Indy Focus: Referee Tony S
By Atlee Greene
Indy Focus: Referee Tony S
Hometown: Worcester, MA
Trained by: “Kidd U.S.A.” Jay Jaillet, “The Widowmaker” Eric Shred and Freightrain
Promotions: Alliance Championship Wrestling (ACW), American Grand Prix Wrestling (AGPW), Atlas Championship Wrestling (ACW), Chaotic Wrestling (CW), Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA), East Coast Championship Wrestling (ECCW), Eastern Pro Wrestling (EPW), Millennium Wrestling Federation (MWF), New England Championship Wrestling (NECW), New World Wrestling (NWW), New Wrestling Horizons (NWH), North End Promotions (NEP), North Shore Wrestling (NSW), Northeast Championship Wrestling (NCW), Power Wrestling Federation (PWF), Powerhouse Wrestling (PHW), Ring Of Honor (ROH), (Top Rope Promotions), Showcase Pro Wrestling (SPW), Top Rope Promotions (TRP), Universal Championship Wrestling (UCW), Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU), World Wrestling Alliance (WWA)
Q: When did you become a wrestling fan and how?
TS: I became a wrestling fan at the age of 7: I went to a nearby convenience store with my grandmother and looked at a WWF Magazine with Hulk Hogan on the cover holding the WWF Championship for the fifth time. I had never seen or even heard of professional wrestling up until that point, and since that day, I have been a fan of the industry.
Q: Did you attend wrestling shows when you were a kid?
TS: I attended wrestling shows quite often. Over a decade ago, The Centrum (now DCU Center) was a hotbed arena for wrestling events and whenever any of the three major promotions came into town, I was there as well.
Q: Who were your favorites growing up?
TS: Bret Hart, Christian, Edge, Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig), Ravishing Rick Rude, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker and Triple H, just to name a few. As I began to learn more about the industry, I began to respect more great competitors.
Q: What is your favorite wrestling match?
TS: I have a lot of favorite wrestling matches, but two matches stand out for me, Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat from WrestleMania III and the Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart Iron Man Match from WrestleMania XII. Those matches always stood out to me as matches that tested the endurance of not only the two athletes, but the in-ring official as well, and as I got older and broke into the business, I wanted to call either a grueling and enduring championship match and/or an hour-long Broadway. Since my inception and a referee, there have been a lot of matches that I have done that can go on the list as my favorites, too many to mention.
Q: What is your favorite wrestling event?
TS: There have been a lot of great events in this sports’ history, but for me, it has to be WrestleMania VII. Under the circumstances of which the event was surrounded by, in my opinion, it was one of the first events to successfully incorporate real-world surroundings in pro wrestling, and everything about that event from start to finish made it one to remember.
Q: First impressions of the business when you started training?
TS: When I first started training, I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy and I didn’t want it to be; I also knew that if I really wanted to be in this industry, I would have to show the pros how much I wanted the opportunity to be in this sport. From the first day in, it has been nothing but a learning experience and I’ve been grateful for every second of it.
Q: How has life been on the Independent scene?
TS: Life on the independent wrestling scene has been one hell of a ride thus far. Over the past five years, I have been able to accomplish goals that I never even believed that I would do. More than anything else, I have learned that the competitors competing on the independent scene today deserve just as much recognition and respect as those in the major organizations. I’m extremely blessed, grateful and proud to be a professional wrestling referee and I’m looking forward to the next chapters of my officiating career.
Q: Who are some of the notable names you have worked with?
TS: Abyss, Al Snow, Awesome Kong, Chris Sabin, Christian (Cage), Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson), Homicide, Iron Sheik (His Final Match), Jay Lethal, Jerry “The King” Lawler, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, “Mr. Kennedy” Ken Anderson, Killer Kowalski, Mercedes Martinez, Nikki Roxx, ODB, Samoa Joe, Shelton Benjamin, Simon Diamond, and many others, as well as the numerous top talents in the independent wrestling circuit today.
Q: Do you believe Kayfabe is dead?
