|Bishop - 2012 Pacific Cup Champion|
Back in 2010, when I first started covering ECCW... I managed to sit down for an interview with veteran wrestler Bishop. One of the questions in that interview was "what gold do you want most?" I was surprised when Bishop immediately answered, "I want to enter the Pac Cup... but I'm not a cruiser weight"
Fast forward to today's date and Bishop is now 2012 Pac Cup champion in only his first year in the tournament. And to be honest... it is well deserved. While most fans just see a big surly dude playing a mean bully of a character, people behind the scene and media like myself see a different side to the big man who leads The Natural Selection.
Bishop is a man who has paid his dues over the years. He has been in the business over a decade. He is a man who is passionate about his craft. He is a man who helps younger talent. Heck, he even helps set up the ring still. I'm pretty sure that's a thankless task usually saved for greenhorns just starting in the business. Yet every show... the big man is there helping out with set up and anything else that needs doing. You have never heard of grumblings from him over younger talent being pushed before him. I'm sure he would be any promoters dream. Bishop's raw wrestling talent and agility for a big man are backed up by a good attitude and deep passion for what he does. He is a team player to the core and is also known for his "leave it in the ring" performances, most notably at Halloween Hells 2010 & 2011, as well as TLC VI. I know his gutsy matches would definitely be welcome in my newly created "Basso Championship Wrestling" (still seeking funding.. a ring.. wrestlers... etc) I hardly need to mention Bishop's recent participation in the World Of Hurt tapings with Rowdy Roddy Piper. The man eats up any and all things wrestling!
I think it was the right move to give Bish the Cup. He looked like a believable winner. All his matches on the night were stellar and he definitely deserves to have his named etched on the most prestigious wrestling prize here in the Pacific Northwest. While Bishop isn't the youngest guy on the roster, he still has plenty of good years and matches left in him. I think the 2011 calendar year was a break out for Bishop as far as in-ring performances and accomplishments and it will only go up from here in 2012. Bishop seems to still be improving. Hey, who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
I caught up with Bishop after the event for a shoot interview
What does it mean to you to win the Pac Cup and to now have heavyweights be involved?
Honestly, its the biggest deal to me personally. Yeah I'm a bigger guy, but I don't wrestle big guy style most of the time. Yes, I can wrestle a big guy style. I am versatile. I wrestle whatever my opponent needs, but my favourite style is a cruiser weight style. I like flying around, doing flippy spots and blowing the crowds mind. That's my bread and butter. Thats what I like to watch, there for that is what I like to do. The Pac Cup was a huge deal to be a part of it.
I did a shoot with Artemis Spencer a while back and I asked him "Who would you like to work with in the near future?" His answer was Bishop. What does that mean to you to know that Artemis had put you over and that in the end it was you two fighting it out for the 2012 Pac Cup?
I'm not gonna lie. Arty is the best technical wrestler in the Pacific Northwest guaranteed if not one of the top guys in all of North America. You can put him against anyone from ROH, Dragon Gate, Chikara... any promotion. Obviously, guys in the Fed or TNA don't work that style, but I'm pretty sure they couldn't hang with Arty. For him to put me over like that is a huge thing for me. Honestly, we did train together. When i started I was 21... he was like 15. I was so jealous. I was like "Man, I could have been doing this when I was 15?" I was so jealous. He was so good, little and quick. I loved trying to keep up with him when we were training and stuff. We've been around each other for the last 9 years. I've seen him grow. I've seen him be shunned because of his size. He was shunned and had to wear a mask for years because management thought he looked too young and skinny. He is one of the guys I've always pushed for to get the spots in the company. For him to compliment me like that means a lot.
Describe your feeling and the atmosphere backstage when management told you that you were going over and would be winning the 2012 Pac Cup ?
I'm not that guy. I don't like being the guy that gets put over. Talk to the booking team. I was trying to change things 5 minutes before the show. I was saying 'Guys, why don't we put [Kenny]Lush over? He's a good guy" He goes to Korea. This f***ing guy deserves it more than me. He has better ring cardio than me. Why put me over? Why did I need to go over? I didn't know what to do... I didn't feel like I deserved it. I felt like I was burying everyone. I like putting other guys over and taking their sh*t and making them look good.
Who would you work with if you had to pick? Perhaps defend your Pac Cup against next year?
I couldn't pick just one guy. I love working with [Kenny] Lush. His energy in the ring is infectious. As soon as the match starts, he cranks it up to 15 and I'm like "Man, I gotta match him" It draws it out of you. Working with Lush is Amazing. Working with Arty is amazing. We didn't even begin to tap in to what we could really do. I f***ed up my ankle in the match so I was worried about doing stuff. We didn't get to do everything we wanted to. I'm upset I only got to work [Sid] Sylum once at Halloween Hell. We had such great chemistry. I'd like to work with him more. I clicked with Azeem in the first round of the cup. He's really getting over as a babyface. I definitely want to work with him more. If I could get Memphis out of retirement, I'd love to work with him. Hes one of my all time favourites. My chemistry with Baroni was great. There is too many guys to narrow it down.
One image I think that really illustrated just how much this Pac Cup win meant for Bishop, came immediately after his win. Bishop had defeated Artemis Spencer for his NWA Canadian Heavyweight Title as part of a stipulation in the Pac Cup finals, making Bishop a double champ with the win. The Natural was just about to hand Bishop a microphone so he could spill his guts... only Bishop's hands were full. In one hand, the Pac Cup he had finally got his hands on. In the other... the NWA Canadian Heavyweight title. Without hesitation, Bishop threw the title belt to the ground and grabbed the mic, while hoisting the Pac Cup trophy high in the air. Bish didn't care about the belt. He cared about the Pac Cup. That right there tells me that perhaps out of any former winner... Bishop truly valued this trophy more than anything and it really came across in his post match promo. While I don't think this trophy is going to instantly rocket Bishop to super stardom, it is most definitely a very big pat on the back for many years of loyal service in the Pacific Northwest.
For video of his victory, click here.
I've linked to my own personal tribute to Bishop, that I think most will get a kick out of. Click here for that video.
Im sure Bishop will continue his tear in to 2012 and provide more ball-to-the-wall performances, which are steadily becoming his trademark.
For more info on ECCW , The Pacific Cup and their events, visit ECCW.com , their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter at @eccw
You can follow Bishop on Twitter at @BigPileOfSexy
You can follow me on twitter at @cdbasso or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of ECCW.com