Hi there, this is Jack Dawson, with HOWrestling.com. I recently sat down for an interview with legendary pro wrestling superstar, Jack Harmen, better known as High Flyer.
As the Between the Ropes theme song hits, Jack Dawson sits behind his large wooden desk waiting to kick things off.
Jack Dawson: Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Between the Ropes and I am your host, Jack Dawson!
The studio audience claps and cheers with enthusiasm.
Jack Dawson: Thank you. Thank you.
Jack acknowledges the audience.
Jack Dawson: The first round of The Michael DeNucci Cup has ended and if you haven’t been paying attention you’ve truly missed out on a wild first round!
Jack shouts with enthusiasm as the studio audience cheers in agreement.
Jack Dawson: I mean we saw the massacres of Darin Matthews and Chris Kostoff by the hands of Mike Best and Dan Ryan. We saw huge upsets as Clay Byrd upset “The Gold Standard” John Sektor and fresh on the scene, “Pretty Boy” Devin Desean defeated veteran Sean Stevens. We also saw familiar faces like Steve Solex and Simon Loveless maybe have found a home in the Octagon as they looked comfortable inside the cage. We also saw big names hyped up and they fell flat on their faces……am I right, Shawn Warstein?
The audience boos at the name
Jack Dawson: Now, now. He probably had a legit reason as why he didn’t show up.
Studio Audience: BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT!
Jack Dawson: That was round one. Round two started last night and it was just as good as round one if not better as we had surprises and upsets galore as well.
The audience’s cheering grows so loud that Jack can’t hear himself.
Jack Dawson: You had three matches go the distance, but in the end it was the man who campaigns for equality, Steve Solex, over Jason Cashe. Dan Ryan gave Sutler Kael his first loss in HOW. Steve Harrison shocked the wrestling world when he defeated Jatt Starr. There was another match, but mentioning Hudson Hughes’ name is already giving him too much time since he wasted our tv time and money with that abysmal display he put on Refueled. Congrats to Clay Byrd on another brilliant performance.
Studio Audience: BYRD! BYRD! BYRD!
Jack looks around the audience.
Jack Dawson: Looks like the Byrdman is slowly getting a following around here, and that’s not surprising since the HOW audience doesn’t care what you’ve done in your other wrestling promotions or the hype surrounding you.
Jack shakes his head.
Jack Dawson: All they care about…..is whether you can succeed here and so far there has been a bunch of hype surrounding a bunch of peeps and they have all bounced worse than a Michael Pettis check.
Studio Audience: OOOOOOOOHHHHHH!
Jack waits for them to quiet down.
Jack Dawson: Now that the rundown is over let’s bring out my guest for this evening. His pedigree from the past twenty five years in the wrestling industry is well known, but in HOW, he’s underachieved. My guest tonight is the legendary Lunatic, High Flyer.
Crescendoing light orchestra music plays. Out from the side emerges Jack Harmen, High Flyer. He wears his nicest three piece suit with a pink fluffy bow tie. He walks onto stage, extends his hand to Jack, nods as the two have a bit of chatter off mic. Jack offers Flyer a seat, and Flyer nods, taking it. Flyer looks out to the crowd and gives them a nice way.
Jack Dawson: Welcome to the show.
High Flyer: Thanks for having me.
Jack Dawson: How are you doing this evening?
High Flyer: I’m sorry, I could be a bit better. Jack, if I might ask you a question before you start.
Jack Dawson: Sure.
High Flyer: Do you think you’ve underachieved because you aren’t hosting the Tonight Show?
Jack Dawson: N – No.
High Flyer: You’re wrong.
Jack’s taken a back by Flyer’s stern reprisal. Flyer then just calmly smiles and cheerily seems to move on. Jack tentatively follows suit.
Jack Dawson: Be … Before we get into what you’ve been doing in High Octane Wrestling, give the fans who might not know you a little bit of information about yourself. What companies have you wrestled in? What are some of your biggest accomplishments? Biggest matches? Etc. Being a twenty year veteran of this industry I’m sure you have a lot of stories to tell.
High Flyer: Listen, if people want to go out and see some classic matches I’ve had with LT or Deacon in fWo, or with Dane and Ryan in CSWA and NFW, have at it. All of that is easily available for you to relive it. I don’t have to. See Jack, I’m not trying to live off my past glory. I’m trying to forge a new path, one where it doesn’t matter that I was a star in the IWO at 23, twenty years ago. Or that I held multiple titles in PRIME at the same time ten years ago. Honestly, my biggest accomplishment is still being relevant after 25 years in this industry, without having these old bones crumble into dust.
Jack Dawson: You mentioned DEFIANCE, fWo, PRIME, and IWO..among others and those are places you dominated from the top to the bottom. Won countless championships and were inducted into those respected companies Hall of Fames.
