“My melanin is powerful. It threatens the ignorant, challenges the misinformed. My articulation intimidates. It demands to respect the moment I speak. You understand me clearly and with all that all I’ve ever had to be, was black…” – Nii Lee Cyrus
Photo by Kayvion Jones
Second Life Wrestler
Do you feel wrestling has helped shape you in anyway?
I believe that's what started my confidence in performance. Growing up, I would be emulating all of these wrestlers in every aspect I could... I'd be in my room impersonating their walk... the way they spoke... every aspect that I could remember. Eventually, that confidence became a part of who I am in and out of character alike.
Who were your favorite wrestlers growing up?
I've always been a massive fan of The Undertaker, The Rock and Edge. They've been my top three for pretty much my entire life.
Favorite woman wrestler of all time?
In my early years, I'd say that Lita was my favorite, but now that I'm older and there's actually a wider range of POC women in the industry, I absolutely love Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill and Naomi.
Who had the greatest influence/impact on your life?
I would have to say my rl grandfather. He passed away at a young age for me, but all of my fondest memories with him seem to revolve around wrestling. I would stay up way later than a two or three year old should just sitting in his lap watching wrestling. The wrestlers that we'd watch, I pulled all sorts of things from in order to create and portray Hammer the way that I do.
When did you decide you wanted to be a sl wrestler?
It was actually on a complete whim. I was looking for something new to do, and knew that a friend of mine from the SL Football community was part of it. I asked him about it and heard that there were all of these amazing places to work and perform at, and it eventually led me to VWE. I saw the arena they were using and the setup they had and was sold almost immediately.
Who is/are your favorite creator/s?
Violent seduction, insomnia angel, salem, seka
Do you ever get tired of working shows?
CONSTANTLY. This is a lot of work, especially when you get into the realm of management in the business. SL is more scripted than RL, but it's not as though you're able to just say "boom, a wrestling match," it's a ton of practice, perfecting and all of that. You can definitely tell who puts the extra work in to ensure their matches are as clean as possible and who just checks the boxes to say "Here's a wrestling match."
Who's your closest friend in the industry?
I have a few that all meet that mark. For sure Seth Cameron, because he taught me quite a bit of what I know with wrestling in SL. Lyra Phoenix and Jefferey Fireguard have also been some of my closest friends that took me under their wings and taught me how to be... me. Lastly, my brother from day one, Charlie Covfefe has been a rival, brother and friend from the very first moment I joined the industry to this very day. He's pushed me forward in this every step of the way.
Who do you enjoy working with in the ring the most?
That's a hard one... I have people that I feel have pushed me to new levels and taught me more than I think I would have learned in twice as much time like Brakman, and then there's people like Charlie, who I've had more fun just hanging out with and just talking wrestling.
Favorite theme song?
RL, I think I have to go with Stone Cold. The glass shatter and the guitar that starts it off gives the vibe of "Something big is about to go down," when you hear it.
SL, I'm biased, but mine. I'm a big believer in the entrance music setting the theme for the wrestler coming to the ring, so it was important to have something that really said "Hammer is coming."
Where did you get the inspo for your name?
I wanted to have something that carried a little "umph" like The Rock, but was true to the type of character I wanted Hammer to be. I was actually playing Overwatch and one of the characters named Reinhardt has a quote that I loved so much, I modified it into Hammer's slogan. He'd say "When all you have is a hammer, everything else is a nail," and I was sold.
How is the wrestling community when it comes to poc or black wreslers in general?
It's in serious need of more. There are more I've discovered on the "furry" side of wrestling, but on the "human" side, I can only think of eight or nine that I've either met personally or heard of in the almost four years I've been doing it. I've tried promoting it to some that I've known and that have been looking for more to join, but with the amount of work, effort and training that goes into not only starting, but excelling at it, many don't make it through the training process.
What would you want to see changed in the community?
I would LOVE to see more POC in the community. I've created and have spearheaded a cross federation faction of all POC (All Black or Mexican) to both spread our presence as well as show a different aspect of POC. Previously, if you were Black, you're labeled a thug, if you're Mexican, you're playing up to that as well. I was tired of seeing it.
What are your favorite matches?
I think that matches involving Brakman Wylder or Morgan Jones have always been my favorites for very different reasons. Both are outstandingly smooth in the ring with the movements and positioning, but there is not a single soul in Second Life that tells a story better than Brakman. He uses some of the most simple things in his matches in order to get you wholly invested in everything that he does. On the other side of that, nobody creates more memorable spots and moments than Morgan. If it doesn't exist in SL, he'll make it. His mind and creativity are unparalleled.