HC Loc had a unique path to becoming an ECW Superstar in the late 90s/early 2000s. He worked various other promotions beforehand and was used as a WWE jobber, but Loc also was a part of the ring crew that would help set up the ring at events.
Loc continued being part of the ring crew when he first joined ECW, but then transitioned into being an extreme referee and he talked about that journey with Wrestling Inc.'s Andy Malnoske.
"That was a fluke really," Loc said on being the extreme ref. "At the time there wasn't a full-time spot for me to wrestle. So, I wrestled on house shows and did ring crew and [Tommy] Dreamer wanted to reward me."
Loc then says he got to do TV, but the policy back then was that if you didn't work, then you didn't get paid. He would get paid for ring crew, but not a second pay day if he didn't wrestle, so refereeing became that second pay day.
"I did that and because I was known amongst the boys, I just eased into [the extreme ref]," stated Loc. "…In subsequent years I've had [to answer] 'How'd you get from being a ref to a wrestler?' No, I was a wrestler whose character was a referee. But it was a real pleasure and that was my first big break."
Today, every wrestling promotion has hardcore or extreme matches, but that wasn't the case back in the day. Loc was asked about the craziest thing he ever saw in an ECW ring.
"Mike Awesome just chucking people through those tables," Loc reminisced. "Working with Spike Dudley, I was just ringing the bell but as part of it Spike had me come out and set up all these tables. And about five minutes in, he had gone through all of the tables.
"Mike would just chuck him from the middle of the ring to the aisleway. It was some pretty brutal stuff but everyone took care of each other the best they could. But they were all willing to go that extra mile for the fans and for that man, Paul Heyman."
Loc has 24 years of wrestling under his belt, but he still says he has lots to give in the ring and in passing on to the younger generation.
"All old guys say this, but I'm in the best shape of my career and I feel like I still have some gas in the tank and maybe have something to offer," said Loc. "I'm not saying you're gonna see me at WrestleMania next month, but maybe you'll interview me in a year or two and there's some more cool stories.
"If not, then I've got enough memories to last me forever and, I hope, knowledge that I can help the next guy get there."
The full audio from Andy's interview with HC Loc can be heard in the WINCLY podcast episode embedded below. In it he talks more about his time in ECW, being in the first intergender match on RAW, the next generation of pro wrestlers, his friendship with Luna Vachon and more.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.