Mike Sullivan is a member of the Alliance of Defiance and is usually accompanied by the lovely Ms. Jenni Lee. He and
Scoot Andrews form the tag team Naturally Marvelous. The team is formerly the Florida Unified (IPW and NWA Florida) Tag Team
Champions, after Scoot and Mikey Tenderfoot were beaten for the belts at the Valentines Massacre event on February 8, 2003,
by the Shane Brothers. Mr. Sullivan is a former 4-time IPW World Heavyweight champion and a fan favorite, then known as Freedom
Ryder. Mr. Sullivan hails from Long Island, NY. This interview took place before the Never Say NEVER show on February 28,
Alan Wojcik: Was wrestling apart of your childhood on Long Island?
Mike Sullivan: I used to watch it on channel
9 on Saturday mornings. Eventually my Dad took me to shows at the Nassau Coliseum and Madison Square Garden. One of the best
shows I ever went to was when the old AWA came to Ward Melville High School, where Mick Foley graduated from. Matter of fact
I was at Micks first show.
AW: Who was your trainer?
MS: Well the first guy to train me was Bret Sawyer, the brother
of Mad Dog Sawyer. His school was in Pinellas Park. The first three months thing went well and then I began to train on my
own. Ive been trained by the likes of Dory Funk Jr., Steve Keirn, Jimmy Del Ray, Tommy Rogers, Pat Tanaka and the Bushwhackers.
Who was your first match against and what was the experience like?
MS: My brother and I worked as a team called the Freedom
Ryders. It was against my eventual partner Emory Hail (sic) and some other guy in Bradenton, Florida. We had a twenty minute
match even though they were way bigger then we were. We took a lot of heat but there werent any screwups.
AW: How did
you get involved in WCW?
MS: I was being evaluated by the Giants then manager (Jimmy Hart) and he got me into WCW. I didnt
know it was going to go anywhere. I had some pretty good matches. I worked with Scott Hall and the nWo who beat me up. I also
worked with Glacier, The Armstrongs and I teamed with Nick Dinsmore. I got cheered even after Hall beat me up. Towards the
end of my run, I could see the back area wasnt a cohesive unit like you want to see.
AW: What led you to IPW Hardcore?
I had been blackballed by the people I was associated with. Ron Neimi goes against the grain and knows good talent when he
sees it, so he gave me a chance to perform. I became their first IPW champion and its been great ever since.
created Freedom Ryder?
MS: As I said, it was my brother and I. It was a spin-off of a Captain America thing. I wanted to
avoid it being lumped in with the Patriot and even Sting.
AW: What led you to dropping that persona and going as Mike
MS: IPW was running out of heels and I was the top babyface. So thats usually the best time to turn heel.
Do you prefer being a heel to babyface?
MS: Most people prefer heel but I like being the babyface. I like being the good
guy and having the people get behind you. Being a heel if a fun though.
AW: What was it like being told you, the native
New Yorker, are going to work for the WWE in Madison Square Garden?
MS: That was awesome. That was the result of Jim Ketner
of the ECWA after I worked the super 8 tournament. He asked me to put on my biography what my dream was and that was it. Through
him and Kevin Kelley I got the shot. I worked Low Ki and it was a great match.
AW: What was the WWE locker room atmosphere
MS: You could definitely tell the difference between WCW and the WWE. In the WWE, everyone sits around the monitor
and watches the show. Vince McMahons attitude makes you want to work there and if your getting that great payday you want
to learn and be apart of the company and promote it.
AW: How was it to work for the XWF during their TV tapings?
The XWF was like all groups that start out, a little chaotic and confusing in the back. I had great matches with the Wall
(Malice) and also with Lenny Lane. It was a great payday and it was fun.
AW: You mentioned the Super 8. What was the
ECWAs tournament like to compete in, seeing they select the elite competitors for it.
MS: It felt great. I was more nervous
to compete there than I was in the Garden or the first time I worked for WCW. The fans there make you nervous, they have seen
it all. I worked Reckless Youth and I thought we had a great match.
AW: What led to the formation of Naturally Marvelous
with Scoot Andrews?
MS: We got together because we were getting jumped by the same two punks, the Strong Brothers. We had
been getting screwed in matches with them and we eventually kicked their asses in a steel cage (on September 20, 2002.) We
decided to turn on the fans because they kept cheering for the Strongs. Since then we have ruled the Florida tag team scene.
Had the Alliance of Defiance been in the works for a long time or was it a spur of the moment formation?
MS: It had been
in brewing for a while due to Ron Neimi not following through on promises. He was my manager for about three years and now
he is the Shanes do boy. We didnt want the IPW to turn into Neimis and the Shane Brothers personal stomping ground. So we
took action and the AOD has assumed control.
AW: You had no effect on Naturally Marvelous losing the Florida Unified
Tag Team titles last show. What are your feelings on what happened at the Valentines Massacre?
MS: Of course if the same
thing happened to one of the Shane Brothers, they wouldnt have had to defend the belts. Mikey Tenderfoot, being the devoted
AOD follower, did his best to stand in even though he is not a wrestler. Scoot was whooping the Shanes but they were too much
with Ron Neimi and Eddie Edwards stacking the deck against him.
AW: Do you prefer tag team work to single work?
It depends on the situation. Sometimes I like to tag, especially if there are good workers involved in the match. Single matches
have been the major part of my career path. Its been nice to get back into tagging with Scoot.
AW: Word association.
MS: The illegitimate love child of Herve Villences and Nipsy Russell.
AW: IPW World Champion and AOD
member Rod Steel.
MS: The coolest cat in professional wrestling.
AW: New AOD member Agent Steele.
MS: The most
volatile wrestler in the business today.
AW: Ousted AOD member Billy Fives.
MS: Hes just a short jacked up punk.
New AOD member Roderick Strong.
MS: The Strong brother with the talent. Sedrick has been riding Rodericks coattails.
The Shane Twins.
MS: The biggest pair of meatheads Ive ever seen in my life.
AW: Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels.
Hes awesome. Every independent wrestler wishes they could have the career he has had.
AW: The fans of IPW.
are the greatest true hardcore fans whether they like me or hate me. I have to give them their props.
AW: Your valet/manager
MS: The hottest chick in the world.
AW: Your partner and AOD member Scoot Andrews.
MS: The best.
Where do you hope to see Mike Sullivan at the end of 2003?
MS: Hopefully in one piece. Maybe get a tour of Japan, thats
one of my last goals in the business.
Thanks to Mike Sullivan for his time