WF: We thank you for your time and commitment and hope you are doing well !?
EE: I’m doing very well, thanks for asking. The pleasure is all mine, thank you for taking the time to interview me.
WF: One of the first questions we always ask in an interview is about how it started. How did you get into pro wrestling?
EE: I’d say I got into wrestling just like 9 people out of 10 get into it these days; when I was young I saw WWE on TV and was immediately hooked by the charismatic athletes I saw, to me they were real life superheroes and with all the hype and action added by the TV productions, I knew it was a world I had to be a part of.
Years went by and the boy turned into a man, I had started to search for possibilites to train to become a wrestler quite early, I even had plans to go over to America to train as I had no knowledge regarding the state of European scene at the time, but eventually I came across the Fight Club Finland school, enrolled and began my adventure in the crazy world of wrestling
WF: You are from Finland now living in England and work as a full time wrestler, is that correct?
EE: Yes that is correct, I’ve been living and working here for about a year and a half.
WF: Does wrestling alone pay the bills? Is England the *place to be* for pro wrestlers?
EE: It does, but times can be tough sometimes as some months there are less shows, but then again, there are weeks when I do 10 shows.
I’ve seen a few countries wrestlingwise and I don’t want to downplay other countries, but to me England is Europes number 1 country in wrestling. Not only are there many more shows per week than in any other European country I know of and depending on the promotion, the shows draw decent amount of people.
Not only that, but there is some much knowledge here. Wrestling has been around for over 100 years in England and it shows: I’ve been fortunate enough to get to train under the watchful eyes of highly experienced veterans and the wisdom they drop on you each time you have a chance to talk to them blows my mind. In addition to that, week in and week out I get to travel and wrestle with and against some of the best wrestlers in Europe, if not the world, and people who have paid their bills with wrestling for over a decade. Each time I get in the ring with people like that, it‘s a chance to learn and better myself.
So yes, for me, England is the place to be.
WF: What do you find most fascinating about this sport, who or what made you want to become a pro wrestler?
EE: Even to this day I’m still mesmerized by how complex wrestling is, it’s so fascinating; in order to be good in it, you have to have a wider skill set than in any other sport. It’s not enough to just be able to put people on holds, you need to know how to move, counter, dodge, strike, all those things. Then there’s the added factor of us wrestlers engaging the audience unlike anybody else in the world. All this, the whole entity of wrestling is the most fascinating bit to me, I want to learn every aspect of it.
I decided I’d be a pro wrestler quite soon after I began watching it. I’ve always enjoyed sports, the more physical the better, but I’ve also always liked to entertain people. In addition to that I’m a huge comic book fan, so the added bonus of being able to be a real life mask wearing superhero was the final bit that sealed the deal for me.
WF: As we know you wrestle with a mask, how difficult is it to breath in it during a match, does it handicap you in any way?
EE: It took some getting used to, but nowadays I don’t even notice the mask. Sure there are times when it makes breathing harder, it’s harder to hear things or the mask gets twisted and I’m temporarily blind, but I love it, the mask is a part of me. I some times feel naked when I’m not wearing my mask.
Over the years, I have changed my masks, my first one covered my face and mouth completely and it had laces in the back, now my masks clip under the jaw and I have my jaw and eyes open; all this does make wrestling in a mask easier.
WF: When (and why) did you decide to wear a mask?
EE: As soon as I saw a masked wrestler. Watching WWE as a kid and seeing Rey Mysterio is something that stuck with me and I knew I wanted to be one of those real life superheroes.
But not only that, the mask helps me stand out amongst the other wrestlers and I also like the traditions of the masks.
But the big thing for me is that in todays society we are judged by how we look, the mask takes that away and I’m left to be judged my in actions in the ring. I’ve been able do stuff, such as becoming a full time pro wrestler, that I didn’t think was possible, but I just put my doubts aside and worker harder than I ever think I could to make the dream a reality. I’m hoping that by using my mask as a symbol, I’ll be able to tell people, especially young children, that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, good things happen to those who work hard and never lose sight of their goals.
WF: With each appearance you wear a different one. Why is that and how many do you actually have?
EE: I love colors and different color combinations so I’m always thinking of new designs. I have an amazing mask maker who is very good at persuading me with „why not both?“ when I’m thinking which design I like best.
But in all seriousness, I’d like to think that tje audinces think that me having more than one masks, means I’m not a weekend warrior, I’m a real wrestling star. I remember loving the masks and the different colors of guys like Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon and Mil Mascaras and every time I saw them, they had different colors from the last time and I was always conviced that they must be big stars since they have so many masks. I know a lot guys have multiple sets of gear but with the masks and the radical differences in colors I have between masks, it’s more noticable whenever I wear different sets. Plus, with my hectic schedule, it’s good to a few extra masks as you don’t always get a chance to wash your gear inbetween shows.
I honestly don’t know how many I have, I’ve counted them once or twice, it was an annoying operation, so I don’t bother nowadays since the number is constantly changing. I keep getting new ones, but I also sell my older ones as memorabilia for the fans, give them as presents to friends and I’ve even given a few to charities to auction. But I know I still haven’t had my 100th mask, but it’s coming sooner rather than later.
WF: When you wear shirts they are usually black – does that have a reason?
EE: There’s no real deep reason for that, I just like wearing black shirts, I think they look good on me. In the ring and with my masks, I love colors and I rarely wear black, but when I’m outside the ring without my mask on, I tend to lean more towards wearing black. When I’m not wrestling I like to keep to myself and not draw attention to me, maybe that’s a subconsious reason behind the black clothing, it is quite humorous how different the in ring me and the day to day me are, but they are both real, just different sides of the same coin.
