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Bar- Jutsu

Bar-Jutsu Interview

Indy Mayhem Show 85

Guest: Bar-Jutsu

Original Air Date: 09/02/2015

Listen or watch here

Bar- JutsuSorg: We’re going to be learning a bit tonight.  I discovered these guys thanks to PodCamp Pittsburgh a few weeks ago.  And, we’ve got in our study to tell us more about Bar-Jutsu and so much more is James Matthew of BarJutso.com.

James: Hi everybody.  How’s it going.  Doing pretty good.

Sorg: Now, you are the guy behind Bar-Jutsu, right?

James: I am the guy.  I am the creator of Bar-Jutsu. 

Sorg: We’ll skip the preliminary wrestling questions.  We do have a wrestling connection, like moreso than I thought.  We’ve gone deeper down the rabbit hole tonight.

James: We have. 

Sorg: And, that’s not a metaphor for anything we might have been talking about earlier.  I apologize for that again.  First of all.  What the heck is Bar-Jutsu?

James: Bar-Jutsu is the American art of bar fighting.  It’s an American version of Nin-Jutsu.  Bascially what I do is I take out the bow staffs and I replace it with a pool stick.  I’ve been doing martial arts my whole life.  Oh, there I am right there.  But, I taught a lot of outdoor classes, and most of my students were adults – usually in their 20s or something.  And, a lot of times I’d be referring to, “You would do this technique in a bar.”  So, it got me thinking one day after doing all these classes it’d be funny to write something like a glorified bathroom reading material book, where instead of being like a bunch of guys in uniforms and stuff and everything doing these techniques, you could kind of relate it as kind of like bar fighting.  So, I wrote this book.  I just wrote it in a notebook.  Thought maybe I’d print it up at Kinko’s or something.  And, I thought it needed a catchy name.  So, I teach Nin-Jutsu, certified in Nin-Jutsu, so I just made it Bar-Jutsu and then elaborated a little bit more on that, and it ultimately became Bar-Jutsu: The American Art of Bar Fighting.  There’s always like, Japanese something, or Korean something.  So, now you have the American art of bar fighting.  That’s pretty much it. 

Sorg: That’s awesome. And, how long has Bar-Jutsu been out there?  This is the first I’ve come across it, around the talk over PodCamp Pittsburgh.  I can’t remember.  I saw a tweet from you guys retweeted by somebody that was going to be there.  And, I watched the video we were just showing, which was like with the training montage and everything.  And, I’m just like, “I’m freaking hooked on this thing.”

James: Well, thank you.

Sorg: It was like the kind of – and it looks like you did that a little while ago, right? 

James: Yeah.  That video was done in 2012.  I wrote the book in 2010.  Started pitching it.  Finally got accepted in the beginning of 2011 by Tuttle Publishing.  And, it took a while going through rewrites and everything.  It finally came out in stores January 21, 2014.  And, I just got word yesterday that basically the first edition of it has been sold out.  They sold so many that they’re releasing a second edition February, 2016.  Luckily for you guys, unlucky for me, it’s going to be a cheaper, smaller version.  If you want one of the originals, you’ve got to get it now at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com.  You can really pick it up anywhere, which is shocking to me because I never thought – I’m not a professional writer.  I never thought that I would write a book that you could walk into Barnes & Noble and pick it up.  Nobody ever really took me seriously.  But, it was something that I was really passionate about.  It was one of those things where I had the idea, and people started telling me, “You know, this is actually kind of funny.”  Because it is.  It’s not meant to be taken as serious as any other martial arts book that you have out there.  It’s a humorous but educational self-defense book.

Sorg: Right.

James: What we do is, we mix it up.  We show you self-defense techniques but we put them in funny scenarios and then in between the chapters, or the lessons what we call them, we have stories that people have submitted to us where they talk about bar fights that they were in where they get their asses handed to them.  But, it’s a fun read.  It’s really colorful.  It’s a full-color book.  A lot of pictures.  Everybody always asks me, they’re like, “Dude.  I don’t want to read a martial arts book.  Does it have a lot of pictures?”  I say, “Yeah.  It has a lot of pictures.”

Sorg: There you go.  You said, it’s kind of like a bathroom-kind of book a little bit, too.

James: It is.  It’s glorified bathroom reading material.  And, it was funny when the publisher, when they had me on Skype to do the final pitch, I’m sitting there thinking, “What’s the Harvard answer I could give them to how to pitch this?”  And, I couldn’t think of it.  So, I was, “You know what. Screw it.” I was like, “Look guys.  This is just something that somebody’s going to want to read in the bathroom.”  Something that’s just fun and it’s going to give you hemorrhoids because you don’t want to put it down.  And, that was the line that got it sold.  They were like, “We like that.  We like that it’s bathroom reading material.”  And, that’s pretty much where we went from there.  We have 2 more books coming out – kind of waiting in between.  I don’t want to put them back-to-back-to-back and put them out there, but we have a couple more written and should be hopefully coming out soon.  If the rerelease is 2016, then I’m hoping that Book 2 will come out either late 2016 or beginning of 2017.

