Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Journeyman. This is intended to be the first of a series of interviews with local wrestlers in South MS. The intent is to present a portrait of the life and experiences of independent wrestlers in the area. Our first subject is wrestler and booker Lukas Frost. As 2011 began, Frost was returning to the ring after suffering a back injury and gearing up for big runs in several local promotions. Unforeseen circumstances in the form of another injury and a falling out with a particular promotion have thrown some severe monkey wrenches in Frost’s personal and professional life, however.
Lukas Frost, the person.
MG: Lukas, I thought we’d start with some basic background info. learn some about Lukas Frost the person, before we get into the wrasslin stuffs. home life, education, personal interests, etc. that sort of thing. just start when you’re ready.
LF: Ok, here goes.
-I live alone, but spend the majority of the time with my beautiful girlfriend Janae, her son Cole, and my son Maxx. The weekends we have the kids, we’re all about being a family, and we do anything and everything together, as much as we possibly can. We’re always on the go, always trying to show our boys how much fun life can be.
-The times we don’t have our boys, Janae and I spend just about every waking hour with each other. Sometimes we’re busy doing whatever we want, and other times we just laze around.
-With whatever time I have, I spend working out, hunched over my drawing table, playing my guitars, or listening to music.
-I’ve went to school in many different cities growing up, but graduated from Petal High in ’94. I have my degree in art, and am deciding what I want to go to school for next.
-Excluding Janae and our boys (which are the most important things in my life), I love to draw. I’ve spent many hours putting lead to paper, drawing whatever comes to mind. I tend to lean towards the comic bookish field, which I still have aspirations of getting into.
-I play around with my guitars, nothing serious, just here and there. Playing music is almost as gratifying to me as listening to music.
-I love football, and play with Maxx and Cole as often as they like. Basketball too, although I’d much rather play than watch. Side note–I coached Maxx’s basketball team to a 14-2 record last year. Not bad for my first and only time coaching, right?
-I’m currently in the long process of rebuilding my ’65 Karmann Ghia, which is a Volkswagon for you uninitiated out there. Although I have had a few offers to sell, which, I must admit, some are very enticing.
MG: you seem pretty happy with your gf and kids. are you planning to take things to the next step, or do you feel things are as they should be right now?
LF: In due time. Things will be taken to the next step, sooner rather than later, but all in due time. We’re both moving along at a rather steady pace, and neither of us want to rush into things too soon. Is she the woman I want to marry? Absolutely. When? Well, sooner rather than later is all I’ll say right now.
MG: if you don’t mind, elaborate some on your artistic interests. which artist(s) inspire you, inside or outside the field of comics.
LF: I was a big fan of the comics revolution of the early 90’s, with the creation of Image. Jim Lee is my biggest influence, but I have some Whilce Portacio, Todd McFarlane, Bart Sears, Joe Madeuria, J. Scott Cambell and a dash of Adam Pollina. I have ideas for stories and whatnot, and have started character designs, backgrounds, etc., on most of the stuff. Its something I enjoy doing, and one day hope to make a career out of it. Influences outside the comic world? Sure, we could go back to the Michaelangelo days, which I’m sure any art student is a fan of his. Modern day stuff? Eh, no one in particular. If something catches my eye, I’ll look up the artist, see what he/she’s all about.
MG: As you’re a practicing musician, what types of music do you prefer? any bands, songs in particular stand out as having meaning to you?
LF: Music is very important to me. I have a stereo of one kind or another in every room of my house. Pearl Jam is my fave, and has been since ‘Ten’ came out in the early 90’s. I was, and still am, a supporter of ‘Grunge’ music. Todays music? With very few exceptions, not so much. Its too commercialized, not enough meaning. ‘Black’ is, has been, and probably will remain my absolute favorite song. Just something about Vedder baring his soul that I relate to.
MG: Since you’ve been on both sides of the athletic field (player and coach) is this something you’re looking at as a down the road career possibility (especially with the 14-2 record)?
LF: If it was something I was to do, it would be a few more years, I think. Coaching takes up a lot of time, and its something I just don’t have enough of right now.
The Early Days of Lukas Frost, pro wrestler.
MG: Who and/or what got you into wrestling? what were your first experiences and thoughts of it?
