Mason Raige Interview – Afro-Squad Exclusive
by the SnowMan
The first word that springs to mind when one sets eyes on Mason Raige is inevitably â€“ “power.” Standing six feet four inches tall, and 263 lbs of solid muscle, it’s not difficult to see why he is known as professional wrestling’s premier powerhouse.
Mason how are you doing today? I’m doing very well, thanks.
So, where do you wrestle? Wherever the wind takes me. How’s that for philosophical? I’m currently based in Louisville, Kentucky, so I wrestle here in the area. I’m also wrestling in Indiana, Chicago, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, etc. Since you asked, I’m currently accepting bookings, so any promoters who are looking for an added attraction, get in touch with me!
Are there a lot of good wrestling videos of you online? If so, where can we find them. They’re all on my site, www.masonraige.com We’ll be adding some new videos very soon as well, so be sure to check them out. I have some excellent people working on my site, specifically NZPWI Editor Kirsty Quested. She’s top notch and does a great job. My video editor, Marion Velocci, is also extremely talented. Definitely take a look at the 40+ videos we have posted. More are on the way as well.
As you know, Afro-Squad does a lot of wrestling videos. You can find them by visiting our MySpace page and clicking on the videos link. Is there a chance you’ll be wrestling in Florida where we can tape you? I don’t have any upcoming dates in Florida, but I’d love to wrestle there. Like I said, Florida promoters, get in touch with me. You won’t be disappointed! And then we can make some exciting videos.
So how tall are you and how much do you weigh? I’m 6’3 out of wrestling boots and weigh between 255 and 260. If you catch me on a good eating day, it might be a bit more.
We saw you do a one handed gorilla press. That was fantastic. We’ve never seen that before. Is that a regular move for you? Thank you. I do my best to be innovative. I’ve actually seen one or two guys try to copy it, but it’s never as good as the original! There’s nothing worse than carbon copy wrestlers, which we seem to see a lot of these days. I do try to get in the one-handed press when I can. It’s always a possibility when you see Mason Raige in action.
How much do you max? What does a typical bench workout look like for you? My training these days is very systematic and is more about reps and burn than actual poundage. And you should know that the bench press does not measure one’s real strength. But since you asked, I have benched over 400 pounds when I was lifting heavier and have done over 500 pounds for forced reps with a sturdy spot. Now, I’ll work up to the 315 area, sometimes more, sometimes less. But like I said, it’s never about the weight. It’s about how hard one works.
When you hit the gym, what types of things do you really enjoy? What stuff do you usually avoid? Funny you should ask. I enjoy writing and wrote a piece on gym etiquette. I’ll attach it here:
Some of the most bizarre and interesting people can be found in gyms across the country. In my tenure as a weightlifter, I have come across a slew of freaks, geeks, and weirdos. Here are some tips on how to behave in a gym and, more importantly, how to keep away from the oddballs.
1. If you sweat like a pig, carry a towel with you. There is nothing more disgusting than a pool of sweat left on a machine by some sweaty slob. If I’m waiting for a bench, there’s nothing I want to see less than a sweaty outline of your carcass. What kind of person does this?
2. Talk to as few people as you can. People who go to gyms frequently are lonely souls and look to establish relationships with anyone who will make eye contact. Pick a spot on the wall, or stare down at the floor. Better yet, wear a hat and pull it down over your eyes. It may sound anti-social, but you’ll thank me later.
3. Don’t spend 45 minutes on a machine or a bench. Nothing irks me more than some moron who says he has 15 sets left when I ask if he’s almost done. 15 sets, huh? How’s that marathon weightlifting working out for you, you fool? How about I take my size 15 and kick your teeth down your throat?
4. Wear clothes that fit you. Just because they make spandex in your size doesn’t mean you need to wear it. Sweats or shorts and a t-shirt work so well, so why do so many wear outfits that draw attention to their cellulite and low-hanging guts? And pal, there is no reason for those shorts to be as tight as they are. It looks like you’re smuggling plums in your shorts.
5. If at all possible, avoid flexing in the mirror. Hey, we all do it at home, but give me a break if you’re flexing in the gym. I’ve seen Mr. Olympia contestants flex less during a contest than one of these social outcasts. Oh, and to the guys who pull up their shirts in front of the mirror to flex their often non-existent abdominals: not only do you not impress anyone, but you are also really embarrassing yourself…a lot.
6. Invest in a really good Walkman…is that term outdated now or what? One of my best investments was my IPOD. Not only does it protect me from inane conversations and lurking losers who want to ask how I built my delts (if I had a nickel for every time I was asked a fitness question in the gym, I’d have a lot of nickels), but I have over 1300 songs that set the tone of my workout. Tones range from intense to ultra-intense to get the hell out of my way to Mason Raige is in the house! If the tone is Raige, a lot of poundage is going to be moved, so stay on your toes. They say that music soothes the most savage beast, but my IPOD is responsible for just how animalistic my workout will be.
7. Lift what you can handle. So many morons want to impress the gym rats and stack weights on the bar that they couldn’t lift if they had two friends on either side of the bar plus a big, big bowl of Wheaties right before they came to the gym. It’s been said a million times, but it’s not how much you lift; it’s what you do with the weight you’re lifting. Whenever someone asks me what my max is, I know right away that I’m talking to someone who is either a buffoon or knows nothing about weightlifting. Sometimes it’s a buffoon who knows nothing about anything, so I generally just walk away using a very brisk pace.