Sorg: That’s awesome that you’ve got a few in the can there.  Now, what captured me was, well first of all, there’s got to be a story behind this crazy belt going on here.

James: There is a story.

Sorg: Now, you told, me, you were like, “Well, I don’t know if I should wear this.  It’s a little weird.  Plus, I’m just not good at holding belts.  I don’t have the muscles.”

James: You look fabulous in it.

Sorg: I don’t have the muscles and stuff, man.  I’m a lowly podcaster and video editor.  C’mon man.  How did this come about?

James: I started pro wrestling back in ’96.

Sorg: Which was the interesting connection. I was like, “What?”

James: It was!  So I started doing it back in ’96, and wrestling’s always been in my life.  I’ve always loved wrestling.  And, it was easy because I always felt like I needed this martial arts background, and do all these things, blah, blah, blah, blah.  So, when I finally got out of wrestling in 2009 I decided to keep that part of my life close to me.  When I developed Bar-Jutsu: The American Art of Bar Fighting.  I have to keep saying that, to plug it like that.

Sorg: I was going to say.

James: The whole name like that.

Sorg: I love that giant name.  It’s like, oh, it’s the World Wrestling Federation.  “The WWF?”  Yes, the World Wrestling Federation.

James: When I created it, it felt like it needed a lot more things.  So, I created the Bar-Jutsu Girls, kind of like the Hooters Girls, but these are the girls that go into the bars wearing our logo, our beer truck’s logo, and they go in and promote the book, talk about it.  They flirt with the guys.  There’s Juliana – that’s one of our girls.  These are not our girls.  So we have the Bar-Jutsu Girls.  I actually have a set of beerchucks.  They are very fragile.  But, I created an actual set of beerchucks just to make sure that it wasn’t just a cool logo.  And, they’re swingable – you can swing them.  But, it still wasn’t enough.  So, I had the Bar-Jutsu Girls.  I had the beerchucks.  I’m like, “I’m missing something else.”  So, I started throwing the shirts on wrestlers like Kevin Nash, Tammy, Sonni – you guys love Sonni.  Sonni wears them for me.

Sorg: Big fan.

James: Eugene.  A lot of guys just, you know, I would go to shows.  Christian York was a big fan of it.  There’s Robby and his ex, I guess now, right?  But, everybody, they just snag up – that’s the original Bar-Jutsu Championship Belt.  Mike Blade, our champion – he’s holding it there.

Sorg: It almost looks like a sawblade.

James: It is actually a big bottle cap.  And, we had 2 logos – we had the bottle cap logo, and we had the beerchucks logo.  And, the publisher said to us, “You know, you’re going to confuse people.  The bottle cap logo is really cool, but the beerchucks logo it stands out more.  It’s more noticeable.”  So, try not to use the bottle cap as much because it will make it a secondary logo.  You’ll see that around occasionally.  Some old school shirts will have it on there.  But, we mainly stick with the beerchucks logo no.  But, getting back to the belts.  I always kept my ties with the workers, the boys in the locker room and everything.  And, I felt like, “You know.  Shirts aren’t just going to cut it.”  So, we started – I created the Version 1 of the Bar-Jutsu belt.  Mike Blade started wearing it.  There’s New Jack with he original logo.  New Jack was a big supporter of us in the beginning.  But, then Dave Milliken got wind of it, and he saw it.  And, he thought it was really cool.  And, he asked me who made the first logo – the bottle cap logo.  I said I did.  On the side, as every other belt mark in the world, I make championship belts.  Now, I don’t do it like Dave Milliken does.  I don’t CNC it or anything.  I engrave it.  He’s like, “Who made that?”  And, I’m like, “I did.”  And, he’s like, “What’s it made out of?”  I’m like, “It’s a stop sign.”  He’s like, “What?”  I’m like, “Yeah.  It’s a stop sign.”  So he’s like, “You know, we can do better than that.”  So me and him kind of got together online and we went over some designs, and I said, “I am a huge mark for the old school IC belt.”  So we had the logo put on there and the side plates were originally 2 bottle caps.  And, then we had the American flags on it.  I said to him, “I really want to avoid using bottle caps on the side plates because it’s going to look like ninja stars.  People are going to confuse it with ninja stars.”  So we kept it to circles with the beerchucks on it, and that’s how we got Version 2.  So, you are now holding upside down.

Sorg: Oh damn. I’m John Cenaing this thing.  I’m sorry.

James: What a great reference. 

Sorg: What’s the flag upside down for?  I don’t get that.  That seems weird.

