MLW star Calvin Tankman was on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily.
During the interview, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman brought up MLW World Heavyweight Champion Jacob Fatu’s recent comments in which the CONTRA Unit member praised Tankman for moving inside the ring like a cruiserweight despite weighing over 300 lbs.
“It means a lot coming from a competitor, it means that he respects my game,” said Tankman. “It also means he’s not taking me lightly. I have to bring my A-game every time I step into the ring with him.”
Tankman also addressed critics who believe that big men shouldn’t move around like cruiserweights.
“If you look at some of the best in-ring guys of all time – from Bam Bam Bigelow to Kamala – they all moved around the ring really well,” said Tankman. “Kamala was a 6’8″ guy who used to do leapfrogs. Sports are evolving in general. You look at basketball today. Kevin Durant is the perfect example. In any other era of basketball, 7-footers would be centers. But today, they can dribble, shoot, and create mismatches against smaller guys. Similarly, you can’t tell big wrestlers not to throw head kicks if they are capable of throwing one effectively. That’s my mindset.”
When asked if it’s easier or tougher to be a big man in today’s pro wrestling landscape, Tankman admitted there are both pros and cons.
“Right now, there’s such a demand for smaller guys. A lot of people think they are more entertaining and exciting. However, now that there are heavyweights [like Fatu and myself] who can be agile too, I feel its a good time to be doing what I’m doing. Because I can stick out.”
Tankman went onto credit the luchadores from WCW in the mid-late 1990s for influencing his current style.
“If you go back at look at WCW, a lot of of those cruiserweights changed the game. Those are influences on me. I take some of those aspects and try to make them more impactful with someone of my size. Just as much as the different ways I try to come at the Pounce [signature move], that’s all from watching guys who are significantly smaller than me. If someone like me can execute that move, it is obviously going to be more impactful. So I’m always trying out new stuff.”
When asked to respond to Fatu’s recent comments that Tankman is the first wrestler to “manhandle” him inside the ring, Tankman said, “There are very few people who can get him hurt, let alone put him on his back in such a resounding way. So I’m sure me hitting the Pounce on him got his attention.”
This interview was conducted a few days before Tankman challenged Fatu for the MLW World Title at MLW Never Say Never. Fatu successfully retained his championship.
You can find Tankman every Wednesday night as part of MLW Fusion. For more information on how to watch please visit www.MLW.com! You can find the full audio and video from Tankman’s interview below: