Katie Clark: To start, what is it exactly that you do right now [within the business]?
Jason Saint: Essentially, my current title is that I'm a ringside manager. I perform with a team known as #Spotlight, which I manage, that's comprised of several superstars and allies over several companies.
|Manager Jason Saint (front) and the rest of #Spotlight|
KC: So do you work for a
based company? Louisville
JS: The companies I work for are based out of
but have shows in Indiana and Illinois.
KC: What are the companies that are up there?
JS: IWA Mid-South, Evolution Pro Wrestling, and Furious Wrestling Society.
KC: So what other roles have you played in the company? Have you always been a manager?
JS: I've been a manager since October 26th, 2013. Prior to that, I worked in several different departments in other companies.
KC: Out of your past roles, what has been your favorite thing to do and why?
JS: When you say past roles, you mean within the last month and beyond or from the stuff I did at OVW? Do you mean in the ring or behind the scenes?
KC: Well, let me back up. First, what kind of stuff did you do at OVW? Second, out of everything you've ever done within the realm of wrestling, what has been your favorite memory IN the ring and what has been your favorite memory OUTSIDE the ring (behind the scenes)?
JS: At OVW, I did everything under the sun BUT wrestle. I helped build the ring, transport it, did the merch table, designed merch, took photos, worked the camera, learned from guys like Al Snow, Paredyse, etc. about wrestling and just generally soaked up knowledge and helped the rookie class learn as much as they could before they became part of "the boys."
In the ring, my favorite thing that I've done is when Tripp Cassidy faced Christian Skyfire in a Toy Box Death Match. It was insanely ridiculous, and I spent most of the match just jaw jacking with fans, putting Tripp over (a term used for 'making my guy look good'), and stealing the toys that kids would say they wanted. I opened a ninja kit, one of those cheap $2 ones that had like a star and a belt, etc., and I threw a ninja star at Christian. He just kind of stared at me so I took off running and the crowd cracked up.
Backstage, my favorite thing about being there is evolving my character and getting tips and pointers from legends. Guys like Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, and most notably, Kevin Sullivan, who actually pulled me aside to give me some amazing compliments on my work. That was huge for me. That brought tears to my eyes...after he walked away, of course.
KC: How much different was it to work for a developmental promotion such as OVW compared to some of the lesser known indie companies?
JS: The biggest difference is that it's MUCH more relaxed on the indies. Guys in OVW were so stressed out and working so hard to be better than each other in every aspect so that they could get signed right away, rather than to be the best version of themselves so that when they DO get signed, they've got tons of experience. That's what the indies is all about, is being as much of a standout as you can be and learning, learning, learning. In OVW, for years, you weren't allowed to wrestle on any shows BUT OVW shows. In OVW, the guys were all very talented, but they all came from the same class and wrestled the same style. Several of them wouldn't sway from that style. You essentially saw the same match over and over with different kicks, thrusts, or finishers, with very few exceptions (from wrestlers like Paredyse, Jamin Olivencia, the Blossom Twins, Mike Mondo, etc.). In the indies, these guys come from
St. Louis, Chicago,
etc. and they're all so different from each other. That's the best part, to me,
is the variation of styles. Dayton
KC: Well, tell me a little bit about the team you manage now.
JS: The team I manage is #Spotlight. The group is led by me, Jason Saint, a film director who started out using wrestling as a means to expand his resume. After a lot of early success, things started to dwindle, causing me to lose my shit a little bit and I started recasting the group. Rather than a Hollywood-bound group of hopeful stars, the group has metamorphosed into a walking horror show. The group went from flash and flair to grit and hits.
The team is currently composed of "The Real Deal" Derek Neal, who has defeated Mitch Page in more consecutive matches than anyone in history. Tripp Cassidy, aka "The Blue-Eyed Devil", who is the current EPW Openweight Champion. He's a handsome young kid, but an absolute lunatic. Chase Matthews, known as "The Mass Murder Suspect", who has gained several victories and has defeated 10 other wrestlers in scramble matches at the same time. Josh Crow, who's tall, athletic, and fears absolutely nothing. That's the core group, as seen in my default photo. We also have "Good Looks" Donnie Brooks, who is part of the New England chapter, Zodiak, who occasionally teams with us when we need backup, and Ludark Shaitan of Mexico, who throws up the hashtag when she's about to make headlines.
I've managed over 20 wrestlers altogether, though.
KC: Well, to kind of talk about the wrestling biz as a whole, how much do you think wrestling has changed since you started becoming involved with the business? Do you think it's changing for the better?
JS: I really haven't been involved long enough to notice any significant changes, outside of the match quality increasing, which is always good. The guys I work with are all getting better, as I offer tips every other turn.
JS: Negatively, and positively. What social media has done is take away the allure of a superstar. In the 1990's, you had NO IDEA that guys had personalities outside of the ring. You assumed a guy like Roman Reigns would just be in the gym or training in a studio somewhere all day. Now, you're like, "oh, he ate at a nice restaurant and was dissatisfied with the service". I'm 28 years old, and there's still a part of me that wants to believe I won't see Reigns at a Harbor House. There's still a little kid in every wrestling fan that doesn't want to see The Undertaker using a touch screen phone.
However, at the same time, people are able to understand the struggles and legitimate worries of some pro wrestlers. Guys like Zack Ryder, who bless his heart, was primed and ready to be a top tier talent only to have it dropped over nothing. It's depressing, almost, but you believe in these guys and want to see them succeed that much more.
Also, about the internet... I hate rumor sites because they completely destroy what the business was made for. The rouse, the unpredictability, the excitement, the "What's gonna happen next?" the surprises, the joy, the hope, it's all gone because some jerkoff said "in 2 months, the WWE wants to push The Big Show for some reason". I liked wrestling a lot more when I had no idea what was about to happen in any way, shape, or form.
You can find out more about Jason Saint and #Spotlight here.