High Flyer: I actually hadn’t mentioned DEFIANCE, but let’s get the elephant out into the room. I’m one of the trainers of DEFIANCE’s development league, BRAZEN, and have a contract to wrestle there concurrently alongside my HOW contract. Lee has been very generous with that fact, allowing our companies to share talent.
Jack Dawson: Yes he has. Lee has allowed many past and current HOW superstars to represent the HOW banner in other companies, but why come to High Octane Wrestling?
High Flyer: Well, I still have that competitive itch Jack. I may be a teacher, shepherding the next generation of athletes, imparting the wisdom I have, but I’m not ready to hang up the boots. Maybe some people, like yourself, think I should have… to maintain some semblance of my legacy. I disagree.
Jack Dawson: I meant no disrespect by the question, but you have proven yourself many times over in some of the top wrestling promotions there are……why come to High Octane Wrestling now instead of in the past?
High Flyer: Why not HOW? I figured I’d be here eventually, you guys are top notch. As to why not sooner? Well, there’s not a lot of GOOD wrestling out there these days. Where else am I gonna go? To some place where I gotta pay Bruce Campbell to stand in and take pictures for me for God knows what reason? To watch a video game version of myself hop around the ring like an animated asshole? Neither of those are WRESTLING to me. They’re JOKES. See, HOW is the modern day definition of larger than life professional wrestling. And that’s what we do. Pro wrestling. At the end of the day? Professional wrestling is… so electric, so compoundingly infuriating and confusing… exhilarating and glorious at the same time. It fills me with the rush only a cocktail Mike Best could create and ingest. See, I may have had a bad run of things so far Daw’, but in this sport? Any given night could be your good night. And you only need one to etch your names in the record books.
Jack Dawson: How did the deal with Lee Best come about? Did you approach him? Did he approach you?
High Flyer: A little of both, to be fair. There were rumors I was looking to make a move. Lee is always makin’ moves. Troy had just joined the Best Alliance and my protege and lawyer Mary-Lynn is deeply connected to her on a personal level. She spent years learning from the Queen, so, when she heard the rumblings, she passed it along to me, letting Troy know at the same time… and the rest as they say is history.
Jack Dawson: When you came in did you know you were going to come in with other big names like Lindsay Troy, Dan Ryan, MJ Flair, and Eric Dane?
High Flyer: By the time I got the contract and left it signed in Lee Best’s limo, War Games was two weeks away. I knew very well what Lee had planned for me, at least back then I did.
Jack Dawson: How was it like to work with people you know very well from DEFIANCE and other promotions?
High Flyer: It was odd, to say the least. Dane and I have never seen eye to eye. Dan Ryan’s spent a career powerbombing me into oblivion just for kicks. And the only reason Troy and I ever remained civil is because of Mary. Honestly, I joined HOW to work against the people I’ve never had the chance to, the Bergmans, the Bests, the Kaels…
Jack Dawson: You wanted the dream matches everyone talked about. You wanted to see if you could measure up against the best they had to offer and vice versa.
High Flyer: Don’t we all chase pride ‘fore the fall? Wasn’t all about the dream, sometimes, you just wanna see how the other side thinks, learn, adapt, evolve. I may not look it, my record may not show it, but I’m a better wrestler now than when I came here. That’s what HOW can do for you.
Jack Dawson: When you came in you were immediately placed in Lee Best’s Best Alliance. How did that make you feel?
High Flyer: Excited. I was getting a chance to commit violence alongside people I usually commit violence against, and I was commissioned to do it in a steel cage against wrestlers with pedigrees as long as mine, that I’d never gotten a chance to interact with in my twenty five plus year career. What’s there not to be excited about?
Jack shakes his head in agreement.
Jack Dawson: Since coming into High Octane Wrestling some say based on your pedigree you’ve been a disappointment and that is why Lee Best kicked ya’ll out of the Best Alliance saying you and the people didn’t live up to the hype and represent the values of the Best Alliance.
Flyer tries to withhold a nostril flare, but it’s caught on camera for all to see.
High Flyer: Listen, Lee didn’t disband the previous Best Alliance. Mike Best did, when he earwigged his way into LT and Ryan’s brain to turn them into his lackeys. Lee just didn’t bring me back in for round 2, which honestly, I can’t blame him. To say my HOW career has not gone as anticipated, has not gone as Lee Best expected, is the understatement of the century.
Jack Dawson: Some also say this is why Dan Ryan and Lindsay Troy turned on you and left you high and dry.
High Flyer: Ryan and Troy turned on me because they WANTED to. We were never friends. I was a means to an end, and an unstable one at that. They turned on me because they have no honor, and Mike Best’s bags needed new bellhops.
Jack chuckles a bit.
Jack Dawson: What do you have to say to the naysayers?
High Flyer: Fuck ‘em. That’s what I say.
Jack’s eyes grow big by the response and he takes a second to compose himself.
