Brimstone Interviews & Postings
Wrestling Clothesline - 10 Questions with Brett Schwann
1. How did you get involved in professional wrestling and where did you train?
It started in 1996 when myself, and long time friend of mine Chris Hostile decided to follow a dream. While looking through a Professional Wrestling Publication, I came across an ad about a new wrestling school out of Queens, New York called "The Doghouse." They had just freshly come off of a benefit show dedicated to ring veteran "Junkyard Dog," and decided to go beyond their federation (Long Island Wrestling Federation - LIWF) and create a Pro Wrestling facility. After speaking with Chris, the two of us decided to go down and "try out." When we got there, the Doghouse was full of hopeful wrestlers, and we got on the line that would change my life forever.
Behind the desk were two individuals, Bobby Lombardi and Laithon (The Tower of Torture). Bobby shook our hands and said words I will never forget… "So you THINK you can be a wrestler, huh?" Obviously I said yes… We paid our cash dues and were scheduled to begin training a few weeks later.
The roster of students, who are now known workers, consisted of guys like Grim Reefer, Maniac Mike Mayhem, Papadon, Havok (fresh from the Wild Samoans), El Diabolico, G.I. Joe, Mike Kruel, Fat Boy Rob, One Man Riot Squad, Psycho Tony, Major Intensity, and so on. Literally, a who's who in the world of Pro-Wrestling now. The trainers were some of the best guys on the Indy circuit at the time, and are now making magic all over the world. They consisted of Homicide 187, Low Ki, Monsta Mack, Low Life Louie, and Laithon. The Doghouse was the place to be, and we learned raw… Before we had the honor of setting foot into the ring, we were learning our bumps like men on a concrete slab! This was the school of hard knocks, and I was a proud member.
The Doghouse eventually moved out of the small place we had started in, and into a HUGE place where the high flyers could jump to their hearts content! The place was great, and we had the two rings to work in. It was there where we grew immensely, and it is there where I met my trainer 'The Original' Gino Carusso of Unified Wrestling Federation. Gino was a Pro who had worked in WCW, and every other fed known to man! I loved him then, and I love him to this day. We also had guests come down on a regular basis who took the training reigns like Crazy Clown, Chris Michaels, and Dances With Dudley's.
2. What promotions have you worked for?
New York Wrestling Connection (NY), Wrestling World Wide, NWA New England (Connecticut), Ringside Wrestling (NY), Long Island Wrestling Federation (NY), Real Deal Wrestling (NY), Lower East Side Wrestling (NY), United Wrestling Alliance (NY-NJ), Intense Florida Wrestling (Florida), Unified Wrestling Federation (Florida), Mega Championship Wrestling (Ohio), North East Pro Wrestling (Staten Island), Combat Zone Wrestling, Millennium Wrestling Federation (New Jersey), Acid Pro Wrestling (Connecticut), and various other independent federations, and organizations.
3. What is your favorite thing about being a professional wrestler?
There are very few things that compare to entering an arena whether big or small, and having your dedicated fans, complete strangers in reality cheer for you and scream your name! There is also a lot to be said about being able to get into the squared circle and toss another human being around for five to 45 minutes and get paid for it!
4. What is your least favorite thing about being a professional wrestler?
There are a few things that have become my pet peeves over time. The politics- lies, deceit, backstabbing, jealousy. I hate the egos in the biz. I don't mean the gimmick egos, but the real egos. I'm talking about the guys whose mouths write checks their asses can't cash.
But aside from that, I must say the time away from my family kills me the most. I took time away from my children for this business, and because of these politics I feel like my efforts were wasted.
5. You disappeared from the indy scene for a while. What did you do while you were gone? Did you continue to follow wrestling?
