrating international talent too as part of their ROH relationship. Jack Evans, Matt Sydal and Roderick Strong were the first guy I saw in DG and right off the back Jack Evans took my heart and made me breathless. First off I believe that he doesn't even have a spine, secondly I don't think he is human and thirdly I don't think he is human. He took what amazing red was doing added breakdancing,, threw it in a blender and bam Jack Evans. A true pioneer! I couldn't talk about this stuff in school because no one knew of this stuff, I was going school in the projects of Queens, New York in 2005 and even if I wanted to talk wrestling i'd be considered a weirdo. Luckily I had the internet and could seek refugee there.
That's where I re-watched a lot of things from the past. Now back to DG, seeing Ryo Saito, Genki Horiguchi and Dragon Kid flourish was so awesome, because these guy were so likable and all three were so polished in the ring opposed to their Toryumon years especially Dragon Kid. I always felt those years he's very innovative, but kinda did moves sloppy and in Dragon Gate he vastly improved everything. With Dragon Gate and Toryumon I left some much stuff out because things were happening just as fast as the action within the ring lol.
Final M2K was the remains of the original group in Masaaki Mochizuki, Susumu Yokosuka and K-Ness FKA Darkness Dragon with additions of Kenchiro Arai, Yamato Onedera and Second Doi (aka Naruki Doi, he turned heel and joined Blood Generation as explained earlier). The group slowly started falling apart then later disbanded losing to Blood Generation. After which Yamato and Arai formed their own faction .
Things really started to change the guard as Genki Horiguchi did something so evil it broke my heart....he turned on Saito...SAITO! How can you do such a thing! To join Muscle Outlawz, that same year Magnum retired due to injury and a year later Do FIXER disbanded.
Saito and Dragon kid joined with the newly disbanded Pos.Hearts Anothy W Mori and BXB Hulk along with CIMA and what was left of his Blood Generation faction in Sydal and Yokosuka. This is when Yokosuka aside from CIMA started making me believe he can be the face of a company. Be it tags or singles he always stuck out. Remember when you said this was CIMAs company? His Open the Dreamweight Title run proved why. As he had a title run that rivaled Kenta Kobashi's. I can go on an on about this company, it was like a serial drama as it seemed to be a never ending of twist n turns but I buckled up tight to go along for that ride! I was fortunate enough to have gone to a DGUSA show and made my dreams come true!
On the forums also I wanna put this out there, STALKER ICHIKAWA was one of the goats!
I could literally sit here and ask you about Dragon Gate all day, I have a real love for that promotion and the offshoots that came out of it (USA and UK). We've probably covered it enough for the time being though, yet we haven't even covered how guys like Rich Swann, Ricochet, the Young Bucks, Johnny Gargano and others went over there and came back totally different performers. Maybe we'll have to do a part two of this interview at some point in the future.
For now, you mentioned Ring of Honor. Living in Queens, New York. Watching Ring of Honor in the early 2000s and on, man, you gotta tell us about some of the stuff you got to witness live for that promotion. A load of matches come to my mind immediately, but just go over a few of your favorite moments and matches.
Now to be honest my first live experience was seeing Takeshi Morishima versus Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) at Manhattan Mayhem. Also I have some footage where you can see me and my dad in the crowd, we snuck in front row, But, man this was still in the smart era I was openly communicating and trading info with many people all over the world on forums. ROH was so cool to see because I've already seen a lot of those guys via International Wrestling Association Mid South (IWA-MS) the first indy I fell in love with.
This was a time when no one made cheers to get themselves over nothing, fans just relished in the moment and went a long with it. Also I might've been the only person in the crowd familiar with PAC (Neville) as he faced Davey Richards and I was excited to see PAC live. Takeshi Morishima is a guy I've been a fan of since '03 because I loved Pro Wrestling NOAH and seeing him live was awesome because dude had a bowl haircut wearing Behemoth.