WF: Among others you trained with Starbuck, who is well known here. What are your thoughts on your first training sessions, workouts and matches against him?
EE: I knew wrestling wasn’t going to be easy, but it still surprised me on how difficult it is. I had an athletic background before I started my wrestling training but I had done nothing like it before. I enjoyed the training, I like pushing myself and challenging my own mental and physical barriers.
I only wrestled Starbuck once and it feels like a lifetime ago, I’m a different person now. If I was to watch the match again I’d probably cringe as I was young and eager back then, but also more stupid; the eagerness to wrestle is still there but now I’m a lot wiser. I know I could do a lot better in a match against him and if our paths ever meet again inside the squared circle, I’m sure I will.
WF: At one point you had your wrestling debut, your first match – how long did it take you to get there, how do you remember it and what was the feedback like?
EE: I had been training for about six months when I got a call from the bosses telling me it’s my time to debut, I can’t remember how long before the actual show it was but it was a couple of weeks during which I was nervous, excited, anxious, eager; I went through the whole rainbow of emotions. I remember it being over in a flash, my body was full of adrenaline and excitement while my mind was too busy not getting my nervousness get out of hand so I didn’t have time to enjoy myself in the ring and take in the moment.
I got through it, I don’t recall the actual feedback I got but I wasn’t told it was abominable, I suppose it was adequate for what it was. I’m one of those guys who’s never completely satisfied with his matches, so I looked at the things I needed to improve on and moved on to better myself.
WF: Next to Finland you perform in England very often, do you also have the time to get to know the country?
EE: I have seen bits and pieces, I think I’ve gotten a pretty good impression of what England has to offer, it is definately different from Finland. I don’t have that much time to go over and explore, my time is mostly taken up by wrestling, studying wrestling, training, hitting the gym, prepping meals, getting ready for upcoming travels and being on the road.
WF: Are there other countries you hope to or look forward to perform in one day?
EE: I’d like to wrestle in any country that has an alive wrestling scene. But being able to compete in the United States is something I want to do at some point, same goes for Mexico and Japan. These three countries alongside England to me are the big four in professional wrestling. But I’d still love to go back to wrestle in Northern Europe and Germany as well, the last time I was there, it was a blast.
WF: Several times you wrestled *our* Hakem Waquur, how do you like the character and what do you think about your matches?
EE: That’s one of the reasons I love wrestling; if it weren’t for wrestling, I’d never met a personality like Hakeem. I do like the guy, but he is nuts; outside the ring is calm and funny person to be around, but if you’re standing against him in the ring… I don’t know how or at what point he transforms himself but he is a really tough opponent; hard hitting and almost immune to pain.
I like wrestling him as it is always a challenge and one must work hard to get the victory, but he does scare me a bit, it’s so hard to stop him when he gets his momentum going and he is crazy strong.
WF: Did Rey Mysterio have any influence on your move set or is the *6-1-9* a standard move of yours?
EE: If I was a masked wrestler who claimed not to be inspired by Rey Mysterio, I’d be a liar. But the 6-1-9 didn’t become a regular in my arsenal because I like to watch Rey Mysterio, it wasn’t a consious decision. It happened by accident quite recently, I was able to put my opponent in the position then out of the blue, even a surprise to myself, I hit him with the 6-1-9 and the crowd loved it. It’s just a move that seems to come naturally to me and it works with my wrestling style, so I decided to start using it.
WF: You have a number of tattoos, do they have a meaning and would you like to tell us about it?
EE: All of my tattoos have a meaning and a deeper story to them. I love tattoos but I’d never get one just for the sake of tattoos or body decoration. I’m a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, I am who I am and the tattoos represent that, they are memories that have shaped me into the man I am today. Some people see them and think I got them because I’m a fan of something or because it’s the cool tattoo to get, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, all of them have a deep and personal meaning to me.
To list all my tattoos and the meaning behind them, would take forever as I have so many and the stories are long, so maybe I’ll share some stories on another time.
WF: Let´s say you were to perform at Wrestlemania – who should be your oponent and why?
EE: I simply can’t decide on my dream Wrestlemania opponent, so many to choose from…
There are so many great wrestlers, who have influenced me, who I’d like to have an opportunity to fight, the bigger the stage the better.
There are so many great wrestlers who are regarded as the best talent in the world, I’d love an opportunity to prove I could hang in there with them and that I could belong in that category.
There are so many great wrestlers I’ve had the pleasure of fightning and having an opportunity to recreate that magic on the biggest stage of our industry is something I would not say no to.
There are so many friends I’ve made in this business, to share a moment like that with them in the ring, that would be too awesome to put into words.
WF: How can people book or contact you?
EE: I can be contacted for bookings via email email@example.com
You can also find and message me on Facebook, just search El Excentrico, just like that „send fried request“ button, I try to reply to as many messages and comments as I can.
Also I’m on Twitter and Instagram, you can follow me @ExcentricoLucha, loads of cool stuff going on there.
And finally, I just opened my very own online store, head over to www.excentricomerchandise.com for all of my merchandise: there’s masks, T shirts and pictures available and more is to come. International customers are welcome, the merchandise can be shipped to any country in the world.
WF: Thank you very much!
EE: Thank you, I had a blast doing this, I hope I get to see all you readers soon and keep supporting WrestlingFever.de!