411 Interviews: Sugar Dunkerton of Chikara and Beyond Wrestling
Posted by TJ Hawke on 12.19.2011
Sugar Dunkerton sits down with 411mania's TJ Hawke to discuss Chikara, working with Colt Cabana, Beyond Wrestling, traveling to Japan and much more!
Sugar Dunkerton is an independent wrestler who has worked for many companies in his career. Currently, he is a part of the Chikara and Beyond Wrestling rosters, while he has also recently competed for DGUSA, Evolve, CZW, and he has traveled to Japan to compete for Taijiri's independent promotion, SMASH.
TJ Hawke: The Throwbacks have been a fan favorite tag team for a while now. What has it been like to team with Dasher Hatfield? You guys got a real strong push to start, as you defeated FIST twice in your first three matches; how do you feel like you guys have progressed as a tag team since then?
Sugar Dunkerton: He and I are obsessed with CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT. We literally were a team that had to make it work from the moment we were placed together. The chemistry was there and thus far; it's the kind of relationship where we learned as we went along. We still do. But the click has been constant and we've grown as a team together. We bring out the best in each other each and every time out and it's beyond a "he's got what I lack" pairing. It's become a "we challenge each other to be better wrestlers" pairing. The fans have invested in us from the beginning and their energy gives US energy. We want to return that 10 fold and we're going to give them every reason to believe. We're as good as any team out there; the only separation is opportunity, daddy-o.
TJ: The Throwbacks recently challenged FIST for the Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas at Maiden Flight of the Condor. Despite the loss, were you proud of the match? Is tag title gold your top priority in Chikara going forward?
SD: If you're not out to be top of the tops in what you do, why chase it, ya dig? The tag title match was a bittersweet one. It was some of our strongest work to do date and I think we opened eyes in regards to if we could hang our not when it came down to it. But there's always gonna be the stab of not taking home the gold. It's gonna be a climb to get another shot; but when you get THAT close...the taste of ultimate success right there on your lips, nothing else will satisfy. 2012 is all about going above and beyond what the world knows of us. It's not enough to be best in CHIKARA; we want the world too broham.
TJ: Occasionally, you The Throwbacks also work as a Trio with Matt Classic, one of Colt Cabana's alternate characters. Have you learned a lot from working with Colt?
SD: He's a master of doing a lot while doing VERY little. This business is two things if nothing else. Details and emotion. I've been enough places and seen enough things to know that moves and flash only go so far. It's the details and the emotions that come with it that seal the deal. Colt can create such investment in his actions with a look, a subtle motion, or creating an opportunity for the crowd to feel one with the match. I can't say enough how master of a showman he is and I always feel like I've learned something new and exciting when we link up. How a guy like that isn't making WWE or TNA some serious money is beyond me. Simply put; I can care more about what Colt does in 3 minutes than what some guys get 30 minutes to try and do. You can't teach that. It's what I push for every match, every time.
If you have never seen The Throwbacks wrestle, I suggest you check out their match with The Batiri, as provided by Chikara
TJ: Besides Chikara, another company where you are working a lot is in Beyond Wrestling. You just recently started working there as a trio with Pinkie Sanchez and Aaron Epic, the #KOA. What are the goals of this new unit?
SD: Epic, Sanchez, & myself are good friends. We want success and most of all, we're deeply passionate about this business. We've made sacrifices and pushed ourselves beyond our natural limits for the stake we have. All we want is more. There are guys who complain, gripe, & place the blame on everyone but themselves as to why they aren't higher up in the business than what they are. It's a BS stance. Talent, true talent, is undeniable. You can try to cast a shadow over it, but it'll always shine through.
