This was interview was filmed on June 1, 2013, the night before CHIKARA’s “Aniversario: Never Compromise” where the company shut down. It is conducted by Leonard F. Chikarason.
While I enjoyed Kingston’s first installment of the Best on the Indies, I found this to be a much more fulfilling watch. Chikarason did a fantastic job in his research and in chronological order touches on all of Kingston’s events since his last Best on the Indies.
The bulk of the interview has to do with CHIKARA and CZW. Kingston was relatively positive about CZW in the first Best on the Indies compared to this time around, which seems to be directly related to DJ Hyde taking the reigns of control. After a roughly two year absence, Kingston returned to CZW out of loyalty to Mike Burns who was once again booking the company. Kingston was brought back for the 10th Anniversary show for a No Rope Barbed Wire with then champion Drake Younger, then enjoyed a reign as CZW Tag Team champions with Drake one year later. A dispute over income caused Kingston to leave CZW in the Summer of 2010, and then return for a two match stint in late 2011/early 2012. He has no shortage of unkind things to say about DJ Hyde as a businessman and person. At the end of the day, he’s happy he has friends working for them and making money, but it’s hard for him to imagine a scenario in which he personally would return to CZW. On a different note, he speaks somberly of his friend JC Bailey who passed away between the two interviews, leading to him discussing the sadness of so many in the wrestling business dying young.
CHIKARA covers a large variety of topics, starting with his Lince Dorado feud. Kingston has a theory on CHIKARA students who get pushed as hard as somebody likes Dorado does, which was interesting and probably true. He was disappointed in his run with the Roughnecks, not because he didn’t enjoy teaming with Brodie Lee and Grizzly Redwood, but because it didn’t provide the opportunities he thought it might have and him and Brodie never had a true tag team match. He doesn’t touch very much on his feud with Claudio Castagnoli due to some personal issues Kingston had with him. Kingston doesn’t go into much detail, but does go into his own personal friendship philosophy which may not have lined up in this instance. He covers all of his big name opponents from 2010 (Bryan Danielson, Christopher Daniels, Tommy Dreamer) in one fell swoop, with the conclusion that while he enjoyed wrestling all of those men, he feels all of the matches could be better. That’s a big theme with Kingston; rarely does he feel as if any of his matches are good, mostly because he fears complacency and always wants to strive to be better. There’s an admirable quality to that, but as a fan, I wish he enjoyed his work more. Kingston then discusses every single one of his Grand Championship matches up to that point (Vin Gerard through Archibald Peck) and how he felt about each of them. Him talking about how honored he was to be the first person to win the title after seeing how much CHIKARA has grown was very endearing. A lot of anecdotal stories are brought up, many involving a drunk Vin Gerard. At this point it’s an old story, but Kingston explains what happened in March 2013 in Florida when he missed the Orlando CHIKARA event and went off the grid for a week or so, bleeding into him competing at Wrestlecon and why he feels that Independent wrestling could be in trouble (spoiler: it’s wrestlers acting like fans.) In the midst of all this, Kingston talks about Larry Sweeney, the 2010 Cibernetico match where they were partners (it was also the last time Kingston saw him), and his death.
Sprinkled in those topics are some quick thoughts from Kingston on his short stint in PWG, wrestling 2 Cold Scorpio in IWA-MS, his matches with Sami Callihan over multiple companies and an issue they had in CZW, thoughts on Les Thatcher, JAPW, his multiple stints in Ring of Honor, wrestling as a member of the League in Interspecies Wrestling, wrestling BJ Whitmer in AIW (he had not become a full time roster member by this point), accomplishing his lifelong dream of competing in Japan when he went to Osaka Pro, as well as many personal philosophies when it comes to both wrestling and life in general.
Kingston is very open, honest, and passionate, all of which is on display here. His memory is great, which allows him to paint a clear mental picture when recounting stories. The rapport between him and Chikarason is very natural, almost as if they’re friends or something, and that rapport really makes this feel more like a conversation than a shoot interview, which is always an easier and more enjoyable watch. There’s lots of laughs, some sad stories, but from those stories lessons learned. All of that makes for an interesting interview. I myself have watched it multiple times and never tire of the stories told. Whether you’re interested in the matches or not, this interview is one of my personal favorites and comes highly recommended.
