How did you get started? I’m guessing you were a big fan as a child?
As a young child, I was always aware of wrestling but it never really garnered my interest too much. I didn’t have one of these situations that the whole family sat down every Friday night to watch it like many stories you read. It wasn’t until I was around 12 when my grandpa got SKY and it became easily accessible. Paired with my laziness, watching wrestling became a major part of my pastimes. I didn’t really comprehend that people could train to be wrestlers, I just assumed that it was for the ”Americans” and it stayed very much a teenage fantasy.
However, when one of my friends discovered the Scottish Professional Wrestling Academy, I decided to tag along for a bit of fun. The more I attended, the more I became interested, and from there it elevated from Sunday afternoon activity to an immediate passion. I debuted aged 14 and the rest is history, as the saying goes.
You were part of DragonGate UK last year – that must have been a really exciting experience for you. How did that come about?
I was blown away after watching the first two UK shows and loved how much publicity and attention they were receiving as the shows were of a different class. At the start of 2011 I made one of the UK shows my goal for the year; it is a style of wrestling I have become very attached to and is a long-term goal. I was overwhelmed to receive the spot with so many other great UK names more deserving than me that were perhaps working towards that weekend. The most beautiful thing I find about DragonGate is the sheer professionalism every participant oozes. Nothing is done without a 100 per cent effort and the shows they produce exemplify that point. It was humbling to be around that type of passion and really opened my eyes to the term of ”professional”.
Every time I’ve seen you, you’ve been playing the arrogant heel – is that the character you like portraying or is it something you fell into?
I think it is what appears as most natural! I do prefer the “heel” role and it perhaps helps me stand out more. Regardless if I am “face” or “heel” I try to keep my character realistic, by mixing my look, age and wrestling style with influences from musical icons; I always try and stay aware of the situation I’m in. I hope this keeps me unique in a sense and makes me more marketable, whatever that overused phrase means!
How are you balancing your wrestling commitments with your university study? Are you planning to turn full-time pro or is it going to stay a balancing act?
At first it was a struggle, but once I fell into my routine, they actually benefit each other. I need something to fall back on if wrestling doesn’t work out and I hope this degree gives me that. However, if I ever felt that I could become “full time” I would defer my studies and commit 100 per cent to wrestling.
There are lots of you youthful types coming through the UK scene at the moment with a fair few new promotions – would you say the British scene is looking promising?
One of my favourite things about the British scene is that so many people are helping us younger ones out where necessary. Sometimes it can feel like being a “boy in a man’s world” but even a few years ago when I started getting on shows more regularly, I felt very welcomed and comforted by the closeness of some backstage areas. In terms of talent, the UK scene is flooded by it and those who are deserving of recognition are rightfully receiving it.
Who are your favourite colleagues to work with, and who are your favourites to watch, either in person or on TV?
In terms of in-ring, I really enjoy and feel I have a lot of chemistry with Andy Wild, Lionheart and Joey Hayes, to name-drop a few. I’ve been quite lucky in the sense that I have worked a wide range of talents and not been pigeon-holed into one circle of workers and I’ve found more times than not if I have a relationship with them outside the ring, it tends to transcend into chemistry inside the ring.
Who would be your ideal opponent?
Ideal opponent would be anyone that wants to produce a fresh and exciting match every time: someone that keeps the story of the match at their forefront and don’t just go through the motions. In terms of “dream” opponents, it would be AJ Styles or Kurt Angle, both of who have been massive influences to me since I started watching wrestling.
Follow Noam Dar on Twitter – @noamdar