“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
#KillThatNoise: Forget Matt Hardy, the Whole Wrestling World is Broken
The Summer of 2017 has been ridiculous for wrestling fans. To think that just three years ago, CM Punk divorced the WWE while AJ Styles left TNA after being the face of the company for more than a decade. ROH was being raided by Triple H for some of its best names, but Daniel Bryan was and wasn’t able to wrestle anymore. The names Okada and Omega were only known and revered by the most hardcore of fans. I suppose we are in the “boom” period now with so many indie promotions like WrestleCircus in Austin or Smash Wrestling in Toronto becoming hot beds for talent. There are many more, but for so long fans thought that they could only get a quality wrestling experience if it was provided by the WWE. The term “quality” has changed. It used to be all about the package, presentation and big atmosphere, but the way we take in content has allowed even the most intimate of settings to become some of the best places for pro wrestling.
- New Japan brought its brand of wrestling to the states for the first time a few weeks ago, and it felt bigger than any throwaway PPV from WWE. The stars of NJPW aren’t over exposed which makes even someone like Sanada feel just a bit more important. The G1 Special was a welcome change to the wrestling palette of many people. We’re indoctrinated to see red on Monday nights. We know when an interference is coming. We know when a match is going to break before it actually goes on one. Having the G1 Special and Slammiversary in the same weekend was more than enough for solid non-WWE wrestling for me.
- Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar happened, so I watched it because, you know…JOE. LESNAR. Every blue moon, WWE will throw fans a bone and say “Have at it.” This was one of those times. Joe vs. Lesnar was one of the few dream matches that they could deliver upon and it was a short and fun. I’d love to see it again. (Make it happen, Vinny Mac.)
- Every single talent outside of Titan Towers is their own individual business, and fans get to follow how each wrestler operates. The intimacy of pro wrestling has changed the way we watch the action and react to talents. The emergence of Broken Brilliance couldn’t have happened in 1996 and been successful, but in the previous version of TNA, Matt Hardy and company were able to create a universe of characters so different yet so proper for the way fans see wrestling today. If WWE does get the gimmick, will it be the same? Probably not, but I’ll watch.
- We saw a grand opening and grand closing all in one day as Dixie Carter debuted on WWE TV and Austin Aries made like a banana and split. (That was bad, I know.)
- Oh, and Mauro Ranallo was re-introduced as a member of the NXT announce team. This is probably the best decision for both parties.
- Jeff Jarrett finally did what he wanted to do for years when Anthem Media fused the Impact and Global Force brands together to make one entity. The elimination of the TNA initials is the first true step in the redemption story of the wrestling company founded in Nashville, Tennessee. The post-Slammiversary shows have posted record ratings for POP TV this year, so the brand is obviously doing something right with fans this time, but…
- Paige and Alberto El Patron really do need help. They aren’t going to make it right themselves, and Paige’s family is either stating falsehoods or choosing the wrong methods to speak the truth.
- Kenny Omega couldn’t be trained under the sheltered eye of WWE and be the superstar he is today. Omega’s thought process behind what should happen within a match, promo or vignette is so refreshing. People will quickly tell you that Kazuchika Okada was misused in TNA. Maybe he was. Maybe he learned a lot individually by not doing much. Maybe it was necessary in his journey to be one of the top wrestlers in the world today. Okada’s flashy, wildly entertaining entrance doesn’t match his demeanor in-ring. He trades the flash for preciseness and its a special thing to see. When Okada calls for his Rainmaker finisher, it takes me back to the days of playing WCW/NWO Revenge or No Mercy with my friends. The Rainmaker is a flawlessly performed finisher, and the anticipation for it is the key to its effectiveness. Fans would love to see Okada and Omega in WWE where they can succumb to 50/50 booking and other WWE-isms.
- Cody is the ROH World Champion. It took 31 years for a Rhodes to hold another world title and its well deserved. From Impact Wrestling to Ring of Honor to everything in between, Cody Rhodes became a star under his own banner.
- The Mae Young Classic just wrapped up taping for now, but another all-womens show, GLOW, was the talk of the wrestling and entertainment business for the last few weeks. The Netflix exclusive received very good reviews and feedback. Hopefully, it will get a second season. The various wrestlers involved didn’t seem out-of-place, and Awesome Kong/Kia Stevens lives up the “awesome” part of her name on the show. Great performance.
For anyone that says wrestling isn’t alive and well — #KILLTHATNOISE.
Follow me @willmarelle on Twitter.
Update on Alberto El Patron alleged domestic violence situation
Alberto El Patron is in trouble again after an alleged domestic battery episode has been reported from multiple sources involving his fiancee, former WWE Divas Champion Paige.
Paige has since come out in defense of El Patron (known to WWE fans as Alberto Del Rio) saying that he was simply defending his bride to be who allegedly got into an altercation with an unknown woman at the Orlando International Airport yesterday.
WE got the cops involved. I’m crying cuz I found out bad fam news & a lady tries take a pic. She gets angry throws a drink on @PrideOfMexico
— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) July 10, 2017
Please leave us alone. That’s it.
— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) July 10, 2017
According to ProWrestling Sheet, Global Force Wrestling (El Patron is currently the World Heavyweight Champion of the organization) is currently conducting an internal investigation. El Patron has not been arrested as no charges have been filed as of this writing.
via PWInsider: “There was an incident at Orlando International Airport at about 3 p.m. Sunday involving Jose Rodriguez (DOB 5/25/1977) The reported incident was a domestic violence battery, and it is still under investigation. No arrests have been made as of this time, but the case remains open. That is all the information we have for release at this time.”
UPDATE: The following audio has been released via TMZ:
This dispute is still being treated as one of the domestic violence variety according to law enforcement.
Alberto El Patron wants to beat up Triple H and The New Day at his restaurant on Tuesday
With WWE heading to San Antonio this coming Tuesday night, Alberto El Patron was kind enough to send the following invite to a very specific group of the roster.
The man with the big nose and no balls, those are Alberto’s words, would be Alberto’s former boss, Triple H. The “pussies” from the rap battle would be The New Day and possibly The Usos, Alberto doesn’t really specify. What we do know is that Xavier Woods and Alberto’s current fiancee, Paige, were victims of a sex tape leak earlier this year that also starred former WWE/NXT talent Brad Maddox. This was mentioned in the “rap battle” between The New Day and the Usos this past Tuesday on Smackdown but that particular part of the segment has since been deleted.
El Patron is the current Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion after defeating Lashley to unify the Impact and GFW straps last weekend at Slammiversary.
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