With just three days remaining until War Wrestling presents “War X: Time Tested, Fan Approved”, we have a very special Inner View. We are lucky enough to be e joined by War Wrestling’s “Big Tom” Thomas Williams for a rare sit-down interview.
McCormick: Thank you for sitting down with us today Tom.
Big Tom: You’re very welcome and the fact it’s 2:15am when I finally had time to do it..lol
McCormick: Before we get into the big show you have this weekend I want to ask you a couple of questions about the past 10 years. How did War Wrestling get started?
Big Tom: It started because Dexter Dementia, Dusty Dillinger and myself worked a show in Lima, ohio for the HWA, who at the time had a WWE deal. Since we are the “hometown” talent they treated us like shit from from the start. They told all 3 of us if you’re not from HWA or OVW then you suck and need to go there for training. As we did our match, Les Thatcher, Mike Sanders and a couple of other guys who were in charge ripped into the match and shit all over us doing a “gimmick” Mailman. We took it as disrespect as they were coming to our hometown and asking us for help, and then had the balls to shit all over us. The other fact is that they had maybe 150 people there with all that talent. We knew that we could do better, and I think that we proved it as our very 1st show drew 541 people.
McCormick: That’s a pretty impressive number for a debut show, especially in those days. Did you know from the start you had something special?
Big Tom: We had 3 others involved when it started, and we knew with hard work, pounding the pavement and doing the leg work that it could be done.The funny thing is the show itself, as we look back at it now was horrible but with drawing those numbers and taking care of the talent with food & an ok payday. The word started spreading to other better talent.
McCormick: Who were some of the “big” talent you guys had come in back then?
Big Tom: I’m not sure if they were big names back then but they later became big names. Truth Martini, Alex Shelley, Jimmy Jacobs, Nigel McGuinness, Jillian Hall, Danny Daniels, Chad Collyer, Jon Moxley, Tyler Black and many many more.
McCormick: That’s a pretty impressive list and a lot of guys who have gone on to be pretty big superstars.
Big Tom: If you’re talking “names” we used Buff Bagwell, Test, Jerry Lawler, The Highlanders, Tommy Dreamer, Al Snow.
McCormick: Why do you think it is that these guys as well as the talented wrestlers that have come since then want to work for War Wrestling?
Big Tom: Honestly because what you see is what you get with me. I don’t bullshit the talent. When I say something, I’m going to do it. There is always a solid crowd, the guys for the most part know who they are wrestling ahead of time, we feed them, we have water & stuff in the back and at the end of the night they get paid.
McCormick: How do you deal with a guy who thinks he deserves a lot more than what you plan on paying him?
Big Tom: I Tell them to find another promoter willing to pay them that, I’m not a money mark looking to rub shoulders with the talent. I don’t book them. In my opinion there is not a guy on the independent scene drawing you any money unless they were in the WWE at 1 time. Guys that get a cult like following working the “super indy’s” or the tape promotions know who will book them and who won’t. Put it this way, I have booked a guy like Colt Cabana and he worked the opening match for us because our fans only see him as another guy on the show, while other promotions have him working the main thinking he is going to be a huge draw for them. No disrespect to Colt but I know our crowd and fanbase better than anyone and I book guys I know the fans will enjoy.
McCormick: In a place like Ohio where there are basically wrestling promotions in every town, what makes war stand out from the rest and why should it be considered one of the top promotions in Ohio and the Midwest?
Big Tom: I let the fans and talent say that. You will never hear me say that I think we are one of the best at all.
McCormick: What do you think it is that keeps bringing those fans back and telling people War is one of the best things going?
Big Tom: I think it has to do a lot with the talent we use, the angles/storylines, the ticket prices, and the overall entertainment value.
McCormick: Now moving on to this weekend I have to ask you this, how did you pick the very 1st inductees to the War Wrestling Hall of Fame?
Big Tom: Minus Stevie Lee, all the others had a hand in helping make the wrestling business better for many years. They ran shows, trained guys, passed knowledge to the younger guys and helped pave the way for us to do what we do at WAR Wrestling. Don’t get me wrong, Stevie did the same thing but in a different way. Stevie did everything right after he trained to get noticed. He got in better shape, he traveled all over to get his name out there, made the right contacts and was a great guy. All of them had a influence on how we conduct ourselves because if we don’t do business the right way it has a reflection onto them as they all help gave us knowledge it some way.
McCormick: How special is it to get to have all of those guys coming in to be inducted, and how neat will it be to have all the boys back under one roof for one night?
Big Tom: It will be surreal as some of the guys coming back for this show have not been around for close to 15 years. They are coming back on their own dime just to let the fans know how special they are and wrestling in general in Lima, Ohio is to them. I honestly never thought the 10 years of WAR and the HOF would mean so much to the fans and the wrestlers.
McCormick: I would imagine that has to be a very humbling thing to see how much this show and day means to everyone.
Big Tom: Humbling to say the least, but we have a great team of people that make it look easy and I just so happen to be the point man that everyone thinks get’s things done but our whole team cares and it shows.
McCormick: Now the show itself will be the first of it’s kind for War in many ways, one of the biggest being War Games. Where did the idea to do that come from?
Big Tom: I’m an old school wrestling fan and even after all these years I still remember that match being done, and the fact that Ripper Blackhart planted the seed in my mind many years ago. Many people that do War Games will do 1 cage and 1 ring and call it WARGAMES, but we wanted to do the real thing and started making plans. This whole show has bee a year in the making.
McCormick: Another thing that is going on at the show is that it will be the first time War has ever tried an IPPV. Just what does that mean for the current product and the future of the company going forward?
Big Tom: It’s all about exposure. I feel we have just as good wrestlers, production and better crowds than most that are doing them. so at the end of the day we want to expose our product to new fans for better exposure.
McCormick: War survived for it’s first three years without a title but will introduce it’s second singles title when the Respect Championship makes it’s debut, why did you feel it was time for another title belt?
Big Tom: It had been talked about for a long time. I just think it will help angles/storylines and make someone a new star or a bigger star in the eyes of the fans. We also have a huge roster of guys and only 1 title, so it’s a good fit.
McCormick: Final question before I let you go, what do you hope people who walk away from the show live on Saturday and who see the company for the first time on IPPV say about War Wrestling to their friends?
Big Tom: For the live crowd I want them to know that we gave 110% to please the fans and give them there monies worth. I want the IPPV crowd to tell their friends, they had a huge crowd and put on a great show and worth checking out and to buy other dvd’s from the past. They have just good old fashion wrestling with good storylines/angles with a great cast of wrestlers that you will find one or two that you totally will fall in love with.
McCormick: Is there anything you’d like to add in closing?
Big Tom: Just a HUGE THANK YOU to all the FANS, WRESTLERS, FAMILY, FRIENDS for 10 great years.
McCormick:Thank you for joining us and best of luck with the show this weekend.
Big Tom: Thank you for having me, I’m happy to have done this.
Tickets are still available but are selling like hotcakes, get them online here at www.warwrestling.com or your nearest ticket outlet. This is THE show you do not want to miss! If you’re in the Dayton area Friday night and see our friends at Rockstar Pro Wrestling, bring your ticket stub in and you can get to War X as well. As always thank you for reading, and be sure to check back next week for your Inner View into the world of War Wrestling and the fallout from this weekend’s show. Follow War Wrestling on twitter @TheWarWrestling and myself @MichaelMcCormickWAR.
Photo credit courtesy of John Winters and War Wrestling. All rights reserved.