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Interview with "Tornado" Tony Kozina
by Marvelous Bitchin' Rogers on 2001-01-15

MBR:: To say Tony Kozina should be wrestling in a major promotion is an understatement. The man is positively awesome. If anyone in the pacific northwest is going to make it into the big time, it's Mr. Kozina. If you ask any local wrestling fan, they will tell you the exact same.

MBR:: First of all Tony, let me thank you for doing this interview with me, on behalf of : There's a lot of stuff I think the fans want to know, as do I. So let's get right to it......

MBR:: Tony let's go back in time for a second. Let's go way back to the NWA 50th anniversary show in Charlotte (I believe it was.) Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it there that you were able to meet Terry Taylor ?? At the time he was working for the WWF, and that was when you were able to drop off a good ole' promo package. The end result maybe just a rumor, but since your here to answer it, let me ask you this.....I've heard that if it were up to Terry Taylor, that you would be working for WCW as we speak. Due to financial troubles, it seems to be a very hard time to get into WCW. In your own words, tell the world how it really is. Would you be in WCW if the they could pay you ? Would you be in WCW if Terry Taylor were in charge of hiring people ??

Tony:: Well thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it very much. I did speak with Terry Taylor and I thought he was very professional and honest. I don't know about those rumors so I can't comment on that with any degree of accuracy. Quite honestly I don't know who is in charge of hiring at WCW, but I would love the chance to work there if given an opportunity.

MBR:: Well I hope you do get the chance someday. Now Tony if you could wrestle for any top organization in the world today, who would you wrestle for ?? WCW ?? WWF ?? New Japan ?? Your pick.

Tony:: I would love to work for the WWF. Everytime I have delt with them they seem to be a fine tuned professional machine. The morale of the people working there seems very, very high which makes for a very positive atmosphere.

MBR:: Tony you've won a lot of titles, and have wrestled a lot of matches, and have wrestled in a lot of places. I'd like to know who you liked wrestling the most. Who do you think makes you your best, and what opponet makes you feel like you put on an awesome match ?? I know that's a hard question, probably due to naming just one person out of all the people you've wrestled. If need be, name a few people for us.

Tony:: I think my matches against The Asian Cougar pushed me to a higher level of intensity than ever before. Different wrestlers bring out different things, you know. Torch and Disco Fury were two wrestlers that I had some tremendous matches with last year. I really learned and grew alot as a wrestler working with them. We'd go 20 and sometimes 30 minutes for two, three, and sometimes four nights a week during ECCW's busy spring and fall schedule. It was a very good learning experience.

MBR:: Tony...Pound for pound, who do you think is the best wrestler today in the world ?? Other than Tony Kozina of course.

Tony:: Right now, today without question, Chris Benoit.

MBR:: Tony you were initially trained by Billy Jack Haynes from what I'm told. As far as local wrestling goes, he doesn't have a very good reputation. From taking money, to cheating people, to leaving people high and dry. Rumors are rumors, and the truth is the truth. What are your feelings and opinions on Billy Jack Haynes ??

Tony:: I haven't spoken with Billy in almost two years. I have nothing bad to say about him. He helped make me the wrestler I am today and I am thankful everyday. I would love to see him figure things out for himself because he has so much to offer the wrestling business.

MBR:: I imagine that being a trainer at a pro wrestling school would never be an easy task. Being that your the trainer at ECCW HoP Portland, let me ask you a few questions. First off......the best talent coming out of your school is Brandon Smith. Do you agree ?? ----------- *I talk to Brandon personally, so that was kind of just a rib.* In your honest opinion however, how do you think your students at the school are coming along ??

Tony:: I just had my first student, Damon Scythe, make his debut match in Portland Oregon and I was very proud. I teach wrestling first and foremost because without a solid foundation of wrestling knowledge you a severly limited. My students are coming along and learning quite well. We study alot of tapes and ask alot of questions. I break things down to the finest detail so everyone understands why things are done and when they are done.

MBR:: Excellent. Now as far as my own personal future plans go, I plan to train with you sometime this year. The problem however, is that I'm 5'11" 170 lbs. I know your size was part of the problem people wouldn't train you at the begining when you were trying to break into the business. Others like me turn down the idea of getting into pro wrestling due to their lack of size. I think your a shooting example though, of what could be done if you want it bad enough. Your talent, (ring skills, psychology, experience, etc...) is far more important than that of the size of the person. Heart and dedication, and never giving up, probably brought you to the wrestler you are today. For people my size, and smaller, skinnier, etc....what advise would you give these people that wanted to get into wrestling ??

