Maximum Capacity is the largest professional wrestler working today. He may stand less than 6 ft 5 inches, but he weighs in at over 600 pounds. He is a former FOW hardcore champion. This interview coverers Maxs varied professions of the past, his present wrestling career and his future endeavors in Europe and possibly a return to IPW Hardcore. This interview was conducted before Max watched an IPW Hardcore show in the famed Florida Wrestleplex of St. Petersburg.
Alan Wojcik: Where did you grow up and was wrestling apart of your childhood?
Maximum Capacity: I was born in Newark, New Jersey but I have lived the most of my life in Florida. I didnt start following wrestling until the late 90s. Growing up I watched a little bit of the WWE when they did the Saturday Nights Main Event shows. Football was really part of my childhood.
AW: Is it true that you are a well accomplished bowler?
Max: At one time I was a very good bowler. I hold a 300 game to my credit. Any one that knows about bowling, I was a legit 220 bowler until I began training for wrestling, then I gave it up.
AW: When did you begin bouncing and can you tell me where you worked?
Max: Since I became an adult (Max is 25 years old.) I retired from bouncing and bounty hunting about four years ago. I bounced in many what you can call gentleman clubs throughout Florida.
AW: How did bouncing lead to body guarding and can you tell us about who you gave guarded?
Max: I wont drop any names but many of my clients knew me from when they frequented the gentleman clubs where I bounced. They asked me if I would accompany them on trips. It was more a side job for me.
AW: How did all of that lead to bounty hunting? What was the largest bounty you ever collected on?
Max: Need of money led me to become a bounty hunter. There is tons of money to be made but it is very dangerous, even as much of a bad ass as I am. I am semi-retired from it and Johnny Vandal is a dick.
(Johnny Vandal stands in front of Max giving him an obscene finger gesture)
Max: I semi-retired from it because I felt it was time and I am lucky. I count my blessings every day that something bad never went down. I made upwards of hundred of thousands of dollars throughout my career.
AW: What led you to becoming a professional wrestler and training with the school of hard knocks of south Florida?
Max: I stumbled upon Florida Championship Wrestlings website one day. I had no idea that independent wrestling existed. I only thought there were the big three of WWE, WCW and ECW. I felt I have a unique look, Im big and bad. So I decided to attend one of their shows in June of 1999. I knew nothing of going to wrestling school. (Former IPW World champion) Billy Fives who was wrestling as Billy Viper befriended me and he is the reason I began training.
AW: Who ran the training classes and what did the training consist of?
Max: When I went through school it was run by Rusty Brooks and Flex Magnum. There were many veterans around like Billy Fives, Sean Allen, the Market Crashers, Bruno Sassi and Dave Johnson. All of those guys helped train me. They taught me the basics, but I learned lots more when I began actually getting into matches due to my size. Rusty knows how to wrestle as a big guy but he could only teach me so much.
AW: Where did the name Maximum Capacity come from and how much of you is the character of Maximum Capacity?
Max: I was named by Bobby Rogers and Jodi X of FOW. They had the name for years but were waiting for the right person to come along. Max and I are as close to you can get when you put a person and his gimmick together. What you see is what you get. Max might be a little less caring than me and he might not care what his actions will lead to.
AW: What are your first match memories?
Max: I dont remember any of it. Rusty Brooks decided to work me in a cowbell match and I got a concussion, thanks Rusty. Ive seen it on tape a few thousand times and after I get done throwing up from watching it, I learned from it the finishes arent always as they are called in the back. Sometimes you have to improvise.
AW: What was the first promotion you got your big break with, was it Future of Wrestling?
Max: FOW was the first place that gave me my big start. I worked for IPWA and SFCW but they were the same kind of fed. FOW gave me the name and the big push.
AW: Not long after you were joined FOW, you were involved in a match with between Dave Johnson and Jerry Lawler. What was it like to be in a match with Jerry Lawler?
Max: That was nine months into my training. I was sh#$@ng bricks at the time to be in the same match and Dave and Jerry Lawler. Here is a WWE guy I see on Raw and now here he is in front of me. I was given the biggest spot in the match. I am the reason Dave goes over in the match and it led to lots of heat from the veterans in the back. They didnt think I deserved it, they felt they deserved it. Later on I realized it is about size and character and not how much you have paid your dues. I felt guilty but I my never get that chance again.
AW: Not long after that match you got in the ring with a man called the Punisher. What is it like to wrestle that large man?