Surprisingly, no CHIKARA matches are included in this collection. In a way I appreciate this choice, as it gives people a chance to check out some of his “lost”/lesser known matches, but given how important they are to his career it almost feels incomplete to not have at least a couple matches from CHIKARA included. My guess it has to do with the fact that CHIKARA technically did not exist at the time this set was put together (although I believe it was first made available at the National Pro Wrestling Day in which CHIKARA was resurrected).
New Jersey Street Fight
Eddie Kingston vs. Homicide vs. Teddy Hart
JAPW “Reclaiming Hudson” – Jersey City, NJ – 1.19.2008
Homicide and Hart pummel each other in the corner. Kingston jumps in and punches Homicide. He shoves Hart away when Hart tries to help him. Homicide sends Kingston to the floor, leaving Hart to stomp on Homicide in the corner. Kingston gets in some shots to the back. Homicide and Kingston momentarily team up on Hart. Hart is able to clothesline them both, but then Homicide sends Hart into a lariat from Kingston. Hart avoids more corner offense and sends Kingston to the floor with a double jump moonsault block. Homicide also goes to the floor. Hart tries an Asai moonsault but Homicide throws a chair at him. Kingston and Homicide trade blows until the recovered Hart dives onto both of them from the top turnbuckle. Hart takes them both into the crowd and moonsaults off of the guardrails onto both of them. He then lands a moonsault off the ropes and into the crowd. Homicide throws chairs at both Hart and Kingston. Hart suplexes Kingston onto two chairs. Homicide throws Hart back into the ring. He clobbers Kingston with a chair and brings him up the bleachers. He suplexes Kingston on the bleachers. He looks to suplex Hart, who is back in the crowd, into a section of chairs, but Hart reverses. Both Homicide and Kingston throw chairs at Hart. Homicide gives Hart a piledriver on the bleachers. Kingston and Homicide make their way through the bleachers. Hart re-joins the fight but is suplexed immediately by Homicide. Hart recovers and moonsaults onto Kingston’s back. Hart moonsaults off of a pull-up machine onto Homicide who is on the floor. Kingston comes down and throws Hart and Homicide together. Hart falls through a table when Kingston chops him. Homicide hits Hart with a piece of the broken table. More chairs are thrown. When a chair duel between Homicide and Hart goes nowhere, Kingston hits Hart with a chair. In the ring Kingston sets up two chairs and sits both himself and Hart down. He hits Hart with a Kendo stick and demands one in response. When Hart does, Kingston takes him down with a lariat and tosses the Kendo stick away. Homicide gives Hart a brainbuster on one of the chairs. Kingston gives Homicide a Northern Lights suplex for two. Kingston and Hart trade chops in the corner. Hart kicks Kingston away. Homicide pulls Hart into a short-arm lariat. He looks for a sharpshooter but Kingston stops Homicide from doing so. Homicide throws Kingston to the floor. Hart gives him a vertical suplex into a cutter. Kingston takes out Homicide with a shining boot. Hart gives Kingston the Teddy Bomb. He hits Open Hart Surgery, but Homicide pulls Hart off of Kingston to stop the cover. He gives Hart a low blow. Hart avoids the Cop Killa and slips to the floor. Kingston catches Homicide off guard with a Backdrop Driver for two. Homicide blocks a lariat. He hits an Ace Crusher and spikes Kingston with a piledriver. Homicide meets Hart on the top turnbuckle. Hart dumps Homicide to the floor and hits the Hart Attack on Kingston for the pin in 18:46. The chaotic stuff outside of the ring didn’t have much cohesion, as it just felt like they threw chairs at one another until they got back into the ring. That whole segment didn’t have any bearing on the match in terms of who got the advantage or who was worse for wear. The final segment was fun, and the crowd seemed into all of this, so on that level it was a success, but for a nearly 19 minute match it was alright at best. **½
IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship
Eddie Kingston (Champion) vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
IWA Mid-South “The 500th Show” – Joliet, IL – 3.1.2008