Tony:: Remember too that I wanted to break into wrestling when I was 18. In 1988 there was ZERO chance of a junior heavyweight breaking into the business. There was just no place for juniors then. For anyone wanting to break into the business now I would say to do some research of training facilities. Get the resume of a trainer and see where they have been and what they have to offer you for your money. There are guys offering "training" who have less than 50 pro matches under their belt and can offer you absolutely nothing in the way of conections or wrestling knowledge. There are also quality school with quality instructors who have been around for years and can hook you up. So be smart, take your time and research many places.

MBR:: Great advice. Now the training you give your students actually happens from inside the OCW gym. Are you on good relations with OCW, and how long do you see you and your boyz training there ??

Tony:: Yes I train at the Nelson's Main Event Gym, but I do not have any ties with OCW. I've known Scott Ferris, who runs OCW, since I first started training. He is a class act all the way. I think in time ECCW will have it's own Portland training center seperate from the others, but right now this works out best and is helping everyone involved.

MBR:: One more question about the school.....out of all the students, name one that you think will be a break out star. Not so much a break out star of the big time, but maybe of just the northwest. In your group of students, who do you think will make the biggest impact ??

Tony:: Everyone who is training is far away from breaking out. Damon Scythe is the first to make it through training but there wil be more. I only opened up the training school last June and I am in no hurry. Remember that old wine commercial- we sell no wine before it's time. Well Iike a fine wine- or at least a bottle of Boone's Ferry- I put no one in the ring until I am more than sure that they can handle themselves in a professional manner.

MBR:: Good. Now I don't need to start more controversary, so my next question will be short and sweet. Tony....what are your personal and professional opinions of Awesome Adam ??

Tony:: Adam seems like a polite guy- kinda quiet, but I really don't know him well enough to know what he's about.

MBR:: There's been some controversary surrounding John Lucarelli as of late. Do you ever plan to work for him and SWS/WCP ??

Tony:: After reading the posts that he put on a public forum I have no interest in helping someone like that make gains in the wrestling business. There has been enough people in the northwest trying to get their hands in this business who have no clue and/or no respect for what we do. The last thing we need is another one.

MBR:: TTK, you've wrestled all over. It's no secret. From South of the border style, to the japanese, to the UK, how was the wrestling different from there, compaired to America for you ?? Which style do you prefer, and which crowd...atmosphere...etc do you like the best ??

Tony:: Hmmm, English wrestler are very good grapplers. They are all trained shooters, so they know what to do, and they work nice and stiff. I like that. The juniors can fly too so that makes them even more well rounded. The Lucha Libre style is very acrobatic and fast paced. I enjoyed the constant action. There isn't as much pure wrestling or submission wrestling like you might see in Japan or England, but some of the moves are just incredible. The little experience wrestling Asian Cougar tells me that the Japanese wrestler pours their heart and soul into their matches. We went all out- more than I can describe here. I was physically spent after the matches, and sore from three days afterwards. I look forward to more of that. Crowds are different everywhere you go. I enjoy the Mexican crowds becasue they are very into the action. It's almost religious to them and they'll hate you to death if you cross their favorites.

MBR:: I'm sure there's no place in the world you regret wrestling in. The experience alone must be priceless. If asked again by the same promoters all over the world, would you do it all over again ??

Tony:: Absolutely I would in a second.

MBR:: Where does Tony Kozina want to go next ?? Is there anywhere you haven't wrestled that you'd like to ??

Tony:: There is alot of big things headed my way for 2001. I will wrestle "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels at the end of January. Asian Cougar comes back to Canada in February and I will be facing him again as well. There will also be a big announcement in the coming weeks. I am hoping to continue traveling all over North America and I'd really like to make a bigger presence on the east coast this year. I am also hoping to go to Japan this year. I feel that my style would be very much appreciated over there.

MBR:: Where does Tony Kozina go next ?? As far as life and your wrestling career goes.

Tony:: I will continue, God-willing to wrestle as much as possible as long as I am healthy. I am very thankful, and lucky to be free from injury in the four short years that I have been in this business. I am also very thankful to have a family that supports me and encourages me. Aside from wrestling I just plan to have alot of fun with my family and friends, you know. A little family fun, a little rock-n-roll, delicious summer BBQ with an ice cold somethin-or-other, a fun day at the beach, and then IT'S FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE FIGHTS!!!!!

MBR:: Well Tony it's been a pleasure interviewing you. I'm sure we'll meet someday. For more info on Tornado Tony Kozina, contact him at ... ... or visit his website at ...

Tony:: Well thank you! I appreacite you taking the time with me...

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