“The Kardiak Kid” Dezmond Xavier is one of professional wrestling’s rising stars. The product of Dayton, Ohio chats with Fight Booth about his debut for Impact Wrestling, forming Scarlet & Graves with Zachary Wentz, his vast background outside of the squared circle and much more…
You have recently become a standout performer in Impact Wrestling’s X-Division. How did this opportunity come about?
Moose, who is a good friend of mine, volleyed to get me the tryout and everything just blossomed from there. But, it wasn’t until I received the email from Impact’s management team saying they were interested in me, that it actually set in that something was going to happen.
Were you a fan of the X-Division in its early days with AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, and Amazing Red, and how has it been to share ring time with pioneers like Low Ki and Sonjay Dutt?
Just as everyone watched other promotions that started the love of professional wrestling, I too was in the same boat. But it wasn’t until I got a chance to see the likes of AJ Styles, Amazing Red, Low Ki and Sonjay, that it made me want to seriously pursue being a wrestler.
I remember looking up schools and trying to find a way into the X-Division. Now to be a part of it, and get the chance to share the ring with guys that I looked and still look up to, is completely surreal. But, I can’t let that distract me. I want to and plan on getting to the level of and surpassing my idols.
How did you come up with “The Kardiak Kid” name?
I went back and forth trying to discover who I was and a way to identify who I am.
I went with references to my military service, I tried to go with a more aggressive name, but it wasn’t until I was watching a Cleveland Browns game that I was given something that I could actually relate to and felt natural. I am a huge Cleveland Browns fan and the 1980 Cleveland Browns were known as the Cardiac Kids for winning several games in the final moments. The games were fun, exciting, and really got the fans going.
That’s very similar to my style. Once I found out this, that’s how “The Kardiak Kid” Dezmond Xavier was born.
Ohio has always produced quality talent. What is it about the scene that creates such a hotbed for wrestlers?
I believe it’s the fact that not only Ohio, but the Midwest itself is such a melting pot of different styles, that we naturally blend those styles into a delicious concoction.
With Scarlet & Graves, you and Zachary Wentz have had battles with the current Impact Wrestling tag team champs, EYFBO (LAX). How did you and Zach first become a tag team?
I first met Zach at seminar by David Starr at Rockstar Pro. I was in the process of transferring to Rockstar Pro from another company. Zach was (and still is) the measuring stick for training in RSP, so I was put into a practice match with him to see how I would hold up.
We had the match and immediately we connected on a different level, not just in the ring but as people, and Dave (Crist) asked us how we would feel about becoming a tag team. We began tagging at RSP and later other companies until we debuted at CZW.
The landscape of the tag team division at CZW was in the process of changing and we wanted to be at the forefront, so did EYFBO. This lead to the battles that we have had and they are one of the best rivals that we have had.
When you first started training, how difficult was it to perfect your high-flying, acrobatic style in-ring?
When I first started training, We weren’t allowed to do anything other than the fundamentals. Once I showed that I had a firm grasp on those, I was able to experiment with other things. Luckily, I had a background in acrobatics which has helped me in expanding my high-flying style. First was a head scissors and before you know it I was doing Swanton Bombs with ease.
You just finished another round of dates in the UK. How was your experience this time versus the last time you visited? What do you think of the international independent scene?
The wrestling scene outside the US is just as good. But, they have something different. The way that they interact with us during the matches and the appreciation that they show is amazing.
There are a few crowds in the US that have this same mentality and style, but I feel that it is much stronger internationally.
As a military vet, I’d like to thank you for serving and protecting our country. Did you have to balance your military career with your wrestling career?
You’re very welcome and thank you. Yes, I first started training while I was still serving in the United States Air Force. I was stationed at Andrews AFB and began training in Severn, MD. They were about an hour and a half apart and every Monday and Tuesday I drove there and back to do my training.
Luckily, the schedule that I had allowed me to have every other weekend off which gave me a chance to start paying my dues at shows. There were a couple of shows that I missed but, they were very understanding because of my job.
Hip-hop and pro wrestling have a lot in common. You once were a professional hip-hop dancer. How was that experience and did it carry over into wrestling?
Yes, it carried over rather well. My dance experience has translated rather well with my timing and maneuverability. Dancing, whether with or without a partner requires you to know where your body is and will be before and after you have began to move. That is a skill that others have to learn through training, I was blessed to have it before training which helped me progress much faster.
You’ve used Andy Mineo’s “You Can’t Stop Me” as your theme music and have been outspoken about your faith. Are you a huge CHH fan? Who are some of the music artists that you listen to before a match or while traveling on the road?
I wouldn’t say that I am a huge CHH fan, but it is a genre of music that I truly enjoy. I am a man of God and I’m blessed to be living the life that I do. Although I have somewhat fallen away from structured religion, I still keep a lot of the Christian morals that I have had instilled in me.
As for music, I am rather eclectic when it comes to my music, But Zach has really opened my eyes to genres that I would normally not have listened to. Bands like I See Stars, Issues, and Bring Me The Horizon are just a few that he has exposed me to that have helped me through a few rough times.
So, from Hip Hop to Rock, from Country to EDM, it’s safe to say that my iTunes will satisfy every walk of life. Except Bluegrass, I just can’t get into Bluegrass.
As a member of Strong Style Brand, how important is to be part of a team that promotes wrestling with talents such as yourself, JT Dunn and Dave Crist?
SSB is a company that I hold dear to my heart. When they first started to promote me as one of the brands athletes, I was shocked and honored. They were promoting such high level athletes and for someone who was wrestling in somewhat of obscurity like myself to be featured by them was and still is awesome.
I really look forward to the progression of the company and everyone that’s a part of it.
By the end of 2017, Dezmond Xavier will be….?
I have accomplished a lot of goals this year, and it’s only halfway done.
By the end of 2017, I look to win the X-Division Championship and become the face of a division that I have always loved. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a Triple Crown winner and join that special club. By the end of 2017, I will be a member of the most sought after tag team with Zachary Wentz, winning titles all across the country and world. Lastly, by the end of 2017, I will be seen as one of the top professional wrestlers in everyone’s eyes.
Follow Dezmond Xavier on Twitter @DezmondXavier