Scorpio breaks a lock-up against the ropes and dances away. A more aggressive lock-up has to be broken up by referee Brian Gory in the corner. Scorpio applies a headscissors. Kingston escapes but Scorpio slides through his legs before Kingston can retaliate. Scorpio goes after Kingston’s left arm on the mat. Kingston rolls away from him frustrated. He gets on a side headlock. It takes some time, but Scorpio fights Kingston off and hits a dropkick. He throws some knee lifts and an enzuigiri sending Kingston to the floor. He comes back in after Scorpio fakes a dive. Kingston re-applies the side headlock. Scorpio takes Kingston the ropes and elbows him in the stomach. Kingston responds with a jumping back elbow. Scorpio takes a breather on the floor. Back in the ring he and Kingston exchange strikes. They knock each other down with boots repeatedly. Scorpio keeps Kingston down with a spinwheel kick. Kingston yakuza kicks Scorpio to the floor. They continue the strike exchange outside the ring. Scorpio tosses Kingston back into the ring but gets a boot to the side of the head as he re-enters the ring. Kingston gets two with a belly-to-belly suplex. Same goes for a tiger suplex. He goes right back to the side headlock. Scorpio gets the ropes. Kingston basement dropkicks him to the floor. Scorpio gets the better of Kingston outside the ring and hits a single leg sliding dropkick from the apron. Kingston throws some chops before bringing Scorpio back into the ring. Scorpio reverses an Irish whip into the corner and follows with a Koppu Kick. He follows up with a Saito suplex. He hits a Superfly splash for two. Scorpio then hits a flipping legdrop before going back up top. He lands a moonsault for two. Kingston fires up from some kicks on the mat. He throws slaps and chops until Scorpio is knocked down. He gets a two count, so he chops up Scorpio again in the corner. Scorpio blocks the Backfist. He throws some knee lifts and kicks Kingston in the face. Scorpio gets in a few more strikes before Kingston nails a rolling clothesline. He gets two with a uranage suplex. He pulls Scorpio into a lariat for another two. Scorpio slaps Kingston as he comes to his feet. He hits an enzuigiri and signals for the 450 splash. Before he ascends the ropes. Kingston sneaks in a Saito suplex for the pin at 27:49. This was constructed very smartly. Kingston grounded Scorpio and used his striking game to take control, but Scorpio was game to match him in the strike department and used his agility when it suited him. Kingston was able to sneak in one of his finisher’s when Scorpio got too caught up in his own hype. Kingston mentioned how honored he was to face Scorpio and you can tell both guys were game to work really hard and put on a good, hard hitting bout. Major kudos to Kingston for doing this during King of Trios weekend too, as he was in Philly the night before and after this match. I honestly didn’t expect a whole lot but ended up being very entertained. ***½
2008 Ted Petty Invitational Quarterfinal Round
Eddie Kingston vs. Sami Callihan
IWA Mid-South “2008 Ted Petty Invitational Tournament, Night 2” – Joliet, IL – 9.27.2008
Kingston mounts Callihan. He puts on a modified bow and arrow transitioning into a front facelock. Callihan fights his way free. He backs Kingston the ropes and smacks him in the face. Kingston Backfists Callihan across the ring and to the floor. Back in the ring Kingston delivers a headbutt. He takes Callihan over with an overhead suplex for two. Kingston nails a yakuza kick. He gets two again with a double overhook suplex. After some shots to the stomach and chest, Kingston places Callihan on the top rope. Callihan knocks Kingston away and hits a missile dropkick. Callihan delivers some blows. He tries a bridge back pin attempt but only gets two. Kingston grabs the ropes to avoid an exploder suplex. Callihan boots Kingston and successfully pulls the suplex off. He follows up with a Saito suplex. Kingston responds in kind. Callihan nails a lariat, leaving both men lying. They trade strikes when they make it back to their feet. Kingston hits a uranage suplex. Callihan locks on a Koji Clutch upon landing. Kingston gets to the ropes. Kingston blocks a lariat with a Backfist. However, Callihan nails a lariat soon after to get the pin at 11:02. At the time this was somewhat of a breakout match for Callihan in IWA. He got to look strong against someone well respected and appreciated by the audience and fought hard to earn their respect. It was a good story, though the spotty nature of selling in a couple spots was somewhat irritating. But, it helped Callihan, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. ***