LF: Actually, my mom and my grandmother got me into wrestling. The first match I remember watching was ‘Mad Dog’ Buzz Sawyer against ‘Wildfire’ Tommy Rich inside of the cage. I was immediately hooked, and I was about 4 years old or so. Deep down, although I didn’t realize it at the time, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
MG: Who were your favorite wrestlers as a fan, and as a professional? did you have a favorite promotion or style of wrestling?
LF: I am the biggest Raven fan you’ll ever meet. When he debuted in ECW, I was immediately a fan, both of his outstanding in ring work, and by the depths of his promos. Early in my career, I patterned my look after him, and you could see a lot of him in my ring work.
Shawn Michaels for his overall work, not so much his promo skills. A great showman, I try to incorporate some of his work into my own as well.
Rick Steamboat, because in my opinion, he’s one of, if not the best technical wrestler that’s ever worked.
Stevie Richards, for his comedy routine. And his Stevie-Kick.
MG: How did you get into the industry and how long have you been wrestling?
LF: My nephew saw a poster for a show taped to a gas station window, and got a contact number for me. I called the number, set up a tryout date, and away I went. I’ve been wrestling now for almost five years.
MG: Do you have a favorite opponent? least favorite?
LF: Favorite opponent? I won’t single any one guy out by naming names. But, I take pride in making anyone look like a million bucks. I’ll work any match, any style, against any opponent.
Least favorite? Any worker who thinks he knows all there is to know about the sport. Have I no sold guys like this? On a few occasions, yes. I’ll oversell too. Unprofessional? Maybe, but I hope they take away from the match the knowledge that no, they don’t know everything. The day you stop learning in this business is the day you need to hang up the boots.
MG: How many different local promotions have you worked for and what about them stood out for you?
LF: I’ve worked for quite a few companies around here: SWA, NWA Battlezone, School of Hard Knocks, PWN, SLP, USCW, APW, GEW, OSW, GZW, and a few others I know I’m forgetting.
SWA is where I trained, where I started. Myself and Outcast formed The South Side Saints and we had a hell of a feud with Chris Black and Johnny Suicide (The BS Express). It culminated with us winning the tag straps. Also had programs with The Best Damn Tag Team Period (BJ Sullivan & Adam Hart), Barry Wolf, Ron Horn and others. It was a hot company at a hot time.
SOHK gave me a ton of freedom to do what I wanted, and I still work with them to this day.
GZW was the same. That was a great little company that I miss working for. Too bad they aren’t running anymore.
USCW started off great, but, well…
I had great times in most of the places I worked. Sure, I’d love to get back to going to as many places as I can, and my schedule will definitely open up very soon, barring any more damn injuries.
Present day Frost
MG: Describe your in-ring character. Who is Lukas Frost, the wrestler? what is his motivation and how much is taken from your real life persona?
LF: The wrestler, the character Lukas Frost is 100 % me, just amped way up. When I first began, I had an idea of who I wanted to be, and I aped Raven’s gimmick pretty bad. The blue jean shorts, the t-shirt, the taped fists, the leather jacket, the whole nine yards. I did it because he represented a generation, my generation, Generation X, and I wanted to portray that as well. Sure, we may look like no talent slackers, and our previous generation and those after us, looked down on us because of who we are and what we represent. But look past the long hair, the rings in our faces, the tattoos that cover our bodies, dig a little deeper, and you’ll see we are a very intelligent generation.
As time went on, I began the evolution to what I am today. Finding my own style as I became more successful and respected in this business, I altered the look. Gone are the blue jean shorts and leather jacket. Gone are the combat style boots.
I stand for the oppressed, the down trodden, the gutter punks and street kids. I’m not so much against the rules as I am anti authority. I haven’t changed my tactics, I’ve just changed my opponents. I will represent Generation X by becoming the absolute very best in this area. No excuses, and failure is not an option. You ask how much of the character is me? Every single ounce of it.
MG: You’ve recently returned from a back injury and have revealed that you have severe muscle and nerve damage in one of your legs. How did these injuries occur and how have they affected your views on continuing to wrestle and the possible effect on your life outside of the ring?
