While most arm wrestlers are intense, few growl, snort, and scream with the same energy as Don Underwood, Kansas City’s mammoth super-heavyweight. Check out Underwood’s thoughts on “Hulking out” before the season finale of Game of Arms, airing tomorrow at 10/9c on AMC.
Q: How would you assess your overall performance this season?
A: I think I was pretty well spot on this year, minus losing to Travis Bagent. The guys on my team got in my head a little bit for that one and pulled me back. I didn’t get as excited and focused as I normally do, and that’s worked for me in the past.
Q: So you’re saying getting that amped up works to your advantage?
A: Getting pissed off is the only way I like to do it. I focus on bad things, like someone hurting my family or taking something from my kids, and what I’d do about it. The adrenaline fills my body and I win. Dramatically.
Q: You spoke about being bullied as a kid. How did that happen? It’s hard to imagine you as anything other than aggressive.
A: It was really just a lack of confidence. I was a little chubby. Tough or not, the other kids scared me, and they knew it. I moved to a larger city, fit in more, and then moved back, this time with confidence. The kids tried to do the same thing, I [stood up for myself], and that was it.
Q: You spent some time as a pro wrestler, right?
A: Seven years. I always wanted to wrestle. I have some great memories of the road, meeting some heroes and getting to work with them – Mick Foley, the Bushwhackers. But if people knew how painful it was, they’d stop wishing. You’re bruised head to toe.
Q: Now you help run an arm wrestling school. What does that curriculum look like?
A: One of our graduates is [series regular] Bill Logsdon. We try to make it simple and take it one step at a time without confusing anyone. I ask everyone if they have a passion for arm wrestling. Do they think about it every day? If I get, “Ehhh, kinda,” then I don’t want them to waste their time.
Q: You expect the same loyalty that you have to the sport.
A: I gave up job after job and relationship after relationship. You travel a lot, and if a girlfriend couldn’t go, I’d go anyway. Eventually, it becomes, “Well, if I can’t go, I need to think about something else.” Well, get to thinking, because this is the way it is. This sport is in my DNA.Read More