By: Tom Mitchell
Beyond the Canvas is a monthly interview series PPW’s backstage announcer, Tom Mitchell, will present to fans in anticipation for the next show. At the end, Mitchell will offer his opinion on what the PPW superstar has to stay. The first guest this month will be “The Man you can Trust” Evander James.
James first appeared in PPW back in 2016 at PPW Uprising but started becoming more of a full time member of the PPW roster in 2018. He made his biggest splash in PPW when he defeated TJ Marconi for the Golden Ticket Briefcase at PPW Nevermore, which led to his only run as PPW Heavyweight Champion in September of 2018 when he defeated Sean Carr. On that same night, however, James lost the championship to Bully Ray.
James has always been right on the doorstep of being the guy in PPW, main eventing countless shows and having that brief championship reign, but with a change of heart and the backing of the fans for the first time in his career, James seems poised to shatter the glass ceiling. I talked to Evander over the phone to get his thoughts on his PPW career and his upcoming match against Sean Carr for the PPW Heavyweight Championship.
Interview with Evander James
Tom Mitchell: First of all congrats on earning an opportunity to become number one contender. You went into the month preparing for Mike Orlando, but instead ended up facing Adam Chandler The Great. How were you able to adjust your gameplan so quickly?
Evander James: Well, I never adjust my gameplan. I always treat all of my opponents like a threat. If I ever take any opponent lightly, it will cost me a match.
Tom: While your nickname is “The Man you can Trust”, you have not always lived up to that mantra, and it takes a real man to admit that he made mistakes and own up to him. Where did you find the courage to finally admit that your methods have not always been the most honest?
EJ: I’ve never lived up to my moniker because I’ve always found ways to win no matter what. Whether it was cheating or with dirty tactics. It caused me to change my ways because no what what I’ve done, some fans stood by my side and then realized that it is not the way to go. Owning up to my mistakes made fans realize that I am the man that they can trust.
Tom: You are a former PPW Heavyweight Champion, but won and lost the gold on the same show. What did holding the championship for only a day do to you mentally?
EJ: It broke me. It made me want that belt more than ever because holding it made me realize that I am something and now when I regain that Heavyweight Championship, I want to show the fans that with their support, I can do anything.
Tom: Now, you are set up for a major contest with Sean Carr for the PPW Heavyweight Championship. What does it mean to you to main event PPW’s biggest show of the year?
EJ: I’ve always main evented some of PPW’s shows, but main eventing PPW Super Show II is a great opportunity for me to be main eventing on one of PPW’s grandest stages of the year. Being somebody that started out with PPW, one of the first companies that took a chance on me and have them give me the ball to main event their show shows how much trust they have in me.
Tom: Sean Carr has been very dominant since he regained the championship at Vision, beating you in order to win. How are you preparing differently than you were when you faced him back in November?
EJ: Well now, with everybody supporting me, I can just go all out. I want to show the fans that I can win the right way. I want to prove that Sean Carr is a lie and that everything that I said about him is true. Even though Sean Carr turned on the fans and I now have the fans on my side, I want to show everyone that with honesty, I will become PPW Champion again.
Tom: Having fan support is definitely critical in PPW. Last question. What do you believe the rest of 2019 has in store for Evander James?
EJ: For the rest of 2019, I want to say that I will become a 2-time PPW Heavyweight Champion, and you can trust that.
Listening to how Evander talked now compared to how he acted at the start of 2019, the difference in his tone and the way he answered every question showed a level a professionalism and vulnerability that James had not displayed before. Seeing James embrace his flaws and admit to his past wrongdoings was beautiful to listen to, as he has certainly won this interviewer over. Whether or not he can win over the rest of the crowd remains to be seen, but my gut feeling is that if he keeps presenting himself in this manner, he will not have any problems doing so.
To see Evander take on Sean Carr for the PPW Heavyweight Championship, as well as stars like Melina, Teddy Long, Disco Inferno and Gillberg, head on over to www.ppwwrestling.com/shop and witness PPW’s biggest show of the year live!