As a professional wrestler evolving and reinventing one’s persona is crucial to long-term success. On the international stage there have been prime examples of this from Chris Jericho, The Undertaker and Matt Hardy. Here on the Australian circuit though Mick Moretti is the one man who embodies this process more than any other. Throughout his career Moretti has consistently evolved the moniker and persona attached to the Mick Moretti name, with the latest iteration ‘The Rapscallion’ now seeing him connect with audiences like never before and begin to break out internationally.
After discovering wrestling as a youngster Moretti, who describes himself as “a bit of a showman”, realised that there was much more to professional wrestling than simply the athletic aspect.
“There are so many things that make wrestling wrestling, it’s a combination of athleticism, storytelling, art, combat and so many other things rolled into one,” Moretti explained, “There are so many ways to deliver it and put on a professional wrestling match, there is no one way that it should or shouldn’t be done.”
Once Moretti realised that he could combine all of the different aspects of professional wrestling in order to entertain an audience he couldn’t resist stepping between the ropes to begin training.
Looking back on those early years, where Moretti performed as ‘Mint Condition’ Mick Moretti, he now realises how that particular persona was a reflection of him “finding his way.”
After performing as ‘Mint Condition’ for a few years Moretti realised it was time to evolve the character so he then became ‘The Green Dragon’ Mick Moretti.
“The ‘Green Dragon’ transition came in 2012 because that was the year of the dragon, which is also my year of birth. So being born in the year of the dragon I decided I was a dragon, then carried over the green from ‘Mint Condition’ and added a more aggressive presence to my style.”
Now Moretti has again evolved his character, this time in order to inject more of his true personality.
“The ‘Rapscallion’ is a lot of my true nature, I’m a bit of a larrikin, a bit of a goof and I like to stir up trouble and make mischief.”
According to Moretti this latest persona is the most fun yet.
“I let loose. Sometimes I don’t even plan things, I just go out there and whatever happens happens. It gives me a freedom which is super enjoyable,” he said with a slightly maniacal laugh.
As a leader of the Australian scene Moretti hasn’t just been focused on his own success, he has also used his influence to help fuel the expansion and popularity of Australian wrestling as a whole by creating the #YoureGonnaNoticeUs and subsequent #NowWeConquer movements.
When asked why he created these movements Moretti said, "I wanted to unite everyone together, I didn’t want this idea of ‘I’m going to get myself’ or ‘my own promotion’ famous, I wanted eyes back on the country as a whole. I wanted the whole world to look at the Australian wrestling scene because I don’t want us to have to leave the country to try and find fame.”
Despite realising that there was a need for a unified Australian wrestling voice/message Moretti initially had reservations about creating the hastags.
“I was in two minds about the whole thing initially because I was worried that it seemed corny or tacky but then I realised that was ridiculous and said fuck it! You’ve got to at least try.”
Since then though the movements have been incredibly successful because of the unified message, with not only the wrestlers but also the fans latching onto the slogans as well.
“Each one of us individually might have a couple of hundred or couple of thousand followers but if we all push the same message out then all of a sudden we’re finding more people and bringing more eyes back home.”
In part thanks to the movements Moretti created Australian wrestlers such as Robbie Eagles, Jonah Rock, Adam Brooks, Kyle Fletcher, FaceBrooke, Indi Hartwell, Jack J. Bonza, Adam Hoffman, and Moretti himself have seen incredible success internationally over the past few years.
The biggest achievement last year for Moretti, and his Four Nations stablemates Bonza and Hoffman, was making it through to the finals of the prestigious Chikara King Of Trios tournament.
“Just to be in King Of Trios was a massive step forward, and to make the finals was surreal.”
Looking ahead to the future Moretti realises there are ample opportunities for Australian talents to continue to ride the momentum and achieve great things in 2019 and beyond.
“You’ve got all of these indie superstars being signed now. So that’s creating opportunities for the fresh faces and the new up and comers to become the next big stars. There are people in Australia now that are already at the top of their game but deserve more recognition such as; Caveman Ugg, Slex and Davis Storm. Then you look at the next wave and you see the Velo-Cities (Paris De Silva & Jude London), Matty Wahlberg, Ricky South, Kai Drake, Luchi and Big Fudge. Just those guys here that I see at training multiple times per week, every week, you see how much it pays off in the performances that they’re putting on.”
Find Mick on Twitter at @fullrapscallion
Read J.A.M interview pieces by subscribing to J.A.M Zine over on Patreon.