Hammerjack & Mark Anthony Talk About The Rise & Fall of Crossfire Wrestling
Apr 18, 2013 - by Steve Gerweck
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Noted Tennessee independent wrestlers Hammerjack and “Maniac” Mark Anthony joined Cheap Heat Radio Wednesday Night! In a nearly 60 minute exclusive interview, they fully delved into the situation that was the rise and fall of Crossfire Wrestling. They discussed how they both got to be involved with Crossfire Wrestling and Marcus Pastorius, what their roles were with the company, what was it like working for Marcus and if he really knew the business, the involvement with Make-A-Wish foundation and addressing rumors, how much success did Crossfire had early on both financially and professionally, some of the debts that had been accrued, the lawsuits pending and by Marcus and against Marcus, how close the supposed TV deal had been and who it was supposed to be with, who owns the footage that had been taped, their candid comments about Marcus’ involvement with Aaron Camero, the final Crossfire show(s) and if people behind the scenes knew those were the last shows, his involvement with independent promoter Bill DeShields, their upcoming independent SlamFest 2013 show and so much more.
How did you become involved with Marcus Pastorius:
Anthony: “Let’s clear this up first; I was not a partner is Crossfire. I was not an investor in Crossfire whatsoever. I was a personal friend of Mr. Pastorius, who needed help, and I offer my hand to help him and I will explain to you guys as we go, as the questions are asked, how he received that help. How I got involved was me and HammerJack have been friends for 15, 16 years; we practically broke in together. That being said, when this was started two years ago, HammerJack would call me, I’d talk to Marcus every once in a while, to see what we were doing. At the time, I wasn’t interested. I wasn’t interested in coming on board and working as a talent, wasn’t interested in being a janitor. I have a very, very good job; I didn’t want to live that lifestyle anymore; wasn’t willing to take the risk of jumping into something that could potentially be bad without seeing how far it could be taken on its own; seeing how legit it could be, you know what I mean?
I came on board, probably about three months before the big Bret Hart show in August; I came on board behind the scenes. Mr. Pastroius would get my opinions on things, ask what I thought about this, that and the other; that kind of thing. “Office work” I guess you would say. So, that’s how it all went down, that’s how it all started.”
What they did for Crossfire Wrestling:
HammerJack: “I feel that way too. I did slave like a bitch for that company. You know, for two years, I felt like I was under Marcus’ thumb and I took a lot of shit from him, you know? Mental abuse and swallowing a lot of my pride because I had faith in what we were doing and I just wanted it to work so badly that I didn’t beat his brains out every time he got smart with me or every time got smart with someone and try to run somebody off. He actually ran a lot of good deals off with sponsorships and talent; locals that could really help us get a push and everybody knew that; everybody knows that. I mean that’s not, that’s not kayfabe.
Anthony: “That’s common knowledge amongst the boys in the back, and some of the fans.”
HammerJack: “Everybody would come to me. My biggest job for Crossfire was putting Marcus’ fires out, period. And a lot of stuff he didn’t even know about and when I would confront him about it and say ‘Hey, so and so is really pissed, but I took care of this; he would call me a liar. He’d say ‘You’re a liar. He didn’t say that. He likes me; we’re best friends.’ No, no. I put out many, many fires for that company, and still today I am. You know, people are still owed money for tickets and they still come to me; come to my Facebook page and e-mail me, call me, tweet me and ask ‘Hey, how can I get my money back?’ So, I’m still somewhat suffering because of his mistakes.”
What was it like working for Marcus?
HammerJack: “I believe that up to the first, well we had 6-8 weeks to prepare for each show up until this, two weeks prior to the show, he was fine and I could tell when we had 14 days left because he’d become the biggest prick you’d ever met before in your life. It would become a super power trip. My stress levels would go up; my blood pressure would be up sky high to the point where I’d feel like I’d have to check into a hospital, and I’m shooting with you. I’m dead up shooting with you; I wanted to release a lot of stress on that man’s head, from the 14th day til 2 days after game day. That Sunday, we’d always have to back to the show and clean the building up and knowing that last cup went into the trash can was the biggest release because I would run to my car and I wouldn’t talk to him for 2 or 3 days. That’s what it was like working for him.”
