Curt Stallion has continued to develop and progress since beginning his training in West Texas. He recently took some time out of his busy schedule to participate in an interview with me. Stallion’s career only started a few years ago, but his passion for the sport has spanned nearly his entire life. In his career, he has unquestionably made a name for himself competing for several independent promotions throughout the United States. His growth as a performer in the ring has been remarkable.
In the interview, Stallion shares his thoughts about work outside the ring and what he does inside it. Stallion also discusses how one key relationship has helped him in the business, even more than his training in his hometown in Texas. He discusses his early training and development near home, and his current training in St. Louis. Prior to this interview, Stallion spoke of how in this business you can’t rest on your laurels, and that you need to push forward in order to succeed.
Fans can communicate with him on various social media, such as Twitter, where he can be reached @CurtStallion and instagram at curt_stallion.
Where and when did your passion for wrestling first begin?
As a child, I wasn’t allowed to watch wrestling. I had a friend that, any Monday from 2nd grade until we graduated high school, any Monday he was just nowhere to be found because he was at his house watching wrestling. It wasn’t until I was in fifth grade that I started asking him, ‘Why don’t you ever hang out on Mondays?’ and he’s like, ‘I’m watching wrestling’ and I’m like ‘I’m not allowed to watch that’.
I ended up watching that day with him at his house, and I was super attention deficit disorder, hardcore, needed all eyes on me at all times at school. I was the class clown, all sorts of stuff. So that these guys were walking through a curtain and had thousands of people staring at them, and they had millions at home watching. They had their own music and their own lighting. A stage to walk down, and they had a ring that they have got to perform in, where they were pretty much beating the piss out of each other. I was infatuated immediately. I wanted that attention. Ever since that point on, it has been a battle of how. All I thought about was, how am I going to do this and how am I going to get there?
One day, probably about four years ago, this was just after high school, I dated a girl for about seven years after high school, and it was just one of those things where I followed her around like a helpless dog and I found that wasn’t working for my life. So, I finally found the gall to kick her to the curb, and my buddy calls me a couple of months later, the one that would disappear on Mondays and he was like ‘Dude, you need to come home. I live in San Antonio and there is wrestling here and there is a school here. A legitimate school with a ring and everything.’ I didn’t ask who the trainers were, I didn’t ask anything. That was it, I didn’t need to hear anything else from my best friend. I packed up everything and I went back home. I started training. It wasn’t until I met (Michael) Elginthat I can really say that I was engulfed in professional wrestling, with my life, the way he teaches us. It’s not a hobby.
Elaborate more about how you were introduced to Michael Elgin and how that all came about
The way I found Elgin was watching Ring of Honor. The place that I live, Odessa, Texas, it’s in West Texas, an oil filled area. We weren’t allowed to wrestle anywhere else. We got to wrestle once every two or three months and that was supposed to be it for us. We weren’t allowed to go to other towns because it was competition. And it was stupid. Anyways, one day I see on Facebook while I’m scrolling through at night, it says there is a five-day Ring of Honor camp held by current Ring of Honor World Champion Michael Elgin. This is July 14′. I go to training the next day and all I can do is think about this camp that I saw. I said ‘Guys, it is $300, its five days, it’s pretty much 12 hours a day of just wrestling.’ And everybody there said I shouldn’t do it, that it was a waste of time and it was probably going to be a money grab. It says all experience welcome. Anybody could go, and they said I wasn’t ready, and I had already had matches and that. It was just them not wanting anyone to go anywhere.
Ever since then it has just been a grind, grind, grind, grind, because that’s what Elgin tells us to do, and it’s not just because he tells us to do it, but because that’s the way it needs to be done. Especially for a guy like me, I don’t have a wrestling lineage or history or family of wrestlers helping me, I had nobody and nobody knew me in the business. It’s all me, I don’t have help, Elgin’s my help now. It’s because I decided to come here and link up with him, and I told him that when I got here. The first month in St. Louis, he got me a dark match in Ring of Honor, and I thought that he was Jesus Christ because I didn’t understand how a guy like me from Texas was going to wrestle for Ring of Honor. From that point on, I remember telling him my goal was to be in the top prospect tournament. I knew it wouldn’t happen the following year because at this point it was the end of 2015, but when I was telling him all this. (I said) 2017 I’m going to be in the top prospect tournament. He was like, ‘Okay, we’ll see’. I did three Ring of Honor camps.
The funny thing is, the booker for Ring of Honor, not everyone knows who it is and I’m not going to say the name, he has a special file in his emails called ‘Curt Stallion’ because when I email him they are the favorite emails he has ever gotten. I’m just me. I just talk like I’m talking to one of my friends. I’m just like, ‘Dude, what’s the deal? What do I have to do to be in the top prospect tournament? Because I’m out here busting my ass all over the country. I’m in Canada. What do I need to do?’I never got a message back and I’m like, what the hell?
