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ROH’s Scorpio Sky talks SCU origins, Being The Elite, coaching at the NJPW Dojo, CM Punk, more

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RING OF HONOR/Joe DeFalco

Scorpio Sky is a busy man these days.

The veteran California wrestler is part of a hot Ring of Honor faction in SoCal Uncensored, frequently appears on Being the Elite and coaches alongside Katsuyori Shibata at the New Japan Los Angeles Dojo. On Friday night, he’ll be challenging Punishment Martinez for the Ring of Honor TV title at ROH’s Honor for All in Nashville. The event streams live on ROH’s HonorClub digital service and is free for all members.

Sky took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with Cageside Seats about all the aforementioned things and much more.

(This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.)

Cageside Seats: You’ve got Punishment Martinez on Friday night in Nashville. ROH World Television title. Are you excited for that one? He’s having a pretty darn good year. You, along with your SoCal Uncensored group, are having a big year. You excited for this matchup?

Scorpio Sky: I am, actually. He’s really good. I like what he brings. He brings a different dynamic than a normal guy, where he’s got a full-on character. He has like a whole presence about him that’s different than everybody else. Obviously, he’s got some size, so it’s different match for me. I’m usually wrestling guys my size. So, this will be something different and I always enjoy challenges like that.

CSS: He’s a guy that works pretty stiff, has some hard-hitting matches.

SS: And I’m OK with that. I’m a fan of that type of style. I can go pretty hard, too. It should be interesting. I think it’ll be a pretty fun match for people.

CSS: You guys with SCU are getting a lot of love on Being The Elite. Has that been a cool experience, getting those cameo appearances?

SS: It’s been really cool, actually. It’s gotten to a point where I get more compliments for those appearances than I do for wrestling. People pop more about than than my matches now, which I’m fine with, actually. As long as people are talking about you, that’s what matters the most. But it’s cool to be able to show some character and have a little bit of fun and be a little loose and have people enjoy it. I’m happy to able to do it.

CSS: Are you walking down the street and people are calling “SCU! SCU!”?

SS: No joke, I was in a bar the other day and I was walking by and some guy was just like ‘SCU!’ I was like, ‘that’s great.’ … I get tweets all the time actually, of people going, ‘I’ve never even been to Southern California, I live in Scranton, Pennsylvania and I scream ‘SCU!’ all the time.’ So, it happens.

CSS: Who came up with the SCU gimmick and where do you feel is the natural evolution of it?

SS: At this point, I don’t even know where it came from. So many things come from just writing in the van or to or from shows. You’re always tossing things against the wall and sometimes they’re jokes and sometimes you’re serious and sometimes they’re jokes and turn into being serious. And I’m sure it’s one of those things is how it came about. It just kind of happened.

As far as progression goes, I think — not to show my hand — we’ve got a lot of cool ideas and stuff we can do in the future to keep ourselves fresh. Eventually, you’re gonna hit every town and you’re gonna bury every town, so you’ve gotta get to the next level. We’ve got some ideas, some things up our sleeves for that, as well.

CSS: How long have you known those two guys, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian?

SS: Pretty much my entire career. I met Daniels in 2005 and I started in 2002, 2003. I met Frankie in probably 2003, 2004. I may have even met Daniels at that time, too, I just didn’t really know him that well, because of PWG. We all worked in PWG. I was like a rookie and they were veterans. I got to share a dressing room with them and got to know them then.

CSS: Does it help to have that experience? That’s a long time.

SS: Oh, yeah. I’ve wrestled them both and just knowing them for a while. The relationship from PWG translated to them helping me out other places. I think the first time I did any WWE appearance, they had called Frankie or something and they asked, ‘Do you know any good LA guys?’ He put my name out there and I ended up getting to do something with them. Eventually, when I was in TNA for a cup of coffee they were always there to give me advice and help me out, that sort of thing.

Now, here we are in Ring of Honor. Having the relationship date all the way back brings actual trust. I know they’re not gonna try to steer me wrong. They have nothing but my best interest at heart. Getting to team up is even better, because now we get to work together. Creatively, if they do well, I do well. And vice versa.

CSS: Are you a fan, at this stage, of tag wrestling? Or do you still want a singles run in ROH?

SS: I’m pretty happy with doing the tag thing right now in Ring of Honor. That’s not to say that in the future I don’t want to transition into a singles wrestler. Obviously, I’d love to be a Television champion — I’ve got a title shot this weekend. If that works out, then I would like to have a successful singles career and eventually be world champion. Everybody wants that. I think you could do both. Right now, I’m focused on SCU. Even if I did become TV champ this weekend, I think I could still work with SCU and be TV champ at the same time.

