1. For those who don’t know you. How would you describe yourself?
Hey bro what you see is what is get. My heart is right there on my sleeve. I’m a walking mood swing…sometimes I’m the nicest guy in the world, up for a party and a laugh however most of the time I’m a self obsessed, egotistical prick. But each and every time you see me perform, it’s all business. And I do it with the softest hair in Pro Wrestling.
2. How was it growing up for you?
My up bringing was very difficult for myself. My family life was not the best and the relationship with those who were supposed to closest to me was not what any child needs. School was tough for me, not academically or socially but my home life effected me so much that I struggled to build relationships with friends and I did the very minimum in classes to maintain a B+ average. For you see me and my sister were pretty brought up by my father, my mother would play a guest role every now and then but she was in and out of our lives like a yo-yo it was pretty down to my dad. Nothing I ever did was good enough for him or to the standard he wanted, all he wanted was a clone of himself. It wasn’t long that the wanting for him to proud of me soon turned into rebelling against him (really mature I know). I only really started to ‘grow up’ in my twenties, I held so much hate and anger from my youth that took so long to remove. I have to say, now that I have accepted what was – was, I have a pretty normal relationship with my family now……as long as I’m 50 miles away from them all is good.
3. When did you first think to yourself ‘I want to be a wrestler’?
Never. I got into wrestling because my friend at school wanted to. At 15 the thought of Pro Wrestling had never crossed my mind until my friend begged me to start training at a local school with him as he didn’t want to go in there alone. After about a month of his whining I finally agreed to go along that Sunday to a Hammerlock Wrestling school. Well after I had to pay my farther to drive me to the school that son of a bitch never showed. I wasn’t going to be that guy who was left holding his nuts in one hand and his bus pass back home so I decided to give it a shot. 5 hours later I was soaked from head to toe in sweat, blood and probably other body fluids after getting the piss knocked out of me. Needless to say though that from that moment on I was hooked. It wasn’t the Pro Wrestling that did it, it was that everyone there where comfortable with who they were and their abilities. Athletically I was very gifted, but confidence in myself I sorely lacked. So I went back the next week, and the next, and the next. You see wanting to be Pro Wrestler was never something I wanted. All I ever wanted was to be confident that I was good at something. I got this from performing in the ring in front of a live audience. The life skills I have learned along the way have helped me so much in my life that otherwise I would have never got. The sole reason I continue to step into a ring is because of one reason……..I enjoy it and I have fun.
4. What would you tell someone looking to get into wrestling?
Be smart, don’t be a mark for yourself and take what you can from the job.
A lot of guys get into wrestling because they want to headline Wrestlemania. If you have a dream great! but don’t forget about everything else you take from this business.
5. How was it being trained in House of Pain?
Very different. I came to Stixx and the House of Pain after ‘training’ with Hammerlock Midlands. Hammerlock run their schools as a way of making money and for some to look tough around others. Stixx was and still is the complete polar opposite. He runs the House of Pain school for anyone who wants to become a Pro and anyone who just enjoys wrestling that much that that they would like to give it a go. There is no ego or personal gain in Stixx (which is by far his best quality) as he enjoys helping people in aspects of life. Over time I am so happy that I can call him one of my friends and it all stemmed from the environment he has at the school. It is relaxed when it’s play time and all business when it’s time to work. He can take a turd and turn it into a well rounded performer. Without the school and Stixx, I would have stopped wrestling along time ago.
6. Who is your dream opponent?
Anyone who understands what it is like to get genuine emotion from a crowd. Make them laugh, scream, cry, want to kill you or give you a big hug. There are two types of guys and girls in this job, those who are in it for themselves and those who are in it to entertain to paying audience. Far to many people fall into the first category. Anyone can go in there and ‘get their shit in’ for the appreciation pops but very very few understand the business enough to know that pro wrestling goes far beyond that. Wrestling and none wrestling fans who watch you perform want to be completely drawn in to what they are seeing. We watch the Olympics to see athletes do thing that we cannot, we watch movies and most television shows because we want to be entertained. That is what this business is, entertainment. You want to be a ‘wrestler’ that’s fine, go wrestle competitively or get into MMA but if you want to be an entertainer, then pro wrestling is the world for you.
