Interview – Ricky Starks

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Photo Credit : Kelly Kylie Photography

1. Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival Blog Ricky thank you very much for agreeing to take part in this interview, first of all could you please introduce yourself to the readers??

Well I am Absolute Ricky Starks, charismatic fire cracker who currently resides in Austin Texas. You may have seen me on WWE television, matches on NXT, Main Event.

2. Let’s first of all talk about growing up for you, did you watch wrestling growing up and if so who inspired you at the time to train to become a wrestler??

I’ve watched wrestling all my life, as far back as I can remember. I always told everyone I knew I’d become a pro wrestler and I did. I don’t think any one person inspired me but rather everyone, you know? My favorites are Mankind, Undertaker, The Rock. A odd list but those are who I was in awe of.

3. Next of all let’s speak about training for you, what are your thoughts on your training experience, who trained you and if you could train with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why??

I started training in Austin Texas with a guy named Mr. Mexico 2 who also wrestled in California and that general area. I like to think and I’ve been told that I picked up on it rather quickly for me. Then when I started to travel more I was able to get guidance from other wrestlers and seminars. I think if I could be trained by anyone it would definitely be The Undertaker.

4. You wrestle for WrestleCircus a new promotion that are gaining a lot of traction at the minute, how is it to be a part of it all and do you think that WC is on the road to success in the future??

I love wrestling for WrestleCircus. I think it is well on its way to achieving great things not only in Austin by the whole independent scene. It’s great to see a company openly take on unknown, new guys. That exposure does nothing but help everyone involved. It’s a great atmosphere with a great line up of girls and gals and I feel honoured to be there from the floor up.

5. You have previously wrestled on NXT and Main Event, how were these experiences and does this make you hungry to get there full time one day??

It was great working for both NXT and Main Event. It’s more of a comfortable feeling when you walk out there, for me at least. Having those matches and experiences validates me being a pro wrestler and makes me feel that I am good at something and also it does push me harder to get there permanently.

6. You are the new ACW Televised champion defeating Darin Childs last month, how did it feel to win the title and have you got a message to the ACW locker room who will be after it now??

Winning the ACW title was a cool moment because I defeated Darin Childs, who is the father of ACW. On top of that, I am basically saying no one can touch me now.

7. What are your future ambitions in wrestling and where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time??

Five years from now I see myself signed and in NXT probably. If not I definitely see myself in Japan which is another goal of mind. Wrestling there full-time would be a great career goal to achieve.

8. Of course the blog is called TheBritishWrestlingRevival, would you ever come over to the UK if given the chance and if so who would you have your eye on facing??

I would love to come to the UK, in fact I am planning to do so in early June. It’s now a matter of lining up promotions to work for. I’d love to wrestle El Ligero or a buddy of mine Travis Banks.

9. Where can the readers follow the progress of Ricky Starks on social media and where can promoters book you for shows if they are reading this??

You can find me on twitter: starkmanjones or follow me on Instagram for cute pics of me at starkybaby. All booking inquiries can go to: starks.ricky@gmail.com

10. Do you have any future dates or projects that you want to plug to end the interview off??

March 17th will be WrestleCircus’ big South by Southwest event that I am stoked about!

I hope you enjoyed this interview and I would like to thank Ricky for answering the questions for you to read, please go and support him on social media if possible! 

If you want to support BWR as well as Ricky go and follow us on Twitter : @BritWresRevival

and also like us on Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/BritishWrestlingRevival/

 

DVD Review – WWE Best of Raw and SmackDown 2016

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Welcome once again to the latest WWE review, this time we have the return of a yearly staple which is the Best of Raw and Smackdown DVD’s which like the name suggests profiles the best bits from the whole year on both programming. Last year was a year which included the Draft and Goldberg returning and these DVD’s as I say every year are usually good history lessons for me as I don’t watch the television product and don’t really keep up with it and so to see certain matches and moments I may have missed is always good!

Now onto the DVD and I will be telling you about the most noteworthy parts on each disc as if I went through every match it would last ages and also with a run time of 9 hours there is plenty of content I won’t be discussing!

