It's been some time since I've been able to sit down in front of my laptop, or on my phone for that matter, to put together a piece to express my love and passion for something with words, expressions, and punctuation marks. “The Title Formerly Used was Writer” has in some weird way and through fortunate events, been changed to “Host” or “Podcaster” and rather than use my fingers to speak I now use my voice to share my ungodly opinions and my knowledge of foolishness. From sharing sports news stories to airing “advertising” about crotch deodorant and alcoholic cough drops, The Regular Season Sportscast has know become my outlet for creative and selfish purposes. Being able to use my voice has been a gift for me, but to some, it is something in which he or she is not fortunate enough to share.
Imagine if you lost the ability to speak. Not the way we lose our voice due to a common cold, sore throat, or tonsil removal. Think if you were unable to sing your favorite song with others, whisper “I love you” to that special someone, or thank someone for holding a door open. The thought boggles my mind, especially knowing how important it is that I use my voice as a tool for communication. Not only for podcasting but in my professional and personal life, my voice is extremely important for making me who I am and what is my personality. For TRSS, I've been lucky enough to talk to individuals and share information over the phone, Skype, or in face-to-face interviews, but there's one person I've wanted to chat it up with for some time but have had obstacles to contented with.
House Of Glory Wrestling has been my feeding ground for content and entertainment for some time now. My articles would surround most of their wrestling events and recently I have been blessed to have interviewed their students and ring workers. From the charismatic and talented such as Good Hank Flanders and Anthony Gangone, the beautiful and deadly assailant Sonya Strong, to the”Boss of all Bosses”, the man himself, HOG co-founder Brian XL, I've been blessed to have such individuals give up their time just for an hour of fun and entertainment. But for one individual, who I've noticed since I've been in attendance for their events, I always wanted to know how he is able to communicate not only inside the ring but to the world.
I would usually see Nick Pasquale Sarraco, better known to the House of Glory fans as “The Ultimate Underdog” Nicky Heat, at events where he was either putting up or taking down the ring, working security, or goofing around with the other students. I was aware he was mute because he used a Blackberry to communicate with others, but I did not notice his left hand is damaged and disfigured. To this day, even as I write this, I don't want to know how or why he's mute and disabled because to me it adds to the persona and character that is Nicky. It was better for me to learn that he once wrote for WWE.com, or how he goes state to state to work at various promotions, and that he's a customer service rep at Keurig than to ask a single question which he's probably answered a hundred times before. For this moment, I wanted to know what wrestling means to him and what makes him tick.
Jay: Have you ever been intimidated when you entered the ring?
Nicky: I'm always scared when I enter the ring. However, I'm not really scared of getting hurt. I'm scared of messing up. Of course, there is fear of getting hurt, but the fear of messing up overshadows that. I feel that with who I am, I have a lot more to prove to people. Some people will always see me and have doubts about me being in a wrestling ring. So I have to prove them wrong every single time. So I'm always scared.
Jay: How long have you been wrestling and what were your first thoughts about going into a wrestling school?
Nicky: I've been training since March 2012 at House of Glory. When I first entered, I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't worried about getting accepted by everyone because I have been accepted everywhere I've been. However, I was nervous about being a failure. Being a pro wrestler had been a dream for so long, and I remember being worried about having my disability keep me down. I did look at Zach Gowen and Gregory Iron as role models. I believed that if they could do it, so could I. So even with the doubts in my mind, I still joined the school. And 4 years later, I've been lucky and blessed. I still have so much more to learn, but I feel I've gotten rid of a lot of those doubts.
Jay: Why did you choose House of Glory?
Nicky: I had two options, HOG and the LUDUS wrestling school in Brooklyn. I remember I was supposed to go visit LUDUS one day with two of my friends, who were also trying to get into the business. LUDUS was closed that afternoon, so we went to check out HOG. I loved it. We didn't even check out LUDUS after. I already made my decision. I felt that with Amazing Red being so close to my size, I'll learn more here than anywhere. Since then, I've trained with stars like Jay Lethal, Matt Striker, and Sasha Banks. (Who is the most dedicated worker in the business I've ever met. She deserves everything she gets.) I've faced some of my idols and faced some cool names so early in my career. I tagged with Hall of Famers like Tito Santana. I think I made the right choice.
Jay: What was the most difficult aspect of training for wrestling early on?
Nicky: Back Bumping. It took me 2 months to learn how to back bump. I was a real slow learner. I remember for two months straight, I couldn't do anything else besides back bump. It was very annoying, but eventually, I got it.
Jay: Do you think Amazing Red and Brian XL were ready to train you seeing as though you have a disability?
Nicky: When I first met Brian XL, I asked him if they would train someone who was mute and had a damaged hand. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “We train anybody, I don't care if you had one leg”. I always respected that. For the first few months, Red and Brian were both scared to hit me hard. But after getting to know me, they started to really kick my ass. They do not treat me differently than anybody else. Red has busted my nose many times. I've left training with a black eye many times. You guys just saw Amazing Red slam me on the ringside floor and hit me with a chair at the February show. So training me with the disability isn't a factor.