I’ll never forget in December 2016, I’m at Ring of Honor in Arlington, Texas and I was sitting outside with Silas Young, and we were just chit-chatting and Mark Briscoe walks up and then walks off. As soon as he walks off, the guy that I sent the emails to walksup, he is sitting there, and he completely disregards my existence, and he’s there talking to Silas and he’s okay. They exchanged pleasantries, and right when he was about to walk off, just as he turned around, he says ‘Oh, yeah Curt, don’t think I forgot about you…ah…top prospect tournament…you’re the first name we wrote down…congratulations’. And he walked off, and I legit will never forget the feeling I had. I was shaking. I was smiling, I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t stand up. Oh, my God. Did that really just happen? Silas looks at me and says, ‘Hell yeah man, congrats’. He walked off and I was just left there on my own. (gasps). That was it. I did the top prospect tournament from there, and I wasn’t supposed to win in the first round, but Twitter was crazy about me for some reason, and they were blowing ROH up, so the night of the first round of the tournament, they changed the card up so I was able to move on to the semi-finals at Hammerstein in New York, which was one of the biggest moments of my career still to this day.
What did you learn specifically from Michael Elgin’s training that stands out?
It was definitely psychology, 100%. The way I look at it, Texas is like old school NWA wrestling and that’s just not for me. That’s not what I enjoy watching, that’s not my style and a lot of those guys, that’s what they stick to and they don’t watch anything else and I like to watch EVERYTHING. Even if I’m not into to it, I still like to pick stuff apart and be asking myself ‘Why did they do this’? ‘Why do they wrestle like this?’ And a lot of guys back home aren’t into that. Texas is a black hole, essentially. There is probably like 10 of us in the entire state that gets out and goes around and gets our names out there if that.
If he’s talking about wrestling, you listen. He was made for it. That’s what his brain was constructed around. That’s his thought process. He’s a mad scientist of professional wrestling, is how I’ve described him to somebody. He gets it, and how to teach it. He doesn’t just teach you one style. I put that in quotes with my fingers, “style.” He shows you every aspect, to help you find who you are, and what you’re good at and what you’re not good at, and how to work around those things and how to work with those things that you are good at. It’s just ridiculous. If you were a professional wrestler, I’d be like, ‘You need to come do an Elgin seminar and tell me you don’t walk with more information that is beneficial than you did beforehand.’ I could honestly talk in circles around this.
Was there anyone else you would say that you were trained by during your career?
I did a lot of seminars. I lived with ACH for six months, but he wasn’t necessarily in ring guidance. We would be in the car together and he would just tell me what I am doing that is beneficial, and what I am doing that needs to change. I would watch him liveas well, to learn what I need to not do and what I need to do, and he would help me out a lot more than he would take credit for, I am sure. Kyle O’Reilly is hands-on in the ring, and he would show up because he lives here in St. Louis, or he would text me at an obscure time like 11 in the morning and be like ‘Hey, do you want to train today?’ I would say ‘Yeah let’s do it.’ His training is definitely hands on.
Elgin’s not so many handson as he was when I first started because he has his own career to protect. He’s training every single time we have training, we’re there, and Kyle is they’re not so often. Others might hit us up out of the blue and want to get in there and bump and do this and that, all this crazy stuff. Where Elgin is, you need to do this and you need to do that. So, it’s a different aspect of learning, but it’s definitely helped me out a lot. Then, when I got to wrestle Kyle it was like, we were at training together, and I had a feel for him, you know what I mean?
You’ve used different music on the way to the ring, which would be a reflection of different tastes. What music did you think would stand out?
My first ever entrance song was a song called ‘No Brains’ bySum 41 because that was my backyard wrestling music with me and my friends. It always fit what I wanted. When I started discovering exactly who I was, and my character, and who Curt Stallion is, Eminem’s song ‘Role Models’ from his first CD back in the 1990s, that’s exactly what I want and how I describe Curt Stallion, that song. It’s a perfect fit. Curt is no-nonsense, doesn’t give a damn about anyone and Ima do what I want. Test me (laughs) I dare you. Now, Elgin won’t let me use Eminem at his Glory Pro shows, so I use ‘Tiger Army,’ it’s western rockabilly punk that fits Curt Stallion, and it’s pretty cool as well because it’s talking about an outlaw on the run. I enjoy it.
|Stallion has always been one to take Elgin’s advice to heart|
|In preparation for a match against Martin Stone, Stallion anticipated that it would be a hard hitting affair.|