By mike hodge
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
WITH JCW STAR- MAD MAN PONDO...
Mad Man Pondo can be easily recognized by Juggalos
because of his presence on the JCW tour/DVD’s, as a
character on the Backyard Wrestling Game, his
Gathering of the Juggalos appearances, and as the
cover boy for ICP’s STRANGLE MANIA 2 video. He’s also
very well known throughout the wrestling industry in
general, due to his ultra violent and innovative
reputation of Hardcore matches. For those of us who
have witnessed PONDO’s matches we’ve only see his
gimmick, which is to simply destroy anyone and “piss
off” everyone! However, theirs a lot more to PONDO
than we can see on wrestling videos. In this
interview he speaks on such topics as- his upcoming
movie appearance, working for the Jerry Springer Show,
Backyard Wrestling 2, his real relationship with ICP,
the Juggalettes Gone Wicked dvd release party, the
Bumpin Uglies, the most brutal matches of his career,
some of his closest friends in the wrestling business,
and much more. Enjoy!
HODGE- Okay, now most Juggalos have seen you either
on the JCW dvd’s or on the JCW tour. In those
scenarios you always play a role of ICP’s arch enemy.
What’s your off camera relationship with ICP like?
MAD MAN PONDO- Those TV and Tour beefs with ICP are
all full of shit of course. If it wasn’t for me who
would the Juggalos have to boo ya know? All the JCW
stars are exactly what they are…stars. And if you
think about it, back on the tour and the tapings
nobody really hated on the clowns. As a matter of
fact the clowns told me if I went out there and dissed
them then they’re(Juggalos) never gonna like you. I
said well…”we’ll see what happens”. Sure enough I go
out there and diss on the clowns. Jump off the
balcony. Put a guy through a table. Stood up on the
stage. Everybody was chanting “Pondo, Pondo”. I flip
em off on my way out. Everybody boos me again. ICP
is amazed. And that’s pretty much why they always put
me against them. And you know, behind the scenes
we’re always real cool with each other.
HODGE- How long have you known ICP?
MAD MAN PONDO- Ah man, I’ve known them so many years
I can’t even remember. I’d say probably…well I met
them at a show a long time ago. Me and Ian Rotten
were doing a death match. They saw it and came to me
and said “hey man, one day we’re gonna do something
really big and we want you to be apart of it”. I was
like “alright that’s cool”. Cause you know how people
tell you these things all the time. Then later on in
life when they did get really famous they asked me on
their first wrestling event which was called “Strangle
Mania Live”. I wrestled Ian Rotten and Ox Harley,
which was just an all out brawl. Then later that
night I wrestled Angel in the thumbtacks.
HODGE- Was that also called the HELLFIRE Wrestling
MAD MAN PONDO- Nope, it was the one before that. In
St. Andrews Hall. It was actually called Strangle
Mania Live. ICP took on the Chicken Boys that night.
Then Hellfire was after that. They called me for
that. I wrestled in a 4 way, and then a match with
Angel that night. Then they did a JCW taping for JCW
vol.1. I was in a tag match but it was rushed and
didn’t make the dvd. Then of course the tour came
next. And now…pretty much when the fans think about
JCW they think about PONDO too.
HODGE- How does it feel to be immortalized on such a
major video game title as BACKYARD WRESTLING?
MAD MAN PONDO- Ya know, I never ever thought that I
would be on a video game! But now that I am I’m
pretty happy that it’s not only me but its SABU, ICP,
a good friend of mine M-DOGG and some others. The
good thing about it is that part 2 is already
confirmed. I’m on that also.
HODGE- You appeared as the guest of honor at the
recent JUGGALETTES GONE WICKED dvd release party in
Baltimore MD. This was a big surprise to the fans in
attendance. Was this a last minute invitation or were
you scheduled to be a surprise all along?
