Interview – “Mr Smooth” Johnny Kidd

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1. First of all, please describe yourself to the readers??
My wrestling name is Johnny Kidd. I have been involved in pro wrestling since October 1978 after four years as an amateur at Ampthill wrestling club in Bedfordshire. My first pro bout was at Salisbury in October 1978 against Tony Scarlo where I was defeated by one fall in round three of six. From there I progressed and as a part time wrestler made 24 appearances on ITV’S World of sport from my tv debut in April 1981 to 1988. I was in fact on the very last world of sport taping for dale martin promotions in November 1988 before wrestling was taken off our screens.
2. You were trained at the Ampthill Amateur Wrestling Club, how would you sum up your training experience?
My training experience was much different to todays wrestling schools that many promotions run these days. In my day it was all amateur style wrestling the sort used by wrestlers in Olympic games there was no pro style being shown then. It was all about taking your opponent down to the mat and pinning the shoulders for just one second to score points Where as todays style is all about pro wrestling most of yesteryears wrestlers had some sort of amateur background before turning pro a thing that a lot of todays wrestlers have never experienced.
3. You found your most success in the World of Sport Era, do you think World of Sport gave you your big break and looking back now how much influence do you estimate WOS had on the British Wrestling scene??
Most definitely without world of sport and especially the TV coverage I would not have been as well known around the country and amongst wrestling fans as I am today. It was our shop window because it was seen by thousands of TV viewers who came to know us by our TV appearances. Joint promotions were the main promotions back then and most wrestlers knew that to be employed by Joint it would be a great opportunity to appear on television and be more known around the country than wrestlers who worked for smaller independent promotions. World of sport made big names such as McManus Logan Pallo Kellett Saint Nagasaki Rocco Finlay Grey Myers Sanders Breaks Big Daddy Giant Haystacks the list is endless.
4. Speaking of World of Sport, do you think there will ever be a return on TV for WOS and which promotion do you think could achieve this??
I personally do not think WOS will ever return to ITV. Firstly you have to have wrestlers who will want to do solely that style of wrestling and as you are aware todays scene is highly dominated by the American style of wrestling. High flying and spectacular moves plus the audiences of today are so much different to my day. Wrestling appeals to a younger audience would they want to see the old WOS style for an entire evening of holds counters and simple falls..??? Sadly I think not. The only promotion in England at present which does the whole show in the WOS style with rounds and falls is Premier Promotions and have done so for a good while now.
5. I saw you live last year for AMerchandise in Bedford facing Doug Williams in what I think was a technical masterclass of a match, the match ended in a draw which Doug was not happy about with the Bedford tour returning at the end of the year would you be up for a rematch with Doug??
For me it’s always a pleasure to wrestle the likes of Doug Williams and James Mason. With the latter for me one of the best in England and has been for some time. Because they wrestle my style and for me it’s always a challenge to use my experience against these two masters of modern times. As for a re match with Doug it may happen but my wrestling is limited these days to weekends only due to my full time job. But yes I would always relish a chance to step in against Doug again
6. You went over to Chikara back in 2012 facing Johnny Saint and teaming with Colt Cabana, what are your thoughts on going over to America to wrestle for a big promotion such as Chikara, how did the fans react and would you consider going back over there??
 It was an absolute honour to be asked to appear in America for Chikara. Having know Mike Quackenbush for sometime and always had good conversations with him about all aspects of wrestling here and in the USA. And in fact wrestling this master tactician in Germany he wanted Myself and Johnny Saint to wrestle in front of a crowd with our style of wrestling which we did and the crowd were very appreciative of what we did.  Johnny Saint and I were amazed at the reception given to us by the Chikara fans at both the shows we did there that weekend. It was a complete different style to what they are use to and I still remark to people how odd it is that American wrestlers come here to work their style on Brit shows and there is Johnny Saint and I doing Brit style on their shows. The first night we wrestled each other with John showing so many of his moves counters and escapes the crowd lapped it up seeing a master like Johnny Saint execute these moves to perfection must have been a joy for them to see. For me it was a feather in my cap to actually get to wrestle in America. But will I return? Who Knows maybe Mike Quackenbush would be the man to answer that.
7. Who do you think is the next big talent that will go over to America from the UK as the UK seems to be a hotbed for talent??
Difficult one there as most of todays lads are looking to work for WWE Or TNA. The lads who have gone over there have enjoyed reasonable success but when they are released I often wonder how disappointed they are? But at least they got there and tried it There are many good wrestlers here but who are destined to stand the test of time out there I can not say it’s the old saying I’m afraid of “Nothing lasts forever”
8. What’s next for ‘Mr Smooth’ Johnny Kidd??
I think I have achieved quite a lot in British wrestling from wrestling on Television and at some of the country’s top venues and meeting and wrestling some of the biggest names in the sport. My biggest thrill though has to be being presented a lifetime achievement award for services to British Wrestling by the late great Mick McManus in 2007.Mick was someone I looked up to in British wrestling and wrestled him many times including a televised show at Southport in 1982. To me when you talk about Legends of wrestling Mick was at the top of the tree the best and epitomised everything about British wrestling. I still compete but on a limited basis these days but I do enjoy attending training seminars that are run by various promotions of which I enjoy passing my experience and knowledge to the up and coming wrestlers of today and the future.
9. Where can the readers find Johnny Kidd (social media)??
A fan page was set up on the social media site Facebook…under Johnny Kidd sportsperson. Any questions put to this page would get an answer from myself as soon as time permits.
10. Any dates or other projects you wish to plug??
 All I can say to the British wrestling fans is please support your local promotions as much as possible. I still believe their is great talent to be seen here in the UK and for any fans wishing to mix with stars of today and yesterday they are always welcome at the Southern British Wrestlers Reunion each year held in Kent. More information can be found at www.BRITISHWRESTLERSREUNION.

Regards to you all…..Johnny Kidd.

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