"Psycho Mike Osbourne"
|Title History: NECW Heavyweight Title (2x), NCW New England Title, RPW Heavyweight Title|
Q&A with Michael Sain
NEI: Where did you get your start in Wrestling in New England and with whom did you train?
Sain: I've actually had quite a bit of diversity in training. I first started back in 2000 with Rampage Pro Wrestling's training facility way up in Bangor, ME. after I got out of high school. I lived right in Bangor, and the fact that a school was opening up right in my hometown, being a longtime fan, I decided to pursue it. I originally trained under one Legion "Freakin" Cage. He helped me to get my start, along with Rampage Pro, but after about 8 months of working in RPW, I decided to pursue other ventures, and that's when I hooked up with Chris Venom, Tim Kilgore & KL Murphy, and they brought me to practices with Matt Storm. I moved down to the southern New England area in an attempt to start training down here on a regular basis, as well as work on local independent level events. In June of 2002, I met up with "Brutal" Bob Evans at his new gym in Pawtucket, RI, Slamtech Wrestling University, and the rest is history. I've been there ever since, and if I was to give credit to anyone, it would be Bob, for helping me to get as far as I have. He was a huge influence for me, along with guys like Steve Bradley, whom I've had the honor and pleasure to work with as well as practice with on a few occasions. I learned a tremendous amount from him. Then there is other guys I have had the opportunity to learn things from by simply working with them; Alex Arion, Kevin Landry, Maverick Wild, the list goes on. You can never stop learning when you are working on a regular basis with guys like that, as well as sharing locker rooms with them. Somehow, everything has come together to work for me, and I am very grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way.
NEI: Psycho Mike is undoubtedly one of the top break out stars of 2004. How do you reflect on your role in regional promotions in the past year?
Sain: I was very happy to be used the way I was used this past year in every company I had the opportunity to work for. From NECW building me from the ground up into the guy to carry the company through the majority of 2004, to WFA using me as the monster heel to work with some of the top babyfaces like Alex Arion, Brian Fury, and Eddie Edwards, to NRG using me on a regular basis, and Ringside Wrestling giving me the opportunity to help get their operations off the ground. It's been a very good year, and I enjoyed being able to contribute to each company in a positive manner in the role each company had me in.
NEI: How did you come to work for ECWA in the last year and how do you reflect on working for a promotion of that size outside of New England?
Sain: That was something that actually got started when I first started working for WFA in 2003. Kevin Kelly, the former announcer and talent coordinator for WWF, had started doing the announcing for WFA's television project. He saw my work, and my gimmick, and liked the package. Down in ECWA, there was a manager with a gothic-like gimmick, Sebastian Night, whom they were trying to find a big guy to bring in for him to manage. Kevin saw me, and being part of ECWA in a talent coordinator type role, he pitched it to Jim Kettner to have me take that spot. I worked for ECWA for the first time in July of '03, and continued to work for about another 4-5 shows. I was brought in and put right into an angle with the Maxx brothers, Joey and Johnny. I basically squashed Joey, had a small match with Johnny at the next show, and then was put into a small program with another of their big guys, Xero. That lasted 2 shows, then that was the end of my tenure in ECWA. Through it, I became good friends with Kevin, and I am grateful for his help and vote of confidence in me to be able to fill that spot, as well as the rest of the awesome crew that comprises the ECWA. I enjoyed my time down there.
NEI: As the Wrestling Industry has evolved over the years gimmicks or characters have decreased dramatically. How do you like working as such a dramatic character as Psycho Mike?
Sain: I enjoy it. I was always told that the best way to figure out what is going to work best for you as a "gimmick" in wrestling, was to take a personality trait of your own, and multiply it by 100. I took a part of myself, and expanded it into the gimmick, and somehow, it seems to work for me. I think that working a true "gimmick" can make for a bit of a pleasant change from what wrestling has evolved into. Almost like it's a throwback to the early 90's and late 80's, which is when I was a huge fan of wrestling. I always liked the gimmicks, and especially this day in age, I think it makes for a nice change for the fans. Besides, you can only have so many "technical wrestling masters" or "bad asses" on a show! Heh!
Sain: Wow. Three tremendous talents in New England. It's really hard to pick out a favorite match, but a few matches definitely come to mind. Brian Fury and I had a "Last Man Standing" match in Laconia, NH. at the Elks Lodge for WFA (which is actually available on DVD through WFA's website). Brian and I really beat the living hell out of each other, and everyone in the Elks Lodge seemed to enjoy every second of it. Another match that comes to mind is when Frankie won the NECW Heavyweight Title from me in July. Frankie worked his tail off in that one, and everything has turned out extremely well for him after that. He definitely deserves all the positive press he is getting these days! Then of course, I can't forget the match with Maverick in April when I first captured the NECW title. Maverick is truly one of the top talents in New England and a great guy on top of it. I had a great time with him, and I really hope to get the opportunity to work with him again somewhere down the line.
