Interview: Lion Kid talks Chris Jericho, Japan and video games

February 29, 2012

He’s the man in the mask, roaring in the jungle somewhere near you…but other than that, Lion Kid is a very mysterious beast. So I decided to find out a bit more about him…

Tell us a bit about your early career. What made you want to be a wrestler, and when did you begin training? Are there particular wrestlers who have inspired you?

I was always pretty active as a youngster; I wanted to be a wrestler since I was around 8 or 9. But unlike most people, it wasn’t watching wrestling that got me into wrestling in the first place: that would be playing the video games – WWF WrestleMania on the Super Nintendo and later WWF Warzone on the Nintendo 64. I actually still have both games. The old games machines are still my favourites.

So after playing the games for years, one morning I saw it was on TV and thought I’d see what it was like. That was 1998 and I was hooked instantly. I was playing the games so it was easy for me to get into the shows, as I already knew who all the characters were before I even saw them wrestle on TV. It wasn’t until I started watching it on TV that I felt the desire to become a professional wrestler. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: Allison Danger talks SHIMMER, motherhood and feminism

February 28, 2012

Hi Allison, and thanks for joining us here at TOWIS. First of all, I want to ask a bit about the Womanist Revolution – a concept I love and try to champion in my viewing. Incredibly brave of you to even dare to mention the word “feminist”, but I’m so glad that you did and you do. Have you always identified as feminist?

Not consciously, not until I was in my early twenties. It really kicked in when I was dating a musician; he had a life that I really admired and wanted for myself in a way. He was independent, traveled a lot and really lived his dream. I remember asking myself, “Why do I hold myself back? What steps do I need to take to really follow what my heart wants?”. I realized I held myself back a lot because I never really saw females in my environment grab life by the balls and take it for themselves. It was always about family, putting themselves on the back burner and dreaming. That is why I chose not to start a family until later in life. I think deep down the feminist roots were there, I just had to dig to find them.

You’ve mentioned problems like being asked to wrestle an untrained opponent – and you’ve said it happens “all the time”.  Do you think things are changing at all? And do you think your male colleagues also have a responsibility to help change these attitudes and situations, or is it down to female talent to improve their own working conditions?

Yes and no to things changing. Read the rest of this entry »

Facts from Preston City Wrestling, Lava Ignite, Friday 24th February 2012

February 26, 2012

It’s ironic, really. I spent last week researching my article about concussions and serious injury in professional wrestling – and then I smacked my head on the bus en route to work and ended up with a splitting headache and most of the week written off.

Add to that I then developed a cold (I do NOT recommend sneezing repeatedly when you have a concussion) and we’re not looking at optimum conditions for a) enjoying a night out or b) remembering things.

Still, I’d been planning to go to PCW for ages, and I wasn’t about to let a bump on the head stop me.

I was most excited about the opening bout – Friend of TOWIS Noam Dar against his trainer Zack Sabre Junior, Joey Hayes and Dean Allmark in a four-way match. Read the rest of this entry »

Fact: the world is odd, featuring CM Punk, Chris Brown, Eve, John Cena and Zack Ryder

February 22, 2012

We already know that CM Punk is a god amongst men, with progressive views on many things.

He spoke last week about male politicians attempting to restrict women’s access to birth control.

He’s gone public in supporting equal marriage rights for gays.

This week he responded to Chris Brown’s Twitter taunts by challenging him to a fight, with proceeds from the bout going to a women’s refuge.

Meanwhile, over on RAW, John Cena would doubtless argue that Rihanna deserved everything she got from her boyfriend, because sometimes women just don’t know when to shut up and let the menfolk speak, and God forbid they should do anything that men judge inappropriate. Read the rest of this entry »

Fact: Randy Orton is not in the Elimination Chamber, and wrestling is dangerous

February 19, 2012

One of the mockeries that always gets levelled at the pro wrestler and the pro wrestling fan is “But it’s not real!”

It might not be “real” in a competitive sense, but the moves that are done in the ring are very real – and very risky.

