It is a pleasure to have with us today pro wrestler and owner of St. Louis Anarchy Matt Jackson, better known to wrestling fans as Pierre Abernathy. Since his debut in 2003, Pierre has made an impact in the wrestling scene in many aspects of the wrestling business. Pierre, thank you for taking the time to speaking with us at Missouri Wrestling Revival
Pierre: No problem, thanks for having me.
MWR: What was your first memories of pro wrestling and who did you look up to growing up?
Pierre: The first pro wrestling event I can remember watching live was WrestleMania VI with Hogan vs. Warrior.
I was a huge Hogan fan so when he lost that sucked for me. I can remember going to the STL arena watching all the WWF live shows and I was at the only show WWF did at the old Busch Stadium, so that was cool.
MWR: The first opportunity that I got to see you in action was in Lawrence, Kansas for NWA Central States Wrestling as you and Gary Jay lost a three way to Nick Tyson on September 30, 2006. At that point you had been wrestling a little over than three years. How did you get your start in pro wrestling and who were the most helpful in your success?
Pierre: I first got my start when I met Jordan Lacey, he bought a ring and we were going to train in it. The issue was that he didn’t have the training to train us and to his credit he knew that. Most guys would NEVER admit that they had no business training people but he did. We later met Adam Raw and Nick Tyson and they did our training.
From there they started the LWA and we worked there and branched into Gateway Championship Wrestling. Unlike most guys, our trainers did not travel, so we didn’t have a lot of help getting out of town shots. It was Matt Sydal and Delirious who taught us in a 12-hour seminar that we needed to get in a car and get out of STL and make résumés and start sending them out and do seminars all over and that is what we did.
MWR: What early match that you had gave you the confidence to succeed as a pro wrestler?
Pierre: Honestly I can’t think of one match. I always had confidence in my promo work more than my wrestling at the start. I think if I had to pick a break out match, I had a three-way match with Gary and Dorian Victor kind of early on that I liked. Plus, working Gary every weekend in a new state we could feel ourselves growing as wrestlers every week.
MWR: You would be part of the group that would spearhead The Lethal Wrestling Alliance. Who else were involved and what is the legacy of that promotion?
Pierre: Honestly I didn’t have anything to do with the start of LWA. LWA was started by Adam Raw and Jordan Taylor. When Jordan went into the Navy it went into the committee of five guys: Adam Raw, Nick Tyson, Frank Cashion, Mike D and Tim P ( I don’t want to butcher the spelling of their last names).
So Tyson was supposed to write the shows and book the talent but he wasn’t doing it, so I would in the background write the shows and send them with him to meetings and no one would know about it and he would get the credit. Fast forward a few years, he was going to quit, so Raw was kind of freaking out thinking he would have to write the shows all himself. I had to tell him I was really doing it all this time, which shocked him and so then I started writing and booking talent from there. Years later when the others quit, it became myself, Raw and Jordan Lacey. In the end of LWA, it was just me and Jordan Lacey.
MWR: Fans at LWA were blessed to enjoy some great matches featuring local talent against many of the top stars in the world. Not too long ago, Austin Aries was the TNA World Champion, Davey Richards was a Ring of Honor World Champion and most recently one half of the TNA Tag Team Champions with Eddie Edwards, and Samoa Joe is quite possibly the most talked about free agent in the world today, but they all entered the squared circle at LWA.
These matches along with other stars including Delirious, Mike Quackenbush and The Motor Machine Guns against LWA homegrown talents are featured on the DVD US vs. Them (click here to purchase). What memories stand out about this historic matches at LWA?
Pierre: There are tons of thoughts I have about that. The two big ones being the first “name talent” we ever used was Alex Shelley and our fans hated him with a passion because he was facing their guy in Nick Tyson and when Tyson tapped him out the legit emotion that came after is what this business is about to me: real emotion. The Second was Samoa Joe: A lot of people were saying behind my back (but I hear everything) that I was making a big mistake putting Dorian in that match and not Adam Raw, and to be honest at that time Raw was a better wrestler than Dorian—hell, Dorian was only a few years in, I think. However, Dorian grew from that match and it taught him how to step up… That’s my job: I have to force you to go outside of your comfort zone and step up to the plate, because if you can’t I need to know that before you fall on your face in maybe a way bigger situation. That night Dorian stepped up and grew from it.
