Jay Diego...What A Difference A Year Makes
Jay Diego...What A Difference A Year Makes

Those of you who are long-time DDT Digest readers remember my first interview with a wrestler...well, actually, wrestling-in-training, Dangerous Dallas Garvin. Well, a year has gone by and a lot has changed for Dallas Garvin, including his name. Talking to him, he wanted to let everyone know what's up, and how he is doing. So, tune in for the latest happenings with Jay Diego, and his friend Sugar...

The Interview

Bill: How've you been Jay?

Jay: Doin' great Bill... no complaints on this end.

Bill: You told me in an earlier e-mail you've made your debut. How many matches have you had and what's your record?

Jay: 9 matches.. the first 4 from the Dallas Sportatorium. Record stands at 6 wins, 3 losses.. a championship.. so I'm doin' alright for the new kid, eh?

Bill: What promotion(s) have you worked for?

Jay: Working primarily for Rick Fowler's outfit, Power Promotions/CWA.. may be landing a few matches with NWA Southwest in the near future.

Bill: Who are some of the big names there?

Jay: Well.. we got Action Jackson, the "Dogs of War" Brian Adias, Mike and Dusty Blackheart.. Luminous... you'd probably know Luminous best as the guy who ripped off the Ultimate Warrior. He got a lot of heat for that little stunt, but hell.. I think he pulled the gimmick off even better than Hellwig. Then we have my main mang Black Bart and a lot of the best local talent.

Bill: Since we first talked about a year ago, do you think your career has progressed slower, faster, or about the same as you would have expected?

Jay: Well I was out for quite a while. Ran into a little financial trouble, recovering from injuries and such.. but since I've gotten back into the action things are rolling pretty well. Power Pro has been running out of an armory in Weatherford, TX, and the shows are monthly.. sometimes twice a month, but I plan to heat up my schedule a bit this year. I've got to.

Bill: Were you 100% prepared that first time you stepped in the ring for a real match, or were there still some things that surprised you?

Jay: Ha.. I was nervous as hell, I won't lie to ya'. I'm sure it showed when I walked that aisle. I had met up with Black Bart for a tryout not but a week earlier, made a good impression.. and man did things start happening quick. The situation was kinda thrown at me, but I was ready... I had to be.

Bill: Tell me what you remember about that first match...

Jay: Shee whiz.. where do I start? Picture it.. I mean.. it's the Sportatorium. I'd always seen the building as what dreams were made of, and mine was coming true. The same arena that launched the success of World Class Championship Wrestling, home of the Von Erich legacy... birthplace of so many big time careers, and now.. in the opening match, Chuck Singer and I had the place to ourselves. It's like the excitement of Christmas morning and the fear of a plane crash rolled into one, that's the only way I can describe it. I'd never met Chuck, or even heard of him for that matter.. so I didn't know what to expect out of the guy. Talk about adding to the butterflies. I was tired out pretty quick.. high paced 20 minute match. Singer missed a splash from the top and I cradled him up for a 1-2-3. What a feeling that was, I'll live to be a hundred and never forget it.

Bill: How sore were you the next morning?

Jay: I got smashed heavy on a dive off the top... bruised my ribs pretty good. Needless to say I had a chore getting out of bed.

Bill: Did you get to sign your first autograph that night?

Jay: Nope, I just kinda chilled in the locker room until it was time to split. First autograph didn't come untill January 2nd... I lost the CWA Jr. Heavyweight title to Dusty Blackheart that night.

Bill: The few wrestlers I've talked to have all said how different the world looks from inside the ring. Do you concur?

Jay: Absolutely. You're not thinking about anything else. Something about the way the light bounces off that canvas, and the way the crowd looks... it's a hell of a sight. When you step through those ropes, you just become a different person.

Bill: What finisher are you using?

Jay: Swandive headbutt, ala Chris Benoit... and the crowd loves the missile dropkick. I just recently perfected the top-rope hurracanrana, but haven't had the chance to work it into a match. My style has changed for the better... good matwork, and a lot more flying.