NEI: How do you view the relationship between Psycho Mike and manager Alex Crowley? Do you think it is well received by fans?
Sain: I think that it's a very good combination, to be honest. Alex was first put together with me back in the end of 2003, and right away it was a good fit. We work very well together, and thankfully on my part, he is VERY good at the talking aspect of it. His promos that appear on the video screen at NECW events, along with the internet TV, and pretty much anywhere he has the chance to perform are excellent. Not to mention, he was extremely helpful in getting the name change over! I am very happy with the pairing, and it seems to work. We work off of each other and somehow it clicks. The fans seem to buy it and that's how you can tell that it is working. I am very happy to get the opportunity to work with Alex on a regular basis.
NEI: Who do you credit as you influences, both as a kid and your role models regionally?
NEI: I have always had a problem with character wrestlers who are bad asses, thugs, or in your case, psychopaths playing the babyface role. It seems like a deviation from the natural character. How do you feel about the challenge of transitioning to a babyface and do you think it can be received well by fans?
Sain: It's definitely a tough thing to do. Like I said before however, I think in order to really make something work, you have to take a part of yourself, and multiply it by 100. Whether it is in my usual "heel" persona, or "babyface" persona, it's hard to pull off unless you can really believe what it is you are doing. If you don't believe what it is you are doing, then no one watching you will believe it either. As for the transition to working as a babyface, it's definitely hard considering I am used primarily as a heel in most companies. As for being received well by the fans, I think it has come off alright thus far where it has been done, and I am definitely gaining more and more experience as the guy the people get behind with every show I am on in that role.
NEI: Is there anyone regionally that you would like to work with that you haven't yet had the opportunity to?
Sain: Sure there is. I would like the opportunity to tie up with Maverick Wild once again. I have had the chance to tag with Steve Bradley, but I have yet to be involved in a match with him, which is something I would like to do. I always liked working with Todd Hanson (or Handsome Johnny, I believe is what he is using now). Paul Lombardi is another name that comes to mind, as someone I have yet the opportunity to work with. About a year and change ago, NECW started a small program between myself and Ron Zombie, and unfortunately that match never came about. I would add him to that list of people I would like the opportunity to work with. I would like to work with Scott Ashworth as well. There are others I could think of, but those stick out in my mind.
NEI: What are your long-term goals in Wrestling and what keeps you motivated at the local level?
Sain: I am undecided right now as to where I want to go in the wrestling business. I want to continue to contribute to the business both on a regional aspect as well as a national aspect, if possible. I enjoy taking the trip out to HWA in Ohio, so that's definitely on the list of things to do (or continue doing). Other than that, just keep learning as much as I can, and when the opportunity arises for me to get my name out with some press, then do so. My main motivation is to continually try to improve so that way if things DON'T work out so that I am making a full time living from this, that I will have contributed in a positive manner enough to actually be remembered in some capacity.
NEI: Psycho Mike is stated to be from the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Are there any cool Hollywood-esque Asylums in the CT area?
Sain: Well the CMHC is an actual place in New Haven, CT. I don't know if you have ever been to New Haven, but it is a scary place. There are parts of it that are nice, but for the most part, New Haven is quite the scary place. Alot of bad neighborhoods, alot of crime, alot of crazy people, etc. I wouldn't say that there is a "Hollywood-esque" Asylum there, but it's definitely a freaky place to be. Oh, as for the reason I claim New Haven.... that's where I was born.
The Final Word
|In an ever-evolving sport Wrestling has changed
from an era of larger than life characters to the modern era of super athletes. In this
current state it is always refreshing to see a man continue the wrestling tradition of
characterizing himself, and more importantly doing it well. Michael Sain has been a
mainstay in New England Wrestling for several years working virtually every corner of the
region from Bangor, ME to Boston, MA, to the Loomis Arena in CT. Sain has advanced over
the years, like any wrestlers career naturally does, to become more confident, more
powerful, and more dangerous to his opponents. In 2004 he established himself as the
premiere big man in the region. His physical dominance earned him main event matches with
fan favorite Brian Fury in the WFA and later he captured the NECW Heavyweight Title twice
this year with victories over Maverick Wild and Frankie Arion.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED