Happy Halloween and welcome to what we hope will be a new feature to the blog….Answering the 10 Count. A series of pieces where we interview pro wrestling stars of varying degrees and let them speak their mind on whatever topics get thrown their way.
Seeing as it is Halloween, why not start off this feature with a man known to many as the infamous ECW Zombie aka Tim Arson. While Tim’s biggest claim to fame here in the states might be wrestling under the guise of a zombie on WWE (ECW) television….Tim has been wrestling for over 14 years. A star in the Puerto Rican territories, Arson was trained by the infamous ‘Unpredictable’ Johnny Rodz who also trained wrestlers such as Taz, Bubba Ray and D-Von, Matt Striker and Bill DeMott.
Without any further ado, rising from the cold, dark night…The ECW Zombie…Tim Arson…
Q: What or who got you interested in being a pro wrestler?
By far’Big’ John Studd. My mom took me to a convention across the street from MSG. And I met this giant for my 9th birthday and he was larger than life. He was nice to me too (Not jovial doing a jig nice) but he wasnt a bastard either. He just had that gruff,just woke up voice as he sipped his coffee (after all, he was staying at the Penn Hotel) I could remember with rage bating Hogan with my BJS LJN figure. (they were figures,not dolls!!lol)
And years later before I got in I had a similar experience with Macho Man at Pathmark at 2am(he lived right behind the mall) And the macho man had acid wash jeans on, bandana,SUNGLASSES at 2am,snakeskin boots, and a blqck n white leopard muscle shirt on. This was circa him jamming the ring bell into Steamboats throat.
Q2: You were trained by Johnny Rodz….how was the experience and was anybody else notable from your class?
The experience was and is priceless. I was raised by my mom so I guess I got more knowledge in those four hour pow wows with Johnny in his office. And I didnt know it but both came into play when I went to wrestle in Puerto Rico from ’05-’08 because if you’re white and go to Puerto Rico (THIS IS STRICTLY IN THE LOCKERROOM) you need to know proper etiquette inside and outside the ring because they’re saying (just like they would in any territory) except this was PR.
And I’m some gringo from the states who is going over on them and as a heel to boot!!?? It was a piss in a bottle,dirty diaper,and battery time from the fans (in Rio Grande baseball stadium one time I heard the whiz of a 1 1/2 foot long, solid steel pipe going by my head after the match when I was already blown up in July which temps on AVG are 99 degrees) and in the lockerroon about 25% if that spoke English so it was very important to show respect to their home but at the same time show that I’m no pushover. Low and behold I have more friends in Puerto Rico than I can count. Everytime I go there at least three know me and to me thats good and a successful run.
Q3: So how did you end up working for WWE and who was the brainchild of the Zombie character?
Matt Striker got a job with WWE off of his infamous firing from the NYC Board of Ed and although its hard for many “outside” our business to understand, to me he followed his dream and Matt was a little bit more of a politic than me and heyyy each and to his own.
A guy I pegged the first day I saw him and pulled him aside and told him to send his stuff IMMEDIATELY to WWE was my buddy Bill aka Big Cass in NXT. Ricky Vega had some WWE tryouts and a cup of coffee in TNA and last I heard hes a cop in the midwest,I’m glad he has found happiness and thats apart of my evolving because a few years back I may have called him a quitter but he needed the change and I love him like a brother and I’m soooo happy that he and his family are together. I know there’s a few guys who have had tryouts “the new breed” if you will of Gleasons Gym. And all I can say is God Bless Johnny because he has done what guys like Derek Jeter,Floyd Mayweather have done.
He has just stuck to the plan of what got him there and on any given Mon,Tue,Thu,& Sat he’s in his office by 10am with a coffee and doesn’t leave until 10pm training guys or implementing the wheel system which as apart of our lifetime membership we are required to teach whats been taught to us and if one of us has some type of success outside the gym then we can also throw tips,techniques,etc as a bonus to the core foundation which starts innocently with a roll(one knee in front of the other on a 90 degree angle,opposite hand against instep in a reverse karate chop position and you just roll
There’s nothing “stupid” about what I did outside not getting representation for the multiple countdowns, Halloween segments,and most recently the “Ladies and Gentleman, my name is Paul Heyman” prominent clips of my likeness on their network and on demand channels. I was simply doing what was asked of me. And royalties* And dvds (after the Paul Heyman title)
Q4: Who’s idea was it?
The original idea was SyFy’s idea for a martian. That guy (Chad Collyer) who took off after the dress rehearsal. After the other guys who tried out went to hit the showers Big Vito(another Johnny alum) I asked him if I should go shower up. He had heard that the martian took off and so he told me to stay put. So I sat on a crate right in the middle of the backstage area when Tommy Dreamer facing me and Paul Heyman to my back in a panic said to Tommy “Tommy!! What are we gonna do!!??! The network wants a Zombie now!!!
Who the hell can we get to do that!!???” And Tommy(btw another Johnny alum and in charge of talent relations at the time) looked and said “How about Tim Arson?” Paul said “whooo??” I got off the crate and walked over and Paul pulled me aside and said “Ok Kid(w a nervous sigh) “Give me your best Zombie!” So I did my grumble “Rarrrr!” Paul then said “Cmon I know you got a better Zombie than that!!” So at the top of my lungs I screamed and grabbed the double breasts of his suit and said “AHHHWWWWWWRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! RAAAAIINNNNNZZZZ!!!!!!” And his last words were “Make it look good!” and off I went to makeup at 6:35pm for a 7:15pm starting time…
The Zombie gimmick “job” was a favor back to Sandman for flying me home after the first stint in PR when there was a discrepancy in pay and I said “Fuck this” so Sandman paid for my ticket home. I just asked wanted n delivered.
He looked like he was going pretty stiff on you…
No he was just sober…LOL. He was stiff. I told him to be though. If you remember this was a big deal for him and THEM.(ECW)
I see wow!
And I figured it was a throwaway character at the time. Little did I know, next day I had 3000 facebook requests.And people really seemed to like the gimmick.
Q: Was Sandman always scheduled to be your opponent?
No, originally it was gonna be RVD but after Sandman’s entrance at the first One Night Stand (when they played Metallica) the Hammerstein was literally shaking. So he got the nod.
Q: Taz and Joey Styles were on commentary…..they really ripped your character apart at the time…was that ad libbed do you know or somebody feeding them that stuff?
No because they had the holier than thou attitude that “I” didn’t belong in ECW and that I was just a requirement of the network(SyFy). Then Joey on his website job would kick me anytime he can ib polls or stories on failed gimmicks. But yeah Taz and Joey Styles should’ve looked in the mirror and realize they were on their knees deep throating that corporate cock for years before I was looking for an opportunity that I took very seriously.
Q: You talk about Matt Striker…be honest…as I already know you are…anybody in particular who were just plain assholes?
I don’t think I talked highly of Matt Striker. I just said how he got his job. He played a political game. And Vince always grabs a nothing mainstream? Yeah right! Did he get his job via in ring skills?? HELLLLLLLLL NO!!!
Q: Any others like that? That you are personally aware of?
So much stuff to get off my chest.
Q. Let loose brother…..tell some tales…Throwing the questions out the window
The best tales were from PR because that’s where I had access to Sabu (I FUCKING WRESTLED SABU ONE ON ONE!!)
Q: How was it?
It was the day after/of the night before when Sandman held me hostage at this outdoor bar on thebstrip feeding me Margaritas (They were $20 for the plastic half gallon Turkey Hill-esque Iced tea containers and we were there from 12 midnight Sat/Sun morn until Sunday at noon when the “gringo mobile” was coming to pick us up for th e house show that day in Moca(about four hours away)
That Saturday night Sabu was with us from 11pm-12am and he was talking to a shaddy dude and disappeared toward the projects (which were at the end of the strip ) at about 2am he sprinted by us like Usain Bolt back toward his hotel (which meant he prob copped whatever and was going to do something I’d imagine couldnt be done in public)
Q. Any good ring rat stories?
Unfortunately I met my wife/ex wife two weeks into my stay there so unfortunately not…I know (A well known former WWE Diva) was giving blowjobs left n right when her and her boyfriend were down there.