Q&A with Bulldog Blanski and Mike E. Milano:
NEI: How did Assault come get its start?
Bulldog Blanski: Jason Knight was booking for a promotion called Acid Pro. The problem was that one of the owners knew nothing about wrestling. Acid ran from November 2000 - July 2001. I knew in the beginning of Acid that Jason was up in the air over the whole thing, then the so called owners started to book around April of 2001 and most of us that knew Jason knew he wanted his own promotion.
Mike E. Milano: The Acid owner didn't wanna' listen to reason, and didn't care if people were helping his company. Basic gist is Jason was not in unison with the owners of that company, and decided to forge on and create his own.
Bulldog Blanski: Ya' it did. Jason was doing indys and was still in ECW when he started the Dojo.
Mike E. Milano: The dojo predated Acid if I'm not mistaken.
NEI: For fans that might not know, what is Jason Knight's Dojo and how does it relate to Assault?
Bulldog Blanski: Jason Knight's Dojo is part wrestling, part gym. We train guys & girls the right way to work, none of this fly by night shit where you come in and lay down $3,000 and get a diploma in 3 months. The thing is, with Jason you work when he thinks your ready to work, not when you think your ready.
Mike E. Milano: Jason Knight's Powerstation DOJO is located at 137 Tosun Road in Wolcott, CT. (firstname.lastname@example.org.) Everything is covered - in the ring, promos, conditioning and, with the gym part, it really is a one-stop shop to realize your dreams. All early talent came from the Dojo.
Bulldog Blanski: Ya' there was a long list.
Mike E. Milano: Avil Graves, Del Tsunami, Mercedes Martinez, Shabba White, Dylan Kage, and Jay Wood.
Bulldog Blanski: the Dojo was ACW's "home" before the Meridan Independent Club.
Mike E. Milano: Yes it was. Many an Assault TV was filmed there. There have been guest trainers like Balls Mahoney, Chris Hammrick, Kid Kash, Joel Gertner, Bob Backlund, & Mr. Fuji.
NEI: How important in Assault TV to the direction of the company?
Mike E. Milano: We are the only company in this country that puts the TV show online regularly for everyone to see. We have both dialup and high-speed versions and with a simple HTML code, it is syndicated to over, at last count 12 or so different web sites. It garners on average 2,000 views or more every week and it allows us to keep fans abreast of the goings on in the angles.
Bulldog Blanski: Mike, just for the record, how do we know that we get 2000 views on our TV?
Mike E. Milano: Oh simple. It's in the website logs. I can tell every time it's viewed, and where they came from, our site, another site, the newsletter, etc.
NEI: Any thoughts of making Assault TV take the jump from web to TV?
Bulldog Blanski: We are seen on TV too locally here in CT.
Mike E. Milano: We are currently on TV in Waterbury, every Saturday night at 10:30 PM on Ch 13. There are other stations that carry us as well, don't know them all off the top of my head. I truly believe that the TV is an integral part of our success to sum up that question.
NEI: How do you feel your bookings will affect the future of the company?
Bulldog Blanski: I think you will see a lot of new people in ACW, fresh faces! Plus Jason is always looking for new talent, willing to give someone a chance.
Bulldog Blanski: You see CT has been open ground here so there have been a lot of so called 'fly by night' promotions here in CT or there run by guys who know nothing about the biz, a.k.a. Snake Brody.
Mike E. Milano: Even in the 2 or 3 years I've been around, companies have come and gone, but the bastard child that all those guys talk trash about is still running and going into our third year.
Bulldog Blanski: Plus Jason will only use guys who are trained! The big reason why there is so called heat is that a lot of workers that get pushes in other promotions don't with us because Jason believes in applying dues and earning your push.
Mike E. Milano: It's like this. We, and I think I can speak for Bulldog, Jason, etc., have no heat with anyone! The proof is in the pudding so to speak. They all run and think they are the next big thing, then they fold and we still plug along!
