Dot Net Interview: AR Fox discusses his progression, CZW, FCW, Evolve Title Tournament, and United Gate Title Defense with Cima vs. The Young Bucks
Dot Net contributor Zack Zimmerman conducted a one-on-one interview with independent wrestler A.R. Fox on Saturday. Follow Fox on Facebook at Facebook.com/ar.fox.12.
Zim: I noticed your DGUSA bio briefly mentions that you’ve trained at FCW. How long did you spend down there and what was the experience like?
Fox: It was a really cool experience, going down there. I jumped the gun a little bit; I went there a little early in my career. But uh, yeah it was all positive and nothing but learning, I wanna go back soon. You know, I was only down there a little over a week, you know uh, a tryout type deal. I was pretty green at the time, still am green, just not as...dark...green, I guess. Like I said, it was only a little over a week, but I liked it, it was very cool.
Zim: Anybody you met down there who stands out in your mind as being particularly helpful or approachable?
Fox: I got advice from a lot of really cool people, but uh, Chris Masters was real down to earth. He just got talking to me about like, life and real stuff like that.
Zim: Ah, okay cool. Well CZW was where you got your first big break, it's safe to say. You were brought in and the storyline was that management “didn't think you had it" until a match with Sami Callihan and he put you over huge after that one. You’ve had a run with him in Dragon Gate/Evolve too, could you talk a little bit about the effect Sami's had on your career?
Fox: Sami, ah, Sami's really helped me out a lot. You know, 'cause when I first started wrestling in CZW, I was more or less, uh, just a f---in' guy who jumps around. Sami, Sami taught me how to really, like, work out there, if you know what I mean. He's real character driven and really good with all the theatrics, and that's what'll get you to the big time. All of this flippin’ and floppin', I feel like I've got it down, you know, I stay on top it. Not being cocky, but I stay on top of it, I feel like I've got all the flips and shit down. Sami sort of got me focusing on really working now, you know. He beat me down a lot like I was his 'young boy', which in a way I sort of was, if you wanna talk about indie workers, so to speak. I was definitely a 'young boy' compared to Sami Callihan. He beat me up a lot but he taught me a lot and I got a lot of respect for Sami.
Zim: He's definitely one of the guys on the circuit who knows how to slow it down and tell a really good story in there. Seems like a great person to work with and learn from...
Fox: ...Yep but I gotta beat him back, ha-ha...
Zim: Staying on CZW for a minute; they have a rabid, loyal fan base, but they also have their share of naysayer's as well. It's become sort a stigmatized promotion with some of the gimmickry and excessive violence. Can you give the mind frame from someone on the inside? Is the group looking to change or are they happy in their niche?
Fox: Nah, I don't really think they're trying to change it, I think they're trying to get over the fact that we have wrestlers too. People like Lucky  who's known as like a deathmatch wrestler, can actually work, can actually high-fly. I love CZW, you know, CZW's closer to like a family than just a promotion to me. So like, I think they're pretty much happy where they're at because the ultraviolent shit is what got them over and it's what they're all about, so that's not really gonna go away. That's like, what they do and it's what they do best. I think they're just trying to show that we can wrestle and book more people with athletic looks and gear. So yeah, maybe bringing in more workers, but that ultra-violent stuff ain't going nowhere. I think CZW is happy with how things are.
Zim: Yeah you've definitely got some workers in there now, guys like Adam Cole and Drew Gulak, plus the recent addition of Colt Cabana. But talking about workers leads nicely to DGUSA. At WrestleCon you and CIMA will defend the United Gate Titles against the Young Bucks. First, what's it like to team with CIMA and how did that opportunity come together?
Fox: CIMA and Ricochet were the tag champs in Dragon Gate and they had a falling out. They couldn't split the belts, so they said how about this: CIMA, you pick a partner. Ricochet picks a partner, and winning team takes the belts. CIMA, who is like the top dude in Dragon Gate of all time, which I'm still like humbled that he picked me as his partner. So that's how it came about, and we've gelled real well.
Zim: I've noticed that, you two have grown together really quickly.
Fox: It's his charisma. His charisma has rubbed off on me for damn sure.
Zim: Is he someone you've gotten to work more with in Japan too?
Fox: Yeah, well we've only teamed in Japan too. I've never really worked against him, me and CIMA have always been on the same side.
Zim: Thoughts on the Young Bucks?
Fox: Well, I definitely got beef with them, so we're gonna settle the score [at WrestleCon]. But the Bucks, man, they're awesome. They're one of the best tag teams so I really like what they do and respect them. They've been jumping me from behind lately so I'm losing it for them, but I'm looking forward to getting in there because they're an awesome tag team.
Zim: At the last show, you and Tozawa had a great match against them. You two got the win and all four of you worked your asses off, so this one should be right along the same lines. Do you like doing the tag thing? You prefer to be a singles guy? What's your pick?
Fox: I'd rather do singles so that when I'm in control, like, I'm running the show. When it's singles and I'm out there on the pay-per-view or in front of the crowd, what I do is what everybody's got to see, you know? I'm running the show literally, well, pretty much. I like having the spotlight, but you know like, I'm really creative I feel. I like to do different things, so to have like, over a weekend, a singles, a tag, and a triple-threat or four-way, I like it because I can do something different in each one. I can do some more things with three guys or four guys. But singles is my thing because I really like the, uh, the spotlight.
Zim: Well you have a chance to stand out in singles coming up in the Evolve title tournament. You're scheduled to face Jon Davis in round one and if you get through him, onto Ricochet. How do you think you’ll fare against Jon Davis, who has been on a war path aside from his loss to Gargano?
Fox: With that being said man, shit, I mean he's been real hungry lately. But I've got all these belts, and I'm definitely looking to get one more so I'm gonna give Davis everything I've got. We've wrestled before, I beat him, he beat me twice, so it's time to even it up.
Zim: Alright, well it should be a good one. Two quick things to hit then we'll call it. First, who would you consider your "rival", who have you had the most, good matches with?
Fox: [Uhaa] Nation or Samuray del Sol.
Zim: Really looking forward to Nation's return at WrestleCon. But to wrap this up, where do you want to be in the next 1-3 years? What's the next step you want to take?
Fox: Well, I'm pretty much happy where I'm at, but I'm definitely not satisfied, like I'm not settled. Within the year or so, I'd like to just be where I'm at, making more money, you know, hopefully like double. Then in a few years, maybe two or three years, I'd love to be up on Monday Night Raw, like everybody else who's a wrestler. If that's not your goal, and you're a wrestler, then I don't really know what the goal is.
Throw any comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @zzimm22. Always happy to discuss. Thanks for reading!
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