Fans of independent wrestling will know him as Scorpio Sky, the WWE Universe remember him as Harold (one of doctor Shelby’s patients alongside Kane and Daniel Bryan), and in TNA he’s Mason Andrews, but Schuyler Andrews, the man behind the names tells The Wrestling Pundit Keelan Balderson it’s the performer that matters, not the label.
“The reality is, what is a name? If the fans chant ‘Scorpio’ or ‘Mason’ they are cheering or booing me. With the internet it isn’t hard for people to make the connection between Mason Andrews, Harold, and Scorpio Sky. At the end of the day I’ve still got to go out and be me. It’s not the name that interested TNA or the WWE; it’s the performer. The hardest part is figuring out what name to sign when fans ask for autographs after shows lol. Other than that I don’t mind if you call me Mason, Harold, or Mr. Empty Pants. As long as you know who I am, I’m satisfied.”
Andrews was back on national TV this week, performing in a 3-way X-Division match against Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams on Impact.
“I love working for TNA; I think they are a great company. So if the opportunity came to work with them in the long term I would enjoy that,” he said.
Prior to signing with WWE, he fought an uphill battle to the top of the X-Division, defeating Dakota Darsow, Lars Only and Rubix at the July 2012, Destination X PPV, to earn his way into a tournament for the gold. Pulling triple-duty he went on to defeat Kid Kash, but was not successful in the Ultimate X match. Now that he’s back the proverbial “sky’s” the limit.
“They have so much talent; obviously the X Division is always stacked with great competitors. There are so many great matches that can take place involving myself and the likes of Kenny King, Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williams, Zima Ion, etc. Aside from that I can see myself not just in the X Division, but making the transition Kazarian, AJ Styles, and Chris Daniels did. Those 3 names alone are guys I’d love getting in the ring with. Chavo Guerrero and I had a great match on the indies and could do good business. Working with Joey Ryan on that level would be incredible. So the possibilities are endless there.”
One thing TNA fans immediately recognize about Mason Andrews is his in-ring athleticism. The X-Division was built with performers like him in mind. It might then have came as a shock to some, when he turned up on Raw, not showcasing his in-ring skill, but backstage in a series of “Anger Management” comedy skits alongside odd couple Kane and Daniel Bryan. Andrews had gradually built up a relationship with the promotion over several years, having appeared in a 2009 Super Bowl ad being given the Attitude Adjustment by John Cena, as well as various Syfy SmackDown commercials. However nothing was about to prepare him for “Harold”.
“You know it was just one of those things that came out of nowhere. I got the call and had no idea what it was going to be. I did know it wasn’t going to be a wrestling role though. Once I found out I was excited, and wanted to have some fun with it,” says Andrews. “I had no clue it would get as big as it did. I didn’t think any fans watching would even notice or care who Harold was. I figured a few indy followers who knew who I was might watch and say ‘Hey, that’s cool’ and chant ‘Harold’ at shows but had a much greater impact than I anticipated. To the point, 8 months later I still get ‘Harold’ chants at shows lol.”
It wouldn’t be the first time that he would leave the traditional ring behind and step in to acting. Notably he was involved in the 200th episode of the CBS show CSI.
“I’ve always been interested in acting, and used to be quite involved in High School and College. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a number of television shows in recent years and I would like to do more. I always play the wrestler or something along those lines, but I would love to do some comedy. I think that would be a blast.”
He got somewhat of a taste of the comedy scene when he appeared on Comedy Central show Tosh.0 alongside Comedian Daniel Tosh. He helped school a backyard wrestler who had botched a moonsault off a steel chair.
He didn’t do it all for the laughs though. Andrews is an avid trainer of the next generation and stresses how important it is, not only to get trained, but to get trained by somebody who has actually done something in the business and knows what they’re talking about.
“More than ever I see guys wrestling on shows before they are ready, picking up bad habits in other classes, or not even training at all,” says Andrews. “I’ve been in the ring with guys that just make me wonder ‘WHO TRAINED YOU???’. It’s not just the in ring either, it’s the way you carry yourself and how you do business. There are so many talented people in every aspect of entertainment that cannot make it to the next level because they aren’t good businessmen. So I try to pass on the things I was taught. Not rush these guys into the ring before they’re ready. Give them all the tools you need to be successful. Iron sharpens iron, come to my class and you’ll leave razor sharp!”
