|Legion "Freakin" Cage|
|Title History: NWH Heavyweight Championship (two times), NWH Maine State Championship (two times), NWH Tag Team Championship, RPW Cruiserweight Championship (two times), MainStream Wrestling Atlantic Canadian Championship, MainStream Wrestling Jr. Heavyweight Championship, SAW Television Championship, SAW Cruiserweight Championship, ICW North American Cruiserweight Championship, SPW Tag Team Championship, BEW Tag Team Championship|
Q&A with Legion "Freakin" Cage
NEI: When did you first get into Wrestling with whom did you train?
Cage: I began my training in the summer of 1999, at the SECW training school in Orlando, Florida. It was definitely a good experience, though all I really did there was get my ass kicked and do a lot of squats in the hot sun. It took a long time to learn anything, as you couldn't really advance any farther than you had paid, which I guess isn't a bad thing. Before long, my car died, and I couldn't make the three hour round-trip drive from Tampa to Orlando anymore, so I packed my bags and moved to Gulf Breeze, Florida, to train at Skullkrushers, run by "Exotic" Adrian Street. I didn't get into the swing of things and start working full-time until 2001 though.
NEI: What motivated you to get into such an unusual industry as Pro Wrestling?
Cage: I just fell in love with the sport when I was eight, and decided that I wanted to do it about a week after first seeing a pro wrestling show on television. I just knew that I had to do it, and that I would live with regret until the day I died if I didn't at least give it a try.
NEI: What are your favorite memories from being a fan and those since becoming a pro wrestler?
Cage: Some of my favorite memories as a fan involved getting up at 9 A.M. on Saturday mornings to watch WCW Power Hour hosted by Jim Ross. Also, watching Mario Savoldi's International Championship Wrestling late Saturday nights with my dad (and my mother, if she could stay awake that long) was always special to me. As a pro wrestler, some of my fondest memories include my first tour in Canada for MainStream Wrestling, wrestling at the 2003 Maritime Cup in Halifax, debuting for the EWA late last year, my recent swing through Tennessee, and my feud with "Boston Bad Boy" Jason Rumble. Finally, if I may indulge, one of my fondest wrestling memories took place on one of the worst days of my life. It was earlier this year, during UMaine finals week. I work a part-time job each morning at 4 A.M., which means getting up at 3:30. I had to wrestle for NWH that Friday, and thanks to countless hours of late night studying, getting up early for work, and making sure I still got my workouts in, I was in a state of extreme sleep deprivation when Friday came around. I had put myself under tremendous stress to perform well on my finals, and was scared to death what my grades might end up looking like. I also hadn't eaten well the last couple of days, and my bodyweight was down a tad. Finally, Thursday night, to make matters worse, I got into a huge fight with my girlfriend at the time. She was talking about leaving me because my plan in life didn't suit her or something equally stupid. Maybe she was still pissed from that day she came home early and found me in bed with David Bowie and Mick Jagger. Heck, I can't remember. Point is, I drove to the show in the worst mood of my life, nearly dozing off at the wheel more than once. I walked into the building and told Ora Spratt, one of the NWH owners, "I just can't do this anymore. I quit wrestling. I'm done." His response was, "Just shut up and wrestle your match. Oh, by the way, tonight's show and next month's show in this building are completely resting on your shoulders, so don't f*** up." Luckily, I had the good fortune to be put in the ring with "Hott Stuff" Paul Hudson, and he carried me through the whole match. I wrestled my heart out that night, and Paul and I had what was, by my standards, one hell of a wrestling match. It had to be one of my top two or three matches this year. I don't think I ever told Paul this, but that match remains one of my proudest moments. Luckily, I didn't have to cut a promo during the show, because watching a short bald guy have a nervous breakdown before collapsing into the fetal position and crying in the middle of the ring doesn't make for compelling entertainment. The point of my story isn't that I'm some sort of hero because I wrestled an okay match on no sleep. Any Indy pro wrestler worth his weight in cookie dough has been through circumstances just as trying, or more so. My point is simply that Indy wrestling is so thankless, and hardly anyone outside of the ring gives you any respect for doing it. And it sucks when you give so much of yourself, work so hard at something, and receive hardly any recognition for it. If Indy wrestlers didn't get to feel that sense of pride after a job well done, we'd never continue to do this stuff.
NEI: Who were you wrestling role models on TV growing up as a kid, and who were they regionally once you began training and working regularly?
