Low Ki talks MLW Company’s History, “Performance Art”, and more
Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: Low Ki
Your Host: James Walsh
MLW star Low Ki has joined us 3 times in the past if you include a text interview and a couple of Impact Wrestling media calls. But, for the first time ever, we welcome the former Major League Wrestling Champion and present MLW mainstay who has become synonymous with MLW over the past few years. Join us as we finally have a one on one sit down conversation with Low Ki!
MLW presents Fightland from the 2300 Arena, formerly the ECW Arena, tomorrow, Super Saturday, February 1! Visit www.MLW.com for more on Fightland and upcoming events!
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On why he chose MLW to be his home:
“Well, it was an old outstanding relationship that I’ve had with Court Bauer stemming from the first Incarnation (of MLW) back in the early 2000s. Now there’s been a culture of pro wrestling that has been in existence for a long time which the public hasn’t been made aware of until recently when more of the older wrestlers are being more outspoken and more of the young wrestlers are now speaking more about. What goes on behind-the-scenes, things that the public has not been aware of for a long time. I’ve been aware of it because all of my mentors and my training partners kept me aware of what to be sharp for. With Major League Wrestling, it had a very similar development in how it was organized and came to being similar to the way I did with having a good foundation. Court Bauer having a concept, being guided by Gary Hart… You know, these are elements in our craft that really give light why things succeed. In the early 2000’s, Court wasn’t doing so well and had to cancel his events which ultimately left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of wrestlers and a lot of fans. However, even in the final event being cancelled last minute – It was a disruption in business that needed to be addressed at that time. But, it was uncommon for promoters to really uphold their end of the bargain and do what was right. Court did! I will always remember that because I remember how uncommon that was back then. For him to take care of what needed to be taken care of. Fast forward to the end of 2017, I’m contacted once again – This time by Court after many, many years and now it’s a much more mature conversation but the underlying tying element was he was a person of integrity at a time that really didn’t have a lot of integrity. and I can see it so the approach for me to come back to Major League Wrestling, I can respect this environment. If I’m going to be a part of it, I’m bringing my A-game and I’m leading the charge! Win, lose, or draw, I’m leaving it all out into the ring! That is what I’ve done and it seems to have worked out.”
On MLW reaching more people now than ever before:
“It is because the concept is simple. A lot of people think they can present wrestling in their own artistic expression. No. Not everyone is cut out for this and not everyone is meant to do this. But, the concept that everyone and his mother wants to try this… No! Because these people who are trying this simply because they can, they’re not even trying to do this correctly. There are certain things you do and certain things you do not do. The reason Major League Wrestling has been so successful is because there is a level of maturity. There was an age restriction in the NWA that was 25. That is why it was such a big deal when Tommy Rich won the World Title as the youngest champion. There is an issue with maturity because you need to be mature to succeed in this business. The business side is not what is being showcased for. They’re being showcased for acting funny and being entertaining. Ok, cool. If you want to be an entertainer, that comes with a different framing of respect. You’re not going to be respected like a pro athlete. I know because I’ve been around olympians. I’ve been around pro fighters – PRIDE fighters, UFC fighters. Isn’t it weird I’m the smallest guy on the roster but I keep getting fed all the pro fighters? Oh! It is because I am qualified to be doing what I’m doing. I’m not insulting to the viewer. It is not hard to do that. Anyone can do it if they put the effort in. It is not unreachable. But, everyone has an opinion and it is usually from way over there and not when standing right next to me. The reason Major League Wrestling has been successful is we are not insulting the intelligence of our viewers. For my experience, from top to bottom – I’ve been in a lot of different locker rooms over the years. Everyone comes to work (in MLW). That is a different attitude. That is a very different attitude because, again, there is an old culture in pro wrestling that still exists and is still being showcased and I can see it. I can see it by the quality of what is coming out on television.”
On if it is insulting that some wrestlers want to call this a “performance art”:
“It is not an appropriate term for what I do, that’s for damn sure. I’m here to fight. Most of these guys are not wanting to fight because entertaining is way easier! Most of these guys are soft. You can see it. Most of these guys are immature. You can see it! Look at the common behavior amongst the professional wrestlers. How much professionalism are you seeing? You see what I mean? I don’t have to bullshit anybody. I can sit here and call it out from a distance because I can see it. There is a lack of leadership going on in these places. I called it out on someone who happened to be on television recently. “Whoever was responsible for your performance and your match shoudl be fired because they showed no interest in your best interest and no interest in your company’s best interest.” There are so many people who want to call it performance art. That is because you are lazy! That’s why! You don’t know what it is to be a professional because it requires a whole different level of skill and a whole different level of responsibility and accountability. How many professional wrestlers are out there right now acting like a bunch of 5 year olds and putting everything out there, fan wise, on social media?”
On facing King Mo at MLW Fightland from the 2300 Arena:
“Oh yeah! Like I said, smallest guy on the roster but for some reason they keep feeding me the fighters. King Mo is no different. He comes from a different pedigree. You have to understand, pro fighting is a different degree. Daniel Cormier said it himself when he knocked out the Russian in the light heavyweight division. There’s degrees to this. (laughs) And most pro wrestlers out there are not up for this. It is similar to being an Olympian. I’ve been around them. King Mo is no different. He’s fought Rampage, Ryan Bader, Cro Cop… All at heavyweight. I’m floating around at just under 160. It seems kind of interesting that a lot of these big guys? They like picking on me. They don’t like picking on the champion but they like picking on me. Oh, so I’m easy pickings? I’ve been here before. I’ve been here plenty of times. Akebono, Big Show, Kobashi, Guerrero… I’ve been through it all. But, the defining factor for me is I’ve always maintained my training. I’ve always maintained my health. I had someone ask me on social media the other day about TRT. I told them I’m grandfathered in. We have no exceptions for anabolic steroids! I’m 40 years old at under 160 fighting guys at heavyweight or more and I’m holding my own.”
On if MLW’s PPV Saturday Night Superfight was a Home Run:
“I think it definitely was a home run because we set things in place early, saw them grow, and saw the returns on them. On top of that, the attitudes of all the wrestlers coming in – Everybody came to get busy!”
On what having been MLW champion means to him:
“(laughs) For a variety of reasons, it has a very special and very intense meaning. For one, it is the first major championship that I held after my father passed away. He passed away in 2015 and, at the time, I was going back and forth for the X Division title with Austin Aries. So, even before he died, he got to see me as a champion one more time. But, the (MLW) World Championship was just a little more special. It was me as an older athlete – Now way more mature as an athlete and as a man. But, not having my dad there was unique. But, I know he was smiling.” He continues, “Just thinking about it in advance, coming back to Major League. Major League ahs that air like Major League Baseball in that high end, this is what we’re supposed to be doing. And, the concept that I presented to Court was Pride presentation. PRIDE Fighting in Japan. That is the idea behind Major League Wrestling.”
On doing more voice overs like what he did for MLW with the Gary Hart tribute:
“I’m 40 now. But, I’m 40 with 22 years of experience. I’ve got to be feeling what I’m doing and that voice over stuff just started coming back in with Major League. They started to present me with opportunities to do voice over work, especially with the situation leading to the chaos with Konnan, Pentagon, and Fenix. And then culminating with the opportunity to do the tribute to Gary Hart. I didn’t want to screw that up. To me, these are important things and they take a degree of skill and a degree of care to do them right.”