IMPACT Wrestlings Moose talks early training, Austin Aries & the future

Former IMPACT Wrestlings Grand Champion Moose has certainly prospered in his young career, which started off training under Curtis Hughes and Scott D’Amore a few years ago. Not only a former champion, but Moose has also feuded with some of the top men in Impact Wrestling during his tenure there, including Bobby Lashley and Eli Drake. Since his transition from Ring of Honor to Impact Wrestling, Moose has developed from being a one-dimensional talent to a more well-rounded worker, often giving compelling interviews along with having compelling matches. But he certainly, isn’t one to rest on his laurels.

During our discussion, Moose shared how his training and development has shaped him as a competitor. He explains after how he had to change his psychology in the ring to make him what he is today. In the process he has earned the respect of his peers and those watching him. Today Moose continues to push the boundaries, reaching into a darker part of his psyche which has shown a whole new part of him that fans hadn’t seen before. He continues to demonstrate athleticism against everyone and anyone in Impact Wrestling. He recently competed in Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary against the belt collector, Austin Aries, challenging for the Impact

Fans can communicate with him on social media such as Twitter, where he can be reached at @TheMooseNation

What can you say you still carry with you from your early training from Curtis Hughes today?

IMPACT Wrestlings Moose: I usually tell people regarding my training under Curtis Hughes that he taught me how to do wrestling moves. For instance, how to throw and how to get into a headlock, how to hit the ropes and how do a takeover and take a bump. Where I really learned to wrestle was the Border City Wrestling (BCW) academy wrestling school in Windsor (Ontario) with Scott D’Amore. It was there where I was able to put all those things together that Curtis Hughes taught me, into an actual wrestling match that makes sense. He was definitely able to help me with the psychology part of it. I think that’s the biggest part, the psychology aspect of it. He definitely helped with that.

What can you say is the biggest difference in you since your time in Ring of Honor up to today in IMPACT Wrestling?

IMPACT Wrestlings Moose: I am a lot smarter and more mature as a wrestler. There are things that I thought were cool to do when I first started that I think are dumb to do now. So, I don’t do it (laughs) This comes with maturity. I used to think that every match back then I had to do a a cool dive or a high-risk maneuver that would take its toll and damage to my body. Whereas now, I don’t even think about doing it. It doesn’t even cross your mind. I don’t even think about bringing them out for special occasions, as there are other ways to entertain fans that doesn’t include a guy my size doing a high-risk maneuver. Today, I am more methodical in my thinking and ring style which was very unlike how I was before.

Since joining IMPACT you’ve engaged in a number of feuds and matches. IMPACT Wrestlings Moose upcoming match against Austin Aries notwithstanding, which feuds are you most pleased with, and why?

I think my feud with Austin means the most to me. When we look at what is at stake, being for the world championship, it doesn’t get bigger than that. We are fighting over the biggest prize in our company, which is the Impact Wrestling world championship, so whatever other feuds I have been in it hasn’t reached the magnitude of this. It’s just what we are fighting for that makes it the most important, what is on the line.

The things I did with Bobby (Lashley) were pretty big. It was a cross-promotional thing with ATT and MMA, and I know fans loved it. I definitely learned a lot working with Bobby, and you never know, I may use some of that stuff in this match against Austin.

What would you say has been the most seamless part and what has been the most challenging transition from football to wrestling that you have found?

Nothing has been really been challenging because when you have a passion for something, everything you do in your transition would come easy. I feel that since I love wrestling so much, that everything I did leading up to wrestling made this transition easy. My passion for wrestling contributed to me achieving. I don’t think physically it was a reason. Just because you are athletically good at doing something, you still hit those walls, and those walls may be a mental block.

For me, I never hit any of those things because this is where my passion lies. My passion was to be a professional wrestler. So driving 45 to 1 hour just to go to training wasn’t a big deal for me, because it was something I loved to do. It was something I just loved to do. That passion started from being a kid and watching it, and being a fan. Watching Ric Flair and Razor Ramon growing up, they inspired me and I was a huge fan of them. If you pay attention, you’ll see a lot of those two guys in me. They have a lot of personality and a lot of skill. They have a lot of swagger in them.

Where do you see the IMPACT Wrestlings Moose character going?

It is still a work in progress. You always want to evolve in this business. I haven’t really sat down and thought about it. I just may wake up one day and say that maybe Moose needs to be more like this. This, as it’s an evolution. To see how Moose was when I started in Impact Wrestling two years ago. In comparison to where he is at now, we can see an evolution in the character. It will just play itself out because if it’s not broken then don’t fix it, right? You never know, I may need to add something or take something away in the future. That is when that decision will happen.

Where would you say your improvement has been in specifically?

I am much more confident talking now. I have cut several promos since I left Ring of Honor. When I was in Ring of Honor I had a mouth piece (Stokely Hathaway), whereas now I don’t. I am now free to say what I want here at Impact Wrestling. It can be restricting if someone else is doing the talking for you.

With your match against Austin Aries set to take place what can fans anticipate taking place?

IMPACT Wrestlings Moose: I know that Austin and I are going to give it everything we have. We are going to leave it all in the ring. Honestly, Austin has done a lot of trash talking and I can’t wait to get my hands on him. I think he needs to pay for a lot of the things he’s said and his actions. The things he’s committed. Especially with D’Angelo involved, putting his hands on someone I would call like a brother to me. There is a size difference, but Austin definitely has the experience and that plays a major role going in. However, I am still focused on growth. I know I still have a goal in mind and I will try my best to accomplish that goal.

What does the balance of 2018 and beyond have instore to Moose?

I made a promise earlier this year that by the end of 2018 I will be Impact world champion, and this is a great opportunity to make that statement come true.

To listen to the Pro Wrestling Post Podcast of this interview click here.