INTERACTIVE WRESTLING RADIO INTERVIEW - "Filthy" Tom Lawlor

Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: Tom Lawlor
Date: 10/30/19
Your Host: James Walsh

He may be too hot for UFC but he's just right for the Wrestling Epicenter! "Filthy" Tom Lawlor stops by to talk about Saturday night's big MLW Saturday Night Superfight PPV and while here, we talk about MMA in wrestling becoming the norm, his life long love of wrestling from the days of the GWF and USWA to WCW and WWE and beyond, and even a little about the new hiring of Lucha Underground's Chris DeJoseph and how it will potentially change the Major League Wrestling product.



 

"FILTHY" TOM LAWLOR:

 

On MLW Saturday night Superfight this Saturday:
"If you take a look at the card from top to bottom, it is stacked! It is awesome! It has got everything you could ask, everything you could hope for in a professional wrestling card. The main event between LA Park and Jacob Fatu will be insane, I'm sure, on many levels. If you want to talk about insane, Mance Warner versus Jimmy Havoc versus Bestia 666 in a Stairway to Hell match. Then, on the flip side, you'll have a different type of violence. You've got Timothy Thatcher who called me out so he will be getting his beating."

On facing Timothy Thatcher at the PPV:
"I am a fan. Obviously, he is a man of my own heart - A wrestler at heart, a traditionalist which I love. He's hard nosed. He's going to hit me as hard as hard as he can and he's going to take everything I can give. That is what I want. I don't want someone who is going to run from the action. I want somebody who is going to bring it! You mentioned EVOLVE and his extensive work there - Well, before I made my foray back into professional wrestling when WrestleMania was in Santa Clara, California, I was at the EVOLVE show that weekend watching Timothy Thatcher and I said THAT, THAT is a guy that I want to fight one day. Low and behold, here we are, 4 or 5 years later, and MLW has it this Saturday night, Saturday Night Superfight - Me and Timothy Thatcher!"

On his love of wrestling:
"Yeah, I have been a fan from way back. My grandmother used to live next to me. When I would get home from school, ESPN would have Global Wrestling (GWF) and USWA. There was always a block of wrestling on there. And then, I remember eating dinner every Saturday night and rushing down the 100 foot path between our houses to catch, hopefully, WCW Saturday Night at 6:05 if it wasn't pre-empted by a Braves game. From as far back as I can remember, professional wrestling was always what I gravitated towards. And then, when I was 11, I saw the 2nd UFC pay per view pretty soon after it happened and that drew me in. I don't know what exactly it was about mortal combat that drew me in but there was definitely an innate feeling that did draw me in."

On what appealed about UFC:
"I'll tell you what really appealed to me about UFC as a kid. Watching Keith Hackney punch Joe Son in the balls repeatedly. I thought to myself, if there is a place where that can happen and that is not frowned upon or looked down upon in fighting situations, that is where I want to be!"

On seeing a UFC main event in Lesnar/Velasquez happen ina WWE wrestling ring:
"I haven't had a chance to think about it, really. It has happened so quickly. There's been less than a month build up. I think Cain (Velasquez) has been thrown into it haphazardly. I think they could have had a little more build up. I think Cain is going to be fine in the match. He's wrestled already - Granted, it is a completely different style of wrestling than he did in AAA with Black Taurus or Killer Kross. It is going to be different also because they are going to be in Saudi Arabia which is completely different than a US crowd. They may be quiet for msot of the match whereas in the US, they would be more vocal. Maybe that will help him, maybe that will hinder him. I don't know. It is very interesting, though."

On the rise of combat sports athletes in wrestling:
"You also ahve Tyson Fury. I'm a fan of all combat sports. I'm curious how he is going to do. I'm curious how Cain Velasquez is going to do. I'm curious to how Ken Shamrock is going to do in Impact Wrestling! There are combat sports athletes floating around everywhere in wrestling these days. It is a very interesting time."

On if Jake Hager's knee strikes were low last week in Belator:
"The second one was definitely low and that is the one that took the guy out of the fight. The thing about low blows is you can't understimate the pain. I've been clipped to where it looked like it wasn't much and it had an effect and then I've been hit flush in the balls and it didn't really effect me."

On many wrestling shows now adopting a more combat sports approach like Josh Barnett's Bloodsport:
"I also did Matt Riddle's Bloodsport which was the first iteration and then I did Josh Barnett's Bloodsport II. I also wrestled Douglas James at an FSW show here in Vegas which was a KO or submission match. I think it is going to become more common. With each Bloodsport show that there is, there are changes in the rules. There was talk about using count outs or bringing the ropes back and having rope breaks or maybe having a points system like UWFI. But, I think taking the ropes away, it is something different. If you go to an indy show, you'll hear it called a "Bloodsport" style match. I was also in one in MLW with Simon Grim where they took the ropes off. The Bloodsport name was a great use by GCW a few years ago. I think it will grow with marketing behind it. I think it has become a trendsetter. I've been trying to do more of those types of matches. They existed before Bloodsport. They're going to exist forever."

On choosing MLW as his wrestling home:
"Timing is essentially everything and I think my time with MLW is proof of that. I was trying to get back into a sport that I had basically been out of for 10 years and MLW was trying to get back into the game that they had been out of for years. I had been a fan when I was younger - I lived in Florida and I had Sunshine Network. I always loved Satoshi Kojima! (laughs) And, I was just a fan of MLW. So, it worked out perfectly!"

On learning from Jim Cornette in his brief MLW stint:
"For all the things you hear about Jim Cornette, good and bad, and I'm sure there is valid criticisms on both sides - If you're around Jim Cornette, you understand how and why he has been in the professional wrestling business for so long and as long as he has. You understand why he is sort of the gold standard in terms of wrestling interviews on the mic. And, he has a very, kind of, special way of getting you to believe in yourself. I know he's doing work now with the NWA and the NWA Powerrr show. I've heard great things about him as an announcer on there. He was great as an announcer for MLW despite his hatred of some matches. (laughs) I have nothing but good things to say about my dealings with him. I drove his truck once too! (laughs)"

On MLW hiring former Lucha Underground creative force Chris DeJoseph:
"I would think that it would (change the programming). I don't know exactly what he will have at his disposal or what he is going to be put in charge of. I would think it will change promos and vignettes. That was the thing about Lucha Underground that drew people in early on. It was different! It was a television show with wrestling whereas WWE has been a TV show about wrestling for years. Individually, each company is going to now have to carve its own niche. Each company is going to have to appeal to their fan base in a different way. Like, AEW can't be WWE. MLW can't be AEW. WWE can't be Ring of Honor. You know what I mean? There's benefits and down sides to everything there."