First of all we get Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler speaking about a new era for Raw and Smackdown and cutting to a part about the Divas title and this was in January so before the split and we get a good match between Becky Lynch and Charlotte to start proceedings off and it shows the change between the start of the DVD and the end of the DVD where Divas are now thought of rightfully so as Superstars in their own right and they are no longer seen as different or just as sex symbols which may have been the case in the Attitude Era and growing up with the Divas and Women’s titles I am glad they now have two belts and even though they still have separate divisions they no longer have a tag.

We get highlights of January which had two massive moments as part of it being of course Daniel Bryan’s retirement from the ring which those especially who read a lot into the industry know was happening for some time but it did bring a tear to my eye after watching him as Bryan Danielson/ The American Dragon and knowing he will never wrestle again makes me sad especially being a fan of him for so long!

We also of course got Shane McMahon returning which is another moment I really loved and popped for even though when I watched it I already knew it was happening due to reaction from the internet but in my opinion it’s moments such as this that keep people coming back and if this didn’t happen it may make the product become staler so it’s always good when WWE pull something out of the bag to make the viewer intrigued. We also got certain matches on here like AJ Styles’s start to his feud with AJ Styles in January and him forming the team called Y2AJ in February and as you can tell this release will be mostly focused on Styles as he had a great 2016 and has had a great 2017 so far.

Disc 2 started with Apollo Crews’ debut, having seen Apollo live when he was on the Indies literally months before his departure this was a very pleasing moment and he faced another NXT wrestler who had bridged the gap to the main roster Tyler Breeze and is someone who has not really had a great time on the main roster and may get repackaged soon I reckon but like I say it was a brilliant feeling to see him debut. We also saw to start the disc off a great match between Zayn and Styles from RAW which could have seen Zayn become a joint number 1 contender and be part of a 3 way at the next Pay-Per-View so it was worth being on this DVD for that alone. I am a big fan of both men so really liked this match after not previously watching it.

We then got the May highlights which was a month where John Cena once again returned after a hiatus, I have never been a staunch Cena fan but I have never disliked the guy and I really enjoy watching him in the ring so some people may have different opinions on him but he will always go down as one of the best there has ever been so it was worth a spot as one of the highlights.

In June we got two 12 man tag matches which in my opinion which in the first instance was used to be a segway to Money in the Bank where there was in fact the same match but in Ladder match form between The New Day, Enzo & Cass vs The Club & The Vaudevillains. This was around the time when The New Day were really over and you could really see that when they came out and that was the main reason I watched it at the time that they were really popular as I found them entertaining not so much now though

The other was Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn & Cesaro vs Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio which was another MITB segway as they were the 6 men facing off in the ladder match and this was the month where it wasn’t as classic as the following month July which was full of thrills and spills including first of all the WWE Draft which was an episode I definitely watched in full due to loving the Draft so much growing up but it wasn’t really that good in my opinion as I remember it as having loads of thrills and spills where you had for example Cena drafted to both brands in one night and also you had as a result one of my favourite PPV’s every year Bragging Rights. The first match was between WWE champion Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, both men were drafted to opposite brands and so this match was to determine which brand would have the main title and of course this was SmackDown as Ambrose retained and RAW got the Universal title.  Speaking of titles we also got Charlotte after being drafted to RAW losing the Women’s Championship after 113 days which was a historic moment in the context of the year which was diminished slightly by the fact that the title changed hands multiple times over the coming months culminating in the first ever Womens’ Hell in a Cell main event on a PPV but at the time it was pretty shocking. Finn Balor’s ascent to his first main roster gold also was documented through his #1 Contender Match with Reigns which he won to beat Rollins but unfortunately had to relinquish it due to injury.

Disc 3 the final disc started with the RAW and SmackDown debuts of Bayley who like Apollo Crews faced another previous NXT member in Dana Brooke in her debut and American Alpha a team that everybody who watched NXT wanted to debut and they rightfully did debut against Breezango the team of Tyler Breeze and Fandango, this section was called Opportunity Knocking and s a result we had Big Cass a usual tag wrestler and not seen as a contender at all interjected into the WWE Universal Championship match and if he would of won it would have been a big shock but would have shown that if given the opportunity he had taken it.

