I first saw wrestling when I was 8, when my dad borrowed a tape of WWF WrestleMania 8 from my cousin, as he thought I would like it. The first match I ever saw was the main event of Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice, and I was absolutely hooked. I just loved how bright, flamboyant and engrossing it all was, and I’ve followed it ever since.
I first found a training school in 2001, when my cousin saw an advertisement for an NWA-UK Hammerlock affiliate in Sheffield. My dad, who I honestly owe a lot to, drove us down, and we had our first session. I was immediately addicted to it, and whilst my cousin never went back after that first session, I did, and at 16 years old, I started training every week.
You’ve wrestled all over the world – where has been your favourite country to wrestle, who has the best fans, and who has the scariest fans?
Well, I definitely have to say the UK first of all, as that’s where I’m best known, it’s where I make my bread and butter, and it’s got my favourite talent to work. Apart from over here, though, I must say that I loved Italy, and I’d love to go back there. It’s such a beautiful place and the people there are so friendly. But that’s not to discount the other countries I’ve worked in, as everywhere I’ve been, people have been very receptive.
As far as scary goes? Wrestling in an Atlanta strip club at 3am was pretty terrifying!
How do you have to adapt your style depending on the country where you’re wrestling, or don’t you?
I wouldn’t say I have to really. Wrestling is, as much as a cliche as it sounds, a universal language, so I don’t really find that I have to change my style up at all.
Who do you most admire or look up to in UK wrestling?
I’m very fortunate that I get to do this for a living, but that’s only been the case for a couple of years. So I would say those that have been doing it for numerous years, even a couple of decades – people who go up and down the roads, week in and week out, and have been for such a long time. People like James Mason, like Robbie Dynamite, like Frankie Sloan, Rampage Brown, Mikey Whiplash etc. These are the men that I admire, and it’s an honour to be in the same boat as them.
Who are the up-and-comers on the scene you’re tipping for the top?
I suppose I have to say Nathan Cruz, even though he could not be more annoying. In all seriousness, Cruz is one of my best friends, and was a student of mine, and it’s great to see him doing so so well, as he truly deserves it.
There are people like Robbie X, Matt Myers, Dara Diablo, Tyler Wolf that could be great, given the right platform on a regular basis to break through, then you have so much great talent already established in the UK, and it’s so great to see the UK scene bustling with ability and fresh guys.
You seem to have a really hectic schedule with a lot of travelling – do you ever wish you could have a break from it all?!
Never. Not even when I’m beaten up, tired and been away from home for days on end. I had seven months off in 2009 due to shoulder surgery, and I hated every second of it. I love this business so much, and I’m so emotionally invested in it, that I’d hate to be away from it.
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