So #KOA is that mentality. We worry about wrestling. Period. Best match we can possibly give and more. The pure aspect of making the very match you're wrestling the most beautiful piece of work you can create until your next one. THAT leads to bookings. THAT leads to recognition. THAT is a wrestler's mentality. #KOA actually stands for "Kings Of The Armory". We joke a lot about how Hashimoto, Muta, Chono, Misawa, etc were Kings Of The Colosseum. So for the independent level, we want to be the kings of the staple of indy wrestling...the National Guard Armories. We feel we're good enough and talented enough; so why not show the world and let the matches speak for themselves? Why tell you we're the future when we can show you?
TJ: Beyond is known for running most of their shows without a live crowd. What is the atmosphere like in Beyond when only the wrestlers are watching? How does that unique atmosphere help you get better as a performer?
SD: IT'S MADNESS~! LOL. But I love it. Everybody wants to have the match that's gonna get everybody talking. When the crowd are your peers, we judge matches differently. We know the nuances, subtleties, & other little things to look for. The pressure forces you into almost like a raw, unleashed version of yourself. Beyond is giving you the stage, the time, and the talent to make magic. You have no excuses if you don't know what to do with it says I.
As a performer, it's help me grow so much. People have their expectations of who I am and how I wrestle. I've had my fears of being labeled a cartoon character for some time and anybody that KNOWS me knows that for every ounce of playfulness in this chocolatey body of mine is an equal amount of intensity. I'm FINALLY showing people what I've got and having fun doing it at that! So hopefully, when the world gets a taste of just how hard I go; they look back to Beyond as the raw edits of what will soon be a complete performer. I owe Beyond (specifically Drew Cordeiro [Beyond's Promoter/Booker]) so much for that and reminding me wrestling can still be fun.
TJ: Your career outside of Chikara and Beyond is going well as well, as you were booked for your first tour in Japan. What was it like to compete for the SMASH promotion? Do you know if/when you will be going back?
SD: SMASH was an incredible experience. I learned so much watching the pacing and flow of their matches and they have a wonderful locker room of professionals. I fell in love with the Japanese experience as a whole. There's a respect shown to wrestlers there that doesn't quite translate in America. I hate telling people what I do and getting that "he's a weirdo" or "that fake stuff" look. My scars, bruises, aches, and pains are VERY real. SO it was nice to go somewhere where it's celebrated and respected.
SMASH and I have had contact since. The fans took to me very well and I've made all sorts of new fans and relationships based off it that I'll always be proud of. Only time will tell what happens next. I do promise this, I plan to keep seeing more international flavor and Japan is on the top of my list. Be it SMASH or any other promotion, I'm going to do what it takes to find my way back and leave a bigger stamp over there. My Pocky addiction MUST be satisfied :p
TJ: You have started competing in Dragon Gate's American promotion: Dragon Gate USA. How do you think your matches have gone so far? What was it like to be a part of the Wrestlemania weekend when you worked in the Breakout Challenge at DGUSA: Open the Southern Gate?
SD: DGUSA has been fun. I look at it as "it is what it is". I've had a few opportunities to do my thing and compete and my efforts have been well received by live crowds and others who've watched. I remember being so nervous when I got an opportunity because at the time, I wasn't sure my "style" would fit their faster paced, harder-hitting style. Fortunately, I look forward to adapting and challenging myself to any style. Most of all, Jon Davis is owed a huge shout for the best advice ever given.
"Don't lose what makes you....you."
So I stopped being who I thought I SHOULD be and became what I needed to be. I'm loud. I'm funny. I find the hilarity in scenarios others can't catch. I'm also intense. I hit hard. I don't take no mess. All of that came together during that time and my jokes got as much of a pop as a moonsault. People CARED. The rest became simple.
The Breakout Challenge was crazy, simply put. I worked with a truly incredible secret in wrestling in Kyle Matthews; a veteran who's forgotten more than some will ever remember and a big inspiration to me in Jimmy Rave; and perhaps one of the most insane high-fliers in the game in Lince Dorado. I was mad nervous, but coming through that curtain and the love from those people carried me through. They pull me through more than they realize sometimes and my love for them comes from a real place, I think that's why their connection to me and their investment in my rise is a huge thing.
