TJ Perkins is a name that’s very familiar to fans of WWE and IMPACT Wrestling but he’s set for action as “El Bombero” for Lucha VaVoom in Los Angeles this week.
Lucha VaVoom presents Pin-Ups & Pin Downs at The Mayan in Los Angeles tonight, and TJP spoke about the unorthodox format of the events and noted that it’s a fun and topical show. He noted how LVV puts on colorful shows with comedy, burlesque and acrobatic acts and compared it to a “more modern-day circus.” TJP works as “El Bombero” on the LVV events, a character unlike one fans of his might be used to seeing him play on TV.
“I am the champion there right now and it is a very different take for people that are common wrestling fans of mine and have followed me for a while. It’s a very different take on what you would usually see from me, the stripper-fireman, Shawn Michaels-meets-Alex Wright type luchador is a way to put it. [laughs] There’s a little bit of Rick Rude sprinkled in. For me, it’s a lot of fun,” Perkins said. “I’ve always gravitated towards characters in wrestling as far as what I like.
“I’ve had 10-12 different masked characters [that I’ve portrayed] in the last 21 years or so. A lot of wrestling fans don’t stick around wrestling long enough to see them all, so everyone has a different idea of which ones are mine. Some people know me as Suicide [from TNA], some people know me as Sadistico, some remember Puma, El Bombero and everything in between,” Perkins said, “but I enjoy that aspect of the show. It’s such an expressive and a variety of a show that everyone has a character that’s more carved out than you would normally see on wrestling shows now because they are more reality-based. People are known by their characters’ first name only, like Breaking Bad and Game Of Thrones, it’s very realistic. This is presented more how wrestling was originally presented like in the ‘60s, where you get to carve out this whole universe and different than what we’re used to in the newer generation.”
TJP spoke with Wrestlezone last year about his increasingly busy schedule, which saw him return to IMPACT Wrestling for the first time in three years. At the time, he was not exclusive to IMPACT, with Perkins using a Filipino reference to his nomadic status by saying he was passing through and that ‘the jitney is still moving.’ Since then, he has still continued to work around the country but has stuck around as a partner to Fallah Bahh in the tag team division. TJP says his IMPACT schedule remains pretty full, and praise the management team before adding that he hopes he can add something exciting to the tag division in 2020.
“I really like it there. I’ve always loved it there, they’ve always had a great locker room, one of the best locker rooms I’ve ever been in. The camaraderie has always been so high from the beginning, back in ’03 until now, and I’ve seen all of it. They’ve always been A+ and the administration now is really great right now,” Perkins said. “I love the way that they’ve built this, and I’ve said this before but you can close the show one night and open it the next or vice versa, and the roster is strong from top to bottom.
“The X Division is strong, heavyweight division, the women’s division, the tag team division is strong. There’s a little turnover in the tag teams right now but hopefully I’m in a position to help that now with Fallah Bahh. That’s really the reason I came to IMPACT Wrestling,” Perkins said, “was to really get a chance to work with him and do that sort of thing. I’m looking forward to that. I’ve got a lot of dates on the schedule for them and I’m looking forward to hopefully adding a lot to the tag team division.”
Perkins made headlines in another way last year when it was reported by Wrestling Inc that he was in talks for a potential MMA fight with Bellator. At the time, talks were still ongoing but Perkins says that his fight against an unnamed opponent is probably not happening anymore due to timing and weight class differentials. Perkins added that even if those variables worked out, he didn’t want to put professional wrestling on hold for that long to take part in a fight camp.
“The negotiation was open for a while but there was just no progress at a certain point. The original fight that was proposed was—and I don’t want to go into the opponent because I don’t want to drum up business when there’s no business—but it ended up being that I think they overestimated where I was divisionally placed. He was two weight classes above me, at least,” Perkins said, “so even fighting as a catchweight wasn’t going to really comfortably happen.
“Timing was an issue because I didn’t really want to make that transition fully. It’s something that I was open to doing obviously, but I didn’t want to put wrestling on hold for that. That’s something for me—especially not even being in training camp for a long time—I’d have to take 4 to 6 months to bear down and do that. Wrestling is just too important for me to do that,” Perkins said, “even if we had the right opponent at the right weight class. The proposed one fell through but if something in the future came up I’d be open to it, I just don’t know if it would really come up. My heart’s not necessarily in it.”
Tickets for Lucha VaVoom’s second night of under the Pin-Ups & Pin Downs banner are on sale now on Ticketweb.com, and at their respective ticket outlets:
Wacko, 4633 Hollywood Blvd – (323) 663-0122
BRAT, 1938 14th St, Santa Monica – (310) 452-2480
Check out the full interview below: