I recently had the distinct pleasure of speaking with rising Major League Wrestling star Calvin Tankman about a variety of subjects, including what attracted him to MLW, what the backstage perception is of CEO Court Bauer, and who are some of the top names in the company he hopes to step into the ring with. Highlights, including the full video interview, can be found below.
How he’s felt about his time in MLW so far:
Everything that I expected it to be and more. It’s an environment where the people behind the scenes to be at your best and go out there and compete against the best. They definitely have a talented roster and it’s nice for me to get to test my skill against some of the best in the world.
What he thinks about Mil Muertes joining the MLW roster:
It’s exciting coming in and seeing him there. When you see somebody of that caliber walking around the locker room you make sure to lace up your boots a little tighter and be ready to do what you need to do because everybody’s got to step their game up then. I’m just getting my feet wet…there’s so many people that I want to get the chance to test myself against. He’s definitely up there at the top of the list.
Who else he hopes to face on the MLW roster:
Clearly Low Ki, Tom Lawlor, Hammerstone definitely. Fatu…I mean you shouldn’t be on the roster unless you want to take the title from him…he should be on everybody’s list. Even some of the middleweights like Lio Rush. I like having matches with someone that’s going to test me in different ways then I’m used to being tested. So often I’m standing across the ring from someone who is trying to match strengths with me but it’s not often that there’s somebody with that speed and that agility to make you miss. So it’s a challenge, it’s something that I definitely have to figure out a way around cause you I can’t just swat him down like a fly if I can’t catch him.
Why he chose MLW:
Basically they were the people that said, “we are behind you 100%. We believe in you. We see you and we have this vision in our head of what you’re capable of. We’ll give you the opportunity if you can seize it and show us that you’re worth that.” Getting that vote of confidence in someone saying hey I believe in you really made me want to go out there and prove that I can do it on the next level. There’s a lot more guys from the indies going to bigger places now, but at time’s it’s not always as easy as that. There’s only so many spots that can be filled in so many places, so when you get an opportunity you got to seize that opportunity and kill it. So when Court came to me and said, “listen…I have this spot…I want you to have it, I want you to prove to me what you can do on this level,” that’s all I needed.
What the backstage perception is of Court Bauer:
He’s that perfect in-between. He’s not too much of your best friend. He’s good to you, he treats you well, but at the same time there’s business that needs to be taking care of because we got a vision to where we are taking this. I haven’t had as much time with him as Holliday or some of the other guys on the roster, but in my time…he’s always there to help. But there is business that needs to be done so we got to take it seriously. I respect that…makes you want to work hard.
If wrestling during a pandemic and with social unrest in the U.S. can be distracting:
I think it can distract a lot of people but for me personally wrestling is where I can clear my head and just react and do what I do best. For that five to ten minutes, or however long I’m out there, the only thing I’m thinking about is getting the W in the match so all my pressures go away. For me it’s more of an escape. I’m glad that we are still this small amount of wrestling that we’re having throughout this whole thing. It was refreshing to finally be able to get back at it because from March until August there were maybe 10 shows across the whole country. Maybe. And then after August there were some, but at least for me personally…you don’t have that escape every weekend so being able to get back out there it was definitely something that was needed.