This week I got the chance to interview one of the UK’s up and coming wrestling talents and the current 3CW Champion, Ice XVII. Ice chats about his wrestling career, wrestling in the North East, and the UK Scene.
Hello Ice, Welcome to Wrestling 101, how are you doing?
I’m really good thanks.
What have you been up to lately?
I have just worked for MPW for the third time this weekend, on my 21st birthday no less. Inevitably wrestling being what it is, the boys got wind of this and chopped the living hell out of me. All good fun though, but painful. I was in a Battle Royal to determine the number one contender to Chris Charisma. I didn’t win…
Could you describe to us how you first got involved in pro wrestling?
It was late 1991. It was because of Bret Hart, my idol then and now. I watched him and he just amazed me, I was engrossed instantly. From watching him it became my dream to be a wrestler, no matter how many people laughed or told me it was stupid. That was the one life goal I always had set, and I’m delighted to be fulfilling that.
Could you describe where and who you trained with?
I started out training in COW with Adam Brown in South Shields. I also got brief training from Iceman there as well before he left. Since then I’ve been trained by the likes of Doug Williams, Stevie Knight and Lee Butler. I’ve been working for about 18 months.
How did you find your training?
I hated it at first actually. I had to be dragged there each week by my mates who also attended. I found some things difficult to pick up at first, but then everything clicked. Since then I can pick things up instantly, which is great.
Could you describe your first pro match and what thoughts you had at this time?
It was actually with Jonny Love of 3CW. I was really nervous at the time, and I can still remember the buzz I got from stepping into the ring for the first time to actually wrestle. I felt honoured to be doing this, and was so happy because I had finally done what I had dreamt about since I was 7 years old. The match was awful mind.
Who do you look up to in the wrestling world?
As a wrestling fan, what is your favourite match?
Either Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart at WrestleMania X, or the incredibly under appreciated Ricky Steamboat vs. Rick Rude match from Beach Blast 92. It was an incredible psychological battle, and something I think all aspiring wrestlers should watch. (Dan: Totally agree with the Ricky Steamboat vs. Rick Rude match, it’s the best Ironman match in wrestling history in my view)
As well as being an integral part of the 3CW roster, you are also involved in the 3CW Training School, how are you finding training some of the wrestlers of the future?
It’s hard work, but ultimately very rewarding. Some of our guys have had training from other places as well, so I can’t take full credit for everyone. But the likes of Dan Evans and Kid Richie are both purely 3CW trained, and have come a long way in a short space of time. It’s great to see them go out there and do it for the first time, and prove you right. We have another guy, Cameron Kraze who is making his debut on 20/3, and I think he will be another success story.
Can you describe how important it is for wannabe wrestlers to have professional training in professional schools, rather than “Backyarding”?
It’s imperative really. There is so much more to wrestling than just the moves that people just don’t realise until they get into the business. Backyarding only damages your body and ultimately shortens your career. I can understand why people want to do it because it’s a way of doing something you love, but it cannot even begin to compare to doing it professionally.
During your wrestling career who would you say has been your favourite opponent and why?
Blake Norton. He was Dungeon trained and you could tell. So incredible to work with, and it was fantastic to be in there with someone trained by Stu and Bret Hart. A massive honour for me certainly, and a career highlight. Working with Jonny Storm was a lot of fun as well. Doug Williams was brilliant, but that was at the very start of my career, I would love to work with him again to see what we could do. American Dragon was a great guy as well, and such a down to earth guy, but we didn’t get to go one on one unfortunately. I’ve had some really enjoyable matches with Conscience as well, we have a great chemistry.
You’ve also worked for several promotions, including SWA, 3CW, and MPW, who would you say you have enjoyed working for the most?
It’s hard to say really. Obviously I love the 3CW shows because they are my babies, but the stress that goes with organising them is immense. I love working elsewhere where you can worry about only your match. SWA has a great locker room and always pulls a good crowd, and I have a lot of fun there. MPW is similar in that respect. I enjoyed working for All Star and Hammerlock because it as a great honour and experience. I found RDW in Skegness a really good set up with some great guys; I am looking forward to going back there.
You had the opportunity to tour with All Star Wrestling, how was that experience?
It was massive for me. I only worked a few of the Camp shows, but with the likes of Brookside, Danielson, PN Neuz, Belton, etc on them, it was a learning experience. I loved working for Brian Dixon and being part of the Old School of wrestling. Everyone was really good to us as well, even though we were just new to the business.