Max: Oh my god that guy is stiff. We went to a no-contest and thank god because it ended the beating. He is the largest person Ive sever seen but a very nice guy out of the ring, not to ruin his image. He blew me up because he was tossing me around like I was a doll.
AW: What was it like to wrestle Bruno Sassi in December of 2001?
Max: That is my favorite worker. He is the best guy in the ring. It was 14-15 months from when my training began and I worked him for the FOW international title. This guy put me over like a million bucks. He sold for me like I was a veteran and hes been wrestling for over ten years. That is my greatest match to date. I will never forget what he did for me in that match.
AW: You are a former FOW Hardcore title holder, defeating Bobby Rogers.
Max: That was on the same night as I wrestled Bruno, so that was a good night for me. Unfortunately some personal issues came up and I was stripped of the title about two months later having to wrestle and lose it to Barry Horowitz, who we know is not a hardcore wrestler. 2002 was supposed to have been my year going from the hardcore title to possibly the heavyweight belt, but I had to take time off.
AW: Is it true you were in a car accident?
Max: The car accident was a work to cover my injury that happened about one year ago. I was in the hospital for a leg injury that led me to be in the ICU unit for five days. I was knocking on deaths door. The doctors told me that if they hadnt stopped the infection from spreading through my body, I would have died within a few weeks. I am lucky to be here sitting talking to you or anyone for that matter.
AW: You mentioned Billy Fives, what is it like to wrestle Billy?
Max: Billy Fives is a marshmallow.
(David Babylon stops to taunt Max.)
Max: But David Babylon is probably softer. Seriously, Billy was an honor to work with. He is one of the better workers around many people dont know it but that match was a lesson match. It was supposed to be a shoot, Billy had his Japanese martial arts gear ready to go out there and kick the hell out of me, but thank god Bruno Sassi made Billy change his mind. It was still a shoot but not the way Billy wanted. It was the first time I bled the hard way. We were still shooting because Billy was tired of my antics and my attitude but the boys of IPW saw the match and that match got me into IPW Hardcore. They saw I kept coming back for more from Billy. After the match I went to the back and didnt go nuts and carry on. Billy and I are good friends because of that match.
AW: Unfortunately as we sit here FOW is defunct. Can you comment on some former FOW workers that have become successes in IPW Hardcore? For example your comments on David Babylon.
Max: David and I go back a while. We trained together when he first started; but we dont have the relationship I would like to have. I wish we were closer friends. I think he looks down on me as a wrestler. He doesnt give me the respect I feel I deserve as you just witnessed. I like him but we seem to clash. The kid is going to be good, but he is still green. He will be great because he lives this sport and he paying his dues.
AW: What about Antonio Banks?
Max: He might be the closest guy to being the 100 if you rated someone on their physique, attitude, charisma, look and professionalism, he would be a 99. His physical build is amazing. He is true heavyweight but he can go with the cruiserweights. He is the closest big thing ahead of Brock Lesnar. He should be one of the big boys on the indy scene.
AW: What about the trio from the mean streets of Boca Raton, Ricky, Tommy and Johnny Vandal?
Max: Many people say that Johnny is the best of that threesome. Johnny is only 18 and he has been working for 2 years. If he works and dedicates himself he will be one of the best. Tommy is one of the most underrated workers around. He has great skills and can make himself into a great singles wrestler. Ricky unfortunately is not into wrestling as much as the other guys should be.
AW: The last people we will talk about are the Allens who also work as Suicidal Tendencies.
Max: Sean Allen is a big favorite of mine, I mark out for him. I know Dennis Allen as well. Sean is great in the ring. Ive wrestled those guys a few times. Many dont know Seans name because he has a life outside of the ring. He is a great worker, as well as Dennis who has paid his dues in this business. They are great tag team.
(Naphtali stops by to listen in on the interview)
AW: What is it like being a large man and wrestling a cruiserweight like Naphtali?
Max: Believe it on not we had a great match on FOW TV. It made sense for us to be in there together and I think he will agree, we had a great match even though I outweigh him by 500 pounds
Naphtali: I agree it was a great match, I went in thinking this was going to be the drizzling sh#$s. but it turned out well and it got over.
(Naphtali leaves and we thank him for stopping by)
AW: Many IPW fans will remember you debuting in IPW when you helped Bobby Rogers win the IPW Hardcore title at "the Aftermath" from Havoc, Kubiak and Chaos. Were you nervous appearing on a show that also had on it Mike Awesome and then NWA World champion Jeff Jarrett?