James: Yeah.  You are now holding Version 2.  Dave Milliken, he’s just a really nice guy.  And, he offered to make that.  We had a deal, so we made it.  We got that. And, now Mike Blade defends it at the shows.  He works a lot of indy shows around here, and I let him wear it.  Mike’s a really good friend of mine.  I met him in ’96 and he truly – and I’m not trying to get all emotional here, because I want to try to stay with the comedy side of it, but Mike is more of a champion than I could ever have anyone wearing it.  A lot of people don’t know this, and I don’t think he’d have a problem with me saying it now, but Mike was diagnosed with cancer about maybe a year or two ago, and he was able to beat it.  I was real happy for him, real proud for him.  And, I told him – it was funny, because when I first made him the champion, I was like, “Yeah.  Congratulations.  You’re the champ.  Don’t be mad when you have to drop it at a couple shows whenever we bring in Christian York and stuff.”  So, he was like, “No.”  And then he told me about the cancer, and he went through the whole thing.  He lost his hair went through the chemo.  And, I remember the day he called me, and he was like, “Dude.  I’m free.  I’m clear.  I don’t have any more cancer in me.”  And, I was like, “You know what, dude.  You will never drop that strap.”  That is more than I can hope for a champion.  He’s a really awesome guy.  I love him to death.  It’s Mike Blade.  He’s a Pittsburgh legend.  I don’t care who debates that.  If anybody out there says Mike Blade, he’s no legend.  He’s just a worker with long hair – looks like Danzig.  Fuck you.

Sorg: I guess he does a little bit.

James: Am I allowed to curse on here?

Sorg: Yeah.  You’re allowed.  You’re good.

James: Sorry.  Fucking people.

Sorg: And, he’s somebody – I didn’t know any of his history or anything.  He’s somebody that’s popped up at RWA a couple of shows.  And again, I’m like, “Who’s this guy?”  No, I didn’t know there was so much behind him.

James: Yeah.  He’s actually going to be defending it September 13th.  A new promotion popping up.  Is that okay to say?

Sorg: Yeah.  That’s fine.  Go ahead and plug it.

James: Yeah, so CWR – Code Red Wrestling.  They’re going to be here in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.  I don’t know much details on the show. I just know that they contacted me, asked me if Mike Blade could defend the title.  And, I said, “Yeah.  Sure.”  It was an honor to be asked to do that.  And, Mike was happy to do that.  Hopefully it’ll be a good show. 

Sorg: And, that is a new promotion actually.  Sera Feeney that we’ve had early on in this show is a part of that, along with Fleck.  It’ll be interesting to see what comes from that.  I have my opinions on the number of wrestling promotions already in this area, but I wish them the best of luck in general.  But, that’s cool that they got that involved.  And, it’s definitely something a little different going on with that.  So, it’ll be interesting to see what comes from there.  I think I’ve showed, Virgil also has the belt as well, but we have a little story about that over on the Mayhem Show Gold if you guys want to check us out on Patreon for that.  So, you got the wrestling connection.  *Sorg dropped the belt.*  Sorry.  I’m John Cenaing this thing.  It is heavy.  I’ve held a lot of belts, and Wheelz in there – he’s a bit of a belt mark himself.  And, he’s already said that he wants me to tell you that he wants this championship.  He’ll take you on in a handicap match.  He’s in a wheelchair, so there you go.  Anyway, so obviously your wrestling connection – you’re a longtime wrestling – what did you wrestler under?  What was your name?

James: I was Van Hughes.  More importantly, I was the Steel City Machine – Van Hughes.  People hated me.  The crowd hated me, and the workers hated me.  No.  I got along with a lot of workers, like a brother of mine, Justin Idol.  I love the guy to death.

Sorg: Yeah.  We know Idol.

James: I was there when he started.  He trained in our school and everything.  But, he’s one of the guys – and the guys out in AIW, Cleveland – Johnny Thorn.  Love you Thorny!  I don’t know if he’s listening.  Hopefully.  Chris Brian.  Chandler Biggins.  Love those guys.  There’s only a handful of guys out there that actually, you know, I would take a bullet for.  Really good guys.  When I started training under New Jack, he would tell me all the time, “Dude, you really got to live up to your gimmick.  You’ve got to believe it so that whenever you go out there, people are going to believe it.”  So, I kind of developed that habit of when you walk in to the locker room, you know, you are Van Hughes.  Alright, James, he’s at home so Van Hughes is here today.  And, I had that dick persona.  I was a superstar.  I wasn’t a superstar, but I had to keep it in there.  And, then as soon as the match was over, I was like, “Huh.  Okay, he’s gone.  He’s done for the night.”  But, a lot of people just would buy it.  Either I was that good and people were like, “Holy shit.  This dude is a wrecking machine.”  Or they were just like, “Fuck him.  He’s an asshole.”  But, either way.  It was like, I said, it was hard.  You mentioned Jason Gory.  I love Gory.  You had mentioned him before, and I think in the beginning he was kind of like, “Van Hughes.  What a dick.”  And, then it took him a while, he’s like, “actually he’s kind of a cool guy.”