You can learn the ropes with Andrews at the Championship Wrestling 101 school, operated by Dave Marquez’s Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.
When asked about WWE’s developmental program and whether talent completely bypassing the indy scene could harm the business, Andrews said it’s “double edged sword”.
“On one side they have a certain way they want things done there. It is far easier to teach someone good habits than teach them to forget bad habits and relearn good ones. I’ve experienced this problem running my classes. So in that case, what they are doing is good for their product. However, on the other side as a fan I don’t like everybody being the same. I love a match up like CM Punk vs. The Rock because they are SO different. From different backgrounds, different styles, different worlds. That’s what makes that so good. So I guess it’s a matter of taste.”
Ironically if he wanted to pursue a proper run with WWE he would invariably have to go through the developmental ranks himself. WWE is a marketing juggernaut and during his short time as Harold, Andrews got “to see the work outside the ring that goes into making the product what it is.” He continued…“Getting over with your character is so important. That is why guys like Hulk Hogan have been so successful. Long after he is able to drop the big leg, he is still a draw because he made a connection with the audience. ‘Hulkamania will last forever’ isn’t just a catch phrase, 10 or 20 years from now he may roll up in a wheel chair and people will still be interested and want to know what he’s doing. All because of that connection.”
Andrews said he would entertain the idea of going the developmental route if the situation was right, but it doesn’t come without its cons.
“The way the system is set up you have to up and move to Florida. Live there and not make much money hoping to get to TV eventually. You and 30 other guys all trying to earn a spot. I think I make more money where I am, so it would be difficult to make that move.”
Whether WWE would have Harold back is not as clear cut as you might think, as the company’s PR machine felt the need to distance themselves from him after he had a personal argument on Twitter, which involved using the word “faggot” in the heat of the moment.
“I have publicly apologized for my words, and for anyone who missed that I would like to once again apologize,” says Andrews.
“I was wrong for saying what I did, and though it was not intended in the way it was taken, wrong is wrong. I do believe it was blown out of proportion, and my heart was in the right place. It’s one of those internet miscommunications. Have you ever found yourself arguing with a friend, or girlfriend/boyfriend over something you said in a text message? And it truly was not your intention to hurt or offend that person. That is the situation I am in, publicly. You cannot always see into someones heart reading what they say. All you can do is see the words, but you can’t always understand the meaning behind the words. So, with that knowledge it is my job as a public figure to be aware of the words I am using. Lesson learned.”
An emerging trend with the rise of MMA is pro wrestlers and former wrestlers transitioning in to fighting. Andrews himself has an MMA victory under his belt.
“MMA is something I have always been interested in. Even back when the UFC was an underground company banned from TV. I remember training when I was 10 in karate, I went to the gym Jason David Frank(the Green Ranger) owned. I used to talk to his brother all the time about fighting and UFC. So once I got back into it in 2009, I fell right back in love with it. I’ve had many opportunites to fight but had to pass on so many due to injury or schedule. I did fight and won via 3rd round referee stoppage. I did pretty well looking back, but could have done much better had I participated in a better training camp. That’s why I have not done it since. I told myself unless I can fully dedicate myself to a training camp I wouldn’t do it. Fighting is still an interest but with my schedule the way it is, I don’t know how realistic it is.”
With MMA now firmly part of pop culture we may be at a point where rookies who would have done wrestling choose real fighting instead. Andrews agreed that this will likely be the case.
“High profile amatuer wrestlers only have so far they can go in the sport. The highest of the high is winning a olympic gold medal, and the IOC is taking that away in 2020 which is ridiculous. But wrestlers that might not have another way to make a living outside of being a coach would often go into rasslin’, now they can continue their competitive career in MMA, and make money doing it. If the UFC was where it is now back in 1996, who knows we may never have seen a Kurt Angle or Brock Lesnar in the WWE. Honestly, if the UFC was where it is now when I was in High School I might not have become a rassler myself.”
With all bases covered the only question remaining is how old is Scorpio Sky? Wikipedia doesn’t know…and whatever you do don’t ask him!
“I kind of like that the KNOW ALL Wikipedia doesn’t know ALL about me lol if I give it away in this interview somebody will update it. Plus, haven’t you ever heard never ask a lady their age. lol”
You can follow Andrews at @ScorpioSky or email ScorpioSky4ever@yahoo.com for training information and bookings. “I do shows, weddings and Quinceaneras. Holla! lol”