To some people midget wrestling is nothing more than a carnival-esque attraction or something akin to a freak show. These people don’t take midget wrestling seriously. But for midget wrestlers like Little Fabio — real name Chris Blanton — he’s just doing what he loves.
Hailing from Rome, Georgia. Little Fabio is one man you don’t want to mess with. While he’s named after an Italian model, don’t think for one second that this 4-foot-8, 135-pound midget wrestler won’t knock you down with an inverted DDT or slap a Boston crab on you if he’s feeling disrespected.
Taking a break during his rigorous traveling schedule, Little Fabio spoke about anything and everything related to his life as a professional wrestler.
First and foremost, Fabio has no problem with being called a midget. “I’ve never been into the politically correct term as it is,” Fabio said, referring to the oft-used “little person” these days. “In fact, I find it more offensive most of the time. A word is only a word, but the way that is used, and the context going along with it is what should matter most, not the word itself.”
Little Fabio wasn’t a fan of professional wrestling growing up due to his father’s love of amateur wrestling. Thanks in part to Triple H and Shawn Michaels reforming DX in 2006, a friend of Fabio’s named Zach Jones (who Fabio would later train as a wrestler) convinced him to sit down and watch some of their matches.
“[Jones] sat me down and made me watch a match, and explained to me how it all worked,” Fabio said. “I immediately fell in love. After that, I went through four years of college, but instead of listening to the professor, I had my laptop out in the back of the classroom studying matches, because I knew that’s the only thing I wanted to do.”
Fabio was first trained by an independent wrestler named Lamar Phillips. Fabio credits Phillips’ extensive knowledge of the business with helping him get started and does recommend him as a trainer for anyone else looking to get into the business.
As you can imagine based on his views of the word “midget” Little Fabio never wanted to be considered special, simply because of his size.
“I wanted to be treated as all the other boys,” Fabio said. “Short, tall, it didn’t matter. I wanted to break that comedy gimmick, and be seen as a legitimate in-ring competitor. I remember, getting into the ring with Billy Love, and he beat the living crap out of me. I actually thanked him after because he was the first to not go easy on me just because I was small.”
With his Southern roots, he was first known as “Little Bo Duke” and came out to the ring wearing jeans and boots as the Dukes of Hazzard theme song blared over the speakers. Sadly, he did not have a valet sporting Daisy Dukes.
It wasn’t Blanton’s decision to switch identities. Prior to his re-branding, he had never heard of the model Fabio before being asked to change his gimmick. “I was hesitant at first, because, to be honest, I had no idea who Fabio was,” Little Fabio said. “When I came out though, the chicks went wild, and I told him I would keep the gimmick.”
Fabio did admit that if he had known who this Fabio person was before being asked to change his name, he would have definitely made the change. “He’s (Fabio) basically a romance symbol for women, and I wanted to play off the pretty-boy looks.”
Aside from the size of the wrestlers involved, Fabio says that some movesets traditional pro wrestlers do aren’t an option, due to the difference in anatomy. Fabio can easily do a front flip and a senton, but can’t pull off a backflip.
As for some of the “talent” Fabio does have a problem that not every midget wrestler he gets into the ring with has been properly trained. “One thing that has always bothered me is that many midget ‘wrestlers’ I’ve worked with, are just plain crap,” Fabio said. “They were never properly trained, or never went through the independents first like I did. They are just extra bodies.”
Since Fabio is one of the wrestlers who was professionally trained, he knows what it takes to properly succeed in this business and offered some words of wisdom for anyone looking to become a wrestler.
“My advice to people who want to be midget wrestlers is to get trained, and I mean the right way, by someone who has had years of experience in all sides of the business, not just midget wrestling. Last but not least, sit down and actually watch some matches. Not as a fan, but actually sit down and study them.”
Anyone looking to book Little Fabio has two options: He typically works with Extreme Midget Wrestling and can be reached at extrememidgetwrestling.com or can contact him directly for independent shows at [email protected].