Most fans may not care for Pierre Abernathy’s attitude or methods, but it’s difficult to argue with his accomplishments. He’s made a name for himself as one of the founding members of The Submission Squad. Under the direction of “Big Daddy,” the Squad has won every title in Anarchy Championship Wrestling. More, they’ve expanded their brand to promotions like AIW, IWA Unlimited, and Beyond Wrestling. Pierre’s also succeeded as the head of ACW affiliate St. Louis Anarchy, where international stars like Davey Richards and Delirious have tested themselves against the best of the Anarchy family. Hated by most, beaten by few (because they cheat), the Submission Squad enters 2012 stronger than ever and ready to take over more of the wrestling world. Whether you like it or not, here’s Big Daddy.
Tell us how you got your start in wrestling.
I got my start in a weird way. A buddy of mine got a flyer from somewhere that said they were looking for pro wrestlers, so I called the number and got to meet the people and from there networked with Nick Tyson and Adam Raw who eventually started my real training. The whole thing was weird because at first I just wanted to do play by play, but decided to give actually wrestling a shot and just have not looked back.
So, why do they call you “Big Daddy?”
Well here we go. As much as I would like to say I came up with this awesome nick-name, I did not. I saw an old Friends episode where Joey calls himself “Big Daddy” and I thought it was hilarious. So, as a joke, I started doing it in the car load and they just started calling me it which caught on with everyone else.
You are, of course, most known for being part of the Submission Squad. How did the Submission Squad come together?
The Squad started with just three members: Myself, Nick Tyson and Dingo. The name Submission Squad was made up by a retired wrestler named Jay Caster. From there many people have come and gone in and out of the Squad but I am still here trying my best to carry on the name.
How did you guys get involved with ACW? What drives you guys to keep making that very long road trip every month?
We got our start in ACW by e-mailing the office in Texas over and over again and finally getting a response. From there Gary and I debuted, but I think it was the tag match of me and Nick Tyson vs. Dingo and Gary Jay that really earned us a full time job there. As far as why we make the trip, we do it because we love ACW. ACW is our home away from home. It’s somewhere we can go and freely apply our trade in front of a great crowd. Some of the people in ACW have become like family to us so, as tiresome as a 13 hour drive can be, we look forward to making it.
In ACW a number of factions recently have changed, had falling outs, or completely disbanded. Tell us what’s made the Submission Squad better than The Smurf Nation, The Children of Pain, and RAJETT?
What makes us better is we are not a faction we are a family. This version of the Squad is tighter than any one before it. Davey Vega is loved by the fans and the rest of us are not so much liked, but Vega is still one of us at the end of the day. Unlike the other factions you named we don’t get jealous of other people in the groups’ success.
Last month Davey Vega won the Net-Exclusive belt. Now, if we were the Smurfs, we would turn on him and kick him out of the group. Instead we are happy for him and while we may even wrestle him for the belt. If he wins he wins, and if he loses then he was not the better Squad member that night. As much as the ACW Texas office tries to make a rift in the Squad by making us fight each other, it won’t ever work because we are smarter than that and you cannot break up a family. Their attempts to divide us just make us stronger.
Any good crew follows a specific formula in order to achieve success. Who in the Submission Squad is the Brains, the Looks, the Muscle, and the Wildcard?
I’m the brains, Athena is the looks, Evan is the wildcard, Vega is the Muscle and Gary is the beard.
You and Evan have made it known that you consider yourselves an elite tag team in ACW. Are you hoping to challenge for the belts again soon? What do you think of current champs The Lost Boys?
Not an elite team, we are the best tag team to ever walk out the curtain in ACW. That is a fact that I don’t think you can argue. When we are ready to fight for the belts we will take them. As far as the current champs, it seems as if they have their hands full with Childs and Wolfe right now, so if they leave anything for me and Evan to tap out we would be happy too. Or else we will go after Childs and Dirty Dirty Sheets’ favorite son Khris Wolfe.
