Exclusive: Michael Elgin on IMPACT! Wrestling, career goals, hobbies & more
Wrestling professionally since 2004, Michael Elgin is a new addition to the IMPACT Wrestling roster.
A recognized title-holder in a variety of international wrestling promotions, Elgin has been a champion in the U.S., Mexico, Japan and his native Canada.
Since joining IMPACT in late April, all eyes have been on Elgin as on his first night with the company, Elgin destroyed new World Champion Brian Cage as he celebrated his first World Championship victory.
While in town for IMPACT Wrestling shows at New York City's Melrose Ballroom -- all being taped for the company’s flagship weekly show IMPACT!, which airs every Friday night on Pursuit Channel, Twitch and globally in over 120 countries -- I had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Elgin by telephone. Our full conversation will be broadcasted on a later edition of the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz podcast.
If I've done my research correctly, you started training as a teenager and made your debut in the ring as a teenager. So I'm wondering if there was ever a point when Michael Elgin did not think that he was going to make it.
Michael Elgin: You know, it's weird that like I always of course thought I was going to make it as a wrestler. I don't know that that's how I said it to myself when I was training or when I debuted at the age of 16.
But I know that my focus of the majority of my life was to become a pro wrestler and that it was kind of the end-all be-all for me. As I said I don't know if I ever articulated it to myself at that point that,
"Hey you know you're going to make it and you're going to make a living at this, and you're going to be in big promotions and anything like that." But it was definitely my main focal point. So I think subconsciously I was definitely confident that I was going to succeed at wrestling.
You overcame a lot of adversity to become a main-eventer, so I was wondering if there's a career moment that you're most proud of at this point.
Michael Elgin: I've been given a lot of big opportunities in big promotions against big-time opponents and I feel that when given those opportunities I've always succeeded. But I think the one that was really the turning point in my career and put eyes on me and it really opened up a lot of doors was my match with Davey Richards in 2012.
Now that is a match a lot of people still talk about, but ultimately you've won all these championships in different companies. Now you're with IMPACT and of course you made a big splash with Brian Cage who you knew years prior from your work on the indies. But what is it that brought you to IMPACT? Was it that you had something to prove at that level with that company?
Michael Elgin: Yeah. There's a lot of things to prove at IMPACT. One was that I want to be a world champion and often a world championship only means as much as the performers and the company allows it to. I went back and I watched the last year of IMPACT, their pay-per-views, their TV product, and I was blown away about how great the matches were, how great the talent was... They focused on what I loved and that was pro wrestling, that was in-ring competition, and that was who wants to be the best, who wants to be world champion. I think that in an atmosphere like that you have to bring your "A" game, and that's what got me to me too.
When you're able to say that you're a world champion, which you have been before, does it actually change your life in any way besides saying, "hey I am or I was a world champion?"
Michael Elgin: In a way it changes it and it's not for the glamour. It changes it because you want to be a proud world champion. You want to be a world champion people remember. You wanted to defend that championship as often as possible, so it kind of makes you a little bit of a hermit because you need to work harder.
They always say that it's harder to stay on a mountaintop than to get there and everybody's gunning for your position. You're in a pack of many people trying to become world champion, but you were champ and that whole pack is after you...
I think that it changes and it's not for the worse, but it just changes you where you're kind of "OK, I've got to focus now even more so than I did before now that I'm the world champion... Now the real work starts because I have everybody below me gunning for me." So it definitely changes and it's not all the glitz and glamour that you would like to think it is. It really keeps you on your toes. But as an athlete, as a pro wrestler, you want that.
When I think of Michael Elgin, had I not listened to a bunch of podcasts that you were on, I would think, "OK that's a hard-working guy that accomplishes goals, that's very strong, that takes his craft very seriously." But is there something else that you wish more people knew about you? For example, that when you're not wrestling you do this hobby or that you're actually passionate about other things?
Michael Elgin: I'm passionate about, more so than anything else out of wrestling, my son and as of late sneakers.
So I guess that's kind of interesting. I'm a little bit of a sneakerhead, I kind of have a problem buying shoes. But really man outside of wrestling,wrestling really does consume me, and that's because you've got to work out. You've got to study. You've got to do all that kind of stuff, so it is a 24/7 job. When I can dial that back a little bit, it's usually just time with my son. So I would say I'm pretty boring.
I went through a stint where I was heavily following baseball and then the [Toronto Blue] Jays started sucking. So now that the [Toronto] Raptors are good I'm heavily following basketball again because those were the two sports that I took part in as a young child growing up. I've always been an NBA and MLB fan.
But when the when the Jays aren't doing so well, I try not to get overexcited about my fandom because then people are like, "How's your favorite team?" I'm like, "Let's not talk about that right now." I think what's going on right now would be the love of the NBA again and then sneakers and hanging out my son.
So I guess in closing, any last words for the kids?
Michael Elgin: Thank you for supporting wrestling, and I really appreciate it because I know without fans that are following us, a lot of fans' support, we wouldn't be able to do what we do and what we love. If there is anybody out there that has in mind that they want to be a pro wrestler, I know that people around you might not understand it and they might not get it because I went through that as a young kid. But know that if you put your mind to something, and you work hard enough that it's always achievable. So any wrestling fans out there that are hoping to make this a career, my hat's off to you and I hope that you will take the steps to do so and I hope you all succeed.