MWR: You are a member of the famed Submission Squad with. Time has shown that you guys are among the most entertaining tag teams in the country, but early on in your career you teamed up with Evan Gelistico against Davey Vega and Gary the Barn Owl to showcase LWA for Chikara’s King of Trios 2009. In a weekend filled with top Indy wrestling stars like Bryan Danielson (Future WWE Champion Daniel Bryan), Austin Aries, and El Generico (WWE’S Sami Zayn) , the match would receive chants of “DON’T COME BACK!” Many men after that night may have given up, but it only shows how much heart that the four of you had, during that time. Many people snickered and counted you out, but you guys have had the last laugh by becoming among the most traveled talents in the country. Looking back what went wrong, what could you have done different and what advice would you have for a young wrestler that would experience such a situation?
Pierre: I would say that you cannot let what people say bother you. When that happened to be honest it didn’t bother me, it did more the other guys for different reasons. Vega because he lacked confidence anyway so that almost killed him, Gary because the ECW arena was his dream and we just got booed out of it and Evan because he loved the idea of working Chikara. I am telling the God’s honest truth that it didn’t bother me because I was expecting it the whole time. Here you have the biggest weekend of the Chikara calendar with legit stars from all over the world and then you have four dudes from a company in Missouri that none of them knew.. How were they supposed to treat us? Plus, we did ourselves zero favors because of the way we worked the match. We are known for our personalities and we showed zero of it and that is what sucked. However we made a lot of money after that match because people wanted to see if either A) we really sucked or B) they knew we didn’t and wanted to bring us out. So I would do it all again, plus we went back there in 2014 and killed it, so it came full circle for us.
MWR: As I mentioned you have traveled around the country, including Canada. What has been your personal favorite places to wrestle and why?
Pierre: I love most every trip but I’ll pick one place and say ACW in Texas. Texas was like my second home for many years and I love the fans and friends I made there. Some of my favorite memories came from hangouts I had in Texas.
MWR: For seven years the LWA was known for an alternative style of wrestling that combined strong style, hardcore, comedy and good times for the fans, but a new day came that saw you announce the merging with the Texas based promotion known as Anarchy Championship Wrestling (ACW). That decision has allowed the fans to see many of the top stars of the Texas area make their way to the Midwest, while giving the young stars in this area to grow by challenging themselves against other top talents that may not have a chance to work with. In your eyes, who have taken advantage of working in the land of Anarchy and who are some of the top young stars that fans should have their eyes on for the future?
Pierre: Since we started Anarchy, we have seen ACH become a top star in the USA and I won’t do what a lot of others do and try and take credit for that man’s success. His success has helped us grow, so thank you to him.
Gary Jay and Davey Vega are in my opinion the two top guys in the area and they prove that every time they work in a ring. The fact neither of them are under a contract is a shame. The Hooligans are guys you have seen grow in Anarchy. Christian Rose has been tearing it up other places for a while but our fans are finally seeing how good he is. Two guys who I think could be the next 2 big stars are Jo Jo Bravo and Mat Fitchett. Jo Jo has gotten really good really fast and it’s up to Fitchett how far he wants to go. He has been ready for a long time now. One guy to watch I think is Everett Connor; I call him my new project because he is a good kid with potential.
The only guy who I think may be worse now than he was when we started SLA is Evan Gelistico… [sarcasm]
MWR: The Submission Squad was ranked number 12 in 2011 in the MWR’S top 30 tag teams during the MWR years. Four years later, the SS is still running strong, even capturing the Metro Pro Wrestling Tag Team titles recently as the Commission.