Last year the Squad branched off into several promotions like AIW and Beyond Wrestling. What are places would you’d like to grace with your presence this year?
We want to go everywhere. We love to travel and love pretty much living in Big Sassy (the name of our rental van). To name certain places: PWG is one of my favorite companies to watch, and I would love to go there and ply my trade. CHIKARA is somewhere I would like to go back to; I feel we have unfinished business there. DGUSA seems to focus on tag team wrestling so I would like to go there as well. Anywhere that has a good tag team division is somewhere I would like to be.
You’re fairly despised and hated every place you go though, what do you think the fans have against you?
Hey now, I got some cheers in Austin last month! Most people hate me because I tell it like it is. Fans don’t like to be told that they are lowlifes or fat people don’t like to be told they are fat. More or less, I tell the truth and people can’t take it.
One member of the Submission Squad that fans do like is Athena. How do you feel about her ascent in the national spotlight in the past year? Also, where were you guys at when she was getting robbed of the American Joshi title?
Athena is great and I feel she is the most under-rated female wrestler in the USA. I feel any place that is going to have a good female division would be smart to have Athena in it. As far as her loss, she was indeed robbed of the title and she told us not to come out and that she could handle it. We were also getting Gary ready for his match with ACH. I feel real bad for Blue, because Athena is going to knock her head off sooner rather than later.
The Squad has been associated with Mat Fitchett but he doesn’t seem to ever quite have what it takes to be a full time member. What can Mat Fitchett, or any other young and up and coming wrestler, do to earn a spot in the Submission Squad?
Right now we are not really looking for other members. This Fitchett kid has some serious issues. The only reason we even talked with him is because Vega is friends with him and begged us too. He blew the interview plain and simple [1. See Fitchett’s unsuccessful interview here.]. I damn near killed him in my apt for saying Dr. Phil was better than Dr. Drew. I also cannot confirm or deny but I think Fitchett has an alcohol issue and no one in the Squad drinks, regardless of what that psycho Jessica James says. Vega does a little PCP but that is OK. The Squad is Okay with PCP.
What are your thoughts on current ACW Heavyweight Champion ACH?
Gary Jay hates ACH, and after what he did to me in December I am not his number one fan. But, the guy is an amazing athlete and I think he is bound for great things. He has passion that you cannot put into words and he really is one of the good guys in the business. He can connect with a crowd as good as anyone I have ever seen and, I think even more than all the cool stuff he can do, that is what will make him. You can see his passion come off him and the people can connect with that.
Tell us how St. Louis Anarchy got started.
Well it’s no secret that I was mostly in charge of the LWA that was based in Saint Louis. We were going to go under a management change because some of the people were moving on with their lives and really didn’t have the passion for Pro Wrestling that Sam Lacey and I had. Those guys helped us run LWA for many years and I never hold them moving on against them but I felt that the whole LWA brand had in a way run its course. The shows were always awesome but I just felt overall we needed to change something. So more or less this is how Saint Louis Anarchy came about.
I sent Darin Childs a text at like midnight that said, “Hey man, what would you think of having an ACW affiliate in Saint Louis?” He sent back, “NO.” Then 10 seconds later sent, “Just joking I think that would be awesome.” So the two offices came together and we had Saint Louis Anarchy that launched in January of 2011.
For fans that haven’t seen it, what should fans expect from SLA? What makes it different from ACW?
The fans can expect an event like nothing else they will get around here. Our crew inside the ring and our staff outside of it are very passionate about what we are doing here. I like to say we don’t put on shows we put on events. A show you can go to anytime, and sometimes you get your money’s worth and sometimes you do not. Our shows are events that come around every other month and I can promise you that every time you come to one of our events you will leave feeling you got your money’s worth.
I understand now what Darin would always says about passion about your product, because I will put Saint Louis Anarchy up against anything around. What makes SLA and ACW different is they have an awesome outside bar venue that sits right off the biggest party street in the USA and we don’t. Plus they have a much bigger lineage than we do we are just entering our second year. They are a proven brand that’s been around for six years.
