Welcome back wrestling fans to another stupendous interview here on Kayfabe Kickout. For this interview I had the pleasure to speak with former TCW International Heavyweight Champion "Mr. Saturday Night" Michael Barry. MSN has been in the wrestling business for over a decade and has competed for many promotions in his short career such as; The NWA, TCW, AAA, Metro Pro Wrestling and many more.
MSN has made a home for TCW (Traditional Championship Wrestling), which is based out of Russellville, Arkansas, and is headed by former WWE Head of Creative Jamie Morris. In the short time MSN has competed for TCW he has made waves, winning the TCW International Heavyweight Championship on several occasions.
I spoke with Michael on who his toughest opponent was thus far in his career, wrestling for the NWA, stepping in the ring with Blue Demon Jr. and more.
Richard: For wrestling fans who may not be aware with your career in professional wrestling, can you give us an update on the busy schedule of "Mr. Saturday Night" Michael Barry?
Michael: What wrestling fans aren't aware of me? Your funny! Am I not the complete center of the wrestling universe?…Kidding, man i wish i could buy into my hype that much. To answer your question though, the company I mainly work for is Traditional Championship Wrestling (TCW) based in Arkansas. The thing is when you work for a really good wrestling company and YOU are smart then you will stay busy with a lot of promotional stuff for the company. We just signed with Cox Sports Television and other affiliates so when i am not doing shows for TCW I try and round up a personal minimum of 2-3 appearances or interview during the week and travel on the weekends. This opens up a whole other world though for other bookings so on off weekends I try and catch shows near or wherever to stay fresh and keep the ring rust off. The simple answer, if your smart and business savvy there NEVER is a day off. There is always something to promote or some way to get your name out there. One more person reached is a potential new viewer or "Mr. Saturday Night" Fan.
Richard: On several occasions you've wrestled for the NWA, can you share your thoughts on what it was like to wrestle for a promotion as prestigious as the National Wrestling Alliance?
Michael: Wow, this will get me heat but anyone who is truly honest with themselves and has worked with several NWA promotions know that most people that run an NWA affiliate should NEVER, EVER have the word "prestigious" associated with them…obviously there are exclusions to the rule and I had a lot of fun and was able to network with some great people but for the most part…(insert farting noise here)
Richard: You've made quite a name for yourself wrestling for TCW (Traditional Championship Wrestling) Can you comment on what it's like wrestling for TCW?
Michael: It's work, it's not playtime, it's not weekend warrior, show up at the local armory in Podunk, where ever and "Play" wrestler. The core group has done enough of that over the years and have had enough. So when we show up we are ready to get the job done and put on something truly spectacular. Those that don't have the same work ethic or desire to be the best in the world and bring back W-R-E-S-T-L-I-N-G, then hit the door. A lot of guys have and some know that this just isn't for them. Either we are going to change the world or go down in a blaze of glory. Either way it is going to be one hell of a ride and definitely worth all the effort.
Richard: Many wrestling fans have commented positively on TCW's high quality production values, do you think it's important for any promotion to have good production value in addition to a strong roster and great matches?
Michael: It is of the utmost importance. When you watch a movie that is low quality, no matter how good the story you will notice things that break the fourth wall. To me its the same as watching a sitcom and seeing a boom mike in the shot if you go to a show and the ring announcer running music, hitting the bell and a thousand other jobs. A video camera from 1980 filming the damn thing and rope as guard rails. Top that in the fact that the setting is an armory or a barn and it aesthetically is a train wreck. Fans today are spoiled by the high quality, HD, 108i world that WWE has produced. So when a fan comes to an Indy show and they get what they get most day now, it is no wonder wrestling today is hemorrhaging fans. We want fans to come and experience something special, a moment they will remember and tell their friends about and we strive to provide that from top to bottom. A goal is to try and create no distraction from that moment the fans are having. We take great pride in that and will continue to do so.
Richard: In 2008 you stepped in the ring with Blue Demon Jr. the adopted son of the legendary Mexican Wrestler Blue Demon, what was it like to wrestle Demon Jr. and was it a transition for you to wrestle someone who has a different mat style than yours?
Michael: Que? Kidding. That was certainly an adventure. Blue Demon is such the consummate professional that he shows up to the building in a mask, never takes it off. Right before ring time he puts on his show mask and never speaks a word of English to me the entire time. Which is such a work, but I went along with it. Most wrestling moves are the same in any language so i just listened and had a pretty good match.
Richard: How did you get your start in professional wrestling?
Michael: I was always a fan, a HUGE fan. I decided this was something i had to do. So at college i got on the internet in one of the labs in between classes and did some homework. I discovered a guy who agreed to train me so i got started in a storage building in 105 degree weather. Fast forward to the point where i think i know it all. I mean everything about everything in wrestling, then i met and worked out with one of former NWA Champion Sonny Myers (God rest his soul) and learned quickly that i didn't know f*$#@-all. So i knew what i had to do. It was back to the drawing board with Sonny having us bump on concrete for for six weeks in a shoddy ring. The rest is history.
Richard: Who was the number one pro wrestler who inspired you to get into the business, if you had one that is?
Michael: I feel so cliche about saying Flair…but, Ric Flair. The pageantry, the feather robes, the limos the women, it was the one man traveling show to me and i knew that's what i wanted to be.
Richard: Who was your toughest opponent thus far in your career?
Michael: Father time, When i was 20 I thought i was invincible, no bump i wouldn't take, nothing i wouldn't do. In fact i looked down at others for wanting to wrestle smarter and considered them "lazy". Man, O' man I wish 30 year old me could go back and smack the taste right out of my mouth. But hindsight is 20/20. As far as actual opponents, i couldn't just pick one.
Richard: You've had several title reigns in TCW, do you think you will vie for the TCW Heavyweight Championship in the future?
Michael: Your damn right. It's only a matter of time. I believe in myself and i will continue to work hard to achieve that goal. In fact anyone in the TCW locker room who does not have the goal of being the man, the guy that carries the ball and runs with it should get out and get the hell out of my way. You can't put enough on my plate and love pressure so it's not a matter of if but when for me. I have Faith.
Richard: What are you long term goals, when it comes to your career in professional wrestling?
Michael: I said this in another interview but i have never found a better way to put this in the same perspective. Pinky: "Gee Brain, what are we gonna do tonight?" Brain: "The same thing we do every night, try to take over the world!" That is from the old "Animaniacs" WB cartoon but it holds very true. Everyday is another opportunity to get a little closer at taking over the world of professional wrestling and i refuse to let even the smallest opportunity slip through my fingers. Because every small opportunity, every single fan ads up to bigger opportunities and more fans. The longest journey begins with the smallest of single step and i am a VERY patient man.
- Fans can follow "Mr. Saturday Night" Michael Barry on Twitter @MSN_Barry, on his Official Facebook Page, and fans can check out the fabulous action from TCW Wrestling as well.
I want to personally thank "Mr. Saturday Night" Michael Barry for taking the time to speak with me here on Kayfabe Kickout.
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