Calvin Tankman On The Overwhelming Response To His GCW Appearance, Working With High-Caliber Athletes

Calvin Tankman is ready to break out on a national level and show everyone how dynamic of a wrestler he is.

Tankman recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard ahead of his big weekend, with two matches for Paradigm Pro Wrestling and Game Changer Wrestling. Tankman has been wrestling for several years but gained some noticeable attention after his scramble match win at GCW’s The Wrld On 2 event in Indianapolis last month. He said that the layoff from wrestling due to the pandemic was tough but it’s good to get back in the ring and return to such a warm response.

“The response has definitely been overwhelming. It’s something that I didn’t necessarily expect but it’s definitely a moment that I’ll keep tight for as long as I have my career. Really, as long as I’m alive I’ll remember that. GCW, it’s one of those things where it’s definitely a promotion you want to be at if you’re an independent wrestler in today’s climate. You can watch video of last year’s [Nick Gage Invitational] and I was cleaning up glass in between rounds, so I’m really just busting my butt to do whatever I could to get an opportunity.

“It went from being in a different city every night on the weekend to absolutely nothing. It’s been a blessing and a curse. It’s been a blessing because I can really start to break down film and pay attention to the greats, really study how to be better. At the same time, you’re not getting that same in-ring work that you would, so it’s a battle to make sure that when you do come back you get those opportunities so you’re not rusty. You were talking about GCW and that was one of those things that I was worried about—I hadn’t done any of this stuff in, what? Two or three months at that time? It’s first match jitters all over again. It’s definitely not easy but there are steps you can do to at least keep yourself from not getting any work at all.”

Tankman will compete at GCW Homecoming this weekend against Chris Dickinson, who has also been getting more attention over the past year. Dickinson saw similar buzz after a great performance against Josh Barnett at GCW Bloodsport in Atlantic City, and Tankman says this match is an honor in itself but he’s going into it with the right mindset.

“It’s definitely exciting for me because what comes from getting buzz from a show like GCW is that every time you step in the ring after that you have to prove that that wasn’t a fluke, that you really are the guy. Now I’m getting a lot of matches that I’ve been wanting for a while and this is one of them. He’s one of the best heavyweights in North America, so if I want to put my mark on being one of the best heavyweights I have to beat the best to be there. Just being able to test myself against a guy of the caliber of Chris Dickinson who has wrestled some of the best in the world is an honor, but not something that I take lightly. It’s something that I have to make sure that I’m stepping my game up and killing it as much as I can.”

Before he faces Dickinson, Tankman will square off with “Filthy” Tom Lawlor at PPW’s Heavy Hitters 2 event in Sellersburg, Indiana. Lawlor is no stranger to the MMA world and he provides Tankman with an equally difficult challenge as they’ll square off in a UWFi Rules match. Tankman says Lawlor’s skill set is impressive and he might not have as much MMA experience, but he’s looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“Tom Lawlor is—there’s not too much you can do in professional wrestling that he wouldn’t be good at. From striking to mat game, he’s done that with MMA and then his transition over to pro wrestling has been ridiculous. It’s been extremely good to him and it’s something that you don’t get to do every day. You don’t get to step in, especially under UWFi Rules, and step in and face someone of the caliber of a Tom Lawlor. While I may not have as much as him in the MMA category—I’ve done training but nowhere near close to what he has done—it’ll be a decent challenge for me to go up against someone the caliber of him.

Check out our full interview with Calvin Tankman where we also discuss:

  • Signing with Major League Wrestling
  • Who he is looking forward to facing once MLW starts back up
  • His other match this weekend against Chris Dickinson at GCW Homecoming
  • What he wants people to know about him
  • Working different wrestling styles and breaking stereotypes

and much more!

Related: Calvin Tankman Signs With MLW

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