NEI: Throughout your career, you have been primarily based in the state of Maine. How have you see Pro Wrestling evolve since you're beginning in this part of New England, from Rampage and NWH (New Wrestling Horizons), to EWA and their departure from the state?
Cage: At the risk of sounding like a shill, working for New Wrestling Horizons has been terrific. They run between 8 and 10 shows every month, all on a shoestring budget under the watchful eye of the fascist establishment known as the Maine State Athletic Commission. People have no idea how difficult it really is to run a full-time schedule in Maine, due to the Commission, the weather, and the long hours of travel required to promote up and down New England's largest state. But NWH does it, and gets very, very little recognition or Internet buzz from any New England Indy wrestling "experts." Personally, I know that I've done a ton of stuff I'm really proud of with NWH, but no one outside of the company knows about it! I've wrestled matches with guys like Jason Rumble, Paul Hudson, Cameron Matthews, and HardWare that I feel, due to sound psychology, crowd interaction, and hot action, would hold up anywhere. Don't get me wrong, groups like the EWA and Chaotic deserve the good reputations that they have, and there are many other great groups in New England. It's just that there's a lot of good wrestling that no one knows about taking place in the area, and NWH puts out a lot of it. NWH has guys like Sonny Roselli turning themselves into very good all-around workers. HardWare has got to be one of the most improved wrestlers of the last couple of years. NWH gave Osirus the forum to cut his teeth and come into his own. Heck, NWH even has Larry Huntley mooning the crowd! How can you not love that? And NWH has had a steady rotation of some of New England's best workers stopping by in the past year, such as Dr. Heresy, Johnny Heartbreaker, Antonio Thomas, and many others. They've brought in Gangrel, Chris Hamrick, and Honky Tonk Man. Now, as for the rest of Maine, you've got Atlas Championship Wrestling, which admittedly I know little about. There were a few promotions, like AAW and Paul Adams' MEW, that didn't last too long, for various reasons. I really didn't know much about EWA during their last days in Maine, and only made my debut with them once they had moved shop to Massachusetts, so I really can't give you my opinion on their time spent in the state. But as for how Indy wrestling has evolved in Maine, and will continue to evolve, I truly feel NWH will be around for a while. NWH owners Nick Santone and Ora Spratt absolutely bust their asses to keep things rolling. Yes, quite obviously I'm biased because NWH is my "home," but I'm also somewhat certain that I'm right.
NEI: You have been one of the core members of the NWH wrestling roster and have been on numerous of their Tuesday night cards held in Buxton, ME on a weekly basis. How well received do you feel Tuesday night wrestling in a small rural town has been received and how do you reflect on it now that they have run consistently for over a year?
NEI: You have had the opportunity to travel and Wrestle into the Canadian Maritimes of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Do you see much of a difference in the fan base in that region from those in the U.S.?
Cage: Sure. By and large, fans up that way seem to respect pro wrestling a bit more. When you tell someone you're a wrestler, Canadian Maritimers treat you with far more respect than if you say the same thing to a New Englander. The business just isn't laughed at as much up there. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of disrespectful, smart-markish wrestling fans up that way. In fact, the single most disrespectful wrestling crowd I've ever wrestled in front of was in Nova Scotia, so I guess I really have no business making generalizations. As for Canadian fans that don't consider themselves "smart" to the business, one of the few times I've ever actually feared for my life was in front of a super-hostile, super-Patriotic crowd, also in Nova Scotia. They hated me to begin with, and the heat became downright frightening after I used the Canadian flag as butt floss before throwing it down and promptly humping it. Seriously, I do not recommend trying that! Leaving the ring, I couldn't help but think of accounts I had read by Bobby Eaton about wrestling in front of marks deep in Louisiana, and how afraid he was to walk back to the dressing room. It had that sort of feel. My one time in Caraquet, New Brunswick, I wrestled in front of a jam-packed audience of several hundred fans. Lemme' tell ya', you haven't lived until you've been called a "Fag-et!" by hundreds of French Canadians. Now that's a good time!
NEI: Many regional fans might not know that some of the best matches in New England in the last few years were contests in central and northern Maine between you and a young wrestler named Matt Lindsay. How do you reflect on these matches and where is Matt Lindsay today?
