Joseph Bruen: Mike how long have you been in the wrestling business now and were you always a fan as a kid growing up?
Mike Hollow: I got hooked on wrestling at the age of 5. I always had my sights on it and started at Walter
Kowalski’s wrestling school in 1992.
Joseph Bruen: How did you first get into the business and who trained you?
Mike Hollow: Fred Sparta was a referee for WWF and I first made contact with him. I had been attending
events at the Boston Garden when I had the opportunity to meet him and become friendly with
him. I then got a job on the WWF ring crew and learned the business and got to know various
personalities whom I am still friendly with today. I did this for two years, and had the chance to
work in the ring prior to the shows. After this I began training with Walter.
Joseph Bruen: Tell us about your experiences working with the legendary, late great Walter " Killer" Kowalski. What was your relationship like?
Mike Hollow: I don’t know where to begin – there is just so much I could say about Walter. The relationship
and experience was surreal. He was the best mentor I could ask for. He took me under his wing and became not only an instructor but a close personal friend of mine and my family.
Professionally, he was a hard nut to crack, but in a good way. He was “old” old school and I was a traditional and the “new” guy. Our philosophies often clashed, but in the end we were able to meet in the middle. I learned so much from him which is what makes me a traditional old school trainer now. I saw the values in doing things the way they were intended from the beginning but with a current flare. During the times with Walter, I was also invited on occasions to the WWF
dojo camps and was able to learn from Dory Funk, Pat Patterson and Dr. Tom Pritchard. I brought this information back to the school and integrated it with Walter’s thoughts. Through this I continued to earn Walter’s trust and our relationship professionally and personally thrived. I am forever grateful for the time I had with Walter.
Joseph Bruen: Tell us about your time in NECW and your experiences there. You were a part of their very first show.
Mike Hollow: I was involved with the group in the beginning and in 2000 I was their Champ for 5 months.
Shortly after I decided to move on to Chaotic Wrestling. The first show was in Wellington, Connecticut. It was a great time and working with Sheldon was always a professional experience.
Joseph Bruen: Who are your favorite opponents over the years and why?
Mike Hollow: I have had so many it is hard to pinpoint just one. I always took something and learned from
each and every one of them. If I had to choose just a couple I would say Jeff Jarrett and Tito Santana. Both were awesome pros to work with and exuded phenomenal ring psychology and within ring placement of when
and why. We were always able to create mileage and pull the fans truly into the story.
Joseph Bruen: What other promotions have you worked for over the years and which was your favorite?
Mike Hollow: I started with Killer’s group and worked for Fred Sparta for the WWA that ran dojo shows for
WWF. Of course Chaotic Wrestling, which I stay actively involved with today.
Joseph Bruen: You have made many appearances over the years in the WWE/WWF. Who have you worked
with during your time there and which arenas did you get the chance to work in?
Mike Hollow: My most memorable would be at the Fleet Center when I appeared in WrestleMania XIV with TheRock and Ken Shamrock. I also appeared in a SuperBowl commercial and many dark matches
along the years
Joseph Bruen: Any favorite moment or experience you took away from your time in the WWE?
Mike Hollow: All of them. Every moment has been positive. To work with others in the ring and to teach others and see them end up in the ring and follow their careers is always a proud memory.
Joseph Bruen:For years you were the head trainer of Killer Kowalski`s wrestling school. What memories do you have from that great school?
Mike Hollow: Clearly, working with Walter. The talent we saw and were able to develop, in and out of the ring, was a great accomplishment. Not only were we concerned with their wrestling abilities, but also how they carried themselves and represented “wresting” outside of the ring was equally important to Walter and me. As time went on, Walter joined me at Chaotic Training Center. Over all our years we had guests come to visit, such as Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, The Rock, Pat Patterson, Dr. Tom Pritchard and various agents from the office to see what we had to offer in talent and our training foundations. It was always an honor to have them come by and to know that WWE respected our philosophy in training future talents the proper way. To see the likes of Kofi Kingston, Damien Sandow, Fandango, Tomasso Ciampa, Ken Doane, Chris Nowinski, Biff Busick, WarBeard Hanson and many others over the years move from our school through the ranks was a great feeling of satisfaction that we could help to foster their careers.
Joseph Bruen: Where can fans follow you on the web/social media?
Mike Hollow: My website is hollowsstable.com and I can also be found on my FaceBook page, “Hollow’s
Stable.” I also use Instagram (Hollowsstable) and Twitter (@hollowsstables), but less frequently.
Joseph Bruen: In 2013 you were inducted into the New England pro wrestling Hall of Fame. Tell us about the whole experience from when you got the word that you would be inducted to the very day you
Mike Hollow: I was honored to get the notice that I was being inducted and being recognized for what I had
done over the years here in New England. Jim Kettner, whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for, gave me the privilege of delivering the speech for my induction. I genuinely appreciated his comments about my career and accomplishments. Hearing what he had to say made me realize that not only did I have the
opportunity to do something I loved with wrestling, but was also lucky enough to meet some amazing people along the way and develop relationships that last a life-time.
Joseph Bruen: You now have a new school under the banner Hollow`s Stable. Tell us all about it!
Mike Hollow: I took some time away from wrestling to raise my young children, but always kept my eye on the wrestling world. As things progressed in my personal life the time was right to get back in to the
business. I developed Hollow’s Stable to work with serious individuals who are committed to training and
have their eye on the prize but need polish and direction. Most of the talent I am working with
have had training along the way and are looking to expand their knowledge, though I have crossed some rare talent from beginners and agreed to work with them. To get back into the swing of the business has been great. After being out for a bit, I was not sure how my old school mentality would fit in. I have realized that my way of thought is still being well received by WWE and was fortunate enough a few months ago to be invited by Matt Bloom, WWE Head Trainer, to spend a week at the Performance Center in Orlando. There I had the opportunity to learn, teach, train, observe, produce matches for an NXT Live Event, attend events and speak with up and coming talent as to the heartbeat of the industry. I have learned that my teaching beliefs and philosophy remains the same as the cornerstone that WWE builds upon to develop their future stars. As a result, I continue to bring this to local talent in individual, small group and even clinic/seminar settings. My goal is not to promote myself but to teach someone else how they can succeed in life.
Joseph Bruen: What advice can you offer to someone who is just getting started in the business or even just
thinking about doing so?
Mike Hollow: What you do and how you act outside of the ring is as equally important as what you do inside the ring. Our business is based on perception and image in many ways. If you want to make it in the
business, it takes overall commitment, passion and personal sacrifice. It is not an overnight success, and everyone’s path is different. Perseverance and a solid foundation is vital to survival in the wrestling world.