Superstar Spotlight

A monthly in depth look at the ECWA performers by Josh Martin

by Josh Martin

     He is perhaps one of the biggest icons in the history of the ECWA. His name is Ace Darling. He has done it all in the ECWA including: Winning the 1st ECWA Super 8 Tournament in 1997.

Competing in 4 different ECWA Super 8 Tournaments.
Holding the ECWA Heavyweight Championship.
Holding the ECWA TV Title and ECWA Mid Atlantic Title.
Holding the ECWA Tag Team Championship.
He was inducted into the prestigious ECWA Hall of Fame in 1996.

     Over the years Ace Darling has become a staple in the very fabric of the ECWA lineage. He has excelled in every aspect of the ECWA roster and behind the scenes he has served as a teacher and mentor to many ECWA stars over the years. I had the opportunity to pose several questions to this wrestling icon. I hope you enjoy.

Ring Name? Ace Darling

Height? 6 ft.

Weight? 233 lbs.

Character hails from? The Jersey Shore

Birthdate? (month & day) 6/27

Years Pro? 15

Style of wrestling? High flying, scientific and so darn entertaining.

Favorite moves? Superkick, Ddt off the second, Northern lights suplex, Spinning bulldog

Finishing moves? Ddt off the second rope "Ace in the Hole"

Notable ECWA feuds? Chase "Not quite Ace" Del Monte, Bax and Eckos, Cheetah Master, Lance Diamond, Billy Kidman and anyone else who wants to be out wrestled.

Favorite ECWA opponents? I have wrestled a lot of people in the last 13 plus years in the ECWA. Glen Osbourne, Lance Diamond, Cheetah Master, Chick Magnets, Bax and Eckos, Chase Del Monte, Inferno Kid, Boogie Woogie Brown, Kidman, Mike Kruel and Reckless Youth.

How long have you been in wrestling? 15 years wrestling, I used to carry the ring jackets to the back for a year before I went to wrestling school.

What made you want to get into wrestling?  I had no other interests than wrestling growing up. Never watched football or baseball. I never wanted to do anything but wrestle. I used to love going to the local indy shows and go to the Spectrum to see the WWF. There was nothing more exciting and entertaining to me than wrestling.

Where did you train?  Iron Mike Sharpes Wrestling School in Bricktown NJ

When did you join the ECWA?  fall 1994

How did you joining the ECWA come about? Jim Kettner and Glen Osbourne came to a wrestling show at a farmers market in PA. They saw me and my partner wrestling and we were really trying to do a lot of high flying stuff back than. Jim and Glen came to us after the show and said they thought we would do good in the ECWA. (We were both so excited because we were both big Glen Osbourne fans back than. We used to watch him in the old ECW and thought he was great.....don't tell Glen)

What do you like about the ECWA?  It's home. The ECWA makes young wrestlers dreams come true. You learn to grow as a performer here. You learn how to work in front of the same people and how to make them come back next month. Jim will give you the ball and let you run. His locker room is full of top notch talent and even better people. There was a time when I didn't think I could wrestle anymore because of some physical problems and Jim and his locker room made me know that there would always be a spot for me, even if it isn't in the ring. Now that I'm back it's great getting the chance to wrestle the young hungry kids. The amount of respect that is shown to me makes me feel so great every time I go to Delaware and a lot of that to do with who Jim brings in.

What do you think about the ECWA fans? They really care about the performers. They aren't there waiting for someone to fall on there face, they are there to be entertained.

What have been your favorite ECWA moments? Winning the first Super 8. When Cheetah asked me to be his partner 2 years ago and the fans yelled "one more match". When I left Chase Del Monte laying in the ring. When I left Kidman laying in the ring. My 2 ladder matches (me, Devon, Lance and Reckless) (me and Devon vs Bax and Eckos). When Devon dressed as Cheetah to wrestle me and I beat him in 5 seconds. Being honored at last years Super 8 lunch. Beating Freak Nastty for the ECWA title. (Well that hasn't happened yet, but it will!!!!)

How did the Ace Darling character come about? Not really a character, I just love to be hated.

What is the Ace Darling character all about?  Just telling people how I feel when I feel like it. Everyone hates someone with a big mouth, but everyone really hates someone with a big mouth that can do exactly what they say they are gonna do.

Your thoughts on the current state of the wrestling business? I don't like wrestling today. When I was a kid the characters were larger than life and the story line was simple, good vs evil. Today it's very violent and not believable. When I watch, even today, I want to believe. When I go to a movie I want to believe and be entertained and that's how wrestling should be. There is nowhere for people to learn how to wrestle. People get signed to contracts before they learn how to wrestle, get thrown on TV and than before they are really given a chance to get over they are let go. The fans don't get a chance to get to know anyone anymore because things happen so fast.

Favorite Food? Italian food, and breakfast food. Never a bad time for a chicken parm sandwich and pizza or a stack of pancakes and cheese omelet.

Favorite music? 80s rock, some 80s hard rock, classic rock and some of the new alternative rock from today.

Favorite band/artist? Guns-n-Roses. Billy Joel, Elton John.

Favorite color? black and pink

Favorite sports team? don't watch too many sports

Favorite athlete? Rob "Big Daddy" Eckos

Favorite wrestlers? Shawn Michaels, Marty Janette, Ricky Steamboat, Hiro Matsuda, Tito Santana, Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Randy Savage.

Favorite TV shows? Deal or No Deal, Seinfeld

Favorite movies? Can't Buy Me Love, Summer School, Star Wars series, Superman 2

Favorite actor? Tom Hanks

Favorite actress? Meg Ryan

What sports do you like to watch? Wrestling. I like to watch the strong man contests.

What sports do you like to play? Can't you tell I'm a body builder! Weight Lifting

What hobbies do you have? Raising my kids, my career, indy shows on the weekends, my wife and my house. Hobbies, who has time for hobbies?

What do you do in your spare time? See above answer!

What kind of work outside wrestling to you do?  I am the number 1 sales rep for a very successful telecom company.

Who have been your biggest inspirations? My Dad, he is always such a hard worker and showed me how to treat people and be a great father and provider.

What are your aspirations (professional & personal)? To raise my family and still raise some heck on the indys. I'm at the point where I'm not looking to do anymore wrestling than what I'm doing. I will never go to the WWE or TNA, that part of my dreams have come and gone. I get such pleasure working the ECWA shows and a lot of the young guys kind of treat me like the uncle they get advice from, and I love that.