Mance Warner is the reigning AAW Heavyweight Champion, a regular for Game Changer Wrestling and also has his own show for AdFreeShows titled ‘ManceSplainin’. During his mid-20s, Mance made his pro wrestling debut and has become a staple on the independent wrestling scene by way of matches with the likes of Masada, Alex Colon, Nick Gage, AJ Gray, Chris Dickinson and many more.
Warner’s ‘ManceSplainin’ show airs on Friday nights as he chats with the significant other of a pro wrestler or a fan and they chat all things wrestling. Mance further explained the concept during our interview and also shared that it was Conrad Thompson who reached out to him about the idea.
“So, Conrad [Thompson] hit me up and he had an idea and he’s been pretty good with ideas so far so, they kind of laid it out there and the whole premise of what we’re doing over there on AdFreeShows for ManceSplainin is we all got our wife or girlfriend, whoever it may be, they’re not always wrestling fans so they don’t always understand what we’re watching or why we watch it. So, basically I sit down with somebody’s wife, girlfriend, whoever it may be, significant other and we watch crazy wrestling matches and fights and I explain it, I do my ManceSplainin and I drink beers and it’s always a good time man. I love it every time.”
As mentioned in the previous paragraph[s], Mance Warner is the current AAW Heavyweight Champion. He is coming up on a full year as champion. He first won the title back in December of 2019 when he defeated Josh Alexander at AAW’s ‘Windy City Classic’ show. AAW recently started running shows again in October after not running an event since February due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mance successfully defended the AAW Heavyweight Title earlier this month against the current IMPACT X Division Champion Hakim Zane (Rohit Raju). Post-match, Warner was confronted by Jake Something. Mance talked about AAW as a promotion overall and why he feels that it may be one of the more overlooked promotions.
“Yeah, because I was talking about this recently. You know, AAW as a company, that’s a company that has been around for a long time, and people remember, ‘Oh, they used to have this guy and this guy there.’ Right now, we’ve got the people at this company that are gonna be the guys and the girls down the road that you’re going to see on TV every single week so it’s like if you’re an independent pro wrestling fan, pay that money. I believe it’s $12.99 to watch one of the live events on FITE TV or get on IWTV. You get on there and watch. We got a bunch of old events on there too, we got some new ones getting on there. So it’s that thing where I always tell people, ‘Give something a chance and see the new crop of talent out there’ because like I said, these are gonna be the same people that down the road that are gonna be on TV for all the big companies, you know? So it is what it is man. Pro wrestling baby. Spend that money, watch them fights. If you ain’t got the money, I’m sure you can bootleg it somehow. I ain’t gonna tell on nobody.”
Mance has had his fair share of deathmatches and he backed the fact that it will take a toll on one’s body. In early November, Mance competed in the Nick Gage Invitational tournament and wrestled in three deathmatches on the show. Warner lost a great deal of blood in those respective matches but regardless of how much pain he is in, he enjoys the thrill and feels that he must keep going.
“Well, to be a pro wrestler, I always say you got to be a little crazy in the head. So, especially in the deathmatch game, there ain’t no bullsh*t in there. Everything in there hurts, there ain’t nothing in there that don’t hurt. It all hurts, so especially three fights like that. I saw some pictures and you could see where blood was legit squirting two feet out of my head and sh*t so at the time, I don’t even know that’s going on, you know? I know I’m bleeding, I know I’m in pain but in my head I’m going, ‘I gotta get up and keep fighting.’ Especially with Masada, he’s a legend so it’s a thing where it’s like you can’t stay down, you gotta get up and keep fighting.”
In October, the H20 Wrestling organization hosted a wrestling weekend in honor of Matt Tremont who had his final match on said weekend. Tremont is highly regarded by some as one of the best deathmatch wrestlers to ever take part in that style of pro wrestling. Tremont’s last match was against the current GCW World Champion Rickey Shane Page and Tremont fell in defeat in the match.
Mance opened up about what it meant to him to see Tremont take his final bow in a pro wrestling ring. Mance admitted that it is somewhat bittersweet because while he has worked with Tremont in the past, he was hoping to create a few more moments with the former CZW World Heavyweight Champion.
“It was awesome man. I was watching. I was sitting in here drinking and I was watching that one. It was him and R.S.P. [Rickey Shane Page], and you know, Matty’s been doing this sh*t a long time and he’s another one of them guys that I always say, ‘He’s a legend.’ He’s been everywhere, he’s done everything. So you feel kind of bad because for me, I’m going like, ‘Well I know he’s happy to be done with it. He ain’t gotta be on the road, you ain’t gotta be beating your body up.’ But as a fan, because we’re still fans at the end of the day, I’m sitting there like, ‘Well I don’t want him to stop because I want to fight him.’ I want another fight. Me and him, I want to get him [in] there again. I want him at GCW, I want guys like him to be there and give advice to all of us and to the next crop of guys and keep it going, to pass down the knowledge. I think that’s something that kind of over time goes away from pro wrestling too. A lot of people just think they know everything when — people forget they got to pass that knowledge on. So, I’m happy for him but at the same [time], you’re like, ‘Damn it, I want a couple more fights’ so…”
Warner, along with the likes of AJ Gray and Joey Janela are regulars in Game Changer Wrestling. I asked Mance how he developed and established that relationship with GCW to the point where he has become one of the core members of the promotion. He spoke about GCW being a family and compared it to a modern-day ECW. Mance feels that it is a place where there are several core members but there are also fresh faces who come in and get to shine. He went on to credit GCW for the family-like atmosphere in the locker room.
