Interview : “Special Edition” Joseph Conners

thepredators shirt

Joseph Conners debuted in 2006, in that time he has wrestled for over 40 and counting, different promotions in the UK an has also had the opportunity to wrestle on The Channel Islands, doing a tour of both Guernsey and Jersey.

Including promotions such as All Star Promotions, Southside Wrestling, IPW:UK, Frontier Wrestling Alliance, XWCA, New Generation Wrestling, Rebel Pro Wrestling, Dynamic Pro Wrestling, RQW and many more.

In that time Conners has been able to also get in the ring with some of the best in the country and worldwide wrestlers such as former WWE/ECW Star Tommy Dreamer, TNA’s Doug Williams, “The Wonderkid” Jonny Storm, El Ligero, James Mason, James Tighe, Mad Man Manson, Dave Mastiff, Bubblegum, Joe Legend, Rampage Brown, Martin Kirby, Joey Hayes, Stixx, Robbie Dynamite, Paul Malen, CJ Banks, T-Bone, Cameron Kraze, Kris Travis just to mention a few.

Conners is also one half of the UK Tag Team “The Predators” alongside top UK Star ‘The Prodigy’ Paul Malen. As a unit, the team has faced off against some of the top UK & US Independent Tag Teams around, and have won a variety of tag team championships thus far. Both men believe, they haven’t even scratched the surface as to what the teams full potential could be.

This is my interview with Joseph Conners in which i conducted 18 questions, Information on how to contact or book Joseph will be at the bottom of the interview.

1. For those who don’t know who you are, How would you describe yourself?

For anyone who may not have seen me perform on the independent circuit, I wrestle under “Special Edition” Joseph Conners and am also one half of the most ruthless and dominant tag team in the UK, namely “The Predators” alongside Paul Malen. I can adapt to various styles, and am also constantly trying to learn new sides of the business to enhance my game and style. I all ways try and give as much as I can to any match I have, so that I can have the best match possible with my opponent(s).

2. What did you think of the match against the Revolution at the One Night Stand with Sabu?

Unfortunately I had to leave early, so I was unable to see that match. 3. How is it working with Nick and the team at EAW??

Working with EAW has been fun; Nick Ashberry has a good crew of guys and a hard working team. I’m impressed by the promotions production values, and I have not been on an EAW show yet that hasn’t drawn a good crowd. They also have some good young talent like Marc Massa & Kyle Masters for example who are two I’d look out for.

4. How did you become a tag team with Paul Malen?

Me and Paul met at the training school we were both apart of. After becoming friends, we realized we shared a lot of similarities, especially in what kind of wrestling we both enjoyed and the way we looked at the wrestling business. We also like a lot of guys, travelled around the country, wrestling for various promotions, mostly as opponents at first. We all ways had a good chemistry in the ring and by travelling together, we were learning together and not wanting to settle for second best when it came to our matches. At times we were given opportunities to tag alongside each other, and by doing this realized our chemistry as opponents had transitioned into being a team. So from there we started to focus our attention on “The Predators” and it has become both of our number one priorities and our work began to get us recognized around the country. I think there is a gap in the market for what me and Paul offer, there’s not many teams who focus on old school psychology like we do, and I look forward to what we can achieve in the years to come.

5. What is your favorite promotion to work for in the many promotions who you have worked for?

So far I have been lucky enough to wrestle for some good places, I think for me one of the obvious has to stick out as Southside Wrestling. As the promotion has really given me and Paul the ball to run with and have the opportunity to face off against some top opposition. I’ve also enjoyed the chances I’ve had with New Generation Wrestling in Hull when I have been on their cards, it’s a place that has built a great body of work and has done this country proud for UK Wrestling.

6. Who has been your favorite person to work with in your career?

It sounds like an easy answer, but the first name off the bat has to be Paul Malen. There’s no one I have shared a chemistry with like Paul, and that’s both as opponents and as a team.

Have to mention some others as well, as a tag team I have really enjoyed mixing it up with Lee and Jim Hunter aka ‘The Hunter Brothers’ just a tremendous duo, great guys and really top opponents.

Then you go on the other end of the spectrum and someone like Mad Man Manson, has been incredibly fun. We have chemistry but it’s not just a wrestling chemistry, it’s being able to ad lib and play off each other, to create some truly crazy moments together in our “matches”.