Well, regardless of the fact that certain people were trying to push me out… I needed to take some time away from the industry. I spent the time away getting my personal life together. I had been working crap jobs in order to build Critical Mass Pro Wrestling & the NYWC. My professional business resume reads like a who's who of the advertising world, so I took an offer for a position running a major employment publication on Long Island as the Publisher. I've been running the show there ever since adding professional career fairs into the mix. I'm engaged to an amazing woman who basically has been by my side before and throughout all the crap that I'd been through. I'd won full custody of my two beautiful children, which allowed me the time to catch up with them. We also bought a house in September of 2006, and are looking to get married sometime this year. Meanwhile, along with another familiar face in the wrestling scene, my close friend Lord Clarence MacDougal and I created a comic book based on Brimstone the character. The comic has nothing to do with wrestling, however stays true to the character in general which is great. We have a phenomenal team we are working with on this project and we are getting rave reviews! The comic is entitled theBORDERHOUNDS, and what wrestling fans will love is that it includes other Pro Wrestlers as their characters within the comic. Others include Chris Hostile, Chavez Raoul, Black Dawg, and Luscious. MacDougal, and Mayhem will make their way along with others in future issues. It is insane how these characters work so well in the storyline, you'll be amazed! Also on theBORDERHOUNDS front, we have animated shorts in the works as well as the start of a video game. The group I am working with on the animations will be starting small with mini-games for the site, and will grow from there.
6. What made you decide that now would be a good time to return to the wrestling business?
I've had the bug for a long time. My trainer Gino has been trying to get me back in the ring on a regular basis for quite some time now. Recently, Gino and I were having one of our normal discussions and he reamed me… LOL, he told me that I am too talented and have too much heart to not be in this business. Even though I think maybe he is giving me more credit than I deserve per se, I felt that he was right about me getting back into the ring. I've grown tremendously as a person in my time away, and I felt it was time to take back my wrestling career. Having my son asking me when I'm wrestling again also kind of helped the push! I've been on the outside looking in, and I have watched the mighty fall. Things change, and people grow up. I've been in contact with many of my old students and friends from within the business who have been pushing me in the right direction. It seems as though I have found my new home with my former student Johnny Ova, and all around great guy Bobby Riedel. Johnny and Bobby have given me the opportunity to join the PWR (Pro Wrestling Revolution), and I am extremely excited about being involved.
7. What has been your most memorable moment in the business?
I've been fortunate enough to do a lot in my time in the business, so many things stand out in my mind. I think that although winning gold is an amazing feeling, it is extremely cliché. My most memorable moment was probably in September 2001, before the disaster of the 11th… I took four of my students Black Dawg, Dickie Rodz, Nuke, and Maxmilyin (the only ones who opted to go) to Florida to meet, and train with Gino Carusso, John Tenta (Earthquake), and Prince Iaukaia. It meant quite a lot to me to be able to bring my students out to meet Gino, to show him the product of our school. I knew he would be proud, and he was. The five of us had a blast on the road together, the way it should be. It was also a great opportunity to work with, and learn from Tenta who is a legend in the business (Rest in Peace John) as well as Prince who is a phenomenon in the ring. His psychology is top notch, and it was an honor to teach beside him. I learned so much in the time we spent with Prince. I wound up taking back a few new things I learned in order to bring some fresh stuff into the mix. We were set to attend an event while we were in town, and I was honored when Tenta walked into his place and called me over… "BRIMSTONE" he said, "Tugboat can't make it to the show, and so I was wondering if you'd be my partner in the match as the other half of the Natural Disasters." I can't describe how great that felt.
8. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
Everything would pretty much be the same except for my choice in a business partner. I would have definitely checked out my partner's credentials prior to involving him in something that he was not experienced enough for. I've also learned not to put 100% trust out there; I had always been too trusting. Last but not least I would have spent less time at the school and more time with my kids.
9. When you aren't wrestling, what do you do in your spare time?
I'm a family man! I spend all my time with my Fiancé and kids when I am not at the office. My friends are very special to me as well… I continue to spend time with the people who stuck by me throughout all the crap, and let me tell you it must be a crazy sight, watching a bunch of workers sing Karaoke! I also work hard on everything BRIMSTONE… I am always looking for ways to create an empire. I'm an entrepreneur, and I thrive on thinking outside the box!
10. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I would like to think that there is a place in the future for Brimstone in either TNA or WWE. I see theBORDERHOUNDS comic taking off, and who knows… the possibilities are endless. For the meantime, let's just start small and see where it goes. As Brim would say, "So it is written, and so it shall be… Brimstone will reign supreme!"