Sorg: And, that’s another guy that we talk about on the show that’s really taken his gimmick to another level with the Generation Dead stuff with Raver and the other guys out there.  One of those guys – every time I have a new guy at ringside and he comes out, I’m like, “Get his face.  Just get his face.  If you do nothing else, get his face for the entrance.”  You know something’s happening there.

James: He’s beautiful.  I’ll tell you what – he is one guy.  I haven’t seen – I haven’t been to an indy show in a while.  But, any indy show that I’ve been at, Gory’s always been at.  And, he is one guy that’s always throwing himself into the match.  He gives 110%.  Not to be cliché – gives 110%.  And, he’s one of those guys that he gets it.  He’s like, “I get that there’s a crowd here watching us.  I understand that we are here performing for them.  So, I’ve got to interact with them just a little bit to get them into the show.”  He’s one of those guys that gets it.  And, that’s what pisses me off about the business.  Because, you’ve got guys like that.  But, he just doesn’t get the pushes that he needs to get up into the big times.  That’s why I would sit and watch hours of indy wrestling before I would ever watch WWE.  It’s just because indy workers, they know how to do to it.  They know how to get the crowd into it.  They know how to get the pops.  They’re into it.

Sorg: We talk about often that intimacy.  You get something on a whole other level at that point.

James: It’s rare to see psychology in a match anymore.  Pittsburgh, I’m sure everybody knows at one time was going to be the wrestling capital of the world.  I know you had to choose between Pittsburgh and Memphis, and they ended up going with Memphis.  But, Pittsburgh, everybody shits on indy shows.  They’re like, “Eh.  It’s just an indy show, or whatever.”  You can always guarantee that you’re going to get good matches – not every match is going to be great.  But, you’re always going to have somebody there that’s worth watching.  Even if you sat through 3 hours of a shit show.  I guarantee there’s going to be one match where somebody was like – even like Façade.  I love watching Façade.  You watch guys like that, and you’re just like, “I’m so glad I came here.” 

Sorg: And, you see that resonate.  One of the anecdotes I have is the one show in Cleveland I was at.  Eamon, you were there, too – where Kevin Nash was on the show.  We’re at intermission and I’m like, Façade’s line is longer than Kevin Nash.  You can tell.  There’s that connection.  I did some quicky research as I do during the show here, I think I found your wrestling database.

James: Oh my God.  Get rid of that.  Right. Now.  I can’t.  I didn’t even know that existed.

Sorg: There you go.  They don’t have a lot of matches listed for you.  There’s a lot of question marks in here, but yeah.  WrestlingData.com.  There you are.  Our research department.

James: That’s from Combat Zone. 

Sorg: It’s from Combat Zone?

James: Yes.  I worked the, what was it, the Death Match.  The Gauntlet.  I can’t remember.  It was in 2003 or something.  But, that is awful.  Look at El Fatador.  Wow.  That is like pre-tattoo.  That is when I started getting the ink because Jack was like, “Dude, you need some fucking ink.”  I started getting ink, and then he’s like, “What are you going to do with your 13-year-old haircut?”  I was like, “I guess I’m going to start shaving my head?”  And he was like, “Oh.  That sounds good”  So then I started shaving my head and everything.  You’ll find that – you’ll see the difference between that picture and if you see the XXFW – I don’t know if you YouTube the XXFW birth DVD, you’ll see a short clip of me.

Sorg: The birth?

James: D-a-b-i-r-f.  Dabirf.  That was when we started XXFW out in Cincinnati, which is actually a pretty good run.

Sorg: They have a DVD sneak preview of something.  Dabirf!

James: There it is.  Look.  You see me in the bottom?  I don’t even know what jersey I’m wearing, but I’m wearing some Steelers jersey or something. 

Sorg: These were the days, I’m sure.  Are these pre Bar-Jutsu Girls?  Is that what’s happening here?

James: No.  God no.  Those are the junkies from Cincinnati.  They were all junkies.

Sorg: Look at ‘em go!  Dabirf. 

