I grew up watching wrestling. The loud promos of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were always echoing out of my living room. Three weeks into high school I was labeled “the wrestling kid.” Maybe it was because I talked about it all the time… Or maybe it was because I wore a different wrestling shirt to school everyday, consistently, for three weeks!? We may never know the answer.
If you’re reading this… You probably know how madly and deeply in love, I am with hip-hop. I started writing songs in high school. I would lay awake at night and think about how one day I’d be famous (hey, it can still happen… Right!?) and do a wrestling themed music video. I could see it in my head – I’d invite all my favorite wrestlers to be a part of it.
The universe can be really slick at times. Because a variation of that actually happened (though I’m still working on the famous part – It can still happen RIGHT?!?). And it all began with my dear friend Sonjay Dutt.
I met Sonjay at an autograph signing in 2006. Handed Sonjay a three track demo of my album and told him that I’m really proud to see a wrestler of Indian descent on TV. He started speaking to me in Punjabi and said he’s proud of me for making hip-hop and “committing to something no Indian man has dared to do before.”
Years pass, we stay in touch via MySpace (kids, this was like the original social media website… AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!). We even collaborated on a few projects together – I composed his entrance theme, he rapped on one of my albums! One night, when I had just moved to Los Angeles (to pursue acting, music, and to be famous beyond my wildest dreams!!) Sonjay invited me to come out to Brennan’s (a local bar in LA known for it’s turtle races – google it). That night I was “one of the boys” along with Sonjay, Jay Lethal, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Brian Kendrick, and Trent Barreta. We bet on the racing turtles, had In-n-Out, and tricked Trent into doing 500 Hindu Squats (We told him everyone did ’em today!).
Brian Kendrick would end up becoming my first real friend in LA. He introduced me to Roscoe’s, regularly kicked my ass in NBA 2K (It’s okay… I’ll avenge my losses one day), and even showed me how to run the ropes at his wrestling school. Eventually, Brian introduced me to Rocky Romero – an amazing wrestler, hip-hop producer and a creative genius. Hanging out with Rocky really motivated me – he was driven, focused and had the same goals as me (to be famous or die trying… Just kidding. We’re both immortal.).
One summer between co-producing my album (The Asoka Hustle , cheap Mick Foley-esq plug?), and songwriting for Dr. Dre (yup, Mr. NWA himself), Rocky and I found the time to write a short sketch called “Coach’s Wrestling Class.” We reached out to a few friends and were overwhelmed by their support.
Christopher Daniels, absolutely stole the show as Coach, MVP flew out to LA on short notice, Kat Waters and Shelly Martinez made time in-between bookings, Brian Kendrick was working on another project and skipped lunch to come shoot, JTG was traveling and made time, and Hobo aka Robert Baines, helped us secure our sweet location free of charge!
The night after we filmed shooting this sketch – I would once again lay awake in my bed (although very high from the glue we used, for that mustache, on my face all day – seriously my apartment was spinning!!). This time, realizing that the things I use to dream about had just occurred in real life. Somehow I had befriended my idols, and was having fun writing and creating with them.
I know in high school, they labeled me “the wrestling kid” as an insult (heaven knows all I wanted was to fit in). But in hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t. Because pro-wrestling has truly enriched my life. I’ve never known support like this… I cherish these friendships and the brotherhood of pro-wrestling.
Sending love to everyone who contributed to this project! Hope everyone has as much fun watching as we had creating!
-The Asoka, aka “The Wrestling Kid”
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