“I’ll be damned if I wasn’t a little nervous, but these sons of bitches brought us two chairs and a barber seat to have one of the most epic interviews I ever had.”

Thus, the SlamWrestling.net interview began in the bowels of the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis with Trevor Murdoch and Mike Knox, two men who won the Crockett Cup and at the time of the interview preparing to face the NWA Tag Team champions, Blunt Force Trauma.

To lend context, Murdoch suggested we conduct the interview underneath the Khorassan Ballroom, and led us downstairs, with Knox following closely behind. As for being led down by two pro wrestling veterans and tag team specialists, Murdoch and Knox both cut imposing figures, so if they suggest something it is hard to refuse.

That, and there is the fear of heat coming back because of one too many haiku reviews.

At the forefront are the two men who’ve recently teamed up and what makes them their own brand versus a team with a clever name like Blunt Force Trauma.

“Here’s the thing,” Murdoch starts, “we’re very similar, cut from the same cloth. We believe and look at the business very similar, and to be honest with you, Knox and Murdoch didn’t feel like they needed some silly ass tag team name.”

“Bro, with a 25-year career,” Knox chimes in, “we’ve built [between us] 50 years on being a couple of names and it’s like, dude, I’m kind of proud to have that name. You know what I mean? I don’t need to have a different moniker.”

“Not to mention Knox and Murdoch; how much more strong of a name do you need?” Murdoch finishes. “It’s like a kick in the dick.”

“It’s whiskey,” Knox adds with a laugh.

You can tell just by talking with both men they think alike and have great chemistry in and out of the ring. It makes one wonder why they hadn’t teamed up before in other promotions. “We’ve seen each other at shows, and stuff like that,” Murdoch says. “When you’re in the world of the WWE, you’re in a bubble; you’re like a hamster. At times, it’s hard while you’re on that hamster wheel to be looking over to your right to see who else is on the hamster wheel. But when we would run into each other obviously we got along great.”

NWA Tag Team Champions Blunt Force Trauma and Aron Stevens with Trevor Murdoch and Mike Knox. Credit: Tommy "Milagro" Martinez

NWA Tag Team Champions Blunt Force Trauma and Aron Stevens with Trevor Murdoch and Mike Knox at NWA 75. Credit: Tommy “Milagro” Martinez

“Some people it’s an act. Some people, it’s boys playing wrestling,” Knox explains. “It hits different when a freaking man drags his hand on the ground and then hits you in your face that ain’t smooth; like it hits hard. And I take a hell of a lot of pride and have thrown pretty damn hard punches.”

He then looked over at Murdoch and laughs: “You’re not so bad. I have grown to love you over these few years.”

Knox is alluding to the time when Knox first came to the NWA and challenged Murdoch, who then carried the NWA World Heavyweight Championship; then after a brief feud, they finally got on the same page.

“What a lot of people don’t understand is the business of professional wrestling is based on respect,” Murdoch says, “and the fact of the matter is, if you break it down Knox came in wanting to go for the Ten Pounds of Gold to be champion — the world champion. That’s always been my goal. Now, do I agree on the way he did it? Well, no, and we’ve talked about that. I can’t undermine and I can’t take away from his motivation and his goal and what he wanted.”

“We had a conversation in the back, just bullsh*tting one night having a beverage. He and I both looked at each other and I told him, I said, ‘Mike, I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t had anybody punching me as hard as you in this company,’” Murdoch recalls. “And he started laughing at me and he said, ‘I haven’t had anybody punch me as hard as you have.’ And [what] we realized was, ‘Sh*t! Why fight this? Why don’t we tag up instead of beating the hell out of each other?’”

“And the greatest thing is,” Knox mentions, “every match that we’ve ever had together has been on this run, what? A dozen? A dozen matches together, and we’ve gotten better and better and better every time.”

It’s worth noting that the last time Murdoch was in a true tag team was with his partner, the late Lance Cade. Was there a difference between then and now? “That’s the thing, there really is no difference,” Murdoch says. “One of the things that make a great tag team is the fact that you both can be honest and on the same level with each other, good or bad. That’s really my opinion. Like the true bonding glue of a tag team is honestly stuck in there together.”

“If you look at my career, I haven’t tagged with anybody else. I may have had a tag match. But I haven’t had a tag partner for going on 15 years now,” Murdoch explains. “When Mike and I started talking, I felt that magic again. I looked at my guys and I realized that when I’m down, when I’m in the dirt when I’m bleeding [or] when I’m sweating. I know I got a partner that’s going to either be doing the exact same thing in the grind with me, or he’s standing above me going, ‘You ain’t touching him again, because I’m gonna take the next bullet.’ And that’s what a true team does. And that’s what a true brother is.”

Their current rivals in the NWA that can match them pound for pound are the NWA Tag Team Champions, Carnage and Damage of Blunt Force Trauma, led by Aron Stevens. They had already claimed the win over the masked men in the finals of the Crockett Cup. This interview, conducted at the NWA 75 pay-per-view, brought up the obvious question: How would they alter their game plan against Blunt Force Trauma this go-round?

Poster for Mike Knox & Trevor Murdoch vs Blunt Force Trauma at NWA Samhain

Poster for Mike Knox & Trevor Murdoch vs Blunt Force Trauma at NWA Samhain

“That question cracks me up, man,” Murdoch retorts. “No, I’ll be honest with you because, and don’t take this negatively, but when reporters or journalists come up and ask us, ‘Well, how would you change this against this person or change against that person?’ Why would we change anything?”

“Everything we’ve done has worked. Every direction, every decision we made in that ring has worked. So why would we change it?” Murdoch asks. “It’s a f*cking winning solution. Go in there, punch them hard. Punch them fast and punish them. When you watch us get into the ring and we wrestle there’s nothing pretty. There’s nothing acrobatic about what we do and we are not apologetic about it at all.”

“And we get just close to getting disqualified as we can,” Knox adds with a wink.

“And we punish guys,” Murdoch confirms, “when you hear the smack in the skin; when we give a guy a clothesline.”

“[We] make it ugly,” Knox finishes. “Make it real.”

While they did not get the win on night two of NWA 75, Knox and Murdoch have another chance at the tag titles with a stipulation Stevens proposed on a recent NWA POWERRR show where they will battle in a Knights of the Round Table match at Saturday’s NWA Samhain pay-per-view, in Cleveland. No matter what the outcome, these are four men that will bring the pain at every turn, which is part of NWA Owner Billy Corgan’s vision of hard-hitting tag team wrestling.

“[Corgan] wants people’s emotions to be invoked by two or four men or women going in there,” Murdoch concludes, “and giving everything, they got beating the hell out of each other; legitimately putting their own physical well-being on the line for the entertainment of the people. That I understand. Like there are different slices of wrestling out there. There are different styles out there. And our piece of this pie is punching people in the face that’s at the core of it.”

TOP PHOTO: Mike Knox and Trevor Murdoch with the 2023 Crockett Cup. Facebook photo