James: I don’t know which this is, but there’s a commercial for Dabirf.  And, Jack actually had a really good idea when we were doing that show.  We were both, not together at the same time, we were both bounty hunters at one time.  And, when we were traveling we were talking about it one day. And, he calls me up.  He’s like, “Van, I got an idea for a show.”  I’m like, “Okay.”  He’s like, “I called up Kevin Klinerock and he’s going to fly in and we’re going to film the show.”  So, he had this idea for a bounty hunter show where we were bounty hunters during the week, and it’s crazy because if you see the clip I’m 305 pounds in it.  I’m huge.  We would skip trace during the week, and then on the weekends we would run XXFW.  It would have clips of him, like me and him were watching the monitors in the back, and he’s smacking me – telling me how I booked a shit match and stuff.  And, I’m like, “Dude are you serious?”  And, he’s like, “No.  It’s for the cameras, man.”  But, he had a really good idea for the XXFW thing.  Remember when Piper did Body Slam and they did the Rock ‘n Wrestling?

Sorg: Yeah.

James: He did that.  And, I was kind of against it in the beginning. I was like, “Eh.  I don’t know.  We’ll see how it goes.” But, he was like, “Alright.  This is what we’re going to do.  We’re going to do 3 matches.  Then we’re going to bring out a local rap star.  We’re going to let him do a song.  Then we’re going to do another 3 matches.  We’re going to bring out another rapper.  And, then we’re going to do the cool main events – 2 matches.”  He was like, “Never more than 8 a show.”  Never more than 8 matches.  And, he packed the house every night.  We had the Fire Marshall come in and say, “You’ve got too many people in here.”  So we had to turn people away.  We ran 4 shows and then the guy that owned the building started complaining that he wanted more money, and Jack was like, “I got the footage that I needed for the bounty hunter show, so fuck you.”  And we ended up closing the doors.  So, I didn’t care because I didn’t want to drive from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati every other fucking weekend.  It was getting old.  But, it was fun.  A lot of people knock Jack.  They’re like, “Oh, you know.  He just hits people with shit, and he doesn’t really know how to work a match.”  Jack took me under his wing and trained me from 2005 til about ’08.  That’s whenever I stopped traveling with him.  And, he showed me a lot.  You could totally tell the difference between my matches before 2005 and then after.  The guy, he can work.  It’s shocking to see New Jack do an arm drag.  Even whenever I was in the ring and we were working out, I was like, “Holy cow.  He just did an arm drag.  It’s insane.”  But, he knew a lot more about the business than he likes to play.  And, I’m sure I’m going to get a phone call from him later tonight, and he’s going to be like, “Why are you giving that stuff away?  Why are you saying that?”  But, he is very, very smart.  He went to college.  But, he knew so much more about the business than I ever thought that he would know.  He was an awesome guy.  A lot of people were like, “Oh, you know he stabbed people.  And, he did this.  And, he was in jail.”  So what.  He was one of the sweetest guys I ever met.  I’m sure I’m going to pay for that comment.  But, he was.  He was just great.  When I started doing the Bar-Jutsu thing, and he had moved on.  I retired.  I had a daughter.  I literally – my last show was November 8, 2009.  It was one week after my daughter was born.  I was lacing up my boots.  I was in West Newton at an RWA show, and I was getting ready to work a match.  I’m in the locker room, and the guy’s telling me how he wants to go over stuff, and I’m like, “Let’s just keep it basic.”  And, he’s like, “Yeah.  How long do you want to go?”  I’m like, “8-10.  Let’s just go 8-10.”  And, I’m lacing my boots up.  The music hits.  I start walking to the ring.  I tell the ref, I’m like, “Let’s go like 4-6.”  We lock up.  I think I hit the first spot, and I was like, “We’re taking it home.”  So it was a 3-minute match.  I went over.  I went in the back.  I took my boots off, and I just said to myself.  I was like, “That’s it.  I’m done.”  And, I’ve never stepped in the ring again.

Sorg: That just changed.  And, it was gone?

James: Yeah.  It was like – I kind of wanted to stop.  I didn’t want to travel anymore.  I had my daughter.  I was always one of those dudes that’s like, “Look at you.  Walking around like I got a baby.”  And, I was like, “Shut up.”  Then, all of a sudden I had a kid.  And, I was like, “Oh my God.  I’m that dude.”  It’s just – I just lost the taste for it.  Plus, I had stopped watching wrestling about, maybe 2006 or something.  I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I couldn’t stomach it.

Sorg: And, that seems to happen.  We say, you get into wrestling to the extent like you did, or any of these guys – because you were fans first.  Right?  You were probably a long-time wrestling fan.

James: Oh yeah.

Sorg: When do you think you started watching wrestling?

James: From berf.

Sorg: From daberf?

James: From daberf. 

Sorg: And, I can understand that waning.  And, you took it to the limit. 

James: Yeah.  My dad was a steelworker, ever since I was born.  And, Jumpin Johnny DeFasio was a really good friend of his. 

Sorg: Oh wow.

James: I was always, I always hung out with him and Hurricane Hunt.  These are old, old names if anybody knows studio wrestling names.  But, I was always around those guys growing up.  And, then we used to watch it all the time and everything.  And, I remember – I want to say it was like Wrestlemania 3, the greatest Wrestlemania ever.

