Brawlin’ Bo Cooper is a vet of the regional scene in the US. He has spent time in many of the bigger indy promotions in the US and has been to Mexico.He’s currently plying his trade in NWA affiliate Vendetta Pro and other regional indies.
For those in the UK who may not be aware of you, could you please introduce yourself?
I am the ‘Punk Rock Power House’, 6’3, 385lbs Brawlin’ Bo Cooper! I’m Rude Crude and Tattooed!
Training for you was at the School Of Hard Knocks, run by (NWA and WWF vet) Jesse Hernandez and (WWA and WWF vet) Bill Anderson. What was the training like and what were the differences the trainers’ methods?
I started training at 14 years of age. Training was tough, as I was a kid in a big man’s sport but I wanted to be a wrestler since I was very little, so I knew, here was my chance and had to do whatever it took to make my dreams come true.
You also had a brief spell at Malenko’s Wrestling School, how was that experience?
Going to Florida to train at Dean Malenkos was an incredible experience! Living with former WWE stars Gangrel and the late, great Luna Vachon was such a cool experience. Dean was a very nice guy, who is the master of chain wrestling. Getting the chance to train there, even though it was for just six months, was one of the most memorable experiences I have had. And from that, I learnt a new style of wrestling.
Do you remember your first match, who it was against and where it was? Also, in hindsight, how well do you think it went?
I trained for two years at the School Of Hard Knocks before I had my first pro match. It was at the San Bernardino Boys and Girls Club, in front of a large crowd. My first gimmick I was given was under a mask and I was known as “The Hangman”, carrying a noose. My first match was against a wild, huge biker named “Krazy KC”, even though I was only 16 and was nervous. I look back and think it was better than I expected. Bill and Jesse made sure I was ready to be in the ring. From that, it taught me patience.
You’ve held many titles so far in your career, which means more to you?
I have held championships all over the US. I always have appreciated that a promoter would consider me his ‘top guy’ in the company. It makes a person who stays humble and works hard feel good that he is recognized! Some of my favourite titles I have held are the EWF Championship (which is my home grown fed), the AWS Tag Team Title and the MPW Title.
These days, you wrestle mostly for NWA affiliate Vendetta Pro and MPW (until its closure), what is it about the two promotions that keeps you coming back?
Well I love wrestling for Vendetta Pro, Billy Blade is the promoter and one of my best friends. The hard work he puts into the shows really shows because he draws some of the biggest crowds in California, anywhere from 500 to 2k fans! Like you mentioned, MPW has folded. But my run with them was amazing; it had one of the most fun and politic free locker rooms I’ve been in. Some of my promotions I still currently work for are CWFH, which is a TV based promotion and Santino Brothers, when they run in Newhall Ca. Both are great companies.
Fight Nation in the UK is now an NWA affiliate, would touring the UK be something you’d be interested in?
If you would have asked me that question five years ago, I would be all about it. But after 18 years, I have slowed down a lot. My travelling days are over, although getting the chance to wrestle in the UK would have been amazing! UK fans are very passionate.
In your career, you’ve wrestled talents as varied as Gangrel, Joey Ryan, Necro Butcher, The Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Snuka. Is there a particular match that means the most?
I have had the honour of working with many big stars throughout my career. Taking the ‘Super Fly Splash’ is definitely one of the most memorable! Last year I had a ‘Career vs Career’ match with my long time friend, Ryan Katz aka GQ Money. I beat him and sent him on his way to NXT. He is currently working production and talent relations there; I will always remember the amazing hype built up before our match. We both have had lengthy careers. We did it all together, from being partners in a wrestling school to running shows, being his body guard in XPW and fighting one another. But I am proud of him; it truly paid off for him. Much love Ryan.
What are your plans for the rest of this year?
As for the rest of this year, I plan on continuing to teach at MWA Wrestling School on Thursday nights in Moorpark, California. Also continue to work some local promotions. Pretty sure this year will be my end of in ring competition. But who knows what next year will hold!
Is there anything else you’d like to say, add or plug?
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me and for taking the time to look into my long history of professional wrestling. Fans like you that make this great sport possible. I would like to say that if you truly give something you love your all, put in the most effort you can, whether you make it to the top or not, you did your part on being the best you can be. If you would like to follow me on Twitter / Instagram @BrawlinBo and like my Facebook page Brawlin Bo Cooper.
Thanks to Bo for taking the time to participate in this interview.