Fear of a Ghost Interview: Davey Vega

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“Spitfire.” “The Ace of Anarchy.” To independent wrestling fans living in the Midwest, Davey Vega wears a lot of different masks (well, not literally), but in Cleveland’s Absolute Intense Wrestling he’s a newcomer, a man predominantly known as one half of the Sex Bob-Ombs with his partner Mat Fitchett. This Friday, he steps out of his role as a tag team specialist to take on the phenomenal ACH in round one of the J.T. Lightning Invitational Tournament. Fans who’ve been paying attention to AIW know that ACH is quickly becoming a focal point of the promotion. He recently had a mind-bending 30-minute Iron Man Match with AR Fox at Straight Outta Compton just a month ago—a match that should be in contention for many “Match of the Year” accolades—and, in a post-match speech, ACH made it clear that it is his intention to walk out of Turners Hall this weekend with the JLIT Trophy and a shot at Absolute Champion and TNA stalwart Shiima Xion. Many fans predict that ACH will go far in this weekends tournament, but those same fans may in fact be underestimating Vega.

While Vega’s road to AIW is remarkably similar to ACH’s—the two are friends and frequently team with each other in trios [three person tag team] competition—what maybe isn’t evident to AIW fans is that Davey Vega is an accomplished singles competitor. He’s not only the current Anarchy Championship Wrestling Net Exclusive Champion—a title he defends both in the promotion’s Austin, TX and St. Louis, MO branches—but came into professional wrestling separate from a packaged duo. Having risen up from the backyard wrestling scene, Vega trained for a time at the very prestigious CHIKARA Wrestle Factory. Not only can he take to the air like his first round opponent, Vega’s training gives him a background in lucha libre and technical wrestling. Combined with an array of martial arts kicks, it’s possible that Vega even has a leg up on his flashy, favored opponent.

From the videos above, it’s clear that Vega is an incredibly resilient athlete with a number of weapons at his disposal. Michael Barry and Jack Jameson may not wrestle, strike, or fly the same way ACH does, but Davey Vega’s objective this weekend is not merely working a show stealing match on Day One; his objective is to steal the tournament. Considering a field that includes names like Tim Donst, Colt Cabana, and B.J. Whitmer, a good run in the J.T. Lightning Invitational Tournament depends on one’s ability to adapt and change styles in any situation. Vega is capable of just that and, should he make it past the “Last Dragon,” has what it takes to have a good run this weekend. I had a chance to talk to Davey a little this week about not only the tournament, but his experiences as an independent wrestler—both good and bad—his history with the Cleveland scene, and his willingness to take on his friends.

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Fear of a Ghost Planet: You’re facing ACH in the first round of the J.T. Lightning Invitational Tournament. ACH has been pegged as a guy with the potential to take the entire tournament. As a competitor and his opponent, what expectations does that place on you?

Davey Vega: ACH is actually a really good friend of mine. We hang out, we work out together, we throw ideas off each other on a regular basis and we watch each others matches so I know what he is capable of. With that said, I’ll admit to having my work cut out for me. He’s quick, he’s agile and he seems to always have gas in the tank so I’m going to have to be better than my best. I think people expect me to lose which has only driven me to train harder for this match. I have confidence in what I can do in the ring so I expect this to be my coming out party. This match definitely has my competitive juices flowing and, win or lose, I plan on taking ACH to his limit and back. 

Fear of a Ghost Planet: You mention that you’re good friends with ACH, and, of late, you’ve also teamed with him along with your regular partner Mat Fitchett in trios competition. Does teaming with ACH give you an edge in a singles contest, or will what he’s maybe gotten from teaming with you serve to make this an even closer match?

Davey Vega: Seeing as ACH and I watch each others matches, I don’t think either has an edge. Right now ACH has a lot of momentum going into this match so that can be considered an edge as momentum is tough to beat. I feel that the match is going to be pretty even as we are both hungry to make names for ourselves and what better way to do it than with one of your good friends.

Fear of a Ghost Planet: Mat Fitchett is also in this tournament, and it stands to reason that you might eventually face him. Are you prepared to take on your tag team partner? With the prestige a tournament victory could bring, would the two of you wrestling against each other cause a rift in the Sex Bob-ombs, or make the team stronger?

