“Brilliantly hilarious” was the way I described Eddie Dennis at NSW’s show in Digbeth last Sunday.
“That’s ‘The Pride of Wales’ you’re talking about…..more like Extremely Handsome or Terrifyingly Intimidating!!” was the response from his Facebook page. So to set the record straight I thought I’d better talk to the brilliantly hilarious, and self-proclaimed extremely handsome, terrifyingly intimidating Pride of Wales Eddie Dennis.
“As a heel, I am drawn to more character-based stuff,” he admits. “I feel uncomfortable if the crowd is silent.” That would explain why he was working the crowd at the Irish Centre to such an extent last week – he and his tag partner Wild Boar were up against the face team of Shaun the Hammer Davis and BT Gunn, and it was Dennis doing the talking and bringing the comedy.
Yet when he watches wrestling himself, he prefers the fast-paced non-character-based style. “Yeah, it’s a bit strange,” he says.
Dennis is 25, and came to pro wrestling in 2008 in a rather odd way – training with Celtic Wrestling after appearing as an extra in a music video in which the company also featured. Despite having been an “obsessive wrestling fanboy” as a child, he was an in-ring latecomer in wrestling terms, particularly on the British scene which seems to be teeming with teenagers at the moment. One of his closest friends is Mark Andrews, who’s a veteran in terms of how long he’s been wrestling, but only 19 in actual years.
And for Dennis, this age gap may be even stranger – he’s a maths teacher in a secondary school, meaning that some of his students are older than some of his closest friends. “I ended up associating with the younger guys on the scene because their style was more like my own,” he explains. “There were always a lot of other people my age around, but the younger ones take it more seriously – maybe those who are a bit older have made up their minds that they’re probably not going to make it now.”
Turning fully pro and full-time is still his goal. He trained in Canada last year and aims to get a place at a Japanese training school at some point – a major step for someone who chose to do a maths degree at university to please his parents rather than pursue his judo training. Even so, he was still a wrestling fan.
“I was a huge mark,” he says. “I was never a Hogan fan, always Warrior; never Bret Hart, always Shawn Michaels; never Rock, always Steve Austin. Austin is the closest thing to God in the ring. He just does everything right, always in character. I still quite hope he’ll come back at Wrestlemania. If I closed my eyes and dreamt of being in the ring with someone, he’d be it.”
In the meantime, he has some upcoming shows – next weekend in Birmingham, where he’ll be issuing an open challenge to all the cruiserweights who seem to have recorded victories over him recently (“there’s lots of them for me to try to kill!” he reckons); and then a fortnight after in Cardiff, near where he studied at university. “It’ll be a real homecoming show,” he says. “And I don’t have to change my character – where in England I’m a patriotic heel, in Cardiff I’ll be a patriotic face!”
The Pride of Wales Eddie Dennis is appearing in Attack! Pro Wrestling’s shows this coming weekend:
Friday 18th November: Castle Vale, Birmingham
Saturday 19th November: Erdington, Birmingham
Sunday 20th November: Smith’s Wood, Birmingham
If you’re in the area, you should go along. Tell them I sent you. And if you’re in Cardiff on Saturday 3rd December, go to Cathays Community Centre for Eddie’s homecoming show.
Also, if you’re a fan of indy wrestling and want to declare your support, check out the Defend Indy Wrestling merchandise!