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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In Depth Interview with IZW Superstar Kevin Morgan


Kevin Morgan 

“I am the most powerful man in IZW.”

At 6’7”, 300 lb, Kevin Morgan stands atop the IZW locker room with no physical peer.  In fact, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who can match his combination of size, strength and athleticism on the Independent scene.  When you look at Morgan and watch him compete in the squared circle names like the Undertaker, Kane and the Big Show come to mind.

In a sport where timing is everything and the smallest detour can set your life on a completely different path, the stars were all aligned for Kevin Morgan to break into pro wrestling. 

“I lucked out one day at lunch time. I had a routine as to where I would go for lunch. One day I broke that routine and went a different direction landing me right in front of where another promotion used to run in OKC [Oklahoma City]. There was a phone number on the front of the building so I decided to call it. I left a message on the answering machine and after 3 more messages I received a call back from that promotion’s owner,” Morgan remembered.

It was that seemingly inconsequential turn on the road that led to Morgan connecting with an Oklahoma wrestling superstar.  “I was trained by a man who to me is a legend in the business. He was one of the first African American men to be allowed to compete in the Mid-South territory. His name is Tom Jones. The promoter said to meet him and Tom the following weekend to see if I had the ability to train. I guess that went good because I began training and after about 4 months I had my first match. That took place in May of 2007,” Morgan said.

Morgan’s quick ascension up the ranks from hopeful trainee to professional wrestler was in part due to Morgan’s uncanny athleticism for such a big man.  Before breaking into wrestling, Morgan refined his dexterity and nimbleness on the hardwood.  “I was always athletic. I played basketball in high school, college [Mid America Christian University and Northeastern State], and played semi-pro for one year. So with the mixture of being an athlete and being a huge wrestling fan naturally when the opportunity came along to train, I took it,” Morgan continued.  

Wrestlers like Kevin Nash and the Big Show also played college basketball and with Morgan’s physical similarity to those two wrestling giants, who have won multiple world titles, he is determined to follow in their footsteps when it comes to reaching the pinnacle of the sport.  “I absolutely want to make it to the level of the WWE. Anyone who is in this business and doesn't want to be at the top of it, in my opinion, needs to get out. I work hard in this business and have never had anything handed to me,” Morgan remarked.

But Morgan brings more than just size to the ring.  “I have been known my whole career up until recently as ‘The Awesome One’.  When I was getting started in the business and traveling around the state, I was a different type of wrestler. I liked to do things that other guys my size were not doing like pressing a guy and throwing him in the ring from the outside or picking up 400-plus pound guys on my shoulders and walking around with them then dropping them with a move.  Things like diving out of the ring over the top rope or flipping over the top rope onto people. When I was doing these things the crowds, no matter where I went, would chant ‘That was Awesome’. So before long I was dubbed ‘The Awesome One’.”

Because of Morgan’s brain for the sport to go along with his seemingly indestructible body, he has worn a lot of hats in the professional wrestling business, but for him nothing can hold a candle to performing in front of a raucous crowd.  “Around a year ago, I was working with another organization and was asked to help with the booking for the show. It was new to me to be in that part of the business so I accepted the opportunity. Before long I was running every aspect of that promotion from booking to training. When it got to that point, I stopped having fun. I am always up for a challenge but that got ridiculous. So the only thing I could do to ensure I wouldn't ‘lose my smile’ was to walk away. Like I said, I am very happy with just being a worker,” Morgan reiterated.

For the past several years, Morgan has been an integral part of IZW.  As a former IZW World Heavyweight Champion, he is also viewed as a leader among his colleagues.  “I think backstage I have earned the respect of every individual back there. I believe I am looked upon as one of the top guys. In the show, I am the true monster. I am the guy that when you hear my music hit, you know someone is going to get destroyed. You know there is going to be some high impact moves and hard hitting going on. Like me or hate me, I don't really care. I don't like anyone and just want to leave a path of destruction full of casualties along the way,” Morgan stated.

That attitude has helped Morgan achieve great heights during his career.  One of the most unforgettable moments in Morgan’s IZW tenure was his rivalry with Big John O’Malley in 2010.  “It wasn't long after I broke in to IZW. I had gained a good following with the fans and he was not liked. He was the Heavyweight Champion at the time. He had something I wanted so I was going to take it. As part of the Future Hall of Famers, he had help. I stood alone. After months of using underhanded tactics to keep the belt, it finally came to a head in a No DQ Match. We beat each other from one end of the arena to the other. Finally, I was able to catch him with a spinebuster onto a steel chair and capture my first IZW World Heavyweight Championship. The fans that night were incredible. I will never forget how loud it was in there,” Morgan remembered.  

Morgan has really thrived in the IZW environment and it’s no secret that he has helped push the company forward but to Morgan it’s a symbiotic relationship as IZW has furthered his career by leaps and bounds too.  “IZW is by far and away the best promotion in the Mid-South Territory. Maybe even the entire United States. The talent level in IZW is capable of putting on the best matches around. Not only with good crisp moves, but they are able to tell a story with each match. The thing I would say that sets IZW apart from any of the other promotions is the fact that they care. They care about the way the brand is presented, what every fan thinks of it, and they care about the workers. I expect that in the years to come, IZW will become a household name to every wrestling fan out there.”

More recently, Morgan has been on a winning streak for the ages in IZW.  He hasn’t been beaten in 25 consecutive weeks.  And with every IZW show being broadcast worldwide on GFL.tv now, Morgan’s reign of terror can now be viewed on a global scale.  A fact that isn’t lost on the big man.

“It is a huge deal!  I mean come on, how many Independent promotions can say they were watched live in Germany!? Or that someone in New York was watching their show LIVE when said show is taking place in a small city in Southern Oklahoma?! Exposure is a big deal for any company. Not only for show purposes, but for the talent as well. I may have never gotten to be seen outside of the Mid-South territory without GFL and IZW. GFL is a great sight. They do an awesome job of helping promote and the stream of the show is always top notch. For IZW to have teamed up with GFL was, in my opinion, smart for both,” Morgan said.

Although his opponent for IZW’s next iPPV, March Mayhem, on March 17 has not been determined yet, Morgan is ready to continue his reign of terror.  “Right now I don't have an opponent for March Mayhem. But after the destruction I caused at Chaotic Christmas and the path of destruction I laid through Violent Valentine, there is no way Brandon Bishop cannot give me a match. Sure, everyone in the locker room is afraid to step in the ring with me. Who can blame them right? I haven't lost a match since I don't remember when.  Impressive I know! But it seems I am not getting the respect I deserve. So no matter who gets in the ring with me, they will be left lying as another casualty of war!” 

To learn more about Kevin Morgan you can follow him on twitter @KevinMorgan50, or find him on Facebook by searching “Kevin Morgan”.

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