Interview: LDN Wrestling’s Hakan

How did you first get into wrestling?

I was a wrestling fan growing up like most kids my age; I loved WWE and it was something I aspired to do. I’m generally quite an athletic person, I play football on the weekends when I’m not wrestling and used to work in a leisure centre as a lifeguard.

I was trained by LDN Wrestling and by Paul Ashe, I trained with him for two years. In the last six months of my training I was working shows and learning off my opponents such as the great Jon Ritchie and others. The LDN school was pleasant and I learned a lot. I feel learning on the job helped me enormously too. I really enjoyed it and met some future friends and wrestling enemies, including my biggest rival in the ring, Travis.

You’re an exclusively LDN wrestler, aren’t you? Tell me a little bit about wanting to work for just one promotion and why you made that decision.

Yes, I exclusively work for LDN, I trained here and will be to the end of my career hopefully. LDN at the time was making waves on television on The Wrestling Channel and was growing very nicely. It now puts on the most amount of shows in the UK. I believe in Sanjay’s loyalty philosophy [promoter Sanjay Bagga] and it’s been great for my career. I’ve wrestled legends such as Kendo Nagasaki, Johnny Kidd, Jon Ritchie and wrestled in cage matches, ladder matches all over England and Wales. Being the British Heavyweight Champion is great. I wanted progress in my career in this country and I feel by working with LDN I have achieved that.

Some wrestlers have talked to me about the “old days” when they worked exclusively for one promotion, and said that they chose to leave that system because they wanted to challenge themselves with different opponents – what would you say to that?

Good luck to them. I challenge myself every time I go out there whether I’m wrestling the same opponent three nights in a row or whether its someone else. My job is to entertain the fans, and get the punters to come back when LDN returns to their town in a few months time.

I’ve wrestled lots of different people and people come and go, so it’s not as if it’s the same opponent all the time although I must say I have wrestled Travis lots this year and I have enjoyed every single bout of ours.

Some wrestlers have left us thinking the grass is greener on the other side; they have gone from wrestling eight times a month for LDN to wrestling five times a year. If that’s what they want – great for them, but I am happy and proud to representing LDN Wrestling.

Did you really used to be a driving instructor?

I still am, I’m self-employed so do that when I’m not wrestling and quite enjoy teaching people how to drive. London needs better drivers!

What are your ambitions in wrestling?

To continue to represent LDN and wrestle for them up and down the country. I want to help the company and my promoter Sanjay Bagga take it to the next level. 200 shows a year is the next milestone and I believe with our roster and his work ethic it will be achieveable.

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