Few pro wrestlers have been as successful within a promotion over the past couple years as Alexander Hammerstone has been with Major League Wrestling. Since coming to MLW in 2019, Hammerstone has consistently been at the top of the promotion, holding multiple titles including the Openweight National Championship and currently the World Heavyweight Championship, a title he’s held since October, 2021.
Shortly before Hammerstone’s World Heavyweight Championship title rematch with the man he defeated for the title, Jacob Fatu, at the SuperFight 2023 television tapings for MLW Underground on Reelz, spoke to MMAWeekly.com about a myriad of topics including his title bout with Fatu, working with wrestlers who have MMA stylings, and what he does outside wrestling to unwind.
MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Alex, let’s talk about MLW’s move to Reelz and what it means to the promotion and to yourself to potentially gain a whole new audience on the network starting with SuperFight 2023.
Alex Hammerstone: Not only does that mean the potential for new fans and people seeing MLW for a first time, it also kind of sparks a fire under myself and a lot of guys in the locker room that we have new eyes on us for the first time, so we’re making sure we’re sharpening our tools for the day. It’s just another thing that makes us that much hungrier.
MMAWeekly.com: At SuperFight 2023 you had your long-awaited rematch with Jacob Fatu in the evening’s World Heavyweight Championship main event taped for MLW Underground on Reelz. With a rematch like this do you try to live up to and exceed the first match or is this its own match and speaks for itself regardless of what’s happened before?
Alex Hammerstone: There’s always pressure when something you’ve done is looked at as some of your finest work. Myself and Jacob at Fightland 2021 when I won the championship was looked at as one of my best matches and one of the best matches in the company’s history. Of course we feel a certain pressure to live up to expectations and hype around the match, it speaks for itself.
People expect a certain level from it, so we’ve still got to deliver, having said that, topping it should be no problem. Myself and Jacob, we’re both at 100%, we’re both in our prime and we’re both ready to rock and roll.
(Fatu is) gifted. He’s one of a kind. He’s phenomenal. He can do some incredible things that I can’t even dream of doing, but where gifts end, the work starts – and that work stars every day with me. I haven’t stopped (working) and it’s something you’re going to see in this match for sure (when it is featured on MLW Underground).
MMAWeekly.com: Also in MLW are wrestlers with a shoot-style influence like Davey Richards, and catch wrestling disciples like Davey Boy Smith Jr. What’s it like to work with guys who have styles that are influential in MMA and how do you approach a match with them as opposed to other style wrestlers?
Alex Hammerstone: I think that any wrestler who’s been properly trained should be able to fin into that style. For about five years, my tag team partner was a two time world champion in Jiu-Jitsu, a black belt (in Joe Graves). I learned from it constantly.
With the way I was taught professional wrestling, those things are a lot more similar than a lot of people think. I’m just responding to what they’re doing, making sure I have my defenses up when they need to be, then I play my game, and my game remains the same no matter who I’m facing. It’s all about riding the wave, and looking for the openings and the right moment.
MMAWeekly.com: Recently on his Drive-Thru podcast, Jim Cornette relayed a story where he saw you doing push-ups before a promo and asked you how many you could do, to which you replied, “All of them.” Cornette liked it so much he had you work it into a promo with then-stablemates Richard Holliday and MJF.
What’s it like to have one of the best talkers in the business in Cornette like something you said enough to want to add it to a promo, and for him these years later remember it?
Alex Hammerstone: It’s definitely cool. The funny thing about that (push-ups) line is I get so used to going out in public and being asked questions like, “How much can you bench?” and I’ll reply, “Whatever I want.” It’s one of those little punchlines I happen to have locked and loaded in my back pocket.
Jim Cornette, despite what some people might feel about him, you can’t take away that he’s definitely a genius when it comes to the wrestling business. He’s done incredible things. To get to work with him and learn from him and seeing the passion he still has for this, and the time he was willing to go above and beyond and work with the wrestlers in our locker room and try to help them grow was amazing – and to get to be a part of that, even for a short period of time, was incredible.
MMAWeekly.com: On your social media you’ve been posting some of your guitar playing and music you’ve been creating. Tell us about having something like music you have as an outlet outside of pro wrestling.
Alex Hammerstone: I think there’s a lot of wrestlers who when they’ve dove head-first into wrestling it becomes an all-encompassing thing, and I myself fell victim to that. It really absorbed all of my time for about a decade. I played guitar, I played drums, I played music in several bands before I got into professional wrestling, but during my pro wrestling career I got more and more serious about it, and put those things aside. I seldom looked at my guitar, much less take it out.
I’ve been very fortunate the last year or two to be at a place financially where I’m able to wrestle full time, which gives me more time to look into those old hobbies. The first one was guitar, and man, I forgot how much I loved it. It’s definitely something that’s very refreshing to take a break mentally from wrestling.
MMAWeekly.com: Thanks for taking time out for us, Alex. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?
Alex Hammerstone: MLW Superlight 2023 is a rematch between Jacob Fatu and myself with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line, the biggest prize in the company. The first match was something that was talked about all over the wrestling world, so whether you’re an MLW fan or not, you’re not going to want to miss this one (when it airs on MLW Underground).
It’s going to be a can’t-miss-show and that being said, it’s going to be on Reelz, our new home for MLW moving forward. Come support because the stars we have are unlike anything else out there – make sure you don’t miss it.