Steel Sharpens Steel: The Danny Limelight Interview

Credit: Justin Cotterell

Danny Limelight is a name you might not have heard of yet. You might not have seen him action—but you will. Danny Limelight will make sure you know he is. And you will not regret it at all.

The 29-year-old from New York City is perhaps the most sensational wrestler not currently signed to a major promotion. Having debuted in 2014, he has paid his dues on the independent scene but is perhaps best known for his association with Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. Combining gravity-defying aerial skills with hard-hitting MMA-style kicking and striking, an ever-increasing buzz is building around Danny Limelight from fans, like myself, who have been dazzled by his high-impact hybrid style.

Having recently made a big impression on a larger audience via his work on NJPW Strong, where he got to the final of the Lion Break Crown tournament, and the United Wrestling Network’s Prime Time Live weekly pay-per-views, what better time for Sports Obsessive to catch up with wrestling’s brightest future prospect?

Sports Obsessive: Congratulations Danny on making it to the finals of the Lion’s Break Crown tournament. How was the experience for you and will you continue to work on New Japan Strong? Do you see yourself wrestling for New Japan on their home soil?

Danny Limelight: Thank you so much! First and foremost, I want to thank God and my daughter for being all the support I needed in this journey. It was a truly humbling experience participating in this tournament, let alone making it to the finals by taking out two of the independent scene’s top talent in Barrett Brown and Blake Christian. It was so much fun; it was competitive—steel sharpens steel, ya know? I will definitely continue to be apart of the NJPW Strong roster for as long as they will have me. I love being there. Also, I would love to wrestle in Japan for them. I heard BoSJ (Best of the Super Juniors) is coming up and that’s my goal.

Danny Limelight lifts someone up onto his shoulders
Credit: Justin Cotterell

SPOBS: It’s been a big year for you, what with New Japan, Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and Prime Time Live being places to call home. Have you found the increased exposure has gotten more eyes on you?

DL: Yes. Once again, that’s Gods Plan. I am truly thankful for the opportunities I have received, and I feel like I have proven myself to so many people that I belong. I want to thank David Marquez, who took care of me all these years and provided me with plenty of opportunities. I have always called CWFH my home and now PrimeTime on Tuesdays is as well. NJPW has also gotten me a ton of new exposure and I feel like things are only going to get better.

SPOBS: What are your earliest memories of wrestling and what were the first promotions and wrestlers you enjoyed watching?

DL: 1997, Bad Blood, Hell in a Cell, Taker vs Michaels. I was so emotionally invested (that) I got legit mad when Kane came out and ruined it for Taker. I remember turning the tv off and my dad popped me and got mad. I didn’t know about independent wrestling, so all I watched was WWF/WWE, and The Rock was my favorite. After he left, I enjoyed watching Eddie (Guerrero), Rey (Mysterio) and (Randy) Orton.

SPOBS: Who were the wrestlers who made you think, “I want to do that, I want to be a wrestler”? Did you aspire to be like anybody else when you started training? Who are your influences?

DL: It was 100% The Rock. He made me want to do it. He was so electrifying. When I started training to be a wrestler, the first episode of Raw I watched was the one where (Seth) Rollins turned on The Shield, so I immediately became a Rollins fan and watched a lot of his work.

SPOBS: I understand you served in the Marines for 10 years. What was that experience like and did any of the training there prepare you or come in useful for wrestling?

DL: Yes, I was a Marine for 10 years and made it to the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6) and held the prestigious title of Drill Instructor. It was an amazing, life-changing decision and I am forever grateful to the Marine Corps for what it did for me. It 100% made it easier to transition to wrestling, with the physical training and the discipline.

Danny Limelight nails a massive kick to the head of Ricky Gibson
Credit: Justin Cotterell

SPOBS: I know you have Spiderman and ‘I Am Groot’ tattoos. Are you a big fan of comic book culture? What are your favourite comics? Any recommendations for our readers?

