How Sugar D overcame self-doubt and climbed to Impact Wrestling and beyond
By Michael Melchor, Executive Editor
Independent veteran Sugar D is point-blank about his love for life and pro wrestling and can see both in the same context.
“I don’t care what your view of wrestling is as long as you enjoy it,” Suge said during an interview with The Gorilla Position shortly before an IWA-MS show broadcast on Powerbomb.tv. “I feel the same way about life. As long as you’re not causing active harm to somebody, why can’t we just enjoy things? And that’s what it is – I’m just in the pursuit of enjoyment.”
It would have been very easy for Suge to have a chip on his shoulder early on as a product of a divorced military family. However, Suge found and fell in love with pro wrestling early on. “I can remember some of my earliest memories being professional wrestling because there were a lot of VHS tapes,” Suge recalled. “The good ol’ six-hour tapes [from] Armed Forces Network because they were military parents – crammed of just pay-per-views. WWF, NWA, WCW. I would just thrive off of that stuff – I loved it!”
One of Suge’s formative memories of wrestling informs his personality in and out of the ring. “The one I can remember from front to back was WrestleMania V with Savage and Hogan on top,” Suge said. “I swear to God I can do the finish of that match in my head. I love stuff like that – the pageantry of it, the spectacle, the emotion, all that. I was a theater kid coming up so you get all the best of the physicality with theater and what more could you ask than that, you know? So I definitely enjoyed that.”
The man of many nicknames (just look to your right for an example) began his wrestling career in March of 2006 working with Pro Wrestling Evolution. Many know Sugar most from his time in Chikara as a member of The Throwbacks with Dasher Hatfield. And that’s as far as Sugar thought he would go.
“All I wanted for the longest time was to be at Chikara,” Suge said. “I got there, did three years there, and then found out there was just so much more I could do. I didn’t believe I could. I made it that far – everything else is bonus. Maybe I could go a little further and a little further. It’s tripping me out because I feel like I’m running the longest bonus round ever. I’m okay with that.”
The initial disbelief in being able to progress past Chikara was ingrained in Suge early on. Between his penchant for theater and being a smaller kid, Suge said people got in his head as far back as middle school and filled him with doubts. Those nagging naysayers stayed in his mind throughout the early part of his career. However, through his own mental perseverance Suge was able to overcome and march forward. But it didn’t come easy.
I still had doubts in my head when I decided I was going to do this full-time,” Suge said. “I remember freaking out after the first two days. ‘Oh my God, how am I going to pay my bills, how am I going to do this, how am I going to do that, I’ve made a terrible mistake.’ But the moment I started cutting the safety net and started believing in myself, I started making a lot of amazing things happen.”
Counted among those “amazing things” Suge made happen was a recent trip to the UK (which he is returning to in June) as well as his first appearance for a major televised wrestling company.
“I always try to make things happen for myself, I’m usually not waiting for things,” Suge explained. “A lot of the decision makers that are there at Impact now also happen to do a lot of shows that I’m also on. I just the initiative to talk to them and let them know, ‘If you don’t mind, I’d like to be around when those tapings are going on.’ They were all okay with it, so when I got there they had some spots opened. I found my way into a match with KM [and also] a match with Rohit Raju of the Desi Hit Squad. I couldn’t ask for anything more than that. There’s been some good feedback and we’ll see what comes up in the future.”
The steadily ascending career path Suge has maintained thus far can be attributed to a relentless work ethic. His Twitter feed (along with his other social media outlets) is a steady stream of appearances and videos from his many bookings as well as words of inspiration:
🎶I work hard every muthaf***** day-ay-ay-ayy
I work hard, I work hard every day-ay-ay-ayy,
But today is my day, it’s my day
And no matter what they say, it’s my day🎶#Everyday
— Special Dark Sugar D (@SugarDunkerton) April 5, 2018
Suge also gives followers some insight on his podcast, “Funny. Cash. Shows.” In its initial announcement last October, Suge announced that the show would be, “geared at living your best life, motivation, funny stories, and observation. But the way we touch on this will be told in a different format. It’s a podcast hosted and created by a wrestler, not a wrestling podcast…Imagine listening to a comedy album. I almost want you to forget it’s a podcast.”
Suge explained his outlook on life and his work ethic as he propels forward. “I think that’s the biggest problem that I see in professional wrestling. You get to a certain level and it’s a case where, ‘Okay, I can stop and chill out now.’ No. There’s never a chill-out zone. You can chill out when you’re done, you can chill out when you’re retired. I love this phase of my career because I’m finding out more and more of who I need to be and what makes me happy. I don’t care how you do it, as long as it’s causing no harm, be happy, man. Be free.”
LISTEN TO OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH SUGAR D – INCLUDING NEWS ABOUT WHEN YOU MAY SEE HIM ON IMPACT AGAIN – HERE:
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Facebook: Sugar Dunkerton