It’s become a habit to have a sly giggle at the WWE’s ‘Don’t Try This!’ safety announcements, but they’re right to stress the potential dangers of professional wrestling.

We saw that three weeks ago, when Mark Haskins landed badly from a shooting star press and got a concussion and a cut nose for his trouble.

We saw it a fortnight ago, when R-Truth and Miz had a mix-up, resulting in Truth crashing on to his back outside the ring.

We saw it last week, when Jesse Sorensen broke his neck in his match against Zema Ion at the start of the Against All Odds pay-per-view.

And now we learn that Randy Orton will not be competing in Elimination Chamber due to yet another concussion, which is something Christopher Nowinski said would be the case a couple of weeks ago and nobody believed him.

Austin Aries and Shannon Moore have both been telling spectators that they need to have more respect for the talent because of the dangers inherent in the business, with Moore saying: “Please have respect for anyone good or bad that puts themselves into a ring risking it all every night to entertain. Thanks for your support.”

But should wrestlers be having more respect for themselves – and cutting down on these dangerous manoeuvres? Read the rest of this entry »

Question: David Haye v Dereck Chisora – was it a work?

February 19, 2012

There’s all sorts of discussion going on this morning about the brawl at the press conference after Dereck Chisora lost to Vitali Klitschko. Was it for real, or was it a set-up?

David Haye – who’s retired, remember – decided to wander in and mock Chisora for a bit, everyone mocked Haye for being utterly rubbish, and then it all descended into bottle-throwing, tripod-wielding and death threats.

Basically, pretty much like your standard WWE contract signing. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: Shanna on Pro Wrestling EVE and being Portugal’s Perfect Athlete!

February 17, 2012

First of all, it’s great to hear you’re on the mend now. Can you just explain the injury you’ve sustained and how it happened?

Yes, correct. I’m currently recovering from a hyperextended elbow and a dislocated shoulder, sustained during a three-way match for Pro Wrestling EVE’s title at XWA Goldrush 2012 against Jenny Sjodin and April Davids.

Would I be right in saying that you would have been part of EVE’s iPPV tomorrow had you not been injured? 

Yes, I’m very disappointed, and I feel I’m disappointing the fans by not being there. Unfortunately, sometimes people who come from an MMA background forget what wrestling is and get a little bit carried away, like Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn in the past. I think anybody can step onto that ring and hurt another: it does not take talent to do that.

Will you be watching the iPPV? 

I would not miss the iPPV for anything in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Question: Zack Ryder, Eve and John Cena – where on earth is John Cena’s wife?

February 16, 2012

John Cena has a wife in WWE canon. I KNOW he does, because CM Punk told me so.

Now obviously offending her honour isn’t as bad as likening Cena to the New York Yankees. But she does exist.

So where is she now? Read the rest of this entry »

Question: Should Challenge TV be showing Zema Ion v Jesse Sorensen in their UK Against All Odds broadcast?

February 15, 2012

I just put the TV on to Challenge TV to watch the Impact Against All Odds pay-per-view.

And then I turned it off again.

You see, I knew that Zema Ion v Jesse Sorensen was the first match on the card for a number one contender’s slot in the X-Division.

But I also know how that match finishes. And so does every other wrestling fan in the UK.

Do we really need to see it? Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: The Warden Phil Ward talks The Rock, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and tax

February 14, 2012

I reported from FPW this weekend that I was very taken with ‘The Warden’, whom I likened to “Mr McKay in Porridge, except younger, with more hair and with sunglasses”. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a big shouty slightly crazed heel.

So I decided to have a chat with wrestler Phil Ward to find out about his character and his career…

First of all, congrats on a great show at FPW on Saturday – we really enjoyed it! Is the story I’ve heard about your gimmick’s genesis true?

Haha, yes, it’s all true. I was literally given the idea with the explanation that my name was Ward (Ward…Warden…get it?) and that everyone hates prison. Full credit to Steve (HD) Evans, though, because if he hadn’t pushed me to do it, then the Warden never would’ve seen the light of day.  Read the rest of this entry »