Davey Vega: I’ve stood across the ring from Mat Fitchett a few times so that is nothing new for us. We are both competitive and I think that if we faced off it would be a good thing for the us and the fans. Fitchett and I, as well as ACH, have a really strong bond so I don’t think any one guy beating the other would cause a rift at all. I think it would just make each person work harder, have that competitive drive and spirit to be successful in a future encounter. 

Fear of a Ghost Planet: I’ve read elsewhere that you trained over the course of a few summers at the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory, where you not only trained with Mike Quackenbush, but under Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli. What was that experience like? What did your time there add to your game?

Davey Vega: I started attempting to go to CHIKARA in mid-2007, and the experience I had there each time I went was amazing. I was out that way for vacation and had spoken with Mike Quackenbush about coming to a class while I was there. We set a date on when I could be there to train and that Chris Hero would be the trainer that night. I was able to make it through the class that night, but I wasn’t prepared for some of the stuff that was thrown at me that night. But I didn’t let it discourage me. I took what I learned there and practiced it in St Louis so that when I had a chance to go back I would be better prepared. I ended up going back in the Summer of 2008 for a 6 week period. I started off in the beginner class and was jumped to the advanced class two weeks in, so that showed that the hard work I put in before going back really helped. I ended up going back in 2009 for a few week period but had transportation issues, so I was unable to go as much as I would have liked.  Being able to learn from Chris Hero (for that one night), Mike Quackenbush and Claudio Castagnoli was so surreal because I used to watch those guys before I became a wrestler, and they were some of my favorites. I learned so much while training there and it definitely upped my game in every department.  I was a much different wrestler when I came out of there. I would recommend CHIKARA to anyone looking to get into the wrestling business.  

Fear of a Ghost Planet: Can you talk a little bit about your experience wrestling with CHIKARA? How does working for them compare to working for Texas and St. Louis Anarchy or a promotion like Absolute Intense Wrestling?

Davey Vega: I had a chance to be apart of King of Trios 2009 in an LWA Showcase match (now known as St Louis Anarchy). It was my first taste of a CHIKARA/Philly atmosphere and it couldn’t have gone worse. We were booed before the music even started playing and actually had people turn away from the match. We are now known as the worst match in CHIKARA history, which might be unjust, but knowing that makes me work harder so its not such a bad thing.  It was a learning experience to say the least. All wrestling companies are alike in one way and that’s wrestling.  Everything that you do in wrestling hinges on determination and how successful you want to be. Companies like CHIKARA are where they are at because they wanted to be successful on a higher level of wrestling and they’ve achieved that.  I wasn’t able to be apart of CHIKARA when they made their ascension, but I’m doing that now with Anarchy Championship Wrestling, St Louis Anarchy and Absolute Intense Wrestling.  All 3 companies want to be as successful as CHIKARA and I feel that they are taking the right steps in doing so. 

Fear of a Ghost Planet: As far as being in a promotion like AIW as it gains exposure, I think most AIW fans would expect you to become a fixture of the tag team division. That being said, you have an impressive singles resume, especially out in Anarchy. This being your first singles match for AIW, what can somebody who has never seen you alone expect?

Davey Vega: I actually started wrestling in a tag team and was in one for years so its not a strange feeling. I am looking forward to being a staple of the tag division but I want to show people that I can go as a singles wrestler too and what better opponent to chow case that against than ACH? Those that don’t know my in ring work as a singles wrestler can expect a different array of styles. I truly believe I can adapt to anyone’s style in ring, which I think makes for very interesting match ups. I am truly excited to show the fans of AIW what I am capable of.

Fear of a Ghost Planet: Obviously, this tournament is being held to honor Cleveland-area legend J.T. Lightning. I understand you had some interactions with J.T. Can you tell us about that? As a former Cleveland resident, what does it mean to be involved in the JLIT?