Anthony: “Ok, I’ll answer your question. As far as Marcus knowing the business, I think he was a guy in a room full of smoke who was grabbing out for hands and whatever hand would grab him and lead him in a direction that he thought he could get over with, that’s the direction he would go. I don’t think he truly understands the business and the reason I say that is because he wouldn’t listen. He wouldn’t listen, and you’ll understand this more later, like HammerJack and myself who are his friends, you know? At times we were like, ‘Dude, you need to stop; you need to stop now. If you don’t, you’re going to find yourself hung out, feet-first (expletive) on the bottom of the Cumberland River. You need to stop.’ And the guy would not listen; he had to have it his way. I think he was smart to some aspects; other aspects, he was clueless. Totally, totally (expletive) clueless. So, no, he didn’t know the business that well. What he did was utilize a friend to get the ball rolling.
He got some money, which he tells us he sued TNA; they cut him a check, there’s a gag order on it, but he felt good to tell everybody that close to him that he sued TNA, got some money, wanted to run a show, was hell bent on making their life miserable. He didn’t know the first (expletive) thing how to run a goddamn show; that’s why he brought HammerJack in. HammerJack was the one who showed the son-of-a-bitch, on that very first show, ‘This is what will draw here. These are the aspects you need to hit. You need to play off this right here.’ And that’s what he did, in that first show; I wasn’t there, but from what I’m told, every level was successful.”
The truth behind Make-A-Wish and if Marcus had cheated them:
HammerJack: “That was a lie. Straight up lie. They were always paid; that’s the good end of Crossfire, that was the great end of Marcus Pastorius; I’ll give him credit there. The man took care of, to the very end, the Mark-A-Wish Foundation, he had a good relationship with Bubba (Perry). We would go out and do all the meet and greets with the kids and make visits to children’s hospitals and plug it on TV. I don’t know how people could think you could take a fundraiser that big, a company that large and world-wide known and screw them over repetitiously and get away with it. There’s no way. If you put the Make-A-Wish Foundation logo on anything, you’ve got the world’s eyes on you; you’ve got to take care of that. There’s no way around it.”
The last Crossfire show and how things were behind the scene:
HammerJack: “What I was telling you was the last two shows were where he had to have the big light systems hanging over the ring and the lighting had to be perfect and just his way, and he had to have the HD/3D tapings because he honestly believed he had a contract; that’s when it all started, because he did not have the money to run those at all, whatsoever. I kept telling him ‘Let’s keep the budget throughout at X amount of dollars, and by mid-way through it started climbing up; 10, 15, 20, 25,000, it starts climbing, climbing, climbing until, finally, we’ve got $52,000 events and you can’t do that without some kind of funds in the bank to back it up. And that’s when he fell on his face; he let his head just swell up that damn big that he thought people were going to give him money and it don’t work that way. He had a lot of sponsors lined up to help him out but not just give him anything because if I’m an investor; these are investments, these are loans.”
The upcoming SlamFest 2013 event for both men:
Anthony: Here’s the deal, I’m from Cookeville, it’s my hometown, and anybody that knows and is from a small town; you always want to protect it and if your able to bring something like this in on a big level, you’re going to want to do it. I’ve always wanted to do it and I’ve purposefully kept Marcus Pastorius out of here; I kept redirecting him to other towns because I didn’t want somebody to come in here and pulling some bullshit and ruining it for myself later on if I decided to run. Yes, Crossfire made some noise; we’re hoping to catch a little of that. Even if it’s 15 fans and 15 tickets, that’s money in the bank.
This was an idea that Hammer and I shot around for a long time; we’re financially able to do it and when I say financially able to do it, everybody’s money is in their envelope right now waiting for them, to be paid when their match is over. We’re not having to borrow the day before, we’re not having to call our momma or brother to send us a grand to get us out of debt; we have the money in an envelope. We are financially secure to run this event, so we thought we want to run an honest, successful, fun event for this town that hardly gets anything.”
You can follow Hammerjack on Twitter (@HammerJack2) or through his personal website (http://hammerjackonline.com) in order to get the latest news, notes and event information where he will be performing. You can also see Hammerjack as part of SlamFest 2013 in Cookeville, TN on May 4th; go to
https://www.facebook.com/events/444331888982717/ for more information on roster of talent, updated card, or ticketing information for the event.
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