If you’re a fan of Gentleman Jervis Cottonbelly, then you’re certainly familiar with his acclaimed match against now-AEW star Orange Cassidy at WrestleCircus in 2019. While some may not be a fan of the comedy-wrestling genre, it’s inarguable that the Jervis/Cassidy tilt stands out as one of the pinnacles of the genre.
Jervis Cottonbelly recently joined Spencer Love for a wide ranging interview, and as part of the conversation he was asked about his heated tilt with Orange Cassidy.
“So, the match that I had with Orange Cassidy in 2019” he begins. “It was at Wrestle Circus in Austin, Texas. I was asked by the promoter at Wrestle Circus, ‘who do you want to face? Pick your battle!’ The first person that came to mind was Orange Cassidy, and not just because he was on a real true rise in professional wrestling and having, you know, a heck of a year, excuse my language. But, I chose him because he actually taught me how to wrestle.”
It wasn’t just Cassidy that taught the future Gentleman Jervis to wrestle, but a variable who’s-who of independent wrestlers of the day.
“My very first day of professional wrestling school, it was he and Chuck Taylor that were my teachers,” Jervis states. “I would say between 2012 and (2016), I probably spent at least one or two nights a week on Chuck Taylor’s floor or his couch. We spent a lot of time together, and to be honest with you, before I met Drew Gulak with the Gentlemen’s Club – so that’s Drew Gulak, Chuck Taylor, Swamp Monster and Orange Cassidy. So they’re an old stable from you can see them in Evolve, Chikara, (and) a couple other places, but I learned from them. So when I started learning from them and traveling with them, we started to have matches together. So Orange Cassidy and I, believe it or not, the things that we did in the match that we had at Wrestle Circus, we had done those in 2014 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. You can find the match, it’s on YouTube! It was just the two of us. I even put him to sleep and covered him up. I knew that that was a special way to get him down for the count! But, if you can see, he did that crucifix to me and rolled me up. I had never seen that before. So, I guess he’d been working on his defenses.”
While the two had worked together previously, Jervis says, his match against Cassidy at WrestleCircus is his favourite of his career thus far for a myriad of reasons.
“So we’d already had two one-on-one matches and then we’ve had some tag team action against one another. I just thought that it’s been – I moved to California in 2015. So I spent a couple years apart from them and I wanted him to see that I’ve improved, but also that we could make the type of wrestling that he taught me how to make. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Bryce Remsburg, Mike Quackenbush, you know, the people that were – Eddie Kingston – that I learned from all these people at Chikara. That’s where I trained and where I started. And before I was a wrestler, I thought I just want to be, you know, I was about 225 pounds and I was very big and strong and I used to want to be like a 2013 WWE prospect, you know. I thought that that’s what I was supposed to be in wrestling but then I started to train with Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor and those fellows and I saw how much fun they were having and how they took serious the training and the art form, but they didn’t take serious how they were perceived by the audience because they just wanted their audience to have fun. They didn’t care how silly they looked, as long as the audience was having a good time. That was always their goal. If you go and watch Chuck Taylor’s work, you know, for the last 10 years, the audience always has a good time. And that’s the kind of wrestler I decided I wanted to be as soon as I started training with them. Fast forward to 2019, I asked him specifically, and when we saw each other with a big hug. We knew it was going to be good, because the entire time that we were talking about, you know, ‘and this is how we want to have our match,’ the whole time we were laughing and falling on the floor and just screaming laughing, because no one likes our work better than us. That’s my favourite match! It’s my favorite. I love that match. Yeah, it’s my favorite.”
As all the best stories do, Jervis’ answer concludes with an excellent story about famed rapper and infamously poor chooser of future presidents, Lil’ Wayne.
“You know, I once heard of a story where, in 2007, the rapper Lil’ Wayne released an album, where he borrowed production from every other artist and then he did his own version of the song. And it was really good, and he didn’t charge any money for it. It was a mixtape. And because of this, everyone had a copy, and everyone was listening to it. A friend of mine, who lived in Miami at the time, he called me and he said, ‘you know, Jervis, I saw Lil’ Wayne driving a Lamborghini today playing his own album at maximum volume! It was The Drought III, and I thought to myself, ‘you know, that’s the kind of energy I want in my wrestling career.’”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any transcriptions.