|ACW (Atlas Championship Wrestling - ME), ACW
(Assault Championship Wrestling - CT), WoHW (World of Hurt Wrestling - NY), JWA Wrestling
Alliance (NJ), WWA New England (World Wrestling Alliance - MA), EWF (Elite Wrestling
Federation - TX), Madmar Entertainment (PA), UWF (United Wrestling Federation - MA), PCCW
(Paper City Championship Wrestling - MA), NAWF (New Age Wrestling Federation - CT), MWA
(Millenium Wrestling Association - CT, RI), BCW (Boxing Connection Wrestling - NY), NYSWF
(New York State Wrestling Federation - NY), NAWA (North American Wrestling Association -
NY), ECPW (East Coast Pro Wrestling - NJ, CT), APW (Acid Pro Wrestling - CT), YPW (Yankee
Pro Wrestling - MA, RI), SCCW (South Coast Championship Wrestling - MA, CT), BANG
Wrestling (FL), NWA Tri-State (PA), IWC (International Wrestling Cartel - PA), NHW (New
Horizons Wrestling - ME), WFA (Wrestling Federation of America - New Hampshire), JAPW
(Jersey All Pro Wrestling: New Jersey), ASWA (All Star Wrestling Association - ME)
Title History: EWA Tag Team Champion, NEW Intercontinental Champion, NEW Tag Team Champion, NEPW Tag Team Champion, ASWA Heavyweight Champion
Q&A with Johnny Heartbreaker
NEI: What was your motivation to get into Professional Wrestling?
JHB: I was a HUGE fan as a kid. I went to every event I could, every autograph session I could, got all the magazines, and all that stuff. It was when Shawn Michaels was doing his WrestleMania 12 boyhood dream gimmick, that lit a spark in me and since I loved wrestling so much, actually doing it was the next progressive step. I actually used to take pictures for various wrestling magazines and get them printed regularly before I began my actual training.
NEI: How did you first seek training and where did you go?
JHB: I began training with "Hippie Freak" Nick Barberi then when he shut down his promotion, MWA, I continued by training with Kevin Landry. This took place in Springfield, Massachusetts. See my answer to question 3 for the rest of that story.
NEI: As a New England Wrestler, many fans might not know that you are actually from and reside in NY state. How did you come to be more of a regular in the New England region than the highly recognized NY/NJ region?
JHB: I went to college at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, which was only about 45 minutes from my home in New York. It was there in my school gym where I saw Alex Roma working out, cousin of Paul Roma. Once I found out he was a wrestler, I told him I wanted to get into it. He was real cool about everything and offered to take me up to the ring in Springfield, MA, which was where I met Nick Barberi. It is because I got my training up in Massachusetts that I became more of a regular because I got to know many of the New England workers and promoters. Although I have done and am doing more shows in the New York, New Jersey area as of late.
NEI: Great teammates often make great rivals and vice versa. How do you reflect on your matches with and against long time friend, partner, and often times rival Antonio Thomas?
NEI: In late 2003 the EWA (Eastern Wrestling Alliance) moved from its home base of Portland, ME to Western MA and fans saw the departure of long time commissioner Alexander Worthington III, which set you up to fill his shoes. How do you look back on this angle and your role as the EWA Commissioner?
JHB: At first I didn't think much of it, and just like many others, I thought Worthington would be back in a few months. It was a good experience because being the Commissioner is a lot bigger responsibility. I knew I would be having to do live promos every month, and be involved in some type of angles and/or vignettes. Before I became commish, I had never done a promo before. I was one of those people who had a hard time in school doing speeches and presentations in front of the class. Looking back, this was an excellent learning experience and good practice forum. I had a blast and a lot of fun, and am grateful to be given the opportunity.
NEI: After suffering a nagging shoulder injury in early 2003 you spent nearly a years time out of the ring. How did you feel facing a possible career ending injury?
JHB: There is nothing worse than not being able to do something you desperately want to do so bad. It was a tough and challenging time. However, the true measure of a man is when he is faced with an obstacle and challenge. You have two choices, and I'll compare it to when a dog gets hurt. It can roll over and die, or it can jump out and bite ya. When something like that happens, its easy to roll over and die, but it comes down to how bad you want it and what are you willing to do get it. Not too many people know this but I moved for 5 months to Birmingham, Alabama to get my operation done by world renown surgeon Dr. James Andrews, and do physical therapy with his top physician. I figured if I'm going to do this, I might as well go to the absolute best. I did physical therapy 6 days a week, twice a day, 9 hours per day, and that's legit. I'm not saying this to try to put myself over, but I doubt a lot of guys could have gone through what I've gone through, and come back. But not only come back, but return at a higher level and in better shape then I was before, and I'm extremely proud of that. I refused to let this injury stop me, and I'd like to think this is all behind me now. Guys get hurt all the time, and have long careers after these injuries.
NEI: You have recently made the announcement that you are going to be moving to OVW to work as part of their developmental program. Leaving the New England Wrestling is there anyone you wish you had the opportunity to Wrestle that you have not?
JHB: I pretty much worked with everyone in New England that I wanted to, at least once in one form or another, whether it be practice or actual shows. The only thing I would have liked to do is work with all of them more. But I'm pretty satisfied with who I've gotten to work, and I want to thank every single one of them for making me better, for teaching me, and helping me, and most importantly, putting up with me (laughing).
NEI: Still out of action rehabbing an injury in June of 2003 you acted as the Color Commentator for the first ever New England Independent Invitational Tournament. Was it a difficult transition to go from an in ring athlete to a commentator?
NEI: What is your favorite moment in wrestling thus far?
JHB: Hmmm, I don't know if I can point out just one. Being a druid at WrestleMania 20 was pretty amazing, as was doing the Cosmopolitan shoot with Stacy Keibler. I would also consider one of my favorite moments was when I had the opportunity to wrestle in front of my hometown college crowd, one month before I graduated, in front of all my friends and family, and look each one of them in eye and tell them, "I told you so, I told you I'd do it." For all those people who thought I was joking around, or wasn't going to take it seriously, or wasn't going through with it, or telling me I had no chance.... That was an awesome feeling!
The Final Word
|The wrestling industry is often times as diverse
as the athletes it is made up of. Amongst that diversity it is rare to find an individual
who possesses all of the qualities that make up a true star in the business, charisma,
physical presence, and talent. Johnny Heartbreaker is one of those rare individuals.
Overcoming a career threatening injury Heartbreaker has fought his way back to
re-establish himself as one of the top talents in the Northeast. As the EWA's (Eastern
Wrestling Alliance) Commissioner Heartbreaker returned to action with his long term
partner, and sometimes nemesis, Antonio Thomas to run wild over the promotion. As a
dominant team they quickly won the EWA Tag Team Titles and became engrossed in feuds with
"Clinically Inclined" (Dr. Heresy & Andre Lyonz) and Heavyweight Champion
Cueball. Committed to becoming the biggest star that he can Heartbreaker has recently left
the New England region and moved to OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) where he trains with the
WWE developmental promotion.
Photo Credits: http://www.johnnyheartbreaker.com
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED