Makita talks Ring of Honor, meeting Eddie Guerrero, his final opponent, wrestling in South Africa and more (Exclusive)
Makita made a name for himself in the pro-wrestling scene by becoming the first wrestler born in Cameroon to compete outside the African continent. He originally went to the United States so he could play soccer, but what he found instead, was even better. He made his dream of becoming a pro-wrestler a reality, thanks to the advice of a WWE Hall of Famer.
I had the chance to talk to the former Ring of Honor Top Prospect competitor and current Slamforce Africa wrestler himself in an exclusive interview regarding his time in ROH, who he wants to share the ring with before hanging up his boots and his upcoming match in South Africa.
SK: You made the jump to professional wrestling in 2010 after originally being a soccer player. When did you first decide: 'Okay this is what I want to do. I want to be a pro-wrestler?'
Makita: Uh... I would have to say as soon as I knew that, Uhm, actually—technically it was through Eddie. You know who Eddie Guerrero is? Yeah, I had met Eddie Guerrero once, Uhm, at a uh, it was like a press conference that they had for like a WWE pay-per-view and he—I-I we had a little talk and the talk was about, you know, my future in life and everything like my dreams and what I wanted to do and I had told him I wanted—I thought about wrestling but at that point I was so little in size and I didn't think, you know, wrestling was meant for guys like me who were really small. His advice was that him and Rey Mysterio were small, you know, so like, there's a possibility that, you know, a guy our size could become champion.
And I didn't believe him till I actually watched him become champion then I also watched Rey become champion. That year that Rey Mysterio became champion was the year I think, it was the—let me see now—it was the year Eddie was put in the Hall Of Fame that WrestleMania. I was actually there live in Chicago, and once I watched Rey win the title, that was the day that it clicked in my head. I went, 'Eddie told me this would happen.' And for it to have happened, uhm, it—I just—it was meant for me to do this. So then I got into wrestling. Right after that.
SK: You are the first Cameroonian professional wrestler to compete outside the African continent. Take us through the journey of how that started out.
Makita: Uhm... I was actually in the United States Army. I came to-I came to America, went to school here. I thought coming here I was going to start playing uh, soccer here, which was a bad choice of mine. My dad gave me an option to either stay in Cameroon and start working with the I, uhm, Cameroonian youth national team or come to America. And I thought 'oh well, America has good opportunities so I might just get to bigger-bigger leagues coming to America.'
Little did I know, when I came here, it wasn't like that. There were no leagues here that were that big. The MLS wasn't even—I don't think the MLS was created then or if it was it wasn't even that big yet. So... uhm, at that point I went through school and there was really no other ambition, you know, like I-I-I wasn't even interested in anything else so I joined the army. And while I was in the army, and you know, the whole story with Eddie Guerrero—met him all of that. Once my time with the army was almost up I said 'okay I need to do something else.'
So I figured, wrestling was going to be it. I had met a man by the name of Marvin Ward. And he uh, he came to one of my—he came to my former high school and I just randomly just said to him:
"Hey uhm, I see that you're bringing wrestling to my school. Can I help out in anyway to perform?"
He goes: "Yeah, sure you can. You can come and help us advertise."
And for some reason in my head, I just went: 'I've watched the referees and, you know, professional wrestling. I've seen how they do things. Why can't I just ref, you know? Just see if I can just do like just follow what they do in television, you know, it's easy. Just follow the rules and I'll get it down fast.'
So I just told him like:
"Hey, I've been training to be a referee," which is kind of a lie.
And he goes: "Okay, so I'll let you ref a couple of matches on the show."
Uhm, he gave me like a trial for like two matches and once I did it, he was really impressed with what he had seen. Then next thing you know he told me, he said:
"What do you think of becoming a wrestler?"
I went: "I don't mind that, I actually wanted to be a wrestler but I didn't know what schools to go to, I didn't have money to pay for training and anything like that."
So he sent me to a guy named Michael Taylor and his wife Tracey who live in Atlanta, Georgia. And I started training with them. And... here I am today (laughs)."