1. Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival The Lion Kid, first of all please introduce yourself to the readers and give them a quick summary of yourself as a wrestler and how the Lion Kid character came about??
Thank you, I’m happy to be on TheBritishWrestlingRevival. I am the Lion Kid, a masked high flying pro wrestler based in the south of England.
The Lion Kid Character came about after I was wrestling on the UK scene for a few years under my real name. Because of my young appearance, a few of my peers thought I might benefit from wrestling under a mask, but it wasn’t something that immediately took my interest.
However, in early 2009, it’s something I started to think about more and more. By then I was 20 years old and had physically matured, so looking too young wasn’t an issue.
I approached Dragon Gate UK promoter Mark Sloan, mostly looking for advice. We put together ideas for a character, names, look, style, how to market etc, and we both began to realise that this had a lot of potential.
Then Lion Kid made his official debut on November 1st 2009 as the opening match of Dragon Gate UK Invasion.
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??
I wanted to be a wrestler since I was around 8 or 9. But unlike most people, it wasn’t watching wrestling that got me into wrestling in the first place: that would be playing the video games – WWF WrestleMania on the Super Nintendo and later WWF Warzone on the Nintendo 64.
Then one morning I saw it was on TV and thought I’d see what it was like. That was around 1998 and I was hooked. I was playing the games so it was easy for me to get into the shows, as I already knew who all the characters were. It wasn’t until I started watching it on TV that I felt the desire to become a professional wrestler.
Chris Jericho was my favourite wrestler growing up, but I wouldn’t say there was any one wrestler that inspired me to pursue it, I think it was the excitement of the show as a whole.
3. You were trained by Mark Sloan, how did you get involved in training and what are your thoughts looking back on your training??
I started training at age 13 at the FWA Academy ran by Mark Sloan. I first heard about it from a school friend that said he’d been to a Wrestling training session.
At first I thought he was making it up as he knew what a huge fan I was, at the time I didn’t realize there was any kind of UK wrestling scene so I thought the only wrestling training schools would be in America or Japan. In the end it turned out the Academy less than a 5 minute walk from where I live.
I really can’t say enough good things about the academy, we were a real team and we all worked so hard to achieve the dream we all shared. Looking back now, the Academy still hold up as some of my fondest memories that I have in wrestling.
4. Speaking of Mark Sloan, you have wrestled for his promotion where I have met you and seen you live before this includes a feud with Mark Haskins in Bedford, do you want to finish what you and Mark started if so what’s your message to Southside and Haskins??
That’s right; they were the Wrestling Store events. The feud with Haskins had alot of build up; I think maybe 6 or 7 shows with us not even facing in a match. It’s a shame we haven’t been able to tell the rest of that story yet.
We all had alot of good ideas and I think the feud had real potential. I still get asked by fans on a regular basis when will be back at Hove or Bedford and will I finally get my hands on Haskins, so its defiantly a match people want to see.
I’ve known Haskins for a long time, we trained together and broke onto the UK scene together. I think he’s one of the top talents in the UK right now and I like the opportunity to finish what we started.
Also, for those that don’t know, all events from the first 2 Wrestling Store tours are up on demand right now at WrestlingOnDemand.co.uk. I think for only £5 each, which if you check out the trailers you’ll realise what a deal that is.
5. You have been wrestling for UPW quite a lot recently, what are your thoughts on this promotion and the talent involved?
I started working with UPW a few months back and I really like what they’re doing and the product as whole. As for the talent involved, they use alot of the top talent the UK has to offer so that speaks for itself.
But what I really like about UPW is their fans, a large part of the audience is made up of some of the most bizarre and funny fans I’ve ever been in front of. You just have no idea what they’re going to blurt next.
As a performer it keeps me on my toes and it just makes it all the more enjoyable. I think they put whole shows up on youtube for all to watch for free, or I know at least my matches are. Either ways I recommend logging on and checking them out.
6. Some people may know you from DG:UK where you have wrestled the likes of Uhaa Nation, Rich Swann, Akira Tozawa and CIMA, do you think that having this tour every year means that you have a chance to face of against some of the best and also gives the fans the chance to witness your talent and also to see the likes of Uhaa going to NXT does it make you strive to be there one day soon??
I think we in the UK have been very lucky to have a tour almost every year. The last tour was in 2014, so I am always being asked when the next tour is. Literally every show I’m at I’ll get asked by both fans and follow wrestlers ask me if and when there will be another tour. Unfortunately the answer to that right now is, I don’t know, maybe.
I have faced off with some of the best wrestler in the world under the DG banner. If you count my matches for Dragon Gate:UK and Dragon Gate in Japan, I wrestled against almost every top name on their roster.
I spend a lot time with Uhaa during the last tour, he’s a class act. It obviously it came to no surprise to hear that NXT has signed him. Not heard too much since expect he’s doing well, so I’m really happy for him.
I wouldn’t say the success of my peers, be it Uhaa in NXT or Pac in NXT and more recently WWE inspires me to make it there. I think we are all individuals on different paths. NXT wasn’t something I was that interested me before Uhaa’s signing, so him signing doesn’t change that me. I’m not saying I’d never want to go, if for example NXT did want to speak with me it would be silly of me not to at least hear them out. But as I say, right now my life is on a different path, and I’m extremely happy. Perhaps in a few years I’ll feel differently, but now isn’t the right time.
7. This year you have had a street fight with Paul Robinson, exactly what toll do matches like this take on your body and do you want to do more in future??
I’ve been feuding with Paul for the XWA for most of the year now and it’s been alot of fun. The street fight we had at their last event was the best match of the feud so far; the fans were emotionally invested so the atmosphere was awesome.
With my character, which on the surface is a masked high flyer, it’s not often I’ll get to do different types of gimmick matches. So on the occasions it does happen its exciting for me to something different. I think to myself, how does the Lion Kid wrestle in a street fight that’s different to the way anyone else would. It’s a chance to get creative and tell another type of story, which I always enjoy.
When fans hear “street fight” there is a level of expectation and I wanted to live up to that. Of course there’s a greater risk involved, but I’m careful to make them calculated risks. I knew going into the match that the next day I would be feeling sore, I was ok with that. The aim was to simply avoid serious injury.
These types of matches do take more of a toll on your body, and for me, it’s worth it. I’d love to be involved in more street fights and many different types of matches.
8. What are your future ambitions in Wrestling and where do you see yourself in 5 years time??
It’s hard to imagine 5 years from now. I mean, this time 5 years ago I was half way through my first tour in Japan. Then after I got home in December I was offered a deal to work full time in France, so that was I whole of 2011. So when thinking about how different things were 5 years ago it’s hard to imagine where I’ll be in 5 years from now.
Not sure about ambitions, guess you could say I’m easy going in that regards. One group I would like to work for is ICW, Insane Championship Wrestling. I heard they recently drew over four thousand fans to an event which is insane. I can’t stress enough what I huge accomplishment that is for an independent show over here. I’ve never seen their product so I can’t comment on that. But just learning British Wrestling is capable of that kind of numbers makes me very happy. They’ve obviously created something special and given the opportunity I’d like to be a part of it.
9. Where can the readers find The Lion Kid and where can promoters book you??
10. Have you got any future dates or projects you wish to plug??
My next events are this weekend, first this Saturday 5th December I’m making my South Coast Wrestling debut in New Milton.
Then the following day, Sunday 6th, I’m returning to XWA in their new home of Colchester.
I’m on twitter @lionkiduk and my merchandise is available at LionKid.com.
11. Anything else you would like to say?
I would like to say a big thank you to all the fans who continue to support both myself and the British wrestling scene. And of course, RAWRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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