Sluggin’ with Steven O’Neil featuring Tyler Aero

The following interview is part of an exclusive interview series courtesy of CWN Contributor Steven O’Neil. Steven has been a fan of Pro-Wrestling for the past 30+ years and on top of his love for the business, he has also lent his voice to several podcasts over the past year.

What do you do in your spare time when you aren’t wrestling, or training?
In my spare time, I have found interest in video editing. I’m a work in progress with mediocre skills but improving a little bit every day! I’m usually on the hunt for wrestling DVDs, clothing, action figures… Really anything I can add to my own personal collection.

What is your favourite wrestling themed podcast or YouTube channel?
I’ve only gotten into the podcasts fairly recently. So I can’t really say I have an exact favourite yet. But I’ve heard of some good ones to check out in the near future, but I am fond of the Broken Skull Sessions. Hearing the stories of all the guys I grew up watching behind a bunch of great matches. In terms of YouTube channel… I’d have to go with Botchamania. Mostly because as wrestlers, we’ve all been there!

What was the moment that made you decide to pursue wrestling as a career?
Growing up I was always a fan. My parents would tape events on the ol’ VHS and I’d come home from school and that’s how I would spend my days. It was always my dream as a kid and as soon as I could find a way I planned to make it happen. I was approached about a training camp when I was 16 and I took the ball and ran with it.

How do your friends/family feel about your wrestling?
Some love it. Others hate it. I got a lot of great supporters in my life. Given how I wrestle, I think some wish I got into golf or something. But I always have people wanting to see footage or those being front row every show. They put up with some scary stuff when I wrestle, especially when it comes to gimmick matches (ladder matches, street fights, etc.).

How do you balance family/relationships while pursuing your wrestling career?
I’ve had a few relationships fall during my time in wrestling. I’m not gonna say wrestling caused the fall of those relationships but it wasn’t always easy for the other party. The scheduling/training on some weeks and the time away, its gotta be a big adjustment for some I’d imagine. On the family side, they’re understanding.

What does a typical training day look like for you?
My schedules have changed a lot. I used to train at minimum 3 times a week for 3 hours or more at a time. But with the work schedule, I’m usually working 1am-9am which can vary. So with that I make it work. Usually I’ll take early morning training sessions and some small sessions whether it’s on my own or with a handful of people.

What does the diet of a pro-wrestler look like?
My diet’s always been on again, off again. I have a guilty pleasure for crappy food. But I also understand when I’ve been having too much! So I’ve made a good balance between cooking myself for the better part of the week. You know, meat and veggies with some portioning. But I’ll still treat myself to a killer Bacon Cheeseburger!

What do you think is a common misconception about wrestling that people have?
After matches people always ask, “Why did you do this/Why didn’t you do that?”. Or disagree with how some things are done and think I had something to do with the decision. But as performers, we have a job to do. We leave the booking and creative to those in charge of those matters.

If you had to wear a WARNING label, what would it say?
‘Professional Idiot at Work’? … Something like that hahaha.

In an alternate universe where wrestling doesn’t exist – what are you doing instead?
I don’t wanna exist in a world without Pro Wrestling. So I would be finding ways to invent it in an alternate universe!

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