This week I had the opportunity to interview another up and coming wrestler in the UK wrestling scene, Allan “The Terminator” Grogan. Allan shares his thoughts on the current UK Scene, The Wrestling Channel, BCW and much more!
Hi Allan, What have you been up to recently?
Hi there, well recently I’ve just completed my debut trip down south working for CSF promotions in Yate which was a lot of fun, and I am currently in the process of moving back home after spending six months in Glasgow training.
What made you want to get into the wrestling business?
It was definitely due to the first match I ever saw which was Bret Hart vs. Mr Perfect, that just had me hooked, I loved the drama and excitement. Later when I discovered that wrestling was more a show it just made me love it even more.
Can you tell us how you got into the wrestling industry and who did you train with?
Initially I refereed the first SCW show a few years ago which I still believe is an extremely beneficial way to “get your feet wet” in the business without diving in headfirst. And it was later that year (2002) that I began training with what is now known as BCW.
Who was your debut match against and how did it go?
My debut was a six man tag last February about 20 mile from my hometown of Dundee so I was fortunate to have a lot of support that night. As for the match itself……well at the time we all thought it was really good, but now I look back at it and cringe..ha ha.
For someone who hasn’t seen you wrestle before, what’s your character and wrestling style like?
Well I guess my character is someone who believes that what he is doing is always right, whether it be as a face, setting what is hopefully a good example to the fans especially the kids by never giving up and fighting for what you believe in. I think even as a heel I my character feels he is in the right, he’s not a bad guy for the sake of being a bad guy, but rather society has turned against him. As far as wrestling style goes, I like to try to use technical wrestling, but I guess you could deem my style as “Americanised“. However I try to implement some old British stuff and integrate that into a modern style.
You’ve wrestled for BCW, how did you enjoy your time with that company?
Well I’ll probably be accused by many of speaking out of turn here since I’ve only been in the business for two years, but looking back on it now that I’m working for other promotions I can see a lot of things that can be changed for the better in both the school and the shows. I mean there is a lot of talented guys there and they are people behind the scenes who work incredibly hard with little accolade. I mean its hard to pinpoint one thing that’s wrong, I think its a lot of little things. But overall most of the guys there are great people who I got along with very well. The one thing I will say is they have a good blend of roster from the trainees to veterans you can learn a lot from, guys of such as Stevie Knight, Carl Conroy, Alex Shane etc. So to answer your question, yeah it was a positive learning experience
Over the past few years training facilities have been opening up around the UK, how hard do you think it is for someone to get into the wrestling business?
I think its a lot easier now to get into wrestling than when I was say 15-16, take up here in Scotland, there are now two training schools where 3 years ago there were none. There is also 3-4 promotions running shows in Scotland (SCW, BCW, Wild, and WZW). But I think that has coincided with a boom period for British wrestling what with the emergence of the FWA which can only be a positive thing for the future of the sport in this country
As you said, you’ve only been wrestling for a relatively short period, but in that time have you had any interesting stories you’d like to share with us?
Ha Ha …Well there isn’t many that are actually printable, There are quite a few funny stories about a ring announcer called John Short who has a penchant for Orkney fudge, On a tour in Scotland last year me and John were picking up Stu Natt, Five Star Flash and Draven Cage from Draven’s house in a place called Airdrie. The place where we picked them up was, well its a lock your car door sort of place if you know what I mean. Now John sees a corner shop about quarter of a mile away and decides to get out and see if they had any Orkney fudge, about five rifle shots later he strolls back in the car fudgeless (laughs).
“Backyarding” is something that is still quite prominent in the UK, as someone who has been professionally trained, what would be your advice to any “Backyarders”?
To go to a school its as simple as that! You know, I think one of the problems is that these guys don’t want to put maybe 5 years of hard work in to build up a name for themselves, so they backyard so they can be stars. This is a major problem because not only are they hurting themselves physically, they are giving wrestling a bad image. Personally I find it offensive, having travelled across country for two years and going broke in the process just to try to get my foot in the door of wrestling, while these guys can just stroll into their backyard and call themselves wrestlers. Its definitely a major problem. The main difficulty is trying to stamp it out, I mean who is responsible for stopping it? The parents, the police? Its a definite concern not just for wrestling but society as a whole.
Every month or so it seems that another UK promotion sets up, do you think the increase in the number of promotions is benefiting the “UK Scene” or hindering it?
I think it depends on each promotions merits, if its decent promotions then hopefully they will benefit the UK Scene. But of course there are promoters who want to make a quick buck out of wrestling. I think promotions need to be respectful of other promotion’s “areas”. I do truly believe that if the UK Scene became something akin to the old regional set-up in the U.S. then wrestling in the U.K. would have a greater chance of rising to prominence again
As a wrestler, where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Hopefully still healthy, Right now I think the most important thing for me is to get as many bookings as possible in order to grow as a wrestler. Ideally in 5 years id love to be working for the FWA. and U.S. Independents. Hopefully even a tour in Japan. I would love make a career out of this business so I think that would be my main aim for 5 years time.
Earlier this year, The Wrestling Channel, along with FWA reached an agreement in which FWA would be more or less in charge of UK Wrestling on that channel. Do you think this if fair towards the smaller promotions?
Well this goes back to the earlier point, if there was a regional set-up then they could act as a feeder set-up to the FWA. I think that as long as the FWA has a monopoly on the Wrestling Channel it is far more beneficial for other promotions to work with the FWA rather than try to compete against it. I think this has been proven with the success of companies working with the FWA such as wZw and GPW.
What are your thoughts on the UK wrestling scene at the moment?
I think its probably in its best shape for probably a decade. I think this is a pivotal point in the UK scene as to whether it moves forward to hopefully getting on terrestrial TV or staying dormant. I hope that doesn’t happen because there is so many talented guys in the British Scene right now.
Who do you rate as being the “Number 1” guy in British Wrestling and why?
For me it has to be Doug Williams, I just love his style, I really think he’s proving with his work in Japan and ROH that there’s a market for old school British wrestling.
So Doug Williams is your “Number 1” in the UK Scene, but what do you think is the “Number 1” UK Promotion and why?
Well I think there are two both for different reasons. I mean I think All Star are one of the top promotions because they probably have the closest thing to a full time schedule in the UK. But at the same time I would also say the FWA, because they have had a lot of media coverage and obviously are the main promotion which British wrestling is judged on by their participation on The Wrestling Channel
Will you be appearing on any UK Shows in the near future, if so can you give us some details?
Yes, as it stands now I will be working for Wild promotions in Forfar in Scotland on the 5th of June and hopefully will have more very soon.
Any final comments?
Yeah I’d just like to say a thanks to all who took the time to read this interview, to yourself Daniel and all the team at Wrestling 101. And to keep an eye out for me as hopefully this will be a breakthrough year for “The Terminator”
Thanks once again.