DL: I grew up reading Marvel Comics. Spiderman was always my favorite, and it’s easy to see because I use that RadioActive ability in his name. I tell people I was bit by a Radioactive Spider and they laugh but If you watch my work, you’ll see its true haha.  I really enjoy The Spectacular Spider-man #308-309 by Chip Zdarsky and The Amazing Spiderman #31-33 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The 9/11 tribute edition is one of my faves. I still own it in plastic and of course, Ultimate Spider-man #200.

SPOBS: How important is it to you to represent Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican culture in wrestling?

DL: It Is extremely important for me to represent for Mi Gente. There aren’t too many Puerto Ricans on TV, let alone in wrestling, besides JLo, Victor Cruz, and Marc Anthony back in the day. Now you got Santana and Ortiz doing it bigger than ever for us in the wrestling world, and to be a small part of that is vital and I love being able to do that.

SPOBS: You’ve recently started tagging with ‘King Fat Boy’ Papo Esco as ‘The Bodega’. Have you worked with Papo Esco before this? Did you know him outside of wrestling? What are your hopes for the team in the future?

DL: I never knew him or worked with him before this. But you know what they say about Puerto Ricans: we know someone who knows someone who’s related to someone that knows someone lol. King Fat Boy is a Bodega Bully. He’s scrappy, he’s ruthless, and I feel like he is the Ying to my Yang. We got a good thing going and all I see is Gold in our future! The Bodega is open for business and you can get anything you need—including a beatdown!

SPOBS: There seems to be a civil war amongst wrestling fans at the moment, between those who want an athletic, modern style of wrestling and those who dismiss ‘flippy wrestling’ and want something real. Here at Sports Obsessive, we’re fans of all styles, but what’s your take on this divide amongst fans?

DL: Fans are fans. They pay their money, they can have their opinion and they are entitled to like what they like and dislike what they don’t. Me personally, I feel like I have a good hybrid style and can please most fans and even the “flippy” stuff I do looks real.

Danny Limelight nails a big jumping knee to the head
Credit: Justin Cotterell

SPOBS: You’ve got an excellent mix of striking and aerial skills in your wrestling style. How important do you think it is for a wrestler to have a ‘hybrid style’ now?

DL: I think every wrestler should stay true to who they are and what they can and can’t do. Like I mentioned above, I am proud to be a hybrid wrestler and be able to make all that I do look real.

SPOBS: Are there any wrestlers out there that you think are underrated and deserve more attention?

DL: Clark Connors is finally getting the recognition he deserves and I feel like he definitely needs more attention. Another wrestler is Will Allday out of Texas, and Miranda Alize (too). The last person I want to shoutout is Fred Rosser fka Darren Young. He’s back on the scene in NJPW and Primetime Live and he is in his prime.

SPOBS: What’s your ultimate goal in wrestling? Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Do you have any goals outside of wrestling?

DL: My ultimate goal is to become a household name. Never have to worry financially again and be able to show my daughter that if you follow your dreams, regardless of the hate or doubters, you can achieve all. In 5 years I expect that to happen. I expect to be signed to a major company. I also have many goals outside of wrestling. I’m an actor and stuntman, and I love to write and produce my own films—I have a lot of things coming in the near future with that as well.

So there you have it. A man of many talents, obviously humble and grateful for his talents and the opportunities they’ve brought him, Danny Limelight is a man who, quite rightly, believes in himself and the power of following your dreams. With talents such as his, and with that buzz around getting larger by the day, I believe it won’t be long before those dreams truly come true.

Catch him on NJPW StrongPrime Time Live and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and see what everyone is talking about.

Written by Chris Flackett

Wrestling obsessed since '91. Lived through the Monday Night Wars and is still here to tell the tale. Major fan of Strong Style, technical and Super Jr. Wrestling, as well as big versatile hosses smacking the hell out of each other. Lives in Manchester, England.

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