The state of Mississippi has a long history in professional wrestling. A region that was covered by such territories as Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling (GCCW) and Mid South Wrestling, Mississippi was one of the NWA strongholds during the territorial years. It’s had it’s fair share of professional wrestlers too, including All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling (AJW) Champion Jean Antone and former WWE Legends Kamala and Uncle Elmer (Plowboy Frazier). But this past weekend, it was one of Mississippi’s sons that seemed to capture headlines during a weekend of great surprises – when 22 year old Marko Stunt made a lasting impression during an impromptu match against KTB (Kyle The Beast) as part of Game Changer Wrestling (GCW)‘s Joey Janela’s Lost In New York. Short in stature but huge on heart, it didn’t take long for the 5’2″ aerialist to win over the crowd with his stunning display of athleticism. An emerging star in the Southern indies, Marko Stunt had just made his presence known on a national level. And just as the Twitterverse was getting accustomed to his name, Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks announced on Saturday that Markus Stunt was the latest addition to the Over The Budget Battle Royale at their indie supershow All In on September 1. Suddenly the world wanted to know: who was Marko Stunt?
Marko Stunt is ALL IN #ZeroHour
— ALL OUT (@AEW_LIVE) August 18, 2018
We caught up with Marko Stunt this weekend and talked to him as he headed home from New York on Sunday, about just how crazy the past 24 hours have been, where he came from, and just when he found out he was “All In”.
Last Word on Pro Wrestling: So you’ve kinda become an overnight sensation, first with your talk of the town performance at Lost in New York and then being announced for All In on Saturday. How has the last 24 hours been?
Marko Stunt: The last 24 hours have been the most insane 24 hours I’ve ever experienced before! As a little kid (I’m still little), I had this big dream to do stuff like this, but I never thought it would turn out like it has! I can’t tell you how many messages I’ve received, just since the announcement!
Obviously you didn’t just appear out of nowhere. How long have you been wrestling now?
I’ve actually been wrestling about three and a half years. I started when I was 18 in Mississippi, which is where I’m from, and I trained there and learned the basics. I ended up getting thrown in way too early, but I made the most of it. I pretty much did the same stuff around the norther Mississippi and Memphis area for about two years, until I started going to more shows in different states. I’m coming up on four years in January though!
What was the moment that got you hooked on pro wrestling? Who inspired you to want to get in the ring and give it a shot?
When I was younger, I would watch WWE and the people that caught my eye were the bigger guys. The Big Show specifically. I’ve always been so intrigued with how they can just get in there and do all this wild stuff, and throw people around, and tower over everyone. So I told myself “One day I’m going to be as big as The Big Show and wrestle!” But obviously that didn’t turn out how I expected, haha!
Where did you get your training and where did you start out?
I was hanging out with my friends and we all bonded over wrestling. That was our thing. We were the ones in high school who were into that and talked about it, and even tried it in the backyard way too much. Well, there was a show in Mississippi that was running about 15 minutes from my house, so we went to check it out. I literally fell in love with the thought of “Wow I could actually do this!” So after the show, I went up and talked to someone about it, and they came back and told us where the next show was, so the three of us went to train a week later. I trained for little bit before they threw me in the ring, because they needed someone. I was nowhere near ready, but I did it because I wanted to wrestle. But that’s really where it all started, at a little show in Mississippi!
You’ve been building some momentum in the past few months, heading into this weekend. What matches earlier this year did you start to feel it all start? What match made you feel like “This is it. I’ve turned the next corner?”
Literally two weeks ago is when I started to see it starting to shape, in Chattanooga for the Scenic City Invitational, but I never thought two weeks later I’d be here. I actually got to wrestle Flip Gordon a few weeks ago, and after that I got announced for Starrcast, and that was wild in itself, so I think that match really started some of this!
Who have been some of your mentors in the business so far? Who has helped you the past year move your career along?
I’ve had so many people help me, it’s crazy. People from Jesse Butler and Dylan Hales, to Curt Stallion, MJF, AJ Gray. They’ve all either given me lots of advice or helped me get to the point I’m at. I never would’ve done some of the stuff I’m doing had it not been for SUP Graps (Southern Underground Pro) in Nashville.
The Lost In New York appearance and then All In all came out of the blue and both were big shots in the arm for your career it feels. How did they come about?
I actually had been in talks with GCW, but not for Lost In New York. He ended up asking me if I was available and I immediately was like “Yes, 100%!” because you can’t turn something like that down. So I knew about that one for about a month before, but the All In thing literally happened about two hours after the show ended on Friday. All In has been the most surreal feeling, cause it almost doesn’t seem real. So yeah, everything really has happened out of the blue!
Who have been some of your favourite opponents so far? Who have you felt you had great chemistry with?
Honestly, the match with KTB at Lost In New York was so fun, and he’s so easy to work with. I don’t know how this dude isn’t everywhere right now, ’cause he’s so good! My best friend is someone I feel I have great chemistry with. His name is Jacksyn Crowley, and he’s super good too, and I love him to death. Those are just a couple off the top of my head. I’ve had some good matches with some great people, but if I listed them all we’d be here all day, haha!
Now that you’ve got more eyes on you than every before, who would be some of your immediate dream matches?
I would absolutely love to work with Sammy Guevara. I’ve been watching him for over two years now, and dude is absolutely killing it! That’s one that I’ve wanted for years, and I still want it to this day. When it happens, it’ll be insane! There’s so many that I’d like to get in the ring with though. I’d like another go with Myron Reed. I’d like to get in there with Curt (Stallion) and AJ (Gray). I’m always down to wrestle anyone though!
What have you got planned for the rest of 2018?
Right now I’m just filling up dates and picking up new places all over the country! I’m just going to keep riding this wave as long as I can, and see what happens in the next few months/years!