Indie Watch: Zombie Dragon

0
184

Indie Watch is our regular series that looks at all of the amazing talents working the independent circuits around the world. Some are veterans revitalizing their careers, some are indie prospects hitting their peaks, while others are names to be on the watch for! This edition looks at a US indie wrestler who has gone to China to become one of the biggest stars with Middle Kingdom Wrestling, as the Chinese wrestling scene looks ready to explode.

A star in the Southeastern United States and Mid Atlantic, Zombie Dragon has spent the past year with Middle Kingdom Wrestling (MKW). After a brief tour back home in the US, Zombie Dragon is headed back to China, where he is the head trainer of MKW’s wrestling dojo.

Photo courtesy of Zombie Dragon’s WeChat.

From the very beginning, Dragon had a unique take on professional wrestling compared to many of his peers. He began his career under a mask as Curry Kid, a nod to both Christopher Daniels, and the anime series Ultimate Muscle. “I was Curry for about 8 years, and as unoriginal as it sounds it was quite unique in the aspect of choosing a character that wasn’t a tough guy or ‘cool’ wrestler from the jump. My job was simple at that time, learn to get others over before myself, and by choosing something so ridiculous, there was no room for ego, only room for humility and growth for learning.”

Eventually, however, it became time for a change. Citing influences that include VampiroRaven, and The Great Muta, (among many others), it was only a matter of time before things became a bit darker. “One day I had two tabs open on my computer, one was a Muta match, the other Ultimo (Dragon). I was on the phone with a friend and I remember saying ‘there’s been every type of dragon in wrestling, an Ultimo Dragon, a Dragon Dragon, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a Zombie Dragon!’ and all it took was me to utter those words to realize that I may be on to something, and everything else from there was history in the making.”

Photo courtesy of Zombie Dragon’s WeChat.

Inspired by a real belief system, Zombie Dragon has been a member of a faction known as The Left Hand Path (alongside Trevor AeonAustin TowersAllister CroweDonnie Primetime, Eric SilvaMathias Darkstone, and Stacia Crowe). This is appropriate enough of a name, given the path Dragon’s career has taken. Not many wrestlers would leave a growing career in the US indie scene to move to northern China. In fact, the stable helped influence Dragon’s decision to move overseas.

“I was told when the character was in development stages that it would take off and end up overseas. Once I started throwing down with The Path, we got a ton of traction, and me leaving would make me the bridge for them to access different territories. When I’d return I’d have places ready for me to jump into, considering they kept laying the groundwork in the states. Though I’m not a member of The Path anymore, you can still find them tearing it up on the scene in different territories in America.”

Photo courtesy of middlekingdomwrestling.com

Eventually, Adrian Gomez and Middle Kingdom Wrestling decided they need to open a dojo to train and recruit talent. An ex-pat wrestler told them about Zombie Dragon. He was brought in as an in-ring talent, and the new head trainer for the MKW Pro Wrestling Club. “I think my proudest moment was the day I got serious and made the biggest investment I’ve ever made, by getting on that plane and relocating to China. I had to leave a family, a son, friends, an entire life behind because I chose to bet on myself, and I have not regretted that decision one bit.”

What does training look like at the MKW Pro Wrestling Club? “We do ring shape three days out of the week, which includes rolls, drills, chain wrestling, critical thinking, ring presence, and so on. Then we have English lessons two days out of the week which is really exciting, introducing the English names of moves and holds to brand new wrestlers: ‘that’s called a sunset flip’ ‘applause begins’. We also have a character day which is my specialty. I let them wrestle as anyone they can think of, full entrances and all, then mid-match, they have to switch into their opponent’s character, which helps them to understand everyone wrestles differently. I have a lot of fun with my guys and I can truly say I couldn’t ask for a better team.”

Photo courtesy of Alex Arias Productions.

Of course, Georgia and Harbin are two drastically different places. And there are a lot of things to love about Zombie Dragon’s new home. “My favorite things about being in China would definitely have to include the food! I’ve gotten to try authentic Chinese food and I adore it! I love being able to pay for everything using WeChat. Just scan the QR code and BAM! You’ve made a purchase. And last, but certainly not least, is the people. The people here are extremely receptive of me and my work, and they will support you to the end of time. Before I had merchandise here, I remember going to a show where fans found a very unique picture of my mask that I posted online and they printed those for me to sign, that was a truly powerful experience.”

To date, Zombie Dragon has wrestled in six countries. “My biggest factor in what I’ve accomplished goes deeper than the character itself, it came from a seminar I attended in Sellersville, Pennsylvania entitled Fandemonium. The head of the seminar was none other than Mike Quackenbush, who put on an absolute clinic of a demonstration. The biggest thing I took from him were two words: fail big. If you’re going to fail, go out in the biggest way possible, if you’re going to fail, fail on the biggest stage imaginable, and with those two words, it helped light a fire that couldn’t be contained to just America. I’m truly grateful for that experience.”

Photo courtesy of Middlekingdomwrestling.com

Dragon still keeps an eye on wrestling back home. He mentions “The Mongrel” Britt Jackson, “The Undeniable” Oshay Edwards, “The Extra-Terrestrial” Aja Perera, Fred Yehi, Chuckles the Clown, The Gym Nasty Boys, and Suge D amongst some of his favorites out there today. Though he mentions having great matches with certain wrestlers as still a goal of his, Zombie Dragon also mentions a constant goal he’s had his entire career.

When asked about his goals, he stated “changing lives has been the constant throughout my career. Having people message me about how ZD helped them cope with social anxiety and a magnitude of other things is by far the most important thing I have ever done. Seeing kids run up to me and tell stories of ZD moments like shooting a fireball through the back of someone’s head, out of their mouth to hit another wrestler (true story) and seeing the pure excitement and light in their eyes as they recap these scenes of disbelief is truly amazing.”

Catch Up on Previous Indie Watch Articles!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.