Cage: Thanks for the compliment. To be honest, I really don't reflect on those matches that much, as they mostly took place a long time ago, when I was a really, really bad worker. Okay, so I'm not that good now, either, but back then I was a train wreck as far as working ability went. As for Lindsay, he's no longer involved in the pro wrestling business, but is doing great for himself. He's now a high school teacher in northern Maine, has a great girlfriend, and enjoys the respect of nearly all those around him.
NEI: You had what many referred to as the "misfortune" of working for MEW (Maine Event Wrestling) and promoter Paul Adams. How do you look back on this experience?
Cage: I've gotta' be totally honest, for me it wasn't a misfortune at all. I had a ton of fun working for MEW. Teaming up with Reckless Youth was a ball, I got paid pretty well, and I got to work in front of some really nice crowds. I also got to meet a lot of guys that I had never met before, and many of these contacts led to some good bookings. I'm not defending MEW, or Adams, or anything like that. But it was fun for me, as I entered with no expectations whatsoever. When the promotion tanked, and Adams was no longer running, I wasn't owed money like other guys on the roster, and I had really lost nothing at all.
NEI: What are your remaining goals in Wrestling?
Cage: Continue to get better, make better money, travel more, have fun, and stay free of serious injuries.
Cage: No other athletics, really, unless you count my work in the gym. My life is pretty simple. I work out, wrestle, watch the Red Sox, hang out with my girlfriend, and go to school. That's pretty much it. Sorry dude, I'm friggin' boring.
NEI: For a wrestler of your size you tend to work a more traditional grappling style, that of a shooter. How do you think this is received by fans who expect smaller Wrestlers to all run and jump like luchadores?
Cage: Fortunately, I've been disappointing fans for almost four years, now, so they've come to expect very little from me! I think my inability to flip, flop, and fly does me some good every now and then. Like you said, fans unfamiliar with me immediately expect me to perform countless highspots, and when I don't, it's kind of refreshing. I'm not knocking high-flyers whatsoever, or saying my style of wrestling is better, because it isn't. Athletically, I'm not even in the same league as those guys, and I wish I could do a lot of what they do. It's just that after awhile, constant high-flying can get a bit mind-numbing, and the moves begin to lose their impact.
NEI: Out of all of New England do you feel that the State of Maine is a viable region that has the potential of drawing large crowds?
Cage: Absolutely, yes. There are a ton of towns to draw from in northern Maine, and innumerable wrestling fans all over the state. The Maine State Athletic Commission is a giant pain in the ass, of course, and I think promoters need better advertising practices. But there is definitely money to be made in the state, in my opinion.
NEI: In your own words, who is Legion "Freakin'" Cage?
Cage: A mediocre worker with a mediocre body that cuts mediocre promos while having the time of his life.
NEI: How many times have you been asked if you were Mr. Clean for Halloween (laughing)?
Cage: Good lord, if I had a nickel for every time a fan has called me "Mr. Clean" or "Mini Me," I would own my own million-dollar wrestling company, and all my employees would have full health insurance! Those insults used to really annoy me, until I finally got over myself and realized, "Hey, I'm actually getting heat from a crowd, don't knock it!" Nowadays, I'm completely desensitized to nearly anything that fans yell at me. I've learned to not let things get under my skin ever since a fan in Canada shouted at me, "You guys got what you deserved on September 11!"
The Final Word
|One of the top young prospects in the New
England region, yet to get his due notice, is the Maine native and Indy wrestling mainstay
Legion Cage. A man who's in ring action is as unconventional and unorthodox as the
character himself; Cruiserweight in size working a shooter style match. Working the region
for several years, Cage has been easy to miss as he has remained isolated to the Maine,
northern VT, and Canadian Maritime circuits. For those who have seen this young star, they
will certainly remember his charismatic promos, fast paced breaking down of his opponents,
and his cocky intelligent taunts to the crowd. Cage feuded through out the state of Maine
early in his career with then regional prospect Matt Lindsey. This little talked about
feud featured some of the best in ring action, both on the mat and in the air, that the
State of Maine has see in recent years. Coming out on top of that feud, a more mature Cage
has recently feuded throughout both the New Wrestling Horizons (NWH) and NWA-NE promotions
with "Boston Bad Boy" Jason Rumble. A feud that has featured two of the most
unrecognized talents in the region and contests where the line between victor and defeated
grows increasingly thin.
Photos Courtesy of: Legion Cage (http://www.geocities.com/legionfreakincage2002)
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