Jay: What has been your biggest obstacles in the ring with your disabilities?
Nicky: Communication. With me not being able to speak, I cannot talk in the ring. Amazing Red has taught me to talk with my hands. He has been around the world, where wrestlers don't speak English. So he taught me to communicate like them. Nonetheless, it is still extremely difficult and I'm still trying to master it.
Jay: How were you introduced to wrestling?
Nicky: I was in the fourth grade. My mom had just picked me up from school on a Friday. She had to go to CVS to pick something up. While there, I saw PLAYSTATION magazine. Back then, Playstation had its own magazine. On the back of the magazine, it had a demo disk with a few games on it. The list of games was on the front cover. I don't remember the list of games but I do remember one of them was WWF WARZONE. I knew WWF was pro wrestling but I wasn't familiar with it. My mom ended up buying the magazine and I got to play the demo of WWF WARZONE. There was only one match I could play on the demo. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels. I was hooked after playing. I thought this game was so much fun. The next morning after playing the game, I knew WWF was on TV at 10am on USA Network. So I woke up by 10 and put on WWF Livewire, which was the morning wrestling recap show at the time. The first thing I saw was Kane, Undertaker, and Vince McMahon all beating up Stone Cold. I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever. I have been hooked ever since then. Blame PLAYSTATION magazine!
Jay: Who do you feel was the best person to work with either during a match or in training?
Nicky: Match-wise, Good Hank Flanders. I thought we had good tension during our feud. He is easy to hate, so the crowd was really behind me. Training-wise, Smiley Fairchild. He joined HOG around the same time I did. We've worked with each other almost every day for 4 years, so we know each other pretty well. However, things change. People want to know why I turned on him last month. You guys will know the answer soon.
Jay: Being the underdog and having a strong fan support for some time, what are your feelings on the possibility that fans will be disappointed by your recent actions at the last HOG event?
Nicky: Not gonna lie, I'm a dick…I loved my fans, but wrestling fans nowadays are too spoiled. They think it's always about themselves. They try to hijack shows and they are always whining. I don't care whether they like my recent actions or not. From now on, I will do what I want. Fans will now see the REAL Nicky Heat. And trust me, the Heat will be a lot different than what you're used to seeing from me.
Jay: Before entering HOG, who inspired you to become a wrestler?
Nicky: Growing up, Stone Cold Steve Austin was my favorite. He was actually a major part of my life. I grew up in a tough Italian family. My parents taught me to always stand up to bullies. Watching Stone Cold, I looked up to him. I thought I was Stone Cold lol. I RARELY ever got bullied and I owe a lot of that to watching Stone Cold. He always stood up to Vince and whoever else. I loved that. Joining the business, Zach Gowen, and Gregory Iron were also huge inspirations. I remember watching CM Punk talk to Gregory Iron in the ring on Youtube. That was a major key for me in deciding to train. I've gotten to know Iron and Gowen pretty well since then and I've learned a lot from them.
Jay: How has the response been from the ladies? I know the ladies love you. Any good hook ups?
Nicky: The ladies have been real good. However, I'm getting older. My wild days are slowly coming to an end…kinda. I'm still crazy. But soon I gotta start settling down.
Jay: Ever had an accident in the ring? A fart? Stink body?
Nicky: The butterflies and nerves actually cause me to fart before every single match I have. When any of you see me at Amazura before my matches, I'm probably farting. I've never had an accident in the ring. But I've faced somebody who rushed a match, just so they could run to the bathroom afterward…hopefully, that'll never be me. I'll stick to farting before matches.
Jay: What are your short term and long term goals?
Nicky: Short term, I want to be in WWE someday. Getting into ROH, Japan, or TNA is cool too. However, WWE is the dream. Long term, I want to be an inspiration. I want to be a role model. I want people to look up to me the same way I looked up to Stone Cold Steve Austin. I want to be remembered as a hard worker far after I'm gone. I want to be someone's favorite wrestler ever. Hopefully, I reach some of those goals.
Jay: Hardest thing to do: take a bump, run the ropes, or listen to Hank Flanders cut a promo?
Nicky: Definitely learning how to back bump. Falling on that mat equals the impact of a 30mph car crash. Some people want to make fun of pro wrestling, yet they would never last in the ring. As for Flanders, I zone myself out of his promos. I've heard it all from him.
Jay: Best road story (ribs, match, booking, or car ride)?
Nicky: I'm big on ribs. So having fun is always a must on the road. I don't have a favorite story but I do remember throwing up while driving Eddie Kingston home from a booking in Boston. That night, I was in a match and I got brainbustered onto the apron. It really messed me up, I had a headache all night…I had to drive 3 hours back home as well, and I just puked everywhere in the car because of the headache. Eddie Kingston laughed and went into a bar. As for me, I took my shirt off and listened to Backstreet Boys while I drove myself home afterward.