Bryan Danielson, now wow, that guy was cut of the same Cloth as a Backlund and Gagne, a Robinson, a Malenko etc., but with much more character - He was more vibrant than he looked I'll say that lol. That man can do everything in that squared circle along with Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno; a guy who I am glad to call my friend). But during that Manhattan night the crowd was in a frenzy!!! My first show was suppose to be when Kenta Kobashi debuted against Samoa Joe. Watching that show I would've given my left arm to be there. That was the hypest crowd I've ever seen.
I wanted to also go to ECW but that never happened sadly. I was suppose to do ICW in Queens but again nope! My family didn't like the fact I loved wrestling obsessively, as they thought it was a phase...HAHA! This is year 25 of fandom baby lmao. My favorite moment live from an ROH show was the last Morishima versus Danielson match which was a Fight Without Honor when Danielson faked his Final Countdown entrance and as we're singing the song, he attacked Morishima from behind and threw him in the crowd, and on the cue of the chorus Danielson dived into the crowd, as we sang the lyrics "It's the Final Countdown" in unison with Danielson's dive. Shit was magic!
Another was seeing Mitsuhara Misawa, I cried that night. That's all I'mma say.
I met Jim Cornette, but was too nervous to say anything lmao. I've seen KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Kensuke Sasaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima and others who walked through that door from 2006 though 2012.
The last great moment was being there live to witness the birth of the Steen-Generico feud. My god was the crowd shocked
My favorite non-ROH moment was the arrival of Manami Toyota from a Chikara show in 2010. Claudio Castagnoli/Sara Del Rey versus Mike Quackenbush/Toyota and that was probably the greatest match I've seen live. Sadly I didn't have enough money to get a Manami photo opp, nor did I have a a camera phone, shame I know lmao.
I still go to shows of course but something is missing, since social media is uprising more and more everyone in the crowd feels the need to get over by doing certain things and it's kinda annoying like it doesn't feel really like a natural reaction to me
Ah, great stuff, man. Some real stars mentioned in all of that. I had no plan on asking you about this, but you've mentioned it twice and it's something that has turned me off pro-wrestling in recent years also: Fan interaction. I LOVED Pro-Wrestling Guerrilla, westside Xtreme wrestling (Germany) and PROGRESS (UK). Yet, over the last couple of years, I've stopped watching them. Part of it is the fans in attendance don't seem the same anymore. Part of it is the latest crop of independent wrestlers haven't grabbed my attention in the same way as the guys who dominated the 2000s up until about 2013 or 2014 - and then a handful up until about 2017. Also the guys who dominated for so long, are now getting a wider fan base, but are kind of old news to me.
Do you find the same thing. If so, what do you think can be done to really grab fans like you and me again?
I agree with you. There's some good fans out there that really loves this s**t and then there are others who treat it as a scene and just wants to be seen. There are some talented wrestlers like out here Ken Broadway, Anthony Gangone, Matt Travis, The New York Wrecking Crew who are of the New York City lineage because one: They' are trained by Amazing Red and two: They're hungry to make their mark. But then there are guys who do stuff just for the hell of it with no meaning at all. This may sound weird, but I feel as though wrestling has become a bit "too cool" when in reality we are just nerds let's be forreal here. W e are all here for the same thing. But, yeah you have guys who wants to be too cool for school and s**t like that.
I've seen so many hip hop references in wrestling that are so f*****g cringey it's sad. Like stop man, let it be their own separate entities. Seen this one dude who compared Antonio Inoki to Master P, ya know what, I don't even wanna talk about it anymore.
Just keep it wrestling people stop tryna crossover. Some of the wrestlers feel the need to go balls out and do meaningless things every single night, move after move after move. No psychology, no timing, no payoffs, no selling, nothing. Now, I'm not saying I see that every single time, but some guys who do it are the same ones that hype themselves up on social media doing the same moves and spots over, and over and "Doing it for the Gifs." I mean for each their own and i'm not gonna knock my brother Jocay - a man I knew before the GIFs, a man who has actually changed the game as a fan for the future with the GIF stuff. Again, that my brotha for life - but, it's not really for me and i'm not gonna complain about it, i'll just avoid it, because I cant lie I be amused by some of the silly stuff too. The Kikutaro's, or the Stalker Ichikawa, or Danshioku Dino, and etc. So, in a sense I may sound hypocritical - I know my flaws. But, at the same time I miss wrestling that had a story and when less was more, or when guys had a reasoning to do stuff not just do moves cause its cool.