We got rightfully so a match from the new Cruiserweight division showcasing 4 of the talents being Gran Metalik, Rich Swann, Brian Kendrick and Cedric Alexander and of course this was off the back of the Cruiserweight Classic which of course I watched and loved. I haven’t wached any of the 205 Live yet but will probably do so from now on as it’s a show I really want to get into but overall great to see the Cruiserweights showcased.

Of course October was highlighted by Goldberg returning and once again this was in a pretty cold month for WWE and so bringing him back brought the ratings right back up and I would definately say that July was the best month last year for WWE in terms of content.

We ended the year off with a focus on the Women of WWE with Alexa Bliss winning the SmackDown Women’s title and Sasha Banks winning the RAW Women’s title and so a pretty good end to the yar for WWE.

Rating – 7/10 – These DVD’s are either hit or miss with the Best Of’s but a good little watch especially for someone like myself who doesn’t really watch RAW and SmackDown every week. In my opinion what would really amp these up and this isn’t the point of them I know but having a highlights package or a match from each Pay-Per-View as it would really make sure the people watching would know what is happening all year round but overall I would recommend it!

I am looking forward to my next WWE review and you can find out when the next one will be by going to :

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/BritishWrestlingRevival
Twitter : @BritWresRevival
Instagram : @BritWresRevivalBlog

Finally I would like to thank WWE Home Video and Fetch Publicity for their continued support of myself and my reviews! So please go and Support WWE Home Video : https://www.facebook.com/WWEHomeVideoUK?fref=ts and @WWEHomeVideoUK

 

 

Interview – Melanie Gray

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  1. Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival Blog Melanie thank you very much for agreeing to take part in this interview, first of all could you please introduce yourself to the readers??

Hello everybody! My name is Melanie Gray and I´m THE one and only DIVA of wXw.

Furthermore, I´m a huge Disnerd, baking queen, kitchen fairy, singer, actress and soccer fan which I´ve been playing for 8 years before I started wrestling.

2. Let’s first of all talk about growing up for you, did you watch wrestling growing up and if so who inspired you at the time to train to become a wrestler??

Of course, I did! It was a family gathering and I simply enjoyed cheering for the good guys and booing the bad guys together with my family. I´ve then watched the match between Bull Nakano and Alundra Blayze of SummerSlam 94 and that was the first time that I remember that women weren´t just valets accompanying the wrestlers to the ring and looking cute but were actually IN the ring fighting. I thought this was so cool and from that day on I always had in mind that I could do that, too. After being absent from watching wrestling for a while I then watched women like Trish and Lita and knew what I wanted to become for real.

3. Next of all let’s speak about training for you, what are your thoughts on your training experience, who trained you and what advice would you give the readers if they are just getting into wrestling training??

I´m training at the wXw Wrestling Academy, mostly with headcoach Walter but I also was lucky enough to have clinics with coaches like Chris Hero, Daisuke Sekimoto, Ricky Marvin, Bad Bones John Klinger, Zack Sabre Jr. and others. After my first training I wanted to die because everything hurt so bad! Unfortunately, I was living quite far away from the Academy in the beginning, so my progress was only slow. But then I decided to pack all of my stuff and move closer to the wXw training facility, so that I can now train on a regular basis. It was hard in the beginning but so worth it by now, so for everybody out there who is either just thinking about becoming a wrestler or just got started:

Just do it! Don´t get intimidated and don´t quit! Because although it might be painful in the beginning you might regret it if you´ve never tried (hard enough)!

4. You are of course well known for wrestling for WXW in Germany and have wrestled some of the best female talents in Europe such as Nikki Storm, Kay Lee Ray, Toni Storm and Nixon Newell, what are your thoughts on the rise of WXW through such tournaments as 16 Carat and their on demand service and would you say given yourself and the talents previously or currently wrestling for WXW that there should be a Women’s Title in WXW??

