wrestling / News

Ross & Marshall Von Erich on What They Learned From Harley Race, How Marshall Wrestles Without Boots

June 3, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Ross and Marshall Von Erich

Speaking with Jeffrey Harris for the 411 Wrestling Interviews Podcast, MLW Tag Team Champions Ross and Marshall Von Erich discussed how Marshall wrestles without boots, much like his father did, training with Harley Race and their dad, and a lot more. Highlights and the full audio are below:

Marshall Von Erich on how they are spending quarantine with MLW on hiatus and if they are chomping at the bit to get back in the ring: “A little bit of both. We’re definitely making the most of this time. Like my brother was saying, we’re reconnecting with our nieces and nephews. I just had a son, so it’s important I’m getting to spend this time with him while he’s 8-9 months old. And so, that part has been awesome, but we’ve been watching a lot of wrestling, we’ve been wrestling with each other a lot, just out in the farm and just trying to stay sharp, trying to keep the metal sharp. We don’t have a gym or anything, so we’re just trying to work out with what we have. We’re sheep farmers, so we’ll do some sheep curls every now and again. But just trying to stay sharp and keep each other ready. That’s the name of the game, especially in wrestling and independent wrestling, that’s what it kind of trains us to do. Always stay ready. You never know when you’re going to get called.”

Marshall Von Erich on wrestling without boots, much like his father: “It’s the only thing I know. My first training camp at Harley Race’s camp, I asked if didn’t have to wear shoes. I hate the wrestling shoes they gave me, and I really didn’t want to wear them. And plus, my dad told me something that I’ll always remember, ‘When you wrestle with no boots, just trunks, it’s extremely easy to travel. You can travel light,’ and I love that. I can bring my trade with me wherever I go. I just throw my trunks in my back pocket, and I’m ready to go. I don’t need to lace the boots or anything, so it makes it easier. But also balance, having balance in the ring and knowing my surroundings and knowing where I’m at. When I’m barefoot, I just feel that way. I’m barefoot 99 percent of the time at home. The one time I’m going to wear shoes is if I’m going to church or something else. That’s most of the reason I got to wear ’em, but I hate wearing shoes so much. My feet aren’t made for him. If I wear shoes for too long, my pinkie toes poke holes in the sides of the shoes, I got wide set feet. It just doesn’t work.”

Ross Von Erich on his dynamic with Marshall as the older brother: “You know, believe it or not, the first day or two of training, I tried it [wrestling without boots] too. So I have a whole different kind of respect for guys that can wrestle barefoot. I feel like not everyone can do it. Of course, there are sometimes where I try to prank him and rib him and stuff, but what do you expect? I’m the older brother, but I do actually have a ton of respect for the guys that can do it barefoot because really, like I said, not everybody can do it. And I respect the athleticism that it requires to do so.”

Marshall Von Erich on getting trained by Harley Race: “You know, Harley Race was such a good man, and I remember the day flying to Missouri and then driving down the Eldon. It was all just a dream before that, and we got to see it unfold in front of our faces. There were some Pro Wrestling NOAH scouts, and so we became paid Japanese wrestling fans. Just fans of Japanese wrestling, and Harley Race also had a huge career in Japan. And so, it was just — these are men that have been places where we wanna be, and if guys have been wrestling longer than you and he’s 50 years on you, you can pick their brain. You can grow from them so much, and that’s what we’re trying to do with my dad is grow from him and his brothers. That’s what he’s trying to get us to do. We got so much experience just from sitting there and having lunch with Harley. We slept at his house the whole time we were at Eldon. We stayed with him. We played poker every night. We laughed and joked. We just got know him as a man. He was a good, good man. He really was one of the greats, and he was humble. He taught holds, some devastating holds that can get you out of some trouble, and my dad said, ‘Take everything to heart. Listen to what he says and use it in the ring and use it wisely.’ And definitely, we’re grateful for all the opportunities he gave us.”

In the full interview, the Von Erichs talk about carrying on their family legacy while forging their own path, being trained by their father and Harley Race, Dominic Garrini and Tom Lawlor possibly challenging for their Tag Team Titles, their chemistry in the ring with the Dynasty, and more.

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0:00: Intro
1:54: On living in Hawaii during the the pandemic, how they’re dealing with MLW’s shutdown
4:30: On Court Bauer continuing to make deals and announcement during the shutdown
5:55: On the likelihood of having to adjust back to wrestling life post-lockdown, MLW potentially running without crowds
7:44: On the balancing act of carrying on the Von Erich legacy and making their own mark on the business
9:53: On Dominic Garrini wanting to go after the Tag Titles alongside Tom Lawlor, being an ally of Lawlor’s until recently
14:25: On their experience being in the War Chamber match in Dallas with their dad in their corner
16:26: On their rivalry with the Dynasty and chemistry with the ring with them
18:09: Marshall on wrestling without shoes, how it came about and following in his dad’s footsteps that way
19:49: Ross on being the older brother between the two and their dynamic together
20:40: On being trained by their father and Harley Race and the biggest takeaways from them
22:40: On if MLW holding shows in Japan is inevitable and wanting to defend their titles all over the world
24:30: On working the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia and visiting the site of the Dallas Sportatorium
27:09: On their go-to spots for BBQ in Texas
28:37: On where to find them online
30:53: Outro

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