Bill: Anything particularly memorable about the other matches you've had thus far?

Jay: Well, my second match was against Kit Karson. I've worked with an great all-around worker by the name of Canyon... he and I have had some decent matches. 300 lbs plus... can you believe I pinned the guy? I'm lucky he didn't kill me. I think my best match thus far was a handicap tag.. about a month ago. I teamed with a dude, name of Felony.. against Canyon and a couple of Jr. Heavyweights. I was on like Donkey Kong that night.

Bill: Are you still training?

Jay: I work out every Saturday with Black Bart and the students of his wrestling school. We've got the ring set up in a Weatherford barn. Talk about Texas wrasslin'... man.. that's about as rustic as it gets.

Bill: Do you do any work in the gym besides your wrestling training?

Jay: I've always been into the cardiovascular stuff.. not much of a weight lifter. I'm toned and very much in shape.. comfortable with the Junior Heavyweight role. Don't really concern myself with bulking up anymore... lighter weight guys are the future of this sport.

Bill: What are you doing to keep yourself busy between matches?

Jay: I study a lot of tapes.. more of the Japanese stuff than anything else. I'm also a pretty big baseball fan, so I anxiously await opening day. And hey.. I'm 19, so I have the right to play a video game now and then.

Bill: When people find out what you do for a living, how are they reacting?

Jay: Ha.. well, it's not exactly part-time at Wal-Mart.. so I'm not surprised when folks look at me sideways. I did an interview not long ago with a columnist for the Dallas Observer magazine who asked "So what posseses you to wanna do this? I mean, wrestling is not a popular career goal for most." I never really thought of it that way. It's easy for a wrestling fan to see why I'd want this so bad, but it apparently seems an awkward career path to the average work-a-day stiff.

Bill: Since, by the stereotypical definition of a pro wrestler's size, you're not a huge guy, do people have trouble believing your're a wrestler outside of the arena?

Jay: Oh yeah. Can't say as I blame 'em. The sport was built on names like Hogan and Andre... ask the mainstream if they're familiar with Chris Benoit and they think the subject has switched to hockey.

Bill: Is your family still behind you on your decision?

Jay: Absolutely.

Bill: So, is Dangerous Dallas Garvin dead?

Jay: Dallas Garvin lives on, my brother. When I started training with James Beard I saw a bright future.. DDG was a product of those formative months. As things turned out, Beard stabbed ol' Dallas in the back.. and Jay Diego had to wing it all his own.

Bill: What is Jay Diego all about?

Jay: Jay's a good guy. A cocky, conceited... somewhat air-headed athlete. You combine David Lee Roth with Dean Malenko, Jay is the end result. Thanks to the good Lord above and a lot of dedication, I'm free to mold my character into whatever I'd like him to be. Prayer works, ya'll... I'm proof of that.

Bill: So, would someone familiar with the Dallas Garvin site have been able to recognize you at one of those matches you wrestled at?

Jay: Don't see why not. I've got a pretty distinctive look. These days fans can easily recognize me as "that little guy who comes to the ring in a Superman t-shirt".

Bill: Now, you were backstage at RAW recently...which one was it?

Jay: February 16th, Reunion Arena in Dallas. The show wasn't aired live, pre-empted by the friggin' dog show. I think it was shown the following Saturday night.

Bill: If I remember correctly, you had your gear in the car, but they wound up not using you. From what little I know, that's how it works for the new guys, doesn't it? You "stand ready", hoping to get the call, hoping to be the next Bill Goldberg...

Jay: That's about the size of it. Black Bart has a lot of political stroke in this area, and I'm proud to say he's a friend of mine. He hooked me up on "standby" as a way of thanking me for the work I've done. Says he's gonna have me set for the next time the WWF comes to town in either June or July.

Bill: Did you get a chance to meet or see any of your heroes while backstage?

Jay: Saw them all, met a few. Man it really hits ya' when you're rubbing elbows with Luna Vachon, Goldust, Ricky Morton, Kane... talk about a wild experience. It was something I'd dreamed of doing for more than 10 years. Ken Shamrock, Maivia, the occasional Boriqua... I was stoked.