It´s amazing how wXw evolved in recent years and I´m so glad to be a part of it! As you said, I was lucky to share the ring with top female talent from Europe and even the United States (there´s a reason why some of them got signed by WWE just recently). Unfortunately, there are not as many female wrestlers in Germany as in for example the UK. At the moment I´m the only female of the wXw Wrestling Academy in the ring and although we do have some more aspiring female wrestlers there it will still take some more time for them to step into the ring in front of a live audience. Therefore, as much as I would love to have a Women´s Title in wXw it doesn´t really make sense at the moment. But I´m working hard, so that one day there will be one.

5. Speaking of WXW as part of their I Love Wrestling Tour you came over to the UK and wrestled at Tufnell Park, first of all was it your first time over here wrestling and if so what were your thoughts on the crowd and also the country itself??

It really was my very first time being in the UK, so it was also my very first time wrestling there. I didn´t see a lot of London but hopefully next time I get to do so. But I LOVED the crowd! They were so thankful and respectful and welcomed me with open arms. They cheered the whole show through which totally stunned me. I have to admit I was really nervous because I assumed nobody knew me, so I had to start from scratch. But what I experienced then simply blew my mind and I can´t wait to return.

6. Keeping on the theme you are returning to the UK to wrestle for British Empire Wrestling against Little Miss Roxxy on February 19th, are you looking forward to returning and do you have any other dates planned while your over here or is it just the one show??

It´s just the one show but as I already said I´m so looking forward to returning to England and I guess it won´t be the last time you see me there.

7. What would you say your thoughts are on the current state of Women’s Wrestling??

It´s amazing how the scene developed during the last couple of years because finally women in wrestling are where they belong which is equal to the guys´ spot in the scene. Ladies matches are no longer a break for people to get something to drink but they are actually waiting for the ladies match to come up and I´m glad to be able to be part of that scene right now.

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

One of my goals has always been to wrestle in the UK, so I´m quite content at the moment which doesn´t mean that I don´t have any further goals (especially because there are so many promotions left there I would love to work for). I would love to go to Japan and wrestle for Stardom and I would also love to wrestle in the USA (for example for Shimmer). Five years can be a long time and I don´t really have any specific plans concerning wrestling. I just want to be still wrestling then and maybe be a full-time coach at the Wrestling Academy.

9. Where can the readers follow the progress of Melanie Gray on social media and where can promoters book you for shows if they are reading this??

You can find me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/melaniegrayrwestler), Twitter (@Melzi87) and Instagram (melanie_gray_wrestler). If you want to watch some of my matches you can find some free ones on youtube or you can sign up for wXwNow which is our wrestling network.

10. Do you have any future dates or projects that you want to plug to end the interview off??

I am part of the ongoing wXw “We Love Wrestling” tour, so you might want to check the dates and, of course, I will be back in England on 19th February for BEW.

I hope you enjoyed this interview and I would like to thank Melanie for answering the questions for you to read, please go and support her on social media if possible! 

If you want to support BWR as well as Melanie go and follow us on Twitter : @BritWresRevival

and also like us on Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/BritishWrestlingRevival/

Interview – Raphael ‘Big Brother’ King

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1. Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival Blog Raphael thank you very much for agreeing to take part in this interview, first of all could you please introduce yourself to the readers??

First, I’d like to say thank you for having me! I appreciate the opportunity. My name is Raphael King A.K.A “Big Brother King” and Matthew on BET/Centric’s “My Current Situation: ATL”.

2. Let’s first of all talk about growing up for you, did you watch wrestling growing up and if so who inspired you at the time to train to become a wrestler??