7. Who is your favourite guy you have wrestled?
Hand on heart I cannot say that I have one favourite guy I have had the pleasure to work with. I have a huge mental list of guys I have loved working with for a variety of reasons. Stixx & T-Bone because they are very close friends of mine. Lee Hunter because it’s like working myself we are so similar. Rene Dupree, Bob Holly, Tommy Dreamer, Ultimo Dragon, Michael Elgin, Gangrel and Jamie Noble because I know I can hang with big time workers. Rockstar Spud, Mad Man Manson and Dave Mastiff because they are all natural born entertainers. Joseph Connors & Paul Malen because we all came into the business together. The list keeps going and growing.
8. Which company would suit you best? (WWE, TNA, ROH etc)
None of the above. If you put a gun to head I would say WWE. Nobody can make a star, pay you any more or develop you like WWE can. They are entertainment at it’s best. But the idea of being on the road 5-6 days a week away from my home and fiancé (and in the future, my children) is simply to much. TNA have a lighter work schedule and maybe that could work but there are to many issues with the company at the moment. If there was a company like WWE which allowed you to work 3 days a week, be at home for 4 days with your loved ones, then that would defiantly be the place for me. My life isn’t just pro wrestling, it is just one part of it.
9. Who is your favourite wrestler at the moment?
In my house the favourite wrestler is Max Angelus
10. What is your favourite match of all time?
Wrestlemania 25 – Undertaker & Shawn Michaels. Hands down the greatest performance two men have ever put on inside a squared circle. Everything about this match was perfect. The story behind the match was believable, the build up and the hype leading to the match was perfect and in the ring……oh my god. As a worker and a fan I was completely draw in to every movement, every up and down, every false finish, every facial expression. By the time the bell rang after Taker took the win and added another notch to his streak, you knew you had just witnessed something truly great………perfect and probably impossible to top in my opinion.
11. Who would you say is the best young wrestler at the moment?
There are a few I think have potential but anyone who shines at an early stage in his or her career are rushed and then thrown down everyone throats so quickly that ‘young talent’ soon becomes old news or they begin to believe their own hype and stop developing and become stale. I could very easily getting shitty here and drop a few names that back my statement up who come to mind but I think that would very unfair. At the end of the day everyone picks someone who they believe will be the next big star either that be in the UK or over seas. There are a lot of young guys out there who have the potential to become something great but I feel the way the business is at the moment there is very little room for them to shine. Show me someone who has no ego, has a willing to learn and go out there to work with others and I will say that they are up there with the best.
12. Any funny road stories?
Lots but I won’t drop anyone in it on here.
13. How is it working with El Ligero?
Hard! El Ligero and myself are very different personal but we both are perfectionist when it comes to our performance. Our styles complement each others nicely, he is very quick and flashy with a lot of high spots were I am precise and to the point but we both love telling stories in the ring. El Ligero is one of those guys I haven’t really worked with all that much but is defiantly someone I look forward to working with again.
14. How is it working for Southside?
15. What are your goals in 2014?
Buy a house, solve world hunger, resolve unemployment in the UK, drink more, quit smoking……you know the usual.
16. Would you take part in a British Boot Camp sort of thing if you were given the chance?
Sure. It is a great way to connect with an audience who may not be familiar with myself and also a great way to get really good exposure. I say for anyone out there who can take an opportunity like this, or any other in television (Big Brother for example) should go for it. Show people who you really are, let them feel closer to you and don’t be afraid to let everyone judge you. We live in different time to those who came before us. The wrestling business was close guarded very secretive 10 years ago. WWE’s Tough Enough brought a whole avenue for you to get over professionally and it was also an avenue to bring in a whole new audience. My partner does not watch wrestling and really doesn’t understand it all much but loved TNA’s British Boot Camp and watch every episode (fortunately she hates Party Marty Skrull). Following this she took note when Rockstar Spud started appearing on IMPACT, without British Boot Camp she would just see a short brummie and not care at all. If the chance was put forward to me I would jump at it!
