This week I got the chance to interview one of the UK’s up and coming wrestling talents, Spud. In this interview Spud discusses FWA, WAR, the current state of the UK Scene and much more.
Hey Spud, welcome to W101, what have you been up to lately?
The usual really, working, training hard, saying my prayers, and eating my vitamins…. (Oh wait that’s probably somebody else *laughs*). Just wrestling, drinking and enjoying the sunshine mainly.
Ok, to kick us off, how and why did you get into pro wrestling?
I was a mark like everyone else. Got off my arse one day, after watching my friend Jack Storm wrestle at a live show, and decided to have ago at it…and here I am. A local promotion in Birmingham held seminar’s every 3-4 months so I attended in June 2001 and went from there.
Can you explain to us what your training experience was like?
Good and bad at the same time. Good in the way there was somewhere local to me where I could go and train to be a wrestler. Bad in the way you were never really trained properly there. I’m sure everyone that has trained with the promotion I am talking about felt the same. A guy owned the gym by the name of Steve Logan (may I state NOT the one you see on TWC at the moment, another one with the same name!); he would basically take your opening seminar, then would just take your money and expect you to get on with it week after week. Basically you paid to hire the gym, the wrestling training was non-existent. I was mainly shown the ropes by a guy called Chris Gilbert (Snake), he is a personal friend of mine and he showed me how to fall, how to work etc. Also people like Jack Storm and Rob Hunter went through more complex moves with me, so I kind of owe those three for getting me off my feet. But the facilities at the gym were very good also so I don’t regret a moment of going there and spending my money. And I’m glad I attended there early on because I learned what happens when things go bad at a promotion and ego’s kick in.
Who was your debut match against and how did it go?
It was Snake and Myself against Jack Storm and X-Bonez. I though it was cool at the time. I took most of the bumps leading up to the hot tag just to give me some ring awareness and experience in front of a live crowd etc. But I liked it at the time it was good fun, everyone remembers his or her first match so I’m glad mine was not a stinker.
What does it feel like when wrestlers like Majik hype you as the next big thing?
I didn’t know Majik said that, but hearing that I’ve had a compliment from one of the most established workers in the UK and a damn nice guy I might add means a lot. But I’ll be honest; I take all compliments with a pinch of salt. I would rather have someone pull me to one side and mention that I’ve done something wrong and to work on that aspect of my game next time. I’ve taken great advice from people like Mark Sloan, James Mason, Keith Myatt and many friends who I have met on the road, and everything they had told me always makes sense and I feel will make me a better performer.
How did your April tour with FWA go in your opinion?
I enjoyed it a great deal as it was a great experience. I got to meet a few new faces like Sonjay Dutt and D-Lo Brown, the other guys I had already met in my travels but it was wicked to wrestle Paul Travell and Raj Ghosh. It was only my third match back so I was still a tad rusty but Raj and Paul are great guys and Greg Lambert was a sound geeza also. The following day was FWA Unsigned and wrestling Jack Storm (a close personal friend for many years) was a dream come true.
What was the feeling like backstage at the FWA did you get any feedback?
We got great feedback from people backstage but Alex Shane waiting for us after the match to compliment it was the best feeling in the world. It was the fact I think that we were both very happy with what we did in the ring, but to have someone like Alex tells us that he really liked it also made me feel on top of the world. We both had to shoot not 10 minutes after though as we had another show in Loughborough on the night. It was one of the most fun days I have had wrestling.
Are promotions like All Star and FWA your aim?
I would love to work for All Star as well as with FWA again but feel (and I am a kidder but I don’t kid myself) I am too small and don’t have a great body or look. I’m a skinny little kid to be honest with you so when I see peoples physiques like Aviv Maayan or Mark Belton I think about how much hard work they have put into their bodies and that’s what I need to aim for, getting in shape.
Have the FWA asked you to work on any more Unsigned shows for TWC?
I’ll let you know when I know (laughs)
You will be working on the FWA Academy show in June, what are your thoughts on the FWA Academy and are you looking forward to your match with Max Voltage?