CZW Heavyweight Championship – No Rope Barbed Wire Match
Drake Younger (Champion) vs. Eddie Kingston
CZW “X” – Philadelphia, PA – 2.14.2009
Kingston is accompanied by BLK Out members Sabian, Robbie Mireno, Ruckus, and Chrissy Rivera. Both men lock up, bringing each other into the barbed wire ropes. Kingston gets a piece of the wire stuck in his jeans. Younger chops Kingston with the wire in hand. Younger and Kingston each try top hip toss the other into the wire. Drake takes some of it and digs it into Kingston’s forehead. Younger takes of Kingston’s wife beater and rakes the wire across his back. Younger headbutts the wire into Kingston’s head. Kingston pokes Younger in the eyes. Younger picks up Kingston and slams him back first into the barbed wire ropes for a two count. Younger avoids an Irish whip, but Kingston hits a knee lift that causes Younger to fall back first into the wire. Kingston applies a side headlock on the mat while punching Younger in the forehead. Kingston digs the wire into Younger’s forehead. Kingston brings a steel chair into the ring and suplexes Younger on it for two. Younger and Kingston trade chops. Kingston pokes Younger in the eyes again. Kingston crotches Younger on the barbed wire. Younger nails Kingston with a chair shot. Younger drops Kingston on the chair with a pump-handle Death Valley Driver for two. Younger calls for the Drake’s Landing. Kingston fights out, but Younger takes him over with a half-nelson suplex. Kingston drops Younger stomach first on the barbed wire. Kingston hits a Sliding D variation for two. Mireno uses wire clippers to cut off the barbed wire from one side of the ring while Kingston shoves Younger’s face into barbed wire. Kingston applies a Camel Clutch. BLK Out set up a barbed wire board on top of some chairs on the floor. Younger avoids being thrown through it, but Kingston nails him with a lariat. Younger recovers and drops Kingston through the barbed wire board with a Death Valley Driver! Younger throws Kingston back in the ring and only gets a two count. Younger ducks a Backfist and drops Kingston on a barbed wire board with the Drake’s Landing for the pin at 15:51. This was a pretty good brawl, with the last two barbed wire spots coming off really well. The fans responded positively throughout the entire bout and appreciated the damage both men were willing to take. I’m not big on matches like this, but these two did a good job. ***¼
“I Quit” Match
Eddie Kingston vs. Bandido Jr.
JAPW “Caged Destiny” – Rahway, NJ – 6.27.2009
Bandido takes control early and takes Kingston in the crowd. They both use some chairs and Bandido takes Kingston into the crowd. He uses the bleachers to deliver two flying headscissors. They went outside for a bit of time where Kingston took over by beating down Bandido in a truck. Ringside Bandido hits Kingston with a chair on the back. Kingston kicks Bandido on the stomach and drops him face first onto the ring apron. In the ring, Kingston jabs Bandido with a chair while he’s in a tree of woe, and then stomps the chair into his face until he bleeds. Kingston gets on the mic and singles out Bandido’s sister. An enraged Bandido chokes Kingston with a chair. Kingston low blows Bandido. Kingston turns Bandido into a Kondo Clutch. Kingston grabs a screwdriver, but Bandido hits a flatliner before Kingston can use it. Bandido locks in the Koji Clutch. B-Boy runs in and low blows Bandido when he releases the hold. He hits Bandido with a Shining Wizard and ties Bandido’s hands behind his back. Kingston brings Bandido’s sister into the ring. Kingston threatens to use the screwdriver, and Bandido screams “I Quit” to save his sister to give Kingston the win at 15:47. This was a good way to further this feud, as it added a lot of heat to the situation and established a new relationship between Kingston and B-Boy. Plus, Bandido looked really good both in beating down Kingston and taking a beating from Kingston. Him quitting for the sake of his sister adds a humane aspect to his character as well, which I personally appreciated. ***
