Alex Hammerstone is the powerhouse of The Dynasty faction in MLW and now he's opening up about his fast rise with “the renegades.”
Speaking with Spencer Love, Hammerstone opened up about the state of his career in 2020 and what's next for himself and The Dynasty with MJF gone from MLW.
The following quotes were passed along by Spencer Love.
Why he chose to sign with Major League Wrestling:
“Realistically, there were some options on the table. (With) MLW, we kind of have the image where I don’t think anything’s tarnished the companies image. I think we’ve been on a steady climb, and people see us as that alternative that’s continuing to grow. So, from one aspect, we have a good look. There’s nothing bad tarnishing the company. There’s no this, that or the other. There’s no black eyes. But, besides that, when they approached me it was much less ‘hey, here’s a number, I think maybe we want to sign you. You seem like a guy we might be able to do something with.’ It was a ‘hey, we want to sign you, we want to start you on this date, do you want to do it? Because we have some plans for you.’”
“That’s what I wanted to hear. I’m the type of guy who wants to dig my teeth into something. Especially (with) where I was at with pro wrestling, I’d been doing it for so long, and I’d kind of gotten to a point where I was feeling stuck and I was feeling like ‘oh my gosh, give me something. Give me a ball and let me run with it, and if I fall, then fine,’ but I’d rather do that than just pick up bread crumbs and be collecting a paycheck. I wanted to do something, and I think it’s paid off huge. The last year, the difference in name-value that I have is incredible, and it’s a huge part thanks to MLW.”
If signing with MLW was the right decision:
“Oh yeah. One hundred percent. It really comes down to where I think we have a company where they’re looking for who’s going to step up (and) who’s going to kill it. If they could put you in a situation where you’re wrestling great matches with the talent on the roster, then they send you to Japan and you wrestle great matches in Japan, you wrestle great matches with luchadors. I’m not trying to toot my own horn and say I always have great matches, but I think I’ve stepped up to the plate in that regard.”
“Not only that, but from a behind-the-scenes standpoint, people who are going to be on time for their pre-tapes, who are not going to miss flights, who are going to do media, who are going to do all the things that some of the fans don’t always see. It really is a company where I feel like you have the chance to grab the brass ring, and it’s very, very obvious that there’s no one holding you down, there’s no politics in the locker room. It’s really come and take it and you’re going to get it.”
What differentiates him in MLW:
“One thing some people might not realize is I’ve been doing this a little bit longer than some. I’m not some 20-year veteran, but I’ve been (wrestling) about ten years, whereas some of the guys on our roster are closer to three, four, even five (years). That difference in time gives me a different perspective on things, a little bit more maturity. And, not to say in the sense of being immature, but the maturity of my vision of the business and how to conduct myself and how to play certain situations.”
“Not only that, but just the way I was trained was also a little bit old-school. But, I really think I’m seeing how the new age of pro wrestling works, too, as far as carrying yourself on social media, interacting with the fans in the right way, engaging in the right way, but still maintaining those old-school qualities in the ring and in my promos and things that fans can relate to. Some guys are old school, but they’re not resonating with the fans of today, and then some of the new age (wrestlers) are doing all the cool stuff, but they have no substance to what they’re doing. I think I’m finding a good job, hitting my stride blending those two things together.”
How the Dynasty has impacted his career:
“The thing with Max is Max is one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met in wrestling. I still get caught up sometimes in the things I think are cool in the moment, or I get married to an idea that I want to do this thing. Max is always, always, always able to step back and see the bigger picture. Sometimes, people might say ‘oh, what he did here was boring,’ because they look at this one thing. In reality, Max is one of the most over wrestlers in the world right now. So if you try to judge this one thing he did and say ‘oh, this match was lame,’ or ‘this segment was boring,’ or ‘that thing he said wasn’t this,’ because he’s not trying to do the coolest thing every single time. He’s working on the bigger picture. He’s really taught me to step back and view things for the bigger picture sometimes. Some wrestlers are so concerned with getting, y’know, this move in in a match, and it’s like, ‘why? Why are you doing that?’ Yeah, you’ll have a cool .gif you can put on Twitter, but that’s not going to get you the $100,000 contract. Max was always able to see that bigger picture.”
“Holliday, he’s such a good character. He’s such a good promo guy. The thing with him is when we first started the Dynasty, he wasn’t getting the fair shake. It was kind of like me and Max were going back-and-forth, and Holliday was just there if you watch the very early Dynasty stuff. The first couple episodes and promos that we did, they almost didn’t give Richard speaking lines. I just kept trying to get him to squeeze in and take his share. Like I said earlier, once he started talking, they realized how good he was, and they gave him more and more and more. I’ve just learned to be more of a spontaneous character being around Holliday. As much as people might think we do multiple takes of promos or sit there and decide what’s going to be funny, some of our most iconic Dynasty lines are just off the cuff, because we’re just playing off of each other. Very, very seldom do we go ‘ooh, let’s re-shoot that.’ It’s usually ‘that was great! Let’s take that.’ He’s taught me how to be a character in the moment a lot better.”
How MJF’s departure will affect the Dynasty:
“Obviously, to an extent, Max had a lot of eyes on him and a lot of people with the perception he is what he is just because he’s on a competitor's show. So, there’s some people who were watching specifically for him and being like ‘ooh, he’s the star, and these guys are with him.’ I do think MLW and just the way we made sure we came across from the get-go was very much (that) we stood out in our own way.”
“When the Dynasty first started, I was concerned about it hindering me in that regard (of) ‘is this going to steal my thunder (and) steal my spotlight?’ I’ll be honest. I’m a selfish guy. I want the biggest piece of the pie. I want to stand out. I want to be the top guy in the company. But as we got rolling, I didn’t feel that at all. I didn’t feel like it was chaining me down, I didn’t feel like it was holding me back. I know we were a group faction, but I feel like we all found our ways to stand out on our own.”
“With Max gone, I think to some fans the perception might be me standing out more, but that’s all it is. I don’t think it’s anything other than fans are going to perceive things the way they perceive them. The way it is is I’ve been a singles champion having big-time singles matches and big-time main events for months now, so regardless of Max’s position, it is what it is.”
If he was surprised being offered an MLW contract so quickly:
“Yes. I hadn’t even met them. I had contacted MLW when they first rebranded, because I’m very good friends with Gangrel, David Heath. We were just kind of shooting the shit one day, and he brought them up. He was like ‘hey, I did a one-off for these guys, they might be a good place for you to work.’ So, I sent them an email, and they were very nice, but nothing ever came from it. Then, pretty much beginning of 2019, they sent me an email asking me a handful of questions about working there, and I answered them. The response wasn’t ‘hey, here’s a date, can we book you?’ It was ‘hey, here’s a contract, do you want to sign it?’
“Again, that goes to speak for their faith in me as a performer, because the only other company that I was kind of really discussing things with and really contemplating trying to sign with, I had done multiple events with them. I had had matches with them. I had had matches against people on their roster, and they were still sitting there on the fence about whether or not to use me. Whereas MLW, all they had to go off was the footage they had seen and the word of mouth of people on their staff that were in my corner. It was a very good feeling to have a company say ‘hey, we already know that you’re going to be one of our guys.’”
You can read the full interview at this link.