1. Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival Blog Damian , cheers for taking time out to answer these questions, first of all please could you give a brief introduction to the readers about yourself and your wrestling career so far??
– G’day ladies and gents. I’ve been described as a ‘young veteran’ but I still feel like a kid at heart. I’ve just turned 29 years old and have been training and competing in professional wrestling for almost 14 years now. Have had some pretty amazing opportunities to live in the USA and Japan at various times, learning every different style that I can from some incredible minds. Basically I just love everything about this art form and have always wanted to know absolutely everything there is to know and experience everything that I can possibly experience. Even the mean streets of Tijuana. Though once was enough.
2. Let’s speak briefly about growing up for you, did you watch wrestling growing up or was it later on in life and who would you say inspired you both in wrestling and out of it to become one??
– I was so consumed with sports such as Cricket and Soccer as a kid that I didn’t jump into Professional Wrestling until I was around 11. By that stage it was the Attitude Era and I felt left out for not having a clue what the WWE and WCW were. I quickly became obsessed and was soon inspired by the smaller athletes, because I was a fairly small kid growing up. I had no gymnastic ability so I felt that wrestling like the luchadores, who were dominating the Cruiserweight division, was impossible. Therefore I tended to gravitate towards the mat-based cruiserweights such as Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho and Jerry Lynn.
3. Speaking of becoming a wrestler, how did you get involved in wrestling training, who had a hand in this and would you say that you enjoyed the experience??
– There was just 1 school in Adelaide where I live. It was run by a former Australian Middleweight Champion of the 80s named Col Dervany. In 1999/2000 they had opened up and started their own promotion in a market that was void of independent wrestling. Long story short, my Dad coached Rugby and one of his students had began wrestling in this promotion, so I started going along. When I turned 15 in 2002 and was allowed to join up, I did so in a heartbeat. Training with Col was one of the toughest experiences of my life. He taught discipline through physicality, but it was the greatest lesson in the world and shaped who I am as an athlete and a human being. Col taught me to treat this profession with a respect for the art and I couldn’t be more grateful.
4. You are of course part of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, how were you contacted about the tournament and were you proud to be part of a field with some of the best in the world??
– I participated in a tryout in Melbourne, Australia in 2014. Talent scouts Canyon Ceman and Bill DeMott also came to watch one of our Wrestle Rampage events in Adelaide a couple of days later. I received a lot of positive feedback and while I wasn’t immediately successful, I remained on their radar. I was then asked to participate in another tryout at the Arnold Festival in Columbus, Ohio earlier this year. It was around then that I was asked to be involved in the Cruiserweight Classic. It still feels surreal but I am filled with so much pride being involved with so many other incredible talents from around the world, but also the beginning of what could be an amazing thing for Cruiserweights in the WWE. What a time to be alive!
5. Do you think that as a result of the CWC it will get you more recognition and bookings not only back in Australia but also worldwide??
– I think that the exposure being given by the WWE is massive and I’ve already felt a lot of that through the media with a flow of requests. Being in Australia, we are almost a little sheltered from the rest of the world. Australian fans know who we are and know that what we have is some of the most world-class professional wrestling, but little exposure is given outside of the country. I have wrestled some of the best talent in the world in several different countries for 13 years now, so I’m confident in my game. Of course the end goal is still working for the WWE full-time but I do expect to receive more incredible experiences in the mean-time.
6. Like alluded to you’re Australian, what are your thoughts on the Australian Wrestling scene, is it good or bad at the minute and who else apart from yourself is a major part of it??
– We have the most underrated scene in the world. I am very confident in saying that. There are promotions in every city with incredible production, huge fan-bases and a roster of talent who should be making a living from this. We have 8 home-grown wrestlers currently signed to the WWE and several others working regularly at the highest level in Japan and Mexico. There are so many back home who deserve higher recognition as well. Considering we don’t have the largest quantity of wrestlers, I think the percentage of success is pretty amazing. Especially since we had almost zero wrestlers venturing overseas just a decade ago.
7. Of course the blog is called TheBritishWrestlingRevival, do you want to come over here in the future if given the chance and if so is there anyone you would have your eye on to face??
– Absolutely, I’ve always wanted to wrestle in the UK. I was brought up on grainy World of Sport VHS tapes by my original trainer Col Dervany, so I have always appreciated the art. Plus my family is from Glasgow so it’d be unreal to return to my heritage. I’ve come across many British wrestler in my travels but a match with Zack Sabre Jr. must happen. His style is the way that I prefer to wrestle and where my true strength lies. Although I rarely have an opportunity to show it as technical wrestling isn’t as well respected in most parts of Australia. I think you’d see something special from that encounter.
8. What are your future ambitions and where do you see yourself in roughly 5 years time??
– As I said, the WWE has always been and will continue to be the end goal. I have always set such small goals but a long as I am always moving forward, I’m happy. 5 years is such a long time. I could either be travelling the world doing what I love, or I could be putting kids at the local dojo to sleep with tales of my cup of coffee in the big time at the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. Time will tell!
9. Where can the readers find/follow Damian Slater on social media and how can promoters get hold of you for potential bookings??
– I’m pretty easy to find on Facebook and Twitter as Damian Slater but otherwise you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. I probably still have a MySpace floating around, but maybe don’t message me on there, yeah?
10. Finally to end off the interview, thank you for your time and have you got any future dates and/or projects you wish to plug to the readers??
– My first match back home will be this Saturday night in Perth for EPW (www.epwperth.com). My home promotion in Adelaide is www.wrestlerampage.com who have some amazing things coming but keep in touch with my social media to see where my travels take me next. Oh and if you haven’t already signed up to the WWE Network, I first ask that you take a hard look at your priorities, and secondly request that you get on board! This Cruiserweight Classic is going to change the business and I’m so excited to see it all unfold this week!
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