I recently got the chance to interview someone who did more for me than they ever had to do. This person would do everything from playing “super heroes” and football with me, all the way to taking me to almost every wrestling event I ever attended and really taught me the business of wrestling. This person even taught me how to shoot a basketball and taught me many things in life. So when I got the chance to share this person’s story in an interview, I couldn’t pass it up.
This person is Chad Hasler, maybe better known as “Stylin'” Brian Klass. Also the husband of Maggie Hasler whom I interviewed just prior to this interview. Chad was born in Linton, Indiana and was basically a wrestling fan since day one. Chad and Maggie would take me to a lot of the independent wrestling shows they were in and taught me everything I know about wrestling. Chad taught me everything from how to set up and take down a ring, all the way to how to spot botches and basically how to be a wrestling critic.
I asked Chad when he first became interested in wrestling. He said, “(Age) Six or seven I vividly remember being excited about renting Wrestlemania III from the local video store.” I asked him next when he first got involved in wrestling. He answered, “In 2001 I was working with this goof who boldly tells me that he was going to be a professional wrestler. That he was better than the local shows run at a pizza place. And that he was going to be the next Mick Foley. So I went to one of his shows, and to his credit, they were better than the local pizza place shows. I started training the next week in Huron, Indiana. It was 45 minutes away in a gymnasium at a closed school.”
Next I asked Chad Who his persona or personas were in the ring. He said, “Originally I was Chico Rodriguez, a 6 foot tall, Caucasian, who didn’t know any Spanish. Needless to say a rebrand was in order, and I changed it to Stylin’ Brian Klass.” I remember also seeing him in action once in Indianapolis, Indiana as a masked wrestler named, “The Blue Raja”. Next I asked him who he had modeled his persona(s) after most? He said, “Brian Klass was a combination of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho. Talk smack while you’re on top, and run away when they’re on top.” Next I asked, what were all the promotions he had wrestled for? He told me, “I could name off a bunch of no name, not running anymore promotions but that wouldn’t be very interesting now would it? Namely WCWO out of Indianapolis and New Wave Pro out of Terre Haute.”
I asked when was his first title match. Chad said, “Around 2003 I was in, and won, a 6 man elimination style match in Lyons, IN. It was for a newly introduced belt for rookies only called the Junior International title.” Chad went into the match as an underdog and in his mind at least, he had already loss. But as the match went on, it was between him and just one other wrestler. Still believing he was destined to lose, he put his opponent in a submission hold and moments later and to his surprise he won the match and the title via submission! He had beaten the odds and achieved something he thought was impossible.
Then I asked, what made you fall in love with wrestling? He responded with, “For 15 minutes of your life you feel alive. You have sometimes 10, sometimes a thousand people all with their eyes on you. You tell them who to cheer, who to boo. When to be mad, when to laugh, and for 15 minutes of their life, they forget about all their troubles. Wrestling is like an interactive play. I’m the actor telling the story, and you get to yell at and sometimes even change up the story.”
Next I asked him who his biggest rival during his wrestling career was. He said, “At about the 10 year mark, my body was starting to break down. He was 31 years old at the time and decided he needed to go a different route. He continued by saying, “so I started doing tag team wrestling with my best friend Matt Jones. We were “All Night Long” Matt Jones, “A Good Solid Seven Minutes” Brian Klass, and managed by “the Perfect Ten” Camron Star (Before Tye Dylinger started doing that) as Ten Minute Magic!! We had some amazing matches with Josh Steele and Bo Sawyer together known as Rough Cut. We feuded with them for over a year at New Wave Pro and basically saved their tag team division. We ended up wrestling them in a rematch for the belts, in a street fight, in front of 1,000 people at a fair.”
Then I asked what the biggest moment of his wrestling career was. He said, “My favorite moment in my career is when Rough Cut finally beat us for the New Wave Pro Tag Team Titles. The crowd simultaneously screamed, orgasmed, and then passed out all at once. Women were crying, children were laughing, men were shouting profanities at us. It was glorious.”
I asked what the worst injury or injuries were he had received from wrestling. He told me, “Probably my wrist. I broke off the ends of my radius and ulna doing a simple move. I had to have it surgically repaired with screws and a plate holding it all together. $30,000 no insurance.”
Then I asked him, you’ve done everything from managing and refereeing to wrestling itself during your wrestling career. What was your favorite job to have in the wrestling world? He said, “Wrestler not even a slight hesitation. Even though I have currently retired from wrestling due to bone spurs in my neck, if I could get that repaired and not hurt tomorrow, I would be right back in that ring insulting people.”