3CW has worked with several promotions over the last few years sharing talent, and more recently you have plans to co-promote a show with the Newcastle based IWF, do you think that UK promotions need to work more closely together in order to help the UK Wrestling Scene expand?
Absolutely. It is one of my biggest grievances that some companies try the political BS and won’t work with others. People need to realise that in British wrestling no-one really draws, and the only way to have success is to work together, and share the best talent. It’s worked incredibly for us using guys from SWA, MPW, GPW, wZw, EPW and many more. It opens doors for 3CW wrestlers to work elsewhere as well, and get the names out. I would love to see a British wrestling scene that wasn’t dominated by American imports with Brits that could draw. I can’t see it ever happening though because there are too many ego’s about.
Who is your favourite UK Worker at the moment?
Stevie Lynn. He is a close friend of mine and an incredible worker. I can’t wait for us to have a programme together somewhere. To me, he is the next big star of British wrestling. I also love Majik’s work as well. He has everything, and I don’t believe anyone can have a bad match with him.
3CW is based in the North East of the country, along with wZw and IWF, do you think having 3 companies operating in a relatively small area is beneficial to the UK Scene, or does it cause problems?
I think it can be beneficial. We have boundaries of sorts and generally we all stick to them, but working together can only help the wrestlers. It’s more exposure, so everyone wins. Hopefully this upcoming 3CW Vs. IWF show will be a success, because it could open the door to similar things in future, and maybe get other British companies to think about doing something similar. I am a massive advocate for companies working together.
If you could have a match with any British worker from the UK Scene at the moment, who would it be?
Alex Shane. I’ve worked with quite a few of the big players in British wrestling, but not Alex. I think we would have a great match together. Also Majik and Stevie Lynn for the reasons mentioned above.
It’s quite evident that the UK Scene has grown in the last couple of years, what would you put this success down to?
A shift in the style that is promoted. It’s trying less to be the WWE and instead offering an alternative product, much like RoH and others do in the states. There is a glorious mix of old-school and the new “pure wrestling” style, mixed in with all the aerials and such like, and its helping. There is a lot more diversity in matches and with the styles promoted. The FWA’s success has helped things as well; it’s been like a ripple effect. I don’t think it will ever be as big as it was again, but it’s doing well at the moment.
And what do you think is needed for the UK Scene to grown even more?
As I said, less American imports, less political rivalries, companies working together, and pushing more talent on merit.
About 1 year ago, The Wrestling Channel was about to launch, and a lot of people were talking about how beneficial this would be to the UK Wrestling Scene, do you think the advent of The Wrestling Channel has helped UK Wrestling or not?
Not really. There should be far more British wrestling on the station. On the UK Round Up, the matches get massively trimmed and are not a true reflection of what a company can do. I think a news update run by someone impartial would be great, with highlights and coverage of all companies. Many UK companies have great in-house production, WAR being a good example, and could quite easily have a full-show featured on there. It’s a shame really, but I can’t see the channel still being there this time next year.
Where do you think the UK Scene will be in 2 years?
Not much different for where it is now. Upstart companies will come and go, the established groups will continue to grow and prosper. Hopefully some of the bigger groups will have a certain handsome Middlesbrough based faux-Canadian on their shows, but we shall see…
Where do you think your wrestling career will be in 2 years time?
Haha, see above. I would like to think 3CW will still be running, and be a well-established group by then. I would hope to be working even more regularly than I am now, and also with a few tours of the US and Europe under my belt. I would like to be wrestling for the FWA as well.
Can you let the Wrestling 101 readers know if you have any up and coming bookings in the next few weeks?
Indeed I do. On March 18th and 19th I am working for GPW, then on the 20th 3CW presents its final show in Dormanstown. We run 3CW again on the 25th in the 3CW Vs. IWF show at Acklam, and then the next two days are RDW. April 1st I will be at the Charity show in Greenock, then SWA on the 2nd. I will also probably be at IWF and MPW in coming months as well, hopefully anyway. If you have a show and want me though, I am always looking for bookings. Drop me a line at [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Do you have any final comments for the Wrestling101.com readers?
Come and see 3CW live and see why we are becoming British wrestling’s fastest growing cult. Try and see Ice XVII live and support me, as well as all the other British wrestlers, because it should be the Brits running British wrestling! Come and visit 3CW at 3cw.co.uk and look out for my website coming soon.
Thanks for reading.