You have the upcoming SLA “Gateway to Danarchy” show. What are the matches fans should most look forward too?
All of it. Every match on that card is going to be great. If you made me pick one I would say the tag match with Fitchett and Vega vs. Davey Richards and Kyle O’ Reilly. Vega came within an eye lash of beating Richards last January. We are a year removed and Vega has grown as a wrestler and is in better shape than he was even then. Scary thing: so has Richards. Then you throw in an up-and-comer like Kyle and a Dirty Rook like Fitchett and I think you have a great match.
Dan Walsh beat your friend and partner Evan Gelistico for the SLA title. He was dismissed and disparaged during the feud but, honestly, what do you think of him as champion?
Even though he beat my BFF Evan and if I saw Walsh on the street I would try and run him over with my car, I feel Walsh is by far the most improved wrestler of 2011. At the start of the year Walsh would look at our shows and feel like he didn’t belong there because we employ some of the best wrestlers in the USA. Well, as the year went on and Walsh kept scratching and clawing he began to see that not only did he belong, but he could be the top guy here. Once someone finally gets that confidence and begins to believe in themselves, they are unstoppable and that is what happened to Evan. At Yuletide Terror there was no way Walsh was going to lose, and he didn’t.
What has been your favorite match in your career thus far? Greatest rival?
My greatest rival would be Gary Jay. Before he joined the Squad I would battle Gary all over the USA. I have probably fought Gary over 100 times.
As far as my favorite match I nitpick myself so much that I don’t like a lot of them, but I would say the me and Tyson vs. Gary and Dingo is up there. I had some singles matches with Gary for the LWA title that I really liked, and we just did a trios match for AIW that was me, Evan and Gary vs. ACH, Fitchett and Vega that was pretty good.
What are some goals you have for The Squad, SLA, and yourself personally as a wrestler? What wrestlers and tag teams do you hope to face in the future?
The Squad and myself is pretty much the same thing. I put the other guys in the Squad above myself; I always have and probably always will. My goal is to get people to see what I see and what others have seen, and that’s that we are the real deal and I feel like my guys can add to any show around the USA. We are always willing to travel and we love to learn; you never stop learning in wrestling.
As far as tag teams go, I would love to test mine and Evans skills with some of the top teams out there like The Young Bucks, Ronin, or the Super Smash Brothers, or anyone who I feel we could learn from by fighting. As for SLA I want to get to a point where people look at us as a top promotion in the USA. I want people to talk about us like they do DGUSA, PWG, CZW and ACW because I feel our guys work hard enough and our shows can be on that level.
As an established veteran, what is it that you love about wrestling that keeps you coming back?
I love it plain and simple. The good shows, the bad shows, the horrible shows, the shows that are so bad that you don’t know what to call them shows, no matter what I come away with a story. Our van is known for having the best stories of horrible shows. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. Probably not.
What is Big Daddy like outside the ring? Any hobbies? What sort of books, movies, music are you into?
I’m a pretty laid back dude. The only hobby I have I guess is video games. I don’t’ play much other than sports games, but when I do I play the shit out of them. I watch a lot of movies with “the office” (our car load’s name for wives or girlfriends). I don’t read a lot of books and I love rap music. That right, rap music.
A worst case scenario apocalypse level zombie outbreak occurs. You’re running to safety with your Submission Squad members, but the hoard is coming from all directions and will kill all of you eventually. You only have one bullet left. Who do you shoot and leave as bait so that the rest of you can make it to safety?
Anything else to say to your fans?
Just support us man. If you want to see us somewhere, let that place know you want to see us. If you hate me but love some of the other guys let them know you want to see them. We cannot do what we do without the fans. Your word does mean something so let your voice be heard.
To learn more about Pierre Abernathy follow him on twitter (@PierreAbernathy). Also on Facebook: St. Louis Anarchy, The Submission Squad. Also check out the match below as Pierre teams with Evan to take on ACH and Gary Jay (who, spoiler alert, would not prove a long-lasting tag team).