MAD MAN PONDO- Well, I do believe that RUDY was
supposed to be there but he got busy doing the ESHAM
thing. Actually I think it was supposed to be me and
The RUDE BOY. Then something happened, and once RUDY
backed out they got me and Axl Rotten there. I had a
pretty good time doing that. I just talked to that
guy the other day and I think he’s gonna do some more
stuff with JGW. Even that guy Skizzy said that me and
Axl saved the show ya know. There was a lot of dead
time between sets, but me and Axl wouldn’t allow any
dead time. We just kept going on and it was pretty
fun. Nah, I don’t think I was a surprise. I think
they already knew I was gonna be there.
HODGE- A heard a rumor that you were going to be
playing a role in an upcoming film starring horror
legend Robert Englund(FREDDY). Any truth to this?
MAD MAN PONDO- Yeah I’ve already filmed it. It’s
called “2001 Maniacs”.
HODGE- Are you serious! I’m a huge horror fan. I
didn’t know that was the movie you were in. The
original is a classic. Fuck yeah.
MAD MAN PONDO- That’s it. I’m the Blacksmith.
Actually, you gotta play a drinking game with me
HODGE. Everytime you see me, you gotta take a shot
cause I’m all in that thing. I was there a week and
pretty much weaseled my way in on everything I could.
Whenever you see Robert Englund you’re gonna see me.
HODGE- You’ve wrestled at and served as Wrestling
School Instructor at every GATHERING OF THE JUGGALOS.
Which GOTJ was the most memorable for you?
MAD MAN PONDO- Well, I kinda got in trouble at this
last GOTJ. It wasn’t really my fault. I’d have to
say the last one was the most memorable cause it was
the “Last One”…they’re not gonna do the wrestling
HODGE- Were you a former employee of the Jerry
Springer show? If so what was your job description?
MAD MAN PONDO- For the Jerry Springer show I used to
get them guests. Then when I would get them guests
they would send me checks. I’ve actually been on the
show twice. It’s funny you mentioned that cause I’m
going back on the Jerry Springer show on Monday.
HODGE- You were once involved in a big 6-Man Tag
Match for the NWA/TNA program against Konnan, K-Kwik,
and Road Dogg. Was that a tryout match for the
company? Will you be back to resurrect a feud with
MAD MAN PONDO- Let me tell you about that NWA/TNA.
New Jack called me and he asked me to come down a
visit with them, show them the video tape and see what
happens. He told me they were already gonna treat me
like shit when I got there. So when I got there I was
in that 6-Man Tag. They gave us 5 mins for it and
said Konnan was gonna talk 2 mins of it. So basically
I just told Konnan let one of the guys dropkick me
outta the ring. Then I didn’t get back into the ring
cause nobody’s gonna get a pin outta that. But
actually TNA mgmt called me to get ICP’s number. I
got them ICP. TNA was gonna cut me in on that, but of
course now that they’ve got the clowns they don’t need
me anymore. So nah, I won’t be doing anything with
HODGE- In August of 2003 you took part in a special
“BLOOD FOR FLOODS” charity show in WV for the XMCW
promotion. All proceeds went to the Flood victims of
that area. Did the show turn out to be a success?
MAD MAN PONDO- The attendance was the biggest crowd
that they’ve ever had. Of course it was a charity
show so I guess it was a mistake from the beginning to
book me versus Necro Butcher on a charity event. The
promoter of the event kinda freaked out because we
bleed and stuff like that. I’m back in with them now
but it took me awhile to get back in. There was big
problem after that show. I didn’t even get paid for
that. I made sure all the money went to the charity
HODGE- Word around camp fire is that you’d always
wanted to wrestle Mic Foley. Did you guys ever
wrestle while he was in the indies?
MAD MAN PONDO- I wanted to. I still to this day
would love to wrestle Cactus Jack. Theirs so many
guys that I would love to wrestle. But Mic Foley with
his retirement and all I’ll never get that match.
