Friday , 19 December 2014
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School of Roc: Class Wars Episode 9 & Interview with Tripp Cassidy

Thank you to everyone who che

cked out last weeks interview with Dale Patricks. We’re back with Episode 9 of Class Wars (above) and another interview. This weeks interview is with someone who's not apart of the tournament, but is supporting one of the man in today's bout: Tripp Cassidy. Tripp has made a name for himself all over the Midwest, as well as nationwide competing for CZW, Dragon Gate USA, and Resistance Pro. Let's learn about more about Tripp and what makes him tick.

KF: How did you first become a fan of professional wrestling?

TC: I became a fan of pro wrestling in elementary school when all of my other friends were really starting to get into it. They played the games, had the action figures, wore the t-shirts and I was bound to follow.

KF:When did you decide you wanted to become a professional wrestler? Was there a specific moment, match, or person that inspired you?

TC: I really started getting into Lucha and Japanese stuff when I was around thirteen years old and that was also around the time I attended my first independent show. A friend and I got really into it after that buying everything we could find from those bad “Best of Lucha” DVD’s in the Latino section at Wal-Mart to early CZW and all of those Backyard Wrestling DVD’s. We attended Insanity Pro Wrestling shows every month and swore to never miss one. I was immediately in obsession mode and I knew I had to get in but it wasn’t until I saw Billy Roc wrestle Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose) for the Mid-American Championship in a 30 minute ironman match that I knew how.

KF: When did you start training at the School of Roc, and why did you decide to train there?

TC: After seeing the aforementioned match I found Billy Roc after a show and asked him if he trained people. He told me he didn’t have a training school but he’d done stuff with guys before. Since I couldn’t be trained by Billy I got a lot of little things from other people along the way biding my time looking for a real trainer. A few months later when Billy’s daughter was born he had his retirement match with Davey Richards and I figured it was a prime opportunity and, a few weeks after the match I got his number and asked Billy if he was training yet. He told me he’d been thinking about it and said he would call me back. He did and a few weeks later The Billy Roc Wrestling School ™ was born. The tryout was four people, one of those being my friend I mentioned earlier. The first day of practice was three people. Two trainees had dropped out before the first class and a new one had filled a spot. Ten months later and Billy Roc had one trained wrestler and a referee. The next year Billy and I were talking and he asked me if the name School of Roc™ sounded too cheesy. I told him I’d been thinking the same name and it was established ever since.

KF: You are actually one of the more decorated members of the School of Roc, competing for multiple companies like IPW and HWA consistently. These are two companies from the Midwest that don’t often get the credit many think they deserve. What do you make of your experiences with both groups?

TC: I am extremely grateful of my experiences with both Insanity Pro Wrestling and Heartland Wrestling Association. IPW is my home in so many ways and absolutely my number one debt to the business. I love IPW and everyone that makes it what it is. Every show I was ever a part of or a fan watching in the crowd inspired me to make wrestling a part of my life. HWA is making huge steps to become a big player in the indies. I learned so much there and I’m so honored to have come up in so many great places.

KF: Recently you had two big opportunities. The first was competing on CZW’s Super Saturday card while the other was teaming with Sue Jackson in Resistance Pro’s tag tournament. What were your feelings on getting the chance to perform in groups that have a wider reach than you’re used to? How did you feel your matches went?

TC: Working for CZW that night was bittersweet. CZW was a huge accomplishment and a big step in making a name for myself as well as being something from my childhood and something I’d been watching for years. When I was told that I was going to be a part of the show I didn’t know how to react but I felt really blessed to be a part of something so huge. The show was bittersweet because at the time we were all really unsure of the fate of IPW and it was just scary. I’m still not sure how to sum up the entire situation. As far as Resistance Pro goes I was ecstatic when I heard about the chance to be a part of their tag tournament. Being at Resistance was intimidating to say the least from the first step through the door. The building was amazing and every guy in the locker room seemed larger than life. I can’t put into words how huge both of those opportunities were and I hope I get the chance to make another impression on either of the two.

KF: Speaking of Sue Jackson, you, Sue, and Reed Bentley are part of a group called “The League.” What is it about these two men that made you want to associate with them? You three seem like peas in a pod.

TC: I have known Sue Jackson for a very long time now. We have been very close friends for a large part of my life and when he joined the school in class two I knew that in some way our paths would cross be it on the same side or opposing sides of the ring. I’ve never really known another guy the way I know Sue and he’s been so misunderstood that I feel like I need to help him make his point. Sue isn’t just an angry guy that likes to hurt people, he has a message, we all do. Reed Bentley and I crossed paths at a show in Charlestown at the very beginning of both of our careers and we immediately clicked. We both had the same mentality about who we were in the locker room with and we both had the same desire to go farther. Reed and myself formed a connection very early on and a lot of people pushed for us to make it as Team YUM. Unfortunately things never blew up as Team YUM and things have just changed. That’s what The League is all about. All of us have evolved so much as wrestlers and as people and we are all out to really convey what we have become. I can’t speak for the entire League but I can say that for myself I believe that The League is about discovery and the journey we are on to really find who we are as people, as adults, as the future.