Bill: Was it hard for you not to run up and ask for an autograph?

Jay: Ya' know... I kept thinking to myself how much different it would've been when I was 11 or 12. It's not the same after you've been in the business for a year or so. Part of the magic is gone, but there's still that half of you wanting to bug the hell outta Steve Austin... or try on JR's hat.

Bill: Were you mentally prepared to go into the ring against the likes of Taka Michinoku if you got the call?

Jay: Ha... brother... it wouldn't have mattered how mentally set I was, I just wanted to walk that aisle. I can't wait for my chance.

Bill: Is the atmosphere backstage totally different at a WWF television taping from a local non-televised house show?

Jay: It was a really relaxed setting. Some of the boys were playing cards, others were watching the news.. I remember Terry Funk asleep on a table in the hallway. They all seemed so distant. Here on the indy scene, or at least here in TX, we're a tight knit group... like family. I guess when you see the same guys night after night at the same stinkin' arenas, it becomes, I dunno... old hat you might say.

Bill: Now, not to be ignored, you've got your new associate with you, Sugar. Sugar, how are you?

Sugar: I'm doing great right now.. My career has finally taken off and I have never felt better.

Bill: You and Jay have been together for a while, haven't you?

Sugar: I've been with Jay through all of his training. We were like a support group for each other. Once we got started in the business, I was happy that we could both build careers together in the sport we love.

Bill: What exactly is your role with Jay? Do you help with the training, the business side of things, and/or do you go to the ring with him?

Sugar: All of the above, really. I watch him try out new moves, which helps because it's hard to see what you're doing wrong unless you're outside the ring. It's easier to make the long drives and put in the long hours with someone who knows what it's like, so I guess we're good for each other. I'm proud to say I go to the ring with Jay at shows. I cheer him on, and help incite the crowd to do the same. It's a dream come true for me. For a long time, I was the "silent partner" so to speak.

Bill: With all the shots that managers, promoters, and even the Phoenix Suns' Gorilla and Pete Rose have been taking lately, are you worried about your personal safety out there?

Sugar: I'm not worried about my safety. If I couldn't handle physical involvement, I wouldn't be out there.

Bill: Which came first, meeting Jay or wanting to get in the pro wrestling business?

Sugar: I had been with Jay for some time when we decided that we wanted to work in this business. Jay has always been my first priority, after all, it is HIS dream. Or, as he might say, "It's Jay's world, we just live in it". ;) I've supported him every step of the way, and I am happy that I get to take part in it all. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Bill: So, is your relationship strictly business?

Jay: Heh, heh, heh......

Sugar: In a word, no.

Bill: So , Jay, you've wrestled your first match, and you've won some matches...which the next immediate goal or two you wish to achieve?

Jay: I want that Jr. Heavyweight strap back around my waist where it belongs. I work too hard to lose matches due to outside interference, that's one of the reasons Sugar is out there night after night. I'm the number one contender, and it's a matter of time. Aside from the gold, we just wanna make our mark.. set an example for the dreamers out there, and build a successful career.

Bill: Do you still wake up every single morning saying "I made the right decision" or have you had any second thoughts?

Jay: I regret nothing. The pain and mental fatigue comes with the territory, and it's all worthwhile when you walk to the ring. Wrestling is my life, ask anyone who knows me. I was hitting my best friends with the DDT since grade school, and I can't picture myself doing anything else with my life. I'm a wrassler, and I can't describe how much this business means to me.

Bill: What's next for Jay Diego?

Jay: I'm goin' to DisneyLand!!!!!! Ha ha ha!!! Oh.. oh man... I slay me. But seriously folks.. Sugar and the J-man are here to stay. Sooner or later the pieces are gonna fall into place, the planets will all be aligned in our favor.. and you'll see our faces every time you settle in for a Monday night marathon.

Many thanks to Jay Diego for taking the time once again. Stay tuned for further updates. If you'd like to e-mail Jay, his e-mail address is JayDiego@aol.com.
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