We’re pretty good friends though. My friend recently
had a picture for him to sign and he was asking about
me. Actually I haven’t talked to him about it yet,
but in his second book he wrote a sentence in there
that read “I’ve been writing like a Madman…but not
that wrestler though”. I haven’t seen him since to
ask him if he was referring to me. I don’t know of
any other guys named Madman in the business though.
HODGE- Due to your extreme hardcore wrestling
reputation, many wrestling fans have always wondered
why ECW never used you. Did they ever contact you
about working for them?
MAD MAN PONDO- I went to them. I was in Tampa FL.
As soon as I walked in all the guys knew me. Balls
came up and gave me props, New Jack, Tommy Dreamer,
all ECW guys knew me in the locker room. So, I
thought this was gonna be a great thing ya know. Then
I talked to Paul E. and he was real nice. He took my
telephone number and address, but I never heard
anything after that. One thing about Paul E. though
was that he and Ian Rotten had a lot of heat. And I
was known as Ian Rotten’s trainee at that time.
Basically the ECW guys told me that due to Ian and
Paul E’s relationship I didn’t have a chance.
HODGE- It’s apparent that U.S. wrestling fans
consider you an independent Hardcore star. What about
the wrestling fans in Japan? I know you wrestle there
often. What’s your reputation like overseas?
MAD MAN PONDO- Big Japan isn’t the most popular of
overseas feds but they are the ones doing the Hardcore
style. Whenever they put me in versus whoever in a
hardcore match they always do pretty good crowd wise.
Whenever they put me versus a mat wrestler the fans
know it’s not gonna be that crazy. I’ve wrestled guys
like Katamura and Bad Boy Ito. Then every once in
awhile I get to wrestle the American guys over there.
As far as I know the fans over there receive me the
same way as here. The good thing is that the video
game starts up over there in June. The Backyard
Wrestling video game. I’m already scheduled to go to
the Eidos company in Japan and do a commercial for TV
and do a lot of promotions for the game as well. That
might help my reputation grow over there.
HODGE- You’ve originated and taken part in such ultra
violent wrestling matches as- 100,000 THUMBTACKS DEATH
MATCH,_FANS BRING WEAPONS MATCH, and THE CIRCUS OF
DEATH MATCH! What kind of injuries have you
MAD MAN PONDO- It’s kinda funny. A guy in my
position shoulda had a broken bone by now or wind up
in the hospital. The worst thing I’ve done is cut my
head all the way down to the skull. I wrestled the
next day though. I super glued it shut. I went ahead
and wrestled the next day. I guess that’s about the
worst. Nothings really held me back. I’ve had deep
cuts and bad scratches. In my line of work there is
no insurance or “I’ll just catch it next month”. You
have to make the money right then. You have to find a
way to keep going and that’s what I’ve done so far.
HODGE- Which do you consider was the most Brutal match
in your career so far?
MAD MAN PONDO- Probably that “Circus Death Match” and
I’ll tell you why. Well, theirs like 2 matches
really. The reason I wanted to do the Circus Death
Match is because of Ian Rotten. He had done it, but
only off of one floor. Ian Rotten wanted to do it the
same way on 1 floor. I was like no I could do it with
3 tables. I asked a bunch of people to do it with me
but they declined. J.C. Bailey finally said yeah I’ll
do it with you. It was an 18 foot suplex drop from
the top. My head goes through the barb-wire and
bounces off of the ring apron. It kinda stunned me
their for a minute. The other match I’ll probably
never do again is the “barefoot thumbtacks match”.
That match just sucked. I went into that match with
size 9 feet. And by the time I left I couldn’t even
put my shoes on. I had to just put my feet down on
them and make sandals. I probably had size 11 feet
after that. A tack was stuck in a nerve and that
triggered something that I couldn’t even move my leg
till I pulled it out. Those 2 matches are the worst
HODGE- Any wild “road trip” stories from the JCW tour
that you can share with us?
MAD MAN PONDO- So many stories man. A can’t really
go into detail but I will say that the wrestler
American Kickboxer took a bunch of shrooms and kinda
went crazy for a while. That was pretty fucked up.
