By mike hodge

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 Yes we both have Gimp eyes 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 show?

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 I hate faggots 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 school anymore.

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 ICP?

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 TNA anymore.

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 though.

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 sustained?

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 I’ve had.

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 know.

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 now.

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 . 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 day.