Former DEFY World Champion Artemis Spencer joins Spencer Love to discuss the Lions Gate Dojo, being underrated, Kyle O’Reilly stories, what makes a great trainer, the wrestling scene in the Pacific Northwest, and more.
The Lions’ Gate Dojo
“I’ve been teaching for ECCW for, like, 13 years, 14 years before they – I feel like they kind of shut down. Years ago, probably five, six years ago, I was joking that it’d be funny to start Lions Gate Pro Wrestling because I think it’s a cool sounding name. It’s about the Greater Vancouver area just being Lions Gate. We jokingly started calling our school the Lions Gate dojo for a little bit, and then [when] we finally made the move to just start our own school, we decided just to go with the Lions Gate dojo name. We already had like a logo and name, because we all have T shirts and stuff like that. It was kind of a clean transition, because we just kind of [went] like, ‘yeah, it’s our school now!’”
Gorgeous Michelle Starr
“In the beginning, I felt like I was there just to keep the lights on. I think the only reason I was accepted in the school was because I got the sense that they were hard up for money, and they needed a few other students. But I didn’t get the attention that I saw other students – well, they were adults that already looked like wrestlers. When I came in there just the skinny teenager, I can understand them not giving that much attention to me. Or, even when I started having matches, nobody ever gave me feedback on my matches, because nobody watched it. My relationship with Michelle Starr’s really good now. He’s probably taught me more than anybody around here in the Pacific Northwest. And, he’s still active in the wrestling scene, just giving back as he always had.”
Winning the DEFY Championship
“I’m kind of a down to earth kind of guy. I’ve won lots of championships, like in ECCW or around Vancouver. I’ve won lots of belts over the year and I’m just like, I’ve never been like, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s just kind of a prop. It’s fun, whatever.’ But, when I had that DEFY Championship, I really felt like it meant something. When I got that, a bunch of doors opened up for me and that’s when I started to believe the belts can kind of mean something. I’ve never been a belt guy, and never been all about the championship, but I can’t deny that that DEFY Championship got a lot of eyes on me from a lot of people. I’d say that DEFY World Championship means a lot to me.”
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