Welcome back to The Journeyman. We’ve spent the last few months speaking with a wrestler named Max Maverick. Max Maverick is a young man making his way in the indies. With only a few years of experience, he has already become a multi-faceted performer with experience in nearly every job in the wrestling industry. Join us now as The Journeyman talks with Max Maverick.
MG: To start with Max, tell us about your background: where you’re from, where you went to school, education, work life.
MM: I was born and raised in Natchez, went to public schools there before going to the Mississippi School of the Arts where I studied theatre. I’ve done a bit of this and that as far as work outside of wrestling goes. A bit of electrical work, computer tech, and random things in and out.
I started watching wrestling when I was 14, a friend of mine got me started watching Summerslam 04, I believe it was. The Elimination Chamber and Lesnar vs Kurt Angle. It wasn’t long after that I got the bug, and my friend and I started trying to train ourselves. We popped in Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth and went through the moves watching how they did them and tried to emulate what we saw.
MG: What was it about wrestling that appealed to you?
MM: That’s actually a tough question. The athleticism, the showmanship, the larger than life personalities. Kinda cliche responses, I know, but I guess cliches have to come from somewhere.
MG: Were there any wrestlers in particular that stuck out for you?
MM: Would it be a surprise if I said the smaller guys? Guys like Benoit, Guerrero, Jericho, and Shawn Michaels really inspired me, but my all time favorite is The Rock. My wife says I’m gay for The Rock.
MG: Aren’t we all? Heh. Would you say that your character goal is to mix the athleticism of the aforementioned with a Rock type persona?
MM: I do try to infuse the technical abilities of guys like Guerrero, Benoit, and Malenko with the presence that the Rock brings to the ring. However, my current goal in the business is to go to WWE as a referee. As a westler, what I said about infusing those guys abilities holds true.
MG: You mentioned studying theatre earlier. I’ve always wondered about the similarities and differences between theatre and wrestling. How would you compare the two?
MM: Wrestling shares a decent bit with traditional theatre as far as building your character, finding that motivation for what you do, and, more importantly, how to present yourself to a live crowd to make yourself stand out. Wrestling actually shares more, though, with dance. In dance, I’ve done what’s called chance choreography, where you dance isn’t planned out, but you feel the flow with your partner and the music and find a synchronicity between them all.
MG: Very interesting. I’ve never heard of chance choreography but it would seem to have a good bit in common with wrestling. How did you get into the business?
MM: I made it to my first live wrestling show at 17 with my friend Claude, who knew one of the local guys, Jason Vayne. Vayne told me they were training and to come out. I was going to school out of town so it was about four months later before I got a chance to go out. It was Easter weekend when I first stepped in the ring and BAM! I was hooked. I officially started training in July about 2 weeks before my 18th birthday with Jason Vayne, learning the basics.
MG: What were those early days like? Were you already considering doing some referee work or did that come later?
MM: It was a new world. We were all green as grass. When I started, the group was in the process of unlearning things that had been taught wrong. We benefited from being around guys like Brother Love, John Saxon, and Adrian Whisper. Saxon really taught us a lot on the technical side and stressed wrestling first, which is a principle I hold to still. Whisper is the guy who really helped me get my mind right, which is more valuable than anything in this business, because if you’re mind is right, you can work on the rest. But being around guys like that, learning from them when six months earlier, I bought a ticket to see them, it’s kinda crazy to realize I broke in around people of the highest caliber on the Indies.
MG: Nice. I remember first hearing about Saxon years ago. Easy name for me to remember as I’m a big fan of the actor of that name. I’ve also seen Brother Love on a couple of local shows. You had some really good teachers then.
MM: My original goal was to be a wrestler and nothing but. I had Saxon one day tell me, “You’ll make more money in this business as a ref than a wrestler. Ask Scott Armstrong how much he made as a ref for WWE and then how much he made as a wrestler”. I was a bit stuck on being a wrestler and disregarded it for a while. I begrudgingly started refing just to be doing something with the shows, but eventually I realized, after numerous ass chewings by Saxon, that i’d become a decent ref, I started enjoying it more. Then, once Whisper finally got it through to me that wrestling was a business, I realized that Saxon was right, and I have more potential to go places as a ref. I love doing it now though and have more fun with it.
I just want to make it clear, I wasn’t trained by Saxon, just fortunate enough to learn from him.
Check back with us for Part 2 of the Max Maverick interview!