Davey Vega: I only met J.T Lightening once and it was at a Cleveland All Pro show back in 06 or 07. He was really down to earth and one of the nicest people I have ever met in the wrestling business. Coming from the Cleveland area, I remember you couldn’t get out of Ohio without his stamp of approval as he had that much influence on the area. As a person who has lost people to cancer and a person that has strong roots to Cleveland, it’s truly an honor to be apart of this tournament and represent J.T.  RIP.

Fear of a Ghost Planet: Before entering training, I understand that you were a backyard wrestler. Was there a stigma associated with that when you were becoming “legit?”

Davey Vega: I indeed was a backyard wrestler. When I first started training I knew better than to say anything, so I just kept my mouth shut and got through training without anyone knowing. Dingo, who was my trainer, had a conversation with me about yarding and how he had done it so I ended up sharing my times with him. He was more receptive to it than I think a lot of people would have been but he is also an advocate of getting trained properly. I don’t see the harm if you’re going about things the right way. In fact I think backyarding kept me out of a lot of trouble while growing up.

Fear of a Ghost Planet: Is that where you first hooked up with Rickey Shane Page and Drew Cordeiro? How are you connected with those guys today?

Davey Vega: I met both RSP and Drew Cordeiro through a message board that a lot of people used to go to before they became legit (hell, even legit people went there). I met them through yarding and have kept in contact with them until this day, they are both really good friends of mine. RSP had a hand in opening the door for me at AIW and Drew is always trying to get my name out there so I really appreciate all they have done for me over the years. 

Fear of a Ghost Planet: Fans seeking out more of your work can look for you in Beyond Wrestling and Anarchy. Can you tell us a bit about your role with those promotions?

Davey Vega: My role in Beyond Wrestling is that I have a chip on my shoulder (and actually did at the time of its inception) and make everyone’s life miserable there.  I’ve been banned as of October, but I think that might be lifted. My role in Anarchy is that I am a part of the Submission Squad, but do a lot of work without their help. I was the only member for a long time that the crowd liked and cheered for. To sum it up, here is a quote that one of my fellow Anarchists said about me: “There’s something about you that, when you come from behind the curtain, everybody believes in you.”  That’s Davey Vega in a nutshell.

Fear of a Ghost Planet: Looking at the JLIT brackets, who would you most like to face on Day Two, and why?

Davey Vega: I wouldn’t mind mixing it up with anyone in this tournament, but if I had to choose one it would be Rickey Shane Page. Being one of my friends I know how much he has been through in wrestling and he has really stepped up his game since removing his mask [Page formerly competed under a hood as Christian Faith]. He has a significant size advantage on me but I would love to be across the ring from him on Day Two.

Fear of a Ghost Planet: Supposing you win the tournament, what are your future plans in AIW? What are your goals in wrestling, in general?

Davey Vega: Winning the tournament or not, my plan is to hold AIW gold, but I’m willing to work up the ranks to get it. Right now Fitchett and I are on the same page of getting some wins under our belts, get a following in AIW and go after the tag gold. My main goal in wrestling right now is to wrestle in Japan, that’s always been a dream of mine. That’s my big goal (well, besides getting contracted by WWE), but some of my smaller goals are to work in every state, wrestle in Canada again and just keep having fun.  I’ll stop wrestling when it stops being fun for me. 

Fear of a Ghost Planet: Anything you feel like adding? Anything you want to plug?

Davey Vega: Anyone interested in getting in contact with me can do so at my email DaveyVega85@gmail.com, on Twitter @DaveyVega85 and on Facebook keywords Davey Vega.  Check out Anarchy Championship Wrestling at www.anarchychampionshipwrestling.com and St Louis Anarchy at http://www.slawrestling.com, and just support indie wrestling in general.  Thanks for all the love and support. 

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Davey Vega is just one of twenty-four men scheduled to compete in Absolute Intense Wrestling’s massive J.T. Lightning Invitational Tournament, which happens this Friday and Saturday at Turners Hall in Cleveland, Ohio. Tickets are $20 for each night and can be purchased at shop.aiwrestling.com or at the door on the day of the event. There’s also a special AIW Fanfest scheduled for 4 p.m. on Day Two of the tournament, featuring a Dance Contest hosted by ACH and a live Q&A session with the always controversial Brian “Spanky” Kendrick. Don’t miss out.

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