Eddie Kingston vs. Player Uno
ISW “Slamtasia 3” – Danbury, CT – 4.3.2010
Uno attacks Kingston in the entrance way. They brawl into the restroom and the door closes so we can’t see what’s going on. Finally, Uno and Kingston emerge and Uno is shoving toilet paper in Kingston’s mouth. Kingston beats up Uno around the ringside area. Uno chops Kingston on the stage. Kingston grabs Uno by the throat and pushes him off the stage. This fight gets taken outside to the parking lot. Uno and Kingston trade shots to the face. Kingston throws Uno face first into a brick wall. Kingston punches Uno in a headlock. Uno throws Kingston’s face into the brick wall. Kingston forces Player Uno to motorboat the merchandise girl, and Uno returns the favor. They finally get into the ring to officially start the match. Kingston knocks Uno down and pretends to skeet on him. Kingston threatens a little kid, and Uno kicks the middle rope into his crotch. Kingston lights up Uno with chops in the corner. Uno gets some chops in, but Kingston punches him in the face to stop him. Kingston snapmares Uno into a rear chinlock. Kingston knee lifts Uno in the belly as he comes off the ropes. Kingston stomps on Uno’s mid-section. Kingston misses a splash and Uno clothesline Kingston down three times. He sole butts Kingston and follows up with a DDT. Uno gives Kingston a hadouken for two. Kingston nails Uno with the Backfist to the Future and drops him on his head with a backdrop driver. Uno bails to the floor. He’s able to get back in the ring after some admiration from the crowd. Uno rolls up Kingston with an inside cradle. He hits his own backfist and it does nothing to Kingston. Uno hits a few Falcon punches and an enzuigiri. Uno nails him with a big Falcon punch for the pin at 6:27 (officially). This was a fun, crazy brawl. Kingston is great when he’s able to let loose and Uno is one underrated dude. **¾
Eddie Kingston vs. Mike Bailey
C4 “Triumph 2012” – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – 4.21.2012
Bailey controls Kingston by his wrist. Kingston takes down Bailey, but Bailey throws some air kicks to keep Kingston away, then gets to his feet. Bailey manages to escape Kingston’s tight side headlock, but Kingston shoulder blocks him to the floor. Back inside, Bailey back handsprings into a headlock takedown, then sends Kingston to the floor with a headscissors. He follows with a single leg dropkick off the ring apron. Back inside, Kingston grabs Bailey’s face and brings him to the corner. He takes him over with a vertical suplex and pulls at the sides of his mouth. Kingston toys with Bailey by giving him some chops and light kicks when he’s down. Bailey sneaks in a sunset pin, but Kingston kicks out and cuts him off with a back elbow. Bailey gets in some kicks. Kingston throws him down by his hair when he goes for the ropes. He applies a Stretch Plum and gets two with a vertical press. Bailey foolishly throws a chop, and Kingston responds with harder chops and headbutts. Bailey again throws a kick, but this time Kingston catches his leg and tosses him out of a release leg-capture suplex. He chops and headbutts Bailey around ringside. Bailey gets in some desperation kicks in the process. Kingston tries using a crutch, but the referee stops him. Bailey throws some more kicks before being chopped down. Kingston uses a delayed vertical suplex to bring Bailey in from the apron into the ring. Bailey ducks a yakuza kick and spin kicks Kingston in the side of the head. Kingston takes to the floor and Bailey follows with a corkscrew splash from the top turnbuckle. Back in the ring Bailey delivers a hard kick with the bottom of his foot to the side of Kingston’s face. He then lands a running corkscrew splash for two. On their feet, Kingston pulls Bailey into a uranage suplex for two. He drops him with a 2k1 Bomb for two. Bailey blocks the Backfist to the Future. He hits a tornado kick and climbs to the top rope. Kingston gets his knees up to block a shooting star press. He gives Bailey the Backdrop Driver, but Bailey kicks out just in time. Frustrated, Kingston sets up for the Backfist to the Future. Bailey ducks and brings down Kingston in a triangle choke. Kingston tries to powerbomb free but Bailey holds on. Kingston passes out at 16:26. I liked the dynamic of Kingston playing the overpowering bully and Bailey ultimately getting a submission locked in to vanquish him. It played right into the story they told from the start, and it made the win seem like an accomplishment for Bailey. ***¼