I grew up in a single-parent household, so it was just me and my mom. I first laid eyes on professional wrestling when I was 5 years old. I was at a friends house while my mother worked and we were channel surfing when all of a sudden, we came across a man standing on a stage in a bright silk shirt and designer shades. We were amused my the fact that he so eloquently said that he would shine his designer shoe up real nice, turn that sum-bitch sideways, and stick it straight up his opponents “Candy Ass”. That man was The Rock! I remember laughing at that for the remainder of the week! But every since then, I was hooked. By the end of the episode the following week, I was convinced that I was going to be a wrestler one day. Wrestling was always so special to me (and still is) because we moved around a lot when I was a kid, so in a world that was constantly changing for me, wrestling was always a constant. When my mother and I were struggling financially, wrestling was there to take my mind off of my worries and fears. There were points in time where we couldn’t afford electricity, so I would imagine myself as a superstar. I was always daydreaming in school about everything from how my entrance would look, to what my music would be, I would even sit in class and draw what I would wear. In a way, wrestling raised me. I would imitate my favorite characters such as The Rock, Triple H, Jericho. How they acted, I would act. How I thought they would respond and react to situations is how I would. Believe it or not, wrestling has brought me through a lot. I faced some pretty dark times when I was younger, at times, I didn’t know how or if I would make it. The only thing that kept me going, was my intense desire to see this dream of mine come to fruition.

3. Next of all let’s speak about training for you, what are your thoughts on your training experience, who trained you and if you could train with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why??

I went to high school in a town in Missouri called Jefferson City. At the beginning of my senior year, in the face of ridicule and disbelief from many of my peers, I started planning my future in wrestling. I was researching tons of places to train and ended up narrowing it down to about four. It was either going to be with Lance Storm in Canada, the WWA4 in Atlanta, GA, 3D Academy in Florida or the Ring of Honor Dojo in Philly. Unfortunately, I was in a toxic relationship with a girl who wasn’t the best for me, so the money I was making working as a manager at a Captain D’s Seafood didn’t get saved the way it was initially planned to. My plan was to move and go to one of these training facilities literally THE DAY AFTER I GRADUATED in 2011. It didn’t work out that way and to my dismay, I actually ended up staying in Jefferson City for another year. In the meantime I attended university. I had had enough of putting my dreams on hold, and I actually ended up finding a training school in St. Louis, MO known as the South Broadway Athletic Club. I wasn’t aware that I could be any more hooked to this than I already was until the first time I stepped into that building and saw that ring. My trainers were nobody famous, but they were solid local workers who veterans and were very good at the basics. From basic holds to showing emotion. I will forever be thankful to those three: Jeff, Dave and Ian, I will always be grateful. I started making the two hour drive from Jeff City to St. Louis three times a week (every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Sometimes Sundays). I have a sister that lives in St. Louis, so sometimes I would crash at her place, but most of the time I would drive straight back after training because I had to work the next day. I did that for a month, almost two. Then I moved to St. Louis. I started working with the famed Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in Louisville, KY. I would attend some of Al Snow’s training Seminars he would have in Wednesday mornings before the tv ratings later that night. If I could train with ANYONE, my top pick would be the late, unimaginably GREAT, Eddie Guerrero. When you talk about the the absolute greatest all-around “Professional Wrestler/ Sports Entertainer”, in my opinion you can look no further. Just thinking about how good he was gives me chills. I would also love to train with The Rock. Focusing on Character and mic work. Triple H because he was so good at telling a story with his body. Still one of the best. I have had the honor of having my work critiqued and praised by Mr. Harley Race which is a great honor.

4. You are part of My Current Situation with your wife who is also a wrestler Devyn Nicole, how did this come about and do you think being on TV will help your wrestling career in the future??

