Mike Orlando is a rising independent wrestler who has competed all over the country and recently agreed to an interview. I hope you enjoy it and learn something new.
Orlando has wanted to be a professional wrestler his entire life. However, early on he took a different direction in life just to prepare himself to be in the right physical condition for wrestling. “It was my lifelong dream…” Orlando said. “It was something I wanted to do with my life and I actually ended up playing football for my entire life just to get in the shape and look the way I need to be to be the best wrestler possible.”
Growing up Orlando was inspired by the likes of Bret Hart, Chris Jericho and Ultimate Warrior. However, when it came to studying guys and wrestling ability, he studies Rob Van Dam and guys of that style.
Part of Orlando’s training took place at the CZW Academy. “I’ve gotten a lot of good help from them but I’ve earned a lot of good experiences to working with them and it has been an awesome opportunity that I’m very grateful for and it’s a step that everybody needs to take and learn from all different angles.” Orlando said.
While Combat Zone Wrestling may have built a reputation with their deathmatch speciality matches, Orlando refutes the notion that it’s all they are capable of doing. “I’ve learned a lot from a lot of these guys that don’t seem to use it because they’re always in these death match type matches but they are some of the smartest best talented wrestlers out there and it’s a great thing to train with them. So I’m pleasantly surprised at the same time not surprised at all after all this time of being there.” Orlando said.
Orlando has competed on CZW Dojo Wars, which can be found on YouTube. However, he hasn’t been there in awhile. He has nothing but positivity for that program as it teaches the students of CZW their craft.
In 2015, Orlando worked for EVOLVE on their fiftieth show. “It was a great experience that I hope will lead to bigger things down the line.” Orlando recalled.
Since competing for EVOLVE, Orlando remained busy competing for Mikey Whipwreck ran NYWC. Orlando has nothing but praise for the company and Whipwreck. “He is super professional and ran his promotion amazing. I have not one bad thing to say about him ever, he is a legend and a gentlemen that has always taken care of the boys first. I’m beyond humbled to have him in my career.”
Orlando has also regularly competed for Dynasty Pro Wrestling based out of Albany, New York. While competing there, Orlando has battled the likes of Ted Goodz, Dalton Castle and former Dynasty Heavyweight Champion Mike Verna. However, the biggest moment of his career in Dynasty was when he cashed in a briefcase against then TNA World Champion Eddie Edwards. “Sharing a ring with Eddie Edwards was quite amazing. Technically I cashed in a briefcase for any championship match, so when I won I should have been then TNA Heavyweight Champion.” Orlando declared.
Recently, Orlando has been working for Pennsylvania Premiere Wrestling where he has worked with Ryback and Abyss. Orlando doesn’t tend to change his mindset against nationally recognized wrestlers. “Preparation is in the weeks prior. Everyday we wake up and need to prepare for any obstacle. I didn’t handle them any different then I handle anyone else. I take what I do seriously and make sure I underestimate nobody. I hope they went well. I mean I feel they did. If you all subscribe to my YouTube you can go leave a comment and let me know! But, it was an honor to share the ring with these professionals and I can only wish to hold a similar legacy to them.” Orlando explained.
On April 21st, 2017 Orlando competed in a singles match against recently signed Shelton Benjamin. The bout went to a time limit draw. Orlando has fond memories of the match and interaction with Benjamin. “ Seeing him back on TV is amazing because I know I was one of the very limited few to share a ring with him prior. He is a class act and true professional. We tore it up and kicked each others ass. The nerves weren’t there because I could feel he was prepping himself for a big return as well. He had nerves deep down returning to the ring and I was honored to share it with him. He seemed to enjoy it and even tweeted about it. Go check it out.”
This past July Orlando found himself in the ring with a wrestling legend, Jerry Lawler. “I sound like a broken record when I say that I was honored.” Orlando said. “Jerry Lawler will be one of the best wrestlers known forever and to know that I shared a ring with him in my career makes me feel like my career is more than sometimes when I give it. First time we even met was in the ring when his music was finished playing and I felt that I learned a lot that day the feedback that I received was beyond positive.”
What’s next for Mike Orlando? He’s hopeful that he can continue to pay his bills, travel, have great life and end up with a contract and appear on television on a regular basis. Who knows, maybe someday he’ll manage to have a dream match against Chris Jericho or Rob Van Dam. He is also taking on Nick Aldis (formerly known as Magnus) on September 16th, 2017.
To find out more information on Mike Orlando via social media you can follow him along on the following platforms:
TWITTER & INSTAGRAM: @thebigorlando
There are plenty matches of Mike Orlando on YouTube you can check out. Here’s a few you might want view.
Thank you to Mike Orlando for taking the time to be part of this interview. If you are a promoter or independent wrestler that would like to have a feature article/interview you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.