Because LWA and later SLA did not have tag belts along with the outside travel, it may have hurt your rankings in the poll. That year a team that you guys know very well the Hooligans were ranked number one, and are currently the St. Louis Anarchy tag team Champions. What has made the Hooligans and the Submission Squad such a great rivalry?
Pierre: We just have good chemistry and we strive to do the same thing and that’s have a great match. We clicked since the first match we had at an IHW show in Dupo IL.
At one time we worked with the Hooligans at least once a weekend for like five months in a row, I think… Plus those guys love tag team wrestling as much as we do so it’s easy, The Hooligans are amazing talents.
MWR: SLA has recently been the home of double shot weekends in Alton, Illinois. You have promoted events for years, what are the advantages and disadvantages of having back to back events?
Pierre: Well it doubles the stress. I mean we have only done two, so I really do not know yet. I’ll say the advantage is for the fans as they will get 2 events a weekend instead of 1. As we keep going with this I am sure more advantages and disadvantages will come clear.
MWR: St. Louis Anarchy events have always been a can’t-miss show as talents around the world have been in action during each of your events. Men like Kyle O’Reilly, Michael Elgin, Chris Hero, the Young Bucks, Davey Richards, Akira Tozawa, and TJ Perkins have all appeared in the past. Who would you like to see that has not appeared yet?
Pierre: We used him in LWA but I really want to bring our fans Alex Shelley as he was supposed to work a show but got hurt. I am hoping to bring some more guys from overseas in. To be honest we will always use that name talent that people have come to think about when thinking of SLA but I am wanting to use more guys who are great but not maybe as well known…. Like there are Gary Jays and Davey Vegas all over the USA who are great but just can’t get breaks and I want to give them their breaks because you never know who could be the next ACH that you just are overlooking.
MWR: On August the 21st and 22nd, Circus Maximus 2015, an event what many fans say is THE event of the year for SLA? Circus Maximus has always delivered with a great mix of national talent as well as the top rising stars around the country. I am going to do a rundown of this years’ SLA talent pool for the double shot weekend and I would like for you to give your thoughts on them. We will start off with the current SLA Champion Gary Jay.
Pierre: Hardest working man in Anarchy, he tears down the house every time and then is the first person to lead people in tearing down the ring. He gives his all to the company and should be getting more chances outside it.
MWR: Tommaso Ciampa
Pierre: I’m looking forward to seeing him in SLA. He’s a tough dude so guys will have their hands full with him.
MWR: Davey Vega
Pierre: The “Ace of Anarchy” isn’t just a nickname, it is who Vega has become. He went from a guy who would legit vomit before a match to a guy who I know will always have one of the best matches on the show. He’s the man.
MWR: Mat Fitchett
Pierre: The Dirty Rook could be a star if he is able to really hit the road and do it. Sometimes though real life things are more important but he’s an awesome talent.
MWR: Jonathan Gresham
Pierre: He won’t be at Circus Maximus, but he’s an amazing hold for hold wrestler who stole the weekend at Gateway to Anarchy.
MWR: Jo Jo Bravo
Pierre: One of the top up and comers in Anarchy. He has held his own with some of the best in the world.
MWR: Christian Rose
Pierre: Great talker and wrestler and our fans are getting to finally see that. Plus, behind the curtain I love talking good and–even better–shitty wrestling with Rose more than maybe anybody.
MWR: Matt Cage
Pierre: He’s a lot like Rose in that he has been tearing it up other places and our fans will finally get to see more of that in Anarchy.
MWR: Angelus Lane
Pierre: The 1st lady of Anarchy. I am very proud of Layne. She has grown by leaps and bounds as a wrestler and she improves every event we have.
MWR: Viking War Party
Pierre: Going to have to buy me chairs if they keep breaking them. Both guys are awesome. Alex I have known since before he started, I am happy every time I see them work and get better and better.
MWR: Ricky Starks
Pierre: Big deal in Texas and I think he can do the same here so keep your eyes on him as I think he is going to do well.
MWR: The Cause: Mr. Gelistico, Mr. Raw, Mr. Adams, Mr. Everett
Pierre: We will have to see.