The reality show, #MyCurrentSituationATL was truly a blessing. It really came out of nowhere. It was one of those situations where we knew the right person who knew our story and how unique it was and how much depth it had. That person took it to the right person and we literally got an email asking if we wanted to be a part of this project that would be broadcast worldwide on a major network. So of course our answer was, “Uuuuuhhhh, Yeah!” Haha! I absolutely feel that it has and will continue to open doors for us in wrestling as well as other avenues of entertainment. It has put a completely different set of eyes on us. People who aren’t necessarily familiar with wrestling are now tuned in to it and are watching with eyes wide open. I also feel that it has helped to reintroduce professional wrestling to the black community which had kind of fallen out of touch with it for the most part over the past decade or so. Especially with our show being on BET/Centric, networks that cater more to that demographic, it’s helped get more eyes on it. One of my favorite parts of working on the project were actually things that we we got to do when the cameras weren’t rolling, such as attending the BET Awards. The events we got to do to promote the show and the community outreach like “Rock The Vote”, were all great experiences that not only helped us to grow, but hopefully touched others and helped them to grow as well. That was really our main goal in working on the project: To reach people and touch people with our stories. With Devyn being a victim of domestic violence in past relationships, she really wanted to be a face for women everywhere, young and old, to show them that there is light at the end of that dark tunnel. All you have to do is walk towards it. And with my story, growing up for the most part without my dad and my struggles as a kid, I wanted to show young men that just because you start life at a disadvantage, your only option isn’t to turn to drugs or gangs or violence. All those options were definitely presented to me, but I’ve always wanted better. So I went out and got it. If I can be the face of success to at least one young man, I feel as if I’ve accomplished something monumental.

5. You are part of Ring of Honor’s Top Prospect Tournament for this year, how did this opportunity come about and are you looking forward to showing the ROH fans what you can do in the coming weeks as part of it??

The opportunity to be a part of this year’s Top Prospect Tournament with Ring of Honor came from what I think was getting in front of the right people and showing them that, despite my in-ring actions, I am humble, a hard worker, professional and committed. I would attribute a lot of my opportunities with Ring of Honor to Mr. Bill Behrens who gave me the opportunity to come to his promotion in Cornelia, GA. It really grew from there. The opportunities came more and more. I was able to wrestle in front of over a thousand people for ROH during WrestleCon/ WrestleMania weekend last year in Dallas. I took part in one of the ROH tryout camps, and now I’m here. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to not just showcase for the fans in attendance, but for the fans worldwide and prove to myself and my two sons that I belong on a stage as big as this one. If I win I most definitely believe that doors won’t just open in Ring of Honor and elsewhere, I believe that they will blow off the hinges.

6. Looking at the past people who have won it being Lio Rush and Donovan Dijak, do you think that if you do win it that lots of doors will be opened for you both in Ring of Honor and elsewhere??

If I win I most definitely believe that doors won’t just open in Ring of Honor and elsewhere, I believe that they will blow off the hinges.

7. What are your future ambitions in wrestling and where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time??

My future ambitions in wrestling are to become better and better day by day and to one day be able to perform on the most grand stages in front of the world. To one day be an inspiration to someone else the way The Rock was for me.

8. Of course the blog is called TheBritishWrestlingRevival, would you ever come over to the UK if given the chance and if so who would you have your eye on facing??

If given the opportunity, I would be on the very next flight to the U.K.! Wrestling across the pond is something I’ve always dreamt of doing and someplace I’ve always wanted to visit. I know I wouldn’t necessarily have to come to the U.K. To do it, but I would love to square up with Marty Scurll or Will Ospreay. Wrestling them here would be great, but the ENERGY that we would generate in the U.K. would be absolutely ELECTRIC and that would make it ten times better!

9. Where can the readers follow the progress of ‘Big Brother’ Raphael King on social media and where can promoters book you for shows if they are reading this??

Readers can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @RealRaphaelK and doing so would be greatly appreciated! Devyn is @OfficialDevyn. Please refer all booking inquiries and friend requests to THIS page (www.facebook.com/KingSportsEntertainment) It’s the only one I answer messages from. The other is my fan page which readers are more than welcome to like.
https://m.facebook.com/kingproentertainment

10. Do you have any future dates or projects that you want to plug to end the interview off??

I am currently working on progressing my acting and modeling careers as well as going full steam ahead with wrestling. I am the brand ambassador for a fine neckwear line called P5Designs! The finest scarves, neckties, bow ties, etc., you can get there! It’s owned and operated by Alvin Perry who you can follow on Twitter @AlvinPerry. You can tweet him any inquiries there (be sure to mention my name, and orders can be placed at p5designs.com. I will also be working with Shawn Denise designs as a model for their male line rolling out in 2017. As far as acting goes, I have done script reads and auditions so hopefully that works out for me! Season one is wrapped, but you can catch full episodes on BET on demand or on CentricTV.com-shows-My Current Situation!
Thank you again for the time and opportunity! I look forward to hopefully making the trip to show the U.K. what #BigBrotherKing is all about!

