The Wrestling Inc. Daily recently welcomed “The Apex of Combat” Lee Moriarty onto the podcast where he and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman chatted about Moriarty’s start in pro wrestling. He talked about being a fan of martial arts and discovering wrestling at a young age.
“I grew up a fan of martial arts and things like that, so I was always into fighting and combat sports,” Moriarty said. “I discovered wrestling when I was 11 or 12. I liked the combination of a sport and the art, and once I was in high school, I started looking around for a wrestling school. I found one about 10 minutes from where I lived at the time. Went to college for a little bit for graphic design, saved the money I got from my car, went to wrestling school and I started training in 2015.”
Moriarty noted that the trainer at his wrestling school had helped train WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle when he was getting ready to debut in WWE. He revealed that Angle had visited the school and spoke with everyone there.
“It was called PWX. It was ran by Brandon K in Radford,” Moriarty recalled. “Brandon Kaye was one of the people to help get Kurt Angle ready for his WWE career. There’s a picture and everything with Brandon training with Kurt Angle, and I remember at one point, Kurt came to the school and talked to us and all that. It was really cool.”
Moriarty noted that Angle came when he had already started wrestling. He said Angle was visiting a friend that was training at the school, but he said it was nice to talk to Angle and get advice from him.
“He didn’t come until I graduated, and I was already wrestling, but he had a friend who wanted to be in training,” Moriarty noted. “This was after I graduate. Once this friend began training, he came down for a visit, and the reason he recommended that school was because Brandon K was there.
“He also worked out with another guy who’s famous around local independent wrestling called Sean Evans a.k.a. Shocker. He worked SmackDown a few times back when he was around. It was really cool meeting Kurt Angle and talking to him and getting advice just about wrestling and all that, like how he got into it from Olympic wrestling.”
Moriarty’s entrance gear appears to be inspired by Bruce Lee’s iconic costume from “Game of Death”, and he confirmed on the podcast that Lee is his idol. He noted that he takes a lot of inspiration from him, but his name is his own though he still wants to pay tribute to Lee and honor his family as well.
“Bruce Lee is my idol. That was the guy I take a lot of inspiration from and his philosophy and his discipline, and my real name is Lee Moriarty, so that’s where that all comes from,” Moriarty pointed out. “It’s still my real name, but it’s more focused on Lee and paying tribute to him, and then I kept my last name for my family.”
Moriarty is known for “TAIGASTYLE” on the independent scene. He explained on the podcast where TAIGASTYLE comes from and where it is inspired from.
“TAIGASTYLE I created because I didn’t really have an identity when I was getting into wrestling,” Moriarty said. “A lot of people I trained with, ‘The Main Event’ Do Davis, ‘The Gavel’ David Wallace, Shawn Phoenix, Honey Badger [and] Laura Loveless, all these people, they had characters. They had these personalities. I didn’t really have that. I was just a wrestler. So it took me a while to find myself. My first year in wrestling, I suffered a shoulder injury. I had to get surgery. I was out for a little while. Then when I came back, only a few months in my return, I met DJZ (WWE NXT’s Joaquin Wilde). I did a few seminars with him. He invited me to Mexico. It was actually the time he had that life-threatening injury.
“I wasn’t there, but we talked for maybe two months, and he told me to come down to Mexico while he was down there because he was down there for a month or so. I think two weeks before, I was scheduled to go down for just a week. That’s when it happened, and everybody was really nervous and afraid. I was like, ‘I’ll just call the trip off’ because his health is way more important. He told me, ‘No, no don’t do that.’ I went down there. I stayed with someone, Low Rider and his family, and I just went around Mexico and trained down there. I came back, and I felt I had a new sense of who I was. Later in that year, I developed TAIGASTYLE.
“I had a mask and everything like that, and as time goes on, I just kept developing it more and more and bringing pieces together. It’s all caps. It’s a reference to MF Doom, hip-hop artist. The colors I use are a reference to Wu-Tang Clan or Pittsburgh black and yellow, and basically what it is is my own style professional wrestling. I don’t believe in having a set style or a form because every opponent’s different. So I like to use lucha libre, martial arts, catch wrestling [and] the World of Sport style, and you hear it a lot, ‘hybrid wrestling.’ You’re a hybrid wrestling and things like that, but it’s more than just the wrestling, it’s my aesthetic. It’s my approach to wrestling visually and not just physically.”
Hausman asked Moriarty what, if any, difference was between training in the U.S. and in Mexico. Moriarty noted that the training wasn’t different, but in Mexico, children are not required to have a waiver form signed, which meant he was training with children.
“The training wasn’t that different,” Moriarty admitted. “It’s a lot more strict, but the weird thing about training in Mexico is, so in here, your parents have to sign a waiver if you’re under a certain age when you train. In Mexico, you can pretty much start training when you’re 5 years old, so because I was new to lucha libre, one of the classes I was in, it was probably kids from five to 11 years old. I’m 21 or something and the time, and I’m in a class with a bunch of kids learning llave’s and all these submission holds and stuff.
“One of the other things I got to do was while I was down there, Low Rider is a trainer and he would have kids come in and learn lucha libre, and one of the things he told me is in lucha, they don’t have a lot of strong striking ability compared to here in the states. So I actually have to lead a class [and] help kids develop more striking. So that was really cool.”
Moriarty noted that he didn’t get too physical with the kids as lucha libre focuses on holds and submissions. He joked that he did think about bodyslamming some of the kids.
“I didn’t really get physical with the kids. Lucha libre is a lot of holds and stuff,” Moriarty noted. “They don’t do the high-impact stuff, especially that young. I think they teach them the basic grappling stuff first. So when I was in that class, I didn’t bodyslam any five year olds. I was tempted, but I didn’t do it.”
Lee Moriarty will compete as part of Limitless Wrestling’s Vacationland Cup on Saturday December 19th. For more information about how to watch the event please visit LimitlessWrestling.com
TAIGASTYLE is an aesthetic. A visual manifestation of my soul. Lee Moriarty is my real name (just shortened my first name).
“I don’t know where I’m goin’, huh
But I hope I’m on the right path” pic.twitter.com/aatz7naQm2
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All caps when ya say it. TAIGASTYLE. pic.twitter.com/IjlXKibVKL
? ?????? ???????????????? ?? (@apexofcombat) September 21, 2020
Lee’s full interview 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.