Photo Credit: Mark Griffin Jr.
Brute VanSlyke is a mainstay for 2CW in the States and will soon be going to Japan to compete for Wrestle-1.
People in the UK most likely haven’t heard of you, could tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m an ass kicker. Whether it’s in the wrestling ring or on the arm wrestling table, I am the King of Arms.
Could you tell us where you trained and who trained you, also how did you find the training?
While watching Monday Night RAW years back, a commercial came on for a 2CW wrestling event in Syracuse NY. My first thought when seeing this, was that they might have a training school, so I went right on my computer to look them up. At the time, 2CW was affiliated with the Institute of Pro Wrestling in Syracuse, so I went out there to start training. The school was run by wrestlers who were trained by Killer Kowalski, so I was able to learn from a great lineage of wrestling.
You’ve mainly competed for 2CW in career thus far, what makes 2CW such a good home?
2CW has the best mix of top indy talent, wrestling legends, hard working locals and hungry up starts. No matter what you love about pro wrestling, 2CW will have you covered on every event. Because of this, a guy like me not only has the opportunity to share locker rooms with great talent to learn from and the chance to be in the ring with them also. By starting in 2CW and growing there as a wrestler and with the amount of top talent they bring in, you have no choice but to get better every time. Fans not familiar with Squared Circle Wrestling; be sure to look them up at www.2CW.com
As well as being a singles wrestler, you also compete as a tag team with Kevin Graham. How do you find wrestling as part of a tag team as opposed to as a singles competitor?
The main difference is, in singles, you only have yourself to rely on. If you win or lose, it’s all on you. With a tag team, you have someone to count on and help you out. Tag team wrestling offers a great mix of action though. Kevin and I were so successful because we complimented each other so well. He was the quicker loud mouth and I was the silent bruiser. Because we were able to make up what the other lacked, we became the perfect combination that could stand up to any team. That is why we are the only 3 time 2CW tag team champions.
Last year you had a tryout with TNA; could you tell us more about that experience?
It was a great experience for sure. Whilst working for Samu’s WXW C4 promotion in Allentown, I was able to show Samu what I was about, which lead him to offer me the tryout spot when TNA contacted him about them. TNA was in PA for a few days and I was able to get a try out the first night, which was a tag team match. I teamed with Joey Janela to go against Stevie Shields and Afa Jr. The match went well, Afa and I beat the hell out of each other and the TNA management liked what they saw. This was my first real look at being behind the scenes of a national TV wrestling product, which was an amazing thing to witness. Everyone in the locker room were great guys to us and very welcoming.
In May, you will be headed to Japan to work with Wrestle-1, how did that come about and are you familiar with the Japanese style?
It all started last year, when 2CW booked a very rare US appearance of Tajiri for our big Living on the Edge weekend. Tajiri teamed with Mikey Whipwreck but he brought along with him Kodama and Rionne Fujiwara to compete that weekend as well. At the time, Tajiri was running his own promotion in Japan called Wrestling New Classic and Tajiri loved 2CW so much, that he began talking to the office about a working agreement between the two promotions. Jay Freddie and I were all set to make the trip last Fall but about a month before we were going to leave, WNC merged with Wrestle-1 and the deal was put on hold. Recently, Tajiri has gained some booking control in W1 and once again, set up arrangements for Freddie and myself to come over.
I am very familiar with the Japanese style. I have spent countless hours studying guys like Stan Hansen, Terry Gordy, Dr. Death, Vader, Scott Norton and a bunch of other guys over in Japan. That has always been the style I enjoyed and the style I pattern my in ring work on. Wrestling in Japan has been my main goal in wrestling for a long, long time and everything I have done has been to get me to that goal. Freddie and I both immerse ourselves in Japanese wrestling, so we are well aware to what we are about to get into.
Wrestle-1 is Keiji Mutoh’s (The Great Muta) company, how does it feel to know that you’ll be competing in the presence of such a wrestling legend?
It’s an incredible feeling knowing, that not only will I be meeting such a legend but wrestling for him as well. As I said I have watched a lot of Japanese wrestling and this man has popped up against everyone. Very few have had as much of an impact on wrestling has Mutoh has, so this is truly a huge honour.
You’ve won many titles in your career, which one are you most proud of?
Hands down, it was the 2CW tag team titles that I won with Kevin Graham. 2CW is my home and where I continue to learn and grow, so it makes the win more special to me. It was the first title I won in my career and for it to be one that includes a title lineage with the American Wolves, Briscoes, Super Smash Brothers, not to mention all the amazing teams who’ve competed for the titles, is a real honour.
In February you took part in a special pre-event match up at CZW Sixteen, how was that experience for you?
You know, with how that match came along, it made the experience go by really quick. My buddy Dick Justice is making waves all over North America and soon to be in the UK and he has been working with CZW for the past several months. I rode with him to the event thinking that at the very least, I get to see a bunch of friends and hang out at the former ECW Arena. The weather was real bad that day, it took us an extra 2 or 3 hours to get there but some people flat out couldn’t make it. The WSU event had ended and they were getting ready to start the CZW iPPV, when I was approached and asked how long it would take me to get changed. I ran to the car, grabbed my gear, and got changed in a couple of minutes. My boots were barely laced when I was being brought to the curtain and told what my match was. The match was quick but there was still a moment when I was able to take it all in out there and realize I made it to the building I always wanted to wrestle in and for the company I watched since Cage Of Death 3 as a teen. Afterwards, I was feeling real good about myself and about the whole deal. The minor 2CDub chant I received helped a bit too.
Once you’re back from Japan, is somewhere like CZW you’d like to work?
Yes, absolutely. Like I said, I watched CZW in my teens. After ECW closed, CZW is what I started following next after I got my hands on their Cage Of Death III tape. Being able to work there would be great to me, so when I come back from Japan more polished than ever, CZW is a place I would like to work for. On top of that, I hope to add a lot more top wrestling companies where I can wrestle more top talent on a weekly basis.
Is there anything else you’d like to add or plug?
Anyone looking to find more about me, what upcoming shows I have, matches to watch, promos, photos or anything else can check out my website http://brutevanslyke.weebly.com. Follow me on the Twitter @Brute_VanSlyke and look me up on Facebook. Thanks to everyone for supporting me and I will see everyone at the matches!
Thanks to Brute for taking the time to answer the questions.