Sasha Darevko was born in Moscow, Russia during the height of the Cold War, the 1980s, and in many way he still identifies with the old Soviet ideology.

Sasha as trained by Евгений (Pronounced Yevgheni, English Eugene The Bear) Yevgheni was a fighter from birth, he fought his brother from the day he was born until they could fight no more. Eventually he decided to join the circus where he would fight, but he was ashamed of the tricks the circus would make him do, like riding a bike. He went back to fighting. He would fight other bears and win because he had a fighting spirit and would never give up. One day Sasha met Yevgheni playing hockey. They immediately formed a bond of mutual respect and trained together. They would spar together both gloved and ungloved, and although they would fight, deep down they loved each other.

That is the origin of Sash Derevko. Brandon Rickert has been featured on television as Sasha for many years from United Wrestling Network’s Championship Wrestling From Hollywood shown on local television in Los Angeles and syndicated nationally. As Sasha he has fought 135 matches fought with 59 wins and 74 losses but who’s counting. Brandon was nice enough to stop by First Comics News and catch us up on the world of Sasha Darevko and his work as an instructor at Brian Kendrick’s School of Pro Wrestling.

First Comics News: Who trained you to Wrestle?

Sasha Darevko: I trained under Johnny Hemp and Samoa Joe at the UIWA West Coast Dojo in 2000-2001.

Mike Vega 2001

1st: When did you have your first match?

Sasha: 2001.

1st: What was your original gimmick?

Sasha: My trainer gave me a Canadian gimmick called Lance Crimson because I loved all the Canadian wrestlers and did their moves. But I didn’t like the name so I changed it to Mike Vega.

1st: Why did you retire the first time?

Sasha: I got a full time job and worked weekends so I didn’t have the time for it anymore.

1st: What brought you back? I never really lost my love for it.

1st: This was 2011?

Sasha: I believe 2010, I came back as a masked wrestler called the Unknown Soldier. It was supposed to be the Battleground Pro Wrestling mascot, but it was a shitty gimmick and the mask didn’t fit me. I hated it.

1st: Why use the Soviet era Russian gimmick after the cold war?

Sasha: I just didn’t want to do the Unknown Soldier anymore. I was feuding with the Russian Wolf Alexis Darevko at the time and we kinda looked alike so I pitched the idea of a tag team and he liked it. Then Sasha Darevko just kinda stuck.

1st: Since your return you have wrestled as a single and as a tag team, which do you prefer?

Sasha: I like both, but singles is better.

1st: You worked as a booker for Battleground Pro Wrestling, what does that job involve?

Sasha: Its like having a toy box full of wrestlers and getting to choose who fights each other and why. If you’re dumb enough to also bankroll the company you’re booking, you also get to lose a lot of money.

1st: When did you join Championship Wrestling From Hollywood?

Sasha: 2013.

1st: What was it like seeing yourself on television?

Sasha: When I first started there the show was on at like 3am, so it wasn’t really all that cool, nobody really gave a shit. When it moved to 4pm, it was better because my family could watch. But still nobody really gives a shit. Sorry Dave.

1st: Much of the time you worked with a faction, The Revolution, is it better to work as a group?

Sasha: I liked it at the time because we all got along. But they had no idea how to use us and it kinda got wasted on bad booking. It could have been so much more, but Vermin stole our thunder because the booker was in that faction. Go figure.

Mike Vega 2016

1st: Earlier this year you wrestled as Mike Vega on Smackdown Live, how did you get booked on WWE?

Sasha: That’s my little secret.

1st: What made you decide to retire again and become a full time instructor?

Sasha: I’m 34 years old with a bad back and WWE is signing 23 year old cross fit people and Indy darlings. I’m too old to wrestle like a maniac and become a smarks wet dream, and the ship has sailed on being a 24 year old crossfitter.

1st: How did you meet Brian Kendrick?

Sasha: I rode with him up to Hoodslam a few years back. We have a lot in common outside of wrestling so we became fast friends.

1st: What made you decide to work at Brian’s school as an instructor?

Sasha: I earned my spot by training there and proving myself to Brian.

1st: How long is the course?

Sasha: Its a 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, 12 week course. We are going on a hiatus for a bit though because his WWE schedule is so busy.

1st: How much does it cost to take the course?

Sasha: $2000 total if paid in 4 installments, or $1700 if paid all up front. We may be raising prices when we come back though.

1st: Does everyone who shows up get to join or to they have to pass a try out?

Sasha: We have actually talked about doing a tryout, but haven’t decided yet if we will do that. So far it’s been if you sign up, you’re in.

1st: What do the students learn in the semester?

Sasha: Um, everything? Kinda hard to sum up 108 hours of wrestling training in a sentence or two.

1st: Is it just the Boot Camp course or are there intermediate and advanced courses?

Sasha: Just the 12 week course, but once you do it once you can come back for a low monthly fee that goes to Santino Brothers Wrestling Academy.

1st: When students show up, what do they need to know?

Sasha: How to stay in shape. So many people come in out of shape and its mind boggling. Its like, did you think this was gonna be a cake walk?

1st: Do they need to have ring gear, or do you help them with that?

Sasha: Workout clothes, knee pads, and a pair of shoes with ample support is all you need to start. You don’t get ring gear until you have a character and are ready to wrestle.

1st: What percentage of your graduates find work in independent wrestling?

Sasha: It all depends on if they want it or not. Most who finish the 12 weeks will have the drive to go out and get bookings. If they quit, I sure as hell better not see them working anywhere.

1st: What else should people who to become wrestlers know about the Brian Kendrick’s School of Pro Wrestling?

Sasha: Brian is the top trainer in the country, which is why WWE sends him people to work his magic. People who need extra work before going to the PC come to Brian. He was trained by Shawn Michaels and William Regal, that should tell you enough.

 

 

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Sasha Darevko was born in Moscow, Russia during the height of the Cold War, the 1980s, and in many way he still identifies with the old Soviet ideology. Sasha as trained by Евгений (Pronounced Yevgheni, English Eugene The Bear) Yevgheni was a fighter from birth, he fought his brother from...