Earlier this year, my son and I attended an independent show north of Toronto that had a lot of heavy hitters. We're talking former WWF stars Brutus Beefcake, Nikolai Volkoff, Rhyno and CBW spokesman Virgil, plus a handful of other up and comers that regularly travel the Ontario independent circuit.
And yet no one on the show was quite as memorable as Space Monkey.
Picture a competitor dressed in a furry monkey mask, NASA-themed wrestling garb and, of course, a tail. The persona goes much further than that, as Space Monkey routinely screeches, leaps around the ring, picks lice out of opponent's hair and takes frequent banana breaks. It's one of those gimmicks that seems so out there... yet the crowd was completely into it!
Beyond the comedy, Space Monkey is a tremendous cruiserweight-style wrestler. The promotions he's competed for include Alpha-1 Wrestling, Battle Club Pro, Freelance Wrestling, Lucha T.O., Tier 1 Wrestling, Upstate Pro Wrestling, Wrestling Eclipse and others. His upcoming booking can be found here.
Recently, Canadian Bulldog's World caught up with the man who claims he was trained in outer space to wrestle. In exchange for a bushel of bananas, CBW got some unique insight into what makes the Monkey Man tick.
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The Canadian Bulldog's World Interview
"Monkey's ultimate career goal is to travel world to wrestle. Me love wrestling and want to entertain as many people as possible. WWE some day? Maybe, maybe not. Me just keep wrestling and keep getting better."
CB: Everything from your ring outfit to your promo style is definitely different than the norm. How did you come up with the idea to have a character this... unique?
SM: Me not character! Monkey just be self.
CB: My son and I had the opportunity to see you in action earlier this year.... and in fact, you were his favorite competitor on the entire show because of your persona and the energy you bring to the ring. Do you find that sets you apart, especially on the independent circuit?
SM: Of course, maybe not only monkey that wrestles right now but me only monkey that trained by NASA and been to space. And tell your son, Monkey say thank you!
Canadian Bulldog: For those who haven't had the pleasure of seeing you compete, tell us a little bit about Space Monkey.
Space Monkey: Me love to have fun in the ring! Monkey enjoy entertaining fans by making them laugh and then flipping and flying around the ring!
CB: Finally, is there any message you have for the readers of Canadian Bulldog's World and those who would like to find out more about your career?
CB: Thank you for your time. It's been kind of bananas!
CB: Do you find there's a similar reaction from promoters and other competitors when you're meeting up with them for the first time? Or do some of them not "get it"?
SM: Yes, similar reaction. Promoters and other competitors like Monkey when first meet and me like others too.
SM: Me think that style prominent since mid 90's and young athletic wrestlers became more creative over the years, all depend what you watch. Monkey just happy that WWE is highlighting it once again.
CB: You have competed against some very impressive names in Canada and elsewhere so far. Do you have any favorite opponents?
SM: Me wrestle Franky The Mobster at end of 2015 where Monkey save his life mid-match (in C*4 Wrestling) and then recently team up; so much fun to be in ring with. Ethan Page also fun to be in ring with. Always entertaining, even when fighting each other!
CB: What would be your ultimate career goal? Would it be (ahem) bananas to see you compete in WWE some day?
SM: Monkey's ultimate career goal is to travel world to wrestle. Me love wrestling and want to entertain as many people as possible. WWE some day? Maybe, maybe not. Me just keep wrestling and keep getting better.
CB: Were you a wrestling fan growing up in Ontario? And if so, do you have any memories of watching the sport in this mostly WWF-centric region? For example, I grew up on Maple Leaf Wrestling with Billy Red Lyons back in the day...
SM: Yes, big fan. Me watch all wrestling on TV. Big fan of cruiser weights/light heavyweights because me grow up a smaller monkey and teach self to flip and do cool moves like small wrestlers on TV.
CB: Does the wrestling business need to become more creative in the year 2016? We've recently seen things like Matt and Jeff Hardy filming outside-the-box vignettes and the entire concept of Lucha Underground is like that. Is this an environment where Space Monkey might thrive?
SM: Me don't know about whole wrestling business need to be more creative. Like music, different wrestling for different people. Hardys creative for almost 20 years and still entertaining. Lucha Underground new, very different, and very awesome! Me would love to be in environment like them!
CB: Another facet of wrestling that has had renewed interest lately is the cruiserweight style, especially with WWE hosting a tournament on its network. As someone who does moonsaults and the like, is that the kind of style you'd like to see become more prominent?