The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
Release Date: June 22, 2017
Guest: Trevor Lee
Recap by: Josh Coulson
- From the age of 17 all the way up until he was 21, Trevor Lee was technically homeless.
- The Hardy Boyz once used to train in Trevor’s back yard.
- Lee won a heavyweight championship during a show at his old high school, years after he had left.
- Lee’s first wrestling name was The American Dragon. He was using the name at the same time as Daniel Bryan and soon changed it to Little Dragon.
- Trevor once had his jaw broken following someone performing a double moonsault on him. It was wired shut for eight weeks.
- Kevin Steen was the first person to have the idea of booking Trevor Lee on a PWG show.
- Trevor explains how listeners can replicate his unique look towards the end of the show.
Subjects covered (with timestamps)
0:00- Sponsors and plugs
0:16- Start of show
8:02- Song of the week
12:13- Interview begins/life before wrestling
24:14- Tough upbringing
31:32- Wrestling training
46:15- Big break
54:33- Close of show
Colt introduces the show from Australia this week where he is currently on tour, rather than in his studio apartment in Chicago. He is joined for the open of the show by Matt Cross. The two of them reveal that there will be a full podcast featuring Matt in a couple of weeks time, but this week’s guest is Trevor Lee.
Matt and Colt briefly discuss how the House of Hardcore tour they’re currently on is going, and how tough traveling to Australia from the U.S. was.
Some of the wrestlers on the tour with them include Tommy Dreamer, Bull James, Jack Swagger, and Billy Gunn. The Young Bucks are also with them and Matt and Colt talk about how weird and surprising their popularity is to them after seeing the length of the line at their signing table.
Colt introduces this week’s song of the week, Noah Fence’s “The Other Bob”, a song about Bob Backlund.
Life before wrestling
The interview starts with Colt and Trevor revealing that there’s a third person in the room with them, DJ Z. Trevor goes on to talk about how the two of them met while both working at TNA.
Trevor divulges that he and Z would talk about anything and everything in the locker room, and Colt chips in with how all sorts of things come out when wrestlers are just chatting backstage.
Lee talks about his job before he got big in wrestling, at a frozen yogurt shop, and that when he got in he would listen to Colt’s podcast, and that it was the only podcast he’d listen to.
Cabana relates and talks about the point where someone has to decide if they want to wrestle full time, how they have to weigh up whether they can afford to give up their regular job and take the leap.
Lee says he did all that and thought about how he could to get fired from his yogurt shop job so that he could dedicate all of his time to indy wrestling. Colt remembers being a teaching assistant before beginning to wrestle full time and having to do the math in his head to figure out whether he could live off of wrestling money alone.
Lee says that a good weekend wrestling along with merch sales would earn him more than he was getting for two weeks work in the frozen yogurt shop.
The subject then shifts on to Trevor’s roots and his time living in North Carolina. They compare how cheap it must have been compared to rent and living costs in Chicago.
Lee currently lives in Burlington, somewhere he chose so that he was close to CWF Mid-Atlantic. He would go there throughout high school and actually lived at the CWF building for a year and a half.
Trevor was actually homeless from the age of 17 to 21. The two of them discuss how it wasn’t what people typically picture when you say homeless, and that he spent the time sleeping on different people’s couches and that kind of thing. During the day he would always be wrestling and going to the gym.
Colt asked how his social life could be considering he didn’t really have a home, and Lee replies that he still had a lot of friends but come the end of the night he would go back to the CWF building to sleep then wake up and work at the yogurt shop.
At the age of 4 or 5 Trevor had a wrestling ring in his backyard, and The Hardy Boyz would come there to train. Being so young he would just see this and assume that it was a normal thing.
He goes on to explain that his dad wasn’t particularly good with women and that he would go through a lot of different stepmoms and would hence have to move around a lot as a consequence. He also had to go back and forth between his mom and dad’s house a fair bit.
His father had twins with his third wife so they moved to a bigger house. However, the twins both died within three months of being born. Lee was in fifth grade at the time. Trevor became a handful after that and believes it’s those troubled times that drove him to become that person for a while.
When Trevor first moved into the bigger house he got really ill. His stepmom at the time got fed up with him being ill and suggested sending him to a boy’s camp. Colt asks what that means, and Trevor replies that it’s a place for juvenile delinquents where they try and put you on a path that doesn’t end up with you being in jail. His dad said if that happens then he’ll be leaving too, so the next summer they left and lived with Trevor’s grandma. He had to share a room and a bed with his dad from then until he left home.
Trevor also recalls walking in on his mother cheating on his father with another wrestler that was staying with them at the time when he was around three years old. Colt asks if he tries to stop wrestlers from doing that now if he can see them headed down that path, but Trevor says things like that aren’t any of his business.
Getting back into wrestling and training
Trevor’s dad was a wrestler, and his claim to fame is that he was an extra in the segment before The Hardy Boyz first won the tag team titles. Lee got to go backstage that night and meet The Rock. He told Rock to not be a jabroni and eat his raviolis. He would have been about ten at the time.
Trevor says that around middle school he got away from wrestling and it wasn’t until he was 14 that he started training again. At the age of 15 he had his first match.
Before getting back into wrestling Lee recalls taking his anger out on other kids and even got some assault charges at the time.