LF: Years ago, I got ran over by a truck at the shoot job.
Yes, actually ran over. It hit me dead center in my back, and that’s where it all started. Over the years, it just progressively got worse to the point of unbearable pain. And I’m a guy who prides himself on a high pain tolerance. Surgery was not just my last option, it became a necessity. I live with a certain amount of pain, and will for the rest of my life, whether I’m wrestling or not.
Will it affect my career? It already has. Gone are the legdrops and splashes to the outside of the ring. As the muscles continue to rebuild, maybe I’ll go back to that style. But, until then, I’ve incorporated more of a mat game in my style, and really studied the technical aspect of the game. Will the injury stop me from wrestling? No. I’ve been fighting the odds my entire life, why stop now?
I like to think I’m pretty damn good as a wrestler. I know what I’m doing in the ring, and I can give the fans their money’s worth. As long as I can keep doing that, then I will.
MG: You have also recently done some booking for the USCW promotion. Do you enjoy booking and is this something that you would look forward to doing more of?
LF: I both loved and hated booking. It definitely had its ups and downs, and there were times I wanted to just say to hell with it and walk away. But overall, I enjoyed the opportunity.
Actually getting the talent, setting up matches and angles, and watching it all play out? I enjoyed the hell outta it.
On the flip side, shady promoters will sap the energy out of the most enthusiastic booker. The bullshit just became too much for me to keep trying to build a successful company.
I would absolutely love to continue booking. and there’s plans in motion as we speak, so we’ll see if I can’t get back in the booker’s seat.
MG: What are you thoughts on the state of the wrestling industry at this point in time, both the large and small companies?
LF: Mainstream wrestling, and by that I mean WWE and TNA, is not what it used to be. In WWE, you have damn near every guy looking the same. Its very vanilla, very plain. Their saving grace the last few months has been Punk, but how long can he carry the promotion on his shoulders?
TNA has all the talent in the world, just piss poor writing and management. Get rid of the WCW castoffs that bring nothing to the table, and let the young guys shine.
Am I an expert? No, not at all. Just my opinion.
The indies? There’s two big problems in indie wrestling right now. And by indie wrestling, I mean companies in this area. But the two problems are a lack of companies and shady promoters. How can you expect to build a company when you don’t have your own promoter’s support? Simple, you can’t. When he’s more concerned about everything other than creating a viable business, its going to go downhill. Quick. If he’s doing more lying and bullshitting than giving the booker the support and resources he needs, then you will go downhill.
There is a severe lack of good, solid companies in this area. Sure there’s some, they run a few shows, then shut their doors. That doesn’t help the business grow. There needs to be a stable company, open to ideas, able to do the job properly behind the curtains, and pour their heart into it.
Are there some out there that do that? Of course. I’ve worked for a few of them. And I hope they stick it out and keep promoting. We need that kind of environment around here.
MG: Do you feel that the advent of social networking sites has made it easier to spread the word about shady promoters?
LF: Absolutely. The indie scene in this area is like an extended family. Everyone knows everyone. And if by chance you don’t, you at least know someone that does. Point being, word spreads very quickly. And if you take a guy that is well respected, and he says something like, ‘Hey, this guy is shady as hell,’ then its going to spread. But, on the flip side, its also a great tool to spread the word about good promoters, companies, and workers. I’ve used them myself when I booked USCW. Anything to help spread the word to even the most casual fan, I’ll use it. Does it help with attendance? In certain areas, yeah. In others, not so much. But with the addition of these networks, advertising, both positive and negative, is done on a much greater scale than, say, word of mouth.
MG: As an indie wrestler, how difficult is it to get your character and storyline across to audiences that may not be familiar with what’s going on?
LF: If a company runs pretty regularly, its not too bad. But if a company runs, say, once a month or so, or if you’re going to a company for the first time, getting your character across can sometimes be difficult. Say I’m going to go work for Company A, and its my first time on the show. What do I have to do to get myself to stand out? How can I show the audience just who I am and what I’m about? It all starts with the music, which I’ll get into with your next question, and the way I step through the curtain. If I’m working face, I’ll come out somewhat energized, get the crowd on their feet (or try to), move quickly around and into the ring. This immediately shows them I’m the ‘good guy’ and I’m ready to GO. If I’m working as a heel, I’ll be more lethargic when I step through the curtain. Take my time. Be a complete asshole, berate the fans every chance I get. Once the bell rings, I’ll ‘flesh out’ my character, and hopefully, if I do my job right, the people will understand who I am, and what I am.
