The Bearded Boss Behind The Scenes: A Q&A With WAC Wrestling Promoter Max Zaleski

Jabroni Journal

March 21, 2019

Photo by @321TieGuy

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On Sunday afternoon (March 24), Without A Cause (WAC) will be bringing pro wrestling back up to Everett with WAC 5: First Day Of Springboard. The event promises marquee independent stars like Joey Ryan, Priscilla Kelly, Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara wrestling alongside standouts of the Northwest scene like Sonico, Chase James, Daniel Makabe and even KISW’s own Steve Migs. 

I attended my first WAC event last month and was completely blown away. Over the past few months, the WAC crew have been gaining a ton of momentum and are putting Everett back on the map in the local wrestling community.

You can still purchase tickets for this Sunday’s event right here. Keep in mind it starts early (4pm), so you will be out of the building with plenty of time to go home and binge watch The Bachelor. 

I chatted with WAC founder Max Zaleski about his love of wrestling and what makes someone want to jump right in to booking and promoting within the wild world of independent pro wrestling. 

What is your earliest memory when it comes to pro wrestling? 
I remember getting WWF Warzone on the N64 and falling in love. Then I would go to the local swap meets or pawn shops to pick up VHS tapes of old WCW and WWF shows.

What drew you to wrestling and kept you interested? Who were some of your favorite wrestlers? 
The characters such as Mankind and The Undertaker really drew me in with their characters - not only with their imposing figures, but the voices they have when they talked. My favorite wrestlers back then (and still are, really) were Mankind, The Undertaker, and Kane.

When did you attend your first Northwest indie wrestling show?
I believe my first real show was one of the Duwamish River Shows that Lucha Libre Volcanica did back in 2011 or so. But I was also there for the first several Project 42 shows and one of the last 3-2-1 BATTLE! shows at the Re-Bar.

How did you get involved in the Northwest wrestling scene? 
I helped the Project 42 folks with their first show by doing ring crew and such. But then I started working with 3-2-1 BATTLE!, doing their social media and training to wrestle. I also did the door / ticket taking at DEFY Wrestling for their first 7 or 8 shows. I left 3-2-1 BATTLE! in January 2019 to focus more on WAC.

What made you decide to start your own wrestling promotion?
Well, I got hurt after debuting as a wrestler in May 2018 and decided that I wanted to do something on my own. So, I pooled my resources and kicked WAC into gear pretty much right after in early July 2018.

How did everything come together? 
I reached out to my friend and trainer, Chris Ross, and decided that this is what I wanted to create. Then I talked with Brittany Marie & Dave Turner to assist. From there, we found the venue after a few tries, and were lucky enough to secure Darby Allin, Priscilla Kelly, and Thunder Rosa for our debut show. All within about 3 months.

Who else do you work with to make everything happen? 
My Wife, Avalon, does a lot of day-of stuff (and keeps me sane day-to-day). But the WAC team is myself, Chris Ross, Dave Turner, and Brittany Marie. Alongside that, we have a dedicated crew such as Trish Bell for EMT, Vitz Photos for Photography, and my good friend Keynan Bailey for a lot of day of stuff. My Mom also helps out a ton by allowing folks to crash on our couch and assist in getting some of the rig (lighting, pipe & drape) to the venue.

What have been some of your favorite moments so far?
Having Shane Strickland almost murder Dave Turner on the floor of the Normanna Lodge, having my family come and see my passion, and seeing the crowds get bigger and bigger.

What are your goals with WAC? 
We would love to go out and have a touring brand and provide other states the love and passion we have for wrestling.

What are some things you have learned so far?
The most important thing we've learned is how to bob and weave storylines into our shows through promos, images, and content provided to us. The one big thing that we've heard from fans is that they LOVE the vignettes and videos that we do before and after the shows to build to matches.

Who are a few of your current favorite wrestlers?
My current favorite wrestlers are Aleister Black, DJZ, Darby Allin, Becky Lynch, Jeff Cobb. Pretty much everyone I've had the pleasure of bringing to WAC leaves a great impression on me. Other great mentions are Jamie Senegal, Effy, and Parrow!