TS: I don’t believe that Kayfabe is dead but I do believe that the overexposure of the industry hurts its credibility a great deal. Sure, people need to know the “who’s, where’s, what’s and why’s” about the industry to an extent, but the inner workings of how it operates and the actions going on behind the scenes including what happens in the athlete’s private lives, do not need to be known by the general public.
Q: Any TV/Media appearances:
TS: A television appearance on MTV’s “True Life: I’m Jealous of My Sibling” (featuring the Alden Brothers), two television appearances on “Wrestling Spotlight” (Fall River, MA), a radio interview on CHMR’s “Ring Rust” (St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada) and a feature article in Worcester’s Pulse Magazine.
Q: What are your future plans?
TS: My future plans mainly consist of perfecting my craft as an in-ring official. My long-term plans of course are to officiate in one of wrestling’s major organizations, but I’ll never achieve that goal unless I gradually improve my abilities as a referee. I have achieved a great deal in the past five years and I look forward to achieving more in 2011 and beyond.
Q: Are there any other states or countries you are looking to work in 2011 or the future?
TS: Absolutely! It would be an honor to take my talents across the country and all over the world and showcase them in front of enthusiastic crowds and when that time comes, I’ll be more than ready to accept the challenge.
Q: Are there any crazy ref bumps you have had to take and is there one that sticks out?
TS: Due to my height, I haven’t had to take too many crazy ref bumps that I had to take, but there has been one that definitely sticks out in my mind, for sure. It was October of 2006 for New World Wrestling. I was officiating a match between Rick Fuller and “The Widowmaker” Eric Shred. Near the end of the match, Shred attacks me while my back is turned and Fuller capitalizes by chokeslamming “The Widowmaker” and another referee comes down and counts the pin. I regain my composure and tell the second official that I was knocked down by Eric Shred before Fuller won the match; I ended up awarding the match to Fuller via disqualification which led to Shred retaining the NWW United States Championship…let’s just say that Rick Fuller didn’t take kindly to me changing the decision, so he ends up chokeslamming me after the match.
Q: In your opinion, who are some of the names in New England wrestling fans need to look out for?
TS: If you take a look at the New England independent wrestling landscape, there are a lot of competitors right now that are making the wrestling world stand up and take notice. For example, “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett and Tommaso Ciampa: ROH competitors. Eddie Edwards: ROH World Champion. Veterans like “Brutal” Bob Evans, Brian Milonas, Handsome Johnny, “Hurricane” John Walters and Slyck Wagner Brown. Up and coming stars like Elia Markopoulos, J. Freddie, Julian Starr, Matt Magnum, Matt Taven, Scott Reed, Vinny Marseglia and many others. The bottom line is that ANY competitor in the northeast scene can be the next breakout star of tomorrow! So I encourage you to go out and support your favorite New England independent wrestling promotion.
Q: What is your opinion on the WWE no longer wanted to be known as a wrestling company?
TS: To me, the WWE will always be known as a wrestling organization. I have no problem with breaking out into mainstream media, such as music, movies, books, television shows, etc., but to me, the personalities that are magnified inside those ropes that made millions of fans all over the world and even turned some lucky fans into people that are lucky enough to be in this industry; it was the professional wrestling and its athleticism that made it a household name and to me, no matter the name, it will always be a wrestling company.
Q: Take us through your experience working with Ring of Honor?
TS: I had the opportunity to officiate on two occasions for Ring Of Honor back in April 2008 (Boston, MA) and October 2008 (Danbury, CT) and it was definitely a pair of learning experiences that I still take to this day. It was one of my first opportunities to prove to myself that I can hold my own on a big stage such as ROH. People like Bobby Cruise, Gabe Sapolsky, Paul Turner, Todd Sinclair as well as all of the ROH competitors and staff passed along some great advice to help me prepare to get to that next level.
Q: Where can we see you next?
TS: Eastern Pro Wrestling in Westerly, RI on May 14, Chaotic Wrestling in Woburn, MA on May 20, and in Bridgeport, CT for MWF’s Night Of Champions on June 4.
– If you want to learn more about Tony S, or if any promoters are interested in booking him, you can contact him through his web site. http://refereetonys.tripod.com
If any Wrestlers, Refs, Mangers, Ring Announcers, and Promoters are interested in being interviewed please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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