NEI: How would you comment on the present environment of Independent Wrestling in your home base of CT?
Bulldog Blanski: Other than us, I think it sucks! Like Mike said, the proof is in the pudding.
Mike E. Milano: Well, it's been said here already. Allot of companies run a few shows, then fold. That's bad for the business in general. Makes us all look like shit!
Bulldog Blanski: The thing about us is that we are always learning and as long as Jason keeps willing to teach us, we will keep learning.
Mike E. Milano: Exactly...and many aren't willing to hear anything, or learn from anybody as well. You can never stop learning. That goes for life in general. Nobody has all the answers. I mean really, there is no competition for ACW right now we are the only ones that run regularly in this state (outside of Sheldon as of late).
NEI: Some might say that Assault is just another promotion trying to capitalize on former ECW talent and booking styles. How would you comment?
Mike E. Milano: Did we capitalize on allot of ECW ties when we began? Of course. It was still in the minds of the fans. Jason worked there, knew how it was booked, and we ran with it. I'd suggest that now, things are not being emulated by ACW. In fact, there is allot of people that emulate things ACW does. And let's be honest. As I said, Jason worked for ECW. Their is almost, I would say, an unalienable right to be able to do something similar. The former ECW guys we use are all regulars so it's a moot point.
NEI: Who are the cornerstones of Assault? Who in the company make it a successful operation from event to event?
Mike E. Milano: To me, the cornerstones of ACW are (in no particular order) behind the scenes, Jason & Sheri, Bulldog, Tanya Cornell, Big Kev', and add Del to that mix as well. In the ring, without question Dylan Kage, Ron Zombie, Mercedes Martinez, and Balls Mahoney when he can come in.
Bulldog Blanski: The other thing is that we all have a job to do at each show. I would also name Hammrick and Kash. I would have to say Joel Gertner too in the early days.
Mike E. Milano: In the beginning, absolutely! They helped make us. I'm sure I'm forgetting people, especially in the back that help out tremendously...there are so many.
NEI: Many promotions in New England share talent rosters but Assault seems to maintain an original locker room. How important is this and what makes your roster unique?
Mike E. Milano: I think our roster is unique in that many of the people involved show loyalty, and a belief in the vision for the future of the company. Even though that may change a bit here and there.
Bulldog Blanski: Don't get me wrong. There has been allot of workers that came threw our locker room and its a long list, but we also run a tight locker room. I'm always looking at new talent too. Mike and I get calls, e-mails everyday from workers looking to get in with us.
Mike E. Milano: An original locker room makes the product multidimensional in an area that is cluttered with many companies doing the same thing. The roster is unique in how they work together to bring forth a different product as well.
NEI: CT isn't far from the NY/NJ state line. Isn't that where the only good Independent Wrestling takes place according to many Wrestling media sources?
Bulldog Blanski: Who says? I'm sure there are 48 other states that say different!
Mike E. Milano: Not in my opinion, come to one of our shows. I think you'll be surprised that things actually make sense and lead to something unlike the plethora of things I see out there.
Bulldog Blanski: Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that CT is the only place for good wrestling. I've worked in NY before and I have seen some good wrestling and also some pretty shitty wrestling too.
Mike E. Milano: The La Familia name actually was born out of a Mercedes Martinez promo and for the record, ACW was doing a La Familia stable long before anyone else on the east coast. The angle has changed a bit from its original inception, I think for the better...why?..Cuz I got the company!
NEI: Who is the other promotion running "La Familia" now?
Mike E. Milano: From what I am told, another company in NJ is using the name, and the basic concept of it. If they need a dose of creativity they can drop me a line, I'd be glad to help. If they want a La Familia vs La Familia, again drop me a line. Anything can happen.
NEI: How did the Dave Vicious Memorial Cup show come about and is it something that ACW wants to make an annual super card?
Bulldog Blanski: That's somewhat of along story, do you know anything about Dave Vicious?