So much happened but people have wives and stuff like
that so I’d better keep my mouth shut. The cool thing
about the JCW tour was the crew bus would have to
leave first. Then you had the artist’s bus which was
ICP, ESHAM, 2 Tuff Tony, Horn Swaggalin Hillbillies
and a few others. They would get right in their bus
and leave. The only bus left was the wrestlers bus.
None of the chicks knew that the wrestlers bus wasn’t
the ICP bus. They were in there naked and smoking and
drinking. You can use your imagination from there ya
HODGE- Who do you consider as some of your closest
friends in the wrestling business?
MAD MAN PONDO- I would say Necro Butcher, 2 Tuff
Tony, New Jack, Wifebeater. I don’t know man. You
hate to say anyone’s name cause then you’ll leave
someone out. I Don’t have many enemies in the
business. Pretty much anybody I meet becomes a friend
of mine. Theirs only a handful of wrestlers out there
that I wouldn’t have a drink with ya know.
HODGE- The Detroit shock-rock band The Bumpin Uglies
once used your picture(same pic as on ICP’s Strangle
Mania 2 cover) on their album cover. They even
dedicated a song to you titled- “Diary of a MADMAN”.
Rumor has it that you were once even a band member?
What’s your relationship with the band?
MAD MAN PONDO- Back when we did Hellfire Wrestling
the Bumpin Uglies were on the show. We just clicked
then. I was never a band member. The cool thing
about them was that whenever they did a concert a
wrestler would attack them on stage. Usually a guy
named Inferno or myself. Then they would get up
bloody and finish playing. At one show in St. Andrews
Hall I put Bubba through a table off of a balcony. He
got stretchered up to the stage. Then the power of
Rock & Roll helped him get up and finish the concert.
The Bumpin Uglies have some pretty good ideas about
the stage things they do. But yeah, whenever they’re
in town I’m always a part of the activities that go on
during their stage show. I was so proud when they
made a song for me and put me on the album cover and
all. People wonder why I use the Smashing Pumpkins
for my ring entrance music instead of the Uglies. I’m
basically a forgetful guy and someone in the locker
room always had a Smashing Pumpkins cd. But yeah,
I’ve been real good friends with the Uglies for years
HODGE- If you’re not wrestling in Psychopathic
Records gear than you’re wearing a random horror movie
shirt. I take it you’re a big Horror Movie buff.
What’s your favorite Horror film.
MAD MAN PONDO- I’m one of the biggest Horror Movie
fans you’ll ever meet. Not many of them scared me
because I always read horror magazines and knew what
to expect. However, I remember the film PHANTASM
scared me the most as a kid. In honor of that film I
got a tattoo of “The Tall Man” on the back of my right
leg. I really liked the Evil Dead series, Texas
Chainsaw Massacre series, Mothers Day, Basket Case 1,
Candyman, and too many more to mention. I’ve been
getting a lot of Japanese imports because my wife is
from Japan. I like ones like- Versus and Battle
Royale. But yeah, I think Phantasm takes the cake for
me. It scared me a lot as a kid. I watch it now and
it doesn’t phase me at all…but back then it had an
effect on me.
HODGE- I want to thank you for taking the time out to
conduct this interview with me PONDO. Any last words
for the Juggalos reading this?
MAD MAN PONDO- Well, I wanna plug www.madmanpondo.com
. You can always buy some of my “Best Of” videotapes
there. For the Juggalos, it makes my heart warm every
time I walk outta the gathering and get ambushed by
Juggalos wanting autographs. When I do the schools at
the GOTJ we always had a great crowd. When I come to
the ring the Juggalos always chant my name…and I’m the
villain, lol. To me the Juggalos are my favorite
crowd to wrestle in front of. That’s saying a lot
cause I’ve wrestled in Japan, Germany, and the U.S.
The Juggalo crowds are always the best and most rowdy
the work in front of. Keep coming out Juggalos. Keep
supporting JCW and ICP and we’ll rule the world one