Since the beginning of October, IMPACT former 2-time Grand Champion has been in the U.K., working for Lucha Forever, IPW, ICW and Rev Pro. He even became IPW:UK World Champion by defeating Jonny Storm. For him, it’s important, first because he loves to wrestle in the UK, and second to improve in order to be even more successful: “I’m doing my best, going all around the world and wrestling some of the best athletes around the world, just to try to hone my skills.” During a recent media conference call, Moose also came back on his transition from football to wrestling, Bound for Glory and his feud with Bobby Lashley and his path into IMPACT Wrestling.
Moose spent most of October in United Kingdom wrestling for different companies. Not only does he loves the place, but the crowd and wrestlers are important to him. “British crowds are awesome. They get very into every match. Some people take it as they’re trying to get themselves over but I take it as them being into what we do. It’s always special wrestling in front of a British crowd.” He can definitely see British wrestlers as potential IMPACT wrestlers. “I just had a match with Joe Coffey and it was phenomenal. He’s a phenomenal talent, good on the mic, outstanding in the ring and there’s more guys out there that are pretty good like Ryan Smile, Chris Brooks and Travis Banks. I do know that at some point, IMPACT will be coming to do some shows in the UK. I don’t know what the dates are or when but I definitely think those are guys that IMPACT should think about bringing in.”
Last June he offered a tremendous performance against Jordan Devlin at OTT Outer Space Odyssey III. A match he quotes as one of his favourites. “(Devlin and I) both agreed that match was one of our favourite matches to this day. Not to talk about other companies but one of my favourite matches in wrestling history was The Rock vs. Hogan at WrestleMania X8. It was my favourite match because during the match Hogan went from a heel to a babyface mid-match and I kind of feel that match was me and Jordan Devlin in Dublin. We did the same exact thing when Jordan went from being a heel and hated by the crowd to midway in the match being loved by them. Just because of that moment in the match where he went from a full-blown heel to a pitch-high babyface, I feel like we created something, one of our best moments in wrestling history.”
From football to wrestling
When I asked Moose about his huge popularity as he’s been with IMPACT for only a year and half, he’s happy but not surprised. “It was surreal for me but it was expected. This is something I’ve been working on for a very long time, even when I was playing football. I’ve always known how to connect with the fans, with whatever crowd I was in. I guess it’s something that I’ve had. I guess it’s a talent that I’ve had for a while now, from my football days. To go out there, no matter how big the crowd is, to have all these fans chanting your name, with an investment in what you do, it’s a surreal experience and I guess I’m blessed for it to be happening.” Moose had been a NFL football player for more than 6 years, before his love of wrestling took over the adrenaline rush of football fields 5 years ago, started training and coming to ROH and them IMPACT.
Many footballers, boxers, even NASCAR drivers tried before him and not all of them were successful. Moose praises IMPACT for his success. “(Football and wrestling are) 2 different things you can’t really compare. I think it all leads to going into pro wrestling is because you’re an athlete so it maybe helps with the transition. But it’s two different disciplines, it’s two different skill needed to do both. You can’t take a wrestler and throw him on a football field and say that he’ll succeed. There’s been a lot of football players that have tried out to be wrestlers and fail. It’s just the handful that succeed that made people think that “Oh, it’s easy coming in.” It’s two different disciplines. I feel like Impact is definitely doing a great job. Crossing over, it’s always great to get fans from different sports to come in your sport to see what we do.” At Slammiversary, Moose teamed up with DeAngelo Williams, another former NFL player, and the duo did very well. Moose is expecting to see him back in a ring soon as the two became very good friends.
A very MMA Bound for Glory
Currently, Moose is in full war with Bobby Lashley and MMA American Top Team (ATT). He found an ally in Stephan Bonnar, a former MMA fighter currently transitioning to wrestling. “Stephan Bonnar is awesome. He’s a real cool guy. Awesome to work with and he actually showed me some stuff which I’m sure you guys will see in the next couple of weeks with some of the training we did together.” Together they vandalized ATT’s training facility to show Bobby Lashley and his friends they were not afraid. Even if the match has not been announced yet, a Lashley-Moose confrontation is set to take place at Bound for Glory and Moose is looking forward to this moment. “Whatever my match is going to be at Bound for Glory, I know it’s going to be awesome. I know the fans (in Canada) are going to have a great time and I know I’m going to have a great time. Bound for Glory is one of the biggest pay-per-view of the year for our company so I’m looking to put on the best show that I can. I’m looking forward to rocking the house and rocking the fans.”
Moose and Bobby Lashley has been an unfinished business since Moose made his debut in the company. When asked about he would love to headline Bound for Glory with, Lashley’s name is coming again. “I could see myself headlining against Bobby Lashley, I think Bobby is a fight that always kind of happens. Someone actually tweeted this to me, I thought it was very true, me and Bobby are destined to fight forever. So I would love to headline Bound for Glory against him or it could be EC3, could be Eddie Edwards. We have a roster filled with great talent and I’m sure I could pull out a match of the year candidate with anyone on the roster.”
Becoming the Global Championship
As a 2-time IMPACT Grand Champion, Moose kind of grew up with this title and his unique format of match. “It kind of switches up the whole game. It puts more of a boxing/MMA aspect to the match. I think it’s something different and as you know in wrestling, everything different is always good.” But even if EC3 is now the Grand Champ and Moose was kind of screwed out of the belt, his views are now higher. ” I would like to maybe throw my name in the hat to go after the IMPACT Global Championship. I think it’s long overdue and I’m definitely ready to hold that title. I get tweets and messages from fans all the time that I should be the IMPACT Global Champion. I would love to get my hands on whoever wins that match up in the main event of Bound for Glory.”
For the moment, Eli Drake is the Global Champ and Johnny Impact is the #1 contender. Two men he truly respects. “I have nothing bad to say about Eli Drake. Nothing bad at all. I think he deserves everything he’s getting. Eli Drake is one of the guys who needed the bright lights to show the world that he could be a top guy in this business. Johnny Impact, I think that’s the funniest name ever on professional wrestling history. Johnny is a good friend of mine and I’m happy he’s on board with Impact Wrestling I can’t wait to see where his career goes from here and I can’t wait to see him versus Eli Drake at Bound for Glory.”
Whoever is set to come on his way, Moose is ready for him. Whether it’s Lashley, EC3, Eli Drake, Johnny Impact or one of the new AAA wrestlers IMPACT recently welcomed, as long as he holds the Global Championship around his waist, Moose wants to prove them he’s not only a powerhouse, but a total package, mixing all styles up for the best.