Interview – ‘The Dark Cloud’ Sebb Strife

sebbstrife

1. Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival Sebb, first of all please introduce yourself to the readers and give them a quick summary of yourself as a wrestler???

Thanks for inviting me to be a part of your project.

I’ve been in and out of the business for a while but I’ve been most active in the last couple of years after finding a focus close to me that I can have fun with. Also I think the progress the UK scene has made since I originally started out – the improved schools, promotions and talent – have allowed me to develop and enjoy wrestling more, actually learn the craft the right way and have more respect for it.

As a wrestler, as far as my ability and style goes, I like to draw from my life experiences and my favourite pop culture icons. I’m naturally flexible, in fact I suffer from hyper mobility, and I used to do a little kick boxing so for a guy of 6’2″, almost 300lbs & not being naturally fit or a ‘body guy’ I can move pretty well. I’m comfortable with the ground and pound as well as being up top. If I can drag anything through from TV, movies, gaming, the things I’m into outside of wrestling then more the better.

The main thing is that I enjoy what I do and continue to as long as I can.

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??

My introduction to wrestling came with WCW as a kid. I might be wrong as my memories are fuzzy but we didn’t have Sky and therefore WWF and I think WCW was on terrestrial TV at the time. I’ll have been about 9-10 years old maybe? Moving up to high school I got my introduction to WWF but probably didn’t get wildly into it until about 1997, a friend of mine taping the PPVs on VHS for me. Yeah I’m old. Older than many folk realise. At the time I was playing a lot of football, I was a ‘keeper – never been afraid to throw myself about – and even had try outs with a couple of local professional teams so becoming a wrestler never even crossed my mind. I wouldn’t have had a clue if it was even possible anyway.

That being said, a few years later I found myself more wrapped up in wrestling after meeting likeminded people and eventually found myself by happy accident at a wrestling school. It was a far cry from the schools of today and if I’m honest I’d say it was awful and run by self-serving morons. Back then though it was all I knew.

Regards to who inspired me to actually give wrestling a try, I’d say that watching the Attitude Era in my teens got me properly hooked with the usual suspects of Austin, Rock & Bret Hart being some of my favourites but possibly more surprisingly, I’d say D-Lo Brown fascinated me and you can see where I’ve taken inspiration from him in some of my work. Above all though my favourite performer is HHH. His adaptability and professionalism is first rate.

3. How did you get involved with Wrestling training, who trained you, how was this experience and if you could have been trained by any one else or even do a seminar with dead or alive when you started off wrestling who would it be and why would it have helped you as a wrestler ??

As I said previously, I kinda fell into wrestling through chance meetings mainly. My first school was in Wigan and arguably the less said about it the better really. Several trainees split off to another school not long after I started and they’re now some of the top workers in the UK today. Suffice to say those of us that remained didn’t quite progress at the same rate.

Later, after several years out and moving to Leeds I again stumbled across the late Drew McDonald’s school and attended there for a brief period before suffering a dislocated knee in a match, tearing cartilage and rupturing my ACL. Moving to Glasgow, two surgeries, plenty of rehab, two redundancies and moving back to Leeds in the space of 4/5 years meant I’d been out of the loop for quite some time again.

I like to think that my career reset and training truthfully started about 3 years ago at Grapple Wrestling in Leeds under Paul Clarke. Even then though, mainly due to the calibre of many trainees, it was difficult to call it great. However, Grapple has evolved rapidly and now boasts one of the best training facilities in the country at its new home in Morley, Leeds. The school now boasts El Ligero and World of Sport legend Marty Jones as head trainers and the calibre of trainees improves week on week.

I’ve got a great support network now and I’m very happy but I still get to other schools and seminars with other top professionals when I can. We’re always learning and adapting in this industry so it’s a must.

As for a wish list, I’d have to say HHH, Austin & Owen Hart for their drive, professionalism and sharing of experiences.

4. You wrestle for Grapple Wrestling and you are part of the Marty Jones Invitational Tournament on April 3rd, do you think it’s a good idea to honour a legend like Marty with his own tournament and do you have any words for the other participants ahead of the tournament??

Absolutely. We’re lucky to have Marty as a head trainer at Grapple and paying tribute to him with the tournament is both Grapple’s and wrestling’s way of saying thank you for what he’s done and continues to do.

As for my opponents in the tournament, all I ask is that they do themselves, Marty and Grapple proud. They’re all capable of winning it and each needs to bring their A-game.

