1. Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival TK, first of all please introduce yourself to the readers and give them a quick summary of yourself as a wrestler???
Hey, my name is TK Cooper, I’m from New Zealand and have been wrestling for four years mainly for a company called Impact Pro Wrestling back home in New Zealand but have also dabbled around in Australia a little bit too. And obviously now I’m here (with my girlfriend/tag-partner; Dahlia Black as the South Pacific Power Couple) giving the UK scene a crack for the next two years.
2. Lets talk about your growing up, did you enjoy watching wrestling growing up or did it start much later and if so, who inspired you to think I am going to become a Wrestler??
Ok so I can’t remember how old I was, but i’ll always remember the very first wrestling match I ever saw which was the winner takes all WWE/F vs. The Alliance Survivor Series match. I didn’t know any of the guys, but the fact that Chris Jericho and The Rock had so much beef I was just so invested in what was happening, like how could The Rock and Jericho ever win if they were just at each others throats, and then when Kurt Angle swaps sides after he’d been eliminated!?!? Unbelievable! We didn’t actually get much wrestling in New Zealand for a really long time or when we did it was like a month behind but they’d still sell the PPV’s live, so you’d never really know what was going on, but regardless I was pretty much hooked on whatever I could get to watch. My absolute two favourite wrestlers are The Rock and Eddie Guerrero, so I would say they definitely inspired me to get involved. The Rock mainly because he looked like me, not physique wise (obviously, haha), just like skin colour and heritage so I kind of looked at him as a role model and plus he was the champ, everybody wants to be like the champ! Then there’s Eddie who I just enjoyed everything he did, and now thanks to the Network I’m watching stuff of his I never got to see as a kid! Just all the Latino Heat/Chyna then the Los Guerrero’s antics and his whole beating the odds thing against Brock Lesnar, I legit teared up when he won the Undisputed Championship and then when he passed away, that just killed me. So yeah, I mean, I really do like a lot of different wrestlers, I could easily name like different traits of about 50 wrestlers that I like but those two are what got me started.
3. How did you get involved with Wrestling training, who were you trained by and what would you say that would sum up the experience training in a couple of words??
We have this magazine in New Zealand, Timeout, I’m pretty sure you guys have it too, that has all the like cool things you could do in your weekend or events that are on that you could go to? So in this tiny corner of the page, I swear in the tiniest writing is an ad for IPW Live Pro Wrestling, at the time i’m only 13, so I call up my other wrestling buddy and tell him the plan, my mum drops us off and we watch what probably wasn’t actually a great wrestling show, but we’re just kids seeing live wrestling for the first time so it was, at the time, the single greatest thing in our lives. So that was my first interaction with IPW, from there I was totally convinced I was going to become a wrestler now that I knew there was a company where I lived. But like I say, I’m only 13 and I found out they don’t let you train until you’re 16 so I’m waiting three years to even get a chance and when I finally did…I wasn’t ready. To be fair, you look at me now and I’m probably still not in like the ideal wrestler shape (but i’m trying!) but back then I was a twig, so anything more than 20 push ups or 50 squats I was done. I was trained by a few guys who’s names you won’t recognise but they were trained by the guys who ran New Zealand’s territory back in those days and were on New Zealand’s weekly TV show “On The Mat”. Alfred Valentine, Kingi, Dave O’Connor were my original trainers and they’ve all got international experience too travelling to the States for tours and bringing back whatever they learned to help our scene grow too. If I had to sum up the training in just a couple of words though, it would just be that it was totally ideal. They had learned from guys who knew what they were doing so I trusted them to get me to where I wanted to be!
4. You are from New Zealand I believe, what do you think of the current scene over there and do you think that you can become the next big thing to come out of NZ to hopefully go over to the States??
The scene back home is legitimately six companies…I think, there might have been a few more sprout up since I left though. New Zealand is a small place though and it’s easy to become comfortable being the big fish in a small pond especially when IPW is really the only good place to train and wrestle for. Don’t get me wrong, I love where I’ve come from, but it just wasn’t enough, so that’s why my girlfriend and I have moved here to try something new, gain some new experiences and hopefully like you say, become the next big thing. Like I mentioned earlier, we’re here for two years, which is really ONLY two years, I don’t see it as a lot of time, so I’m banking on getting the name, the brand, everything out there as quick as possible but not to a point where we burn too hot too quick. The US is definitely a long term goal, but for now I’m not looking too far ahead of what we’re doing here, if an opportunity comes up that gets us there sooner, then that’s just a bonus, but I really enjoy being in England for more than just the wrestling too.
5. You are over here in the UK at the moment having come over here to wrestle for Megaslam a touring promotion over here, how did this experience come about, what are your thoughts as well on the country so far and also the touring environment??