It was also an absolute privilege to get the chance alongside Paul to step in the ring with a man like ‘Tommy Dreamer’ who has obviously accomplished so much in his career, and to be able to have a good competitive match with him, definitely stands out as a career highlight.

7. How is it to work for Southside?

Southside have done a very good job, of building a great reputation in what in wrestling terms is a small amount of time. Ben Auld the promoter and his family are truly good people and you can tell they care about not just the promotion but also their roster and what the paying audience gets out of the product. You just look at the talent roster, and it’s a who who of top UK talent, when you have names like El Ligero, Stixx, Martin Kirby, Doug Williams, Mark Haskins, The Hunter Brothers, Kris Travis, Robbie X, Nathan Cruz, T-Bone to just name a few. Plus you also look at the ever growing list of imports Southside has had names like Finlay, Tommy Dreamer, Ted Dibiase, Jay Lethal, Kevin Steen, Colt Cabana plus people like Chris Masters, Hardcore Holly, Super Crazy, Ultimo Dragon, Shannon Moore still to come, it gives you an idea of the investment Southside are willing to make in their product.

They’ve also spent the time to invest in feuds and build ups, if you focus in on the war El Ligero & Martin Kirby have had and are still having, it has been over 18 months of matches, segments, promo material that the crowd are still invested in.

There DVD material has also been good and is improving, Rob Maltman as backstage interviewer does a great job, Matthew the head cameraman and editor also does a great job at putting the build up videos together.

8. Do you have any career goals you still want to achieve?

Absolutely, I’ve not even scratched the surface on what I’d like to achieve. I feel like, I have plenty more to give and certainly a whole lot more to learn. There are plenty of places in just the UK alone that I would like to work with, I’d very much like to branch out abroad and get the opportunity to work in different countries. I want to make this business my future for as long as I can.

9. Which company would you love to work for in the future? In this country Rev Pro, is definitely one that springs to mind, once again a great talent roster and you hear nothing but positives about their shows. Progress is another company that seems to be building a great reputation for themselves as well. I’d love to obviously one day be able to get myself across the pond and perform for the WWE.

10. Which tag title has been your favorite to win? Probably would have to be the Southside Tag Titles, as we were up against top opposition in Project Ego. Since then we have taken on all comers from this country and from the USA and have now had the titles for a year. We certainly have no intention of these belts being taken from our waists.

11. Who is the best wrestler you have seen in the UK? This is for obvious reasons an extremely tough question, and I can’t just name one. People like Ligero, Stixx & Kirby stand out, not just for their talent inside the ring, but just for how much they care and give to their craft, they love what they do and work hard every time there in the ring.

Dave Mastiff is someone who for me as a wrestling fan, is just a pleasure to watch in the ring, his mannerisms, the way he moves, the way he controls the crowd and his opponent are just fantastic to watch.

A guy like CJ Banks who I recently had the opportunity to face off against, is once again another guy who just brings it every time, and I just like to sit back and watch his work.

Manson is exceptional as no one knows their character better than Manson does and I have never seen him not get a reaction.

I think Paul Malen is a tremendous talent, who sometimes goes unrecognised; he has the ability to capture an audience he works in front of and bring them into the stories of his matches.

Others like Joey Hayes, Rampage Brown and a whole host of other top talent deserve to be mentioned.

12. Who is the best young wrestler you have seen in the UK?

There are plenty of younger guys who are breaking through the UK scene; two off the bat who I’ve had a chance to spend a lot of time with myself are Alex Gracie & Jurgen Heimlich. Gracie is just simply a ‘natural’ I’ve not seen many people grasp it as quick as he has, in the short amount of time he’s been doing this. He’s got a great work ethic, and constantly strives to learn and be better.

Heimlich is another guy, who has made huge leaps and bounds in the last 10 months, he has worked so hard, he took his training over to Thai Land and impressed so much that he has gotten opportunities to wrestle in Japan which is where he currently is.

I mentioned him earlier Marc Massa, definitely could have all the tools of being a top big man on our circuit. He is a student of the game, looks the part and is a total professional.

Sam Wilder, who is a product of the NGW school, every time I see him, he gets a good reaction and is surrounded by the right people like El Ligero who has been by his side, getting him more and more experience and it definitely seems to be paying off.

