The Protagonist of Pro Wrestling: Kidd Bandit

Kidd Bandit Interview
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William Gray was able to interview the Protagonist of Pro Wrestling Kidd Bandit on Tea and Hot Takes.

“This was never my dream growing up. It seemed impossible. No way a kid from Antipolo, Philippines would ever grow up to be a pro wrestler. I would illegally sell cigarettes, I was a child, for my snacks and dinner… I really was a bandit at some point, right?”

Kidd Bandit Interview

Wrestling Beginnings

Hailing from the Philippines, Kidd Bandit (KB) is a young up-and-coming indie star taking the wrestling world by storm. Growing up in poverty, and sometimes resorting to selling cigarettes in order to eat, the young superstar faced obstacles few have seen here in America. Cable was a luxury item in their home country, and wrestling was a very popular product in America. In order to remain in good view of the other students, KB would often lie to save face. “In order for me to fit in, I lied to all of them and said I watched wrestling even though I had no idea who any of them (the wrestlers) were.”

As a young pre-teen KB recalls a trip to the Provinces in the Philippines to visit their grandparents and having that first experience seeing pro wrestling. After arriving at the hotel and settling in they remember seeing it on the screen. The event was a Smackdown and the match was the late great Eddie Guerrero versus Rey Mysterio Jr.

“The very first thing I remember seeing is Eddie giving Rey a brainbuster on the stairs.” The excitement was there, still, from some of the earliest memories they have regarding pro wrestling, despite a rough upbringing.

Moving to the United States

At thirteen years old KB and their family moved to the United States and they started a new life. Like any young immigrant, there was a bit of culture shock.

“When I came to America, my English was broken, and I had a really-really thick accent that I got bullied for.” As a result, from this KB found themselves in small circles looking for where they fit in America.

“The subculture, the emo alternative subculture, I got into that and I found myself. I found my footing and learned how to fit in.”

With this newfound love for the alternative KB used this drive to begin training with the Santino Brothers Wrestling School out of California. KB credits wresting with being the catalyst that helped “me become the real me”. As COVID-19 took over the world KB as many others found themselves in a holding pattern unsure of what to do. After deciding to further their wrestling training, as a huge Cody Rhodes fan, deciding on a school was easy.

“I have no excuses. I can take my ass over to Atlanta and I can learn from my hero.” During a worldwide pandemic, KB moved across the country to enroll in the Nightmare Factory.

“I didn’t know who I was yet! I didn’t even have the name Kidd Bandit yet. Cody Saw what I wanted to do and helped me.”

The Nightmare Factory

When arriving at the Nightmare Factory, KB admitted being a fan of high spots and even attest to wanting to find the highest point in the venue to jump off of it. “My hair, my gear, making sure everything matched my move set.” They wanted to be the second coming of a Ricochet or a Will Ospreay. Their goal was to shock the world, versus connecting with the crowd.

When asked about what it was like to be trained by such a prestigious name as the Rhodes Family, KB almost seemed stunned. “Look at the pedigree of the talent that Dusty Rhodes trained… the influence he had on the business… and now we’re all looking at Cody.” The pride of being part of this illustrious family of wrestling could be seen as they talked about the coaches at the Nightmare Factory.

Stylistically KB wrestles like your typical high flyer, but you can see the technical training when they work.

“I can do spiral kicks and a phoenix splash” when discussing moves in their repertoire but they also mention the importance of knowing how to sell for your opponent and what it means to connect to the crowd. The art of a simple arm drag if that’s what the match needs. Listening to KB talk about ring psychology is like listening to an old soul but in a young body.

“That’s the one thing, I think more talent can work on is just connecting with the people. Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, a lot of my peers instead of trying to connect with the crowd, they are trying to pop the boys in the back.”

All Elite Wrestling

Very early on in their career KB got an opportunity to participate in some AEW Dark matches for their YouTube Program. “My very first AEW match was against Cody, Yo!” A Dark Match featuring Nightmare Factory Alums brought in as enhancement talent for the promotion. The match was with a fellow student teaming up against hot up and comer Fuego Del Sol and Fuego Dos, later unmasked to be Cody Rhodes. KB accounts for being excited to be in the ring with their mentor and teacher but also knew they were going to kick him in the face. “I was freaking the hell out!” After the event was over KB spoke on the things that they learned during the taping and the subsequent tapings and opportunities that followed.

“I gained knowledge, invaluable knowledge… At the end of the day we are entertainers, and we are in an industry that tries to connect to people… Your cool moves won’t connect with the people if they’ve seen them done by five other people in the same night.”

Other Opportunites

In April of 2022 KB was able to participate in a GCW ring during Effy’s Big Gay Brunch. “The event was great,” said KB. “The ability to help grow awareness and equality for all in an event predominantly featuring LGBTQ+ members of the community”.

KB was glad to help so many young people in the wrestling community. Although they were unable to secure the victory, when asked about the comparison of an AEW show to a smaller promotion like GCW KB said;

“Let’s say I was a guitar player, one of them I’m playing for Bon Jovi. So, sold-out coliseums, lots of pyro, lots of fireworks, production. It’s a great show. The other is like I’m playing for Green Day, but Green day in the 1990’a. The venues are smaller, but so much more intimate. Like the fans are right there!”

The difference was huge. The role of enhancement talent in AEW was drastically different than what they saw in GCW. KB says they didn’t know for sure who they were wrestling ahead of time at AEW, just who the other talent was on the card versus GCW where they were marketed as an attraction like the other superstars. In AEW they had a dark entrance with no music or name announcement, but in GCW they got to come out to their music and have the ring announcer introduce them.

Kidd Bandit Interview In Conclusion

With a fast-growing army of fans and supporters inside the business and out. Kidd bandit is on the rise and willing to admit to still being a “mark” for pro wrestling. Kidd Bandit hopes to continue to make a name for themselves in the world of professional wrestling and be a positive example for the kids in the community growing up now watching them as they did in the Philippines.

Thank you for reading this interview with Kidd Bandit. Keep up with Kidd Bandit on Twitter. Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. As well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.