Moonshine Mantel Brings Intensity To The Texas Wrestling Scene And Beyond

Moonshine Mantel shares his philosophy about bringing the intensity inside the squared circle.

Mantel is the featured player for episode three of Meet The Wrestler, a series hosted by Dominic DeAngelo in which you get a full-on scope behind one of today’s major notable talents on the independent scene.

Mantel was trained by San Antonio native Rudy Gonzalez, who he credits for him getting a good start in the business. Mantel also went overseas to Japan to further hone his own unique style, but does give credit to some notable American names for how he handles his presence in the ring.

“Steve Austin. I take a lot of his intense and that’s who I learned to throw punches from. I was working with Ray Rowe and Ray Rowe was like, ‘Hey, man, your punches are the shits.’ Straight up! And he’s just like, ‘Go and start watching Steve Austin,’ so I went and started watching Steve Austin and before you know it, my punches weren’t the shits. So Steve Austin right off the bat. Chris Benoit, his intensity. I kind of try to mimic his intensity in there. That’s one person who I’ve really tried to study a lot of. Bob Holly, Bradshaw, Billy Gunn, Perry Saturn. People like that man,” Mantel explained, “those are kind of like the ones who more stand out of who I studied over the years.”

Mantel’s wrestling philosophy is based on realism and good storytelling but he says he also enjoys working with talent smaller than him, adding he doesn’t mind being on the receiving end of moves if it makes sense.

“I love working with guys who can fly, man. I love basing for guys and telling the ‘big guy little guy’ story or any kind of story. It doesn’t matter what size they are. I don’t mind basing for guys when it comes to high-flying stuff as long as it makes sense and it’s not just like doing shit just to do it, you know? As far as working with guys who are high-fliers and everything,” Mantel said, “I love that stuff man. I can’t do it, but I love being in the ring with guys who can. That’s my philosophy on it.”

Like most stars of the squared circle, Moonshine finds his persona as himself elevated, but if he did happen to pull from an outside influence it would be from a familiar Martin Scorcese muse.

“If I had to say—and this is gonna sound funny—Joe Pesci. Joe Pesci, Goodfellas, as far as having that attitude like, ‘Don’t fuck with me,’ you know? I’ve tried to incorporate that a little bit with my character and everything like that, but for the most part man, a lot of it is it’s just me kind of turned up a little bit. Pesci, once you pissed him off or he thought you even said something to disrespect him, you already have him pissed off, and then it doesn’t take much longer until about ten seconds later he’s on top of you and you’re begging for your life…”

(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)

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