If you read any of the wrestling-related posts here on Fear of a Ghost Planet, I’m sure you’ve noticed my interviews with Davey Vega, Rickey Shane Page, UltraMantis Black, and Jakob Hammermeier, indie wrestlers who took time out of their schedule to talk to some schmuck with a blog that’s only sometimes dedicated to wrestling. As fun as those interviews were and as good as I think they turned out, they were conducted either via e-mail or through Facebook Messenger, and, in my opinion, lacked the same spark as a face-to-face conversation. At Absolute Intense Wrestling’s JT Lightning Invitational Tournament, I was given a chance to do a face-to-face interview with one of the weekend’s special guests, “Milk Chocolate” Willie Mack. The #JLIT was an absolutely hectic weekend for me, as I quickly went from being “women’s match announcer” to “all-purpose announcer,” something I wasn’t really prepared for, and I had no clue I’d be shooting an interview with Willie until a camera was pointing at us. So if I come across as nervous in this video, it’s because I am. Horribly so.
Willie’s a cool guy, though. Before we shot this, we stood around talking about the new Batman video game and how cool the upcoming downloadable content was. I knew a little about his personal life from having listened to Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast (which, remembering it, I’m disgusted with myself that I didn’t ask a question about Foots, Willie’s dad), and know plenty about him professionally from having seen plenty of his work with PWG, in California (another thing I’m ashamed of: Not emphatically screaming “MY DICK EXPLOOOOOOOODES” as he clotheslined his opponent, ACH, in the corner during their match). Even if you’ve heard Cabana’s podcast, which covers some of the same ground I do here, hearing Mack talk about how he got into wrestling is still fascinating—there are plenty of guys who’ve had a gimmick where they’re “one of the fans,” but few, if any, are cut from that cloth the way Willie is. He’s a juggalo who was hired by ICP to work one of their shows. An unashamed Ahmed Johnson fan who pledges to bring back the Pearl River plunge. He’s living the dream in ways few people do.
Because he lives way out in California, Willie doesn’t get to travel out east much to do wrestling. This year he made it out to CZW to participate in their Best of the Best tournament, but fans went home unsatisfied when Mack didn’t take on ACH, which was one of the few dream matches that tournament could have—and should have—produced. AIW didn’t make that same mistake. Willie and ACH were placed close enough on the bracket that the potential for a match between the two existed, and, after Mack beat Ethan Page in one of Night One’s better matches, he took on ACH to open Night Two action. After the match, AIW’s acting president Matt Wadsworth said that the door was open for Willie Mack to return to AIW, and I hope that remains true. He’s an incredibly talented individual, and, no matter how good or well-exposed PWG are (and they’re doing pretty good for themselves), he deserves as many opportunities as possible to exhibit his skills outside of California.