He’s the man who’s brought British indy wrestling to prime-time Saturday night TV – and the tabloid newspapers. Marty Scurll still seems a little bewildered by the media interest about Take Me Out, the ITV dating show that’s been the subject of all sorts of lurid headlines so far in 2012.
“I thought that maybe I’d get recognised by a couple of people,” he says. “But I’m going out and loads of people recognise me, and want pictures, and they’re talking to me on Twitter…”
This series’ contestants have had much more media attention than those on the previous two; with immense understatement, Scurll confesses: “I didn’t think it’d blow up in the way it has.”
His appearance on Take Me Out also included a classic rib from his friend and fellow wrestler Jimmy Havoc, who recorded a deadpan VT revealing to the world that Scurll is a massive fan of boy-bands. “The entire show is trying to stitch you up! I had no idea that was coming!” he laughs.
One suspects that the average viewer of Take Me Out is not a regular attendee of indy wrestling shows – can we expect the audience at Scurll’s next bookings to be significantly more female and high-pitched? He chuckles. “Yeah, maybe! A few of them have said they’ll be coming to see when I’m on next.”
They won’t have long to wait. Scurll is one of the hardest-working indy wrestlers on the circuit, as far as I can see. Every indy show I’ve been to in recent months, he’s been somewhere on the bill. “I am busy at the moment,” he agrees. “And I do work hard. I spend every weekend wrestling, and then the rest of the week I’m in the gym.”
That’s a slight exaggeration, though; Scurll is also studying for a degree. “I think it’s important to get an education. I’m passionate about that. I don’t want to be like some of those old wrestlers who haven’t got any money left and who don’t have anything else apart from wrestling. Contrary to what some people believe, wrestling hurts, and I don’t want to be doing it when I’m old. I’d like to have a wife and kids; I don’t want to be an old, broken man with nothing.”
One of his old friends, Nick Aldis aka Magnus, has already risen to the big time, first with Gladiators and then with TNA. They met and trained together as teenagers, and Scurll describes Aldis as “like a big brother”. Another close pal of Scurll’s is Zack Sabre Jr, his tag-team partner. I venture the suggestion that they bring very different things to the partnership: Scurll is clearly the talker of the two of them. He laughs again. “Yeah. I think that’s why they put us together in the first place – Zack was always a great technician, but he needed to work maybe a bit on his showmanship. Now he’s very charismatic, but we still enjoy working together.”
With Scurll’s packed diary, is there anyone on the UK scene he’s not worked with yet but would like to? He thinks. “I think I’ve wrestled Noam Dar in a four-way or something, but not one-on-one, so I’d like to do that. There are a few Scottish lads – Lionheart as well.” He thinks some more. “And Johnny Moss.”
So is his long-term plan to hit the world scene just as Aldis has done? “Absolutely. I want to wrestle on the world stage. I want to travel the world. And I don’t want to settle for second-best.”
Follow Marty on Twitter – @MartyTakeMeOut.
His next bookings include:
Friday Feb 3rd: New Scene Wrestling, Aston University
Saturday Feb 4th: All Star Wrestling, Victoria Hall, Hanley
Sunday Feb 5th: All Star Wrestling, Fairfield Halls, Croydon
Saturday Feb 11th: FPW, Wallingdon, Greater London
Sunday Feb 26th: IPW UK, Sittingbourne
Sunday Mar 25th: This is PROGRESS, London