What does the future hold with DGUSA? Who knows. I'm something distinctly different for the product and what does or doesn't come next is in their court. I'm just appreciative for the opportunities given and will be for any that present themselves in the future. I just hope the fanbase knows they've always gotten whatever I could give EVERYTIME out and their support helped raise my profile in a major way.
TJ: For this section of the interview, I was hoping Sugar that you can give the readers some thoughts to some of your matches from 2011:
Creatures from the Tar Swamp: The Throwbacks vs. Brodie Lee & Grizzly Redwood
SD: Our first big featured match as a tag team vs a VERY underrated tag team in their own right. I LOVED the feud we had because it was very much the anti-lucha style of tag match we've grown used to in CHIKARA. Just straight fist-slanging and good ol' fashioned, Streets of Rage style BRAWLIN' son. I think that night, eyes opened in a lot of directions to what everybody involved in that match could do. It was also my first match in New York and it started a love affair with that city I hope to never see die.
King of Trios: The Throwbacks vs. Team Osaka Pro
SD: Great honor to wrestle them and learned so much that despite language barriers, good wrestling is good wrestling. I had SO much fun that night and some awesome moments came out of that match. I still want a rematch on the foot race with Kotoge though! I had him, bro!
Engulfed in a Fever of Spite: The Thowbacks vs. The Ice Creams
SD: Fun. Pure, simple, make the crowd smile fun. People still talk about that match and to leave that kind of lasting impressions on so many different people is why I got into this.
Beyond Wrestling About Time: The Throwbacks vs. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (Darius Carter & TJ Marconi)
SD: Both of these guys really stepped it up and showed the world they're ready to have the spotlight on them. Thus far, this tag match marks the first match The Throwbacks ever had outside CHIKARA and it was the first time we got to go 15+ minutes with a team. It wasn't just a match to prove to ourselves we were better than them, but to prove we could go the distance and make it an ENTERTAINING distance if given the chance. We did. Bring on more challenges.
TJ: I was hoping Sugar, that you could also tell the readers a little about "Do it For Brittany," and where people can find out more information about the cause?
SD: Do It For Brittany was established in response to the loss of a beautiful, young soul I used to mentor named Brittany Nichole Berry. She took her own life and left so many questions unanswered when she did. I miss her every day and to keep her memory alive and help others. I started Do It For Brittany. It's a self-help/problem sharing blog for anybody that wants to relate their issues and talk it out. I highly encourage anyone with an issue to use it and let's start a revolution of love. We can be found at difb.wordpress.com , @DoItForBrittany on Twitter, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please, if you need it; use it.
TJ: Thank you so much Sugar for taking the time to do the interview. Is there anything you want to promote while you are here (Facebook, Twitter, website, merch, how to be booked, etc)?
SD: You can find me at SugarDunkerton.wordpress.com and also at @SugarDunkerton . I LOVE me some Twitter so please get at me :) Also, please check out Pantsless Radio; a monthly podcast I do with my lovely co-host, Wiggy (@Wiggygator ) the first Monday of every month. You can find it as one of the featured shows on www.cstcnetwork.com I'd also like to give shout outs to CHIKARA, Beyond Wrestling, Rampage Pro Wrestling, Force 1 Pro, SMASH, Irish Whip Wrestling, PRWA, Insanity Pro, Absolute Intense Wrestling, & anybody that's had a hand in the growth, promotion, and evolution of Sugar Dunkerton. I LOVE this. It's one of the realest things to me I have ever invested time into. in 2012, I want to raise the bar and expectations for what people know of me and I challenge you to support me as I take that journey. People talk all day long about how serious they are about this. I intend to prove it. Thanks you guys and who knows where a dreamer from Georgia with an afro will end up next :) Love you guys!
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Be sure to check out some of my past 411 Interviews