South Florida’s Jonny Vandal has been a marquee in the wrestling world locally, but now his talents are being recognized worldwide.
But no matter where he goes, he won’t forget the time he spent hustling and bustling in a (South Florida) Hollywood warehouse training at the Rusty Brooks’ School of Hard Knocks, Vandal told The Roman Show.
That’s where at a young age he began to hone his wrestling craft, giving him the tools to springboard into the pro wrestling circuit -- most recently WWE’s NXT, where he encountered familiar faces.
“NXT is a dream come true,” Vandal said. “I’ve been around since 2001. They called me, and I’ve done NXT a couple of shows. They continue to contact me. You grow up watching wrestling, and you work your hardest in the minor leagues. Some people don’t get called, but when you do, it is a dream come true.”
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Vandal started training at 13. He trained at The School of Hard Knocks, under the direction of Florida wrestling legend and former WWF wrestler Rusty Brooks. Vandal trained with current NXT trainer Norman Smiley, former WWE superstar MVP, current WWE superstar Conor O’Brian (Konnor of The Ascension) and local long-time Florida star Soulman Alex G.
“I wish there was stuff like that now,” he said. “Now the schools they want you to work just for them.”
Vandal, who also wrestled for the WWN Live Network, says he continues to learn, and the training he had from the School of Hard Knocks is similar to the one he did in Japan.
Hear from Vandal as he touched base on his new gimmick, wrestling in Florida and more.
- Pro Wrestling On the Web