Colt relates and thinks about the authority figures they didn’t like as children, and that they were really just trying to do their jobs.
Trevor recalls a principal at high school who would have seen him at his worst. Not long ago he actually wrestled there and won the heavyweight title for the promotion he was wrestling for that night, and the principal admitted they never imagined him making anything of himself and congratulated him.
“Shane Helms ran a mega show there like a year and a half ago and I won the heavyweight title there at my high school, and that principal was there and she was like ‘I never thought that you would do anything, but looks like you’re doing good.’ That was pretty cool.”
Trevor says that talking to kids who are in the same boat as he used to be in and try and get them on the right path is something he would like to do later in life.
Colt tells a story about when he prank called a teacher he hated who happened to have caller ID. She called back and Colt didn’t realize who it was so just handed the phone to his mom and subsequently got in a lot of trouble.
They discuss how things like that wouldn’t affect them at all but probably had a big affect on the people they were doing it to.
Trevor then gets on to talking in-depth about his wrestling training. Half the week would be lucha practice, the other half would be regular practice, then Saturdays they would have shows.
His dad started to help a guy run a promotion and that’s what started him wrestling again. He was already amateur wrestling at the time. They ran a show at his school and he remembers one match in particular between Kamikaze Kid and Ultra Dragon. He remembers it being full of crazy high spots and thinking it was awesome and that he wanted to do it too.
Wrestling for CWF
Lee’s first wrestling name was The American Dragon, right at the same time as Daniel Bryan was using the name, and Colt is shocked saying that he can’t do that. Trevor says that he soon realized that and quickly became Little Dragon instead. He wore a mask at the time and once he took it off he just become Trevor Lee.
Trevor defends being called American Dragon as he wasn’t watching Ring of Honor at the time.
Lee recalls thinking he had to make wrestling work as it was the only thing he ever cared about, and once he started watching everything he could find he soon realized that Daniel Bryan was American Dragon.
As he lived at the CWF place, he had access to stacks of High Spots DVDs so effectively had a library of wrestling to help him hone his craft while he wasn’t training or in the ring.
Lee would show his matches to his teacher at school and he would often pull it up on the big screen for the whole class to watch. He recalls being extremely proud despite no one else there actually liking wrestling.
Colt remembers the first time he saw Trevor wrestle, in a three-way match at WrestleMania XXX weekend. That week was Trevor’s real breakthrough in wrestling. Lee remembers he and Colt nodding to each other on the street that week and thinking it was cool because Cabana actually knew who he was.
CWF had a match that week that saw Lee get his jaw broken. It happened when Andrew Everett performed a double moonsault on him. He had to have it wired shut for eight weeks. Colt remembers the talk of the week being that someone was there who could perform a double moonsault. Lee may have had an opportunity with CZW that week but missed out because of his injury.
Big break and wrestling for PWG
A little while after that he worked a PWX show in North Carolina with Cedric Alexander. Kevin Steen was at the show watching and told Lee that he thought he would be a good fit for PWG, but at the time nothing ever came of it.
A year later Cedric text Lee asking for his email address. Alexander said to Lee at the time that it looked like the two of them were about to get booked for PWG, something Lee couldn’t believe considering the companies he had worked for up until that point.
Turns out it was a request from PWG and he was booked on a show two weeks later. He wasn’t allowed to publicly talk or tweet about it though as it was part of one of their Mystery Vortex shows. He was booked for another show the same day but canceled it.
Lee credits that opportunity at PWG sparking everything that he does now, and before that he only really worked shows in North Carolina. Now he’s worked in the U.K. and Germany and is about to work in India also.
Lee, Cedric and Andrew Everett were in the opening match at his first ever PWG show and by the end of the match they were all chanting his name.
Trevor hates traveling, but he says it beats cleaning yogurt machines.
Colt asks now that he’s been signed by Impact does it all feel like it’s going a little fast. Trevor replies that to some people it might seem that way, but not for him.
The last topic they cover is the outfit that Trevor Lee is somewhat known for. He says that for anyone listening it’s simple, you just go to the Nike store and get some dry fit track shorts that already have the underwear built in. Colt says Trevor is known for the shortest shorts in wrestling. Lee says he wears them so that he’s ready to run at any point.
Chuck Taylor came up with his Carolina Caveman nickname.
Colt then throws back to himself in Australia where he covers some plugs and upcoming events.
There were times during this interview that Trevor Lee clearly made Colt Cabana feel his age, and to be honest he had the same affect on me at some points. Trevor seems so young to achieve everything that he already has and it’s because of the meteoric rise his career has taken in the space of only a few years. Clearly, it’s a man who deserves everything he gets though considering the things he has been through during his childhood. This interview also demonstrates that sometimes it’s simply being in the right place at the right time. If Kevin Steen hadn’t have been watching Lee’s match in PWX he may very well still be waiting for that big break via PWG.
About the writer
Josh Coulson is a journalism graduate from Bristol, England. He has been a pro wrestling fan since the age of 10 and truly fell in love with the business during the build to WrestleMania X-Seven, citing the rivalry between Austin and The Rock as what really got him hooked. Other than wrestling he is a keen soccer fan and a long suffering supporter of his local team Bristol City. You can find him @BristolBeadz on Twitter.