Red Lightning has been training in Scotland for a few months under Colin McKay of CSF and is scheduled to make his debut on a tour in September. He is also lined up for a 6 Man Tag Match for WI*LD on September 27th. I caught up with him this week to find out how he is getting on with his training and preparation for his upcoming debut.
When did you start to take an interest in Wrestling?
First taste must have been about 1991 when I was 5. As a child, I only really watched wrestling because it was THE thing to do. All my friends were really into it and I suppose I just watched it so I could join into their endless discussions about Hulk Hogan, British Bulldog and Ultimate Warrior. In 1993 I went off wrestling big style, I stopped watching it because, surprise surprise, my mates weren’t that fond of it anymore. I started to watch it again the RAW after Survivor Series in 1997, when I was channel flicking and happened to see a familiar looking Shawn Michaels with the WWF Title around his waste cutting a promo on another familiar Bret Hart I watched the whole show and after seeing a few more familiar faces I Ioved the show. I totally marked out at the fact these guys were still in it and I became hooked.
How long after watching it did you decide you wanted to wrestle?
Well, From then on in I watched every video and TV show there was and it wasn’t long before I was watching Nitro where I got my first taste of Cruiserweights. After that I started respecting wrestling more as an art than “Sports Entertainment” When I got a hold of the Internet, in mid 1998 I started making enquiries about wrestling training. At the time I was unaware that there were facilities in the UK for this so I was hunting for a place to go in America near my relatives’ town. I never ever found anything but from that day on, my mind was made up about what I wanted to do. I was constantly telling my family about pursuing my dream and all they did was laugh and make stupid comments.
For all wannabe wrestlers out there how hard was it for you to find a training facility and what has it been like so far?
It wasn’t hard for me to find a school, however it was hard coping with the fact that the nearest school to me was at the other end of the country. I found out about places like Hammerlock and FWA through publications like WOW Magazine and Power Slam and after surfing the net I found out about other places such as Dropkixx, Stevie Knight’s School, K-Star and GBH.
Still not being able to reach a school I gave up all hope of achieving my dream, and it wasn’t long after that I went off wrestling for the 2nd time. Of course, I couldn’t keep away and started to watch it on a weekly basis again. I’d got to know a few of the Scottish trainees through the net and spoke to them on a daily basis. Mark Dallas and Rob McKay were training out in Falkirk with some guy, Dallas tried to get me in but for some reason, I wasn’t allowed. 6 months on and Rob McKay told me all about Colin’s School, then Mark Dallas helped get me enrolled. 3 days later I was at my first training session! So far it’s been quite hard – learning how to chain a match together was my biggest problem and I have only now started to get the hang of things. The mind has always got to be there for a match otherwise you’re not much use. However it was quite simple in picking up all the basic moves and it wasn’t long after that Colin got me into some more advanced Chain stuff and basic matches.
Have you suffered any injuries so far through training?
Not that I can recall. Monday mornings are terrible because I always wake up with a pain somehwere in my body (usually the back or ribs) but I’ve started to get used to that. I staved my thumb once, nothing serious but it limited me as to what I could do for a week.
Who are your favourite guys to train with and that you think will go a long way?
There’s only 2 guys I work with in training on a regular basis and that’s Mark Dallas and Ross Watson (AKA Kid Fite), both are so easy to work with which always helps and I think both will be up and comers and they’re definitely my favourites to work with. I don’t know guys like Drew Galloway and Rob McKay as well as I know Dallas and Ross so it’s hard to make a judgement on them but from what I’ve seen of Drew in a few videos as well as Rob in training one day, both look the part. I also enjoy working with Henry (AKA Draven Cage from CSF) during some chain matches, because he teaches me a lot in terms of psychology eg. Big guy vs. small guy and it was him who taught me the basics which I’m grateful for.
How long have you been training so far?
I’ve been in training for around 2 ½ months now. By the time I debut it’ll have been almost 4. I don’t aim to go out and work the UK Scene on a regular basis from September onwards as there’s still a lot I’ve to learn in terms of working a match, and I’m willing to master my art before I make any further progress.
Explain to us your character and persona?
There’s not that much to my character. I just came up with the name “Red Lightning” one day when lying in bed, and thought it suited me. A few of the guys in training gave me some stick and they never really liked it but they all say now, that it’s a catchy name which is the whole point. My persona is pretty much like myself in real life – Always wants to be the best with great grit and determination. I don’t have a gimmick as such yet but that’s a long way off…
Which guys do you look up to and who inspired you to become a wrestler?
Definitely guys like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. I always admired Shawn’s athletic ability as well as Bret’s mat work. In my later teenage years I started adapting to guys like Rob Van Dam and Chris Benoit and when I started to watch Japanese wrestling I became fond of guys like Liger and Ultimo Dragon. As far as my inspiration, I’d definitely say Shawn Michaels. I always wanted to be like him, he was so athletic and he worked very hard in the ring, which is the way I would like to be remembered.
Have you attended any UK shows as a fan if so what have been your thoughts on the UK Scene?
Again, the distance between me and a decent wrestling event, is too far for me to travel. I do, however keep track of the scene and watch as many UK videos as I can. When I first started to watch it guys like Jody & Jonny were coming through the ranks and Jody caught my eye the first time I saw him wrestling on the awful UWA TV show. I have attended a few of those BWF Tribute shows in Glasgow which were bloody terrible to be polite. Overall I think the UK Scene is definitely on the up and the FWA have produced some brilliant events in the past 12 months, my favourite being Revival. There are also other promotions breaking through on the scene, namely CSF, who’s crowds are really into it. You should try to catch some tapes of them. Within the next year the scene will continue to grow and hopefully aim more at the general UK public then just the WWE Fans.
Who at the moment would you most like to work with in the UK?
I’d love to work with Doug Williams. He seems to be ever improving and his talents are really showing on his recent trips to the States. But, if it all balled down to it I’d love to work with my trainer – “Highlander” Colin McKay because although nobody seems to have heard of him, he has got talent and a great mind for wrestling
What goals have you set yourself to achieve?
Wrestling’s an art and I’d like to master that art as a short term goal. As a long term goal, well I’d just like to establish myself on the UK Circuit wrestling a many matches as I can to try and better myself every time. That’s all I’d really like at the moment
Let us know about the bookings you have secured so far?
I have 2 so far – CSF Total Elimination IV on Friday September 27th at the Melksham Assembly Hall (I’m in a Royal Rumble on this one) and W*ILD Dangerous Intentions II on Saturday September 28th at the Carlton Forum Leisure Center, Nottingham (Highlander Trainee 6 Man Tag Match – Red Lightning, Drew Galloway & Rob McKay vs. Mark Dallas, Draven Cage & Kid Fite)