Recently, I had the privilege of having a one-on-one chat with Impact Wrestling star, the newly solo Jake Something!
We covered a variety of topics, ranging from the types of guys he likes to work with from a physical standpoint, training at the ROH Dojo and his 4 year run as Wrestling And Respect world champion.
Since making your Impact Wrestling debut in 2019, you’ve shared the ring with the likes of Tommy Dreamer, Rhino and Eric Young. Who on the roster do you think you’d have the best in-ring chemistry with?
I know for sure it’s Rohit Raju. Prior to Impact Wrestling, we’ve had at least one hundred matches on the indies. Even before we were trained, we’d both do backyard wrestling, which I know is ‘taboo’, but we were and even wrestled then too. I could have a million more matches with him & I’d love every one of them.
You two are very different physically, and in terms of style. Do you prefer wrestling guys who are smaller than yourself over somebody of a similar physical stature?
I don’t know if I have a preference, because again some of my best matches are against somebody like Rohit Raju who is smaller than me, but then some of my other favourite matches are with guys my size, or even bigger. I know this is probably a cheat answer, but I really like the variety in opponents, and a different match all the time.
In Impact I think we have a very vast roster, with guys like Rohit and then XXXL, so it’s all very different. I’d like to think I mix a lot of these different styles.
Recently on Impact, you came up just a little bit short in a TNA World championship match against Moose. Following your split with Deaner AND the announcement that the TNA Championship is now an official world title, do you have your immediate sights set on claiming a world title?
Absolutely. I want every title there is. The heavyweight title is definitely at the top of the list, although the X-Division title has a vast lineage that I desperately want to be a part of. But ultimately, yeah the world title is where i want to be if everything goes well. I mean, not only was the TNA World title reinstated, but I had the first shot at it, which is pretty cool… even if I had just had a long, hard-fought tables match right before. It is what it is.
When you came face-to-face with Moose, you matched him in terms of height and muscle, which is a rare sight to see. What is your training schedule like?
I go to the gym everyday. That isn’t something I’d necessarily advise for others, because I do think rest is important. But personally, I just go crazy with rest so I’m in there everyday for at least two hours. Going so often obviously helps me physically, but also mentally. It makes me stronger in both aspects. I focus mostly on weight training, with some cardio too. I also like to get myself into a wrestling school every week or so to just keep working at my craft.
What inspired you to begin your journey into the world of professional wrestling, did you ever want to do anything else?
This was always what I wanted to do, for sure. In first grade we had an assignment to write about what it is we all wanted to do when we grew up. You know there were the ‘I wanna be a police officer’, ‘I wanna be a fireman’, and then there was me with ‘pro wrestler’. If it wasn’t that, I always liked the idea of being a drummer, but later found out I have no musical ability at all. Even still, I ended up in a job where I get to hit people with sticks really hard, so in a way I guess it worked out.
Wrestling was always my passion though. My high school wanted us students to ‘set up’ plans for what we wanted to do after we left, so we had to meet with a guidance councillor. When I told her I wanted to be a wrestler, she just went ‘well that’s not practical, what are you actually gonna do?’ and I replied with ‘no, I’m going to be a pro wrestler’.
When constructing your on-screen persona, where did you draw influence from? Judging from your Twitter, you’re a big fan of TV. Was that a big inspiration?
I try to draw inspiration from a lot of different things. There’s a manga I have called ‘Berzerk’. I relate a lot to the main character in that, I feel we have a lot of similarities. The main character’s name is ‘Guts’, he had a pretty horrible life, he’s been destroyed a lot of times but he always perseveres through it. I look at that and see myself. Showtime’s ‘Dexter’ TV Series I find inspiration from too. And also, lots of pieces of music. I’m big into heavy metal, and sometimes listening to it, your gears just start shifting because it reminds me of who I am. And while we’re on the subject, Star Wars is undoubtedly a big inspiration for me too.
I see that, when something resonates with you it really sticks & you can sometimes take elements of it and apply them to yourself. From a wrestling standpoint, was there ever a particular star who resonated a lot with you?
It’s gotta be Kane. When Kane came on the scene and he was doing his stuff, I just watched him and was like ‘wow, this is a fellow freak’, and then all of his fans were fellow freaks too and I kinda felt like ‘oh yeah, Kane’s doing it for [people like] me!’
A lot of my favourite wrestlers I actually didn’t inherently identify with, but I did want to be like them. It was always ‘the freaks’ for me, like Kane and Mankind. My all-time favourite wrestler is Triple H. When I saw him I was like ‘wow, I wanna be that guy’, he was who I wanted to model myself on. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from him.
Your ring name is very unique and cool; ‘Jake Something’. Did you come up with it at random or is it some form of statement?
It’s more of a statement for sure. When I started to think of an idea for ‘a wrestling name’, I actually found it stressful. I didn’t like the process of it. You know, these guys make up names for themselves and they get these monikers for themselves like ‘so and so, The Crusher’ or ‘The Destroyer’, things like that. To me, if you have to brand yourself as something tough or strong… then you’re not. You can’t lean on monikers like that, like a crutch. It’s similar with a lot of second and third-generation wrestlers who have to lean on a family name. I don’t have anything like that, and I don’t want anything like that. I’m bare bones, up from the dirt, I create myself and that’s where I took my inspiration.
