The Brawl For All was terrible. So terrible, we did a huge feature on how bad it was over five years ago. Now, we've spoken to another integral name in the tournament -- Savio Vega.
Vega, who we didn't get to hear from for the original feature, spoke to Fightful about the process of even learning about the tournament while he was injured.
"Well, I was in my home here in Puerto Rico in a recliner, putting on the [tank] because by that time my neck, I was hurt. When Bruce called me and told me the rules and the money and everything. They [asked], ‘Are you in?’ I said, ‘Yes, I’m in.’ But, I said, ‘Remember, I’m hurt right now.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s gonna be a couple of months. You’re gonna have time to fix it.’ I said, ‘Alright, let’s do it.’"
According to Savio, he claims he's the reason kicks weren't permitted in the tournament. After years of using a spinning heel kick as a finish, Savio would have to rely on something else.
"So, when we have this big meeting and put the rules by the boys—who’s on and who’s off. So, this is the crew. That’s when they say, and that’s on the media, too, I choose the guys, pull the names out. We put the rules in—there’s not gonna be no kicks, just takedowns. They say, ‘No kicks because the only karate guy here or martial arts guy here is Savio, and he’s gonna kick everybody’s ass.’ So, no kicks. So, just punching and takedowns and stuff like that. Knock outs, of course."
In the first round, Savio was paired against a yolked-up Brakkus, a failed wrestler who didn't fare much better in Brawl For All.
"So, when we’re choosing people, put me with Brakkus. I say, ‘Okay. He’s with me.’ So, he called me before the fight. ‘Savio, how you doing, man?’ He says, ‘We’re gonna fight?’ I say, ‘Yes, but for real.’ ‘This is real?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘You’re gonna win or lose this type of money and we continue.’ ‘But… But, real?’ ‘Yes, yes.’ So, he still don’t believe ‘til I give him the first punch in the ring. Now, he’s pissed. But, at the same time I’m martial arts. I believe I know how to protect myself. When I see that monster in front of me, I see those four-by-fours, those big arms, I said, ‘If he catch me with one of those, I’m going down bad. So, I cannot go down. I need to fight myself. So, that’s what I did.’ I believe I put a little bit of mind skills with what I did there. But, man. After that I looked for him. I checked on him. I don’t know, he disappeared. I hope he’s okay. I believe he’s back home, maybe. But, I hope he’s in good shape. What a body he had. That takes a lot of time. But, man, Brawl for All was tough for a lot of guys. A lot of guys," Vega said. "You have the mouth piece and something that you’re not used to doing and to have that thing in your mouth and you try to breathe and move at the same time and think. It’s a coordination. Of course, we have that coordination in the ring with wrestling, but with gloves, then you have gloves there warm and you have that mouth piece, then you have that big monster in front of you to kick your ass. It’s like, man. You need to do something here. But, he went to the distance, like you would say. I broke his nose. He was very pissed. If you see that tape, he’s across the ring looking at me like, ‘I wanna kill you.’ I just did this [he shrugs] to him. You cannot see that in the tape, but I was like, ‘You okay man?’ He’s like, ‘Ooh, I wanna kill you.’ But, if he did grab me with one of those four-by-fours, I was gonna be in trouble. But, hey, I did it."
In the next round, Vega lost to Droz via decision. Vega said that even though they slugged it out, they had a great relationship. Savio would recall the build up to that fight and one of the mistakes he made in leading up to it.
"Good. Yes, yes. Droz was—he’s still—great guy, man. Droz was a good guy, happy all the time. Man, you cannot say [anything] negative about Droz. He’s a great guy. So, listen to this. I was in a hotel, I remember. I know I’m going to fight him later that night and my ex-wife says, ‘Hey, go to the gym. Go work out. Go get ready.’ I said, ‘I’m okay. I feel okay.’ What I did, I took some fat burners to keep me in shape and what that did was make me like wood. I was like, ‘Ugh.’ No excuses. I went to the ring. If you see me, I’m walking like a [lumbering movement] and my legs was wobbly. No leg coordination, I’m like, ‘Eh.’ Good that he [didn’t] knock me out. I lost by points, but man. I wished to be there a little bit more. The one that was dangerous was Bart Gunn. He was knocking everybody just with looking at the guy, he’s already down. What a fight, what a fight," said Vega.
You can see Savio Vega in action at MLW Battle Riot III, where he's a part of the 40-man over the top rope battle royal, Battle Riot! The winner gets am MLW Title shot whenever they choose. You can see where to watch MLW at this link.