So far, I have interviewed three rising stars of the UK Scene, but this time, I had the pleasure of interviewing a true living legend of British Wrestling: “Highlander” Drew McDonald. Having wrestled for over 20 years, with the likes of Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks and Doug Williams, Drew is still going strong, and playing a major role in the resurrection of British wrestling. In this interview, we get to find out Drew’s involvement and feelings towards wrestling in this country and abroad, past, present and future.
Almost 20 years ago, you started off wrestling by being asked to help a mate of yours who was promoting an event. Obviously that must have been nerve racking. Then, afterwards, came your training. Was it more difficult back then than it is now?
I would love to say that the training was tougher then but I don’t really know if it was. Wrestling training will always be tough. I think in today’s world the wrestlers are more understanding. They want you to succeed now. Before, they used to beat the crap out of you and try to make you quit. If you didn’t they had succeeded in turning out a genuine hard guy who could take the punishment and keep going. Not bad thing I think.
After experiencing the rough and tough training and getting beaten by the veterans week after week, including in your first pro match against Wild Angus, why did you stick to wrestling? What made you absorb all the punishment and carry on?
I guess I must have really wanted it. I’m a great believer in the fact that if you want something bad enough you have to take the bit between your teeth and go for it until you make it or it kills you.
Now over the years, you have faced many athletes around the globe. Which guys do you think you worked best with?
That’s a hard one!!! I would have to say most of them.
Conversely, who do you think were the biggest backstabbers or the guys who screwed you and the business around the most?
The Crabtree family (Big Daddy and Co)
Did you ever think about wrestling for the WWF (now known as WWE)?
I have worked for the WWF. Working for them is not the hard part; getting your green card to stay in the states is the hard part.
Having read previous interviews to try and get to know a little more about you, I noticed that the name “Big Daddy” doesn’t bring out the nice side of you, but instead, the mean and aggressive side of you. What exactly was your problem with Big Daddy?
He was a mean two-faced b*stard who put over this image of loving the kids when in reality he couldn’t stand them. He and his family screwed and messed with guy’s lives and livings just for the hell of it.
Do you have a favourite promotion that you enjoyed working for the most?
The Wrestling Alliance (TWA)
What do you consider your greatest achievements in Wrestling?
Still being alive after some of the crazy things I have done. You see these guys on TV taking mega big bumps and think wow. Well I have done them at 300 plus pounds while these guys are 200 plus pounds.
What are the maj or differences between wrestling today and wrestling back when you first started out?
It’s more open now. It used to be a closed shop. And it was never referred to as entertainment.
If you weren’t a wrestler, what career would you has gone into?
Now currently, you are a major force in the Frontier Wrestling Alliance promotion as a member of the Old School faction with Dino Scarlo. Do you feel deep down that the Old school style is actually better than the Nu-school attitude?
Without a doubt. Do you know, the thing I find funny is that some of the moves you see today have been around for years. They have just been given new names and of course there are a whole new generation of fans who have never seen the old stuff so they think it’s all new and that the new school invented it.
Back in February, at Revival, you took on both Robbie Brookside and Jodie Fleisch. Firstly, do you think Revival was a success in helping to revive the UK scene and secondly, how did it feel for you to personally be a part of it?
Revival was a success in bringing the fans a glimpse of British wrestling. I would have liked it if we had made it a bit less American in its style although I do realise that we have the WWE to compete with. I don’t think we can ever compete with them so we are better doing our own style of show and hoping the paying public want a comparison. As for being part of it, I loved it but I have to bear in mind that I have been part of the last 3 attempts at trying to revive the British scene and each time I have had to watch it go down the tubes because the lunatics were at the helm of the ship. This time, it looks like we may just have a decent captain to take the helm.
Looking at the new crop of stars in the UK scene, which guys really catch your eye as future superstars of the industry?
Doug Williams, Jodie Fliesh, Jonny Storm and a whole load of them which are going to be coming from the Hellfire Wrestling Skool in Leeds. I make sure they stick to their training, learn respect for the job and are starting at the beginning with the basics and not at the end with the highflying gear; I believe you have to learn to walk before you can run.
After 20 years of wrestling, do you feel that you still have something to give to the industry?
I will always have something to contribute to the job I hope, even if it’s only a bit of wisdom on how to sell you to the public and the promoters.
Now, lets play a little Word Association:
Dino Scarlo: Great guy.
Old school: The Best.
Alex Shane: Good for the job.
Revival: Brave attempt.
Jodie Fleisch: Small but great.
Doug Williams: The future.
Big Daddy: F***king tw*t.
Wild Angus: Hard Man.
UK Scene 20 years ago: The Past.
UK Scene 10 years ago: The Past.
UK Scene Now: The present and the future.
WWE: The death of wrestling.
Vince McMahon: Great business man.
Backyard Wrestling/Wrestlers: Dangerous.
Drew McDonald: Needs to diet again.
After all is said and done, how do you want Drew McDonald to be remembered?
As a wrestler who tried his best.
Got any dates lined up for the future?
Fully booked up until the end of this year.
Any advice for anyone wanting to break into the business?
If your young finish your education first and when you do start training give it your best shot.
Finally, any last words or plugs?
Join the Hellfire Wrestling Skool. Get the address from the links below.