Once I got onto that path, the wheels just started to turn, like I come from nothing and that’s who I am. The word ‘something’ is such a thrown around word, and it means absolutely nothing. My process was, if I can take a word that means relatively nothing and build it up to mean something, if I can make it mean everything, then that’s who I wanna be. When I beat my chest and say ‘what’s my name’ and everybody chants it back, that’s powerful. It’s definitely a statement.
Scott D’Amore has said numerous times how keen he is to come over to England with the Impact Wrestling roster, because of how big a die hard wrestling audience we are. Is coming over here to perform something you’re especially keen to do?
Yeah absolutely, I want to, so bad. Prior to being with Impact, I’ve been so close to getting over there a couple of times, but it always fell through. Wrestling in the UK is one of my career goals, I can’t wait to come over there. It’s alluded me completely so far, but I know I definitely will. I think going over with Impact will be even cooler, too.
As a performer who is usually on the road quite a bit, do you find that there’s a difference of energy in the crowd depending on where you are? Even if applied to just America, are the crowds in Chicago different to those in Texas, maybe?
Oh definitely, yeah. There are certain crowds that kinda form for us in what could be said to be a ‘nowhere town’, somewhere where they aren’t getting much live entertainment in any capacity. When we reach one of these places, it kinda feels like we’ve gone back in time. But these places have some of the best crowds, everything is so real and raw. They really do feel everything that happens on the show. On the flip side of that, going to a place like Chicago where they’re very in-tune to everything and passionate, those fans absolutely feel it too, but it is a very different energy to those smaller towns, it’s a higher energy. Both these kinds of crowds though, they carry so much energy that us in the ring can’t help but feel it too. Now and then you get these crowds that are just sitting on their hands, which isn’t fun for anybody. But all-in-all, city to city and state to state, there are some big differences.
Do you have a favourite country to perform in?
At this point, I’ve only actually performed in three countries; America, Canada and Mexico. America is definitely where I’ve performed the most, because this is where I’m from. But I think Canada is my favourite place, because every town I’ve performed in there, and every big city- like I said earlier, usually there’s a different energy in each big city- but no matter where you are in Canada they ALL love pro wrestling. It’s a widely recognised sport to them, almost. If they know you’re good, and if they know you’re working hard, they really do respond to that. I have so many good memories of wrestling in Canada, Toronto specifically.
What was training in the Ring Of Honor Dojo like?
Oh, man. Best Google search I’ve ever done.
So like I said, in high school I knew this was what I wanted. In class one day, me and my buddy were searching for schools. Some luck, the ROH Dojo came up. I’m very happy I went to that school, I learned so much. I trained with them on a six month course, which included travelling up and down the East Coast to perform. I got to go to a lot of places and watch a lot of great matches whilst with them too. I got to learn from some awesome pro wrestlers, and met a lot of cool people there too. Even just being in attendance for their shows was a learning curve, it was a valuable experience in and of itself. Being on the road and travelling with them too was a good experience. The majority of wrestling schools are just local little schools, with no travelling. That element incorporated into the training let me know honestly what I was getting myself into.
With that said though, the school was about fifteen hours from where I lived, so attending there my only option really was to throw everything in my car and move away. I later found out there were two very good wrestling schools within a couple of hours of where I was originally living, one of them was actually run by Scott D’Amore. So the option was there to train somewhere closer, but I stuck with ROH.
Was the most challenging part of training with them, from a physical standpoint?
I don’t think this is specific to training with them, but training in general. For me, the hardest part has always been running the ropes, oddly enough. It’s something I think people don’t realise, but hitting those ropes, hurts. Especially when you first do it. Most wrestlers I’ve met will have a story from when they first started, where they had three bruises along their backs from the ropes. Three thick, gross bruises; we all get them in the weeks after we start training.
It’s funny like, you watch guys go out and hit the mat and you can imagine that hurts, but the ropes are one of those things you don’t realise hurt. Even when I was backyard wrestling before, I did some really dumb stuff but seriously, hitting those ropes in a real ring sucks. You never know if it’s gonna be steel cable, or I remember hitting the ropes in a WWE tryout and they were real ropes. Either way, they get pulled and bolted so tightly.
How do you feel about the recent influx of talent on the Impact roster?
I love it. It’s like a revolving door of talent. I get asked all the time who I want to work with in Impact and my answer is always ‘everybody in Impact’. In the past year, there’s been more, and more, and more potential opponents for me to take on. The possibilities are endless, and all the guys are so talented; I love the difference in styles between us all too. Everybody coming in, on top of everybody we already have, it all makes me very hopeful for the future.
Thank you to IMPACT! Wrestling & Jake Something. Follow Jake on Twitter @jakesomething_ and follow us on Twitter @HO_Wrestling.
Watch IMPACT! Every Wednesday on the Impact Plus App, or catch the repeat on 5Star.