“GCW to me, I just did an interview recently out there [on] a podcast for IWTV, and I was talking about GCW as kind of like a buffet of pro wrestling. It’s got everything and everybody watches it. I always say everybody watches it man, because everyone from GCW — I’m not saying every single person. But all the big companies watch it and they go, ‘Oh, we gotta get that guy, we gotta get this guy, gotta get that guy.’ We are basically the modern-day ECW. We’re the company that wrestling fans that may not like what they see on TV, come to us and then they go, ‘That’s my f*cking place.’ So, for me, it was kind of I started going there and the locker room is a family. Everyone there helps each other out, everyone there watches out for each other. If you come into GCW and you got a bad attitude, you ain’t gonna stay there because it’s legit a family, you know? And going to back to ECW, it’s kind of like we’re on tour all the time. Every month, we may have up to three or four shows in different states and we fly all over and do these events so it’s that thing of like, if you look back to ECW, you always had RVD, you always had Sabu, you had The Sandman, you had The Dudleys and it’s just kind of that thing where at GCW, the roster, it rotates but you also have the mainstays like you’re saying. It’s always gonna have these guys and girls right here and then there’s gonna be some guys and girls that come in and mix it up but, like I said, it’s a buffet man. You always get a little bit of something different on each show so…”
Back in the Fall of 2019, after working a Major League Wrestling event, Mance discovered that he suffered a collapsed lung during his match. It was a situation in-which Mance was not aware until he got checked on at a hospital.
He stated that he was on his way to the next show. It was then that he was talked out of traveling. Once Mance returned home, he was convinced by family to get checked out and Warner shared that the doctor told him that he had no clue how Mance made it to the hospital.
“Well, it’s weird man because, it happens, I take a bump to the floor and I just thought maybe I did something to my ribs or something. I couldn’t breath for a second. So we keep going, I think there was a couple more minutes left, I get done with it and I get backstage and I kind of collapse and I just couldn’t breath at all. But still I’m thinking — because we’re crazy, we’re all nuts. I’m thinking, ‘Okay, I gotta get to the airport because I gotta go to Portland and do another show’ so I’m just trying to like, ‘Okay, I’ll lay here a little bit, I’ll get up and keep on moving.’ Eventually, people talked me out of it. They’re like, ‘Man, you’re f*cked up, you can’t go.’ So I ended up getting in a car, get back home, drove myself home. I had someone drive me halfway and then I got to my vehicle and I got to where I had to go. Me being stubborn, I just laid in bed and I was like, ‘Maybe I’m just sore. I’ll be okay.’ Then eventually, fast forward, about a day and a half goes by and then, my family ends up talking me into going to get checked out and I just thought I’ll get checked out and I’ll be fine. I walked in and they did a — I think they did an x-ray and then they do all the checking around and sh*t and I remember the doctor looked at me and he was like, ‘How the f*ck did you walk in here? You got one lung. Your other lung is like a pancake.’ So they ended up cutting me open, they put the little tube in there and then they do what they gotta do and then I was in there for I believe a day and a half, and they said I was good to go, so then when they go to take the tube out, I start squirting out blood and sh*t. They’re freaking out and I had to stay there again and they put you on — whatever they shot in me just made me high as kite and I just watched TV all day but I just sat in the hospital but then you get that big ass bill, you gotta pay that off for the next 15 years, who knows, I don’t know but — now they got me for a while. But it’s one of those things where we all love this industry so much that, we’re okay with getting hurt, we’re okay with — we were taught, you gotta keep going, you can’t just stop, and even then it’s like, I rest up and I think I was out for a month and then I came back and my first match back was at Beyond Wrestling against Nick Gage in like a hundred thousand thumbtack match or something. You take no breaks I guess.”
Mance Warner’s ‘ManceSplainin’ show airs on Fridays on AdFreeShows and it be can watched at this link. Mance is scheduled to compete at GCW’s ‘Slime Season’ show on December 5th against Atticus Cogar.
Warner can be found on Twitter @ManceWarner and on Instagram @mance_warner. His merchandise store for Pro Wrestling Tees is live and our full interview can be watched via the player at the beginning of this article and on the Andrew Thompson Interviews YouTube channel.