Jack Dawson: I think you’ve done well for yourself because you’ve had multiple title opportunities for the World, ICON, LSD, and Tag titles, but you just ran into a buzzsaw known as the eMpire which later became the Group of Death.
High Flyer: Come at the king, you best not miss. I missed, and here I am. But they all made the mistake of not finishing me off when they could. I think Max could have done it… but he chose not to. I’d like to think he knew what was to come…
Jack Dawson: Your rivalry with the late, great Max Kael was very brutal and twisted. I mean who could forget you setting him on fire and throwing him off of the Best Arena.
High Flyer: Yeah… Good times. I miss him…
Flyer wipes away an imaginary tear. He then chest bumps twice and throws a finger skyward.
High Flyer: Oh. Wait.
He then points that finger downward.
High Flyer: Wherever you are, you are not forgotten.
The studio audience begin to boo.
Jack Dawson: The audience didn’t like that.
High Flyer: Let’s just call that wishful thinking then… I’ve done a lot of bad things in my life and I’d like to see Max again.
Jack Dawson: Fair enough.
Jack responds before changing subjects.
Jack Dawson: Recently, Max’s son has come into HOW to compete and he’s done pretty good for himself so far.
High Flyer: Yeah, but I think I’m more of a blood relation with Max than he is. Blood brothers and all. Kid’s talented though, he’s got a similar outlook that I must say I cherish.
Jack Dawson: How’s that?
Jack asks with a curious tone.
High Flyer: Violence with a pinch of chaos and showmanship. It’s a nice recipe for disaster.
Jack Dawson: Speaking of kids, you have a son in the wrestling industry as well if I’m not mistaken.
High Flyer: I do. Him following in my footsteps has made me, oh so very proud.
Jack Dawson: Will we ever see him in a HOW ring?
High Flyer: That’s up to him. I gave him a leg up, gave him training, connections. But he wants to be his own man, forge his own path. I helped him get started, but he wants to succeed on his own. It’s admirable. That being said, I imagine his end goal is to show up across the ring and either slap my hand for the hot tag, or slap my face and step out from my shadow. One day, we’ll see which he chooses.
Jack Dawson: And I’m sure you know better than anyone that sometimes you just can’t escape your father’s shadow no matter how successful you become.
High Flyer: People have built a career outta tryin’…
Jack Dawson: Recently, you threw your hat into the HOFC scene to compete in the DeNucci Cup, and I’m curious as to why because Jack Harmen is known more for his vicious brutality and hardcore ways than his trash talk.
High Flyer: Cause Lee Best provided me an opportunity. And unlike Steve Harrison, I take my opportunities, regardless if it’s a “good week” for me.
Jack mouths ouch.
Jack Dawson: And speaking of the Miracle Man, you faced Steve Harrison in the tournament and unfortunately you lost. Where do you go from here?
High Flyer: Dunno Jack. I’m just keeping my head down, training as hard as I can, and hoping the next week is better than the last. This business is about three things… skill, luck, and confidence. The latter two? I’ve been severely lacking as of late. Key here for me? Start to get a little momentum, get a couple wins under the belt, build up my personal confidence. It’s hard to trash talk someone when all you think about is how much of a fraud you are, or how you just want to turn all that trash talk inward and wallow in the misery of self defeat. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, and once you find yourself sucked into the whirlpool, it’s hard to fight against the current. Like how Conor was acting, all worried about having to face Mike Best…
Jack Dawson: That’s interesting. We saw you give Conor advice on Refueled for just this scenario. Why?
High Flyer: Cause we all need a little pat on the back every now and then. Conor came here, hot as fire, undefeated, and then hit a roadblock. Just like I, when I entered, I was a house of fire, I was ready to take on the world, until I hit my roadblock. There’s no reason I should stand back and watch Conor fall through the same pitfalls I did. Not when a match with Mike Best is on the horizon.
Jack Dawson: You told him to crush Mike’s windpipe……is there a personal animosity between you and the World champion?
High Flyer: Yes.
Jack Dawson: Wo-Would you care to elaborate?
High Flyer: Do I really need to?
Jack Dawson: Please, do so.
High Flyer: He killed Max Kael. I wasn’t done with Max. So… next question.
Jack Dawson: Will you be in Conor’s corner when he faces Mike Best? Are you thinking of managing Conor and helping him throughout the tournament?
High Flyer: No No. I wish Conor the best, but I’m not going to show up in his corner. I’m not a manager, I’m a wrestler. It would take too long for me to get my managerial license even if I wanted to. So, this Refueled? I’m just a Conor Fuse fan. I, like most of HOW, will be cheering Mr. Fuse on as he takes on the very worst of HOW, the World Champion, Michelle Blurst. Go Conor Go.
Jack Dawson: Well, I’d like to thank our guest for coming onto the show.