Balls' award-winning ink?
“I love my country,” he declared. “I may not agree with how things are done sometimes, but if I didn’t live in the Land of the Free I wouldn’t be able to have all these tattoos. I view my ink as the ultimate way to demonstrate my freedom of speech.”
But there’s more than just free speech. There’s also another rumor that Balls believes lives up to the hype.
“CM Punk will probably say the same thing (which Punk did, actually), but tattoos are addicting,” Balls continued. “Tattoos are also an art form. By looking at me you don’t necessarily say art work, but some of the artistic integrity these people have by taking a portrait and putting it directly on your skin, that’s just art to me.”
The pain from tattoos was never a factor for Balls, but he did admit that it hurt much more than expected.
“The tribal piece on my spine didn’t bother me in terms of pain,” he said. “I actually slept through all of the spine work. But not the shoulder blades; my back was the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life. The Celtic dragon and the inverted pentagram killed me, man.”
On his back, the Welsh Celtic dragon (upper right) and the inverted pentagram (upper left) hold different meanings that one may not believe at first glance.
“The Celtic dragon on my left shoulder is actually from a book I read,” he explained. “A lot of people know I’m an avid reader and a big fan of the historical Dracula, Vlad Tepes, also know as Vlad the Impaler. I did some research and I found that [the dragon] was the symbol on his lowest pence coin, or was close enough for me. So I got that in honor of Vlad the Impaler and Dracula.”
As for the inverted pentagram, don’t expect some strange, mysterious meaning that links a deal Balls’ signed with the Devil. It’s a lot more basic than that.
“It’s a female symbol for fertility,” he said with a mischievous smile. “Because I’m a horny devil, ya know?”
All of Balls’ tribal work was done by the same person, Mike Schweigert, who owns Electric Ink in Bradley Beach, N.J.
“Mike didn’t use stencil or pen for the tribal on my left arm; he did it freehand,” Balls said. “Since it’s been done, I’ve gone to a couple tattoo shows and they were like, ‘No doubt you’d win for best tribal, but with all the scars from extreme wrestling matches, you’d waste your money by entering.’”
“As for the tribal on my back, that’s a work in progress,” he continued. “I don’t have the time to get it finished just yet because I need to wrestle and it won’t heal. But it will eventually get done and I’ll outline it in purple and outline that in silver so it pops. I’m going to put black light ink in there so it will glow in the dark when I’m at rave parties or something.”
Paying homage to his independent wrestling roots, Balls surprised a tag team with the tribal he got on his leg.
“The tribal piece on my leg was an independent tag team T-shirt,” he said laughing. “But I loved it. I got the tattoo and when they saw it, they were like, ‘Oh man, that’s what we were going to do. Now we can’t!’”
The green gargoyle that had taken over his entire right arm covers a few old tattoos that Balls was unhappy with.
“I got it in someone’s house when I was younger. It was a skull with two battle axes crossing. There’s also another one that I got from a girlfriend before I passed out – an inverted cross tattoo. I thought, ‘I can’t have that,’ so I ran to a tattoo parlor and eventually ended up with this guy,” he said smacking his arm.
The final tattoo Balls got was in honor of a friend, his best friend, and former wrestler who passed away in 2005.
“On my forearm is ‘C.C.’ and the phrase ‘No Gimmicks Needed,'" he said. "I got it the day of Chris Candido's funeral. It’s still affecting me to this day, which is why I will name my first born male child Christopher.”