Another stand out from the House Of Pain school that Stixx runs, would be a young man who goes under the name ‘Stevie Mitchell’ I’ve seen him grow and develop not just as a wrestler but as a person, and he has the skill of being able to make anyone he is in the ring with look good. He is also dedicated to learning, as I see him pretty much be apart of every class the school currently runs.

13. My blog is called TheBritishWrestlingRevival, What do you think of the current state of British Wrestling?

I think there’s definitely lot’s of pro’s and con’s. If you look at some of the names I have mentioned in previous answers, you can obviously feel secure and happy at a lot of the talent we have here in the UK and a lot of the promotions as well. However on any independent wrestling scene whether it’s the UK, USA, Mexico etc there’s going to be things that don’t all ways focus a positive light on things. Unfortunately we do live in an age, where it seems just about anybody can run a training school, whether they have a reputable history on the circuit or not. This then leads to trainees being trained by inexperienced people who should be training themselves, who have no business teaching in the first place, and it’s not fare on the trainees who are paying their money and not receiving the proper education in this business.

So for anyone who may read this, who might be interested in being involved in British Wrestling do your research, if it means travelling further away to get the appropriate training then so be it. That’s part and parcel of the wrestling business anyhow. Names that come straight to mind are the House Of Pain School In Nottingham ran by Stixx, NGW in Hull ran by Ligero, IPW:UK in Kent ran by Tom Chamberlain and his crew, the All Star training school ran by Dean Allmark and the All Star Crew, there are plenty of good places where you can get the appropriate teaching.

14. Is there anybody in the locker rooms you have been in over the last few years who could make it big in for example WWE?

In my opinion there are plenty of people who definitely have the ability to make it in WWE, though it depends on what their goals are as well. If you look at the last few years there’s been a huge influx in UK talent going over to WWE and have had a lot of success.

Dave Mastiff has all ways struck me as someone you could slot in tomorrow on television.

Robbie Dynamite was another one who’s just a phenomenal wrestler, who can work anybody and is as technically sound as they come.

The man who trained me Stixx, has so many of the qualities that I imagine WWE look for, as does my own tag partner Paul Malen.

Guys I have mentioned throughout these questions like CJ Banks, Ligero, Joey Hayes, Nathan Cruz, Martin Kirby all come to mind.

15. Any funny road stories?

Plenty but not ones I can divulge unless I want to be ex communicated

16. Have you got a best match In your career?

I’m very self critical and a perfectionist, which is probably a good thing in this industry as I don’t allow myself to settle for second best. Because as a performer, you are constantly evolving and learning, it’s hard to look back at matches from years ago, as there are things you would have done completely different now, due to what you have learnt. I’ve had matches that have stood out as ones I’ve enjoyed, I think me and Paul as a team have had some good matches, that I’m proud of but I know we are capable of much more. I’ve enjoyed all the matches we’ve had against The Hunter Brothers thus far, and look forward to seeing what else we can produce for the fans in the future.

17. Have you got a worst match? If so with who and why was it bad?

As I’ve now been doing this for seven years, I’ve definitely had matches that I have not been happy with. Sometimes things just don’t go the way you want them to, though it would be unfair of me to name names.

18. Who were your heroes growing up watching Wrestling?

There are people who have impacted me a lot, more so since I’ve been involved in wrestling. I love watching stars like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Mr. Perfect, William Regal, Finlay, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard to name a just a few. Then from the newer generation I’ve all ways been a big fan of Christian, I love watching Randy Orton, I think Rey Mysterio is tremendous at what he’s done over the years, Bobby Roode is someone I think embodies a lot of what a wrestler should be, of course there’s guys like Kurt Angle. So many to name.

Follow Joseph on Twitter : @josephconners and you can follow Joseph and Paul (The Predators) : @thepredatorsuk

You can like Joseph on Facebook by clicking on this link : http://www.facebook.com/1josephconners, You can book Joseph on the message portion of his Facebook Page and you can also buy a Joseph Conners T-Shirt for £10, if you want one just message him.

You can also follow me on Twitter : @samgthe1st and like us on Facebook by typing in TheBritishWrestlingRevival Blog or clicking this link https://www.facebook.com/BritishWrestlingRevival

Thanks for reading my blog post today and Thanks to Joseph Conners for taking part in the interview!

Sam

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