On today’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Wrestling Inc.’s and Championship Wrestling From Hollywood’s Jack Farmer recently sat down with one half of the Defy Tag Team Champions Ricky Gibson of The Midnight Heat. Defy is one of the top indie promotions from the west coast, and Gibson explained what makes Defy so special.
“First of all, I think I’ve spent more time in LA wrestling than I have in Oregon and Washington combined of the last two years,” Gibson admitted. “I said this on my social media the other day, I think LA is my second home, and it’s pretty close to being my first home for real. So how is Defy different? Sometimes it’s hard to explain that IT factor because there’s something that just separates professional wrestling and Defy wrestling.
“You’re looking at a roster of people, they don’t come just to wrestle. They don’t come just to hang out with their friends and family, they go out there for a little bit of clout and to be able to say, ‘Hey, I wrestled in that match.’ That’s not what the Defy roster is about. You’re looking at a roster of people that wants to go out there and be the absolute best in the world, and you can see that just by some of the people that they bring in. On the show you’re talking about on Thursday, you have Daniel Garcia and Christopher Daniels.
“Two of the best names in professional wrestling are coming to Defy. There’s a lot of great companies in LA, and I don’t want to take away from any one of them. I’ve wrestled for a lot of them, and I’ve got friends that work in a lot of them and they’re phenomenal. Defy is different though. It’s a different atmosphere. It’s a nonstop, action-packed show, and if you haven’t been to a Defy show or even watched a Defy match on Defy on demand, it’s crazy. It’s always go go go, nonstop competition.”
Christopher Daniels is a long-time veteran with an extended history working on network television, and Daniel Garcia is a young up-and-comer that has had big matches on network TV with wrestlers like CM Punk and Jon Moxley. Gibson discussed what the locker room environment is like when people who have that network TV experience come into an independent promotion.
“I think anyone that doesn’t take the opportunity to learn from someone that has been somewhere that you haven’t, is a fool, and that’s not just network TV,” Gibson said. “Christopher Daniels is one of the best in the world and has wrestled some of the best in the world, and to not pick his brain and find out what works and what doesn’t work in the world of the sport of professional wrestling, you’d be a fool not to. I don’t need to tell him what we do here. He knows. He’s seen the product. A lot of his great friends have been through here, and they know what Defy is all about.
“Ultimately, when it comes down to it, there’s only one thing that we’re there to do, we’re there to compete. Whether it’s a tag match, or a triple threat match, or a singles match, or an all violence is legal match, we’re there to compete, and that’s brass tacks, what we do. And we all have greater goals, and we want to get places that we’re not yet, but when we are sharing a locker room, we’re all in the same exact spot.
“We’re all in the same building, the same locker room, entertaining the same fans, and more importantly, looking for that same win. So if I’m not standing across the ring from a guy and I don’t have to worry about whether he’s going to punch me in the nose or not, I’m going to ask him for some advice. And if he asks me for some advice, I’d be happy to give it as well. You take every opportunity you can to learn something from someone.”
Garcia has wrestled for various promotions outside of AEW, including AAW, Beyond Wrestling and NJPW. Gibson himself wrestles across different promotions outside of Defy like on Primetime Live for the United Wrestling Network. Gibson commented on “the forbidden door” being open to all wrestlers.
“There’s no forbidden door when you’re a non-contracted wrestler, so it’s great.” Gibson noted.
Gibson later discussed the dynamics of learning different styles from other people. He explained the philosophy that he teaches his students.
“I’ll give you the same advice that I give all my students and anyone out there that’s aspiring to be a pro wrestler, whoever is teaching you at that moment, that’s what you listen to,” Gibson said. “So when Dr. Luther is in there teaching me how to be aggressive, and pull hair, and poke eyes, and grab eras and grab beards, that’s what I’m going to do.
“When I get in there, it’s very much an old school, grab a headlock, do some luchador moves, that’s what I do. You have to pay attention to the person that’s teaching at the time because they deserve your respect. When they leave, you now have the opportunity and the option to decide what works best for you, but something as simple as the way that you have a grip.
“Whether it’s this vs. this, if you’re training with someone that says this is the only way, that’s what you do at the time. When they leave and someone else tells you this is the only way to do it, you now get to make the choice, when both of those people leave, to do what best suits you. I highly recommend, for everyone, having the opportunity to train with multiple different styles so that you can truly pick what’s best for you.”
You can follow The Midnight Heat on Twitter @_MidnightHeat
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