So how I got involved with Megaslam is kind of a long story; a couple years ago I came over to England for a month between my university semesters to visit some family I don’t really get to see because they live so far away. I had a friend who was also training to be a wrestler at the time living over here and he was refereeing for LDN Wrestling, so I’d packed my gear just in case he could get me on the show and as coincidence would have it I got to work two shows. On the first show I met a guy called Paul Malen, amazing dude, and have had a chance to properly hang out with him on the tour and catch up since. But anyway, after I met Paul and had to go back to NZ I stayed in contact with him over the last two years and when we decided we were moving to the UK I figured I’d message Paul and ask if he knew anybody I should contact for a booking and Megaslam was one. I fully dig this country though, the beaches aren’t quite what I’d like them to be after coming from New Zealand, but the people and the country side are a beautiful thing. We don’t have anything back home that I can compare the holiday camps to or the wrestling tour to so it’s really hard for me to explain what i’m doing to my parents or my friends when i’m chatting to them about what i’m up to. The touring environment is so foreign to me, I didn’t know what to expect coming in and then to have just completed the whole thing I don’t think I can believe i’ve been wrestling in front of a different crowd everyday for six straight weeks. That’d never happen back home. It’s been an invaluable experience wrestling wise and socially. I’ve made a lot of new good friends that are all from different parts of the country that i’m looking forward to being able to drop in on as time passes.
6. Also you had the chance to wrestle for one of the largest promotions in the UK, Progress Wrestling for their PTNTL brand, how was that and do you think that this could open doors in terms of the main roster if you get a good reaction in these shows??
Progress and PTNTL were amazing, the crowd they’ve got there is legit the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve read all about Progress, I’ve watched what I can on YouTube, but actually being involved was another really good learning curve for Dahlia and I. We have had some good feedback about that match and a couple bites in terms of people wanting us for their shows because they saw us at PTNTL. So you’ll hopefully be seeing a lot more of us as far as Progress and the scene in general go.
7. You are part of an 8 man tournament on Testing Ground weekend for our friends down at UKWE, have you got any words for your opponents and how do you assess your chances based on your other opponents??
So I’ve been really busy on the tour, and to be fair there isn’t much service or wifi out on the road so I haven’t had much of a chance to really check out and do my homework on the other guys in the tournament. The only things I know for sure are two of the guys I met on the tour; Liam Lazarus and Josh Alden are in it as well so all the best to them. But for my opponent or potentially opponents if I don’t balls my first match up and bow out early, I’d expect you to not be expecting too much from me considering you’ve probably never heard of me, but I figure if things go my way i’ll be spending the weekend making sure you get used to hearing the name TK Cooper on the regular.
8. What are your future ambitions in Wrestling and where do you see yourself in 5 years time??
Future ambitions are spotlighting New Zealand wrestling and the other really good wrestlers we’ve got flying under the radar that deserve a bit of love. I would hope that you and the guys reading this are familiar with another New Zealand girl named Evie? Probably one of the best wrestlers out there today rocking it when she can in the US for Shimmer and Shine, I’d say bar the Bushwhackers, Evie is leading the charge for New Zealand at the moment but I’m doing what I can over here to help fly the flag too. So within the next five years as far as future ambitions, i’d hope i’m in better shape for a start haha. In wrestling though I’d really like to think that I could become a significant character alongside my girlfriend Dahlia Black would’ve travelled to Japan and America by then, everybody knows those are the two major places to make a living from wrestling. So I don’t have any contacts for either at the moment but hopefully within the next five years I would’ve gotten down the line far enough to warrant a trip to either, ideally something long term too.
9. Where can the readers find TK Cooper and where can promoters book you??
Ah, finally an easy one haha. So I’ve pretty much locked up the market on most social media for @PURETKC or /PURETKC, so if you look me up on Twitter or Facebook or even Snapchat you’ll find me there. For bookings if you can’t catch me there, just flick me a message at PureTKC@gmail.com
10. Have you got any future dates or projects you wish to plug??
As you know I’ll be appearing at UKWE next weekend on the 12th and 13th And I do have a couple other dates lined up super soon but they haven’t been announced yet so I don’t want to get in trouble for spoiling it for the promotion so for now we’ll just leave it there. If you want to know more about New Zealand wrestling though, my best friend back home has just started a local podcast where he’s interviewing some of the more prolific New Zealand guys that you probably want to keep tabs on for the future, he’s 6 episodes deep and it’s a pretty good insight into our small scene; That Young Podcast is the name. If you’re into that sort of thing, he’d really appreciate a like on the Facebook page and listen to the eps! Otherwise, thanks for the chat, look forward to catching up again sometime down the line.
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