"The Butterscotch Stallion" Mark Wilson Runs Wild Part 1
“I am elated to be associated with Impact Elite again.”
Former IZW head official Mark Wilson recently made the decision to transition away from his position as the most respected, unpartisan individual on the whole IZW roster and cashed that role and identity in for the man that I spoke with for this extended multi-part interview. Gone are the days of modesty and the understated, but respected, striped black and white referee shirt. The IZW World has now come face to face with the era of “The Butterscotch Stallion”; the flashy suits, underhandedness and arrogance that is Mark Wilson.
This Mark Wilson is personality plus and fits in extremely well with the haughty and conceited stable that has run roughshod over IZW for multiple years. With so many things in flux in IZW and as 2014 looms in the near future, it was important to end the year strong with some solid interviews and in this case, get the words straight from the horse’s mouth and find out a little bit more about the newest member of Impact Elite who has already begun to have an immediate effect on multiple feuds and rivalries.
Growing up in Missouri and spending close to a decade in Oklahoma before moving back to his stomping grounds in Neosho, Missouri, Wilson grew up around some of the best territorial wrestling in North America.
“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t watching wrestling. I often watched All Star Wrestling [Bob Geigel] on Saturday afternoons with my granddad and Tri State Wrestling [Leroy McGuirk] on Sunday nights with my dad. For a time, Harley Race was my favorite wrestler, primarily because he was a part owner of Kansas City’s All Star Wrestling and was the top man in the area, as well as a multi-time NWA World Champion.
“But my favorite, who continues to be to this day, was Ric Flair. No other wrestler in any federation wore a suit and tie to every interview. No other wrestler made the business look classier. He dressed and lived as if he traded shares on Wall Street, except his office was the ring. Flair approached professional wrestling with a sense of pride and self-assurance I’d never seen, and I wanted to be just like that,” Wilson remembered.
Wilson was quite the athlete in his younger days as he became a duel star athlete during his teens. “I played football and wrestled in high school. I actually wrestled as a heavyweight because I was in the 250 pound range. But I loved it because the heavyweight match was always the last match of the night. You could send ‘em home happy or angry.” Even in high school, Wilson’s mentality was that of a pro wrestler, always looking to give the fans their monies worth, especially in the main event, so to speak. But it wasn’t until many years later that Wilson finally took a leap of faith and pursued his lifelong dream of being involved with the business.
“When I was younger, I just knew I was going to be a professional wrestler. Even as late as my early thirties, I still thought I could perhaps find a way into the business as a wrestler. But in my generation, it was well known that, unless you knew someone in the business, there was little or no chance of breaking in. I knew no one, and there were only a handful of wrestling schools in the country, which were far too remote for me to dig up roots and relocate.
“In January, 2009, I contacted Harley Race at his wrestling academy in Eldon, Missouri. I inquired about becoming a manager. He said that I would be better off working as a referee, as managers were mostly phased out at the highest levels of our business. I set up a day, which ended up being after a huge snowstorm, to meet him and tryout.
“I immediately knew this was going to be the hardest thing I’d ever done. But I was all in. I paid my dues to the academy and Mr. Race had me working by March. I made my debut on March 21, 2009 in a WLW Ladies Title Match in which Champion Amy Hennig defeated Stacey O’Brien. The match went perfectly.
“For two years, I made the drive to Eldon to train, oftentimes twice a week. Just the 20 minute warm-up would drive many away from pursuing their dream, but I loved the physical and mental test of the whole experience. My only regret is that I didn’t begin sooner. I didn’t start until I was almost forty years old. I often wonder where I would be or what I could have accomplished had I started 15-20 years earlier.
“In April 2009, I made a point to drive to a WLW show in Slater, Missouri, which was about four hours away and in which there was a possibility that I wouldn’t even be refereeing. Mr. Race decided just before show time that I would have the second and fourth matches. I had been studying the WWE referees on television and had noted how loud they were with their instructions, counts, etc. That night, I made an effort to be more assertive and loud during my matches. After the show, Mr. Race called me aside and said he would start having me do shows on my own going forward. I will always be indebted to Mr. Race and his late wife BJ for believing in me and giving me a huge head start in building my career,” Wilson added.
Breaking into professional wrestling is never easy and very few individuals have what it takes to begin that journey, let alone succeed in a grueling business that chews people up and spits them out. For Wilson that difficult trek was compounded by breaking in to the sport at an older age than most, but he has always been honest with himself and knew it was an uphill battle. One that he would eventually win.
“By the time I contacted Harley Race, I had long given up that dream [being a wrestler]. I was and still am realistic about wrestling at my age. Although I keep myself in shape, I have a lifetime of real world injuries, aches and pains from some of the physical work I’ve done over the years and some sports injuries that left some joints less than perfect. The matches I’ve participated in within the last year are opportunities that I know were too great to pass up. But I am also very careful and I pick my spots. I’m 5’9” and 170 pounds. And I don’t have years of experience as a wrestler, so I have to rely on cunning and my Impact Elite friends to overcome the size and knowledge gaps,” Wilson continued.
But Wilson has always been an optimist and able to use every little detail to his advantage. He brings something into the ring that other grapplers don’t have.
“My experience as an official gives me an edge in the mind game with the referee. I worked side-by-side with George Knight, Brock Landers and Chance Snodgrass and know how they will react in certain situations. I’m certainly not afraid to use that to my advantage,” Wilson added.
For Wilson, the transformation into his current role might be mind blowing to outside observers, but for Wilson, this is always who he’s been. “In a very real sense, I’ve been ‘The Butterscotch Stallion’ my whole life. However, I believe it was former IZW Champion ‘Mr. Saturday Night’ Michael Barry who tagged me with the name several years ago and I ran with it. Barry and I have traveled all over the country together and he is one of my most trusted advisors and mentors. And let’s be honest here: The Stallion isn’t some gimmick. It’s who I am. I’ll make you hate me during a match and steal your girlfriend all in the same night. And your girlfriend will thank me in the morning,” Wilson ended with.
On that note, this concludes PART ONE of my interview with the one-of-a-kind “Butterscotch Stallion” Mark Wilson. In upcoming parts find out Wilson’s take on members of Impact Elite, gruesome injuries he has suffered, thoughts on owning a promotion of his own, why he doesn’t consider himself a manager and much, much more.
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