This is all from my point of view and how I became more observing as a fan.
Yeah, I get you, man. Based on the stuff I watch there's often a lack of variety. Stuff like Kikutaro does have it's place in wrestling. You need that kind of entertainment too. You need great matches like Bret versus Owen at WrestleMania X, but you also need the comedy relief of Doink and Dink Vs. Bam Bam and Luna Vachon - for example.
Anyway, as I mentioned in the intro, you're the newest member of the #PWHS Team for the original group on Facebook. For that reason, it'd be remiss of me not to ask you, what is it about the history of pro-wrestling that interests you?
"The past is never dead. It's not even past.” - William Faulkner.
I see guys on these social media site calling themselves "historians" and I laugh because one: I'll never disrespect actual historians who I looked up to. Since my youth on the internet one guy I always looked up to is Hisaharu Tanabe and guess what he is one of my best friends. I told him that I use to get in trouble for breaking printers in middle school/high school, because I would print hundreds of pages of results and belt histories.
Being a historian was something I dreamed about. I wanted to be respected like a Great Hisa or Mark Hewitt, those guys inspire me to dig deeper through history than I ever have. I mean yeah having the internet is easy and all but it also depends on how deep you are searching. I converse with guys about history, you should know that man. I would stay up until 5 AM to research this s**t! Just like hip hop I go back to the foundation and obsess on it to see how it branches out to create a future.
What are you currently researching?
Nothing currently as I'm burned out from wrestling, soon I will follow up on my "Grappling With Color" as next years should be special. I will be collaborating with a buddy of mine. For each article there will be a piece of art to go with it! I'll also try to get my buddy to sell prints and the bio I write about them together, we'll see.. In this one I hope to research more women as this year I was super light on them. But now I'm just relaxing,working - just got a raise at my job.
So yeah man, I'm just coasting in the meantime haha.
Sounds good, man. Before we say good bye, is there anything you’d like to say to the folk reading this?
Man being interviewed about something I love is something I dreamed about growing up. This may seem small, but to me its major. To the folk reading this uhh....don''t do drugs and stay in school and don't have premarital sex lmao. I'm joking. For the people who will see this, thank you for inspiring me daily with the urge of wanting to know more. I may have bugged some of you guys over and over with talking wrestling, but man it's just my hunger for more.
Also shout-out to Eric Cholmenski for being great every time we've encountered, Hisaharu Tanabe the first man to see me bump in a chair, I promise it wasn't the beer. Tom Burke, hey man you owe me coffee and conversation, also a special shout-out to my other buddies Rob, Nicholas and Jeff the guys I talk to religiously. Last but not least, most of thank you Jimmy for allowing me to have this opportunity. When you hit New York City I gotcha brotha!
Another person I wanted to add in a shout-out for is George Mayhem Mayfield that guy is another guy that inspires me. If anyone know of him please direct message me and i'll give you contact information! It's a dream of mine to meet and talk with him and if he has some more merch I'll buy as well lmao.
I try not to curse when writing on the website, but well s**t: Burnt out, or not, is there a more passionate fan out there than John Hubert Williams? Thank you so much for doing this interview with us . It truly was pleasure.
Previous Interview In The Series
Unique content strictly for the Professional Wrestling Historical Society.
Interview with John Hubert Williams.
Interviewer: Jimmy Wheeler.
Published: August 15, 2019.
PWHS Team Interview: #8.
Editor: Jimmy Wheeler.
Unique content strictly for the Professional Wrestling Historical Society.
Interview with John Hubert Williams.
Interviewer: Jimmy Wheeler.
Published: August 15, 2019.
PWHS Team Interview: #8.
Editor: Jimmy Wheeler.