5. Also you wrestle a lot for touring promotion Megaslam, what are your thoughts on the touring environment compared to doing normal shows and is it great for you to meet new fans and build up experience in this way??

I’ve been lucky enough to be booked by Brad and Megaslam recently. It started towards the back end of 2015 and has ramped up this year so far. Certain connections have helped but the fact that I listened to advice given to me by James Carr regarding what is expected on these types of shows and put that advice into action has paid off in my performances and faith shown in me by the promotion. I’m very thankful for the opportunities I have been given thus far and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experiences, they’ve helped me improve my work significantly.

The touring environment is different, yes, and it takes a little getting used to but it’s a lot of fun and it’s where all the road stories come from! The shows I’ve done so far have been mainly one-offs rather than full tours as my full-time job keeps me from touring. If everything falls into place though, the opportunity may arise down the line.

An additional benefit of working for Megaslam is getting to parts of the country I wouldn’t normally and working prestigious venues like Leeds Town Hall recently. I’ve also managed to perform in front of friends and family around where I grew up so that was special.

6. As well as wrestling you also do commentary for one of my affiliates in TIDAL occasionally, what are your thoughts on the rise of TIDAL since it’s inception, do you like doing commentary and is it something you want to do more of and finally if possible would you like to wrestle for TIDAL in 2016??

Commentary is great! It’s something different and something I’ve gradually improved at over the last couple of years. Tidal is currently one of my favourite places to work, particularly the Leeds shows due to being more adult orientated and as such, allowing more freedom.

Tidal has been fantastic to me since it started. I wasn’t doing much when it arrived in Leeds so just volunteered my services in any way I could. I was accepted into the company and have worked with them since.

Catering to the indy crowd, Tidal has carved a niche for itself in Leeds and has become a favourite to perform at for many workers.

There are many faces of Sebb Strife so I have actually made my debut for Tidal albeit not under the ‘Dark Cloud’ moniker. Sebb Strife made his debut only this month at the recent ‘Against All Odds’ show and is scheduled to appear again down the line. Check out the DVD which will be available very soon

7. What are your thoughts on the current state of British Wrestling and do you think that 2016 could spell the return of Brit Wrestling to TV??

British Wrestling is at an all time high right now. The talent pool is unbelievable and it shows with the amount of talent heading overseas to Japan and the US together with many top US stars heading in the opposite direction.

As for TV, we’re already there albeit on local rather than mainstream channels. British wrestling deserves to be back on TV but it needs to be done right, without the egos & cliques and definitely without any ‘reality’ or ‘celebrity’ element to it.

2016 could be the year we break into national TV but if not, I think it’ll be soon. The scene demands it.

8. What are your future ambitions in Wrestling and where do you see yourself in 5 years time??

Like I said, I’m older than people realise so I’m just hoping my body holds up though I’m working on getting it into better shape.

There are promotions I’d like to work for on a regular basis absolutely and they’re the goal alongside working TV if and when British Wrestling gets there.

In 5 years I’ll be pushing 40 (that’s a scary thought) so anything can happen.

9. Where can the readers find ‘The Dark Cloud’ Sebb Strife and where can promoters book you??

You can find and follow me on:

Facebook – facebook.com/sebbstrifetdc/ Twitter – @SebbStrife
Instagram – @SebbStrife

I always keep social media updates with when and where I’m performing so keep your eyes peeled.

Booking information is available through the above too.

10. Have you got any future dates or projects you wish to plug??

As well as the aforementioned Marty Jones Invitational on 3 April, I’ve got upcoming appearances for Grapple Wrestling at Low Moor Club, Bradford on 30 April and Leeds Live Arts Bistro 7 May.

Various Megaslam appearances throughout the coming months and Tidal’s last Leeds Uni show on 24 April.

The huge nerd in me is also looking forward to BWE’s involvement at Smash Con at Leeds Royal Armouries on 22 May.

Finally, if you’re in the Leeds area and want to get involved in wrestling then look no further than getting yourself to Grapple Wrestling based out of Fight Science gym in Morley. Training is Thursday 7-10pm and Sunday 12-3pm.

Thanks to Sebb for taking part in this interview and taking time out of his schedule to complete these, as a thank you please go and support him on social media and there will be more like this coming up only way to find out when they are out is by going to :

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/BritishWrestlingRevival

Twitter : @BritWresRevival

And as always go and support our affiliates by using the dropdown!

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