I asked him if he had ever considered starting his own wrestling promotion. He said, “I want too so bad I can taste it. However I don’t have the kind of time needed to properly promote it, or the money to support one.” I asked him then what’s the farthest he ever traveled for a show. He said, “Oh lets say Bud, West Virginia. Have you ever heard of Bud, West Virginia? Neither had the gas station clerk we stopped and asked directions from. Best part of that 8 hours one way drive was getting paid with a check for, wait for it, five whole dollars. Plus, I couldn’t cash it for a week or it would bounce.”
I followed up by asking him, how he traveled to each show and was it difficult? “He told me I always drove every where we went. Never traded spots, never stopped for food or gas. Straight there, eat right after the show, straight home with Maggie in the passenger seat talking to me to keep me awake. I got to where I could do a three hour car trip standing on my head.”It’s only an hour and a half trip? Please, give me a challenge!””
Those last two responses I think really speak to the dedication of Chad and Maggie both. They made multiple trips like that where they gave it all they had and sometimes were given nothing in return. We’re always shown the glamour of the wresting world and how great it is to be a “superstar”, but are never shown the sacrifice and difficulties of the independent scene and how difficult it is to be “wrestler”! I hope this interview shows you that at least. Often times the wrestlers on the independent scene sacrifice more and get less even though they may be more talented and/or dedicated than the pros.
I went on to ask what was the most difficult part of his wrestling career. He said, “The hardest part for me I would say is being married to a female wrestler. Here’s my wife doing the same moves I do, not any better than me, and everyone wants to book her. All the guys, wrestlers and fans alike, oogling her goodies, while I have to sit there and be quiet.”
Next I asked him who was the biggest name(s) he had worked with during your wrestling career. He told me, “The last years of my career I wrestled current NXT referee Drake Wuertz, though at the time he was Drake Younger, and one thanksgiving night I wrestled Keven Thorne and Billy Gunn in a tag match. That match upset me because here I was finally getting to wrestle a name, and my tag team partner flaked on me because it was a holiday, and I got stuck with some other idiot I had never tagged with before.”
I asked Chad what motivated him most as a wrestler. He said, “Reversals. Anyway to get from one move to the other as many different ways as possible. I currently know seven reversals out of a hammerlock just because.” I asked if he thought he could’ve or could make it big in the WWE. He said, “Maybe, yes or no, who knows? I’ve always been an entertainer first, wrestler second. When I was at my prime, the WWE wanted big hulking beasts. Now that they want wrestlers I’m too beat up. I could have given Kevin Owens a run for his money though i think.”
I asked what prevented him from making it to the WWE. He responded, “Being a sloppy ham sandwich physically. I’ve always been the skinny fat guy. That’s no arm or leg muscles with a beer belly. I’ve always had the ability to entertain, and the know how to wrestle, but never the drive to work out and get into wrestling body shape. Really held me back my whole career basically.”
And finally I asked him what would he say to a kid who dreams of becoming a wrestler? He said this, “Work hard. If you look around you and you’re the big fish in a small pond, then move to a bigger pond. The only way to get better is to wrestle people that are better than you. They push you to be better, and it shows your weaknesses. Secondly, Watch your own stuff. If you can’t throw a punch to save your life, then don’t expose yourself by throwing sloppy punches. Lastly, be overly critical of yourself. Expect perfection, excellence should be tolerated.”
I want to thank Chad Hasler for giving the time to do this interview and for teaching me all that he has. Mr. Hasler’s wrestling career was great and awesome to get to watch. Chad always understood wrestling on a level unlike most others. I believe that “Stylin” Brian Klass would be an awesome fit in the WWE today. In a time where Carmella and James Ellsworth and Maria and Mike Kanellis are more than accepted in the WWE, I think Brian Klass and Camron Star would big a huge hit.
Brain Klass and Camron Star might remind you of Chris Jericho and Trish or even Christian and Trish. Both were great to see in action and both were definitely among the most talented I’ve seen on the independent scene. I hope that this interview gives you some idea of how great and how dedicated of a wrestler Chad has always been. Maybe one day Chad will have the surgery to repair his bone spurs and will make a return to wrestling. If so and cards fall right for him so to speak, you just may see “Stylin'” Brian Klass in action on t.v. sometime in the future. He could definitely make it in T.N.A. Wrestling and would likely flourish in today’s WWE.
Thanks again to Chad for doing this interview and I hope this interview helps people learn about him and his amazing wrestling career. At this time the future could see him stay in retirement, come back to wrestling, or maybe one day own his own promotion. What ever the future holds for Chad it will be exciting! I for one will be crossing my fingers and hoping to hear that “Stylin” Brian Klass is making a return to wrestling!