Now, if I’m working steady for Company B, its easier. And this leads into why I’m such a big believer of running the same cities for every show. The people know you, they know what’s going on, and they think they know what to expect. Even if its new fans, the crowd will dictate who to cheer for and who to boo. Storylines flow pretty smoothly, even if we’re not on t.v., which can be a bit difficult sometimes, considering today’s fans are accustomed to knowing everything that goes on with one of the big three on the tube.
MG: What song do you use for your entrance music and how does it reflect your character?
LF: I’ve only used three songs in my singles career. When I first began, I used ‘My Gift To You’ by Korn. It began with some wicked bagpipes, then built up slowly with the heavy guitars and drums, and really kicked off. That’s how I worked. I started off slow, then kicked it into high gear as the match went on. Its a dark song, almost brooding, which is what I was hoping to pull off with my look.
From there, I used Avenged Sevenfold’s ‘Nightmare’ briefly. I was using the name ‘The Nightmare’ Lukas Frost, so it was a natural choice.
Recently, I’ve been using ‘Red Lottery’ by Megasus. Its a slow, heavy, pounding song. Its got a dark tone to it, which is what I’m slowly turning my character towards-a darker, more violent twist.
MG: You’ve recently announced that you are taking more time off from the ring to let your injuries heal and that there is a possibility of you not being able to wrestle again. if so, do you plant to stay involved in wrestling in some capacity?
LF: First, lemme say this is a bitch. The constant hurt is really wearing on me. Have I thought about retirement? Absolutely. Every day I’m away from the sport I love, I think about retirement. Will this injury be the end of my career? I can’t say. Has it hindered my career? Absolutely.
If it comes to the point where I can’t actually wrestle, there are other options. I’d like to try my hand at booking again, maybe concentrate solely on that and mapping out six to eight months worth of shows. I’ve considered reffing as well. Which, if it comes to that point, will more than likely be the route I take. I’d love to train guys as well. How long could I do any of this before I either got the itch to wrestle or just have to get away from the business, I don’t know. We’ll see, though.
Frost’s Final Words:
LF: There’s two trains of thought by people both inside this business and those that aren’t: you either like Lukas Frost or you don’t. Allow me to address both.
To the haters out there who say Frosty isn’t shit, Frosty can be replaced, and things of this nature, I say to you: watch out. There’s always those who will try to rain on your parade, whether its jealousy, envy, or they felt wronged by something I did. Your jealousy fuels my desire. Your envy fuels my passion. You feel wronged not by something I did, but by my reactions to the way you treat the boys. You don’t want to pay me, fine. I’ll take my business elsewhere. But what happened when I walked? 90% of your lockerroom walked with me. In my book, that spells RESPECT for myself, due to the respect I show every worker that I work with. Can I be replaced? Absolutely. I never said I couldn’t. And I’m not tooting my own horn here, but ask any worker in this area about me and they’ll give you the same answer each and every time. No, really, go ask them.
To my supporters out there, I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. I’ve learned something from each of you, and I’ve busted my ass, and will continue to do so, to improve my game, and become the absolute best indy wrestler in south Mississippi. You’ve stood by me through thick and thin, and you all know who you are. You’ve earned my respect and my friendship, and I’ll stand by each of you, no matter what the fight.
2011 wasn’t the year I had hoped it would be. But I’m resting, healing, reinventing myself to come back stronger and better than ever for 2012. I’ve been compared to three wrestlers: Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, and Raven. Not a bad group of guys to be compared with at all. Come the new year, you will see those three mentioned in my ring work, plus a very healthy dose of Lukas Frost thrown in for good measure, and I will become what I’ve always worked towards: main event status in every promotion that will have me.
MG: Thanks for your time Lukas, and good luck! To learn more about Lukas Frost’s life and career, including his thoughts on various aspects of the wrestling industry visit Frost Bytes at : http://lukasfrost.mywapblog.com/