17. Have you got a best match in your career?
I do but it won’t mean anything to anyone other than myself. A few years ago I was asked if I would work Shane Barker aka Stevie Mitchell on an academy show House of Pain would run every month for students to get used to working in front of an audience. Now Shane was very new and without sounding like a prick was not confident, very shy and struggled to be around people. I saw a lot in him personally which reminded me of myself when I first started out in wrestling. I jumped at the chance to work with him. I think this was my first match back after dislocating my elbow but I was determined to change Shane after our first encounter. For you see the reason why this is my most fond match is for one reason, I gave Shane a boost of confidence. I made him look like a beast in that ring, cold, heartless and tough as old leather. Performance wise the match was good, I have had better with greater named performers, but I genuinely love this match for what it meant to me. I did what I love to do, I put him over big time.
18. What do you think of the current state of British Wrestling?
Firstly I believe there are many good entertaining shows running in the UK at the moment focussing on and developing British talent. The performance level of each of the guys and girls is so high right now and is a million times better than it has been since wrestling British Wrestling was on Saturday TV. However right now we are caught up in a ‘Mark Promoter’ era. Right now there seems to be to few British promotions out there that promote good British workers. The art and thrill of creating stars has long left our shores with the mass amount of imported workers flooding over to the UK for the high price meal ticket they are being offered by lazy promoters who are not much better than a regular fan. Right now this is hurting all of the UK guys to make anything of themselves. Average import costs between £500 – £1000 (this is a very conservative figure as a few are demanding way over) whereas the average UK worker can expect between £25 – £80 if they are lucky! Think about this, if you want to make it in this business you are going to need to give every waking minute of your day to perfecting your craft. Getting your body in peak condition both with diet and working out, watching and studying all the footage you can and physically getting there performing on shows honing your craft. All of this cannot be achieved when working a 40 hour week but you cannot simply afford to leave your full time job AND pay your bills on an average of less than £200 per week. British wrestling wages have not increased in over 20 years which is a joke. Guys are going out there, putting their body through hell for nothing more than a ‘Thank you’ or ‘Good job today bud’. This really does need to stop. If it was possible to make a living on the British Wrestling circuit then I would whole heartily say that British Wrestling is second to none (even without national television exposure) because the talent is here. Everyone can learn something from Vince and the WWE. Once or twice a year they will bring in a high ticket name to boost the product, but the rest of the time they develop their own stars and give them all of the success that comes with it. This is just because they can…..this is how you make a business work. By all means if you promote British shows bring in an import to boost your standing within the scene, just not every single time. But the real kicker is…out of your entire paying audience, less than 10% actually care that you brought this person or even know who they are. The British guys love performing, love building a company from nothing to something and genuinely love British Wrestling. It’s just a shame that we get treated like shit for doing the thing we love.
19. Who is the best promoter you have worked for?
This will most probably get me some heat with the boys however it’s easily Alex Shane. Alex has never always seen eye to eye with everyone and many do not agree with his personal beliefs, but Alex has the amazing ability to make everyone a star. The attention to detail he goes into is incredible, not just for the big things, also the smaller, fine print things. The first time I ever worked for him he took me to one side after seeing me throw a punch mid match and questioned to why I would do that????? It wasn’t a chewing out and he wasn’t mad about it, Alex was just trying to get me to understand that each movement I do must have a reason and purpose. I know Alex gets a lot of stick recently with his contribution to Wrestle Talk TV but as a promoter / booker I think there is none better in the UK. It is a real shame he has stepped aside from shows and moved into television. Don’t get me wrong I completely understand why he would do this, but on a pure selfish level I would love for him to come back. If you have never worked closely with Alex you will never know, the best way I can sum up as why Alex Shane is my favourite promoter to work for comes down to this……..He made me feel like I was the star of the future.
20. Any future dates you want to plug?
Check out @Max_Angelus on twitter for all forthcoming venues where you can see my gorgeous face
If you would view Max’s Twitter that would be great as you will be supporting one of the best wrestlers in the UK today!
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