Primos Hardcore & Wrestling has spent the better half of a decade making a name for itself as a premiere independent promotor and cultivator of extreme wrestling entertainment in Colorado. Tonight, Primos expands it's no-holds-barred throwdowns with REVoLUCHA, its own addition to the international Lucha Libre fight circuit.
In advance of this evening's inaugural sequin-masked matches, Westword spoke with Primos owner, founder and wrestler, Joe "Joey Terrofyn" McDougal about this new direction, and his own impending extensive Lucha training in Mexico.
Westword: Can you tell us a little about who you are and how you came into wrestling?
Joe "Joey Terrofyn" McDougal: I'm thirty years old and I've been involved with wrestling in Colorado for what will be twelve years in May. I've kinda been around for a long time in the scene, and I've wrestled for every federation that has come through this state. I've wrestled all over the country in my 12 years. I've never had, up to this point, the opportunity to go abroad. In fact, I've never even been to Mexico. So I'm really excited to go to Mexico City to train.
I came from being an independent wrestler, working in traditional gyms -- one of the guys that is independently contracted. There would be a gym, and traditionally you'd work out the two to three days a week that you're required to be there. You train -- if you were really good, at the very least -- for six months before you were able to compete. More often, on average, you train for at least a year before you're able to compete in actual matches. Those would be scrimmage-type matches at practice, but not in shows, per say.
I've come from being an independent wrestler to also being a company owner (of Primos Hardcore & Wrestling). I also run my own gym, Primo's Butcher Shop, in Commerce City. Luche Libre training happens at the Butcher Shop, and wrestling, and we also have several guys that do crossover training between boxing and martial arts. There's a lot of different athletes at the gym. Why and when did you start Primos Hardcore & Wrestling?
I started Primos in September of 2007. Initially, I felt that there was a niche for wrestling with Juggalos. ICP runs their own wrestling and a lot of juggalos -- not all -- but a lot of juggalos like wrestling. So, originally, Primos Hardcore & Wrestling was just supposed to be a crossover, to try and pull from that demographic. I thought that was a really good demographic -- just not a sound business plan. They (Juggalos) are inconsistent. They'll be there at some shows, and not others. I kinda had to make Primos grow up.
We're really leaning towards family entertainment now. There are a few Juggalos in the crowd, but it's not at all our target demographic anymore. There may be one segment that would be targeted to them, out of maybe ten (matches) the whole night. We've become a broader type of entertainment and we still include music acts. It was one of the things that helped, initially, but the original recipe was supposed to be music acts and Juggalo wrestling. I thought that would draw, and in theory it did at first; it just wasn't a sound, long-term plan.
It makes sense, though. The ICP fan base in Colorado is huge, so why not direct these people to another form of entertainment?
It does work, and it's a good avenue. It's just not the main trick up my sleeve anymore. Initially, it was the reason why we had trouble, I could gain Primos as much credibility as I wanted -- literally, I had Violent J from ICP in my ring, wrestling a match with me. And this brings you some credibility, but we're still not ICP, so not everybody saw that or even heard about that it.
To me, I'm not going to put all my eggs in one basket to just be secondary. I don't mind trying to dip into that demographic; it as just a dead end road, in my opinion. In a different scenario, I could get a job with their (ICP's) wrestling company, but that's not what I'm looking to do. I'm looking to develop Primos. Why and how did you decide to take on Lucha Libre with Primos and what are your goals for training in Mexico?
In doing Lucha Libre, the ceiling is a lot higher. I mean, I still have to build credibility amongst the Hispanic crowd. Right now, I'm a white, green belt Luche Libre, but I have all the authentic talent (in the Lucha community) that have my back on this. So ultimately, in the long term, I believe the feeling that REVoLUCHA will be huge.
I started Primo's in 2007 -- I was 25 or 26 at the time and basically, I stopped focusing on myself and my own goals as a wrestler. But now, I've accomplished most of my goals, like wresting for JCW, which is ICP's league. And I've wrestled a lot of famous wrestlers -- Mick Foley, Jerry Lynn -- and this and that. I've done a lot of those goals, so I stepped back and really focused one-hundred percent on Primo's for the last 5 years. Trying to build that, I became secondary. Of course I'm part of the product, but I'm not totally throwing myself on the back burner. This has been a dream of mine, to go to Mexico in particular.
(With this training in Mexico) I'll be gaining credibility and building a fan base and creating relationships that will help Primo's in the long run. I've been in contact with several different federations in Mexico City, and we're planning to do an "invasion"- type angle. It will be (a Mexican Lucha Libre) league vs. Primos. I'll fly in their guys, and we'll wrestle each other, and they'll fly in our guys and we'll wrestle against each other in both cities. When you do something like that, you have chances to do things like Pay-Per-View fights, DVDs and big shows on an international level.
Where are you training in Mexico City?
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I've got a federation that I'm going through that is loosely affiliated with Primos Butcher Shop, Arena Azteca Budokan. It's run by a famous family of Luchadores, The Moreno family, in Mexico.They own the Azteca arena and training place where I'll have an apartment, literally, right across the street. We're just going to train everyday. I'll be working with a famous Luchadore wrestler and trainer over there named Oriental. I've flown him in for our Lucha Libre shows, and we fly a lot of the Lucha talent in through him.
For the last few months, a wrestler from Mexico City named Muerta Bucanera, has training with me at the Butcher Shop. He works for a company down there called DTU, which translated means Total Disaster Ultra Violence. I'll be working with him, as well as through other wrestlers that I've booked here (in Colorado) and I'll be doing, like, a little mini-tour. I'm going to be really busy when I'm in Mexico City.
How long are you training in Mexico City for?
I'm leaving February 7th, with a one-way ticket booked. I'm going to be there for at least two months, but no longer than three; I have obligations back home. I don't want to leave my company for too long. And, my wife and I have birthdays close to each other, so I told her I would be back.