FWA Academy is great, it really is. Mark Sloan has a great bunch of guys down in Portsmouth. They are all very good workers and nice people (which is the main thing for me). I enjoy travelling down to Portsmouth to wrestle there. On to Max, I wrestled Max back in April and it was really a great experience wrestling someone like Max because I had never wrestled somebody my own size and style. I think it helped us both a great deal. I love the kid; he’s awesome at what he does and I class him as a really good friend.
WAR is a promotion you have worked with quite a lot, how has your experiences been with them, and were you pleased when they released a feature video on yourself?
It was nice. All three of the Platt brothers (Simon, Stuart and Andrew) are very good friends of mine and their production is better than anywhere I’ve seen in the country and I think the TWC should give them a call because some of their stuff is no way better than WAR’s stuff. Those guys have done me favours and I always do them favours as they are my friends and releasing a video of me was a nice gesture. A second video is expected later in the summer so check out warshop.co.uk or waruk.co.uk for more details on that.
During your time as a UK wrestler, you’ve fought in many matches, who has been your favourite opponent?
I have many, Jack Storm, Rob Hunter, Falcon, The Judge, Jonny Storm, Majik, Max Voltage. There are so many great workers in the UK that aren’t recognised its untrue. I’m very glad I’m going to be wrestling Max again soon but Id like to work Jonny Storm, Jody Flesich (come back Jody) or even Alex Shane. Mark Sloan would also be another pick just because of how inventive he is, some of the moves he comes up with and executes and unreal.
We have seen the likes of Jonny Storm and Jody Fleisch conquer the world light heavyweight scene, is your aim to get more bookings abroad?
Yes, and to conquer the world, mwahaaaa!!…. (No, seriously) I would love to work abroad and if I got the right exposure over here and was offered the chance to work for say CZW or RoH like Jody and Jonny did, I would jump at the chance. It’s not an aim of mine at this time but if the opportunity came around, yes I would take it.
You have worked for quite a few promotions but are now with FCW, which seem to be coming on leaps and bounds really establishing themselves on the scene how was this achieved in your opinion?
Kevin O’Neil, great workers and a great atmosphere. The locker room there is so good, and Kev is so committed to making the FCW product something people will want to see. It’s a cross between new school and old school wrestling that settles nicely in the middle and its something people will pay and see. Everywhere I go people ask about the place and want to be a part of it, which is really great to know. Kev picked me up back in 2003 when I had nowhere to go so I owe him a lot.
Again, as you’ve worked for a lot of UK promotions, which do you feel is currently the best in the UK today and why?
I would say a good few…FCW, GPW, RBW and FWA. They are the ones that seem to be giving the fans what they want and people are paying their money to watch their product
Wrestling is starting to become more of a full time occupation for you as you’re in demand, are you after more bookings or are you happy with what is on your plate at the moment?
Lets just say I haven’t had a free weekend since I’ve come back from injury but I’ll work for anybody if I’m free and FCW events aren’t on the same day. Yes it is becoming more of a fulltime occupation at the moment and I am having to take a lot of midweek days off work which could cause a problem in the long run. But I’m happy that people want to use me and if they want me, they know where I am.
Looking at the UK Scene in general, where do you see it going in the 2 years?
Hopefully keep plugging away like it is at the moment but I hope the TWC will give a lot of exposure to British wrestlers and British wrestling in general. I hope one day it can go on national TV again but we’ll have to wait and see.
And where do you see yourself in the next 2 years?
I have no idea; I just take the next day as it comes…
Have you any up and coming shows?
** FCW – Sun 30th May
** WAR – Sat 5th June
** FWA Academy – Fri 11th June
** FWA Academy – Thur 17th June
** TAP – Fri 18th June
** FCW – Fri 25th June
** FCW – Sun 27th June
I think there’s a few more I cant remember my calendar is at work *laughs*. But come and have a watch if you’re in the area, all promise to be great shows and well worth the money.
Any final comments?
Just thank you to all the British wrestling fans out there whose comments about my work and me are very well received. Thanks to all my friends and family (even though they think I’m an idiot *laughs* and thanks to all the wrestlers who have become such good friends to me over the past 2 ½ years, you are all kings. And thank you Wrestling 101 for the interview time.
Once again many thanks for your time,
(Questions supplied by myself, Adam Sibley and Mitchell Jones)