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KF: Before forming The League, back in 2011 you got the chance to face your trainer Billy Roc in the main event of the School of Roc Winter Showcase. There’s been many to come through School, but you were THE guy who got to be in the main event. How did it feel to receive the opportunity?

TC: I have known Sue Jackson for a very long time now. We have been very close friends for a large part of my life and when he joined the school in class two I knew that in some way our paths would cross be it on the same side or opposing sides of the ring. I’ve never really known another guy the way I know Sue and he’s been so misunderstood that I feel like I need to help him make his point. Sue isn’t just an angry guy that likes to hurt people, he has a message, we all do. Reed Bentley and I crossed paths at a show in Charlestown at the very beginning of both of our careers and we immediately clicked. We both had the same mentality about who we were in the locker room with and we both had the same desire to go farther. Reed and myself formed a connection very early on and a lot of people pushed for us to make it as Team YUM. Unfortunately things never blew up as Team YUM and things have just changed. That’s what The League is all about. All of us have evolved so much as wrestlers and as people and we are all out to really convey what we have become. I can’t speak for the entire League but I can say that for myself I believe that The League is about discovery and the journey we are on to really find who we are as people, as adults, as the future.

WARNING: This section of the interview contains spoilers regarding this weeks School of Roc episode. If you have not watched the episode already, I encourage you to do so before reading on.

KF: Unfortunately you are not a part of the School of Roc Summit tournament due to an injury. However, you have been cornering Sue and Reed during their bouts. Although Reed is out, Sue has reached the semi-finals and has the strong possibility of making to the Finals. What do you contribute to Sue’s performance aside from general support ringside? What do we, the viewers, not see outside of the ring?

TC: Sue and myself have been working hard to change his moveset and work on his conditioning. He’s not just working to win Class Wars, he’s going to make an impact on the school, on Billy and on any future students.

KF: One person I have to ask about is Nate Stone. By now, we have all seen the episode where Reed Bentley made Nate Stone unlace his boots. The next week, Nate retaliated and we now have a Street Fight scheduled between the two at the Class Wars finale. As someone who was on hand for these incidents, what do you make of the whole thing?

TC: Nate Stone doesn’t understand his place. Ever since he started training he’s been so melodramatic. I’ve had the opportunity to be around Nate Stone quite a bit and he’s not as deep as everyone thinks. He needs to learn his place and Reed is prepared to show him that.

KF: Will you be able to compete in the finale of Class Wars? Will you be healed in time?

TC: Unfortunately I will not be able to be a part of this years finale but I will be next to Sue Jackson when he wins the cup. If I can’t make an impact he will. The finale is going to be a big event and will be well worth yours and everyone else’s time to watch.

KF: Finally, what goals do you have in professional wrestling overall, both immediate and in the future?

TC: There are a lot of places I’d like to go and a lot of people I would like to work. There is a legitimate list of both. I really want to be able to make an impact on some of the places I have already been like Resistance and I would like to make my way to places I haven’t as well. The League is out to win this years King of Trios and I am aiming to represent them along side Reed in the Young Lions Cup, both of which are Chikara Pro events that we are extremely adamant about being a part of. We will make it and make our name known. Aside from that there are some more video projects I would like to be a part of and I really want to see other countries. Wales, England, Australia, anywhere and everywhere.

KF: Tripp, I want to thank you for granting me this interview. Before I let you go, please feel free to plug anything and everything you wish.

TC: I'd like to plug my Twitter, @TrippCassidy. Feel free to follow me there, as well as another Twitter account: @DefendIndyWres. As usual, be sure to follow all the School of Roc websites and Twitters as well.

I want to think Tripp once again for joining us this week. I hope you learned more about him and will give him a follow on his pages. If you haven't watched the School of Roc: Class Wars episodes, you can find them all on their YouTube Page. You can also follow them on Twitter. Be sure to check their shiny new website as well.

Be sure to check out past interviews I've conducted for School of Roc: Class Wars:

Reed Bentley
Nate Stone
Dale Patricks

Thanks to everybody who read this weeks interview. We'll see you next week with a brand new episode and a brand new interview.

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About Kevin Ford

Kevin Ford has been a wrestling fan for as long as he can remember. His first legitimate writing gig was with the now defunct ‘Cool Kids Table’ website where Kevin wrote about Ring of Honor, CHIKARA, and did CHIKARA DVD reviews. Kevin continues to write CHIKARA reviews at 411mania.com and has an entire blog dedicated to CHIKARA reviews (chikaraspecial.wordpress.com). Kevin is one of the co-founders of PWP and a mainstay on podcasts, including the weekly "Fan to Fan" show, the Adventure Time centric "Flooping the Pig", and less frequent shows such as ¡VIVA CHIKARA! and 3 Dudes Talking. Kevin also pens DVD reviews for Absolute Intense Wrestling and Beyond Wrestling. He also loves films and television, They Might Be Giants, Yuengling, and pizza. He hopes this combination will bring him success in his life.
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