CSS: Do you feel like you guys will be doing some more New Japan stuff moving forward? I know you were on the Long Beach show in March.

SS: Yeah, I hope so. You never know what’s gonna happen, you’ve just gotta kind of be ready and when the call comes, take it. We don’t have anything lined up at the moment, but obviously with this exposure from BTE, our name is getting out there even more. Obviously, people know Daniels and they know Kazarian and they know me to a lesser extent, but I think with the stuff we’re doing on BTE, it’s taking SCU to that next level and kind of revitalizing all of us and giving us a fresh look. I think we’re gonna be a little bit hot going forward, so you never know where we’ll end up.

CSS: How did you guys end up on Being The Elite? Did they approach you guys? Do you have an idea for something and it came together?

SS: [laughs] I don’t want to reveal any insider stuff right now. Let’s just say that everything develops in the van, like I said. A lot of times traveling, on the road. You’re joking around, you’re bouncing ideas and it’s kind of like …

I’ll tell you, without giving too much away, with BTE a lot of it is very improvised. And just like, ‘Let’s go.’ A lot of the times, it’s like, ‘Hey, let’s go, let’s do this.’ It’s not planned out like, ‘OK, 5 o’clock on Thursday afternoon we’re gonna get together and were gonna shoot this.’ A lot of it is like, we’re here and an idea happens and it’s like, ‘Oh, go!’ Without showing my hand, that’s kind of how this developed as well.

CSS: The Joey Ryan funeral scene, that had to be a little more planned out, right?

SS: Yes and no. You’ve gotta get everybody together, but at the same time everybody just kind of went up and did their bit. It was like the greatest hits. It was funny, I think, because you got to see all of the characters in one bit. I’m gonna date myself here, but I was really a little kid when In Living Color was on. It was like you got to see Fire Marshall Bill and Homie the Clown in the same segment. You saw them in the same bit. That’s like something that’s kind of different and fun you can do. I think that’s part of what made that so funny. There was no down points. It was just like, boom, boom, boom. Just lefts and rights — you got hit with everything on the show all at once.

CSS: You’re still coaching at the New Japan LA Dojo, right?

SS: Yep, right now we’re doing our third camp in two weeks. So it’s been really, really busy. I have to miss the last day, which will be Thursday, because I’m flying out that morning [for ROH]. But it’s been a good one. And we’ve got some really new guys in this week — very, very, very new to the business guys. It’s interesting and fun.

CSS: What has it been like working with [NJPW Dojo trainer] Katsuyori Shibata?

SS: He is 100 percent dedicated to the dojo, he is the head coach of every single camp. Working with him is great. He’s really, really dedicated. He’s leaving his family, he’s coming out here for weeks at a time. He’s coming to the dojo every single day. He’s not just sitting on the side and barking orders. He gets in the ring, he’s physical.

He’s great, man. Even though I’m an assistant coach, I get to learn as well. A lot of times, you get to learn by teaching. And not only that, but in previous camps he has been gracious enough to stay late and show me some of his techniques and help me with some of mine. I feel like I have become better because of it. He’s very, very smart. He’s very detail-oriented, but as the same time he’s strong — he’s stern.

Overall, this is a traditional New Japan camp style. It’s as traditional as it gets. And it doesn’t work without him.

CSS: Are you still doing MMA or are you done fighting?

SS: I’m so busy now, there’s absolutely no time for MMA. If you want to take a fight, you really need to train four or five days a week. And it’s not that often I’m even home four or five days a week. Even when I was trying to do it, I think I had like three fights back-to-back-to-back, I had opponents pull out. So it’s kind of hard to spend your time, you’re training for weeks, you’re cutting weight and dieting — which sucks — and you find out a week or two weeks out I’m not fighting anymore, the guy pulled out.

So, nothing on the horizon right now. That being said, though, if the right opportunity presented itself I honestly feel like I’m never more than six weeks away from being ready to step back in. I can pick it back up pretty quickly, even though it’s been a couple of years. I always stay in shape, I always stay pretty sharp.

CSS: So if CM Punk continues fighting and gets signed by an organization — it probably will not be the UFC — but if you were approached about that fight, something you would be interested in?

SS: First off, I want to say I wish him nothing but the best. I think it takes a lot of guts to be as successful as he’s been in pro wrestling. And at the age of [39], to switch things up and jump into an extremely competitive sport that he has no background in, in the biggest company in the world. That being said, it’s not for everybody.

I don’t know if he’s gonna continue fighting or not. If that opportunity presents itself? Yeah, of course. I’ve always said that I would be interested in taking that fight. I’ll leave it at that.