NEI: We had the pleasure of seeing him in the late 90's, a great worker and we wish he were still with us.
Bulldog Blanski: Dave was an indy worker who was close to Jason and Sheri. He was a good friend to them and a lot of other workers in New England. He died too early and so, to keep his spirit alive, we run the DDV cup every year. No doubt if he was still with us, he would be a major player in ACW.
NEI: Do you feel Assault's booking set you apart from other promotions in the region?
NEI: Amongst the CT players in recent times is the now defunct PWA that came and went quickly. They tired to create a draw with "names". How would you comment on their operations as well as other promotions in the CT area?
Bulldog Blanski: Let's face it. PWA was destined for doom from the start. As far as other promotions here in CT, the only one really is the NAWF.
Mike E. Milano: I can't comment on what they did day to day, or even their shows. But to me, it seemed like their blueprint for success was based on paying allot of bigger names to come in and pushing a guy to the top that wasn't ready.
Bulldog Blanski: Plus I think they had to many Indians and not enough Chiefs. The thing with us is that we push people who work hard.
Mike E. Milano: This company, more now than ever before, is about giving guys a chance to show what they can do, both in the ring and on the mic'. If you want the ball, and show us that you can do it, you'll get your chance.
Bulldog Blanski: We don't just put belts on workers because someone wants one. You earn your shot with us.
Mike E. Milano: One example is myself. For almost two years, all I did was commentate. Then I progressed to interviews. Then Jason gave me the opportunity to do what I do now. The best two in ring examples I can think of are one, Eddie Edwards. Eddie went through his share of quick matches, gauntlets, etc. Then he was given the ball to work with Julio Dinero, Dylan Kage, and then progressed to the Jr. Title run. A kid like him can be the future of this biz! The other is Jim Nastic, similar story. He did many a quick opening match, turned into a good guy, and now is one of the most popular performers on the roster.
Bulldog Blanski: I would also add Scotty and Ariel.
Bulldog Blanski: No way bro.
Mike E. Milano: Not at all. I think each one has a certain group of contenders some can be construed as stepping stones to the next in fact.
NEI: Recently moving into the CT area in the Boston based NECW. How will they fare in a region where Assault is established?
Mike E. Milano: NECW is a totally different animal than ACW, different fan base entirely. I wish them well.
NEI: How about names from Assaults past. How would you reflect on AC Coaltrain?
Mike E. Milano: Aaahhh AC, well I'll say this, A.C. was the first person I got to manage. Let's just say that following instructions was not his strong point!
NEI: What caused his departure from the roster?
Mike E. Milano: Difference in creative direction wouldn't you say BD?
Bulldog Blanski: He was too old school. Jason wanted him to be this one-man army type guy, you remember 911 from ECW?
Mike E. Milano: I do, I do!
Bulldog Blanski: But he wanted to do more but he couldn't really work a full match. Besides, he no showed a few times when we had big things planned for him. A.C. was the strongest guy I ever worked with in wrestling. He had tree trunks for legs, just past his prime that's all.
NEI: Kid Krazy?
Mike E. Milano: Kid Krazy? Bulldog?
Bulldog Blanski: Daddy O Mike.
Mike E. Milano: He worked for us once, never came back daddy-o! Please use that whole line I just typed.
NEI: Trinity H. Campbell?
Bulldog Blanski: THC, another one who thought that she was better then she really was! That's changed when Mercedes showed up.
Mike E. Milano: THC, I think her biggest problem was that criticism was not something she could take well.
NEI: At the most recent event, Dr. Heresy vs John Walters was booked for the #1 contendership of the Heavyweight title. A great regional match that featured to men that are not a regular part of the roster. Can fans expect to see more of this style booking?
Mike E. Milano: I would say yes. It's all about trying different things, using different ideas, and sometimes different people. We aren't out to reinvent the wheel, maybe just change the tires on the car sometimes.
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