In recent years wrestlers' physiques have moved away from being big and burly to looking more athletic and sleeker. But there are still some guys around who look like what most wrestlers looked like 20 years ago and Alexander Hammerstone is one of them.
"A little bit of a throwback to the 90s where there was a formula for a visual representation of a wrestler. That got thrown to the waist side and got overplayed and we went down this road with all of these different directions almost to the point where we're revisiting some of those original things. At the time it became distasteful but now it has a loving memory. The big, blonde, muscular, in your face kind of attitude – I'm bringing it back," said Hammerstone.
At 6'4" and over 250 pounds, Hammerstone is still a bit of an outlier when compared to other wrestlers. He was asked if the business is moving back towards big men like him.
"I think it's moving to a direction where there are just a lot more avenues to be explored and a lot more avenues that people are gonna appreciate. That shows with the different types of promotions – it's not even just different types of wrestlers. There are shows that presenting wrestling one way and shows that present it another way," stated Hammerstone.
"What fans want is someone who brings something congruent to the table. If you're out there doing something and all of the pieces come together, then they're gonna buy it. There's a lot of wrestlers just trying to figure that out. They have a lot of cool pieces but when they put them all together, it doesn't make it work."
Just four months after making his MLW debut, Hammerstone won the Openweight Title so it appears the pieces are coming together for him. He talked about the change in mindset he had recently which elevated him to the next level.
"I feel like I always had a presentation that works but what happened with me was that I got to a point where I got successful to an extent. But I hadn't gotten exactly what I wanted out of wrestling while a lot of people around me were," revealed Hammerstone. "I kinda went, 'What if I didn't care? What if I didn't care about pissing anyone off?'"
He mentioned how worried he was that people would get mad that he cut his hair or changed his physique but he did it anyway.
"The immediate reaction was not positive for the most part. There was a lot of people saying this is the same, old crap you've been doing for the last eight years. But in the end, it paid off because I was into what I was doing and it made sense to me. I wasn't playing how to be a wrestler as I was doing things I legitimately liked to do," said Hammerstone.
He then talked about how his physique change and his increase in muscle mass has affected his in-ring style.
"People are like, 'Man you look so different.' But I've always lifted weights and was bigger than 90 percent of the guys on the indies," Hammerstone said of his "before" physique. "But the last couple of years has been a focus on getting larger. In my head, a larger than life wrestler is not just a personality as it's a physical attribute as well.
"There are things I've had to change. Every once a in a while I'll watch a match from me about 40 pounds ago and I realize I used to move a little different."
He noted that there are pros and cons to the physique change but he's added weight gradually so he makes it work as his body changes.
Hammerstone recently had a match on MLW Fusion with a former 90s star in Savio Vega and he talked about that experience.
"It's like he's stepped out of a time machine," Hammerstone said of Vega. "It was definitely cool – and I don't mean this to sound any type of way – but I've been in the ring with so many guys I idolized that it's just another day at work. It was definitely fun and is one of those things that in the aftermath I'm like, 'It's so weird that that just took place.'
"They tell me in training, 'Hey, you're gonna wrestle Savio Vega on TV in 2020' and I'm like, 'Uhh, okay.' It's kinda strange but it's cool that it happened."
Alexander Hammerstone can be seen every Saturday night, 9/8c, on BeIN Sports as part of MLW Fusion. For more information please visit MLW.com. Hammerstone's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon: by clicking here. The full interview can be heard via the embedded audio player below: