Up and coming star discusses living the dream and training with the best.
by Zach Dominello
I was lucky enough to catch Benny Factor live when he was in town for the UPW Paragon show at the Beenleigh Tavern. Benny played the role of arrogant heel like it was second nature, drawing comparisons (by me) to an early Chris Jericho. After having the opportunity to talk with the man, arrogant couldn’t be a more inaccurate way to describe him. We talked about his love of pro-wrestling, training with some of the most talented stars in the business, and what’s next for the young star.
Can you tell me a bit about your background, growing up, and the hows and whys you got into wrestling?
Well, I grew up and still live in country Victoria, in the Gippsland town of Traralgon. I’ve had a real obsession with Professional Wrestling ever since I was a kid. I remember my mum always hated it so it was a real taboo thing to watch, but when mum was away, dad would hire a WCW video tape and I’d pull out the figures of Hulk Hogan, Goldberg, Kevin Nash and Sting.
When I got a bit older, I became so obsessed with wrestling that I’d gather up all my friends on the weekends to come over and we’d pretend to be wrestlers in the backyard and play all the wrestling video games. We all loved it! I’d jump online and find all the local wrestling events in Melbourne and bug Dad until he would cave. We would load the bus up and take 8-12 of my friends to these local shows. They are some of my fondest memories growing up.
My old man was so good to me supporting my hobbies by taking me to not only every WWE show each year but to all these local shows. When I found out about a local wrestling school in PCWe I knew I had to join. Even though Mum and Dad didn’t really like the idea of their 15 year old son traveling alone on the train two hours up and back to Melbourne to get the sense knocked out of him, they were still very supportive.
I remember the first time I stepped in the ring. After taking my first bump getting the wind knocked out of me, feeling like I almost died. I was hooked! I knew that this was all I wanted to do with my life. Almost 7 years later and my mind set still hasn’t changed!
Seeing you for the first time in the ring at UPW Paragon on April 26th, the first thing I thought was “This guy reminds me of a late 90s Chris Jericho.” (which to me is a good thing; Jericho is one of my all-time favourite wrestlers) Not just because you both have (or had) long, flowing, blonde hair, but also because of your character and in ring personality. Is Jericho one of your influences? Who else has influenced your style?
Yeah diffidently Jericho is one of my biggest influences, alongside guys like Eddie Guerrero, Edge, and Booker T. I don’t ever want to be another “Jericho” or another “Edge”. I try to be the first ever Benny Factor! But if you watch what I do, I’m sure you can see these guys shining through.
In my extensive pre-interview research (I looked at the ‘about’ section of your Facebook page) I saw that you’ve trained with a couple of big names in pro-wrestling: Orlando Jordan and Booker T. What was it like training with guys who’ve reached such great heights in the business?
I could rattle off a list of guys who have played part in training me including the likes of the Young Bucks, Chavo, Luke Hawx, Paul London, etc etc. But WWE Hall of Famer Booker T and my good friend Orlando Jordan are the two who really helped me learn and understand my craft. Being trained by people who have been there and know what it takes is the best thing to do if you ever want to start wrestling. It was such a humbling thing to be training with my childhood heroes. Sometimes I get taken aback that these were the people I grew up watching on TV, now they are teaching me and I’m a peer.
Did Booker teach you the ‘Spinaroonie?’
Haha Book taught me a lot, but a good magician never revels all of his tricks. He did bust one out once but he didn’t show us how. Maybe next time.
I can guess where he learnt that one.
You hear a lot of stories about wrestling schools that aren’t quite on the up and up. How was your experience training to be a wrestler? Who has been your toughest trainer?
I’ve been a part of every wrestling school in the Victorian territory in the last 6 years. Its true some aren’t so great, but when it comes down to it you get what you pay for. The best school I have ever been to is also the toughest. It also happens to be where I currently train. At Vicious Pursuit with MCW’s Carlo Cannon, is without a doubt one of, if not, the best school in Australia to learn how to become a Professional Wrestler!
For more info, visit the Vicious Pursuit website.
Wrestling crowds are a huge part of live wrestling. A good crowd can make a match, while a dead crowd can break one. What’s your experience with live crowds? Are there any cities/crowds you particularly enjoy working in front of?
It’s so hard to pin point one specific crowd I’ve worked in front of because every show is different. But if I had to say one, I’d say when Outback Championship Wrestling came to my home town Traralgon. The crowd was too hot and going crazy no matter what I did. They loved me! It was a dream come true to be there.
One of the best referee distractions I’ve ever seen was during your match with Jake Nova at UPW Paragon. You shouted at the ref something like “Look at that guys beard!” while pointing a beaded fan in the crowd. Even funnier is that it worked! Is that kind of thing something you come up with on the fly or plan do you plan ahead?
Haha! No, I don’t ever plan out what I’m going to do out there. I normally say things like that in matches mostly just to entertain myself. Like if there is a good looking girl in the crowd, I’ll get my opponent into a chin lock and squeeze them into the direction of the girl and whisper to my opponent “Check out the hot chick over there!” Not only do I find it funny, it throws them off too.
These sorts of things are how I really have fun in my matches.
Benny Factor And Bee Boy (whose interview you can check out here. Cheap plug!) “having some fun!”
Your wrestling debut was only in 2010, and your just in your early 20s (right?), so your career is still in its early stages. Do you think about your future in wrestling or do you try to just take things as they come? Have you set any long/short term goals for yourself?
After training for two years, I did debut in 2010 for Alpha Pro Wrestling when I was 18. For now my current goals are to keep traveling and make a full time living out of wrestling. My ultimate goal is to one day make it on the level of the WWE, but I’d love to head to Mexico and Japan. I do have plans to go back to New Orleans, USA to wrestle for Wildkat Sports in July.
You can support Benny Factor by watching him perform live, and by picking up one of his fine looking T-Shirts, available online at the Official Benny Factor Facebook page, or at any live event involving the Benny Factor.
For news and upcoming events, follow Benny Factor on Facebook here.