Max: Not at all. The only time I get nervous in the ring is when the fear of getting tired washes over me. I can work in front of millions and getting in front of a camera. Fans might not realize it, when you get blown up you lose your entire thought process. You wonder where your next breath is coming from and you forget the match. Many may say get in shape, well I weigh 600 pounds. Part of my gimmick is blowing up in the ring. Im not ashamed of it. Im not an incredible cardio freak like these guys. As far as the Aftermath show, it was cool to be around guy like Jarrett and Awesome. I think I deserved the hardcore title since I did all the work that night.
AW: You have wrestled Billy Fives, but what was it like to wrestle Superfan Mark Zout as Billy Fives when Zout was the IPW TV champion in match in Davie, Florida?
Max: I saw that on the booking sheet and thought you got to be kidding. It was a great rib. The fans in Davie werent going to get the gimmick, not understanding why he was dressing as Billy. We did many things in that match that Billy and I did, including the choke out. Mark was a good champion. I would love to see Mark Zout as Maximum Capacity, go out there get blown up and not even wrestle a match (laughs.)
AW: You were supposed to be in the Rage in the Cage match which is a come as you are elimination cage match. But the other competitors didnt even let you get in the cage. Any memories of that night?
Max: Lets do the math here. I am 600 pounds going into a cage that I could barely fit through. Now if I fit through the door, do you think anyone is going to toss me out the door or over the top of the cage?? No way. So the IPW guys might be dumb, but they figure if Max Cap gets in the ring, Max Cap will win the match and he gets a shot at whatever belts he wants. I thought I would go right after the IPW World tag titles and be champion all by myself. There was a big conspiracy in the IPW office and locker room. No matter what you do, keep him out of the cage. This is my first show back to IPW since then, almost five months ago. Any coincidence there?? The office knows they cant control me and I am not a pretty boy champion. I go in there and kick peoples butts. Guys like Billy Fives, Lex Lovett and Scoot Andrews are pretty boys. They wrestle without their shirts. Ron Niemi, the four foot tall man, marks out to these guys and makes them champions.
AW: You have website, maximumcapacity.com. How did your site mascot come to be Grumpy Bear of the Care Bears?
Max: Well it is because he is grumpy all the time and so am I. Max Cap has a soft side, not only in my belly. There are times when I will sit and watch love story and a tear will come to my eye. Because rather than be laughing, I will say that stupid witch is playing this guy for a fool, all along she was playing this guy for a fool. So Grumpy Bear is there strictly there as sarcasm to mock society and the Care Bear freaks out there.
AW: What did you do to celebrate your 25th birthday?
Max: I went out to a FSCW show. Worst experience of my life. The show was fine but there was some backstage stuff that occurred that should never happen on any show and it cost me working on another groups show. Other than that I eat a pizza and drank a six pack.
AW: You were recently on the world famous Jerry Springer show. What is it like to be on Jerry?
Max: It was fun. My show was their most watched episode ever in their history. I was the most over guest on any talk show ever. They flew me up there two times to film it. I would like to go back again. I had the boys calling me up raving about it.
AW: Recently you ended your affiliation with wrestletalklive.com. Can you talk about what happened?
Max: Two reasons, one the guy who runs it is a big time mark. Real wrestlers cant handle marks, its a known fact. The other is he didnt like the way I acted on the show, a lady guest told him I wasnt nice to her. Maximum Capacity hasnt changed the way he has acted in two years. My sense of humor might have caused the breakup. Ever since I left his show has gone down hill.
AW: You will be going to Europe in the next few weeks. What can you tell the readers about this trip?
Max: I am going over to Austria on October 7th to wrestle Chris the Bambi Killer on a EWA show on October 11th. Their booker was surfing the net and he found my site. He was enamored with my incredible girth and me being the largest wrestler alive. Thats a shoot, at 600 pounds I am the largest professional athlete working. He was only going to have me wrestle a match but they decided to put me against their champion. It is going to be my first international exposure and I am excited. I hope to bring back their world title belt.
AW: On a closing note, what do you hope the future holds for Maximum Capacity?
Max: I hope to be part of IPW; I think they are the best independent promotion going. I want to tour Europe and that looks to be coming to be in early 2004. My biggest goal is to work with IPW and hope Vince McMahon brings in the real BIG SHOW, Maximum Capacity!!
Many thanks to Maximum Capacity for his time. Check out his site www.maxcapacity.com . For more on IPW log onto www.ipw-hardcore.com or www.ipwhardcore.tv For information on EWA, their site is www.ewa-wrestling.com