8. This one is simple: if you want to practice your pick-up lines or carry on deep, meaningful conversations, go to a Starbucks or to a club. You don’t belong in the gym, and nobody likes you.
9. Working out in jeans, sandals, shorts with dress socks, shorts with dress shoes, or a sweater makes you look like a real clown. Workout attire is quite affordable, so invest in some.
10. If you’re one who walks around like you’re carrying suitcases, you are a jackass. Flailing your arms outward and pretending your lats are much more developed than they are is fooling nobody, and, believe me, many people are laughing at you. I met Dorian Yates, who is easily one of the most freakish bodybuilders in history, and his arms didn’t flail as much as some of the yahoos I see in the gym. Walk like a human and not an ape. That shouldn’t be too hard to remember.
What are your thoughts on supplements? When you go to a store like GNC, what do you stock up on? I’m pretty basic when it comes to supplements. A good protein powder should be the staple for anyone. I’m a big fan of Gaspari products like SuperPump and SizeOn. MuscleTech Products are really good as well. I usually try different products and will continue to use something if it works well. A pre-workout Speed Stack is always nice. My favorite supplement though is InStone chocolate pudding. I can’t get enough of that stuff!
What are your thoughts on pain killers? I am sure there are times where you are in pain. What’s the best way to fight pain? Pain is a big part of wrestling, but I’m not one who takes pills. I usually don’t even take Advil if I have a headache. I’ve always been that way and luckily have always been healthy. I do know a lot of people who have had problems with pill addictions, which is another reason why I don’t go that route. However, I don’t have an addictive personality, so I would take medication properly if prescribed I guess. But there’s a big difference between use and abuse with anything, especially controlled substances.
What are your thoughts on steroids and HGH? I’ll go on record now and say I’m probably the least educated wrestler when it comes to steroids and HGH. I truly know nothing about them. They’re just not for me. I live a healthy lifestyle and have been blessed with good genetics and an excellent work ethic, so I steer clear of drugs of any kind. The way I figure it is that as long as there are giants in wrestling over 7 feet tall and over 400 pounds, why should I risk my well being to add 15-20 pounds of muscle? Will it really make that much of a difference? I’ll be fit and in the gym until the day I die, so I’ve chosen the best path for me. However, I’m not casting dispersions on those who use performance-enhancing drugs. To each his own.
Do you think wrestling could exist today without the use of illegal pain killers, alcohol, and steroids? Are you saying that drugs are what make wrestling what it is? That’s a silly question. Wrestling is built upon athletics, storylines, and larger-than-life characters. Although it seems as if drugs are running rampant in wrestling, people have to remember that each athlete makes his own choices in life.
Who have been your most well known opponents? Working down in OVW has afforded me the opportunity to be in the ring with some of today’s top WWE stars and future stars I’ve also been up to Raw and Smackdown a few times and have worked out with a lot of very popular stars.
How long have you been wrestling? January will be five years. I stepped into the ring for the first time in January 2003.
What are some of your biggest matches? As long as there are people in the seats, every match is a big match. Wrestling the Dudley Boyz in Long Island’s NYWC was a big match in front of a very large crowd. Honestly, too many to list. All are important at the time, and then it’s on to the next one.
What do you love about wrestling? Unfortunately, most of what I love no longer is seen. I loved the larger-than-life characters, the slow and methodical feud builds, and the storytelling that went on both inside and outside of the ring. I loved Piper’s Pit, Hulkamania, the Superfly Splash, the short promos in the corner of the screen during a match, and the banter between Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. Wrestling captivated me as a young kid and drew me in deeper than I could’ve ever imagined.
What was your biggest (or one of your biggest) mistake(s) in wrestling? Probably starting too late in my life. A lot of guys start in their early teens, but I didn’t get started until later. However, I went to college, got a BA, then earned an MA and etched out a great career as an English teacher before even stepping in a ring. Although I started a bit late, I brought a lot of life experience and intellect into the ring. Some wrestlers can’t even spell intellect!
What injuries have you had? Thankfully, nothing too serious. My worst injury was a torn adductor muscle that kept me out of action for almost five months. It was extremely painful, and I kept aggravating it until I took off the time to heal.
Have you ever injured anyone? If so, how? Isn’t that the goal of any fight? I don’t understand the question. Any time my hand is raised and my opponent is sprawled out on the canvas, I’d assume he’s injured. (No, I’ve never injured anyone, thank God).
Is there anything you would like to promote? Maybe a website, promotion, or t-shirt… Of course! Check out www.masonraige.com There are photos, videos, writings, and great merchandise like $10 t-shirts, DVDs, hats, and even watches! I’m all about the merch! Quality merch!
Is there anything else you would like to talk about? Sure, let’s talk more about me. Mason Raige. The Modern Day Man of Steel. Pro Wrestling’s Premier Powerhouse. Keep your eyes on me as I plan to do big things in the wrestling business. YOU CAN’T CAGE THE RAIGE!
Thanks for your time. My pleasure. You guys keep up the good work! Long live Afros!