Sorg: Of course.

James: I remember jumping in a car and driving to somewhere in West Virginia because Pittsburgh did not have pay-per-view yet.  And, we didn’t get it.  So, I remember – not me personally driving, because that was ’86 or something like that.

Sorg: ’87?

James: But anyways, I remember getting in a car and driving really far to some dude’s house that I had no idea who he was just because he had pay-per-view, and I was like, “That’s awesome.  Will you shut up.  Can I watch this match, please?”  And, who knew it was going to have the greatest match of all time?  Let me say the greatest match of all time on video – the Steamboat/Macho Man. 

Sorg: Right.

James: But, there’s been so many.  And, to bring it back.  Not to get into the whole fed talk, here – but to bring it back into the indies, there’s been so many more matches that have just been absolutely incredible, just in the indies alone.  I’ve always had that love for the business.  And, it kind of just went from there.  But, going on the road with Jack really – I mean, it wasn’t just that last match in 2009 that put me over the edge, having my daughter.  But, going on the road with Jack really took the flavor out of my mouth.  And, I wouldn’t say it was a bad experience.  It was just – I got to become friends with Spike Dudley, and just everybody that Jack knew all of a sudden knew me.  And, I would walk into a show, and Billy Gunn, or Road Dogg, they’d be like, “Van Hughes, what’s up?”  And, I’m like, “Hey, what’s up?”  [How the fuck does this dude know who I am?]  And then I’d be like, “Oh, because he knows me because of Jack.”  So, I started meeting everyone.  And, then I kind of started seeing how everyone was.  And, even though me and Jack got along really well, Jack kept me around a lot because I was the sober guy.  I was never gassed up.  I never took pain pills.  It was funny though.  For the longest time, people were like, “You know the reason New Jack hangs out with Van Hughes is because Van Hughes supplies him with all the drugs he gets.”  And, I was like, “If I supplied him all the drugs he got, I would be rich, and I would look like Roman Reigns, and you would know that that was true.”  But, I was the sober one.  I didn’t really drink.  I could drive and everything.  So, the guys kind of liked that.  They kind of kept me around.  And, I didn’t mind it.  I was like, “Hey, you know, I’ll drive everyone everywhere.”  But seeing how these guys were.  I remember.  We were at Hardcore Homecoming.  And, I’m sitting next to Sabu.  And, he’s eating tuna.  And, he’s like, “You got a fork?”  And, I’m like, “You know what, I don’t think so.”  And, I look in the bag, and there’s one of New Jack’s forks in the bag.  And, it’s got blood from the night before.  And, I’m like, “Yeah.  But, it’s got blood on it.”  And before I could even say, “Yeah, dude, but it’s got blood on it,” Sabu starts eating the tuna with this fork. And, I’m like, “Are you kidding me?”  That’s how out of your mind this business has put you?  But, stuff like that  really just started slowly taking the flavor out of my mouth.  I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was – another cliché phrase there – but, that night, the week after my daughter was born, I was just like, “That’s it.  I’m not going to become Jerry Lynn.”  You like how I’m referencing the last show that we just did. 

Sorg: Bringing it all together.

James: I am sewing it together.

Sorg: So they watch that.  That’s good.  That’s crazy.

James: But I never – even though I stopped working, I never stayed out of touch with the boys.  I always hit everyone up just because I love them all.  They were all great.  And even, with Tammy, I had run into Tammy on some shows.  And, we never really hit it off or anything, because her and Jack had a little history.  But, I had seen her on some shows.  And, when the whole Bar-Jutsu thing started, I was like, “You know what, I need the yin and yang thing.  I need something.  I need the female part to take over.”  Because, I didn’t write Bar-Jutsu for me.  I didn’t want to be like, “Hey.  I’m James, and I’m the Bar-Jutsu guy.”  I wanted Bar-Jutsu to take off and be like a household name.  So, if you look in the book, a lot of the shots have me wearing a hat because I try to take the focus off my face.  I’m like, you know I did the wrestling thing.  I don’t need to be in the spotlight anymore.  I want to create something that takes on a life of its own.  But, I also needed another voice that could stand out in front of it.  So, I was like, “You know what.  I know Tammy’s had a lot of issues going on.  And, she’s been involved in bar fights.  Maybe I’ll hit her up.  I’ll reach out to her.  Where is she now?  Oh, oh prison?  She’s in prison.  Well, it should be easy to find her.”  So, I tracked her down, and I wrote a letter to her.  I was like, “Hey, you know, I’m sure you don’t remember me, and this, that, and this.  But, I’m sure you’re going through some hard times and everything, and I just hope everything’s going well.”  And I was like, “It’s not going to work.  I’m going to reach out to her, and if she doesn’t write back, she doesn’t write back.  It’s not that big of a deal.”  A couple weeks later I get this letter, an my wife is like, “Who’s Tammy Sitch?  Who’s Tamara Sitch?”  And, I’m like, “You’re kidding me?  She wrote me back?”  So we started corresponding.  We started writing back and forth, and I said to her, “You know.  I know you have some troubles.  And, I’m not trying to exploit that.”  I said, “But, you would be the perfect co-host for something that I’m working on.”  And, she really liked it.  She thought it was a great idea, and she started helping me out.  She started promoting it.  She started getting a lot more guys wearing my shirts – a lot of guys talking about it.  It really started taking off.  So, I owe her a lot.  I still talk to her today.  She came into Pittsburgh a couple summers ago, and we filmed a pilot for a show.  It didn’t get picked up.  It was going to get picked up, but then it was a long story.