Eddie Kingston vs. Tim Donst
AIW “Conspiracy Theory” – Cleveland, OH – 2.8.2013
A brawl spills out to the floor. Kingston sends Donst into the guardrails and chokes him with a crutch. Donst gets sent into the ring, but comes right back out with a suicide dive. He belly-to-belly suplexes Kingston in from the ring apron. Kingston then belly-to-belly suplexes Donst off the top rope. Back on the floor Donst tries to use a chandler. Referee Jake Clemons takes it out of his hands. Kingston gives him some forearms and chops around ringside. He sets up for a move on the ramp but Donst ends up backdropping him onto it. They end up back in the ring where Kingston pokes Donst in the eyes. Donst crotches him in the corner and brings him out with a German suplex. Donst then gives him a spear. He gets two with another belly-to-belly suplex. Donst brings Kingston off the top rope with a lariat. He follows up with a running STO for two. Kingston attempts the Backfist. Donst ducks and gets sent into the corner with an overhead suplex. Kingston gives him a brainbuster for two. Donst tries the Donstitution but is too weak. He drives Kingston face first into the mat before dropping him with a Gator Roll. Kingston grabs the ropes to break the pin. Kingston accidentally hits Jake Clemons when Donst attacks him. Kingston pulls out some brass kuncks from his tights and gives Donst a Backfist to the Future for the pin at 13:33. AIW had a chance and they blew it. This could have been the awesome blow off this feud deserved in CHIKARA after so many people were disappointed in their “Under the Hood” bout. Instead, they give us another cheap finish after some great wrestling. It’s a shame, really. ***
Eddie Kingston vs. Jimmy Jacobs
AAW “Defining Moment 2013” – Berwyn, IL – 9.27.2013
Jacobs takes Kingston off of his feet with a headscissors. Kingston claims shenanigans, and the crowd gets very behind Jacobs. Kingston shoots Jacobs off to break a side headlock. Jacobs slides through Kingston’s legs and looks for a submission. Although Kingston escapes before anything can be applied, he’s annoyed. He chops Jacobs against the ropes, and Jacobs responds with two chops of his own. Kingston kicks Jacobs when Jacobs ducks down, but Jacobs fires up from the kick and clotheslines Kingston. Kingston catches him coming out of the corner with a belly-to-belly suplex. Jacobs low bridges the top rope to send Kingston outside and suicide dives after him. Kingston rakes Jacobs eyes to take control. Back in the ring he hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. He chokes Jacobs in the corner before bringing him down and elbowing him in the clavicle. Jacobs chops his way free only for Kingston to take him down with a back elbow. Kingston gets a two count with a Rude Awakening. A knee to the stomach yields the same result. Jacobs avoids Kingston’s attacks in the corner and gives Kingston a rolling suplex. Jacobs ascends the ropes. Kingston shoves the referee into the ropes to crotch Jacobs. He goes up, but Jacobs knocks him down and comes down with a senton splash for two. Jacobs avoids the Backfist to the Future. Jacobs puts on the End Time. Kingston delivers a bridging Northern Lights suplex, but Jacobs re-applies the End Time. Kingston suplexes him into the corner. Kingston hits him with a rolling forearm. Despite Jacobs clearly kicking out, the referee claims it was a three count and awards Kingston the match at 9:40. Considering this was only the second time these two had a singles match and their first encounter was never released, this match was a big deal when it happened. To have the match end in such a way was disappointing. Not sure if Jacobs hurt his shoulder or if the referee just made a flub, but we weren’t even out of first gear when the match finished. This was an odd choice to end the DVD. **