I had the pleasure of interviewing former Impact Wrestling Tag Team Champion Dave Crist of oVe (Ohio Versus Everything) on a recent episode of the Pancakes and Powerslams Show. Crist explained how he broke into the pro wrestling business, as he and his friends started a backyard wrestling federation that caught the attention of not only others in the neighborhood, but the local news outlet.
"One afternoon, my brother [Jake] and I decided that we were going to start backyard wrestling, which [was] a completely bad idea, but whatever," said Crist. "So, I was in welding class, I welded a ring together. We put a ring in the barn, [the barn] that we ended up training in. The news actually, News Center 7, came out and did a story about us, about backyard wrestling, and how bad and dangerous backyard wrestling was. But when they saw us, we actually had an entranceway, we used lights, we used a lot of things that tried to make us look like professionals."
Crist added that there was a local store where you could get electronic equipment, so he purchased stereo equipment, lights, and a fog machine to make it look more professional. This strategy ended up working, because someone saw the program and noticed that the ring announcer was the same kid who went to his church. This connection led to a training session, which led to an opportunity to work at an independent wrestling promotion. Eventually, he would gain recognition from Tommy Dreamer – who has the head of talent relations at the time in WWE – while he was observing talent at a show in Cleveland, Ohio.
"[Dreamer] said that he was really impressed by us, but we were way too small to even be considered to be a developmental talent," Crist explained. "[Dreamer] goes, 'But, I can probably put in a word in for you with Gabe Sapolsky at Ring of Honor. Let me give him a call, and give me your number and I'll let you know how that goes.' And then, he got a hold of us a few weeks later, and he was like,' Yeah, Gabe said you guys would be good for Dayton. So, if you guys want to do Ring of Honor in Dayton, you're more than welcome to go give it a shot.'"
Nigel McGuiness would then train them, and their debut performance gained them another match the next night.
Dave also explained how Dean Ambrose helped his brother Jake land an opportunity in Combat Zone Wrestling, which allowed the promoters to bring him in as well. Regarding how they got their name, OI4K (Ohio is for Killers), Crist explained that he was watching a documentary of the psychological profiles of serial killings, because trying to understand that frame of mind fascinates him. He saw on the documentary that Ohio has the highest numbers of serial killers per capita, which led to a discussion with his ex-girlfriend about how "Ohio is for Killers" would be a catchy wrestling name, "because we're from Ohio, and every time we get in the ring, we're gonna kill it." He would later discuss this with his brother Jake and Sami Callahan who changed the "for" to simply the number 4 to mimic the "O-H-I-O!" chant which Ohio State fans do.
Crist credits Scott D'Amore, Sonjay Dutt, and Abyss for getting their spot currently in Impact Wrestling. "They got a hold of me, and they were just like, 'Hey, we're not interested in giving you a tryout,'" said Crist. "And I was kind of real bummed, because they had talked about giving us a tryout, and they said they'll let us know. And then, Scott was like, 'But we are interested in signing you. Congratulations.' I was like, (exhale), that is awesome!" Now, he is competing with his brother in Impact Wrestling as oVe (Ohio Versus Everything). He stated that he is on a mission to continue representing his state, because "if you disrespect it, you're disrespecting us."
You can hear the full interview here.
Source: Pancakes and Powerslams