MWR: Zakk Sawyers
Pierre: The 2014 Anarchy Rookie of the year. He’s not a rookie but was in Anarchy and he stepped up huge. A hard worker in and out of the ring and really appreciates his spot on the roster and he earns it.
MWR: Mikey McFinnigan
Pierre: Kinda just starting to see what he can do. He will do well in Anarchy, he’s very entertaining.
MWR: Jeremy Wyatt
Pierre: The best LWA champion of all time. Jeremy is one of my favorite wrestlers and is a pure class act to deal with outside the ring. Jeremy makes no bones about his wrestling days coming to an end and I’ll be sad to see him go, but he’s a guy who will leave better than he came in and how many guys can honestly say that. He’s always done anything I asked him to do and I don’t think Jeremy knows how much I respect him and appreciate his run with the LWA title.
MWR: Steve O Reno
Pierre: Honestly, I worked him in ACW and I knew he was good. Other than that I have only seen his two matches in SLA and that is it. I think he is very entertaining and he can wrestle, too, so I think big things are on the horizon for him.
MWR: Bolt Brady
Pierre: I think his change in attitude will be good for him in SLA. I like making people do stuff they may not be used to doing. Bolt is a pro and will do great. He’s getting a lot of miles under him too which is awesome. I like Bolt a lot.
Pierre: In SLA, he became a star in one weekend. Taking Trik Davis to the limit and taking a hellish beating from Gary Jay. I think Paco is a hungry kid who will do big things.
MWR: Pierre, Thank you so much for joining us today, it is always a treat to get to speak with you. How can fans follow you and the world of St. Louis Anarchy?
Pierre: I am on Facebook under Pierre Abernathy and Twitter is @PierreAbernathy. You can like SLA on Facebook at Saint Louis Anarchy and on Twitter @stlanarchy. Thanks for the time!
Saint Louis Anarchy presents Circus Maximus 2015
Stage One: Friday August 21st
Stage Two: Saturday August 22nd
Live from Spaulding Hall Club in Alton IL (402 E 4th Street)
Doors Open at 6:30pm, Shows Start at 7:00pm
Tickets (PER NIGHT):
Front row: $15, Second Row. $12. General Admission. $10 in advance all tickets are $15 at the door
$1 BEER, FULL BAR AND FOOD. Please do not record show or stand on chairs
Also special guest musicians Mental Fixation (Stage 2 only)
STAGE ONE MATCHES SIGNED:
Main Event Trios Action: Team Anarchy: Davey Vega, Mat Fitchett, Angleus Layne vs. Team BOSS w/Dorian Victor and Greg Jovi: Gary Jay, Christian Rose, Jeremy Wyatt
Tag Team Titles on the Line: The Hooligans (c) vs. The Cause (Mr. Adams, Mr. Everett)
Zakk Sawyers vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Grudge Match: Alex Castle vs. Matt Cage
Jo Jo Bravo vs. PACO
Steve O Reno vs. Mikey Mcfinnigan
BOSS vs. Anarchy: Bolt Brady w/Greg Jovi vs. Ricky Starks
STAGE TWO MATCHES SIGNED:
Saint Louis Anarchy Championship Match (NO TIME LIMIT) Gary Jay (c)w/Dorian Victor vs. “Ace of Anarchy” Davey Vega
Mat Fitchett vs. Former ECW/WWE Star LITTLE GUDIO
Christian Rose vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Matt Cage vs. Zakk Sawyers
Sugar Dunkerton vs. Steve O Reno
TALENT SIGNED FOR CM WEEKEND:
Saint Louis Anarchy Champion: Gary Jay
Saint Louis Anarchy Tag Champions: The Hooligans
Jo Jo Bravo
Viking War Party
The Cause: Mr. Gelistico, Mr. Raw, Mr. Adams, Mr. Everett
Steve O Reno
Bolt Brady (stage one)
PACO (stage one)
MATCHES AND MORE TALENT TO BE ANNOUNCED LATER!!