Sorg: Looks like there’s bits of them on your YouTube channel?

James: There are.  Yeah.  We were jumping back and forth with what the format of the show was going to be.  How it was going to go down.  And, everybody had different opinions and stuff.  And, she had a lot more things getting ready to go on, so she was like, “Well, if it ever takes off, let me know and I’ll be back.”  But, she’s always stayed in touch.  And, she’s been great about it.  And, like I said, she’s like the most controversial person in the world.  And, she’s tough.  She’s a touch chick.  And, she’s probably going to punch me in the face for referring to her as a chick. 

Sorg: That’s okay.  Just make her listen to the last episode after that and she’ll be fine with whatever the heck you said. 

James: Right. 

Sorg: Bringing it back around again.

James: And, it’s funny though.  Every time something would pop up on the dirt sheets, I texted her.  And, I’d be like, “Yep.  I read it.”  I’d be like, “I don’t even want to know if it’s true or not.  I just want you to know that I read it, and I could care less.”  She’s actually – like I said, she’s really sweet.  When the cameras and microphones are off and everything, she’s a completely different person.  She’s pretty awesome.

Sorg: I know I head nothing but good things working with her for a Night of Legends show a few years back.

James: I feel like I’ve been yakking your ear off.

Sorg: No.  This is awesome.  This is great.  And, it’s longer I get to hold this belt.  So, I’m okay with this.  We’re going to go a little over. Garza, we’ll talk about Battle of Los Angeles a little bit later.  That’s fine.  You’re in another time zone anyway.  You can wait.

James: Is he in LA?

Sorg: No.  He’s in El Paso. 

James: El Paso.

Sorg: He was there over the weekend, so I don’t know.  But, this is awesome.  So Bar-Jutsu.  Of course, Code Red Wrestling, or whatever they’re calling that show because I know there’s a weird name thing going on.  So, this belt here will be defended there.  You can check that out.  What is that, September 20th?

James: September 13th.  I think it’s from 2-5.  It’s a Sunday, which is weird.  It’s funny, too.  Because September 13th, it’s my anniversary, and they asked me – they were like, “Are you going to be at the show?  Because we’re defending your title.”  And, I went, “Well, it’s my anniversary.”  And, she goes, “Yeah, I know.  But, do you think that you’re going to make it?”  And there was just this long pause on the phone, and she was like, “Are you still there?”  And, I’m like, “It’s my anniversary.”  She goes, “Well, we’d love for you to be there.”  And, I was like, “Okay.”  And, I turned to my wife.  I was like, “Hey, Babe.  On September 13th, there’s this wrestling show.”  And she just was like, “You’re sleeping on the couch tonight.”  I went, “I don’t known Sera.  We’ll work it out.  We’ll see.”  But, I’ve been yakking so much about the wrestling thing, I haven’t even begun to plug our bar events – like our beer pong tournaments.

Sorg: Get it out.  You’ve got a ping-pong event, or a beer pong event.

James: So, there you go.  And, it kills me to stray away from the wrestling talk because it works me into it.  I always tell people, I’m like, “Wrestling sucks.  I hate it.  I don’t watch it anymore.”  I still love it.  I guess so.  I’m still a mark for it.  But, to keep the Bar-Jutsu name going, I created a company called Bar-Jutsu Entertainment, LLC.  What we do is, we go from bar to bar in the Pittsburgh area.  We’ve been asked to go outside of Pittsburgh, but I kind of don’t have the time or money at the moment to start doing these traveling shows – which is one of the reasons why our pilot never got picked up.  But, we go from bar to bar and we do things like beer pong tournaments and air guitar, air band things.  There it is right there.

Sorg: Oooh.  Might you think about bringing air sex into the Pittsburgh area.  Because I know somebody that knows a guy, that knows a competition. 

James: What is it?

Sorg: Air sex.  I don’t know.  Eamon, can you explain this to him?

James: Air sex?

Sorg: There’s a movie about it.

