There aren’t many who would argue that Michael Richard Blais is one of the top wrestlers in Alberta, if not the entire Canadian independent wrestling scene. Since his debut in Stampede Wrestling, Blais has truly earned his moniker of “God’s Gift to Wrestling”. While always known Alberta-wide as one of the top stars in the province, the 14-year veteran has recently made waves for his death-defying maneuvers involving the likes of Teddy Hart and the PWA Original Marky. Since March, the protegee of former WWE star Tyson Kidd has earned praise from Will Ospreay and AEW’s Cody Rhodes.
Recently, Spencer Love of the Conversations With Love podcast spoke with Blais about his training with TJ Wilson, his appearances for WWE, his first independent show, and more.
Blais is one of the best free agents out there. Kidd trained. He’s also crazy. https://t.co/6E0vg7eo8X
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) March 25, 2019
Why did you become a professional wrestler?
“My first memory in life is watching Bret Hart make his entrance when I was three years old. When I saw Bret Hart, I was hooked instantly. He was the man. I wanted to be just like him; I told my mom and my dad when I was three that I was going to be a professional wrestler.”
“It’s always a straight path to pro wrestling. I never wanted to do anything else. It’s actually insane how much I couldn’t think of doing anything else.”
When did you attend your first show?
“I believe it was in 1996, I think it was the Stu Hart 80th birthday show. It was a special show that was put on in conjunction with the WWF at the time and Stampede Wrestling. I remember my mom went to get us ice cream from the concession, and she was gone for a really long time, so I, being the stupid little six-year-old kid wanted to go find her, and somehow managed to walk backstage. The 1-2-3 Kid, or X-Pac of all people, found me and took me to lost and found and stayed with me for like ten minutes and hung out until my mom came and found me. If I didn’t already want to be a professional wrestler, that would be the moment that definitely made me want to be.”
What was it like appearing on WWE TV for the first time?
“Man, it was the greatest moment in my life. It was validation for everything. I started wrestling since I was 13 years old; I told my teacher in Grade 4 that I was going to be a professional wrestler and she looked at me and said ‘aren’t you too fat to even try that’. I’ve given up so much for wrestling, too; to walk down that stage and get in that ring, even if it was only two minutes, it was validation for everything.”
“The feeling I had when I was in there was like ‘man, I belong here’. I was nervous walking down the stage, but as soon as I was in the ring and looking at the crowd I felt like I belonged. It was amazing.”
“I didn’t have much of an interaction with (Vince). He shook all of our hands, thanked us for allowing Braun to beat the hell out of us, and that’s about it. He didn’t say we were dog crap or anything, so I can’t really complain.”
Of your matches in WWE, is there one that stands out the most to you?
“That’s hard, because I’ve only had the three, but they were all so different and they were all on different shows, so there are different reasons why one could be better than the other. If I had to go based on opponent, I’d have to say 205 Live versus KENTA (fka Hideo Itami). Going all the way back years and years and years, when I was just getting into wrestling and training, KENTA was my favourite Japanese professional wrestler. There was literally a moment just before we went out when we were standing in guerrilla. I was all excited and ready to go, and then I looked at him and was like ‘holy s**t, I am wrestling KENTA!”
— Mike “The Ref” Malowany (@miketheref) June 23, 2019
How did you start training with TJ Wilson?
“When I first started wrestling training in 2003, it was through Teddy Hart, and there wasn’t really a ton of structure to it. The training happened in BJ’s gym and the idea was that it was going to be a kid’s camp, but there was no actual trainer. Honestly, for my first two months, I would just go there and roll around the ring or try and run the ropes myself. A guy by the name of Ravenous Randy took an interest in a couple of us and figured he’d teach us how to do the bare basics of bumping, headlocks, things like that.
“At the time, TJ was going back and forth between Japan and England a lot, and he just happened to get a two-week stretch where he was actually home for two weeks straight. He was me and Brandon and how hard we were working, so every day he would come in and he would say ‘do this amount of squats.’ We weren’t doing any conditioning stuff at the very beginning; we were just getting in the ring and bumping. He just kept telling us that day what do to and we kept doing it. Eventually, he had to head back to England for a month, but he told us that when he came back from England, he would start training us.”
“TJ wasn’t supposed to be our trainer. (He did it) because he’s the man, and he’s the greatest guy I know.”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any transcriptions used.