Old is new again and Willie Mack says cinematic wrestling is cool if done right, but it’s still a weird feeling for the former Lucha Underground star to see it being revived.
WrestleZone recently spoke with new IMPACT Wrestling X Division Champion Willie Mack, who won the title from Ace Austin on night one of the Rebellion special. Mack has been with IMPACT since 2018 but some fans know him from his tenure with Lucha Underground as “The Mack.” With the rise in cinematic style matches due to restrictions because of the coronavirus, Mack says people are eating it up now but it wasn’t always the case. He noted that it’s a weird feeling to see some of the same people that criticized it earlier have a new appreciation for it now.
“Yeah. Everybody’s going crazy over it now but we already did that a few years ago. [The reaction then] was ‘ahh it’s crap’ or whatever but now, look at what’s the hip thing to do. You know what I mean? It’s weird.”
When asked if he thinks it already ran its course, Mack said he mostly looked at it from a fan’s perspective and said it’s odd seeing the same concept getting a better reaction in different companies, but still thinks it can be done correctly with some restrictions.
“It’s like if somebody else already did it, but now let’s try and do it now but you were just talking crap about it earlier, you know what I mean, from a fan’s perspective? They didn’t like it but now somebody else does it and they’re like ‘oh, this is cool!’ But, being from that background where I came from doing it, it’s cool but only if it’s done right. With certain things, you can’t do them all of the time because it’ll lose it’s mystique.”
In addition to his experience in the cinematic format on Lucha Underground, Mack brings a unique skill set to IMPACT TV. He says the key to his success has been that promotions let him be himself and that translates with the fans.
“A lot of places you go, they try to put [labels on you]. ‘You should talk like this, walk like that’ and if you look at every place I’ve been to, I’ve been me and that’s all you’ve got to do. Just go out there and show why people like me. The reason people like me is because of my wrestling skills. They don’t care if I’m fat or I’m not that tall, it’s just my wrestling.”
The Watch List takes a look at what matches you should be watching while you’re at home and they come recommended by your favorite professional wrestling stars.
“I don’t know. I just got the X Division title and I like having the title. Plus, you have to give it up to get a shot at the World Title, and that might end up backfiring. You could end up titleless in the end, which would suck. But hey, who knows?”
Another name that is linked to innovation in wrestling is Rob Van Dam, a man Mack is very familiar with. The two had previously squared off on IMPACT TV, but they’ve also worked together at PCW Ultra Fantasm in 2017. Mack says he’d want another shot at beating the ECW Original, and took a playful jab and said he had a better frog splash than RVD.
“Oh yeah, I’d want to get my rematch back since he beat me there. I can’t keep letting RVD put his hands on me and think he’s going to get away with it scot-free. Plus my frog splash is better.”
We added some recommendations to the list and selected a good mix of bouts from Mack’s career, including highlights from his X Division title win and full-length matches Mack picked. You can watch all of these matches at this link.
Willie Mack vs. Rob Van Dam
PCW Ultra Fantasm — January 20, 2017
Kurt Angle vs. Rockstar Spud
IMPACT Wrestling — May 10, 2015
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (Super X Cup Final)
TNA Sacrifice — August 14, 2005
Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
TNA Unbreakable — September 11, 2005
Willie Mack vs. Sam Shaw (NWA National Championship)
CWFH Milestone 2018 — December 9, 2018
Keith Lee vs. Willie Mack vs. Jeff Cobb
FSW The Mecca — September 24, 2017
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