MLW National Openweight Champion Hammerstone returned to The Wrestling Inc. Daily to chat with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman about MLW's return with "The Restart". Hammerstone said he is glad that a date has finally been confirmed for MLW's return.
"I can't believe the break we've had," Hammerstone expressed. "It was just week after week. You never knew. Things just have been so uncertain and it just kept getting pushed off. We have a date. We're going to get to business. It's a really really good feeling."
The last time Hammerstone and Hausman spoke was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Hammerstone spoke on the uncertain nature of the pandemic and how an end was nowhere in sight. He admitted that there was a time that he "almost got used to not wrestling."
"It was frustrating," Hammerstone admitted. "I think the beginning stages of things were the most frustrating, back in March because back in March, we thought we were going to be back in business by April. Then April, we thought June at the latest. They just kept going and going and going. I don't think anybody foresaw how things were going to pan out, but after a while, I kind of, just to say this out there, almost got used to not wrestling.
"It was frustrating for us, but I understand the way everything was going, and MLW, they wanted a situation where they could provide good content, but also, they want to do to it the safest way for the staff, the wrestler [and] for everyone involved. So I respect that, but it is a good time for me because a couple weeks ago, we were able to open our wrestling school back up in Arizona.
"So I've been getting my reps in, and then some of the indie promotions have started to run, so I've got to have a couple of live matches back and get to the swing of things. So it's not like I'm going to be a fish out of water. I'm going to be ready to hit the ground running."
Hammerstone also discussed what it was like to for him to come back into wrestling and take his first bumps in months. He was not shy about how his in-ring return affirmed to him that he was still one of the best.
"I mean, like I said, I was lucky enough that I help teach at a school out here in Arizona, so I got to take my first bumps. Not in front of a crowd [but] I got to get that wincing pain out on a personal level," Hammerstone noted. "So yeah, it was a little bit like OK, that's rough, but as far as actually getting back to the ring and do matches again, it was actually a very good feeling because, I don't care how cocky it comes off, it was a reminder that, damn, I'm good at what I do. I felt very comfortable in the ring. I felt very much like I hadn't lost a step. It was a very good reminder that for the last 10 years of honing my craft, I'm not going to lose it just from having a couple months off."
Also in Hammerstone and Hausman's last conversation on the podcast, Hammerstone discussed changing his body and building his physique. The closure of gyms hindered those goals, and Hammerstone revealed what he did to try to stay in shape during the pandemic.
"That was definitely a frustrating aspect of things because, like I said, not understanding the timeline of how events were going," Hammerstone said. "The first initial reaction for me was just, you know what, I'm going to use this because I thought things were going to be shut down for a week. So I thought I'm gonna just take this week off. I'm going to sit at home. I'm going to let my body heal because I hadn't done that in years.
"I was prepared to just sit at home relax and be lazy because I don't do that. It's always wrestling. It's always training. It's always traveling. At first, I just relaxed, and then once I kind of realized, oh, this is going to last longer than I thought, it was a situation where I scrounged up barbells and dumbbells from friends, family and anyone who had it to spare, and I kind of set up a little bit of a workout station on my patio. And I just did the best I could."
Hammerstone admitted that AEW star Brian Cage is an inspiration to him. Cage recently praised Hammerstone on Twitter saying that Hammerstone is the only other body that has the athleticism and ring work that can compare to him. Hammerstone commented on what that praise meant to him.
"It's awesome, man. It's funny because I was just at a show with Cage," Hammerstone revealed. "We did the show in Texas a couple weeks ago, and there was a younger guy there, and he came up to me and was talking to me and asking me some questions. And he's just like, 'hey man, I've been wrestling for a couple years, and I just really hope I get to work hard. I want to work with you someday. That'd be really awesome,' and as he was saying that, Cage walked by.
"I was like, 'you know, when I first got in, I was watching tapes of that guy.' I looked up to him because I was in awe of his build and what he could do in the ring, and then a couple years later, I did get to catch up. And we have got to have several good matches together. So anytime you get praise from Brian, he's the pinnacle of body guy. I don't think anyone's going to take that title from him, but I'm happy to have second place with respect to him."
Yea he's coming up! Also the only body guy compared to me that has great athleticism and ring work with his size. If you can't move or don't know how to work, it doesnt count in my book.— Brian Cage (@MrGMSI_BCage) September 17, 2020
Hammerstone can be seen every week as part of MLW. Check out www.MLW.com for full listings of where you can watch it! Hammerstone's full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.