Few would argue that MLW faction the Dynasty is one of the premier factions in professional wrestling today. Since debuting for Major League Wrestling just over a year ago, the group’s main trio of Alexander Hammerstone, Richard Holliday and Maxwell Jacob Friedman has not only consistently been one of the most entertaining pieces of MLW’s programming over the past year, but one of it’s most dominant inside the squared circle. From July until November, the duo of MJF and Holliday held the MLW Tag Team Championships for a total of 119 days, while Hammerstone became the inaugural MLW National Openweight Champion, holding the title for 326 days and counting.
Recently, Hammerstone joined me to discuss working with the Dynasty, as well as how MJF’s departure from Major League Wrestling will impact the faction moving forward.
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 this move in (during) 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 competitors 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.”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any transcriptions used.