Eamon: There is a movie about it.  We had Chris Trew.biz on not too long ago to discuss the art of air sex.  It’s kind of self-explanatory.

James: Yeah.  That’s interesting. I’m going to go ahead and say no on that. 

Eamon: That’s fine. 

James: We get – I tell you, it gets pretty exciting.  The beer pong tournaments, we have championship belts.  We have real championship belts that we use.  It gets really heated.  It gets as heated as a wrestling match.  People mother-f each other left and right.  And, I get nervous because I think during these tournaments there’s going to be fights.  But, everybody ends up shaking hands and hugging at the end.  It turns out to be a great time.  We have one coming up September 19th at Gorman’s Pub in Brentood here, up on 51. 

Sorg: That’s up the road. 

James: That is our 3-year anniversary show.  It’s a big show.  We’ve got Pittsburgh Podcast Network – Frank Murgia.  I love him.

Sorg: He was sitting on that couch a week ago.

James: He was sitting on this?  I can still smell him.

Sorg: Smells like Frank.

James: It does smell like Frank.

Sorg: Or my cat.  I’m not sure. 

James: They’re sponsoring it.  We also have a new company.  It’s kind of like a branch from Three Rivers Transportation.  It’s call VIP Transport.  It’s an Uber-app, like Uber.  It’s just like Uber, but it’s a Pittsburgh-based app. 

Sorg: It’s like Yinz Uber?

James: Sort of.  Yeah, I guess you would call it Yinzuber.  I like that.  Yinzuber.  But, they’re also sponsoring it.  It’s going to be pretty huge.  We’re trying to convince some of the 92.9 boys of the morning show to come in and be a team.  Be team Q92.9 or something.  But, we haven’t gotten a confirmation yet.  Like I said, those are some of the things that we do.  The 2 popular things that we do are the air band contest and the beer pong contest.  The air band contest is pretty classic.  I don’t know if you YouTube it, but there’s a Fista Productions, who are our main go-to guys whenever we film videos.  They do our commercials for us.  They plugged their last one – the last one we were having.  And, it gets exciting because you think people just come into an air band contest and they’re just going to strum their hands, and do the air drum thing and everything.  The one band actually won because – the last time we had it, the band won because they were doing Def Leppard and their drummer only used his one arm.  And, we gave him points for that.  We thought it was creative that he only used the one arm in it.  We only had – I think there was 5 or 6 guys.  Unfortunately, we do not have that video, because the team that was filming it took it hostage and wanted more money.

Sorg: Oh no.

James: It wasn’t you guys.  But, we ended up losing that footage.  But, it’s good times in Bar-Jutsu land. 

Sorg: I’m just pulling up the Fista Productions YouTube page.  Fista, F-I-S-T-A- productions.  Look for the one in Pittsburgh.  Looks like they’ve got some fun stuff over there – including some wrestling-related videos I notice.

James: Yes.  They are big.  One of the main guys, Steve McCall.

Sorg: Who I remembered.  I want to point out – I remember you, Steve, from IWC.

James: He was all nervous.  He was like, “Tell Sorg I love him.”  He also had a few beers in him, but he’s like, “I’m not drunk, but just tell him I love him.  I love his camera work.  He’s a great guy.  And, I always talked to him at IWC.  He’s great.”

Sorg: I appreciate that.

James: He’s like, “He’s not going to remember me.”  And, I was like, “I don’t know, dude.  He’s a good guy.  He’s a nice guy.  He may remember you.”  “He’s not going to remember me.”  I was like, “Alright Steve.  You’re drunk.”

Sorg: And, I’ve got to say.  I typically do not remember a lot of the trainees until they become a wrestler. 

James: And, like we were talking about before – he was great.  He was such a good worker.  But, when he was about to graduate from the training program, he took a step back and said, I’ve got a kid and a wife at home.  I don’t think I want to do this.  And, he stepped away from it before he even got started.

Sorg: And, those are the hard choices.  But, it’s good to do that instead of putting that stuff in trouble. 

James: Right.

Sorg: Alright, BarJutso.com.  Anything else you need to plug there before we get out of here?  We’ve got Garza on the line – as much as I love holding his.

James: No.  Just the September 19th at Gorman’s Pub, beer pong tournament championship.  Belts are on the line.  And, I think that is it.

Sorg: And, for anybody else, like Eamon down there in Texas, BarJutsu.com.  Get the book – look out for the reprint, everything.  All that linked over there.  If you don’t mind, can I play the Sonni commercial in here?

James: You can play anything you want, buddy. 

Sorg: So, we’re going to stay on here with the Sonni commercial for the Bar-Jutsu book.  And, of course what happened this past week in Sorgatron Media.  It’s been a busy, busy time.  We’ll see if I can steal this belt before we come back here.  Right here on the Indy Mayhem Show.  We’ll be right back.