As you know, we love our wrestling heartthrobs, so for you wrestling fans, we've got a very special interview. Johnny Yuma is a mainstay on the SoCal independent wrestling scene. From his often humorous and innovative moves to his glorious glutes that just won't quit, it's easy to see why Johnny is a favourite of many. In this interview we go over how he got into wrestling, his time wrestling in Japan and if we'll ever get a chance to see him pose nude. Yes, you did read that correctly. He's wild, he's hot and he's happening and we hope you enjoy this interview.
1. When did you first get hooked on wrestling? Who were your favourites?
Yuma: "I always hated wrestling. Picked on my friends that liked it. Ruined their merch. I was a real jerk. But I never actually watched, and when I finally did I was completely blown away. It was Viscera vs Crash Holly. Watching a little guy go up against a human monster was insane to me. My immediate favorites were Viscera, Too Cool, Jericho, and Essa Rios."
2. How did you get your start in wrestling?
Yuma: "Right after high school, my parents got me an apartment in El Segundo, CA so I could attend UPW. My second week there John Cena ran class, despite being the WWE champ at the time! After 9 months there, I reluctantly moved back home and took a year hiatus that I hated. A school opened in San Diego and I jumped at the opportunity. Someone got hurt before their first show, and I got the spot, making my debut as the fat stoner surfer Johnny Mahalo!"
3. What advice would you give to anyone that's thinking about getting into wrestling?
Yuma: "Get in shape! Both times I started at a school I wasn't in very good shape (skinny the first time, fat as hell the second). It's incredibly difficult but being fit will make a lot of aspects easier on you."
4. What's been your most memorable match so far?
Yuma: "I would say my TNA Impact match. I've had some matches I LOVE in PWG and CWFH, but that one sticks out since so many people were able to see it."
5. What was it like getting to wrestle in Japan? Was that always a goal for you?
Yuma: "That was so fun! Every match was a blast and the whole experience was amazing. That was actually only a recent goal. I never had any desire to wrestle in Japan until about 2010. I'd read up on my wrestling idols and saw how important it was in their growth as wrestlers. However, I had wanted to go to Japan since I was about 12 to go to the Pokemon Center haha!"
6. What sets Johnny Yuma apart from other wrestlers?
Yuma: "I think my size is a huge thing. Now there are tons of small wrestlers, especially on the indies, but I've always avoided wrestling the same as them. I don't do flips and I rarely fly. I add a lot of humor to what I do. I try to be well rounded as opposed to typical small flippy guy that I'm expected to be. I've done my best to have very creative offense and I think I've done a good job innovating some clever moves that I can hit on any sized guy."
7. You appeared in TNA as Lars Only. How did that name come to be?
Yuma: "I couldn't be Yuma, much to my dismay, so I pitched a bunch of names made up of some of my favorite musicians. They combined two they liked, and I loved it, so we went with it. It's a combination of Lars Fredriksen of Rancid and Jerry Only of the misfits."
8. What was it like working for TNA? Are you hoping to get back there?
Yuma: "It was pretty surreal. I was in Japan when they tried to contact me and I had no way of calling them back, so I sent an email and just prayed they were willing to wait for me to get home. A week after Japan I was on national TV wrestling a great guy in Kenny King. I couldn't have asked for a better opponent. Sadly he was too good, and got the win haha. I learned so much from that and the PPV. The agents and talent there were way more helpful than they needed to be, especially to a guy like me, a relative unknown with less than 5 years in the business. D'lo, Al Snow, Simon Diamond, Kid Kash, Kazarian, Daniels, Doug, they all went out of their way to help. It was a great learning experience and I KNOW I'll be back."
9. You wrote and sang your own entrance theme "It's Johnny Yuma!". Where'd the idea come from to do that? Has music always been a passion?
Yuma: "I've always wanted custom music! It's one of my favorite things about wrestling. I knew no one was gonna do it for me, so I just did it myself! I was in a ska band most of high school and we changed a bit but were a band till about 2009. Music has always been a big part of my life. I'm extremely proud of that song. I wrote it, composed it, sang it, and my former bandmates played it in the studio. I would've taken forever to lay down the tracks haha!"
10. How does it feel to know that you're seen as a sex symbol to both male and female fans?
Yuma: "I wouldn't say I'm a sex symbol, but I've always had guys and girls calling me cute. When I got in shape finally those numbers increased and the tweets and cat calls got a lot more frequent. My mom and grandma always said I was handsome. Guess they were right!"
11. And seeing as you are one of the hottest wrestlers on the scene today, we've got to ask, would you ever follow in the footsteps of HBK and pose for Playgirl or something like that?
Yuma: "Haha I'm so hot! Yeah I'd totally do that, especially if the money was good and it was tasteful. I want a famous artist to paint me nude."
12. As the year is coming to a close, what does 2013 hold in store for Johnny Yuma?
Yuma: "a lot of travel. I plan on working a lot more states and even smaller companies, just to spread my name. Definitely going to Japan again as well." [Editor's note: We'd love to see you wrestle in Toronto, Johnny!]
Random Rapid Fire Questions
1. Dream opponent? Chris Jericho
2. Favourite Superhero? Daredevil
3. Favourite song to workout to? "Africa" by TOTO
4. Hidden talent? I can impersonate TONS of voices
5. Best pick-up line? haha haven't had to use any in many years.
6. Boxers or Briefs? briefs 4 life!
7. Dream tag partner? Chris Jericho
8. What's your best physical feature? my ass!
Many thanks to Johnny Yuma for taking part in this interview. Hopefully it will be the first of many and we're looking forward to keeping you all posted on the latest happenings in his wrestling career. Be sure to follow Johnny on Twitter at @yumabooma, subscribe to his YouTube channel youtube.com/johnnyyumarocks and purchase his entrance theme "It's Johnny Yuma!" on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/its-johnny-yuma!-single/id529612382