This past week I had the chance to interview a man I have heard a lot about on the British wrestling circuit. That man is none other than Mark Priest. Mark might not be the tallest, yet at 5ft8 and 17 stones this man can do it all in the ring including moonsaults from the top rope. As you all know I am involved with the Extreme English wrestling Federation, and on July 21st this gifted individual will be on our show. So not wanting to wait till July I wanted to talk to him now and what better place to share the interview than right here at TalkWrestlingOnline.com / Wrestling101.com.
(And dont forget the only person to win the TWO Quiz twice! – Kam)
I give to you now the full mark Priest Interview.
First off Mark I want to welcome you to Talk Wrestling Online / Wrestling 101.
Thanks, it’s nice to be here – say ‘hi’ to Kam for me.
Mark can you tell us how you first got in to wrestling?
I stumbled across an industry that was gasping for air. Not enough people were willing to help out their local – and even their not so local -wrestling show. I did my bit, made some friends, and fell in love with the business. I’ve quit about a hundred times since, but I always come back for more punishment.
What promotions have you worked for?
I started off with BRAWL, in my home town of Northampton. It was a great place to start because everyone there was starting at the same level. But some people grow in different ways and I soon felt like I didn’t belong there. I did a little work for the FWA and since then have been trying to re-build my reputation, working hard for a number of groups, all over England.
What would be your greatest moment so far as a wrestler?
Without a doubt, when I faced Justin Richards for the FWA British Heavyweight title on a CSF/FWA joint show in January. Titles these days may not mean as much as they used to, but I was proud to step through those ropes. Justin treated with me respect and that’s something I’ll never forget.
One thing I want to mention and that is you’ll be on the EEW show in Nottingham on July 21st, tell me what you think of the EEW?
Well, with them being a new company, I haven’t formed too strong an opinion yet. However, first impressions last, and I’ll tell you this: they have a very good chance of pulling off something strong this year. Firstly, they’ve chosen a good area – Nottingham is starved, wrestling-wise – there’s nothing worse than over-saturation, and by choosing an area that hasn’t seen what British wrestling has really got to offer, they’re going to make a big impact. Secondly, they’ve got the right crew – a mixture of experienced old heads and some exciting youngsters. You never can tell whether something is going to work for certain – British crowds are notoriously indifferent and tough to get to the shows – but I’m looking forward to the show.
I am assistant manager there and setting up the show and for one cant wait to see you in action, the venue as been the showcase of champions and on that night a new EEW champ will be crowned, how much would it mean to you to win a belt that night?
I’ll tell you one thing – I hate Battle Royals, with a passion. Every Battle Royal I’ve ever been in I got out as quickly as possible. And that’s not because I’m easily thrown over the top rope, it’s because I can’t stand them. So for me to willingly enter this Battle Royal should tell you something. I want that title and once I get it – and I *will* get it – you’re gonna have a hard time prising it out of my fingers.
Who is your favorite opponent?
Well, I’ve only wrestled him once – on his debut – and politics have since stopped us having a rematch, but Lokdown, currently trapped in BRAWL, is the man. I just love his stuff, and he’s growing with every match he has. Unlike a lot of youngsters – and a lot of old heads – he understands psychology and is not afraid to deviate from the script to please the crowd. In an age of people rehearsing and over-rehearsing their matches, Lokdown’s improvisations are a breath of fresh air.
When you was growing up who was the British wrestler that stood out for you?
You know what? I never watched wrestling when I was a kid. I only got into wrestling when I left school, got a job and bought a satellite dish. Survivor Series ’91 hooked me and – apart from a brief period when girls & gin ruled my life – it’s been downhill ever since.
Haystacks or Daddy who was the one you liked best?
Like I said, I never really watched wrestling, but of course I knew who these two were. Everything I knew then, and have learned since, means I *have* to say Haystacks.
Any plans to wrestle abroad?
I’d like to, but I came into this business late, and have a full life outside of it, which kind of makes it hard to commit myself full-time. Ten years ago, if you’d have asked me this same question, you’d have had to have strained to hear my reply, because I’d already be on the plane to somewhere. In an ideal world, I’d like to wrestle in Mexico. That’s my dream.
I believe wrestling in the UK is getting bigger what is your thoughts on this?
Well, we’re reaching a peak. But the problem is going to be getting people who love to watch the WWF – even those who are mad-keen, super dedicated to it – along to British shows. People are lazy, basically. I know I am. We have to try and tempt them out of their houses and along to a show, where they can pay the same amount they’d pay to see a film at the cinema to be entertained for 3 hours. If you know how to do that, you’re a better man than me!
Here is a wild question. If there was one wrestler in the world you could wrestle, who would it be and why?
Well, there’s two. Terry Funk, because – as Foley says – he could make a broomstick look good, and I’ve been compared to that (rather fat) broomstick in the past. The other is Mitsuharu Misawa. The man is a wrestling God. I’ve never seen him have a bad match and I’d love to go in with him, even if he probably would drop me on my head.
Mark tell the readers of Talk Wrestling Online / Wrestling 101 where you see yourself in the next 12 to 15 months?
Well, I’d like to think I’ll still be trying to entertain people, kicking ass & getting my ass kicked all over the country. I’d like to do something in Northampton, perhaps promote my own shows, trying to bring my vision to the people. Also, I’ve met a lot of good people in this business (a lot of crappy ones, too) and I’d like to do my best to help them get the same breaks all the assholes seem to get.
Any good stories you want to share with us from your time as a pro?
Well, if I did I wouldn’t tell you – after all, we’ve all got those Mick Foley books to write later on in our career, haven’t we?!?
I got to wrap this interview up now, are there any last comments you want to leave us with?
Yeah, run – don’t walk! – to the EEW show in Nottingham on July 21st! Take your friends! Your neighbors! Yours neighbors’ friends! Because, when you’ve all taken your seats, bought your hot dogs, guzzled your beer, you’re going to see me eliminate the competition, one by one, and become the first EEW Heavyweight Champion. And that’s a promo.”
On behalf of everyone at Talk Wrestling Online / Wrestling 101 I want to wish you all the luck in your future, and look forward to seeing you at EEW Extreme Measures on July 21st in Nottingham.