When you talk about the hottest up and coming wrestlers on the independent scene that aren't currently under contract to ROH or DGUSA/Evolve, indy star ACH is one of the first names that come to mind! ACH was kind enough to join us here at Two Spot Monkeys to talk about his career, his upcoming match in the Young Lions Cup Tournament for Chikara this Friday night against Jakob Hammermeier, and why you should be referring to him as #YoungSimba for now! Check it out!
1. Can you tell us a bit about how you became interested in becoming a professional wrestler, and who trained you?
ACH: I played numerous sports throughout my life. I’ve also been called a class clown, center of attention, and most likely to turn super saiyan. Growing up I always wanted to be in the NFL, MLB, and NBA like most kids. Unfortunately, I was over looked as an athlete growing up cause of my size and my lack of focus. I was first introduced to wrestling at a young age like most fans, but I never dreamed or thought of being a professional wrestler. When I was sophomore in high school I was thinking about my future after school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I thought long and hard about a career I wanted to pursue. I loved being an entertainer, but also wanted to show people that I could be athlete as well. So, I came to a decision that I would become a professional wrestler! A couple of weeks after high school I signed up with QFC (Quest for Champions) in South Austin, TX. I attended the school for two months and left due to a lifestyle change that required me to relocate to San Antonio, TX. While in San Antonio, my trainer from Austin helped me seek training with Jerry Reyes who retrained me.
2. Who are some of the wrestlers that you’ve looked up to in your young career? Do you think you pattern your career or style after anyone in particular?
ACH: Shelton Benjamin is my favorite wrestler/hero overall. AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Ricky Steamboat, and a whole list of guys!!! Too many to name, I try not to pattern myself after anyone. We are at a time in wrestling where EVERYTHING has been seen and done. So, I try to carry myself like no one else. It keeps me working harder, and also keeps my mind focused on my task at hand.
3. Your style seems to be a mix of the incredible high flying, and also some good kicks, and a few video game inspired moves thrown in, how would you describe your style?
ACH: “Final Fantasy Strong Style”. Most people only dream of what I do in the ring!!! Get it? Lol.
4. You are known as “The Last Dragon” and also lately have been referring to yourself as #YoungSimba, care to explain those names for our readers?
ACH: “The Last Dragon” came about for my love of Berry Gordy’s “The Last Dragon” film. Also I was going through a really tough time in my life, had a falling out with wrestling, and then came back with a new focus and mind set. So I started using the name because I felt reborn and felt like I was the last of a dying breed of my style of people. After I picked myself up after my hardships, it was time to show “Sho’nuff” (Who which I refer to as the politics in wrestling) that I had the “Glow”. Cheesy? I know! The #YoungSimba name is all about me winning this year Young Lions Cup. My mind set this year overall is: I can’t wait to be the king! #YoungSimba
5. You have had a number of matches with AR Fox across many different promotions. Is there one that sticks out in your mind? And why do you think you have had such good chemistry with Fox?
ACH: Our 30 minute ironman match from AIW (Absolute Intense Wrestling) sticks out the most. Honestly, couldn’t tell you. Some things in life you just can’t put your finger on. The unknown factor! Lol.
6. You've had a chance to work with some of the top names out there on the Indy scene over the last year or two, Davey Richards, Chris Hero, Akira Tozawa and others. Do any of those matches stick out to you as a favorite, or one you were most nervous before?
ACH: Nervous! I was sweating like a fat man in a phone booth before all these matches! Ha-ha. Nah, seriously my match with Chris Hero sticks out the most. After that match I pretty much told myself in order to take my career to the next level, I needed to leave Texas. So, after that match I left TX and moved to St Louis.
7. What is the "dream match" you hope you get to be a part of some day?
ACH: I feel like every match I have is a “dream match” for me. I’m living my dream every day I wake up and I’m so blessed to be able to shake the hands of fans, wrestlers, and anyone that loves what I do inside the ring. But if I must pick a dream match, I’ll have to say me vs. Shelton Benjamin.
8. You worked a Fray Match on the pre-show for Dragon Gate USA last year in Chicago. It would seem that your style would be a good fit for DGUSA and Evolve. Has there been any movement towards you appearing again for those companies?
ACH: I get asked that a lot. At this moment I can’t tell you anything due to me not knowing anything. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to work with them again.
9. You debuted for Chikara last month and won a Four Way Eliminator to advance to the semi-finals in the Young Lions Cup. You’ll compete Friday, August 17th in Milwaukee against Jakob Hammermeier in those semi-finals, and then could move on to the finals the next night in Indiana if you are successful. What would it mean to you to win the Young Lions Cup?
ACH: It would mean the world to me! A good friend of mine by the name of Davey Vega told me it means a lot to him to see me in the YLC because he always wanted to be a part of it but is too old to be considered for the tournament now. That’s one of my main motivations to push me to the finals. I also feel like I’ve been put in a leadership role for the young guys in my state. Texas gets overlooked a lot in the professional world of wrestling. Yup! I have full list of reasons to win, but I’ll just sum it up simple by saying it means the world!
10. What stands out to you most about Jakob Hammermeier? Is there anything in particular you think you need to be cautious with him about?
ACH: He has a lot of momentum after beating Jigsaw. I just need to stay on top of game and stay focus.
11. Win, lose, or draw, will we be seeing more of you in Chikara in the months to come?
ACH: I can’t say. Hopefully my performances will warrant a comeback!
12. What are your goals over the next year? How about the next three years? Next five years?
ACH: Wrestle in Japan, keep entertaining the good fans of professional wrestling and stay humble!
13. How can fans connect with you, and get merchandise if they’d like?
ACH: Twitter: @AcLeroy
Facebook: Albert Hardie
Facebook Fan page: http://www.facebook.com/
We here at Two Spot Monkeys would like to thank ACH for taking the time to talk with us about his career! If you are anywhere near Milwaukee this Friday night, come join Tom and I as we cheer on ACH in his quest to become Chikara Young Lions Cup Champion, as he faces Jakob Hammermeier in the semi-finals of the tournament!
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