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    Monday, September 2, 2019

    EXCLUSIVE: A One-on-One With "Mr. Athletic" Jeff Cobb

    Philippine Wrestling Revolution's upcoming October event, entitled PWR Special: Homecoming, is slowly shaping up to be another groundbreaking show. On October 12, 2019, the PWR roster will square off at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent to give the Revo-Nation a show that they will never forget.

    As the show title implies, PWR will be bringing home foreign talents with Filipino heritage for what promises to be the biggest locally-produced wrestling show yet. Big names such as former WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJP, former ROH World Television Champion Jeff Cobb and former PWR Champion "Beautiful" Billy Suede will be present at the show.

    If you still aren't hyped up yet, then let our exclusive one-on-one Q&A session with "Mr. Athletic" Jeff Cobb help you with that. We pulled out all the stops for this interview and discussed topics ranging from his training, his experience with NJPW, his future, and his upcoming trip to the Philippines.


    SMARK HENRY: Let's start with your training regimen. Our Smark Healthy columnist [George Pastor] wants to know what it includes. And have any exercises from your amateur wrestling background transitioned to your pro wrestling career?

    JEFF COBB: Olympic lifts or explosive types of workouts like cleans, squats, and deadlifts—a lot of explosive lifts. I was on a three-times-a-week [routine] where it was some sort of clean and some sort of squat and some sort of deadlift and then supplement other random stuff (laughs).

    Photo from GettyImages

    What's the secret to being an athletic big man? On top of that, what's the heaviest you've ever lifted and what's your favorite feat of strength?

    COBB: I don't know about secrets (laughs)I guess it stems from my Olympic wrestling background and the style of training that went into that. The heaviest hang clean I've done was 315 [lbs], the heaviest back squat I did raw was 500 [lbs], and the deadlift was somewhere in the 600-pound range. Now, I'm a bit older so I don't go cray-cray (laughs).

    Do you have any pre-match rituals you perform before heading out for a match?

    COBB: Yeah. More so, a routine (laughs). I do a little stretch and say a tiny prayer asking for everyone involved to be safe and stay healthy.

    Let's talk about the G1. How did you prepare for it? Which one of your matches is your favorite?

    COBB: I went back on my Olympic lifting regime and added more Jiu-jitsu and mat time.

    I loved 'em all! They gave me a chance to prove myself on a singles platform and each match was different in itself, but the [Tetsuya] Naito one meant a lot because he's Naito.

    Photo from NJPW1972.com

    What did you learn from being a part of that the NJPW locker room? Could you share a little bit on how they differ from the locker rooms in the U.S.?

    COBB: I learned more about the art of selling and storytelling and learned from some of the best guys out there—Kota Ibushi, [Hiroshi] Tanahashi, [Kazuchika] Okada, etc.

    Well, there's always water and energy drinks availableas well as ice (laughs). Also, the guys are great. You have some of the best wrestlers in the world and no one has an ego. The other locker rooms I've run across, some guys that haven't done anything in the business have attitudes. I still have yet to figure that one out (laughs).

    One of your opponents in the Olympics was Yoel Romero, who later became a huge star in the UFC, Have you ever considered doing MMA as well?

    COBB: Not really. I've always said it takes a special type of person to get hit in the face and like it. Not me (laughs). This (points to his face) is my moneymaker!

    Photo from ROHWrestling.com

    You're currently signed to Ring of Honor. Is this going to be your home in the long term? And is working in the WWE still in your sights? Is there anybody working in WWE that you'd like to face?

    COBB: As of right now, my contract ends on December 31st. I haven't made a decision on where I'm going to go. ROH has been great to me but I'm going to do what's best for my career and my family.

    Right now, no. When I started wrestling, [WWE] was my goal. But as the years progress, things change. ROH has offered me great money for a fifth of the schedule as WWE's. New Japan is another possibility. Maybe AEW? WWE has guys that I haven't worked with on the indies or other companies like AJ [Styles], Samoa Joe, and Cesaro to name a few.

    Photo from WWE.com

    Two years ago, you guested on The SGP Podcast and mentioned that NJPW and the Philippines were part of the Top 3 on your bucket list. Now that you've done NJPW and will be working in the Philippines [on October 12], what's next on your bucket list?

    COBB: Well, I still have a few things on the bucket list. New countries, all 50 states... But I feel those are like side-mission goals (laughs). Bucket list? Hmm... I have to think about that one (laughs). Maybe help put a New Japan show in Hawaii and Guam.

    What are your thoughts and feelings about working in the Philippines and what are you most looking forward to experiencing in the country?

    COBB: I'm excited as heck! I've never been [here] and this is my motherland! When I was living in Guam, my grandmother would go every December for a few weeks but I never went and I regret that because I never got to learn or experience that part of my culture. But I figure, better late than never.
    I'd like to see as much as possible. Food-wise, I've eaten a lot so my plan is to take in as much of the heritage and culture as I can.

    How are you preparing for your trip to the Philippines (and specifically for your upcoming match at PWR Special: Homecoming?)

    COBB: The same way as any other match.

    Are you familiar with the Philippine wrestling scene? If so, who are you looking forward to facing? If not, which stars with Filipino heritage would you want to face?

    COBB: Unfortunately, I am not. But I am happy that the best sport in the world is being practiced in my motherland! I've wrestled Filipino guys before so it's always a cool feeling working with a fellow Pinoy. I've worked with TJP, Fallah Bahh, B-Boy, and DJZ, just to name a few that have done some stuff in this sport.

    Video from YouTube

    Lastly, what can your Filipino fans expect from you at PWR Special: Homecoming? Do you have any words of advice of aspiring Filipino wrestlers?

    COBB: Hopefully someone [with] a style they haven't seen before, suplexes that they haven't seen, and a match that they will hopefully talk about for years to come.

    To aspiring wrestlers, the cream always rises to the top. With the expansion and massive popularity for wrestling, and the help of the internet, people from all over the world can see you! Just keep improving and working on our craft. Always learn and keep grinding.


    I actually had more questions to ask Jeff, however, I felt that some questions and stories would be better if I asked them in person. Interestingly enough, PWR is offering a Gold ticket with a Meet & Greet opportunity with him. You can ask your questions personally if you wish to do so, too!

    The meet & greet ticket includes a chance to meet TJP as well—who I've also had the pleasure of hanging out and talking with. However, that's a story for another time. I can only hope that TJ remembers me when I attend the event.

    Photo from Philippine Wrestling Revolution

    What are you waiting for? Grab your tickets now and see you at the show!


    Are you excited for PWR Special: Homecoming? What are you most looking forward to on this show? Sound off in the comments section below.

    PWR Special: Homecoming will be happening on October 12, 2019, and is presented by ABS-CBN Vertis Tent. You can buy advance tickets now via pwr.tickets@gmail.com or you can message PWR's Facebook page for inquiries. Ticket2me services will be available starting September 1st.

    Disclaimer: Smark Henry is independently owned and managed by a group of Filipino pro wrestling fans, but includes members affiliated with Philippine Wrestling Revolution.


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your supposed style icon and NXT reviewer at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of everything music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) and ‘gramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz) as he sets on his journey to completely do things spontaneously. You can also add him on PSN (MigzLlado) to show your WWE2K19 (or any PS4) skills. When not being a smark, he lives his life being (and trying to be) an awesome architect, musician extraordinaire and armchair fantasy booker.
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    Item Reviewed: EXCLUSIVE: A One-on-One With "Mr. Athletic" Jeff Cobb Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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