I hope you enjoyed this interview and I would like to thank Raphael for answering the questions for you to read, please go and support him on social media if possible! 

If you want to support BWR as well as Raphael go and follow us on Twitter : @BritWresRevival

and also like us on Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/BritishWrestlingRevival/

If you want to check out our other new ROH TPT contestant interview so far with Chris LeRusso go to : https://thebritishwrestlingrevival.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/interview-the-heir-apparent-chris-lerusso/

Interview – ‘The Heir Apparent’ Chris LeRusso

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1. Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival Blog Chris thank you very much for agreeing to take part in this interview, first of all could you please introduce yourself to the readers??

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. My name is Chris LeRusso and I’m from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I’ve been a professional wrestler for over 10 years. In addition to that, I’m also a licensed attorney (I believe “solicitor” or “barrister” is the term in the Queen’s English) and have been practicing for close to 5 years. I suppose you can say I never know when to keep my mouth shut but generally get paid well in spite of it.

2. Let’s first of all talk about growing up for you, did you watch wrestling growing up and if so who inspired you at the time to train to become a wrestler??

I’ve been a wrestling fan all my life. Growing up, my father would watch WWF Superstars with me after Saturday morning cartoons. From those early days I was hooked. As a child I loved the Ultimate Warrior but it wasn’t until I discovered ECW and Rob Van Dam that I found the true inspiration to begin training. I also drew inspiration from many local independent wrestlers who seemed more real, more relatable to me. When I turned 17, I began training with Ken Downs who owned a local wrestling school. The rest was history.

3. Next of all let’s speak about training for you, what are your thoughts on your training experience, who trained you and what advice would you give the readers if they are just getting into wrestling training??

Training for me was harsh. Ken was old school, the training took place in a barn in central Pennsylvania, the ring was practically held together by duct tape. However, Ken taught me the most important aspect of our sport; Respect. I continued my training with seminars and classes at the ROH dojo and the world famous Monster Factory and learned so much from both facilities. I continue to do so and continue to improve. My advice? Do not get discouraged. This sport is not easy, it is not something to be mastered overnight, and it will challenge you, body and soul. But each day that you train, each time you go to the gym, each time you hit the ring, you get 1% better. And overtime, that 1% adds up.

4.You are the current IWC Super Indy Champion defeating Façade to gain that, how did it feel to win it and how was it working with Shane Douglas a few weeks ago at Reloaded 3.0??

The IWC super Indy title was a major career highlight for me. If you look at that title’s lineage; it contains some amazing names in our sport. Colt Cabana, DJZ, Elias Samson from NXT, Christopher Daniels, Corey Graves, and even the phenomenal Aj Styles are former super indy champions. It is an honor and privilege to carry that legacy forward.

And as far as Shane douglas goes, words cannot describe how respected Shane in, especially in Pittsburgh. Throughout his whole career, the city has rallied behind him. Pittsburgh has a great history of world champions; Bruno sammartino, Shane, and of course Kurt Angle. To stand across the ring from him was another career highlight.

5. You are part of Ring of Honor’s Top Prospect Tournament for this year, how did this opportunity come about and are you looking forward to showing the ROH fans what you can do in the coming weeks as part of it??

The Top Prospects Tournament caught me somewhat by surprise to be totally honest. I had been knocking on ROH’s door for sometime and had opportunities here and there, but hadn’t quite got my foot in door yet. I recalled a piece of advice given to me by Nigel McGuinness, who I had the pleasure to travel with on a few occasions. “Don’t worry about what “they” want. Make yourself as good as you can possibly be. The opportunities will be there.” And so I spent most of 2016 doing just that…and it appears to have paid off. While it is an honor, no pun intended, to make it into the field; I don’t intend this to be a one off appearance for me. The fates willing; you’ll see a lot more of Chris LeRusso in the coming months.

6. Speaking of Ring of Honor around a year ago you were given the chance to be part of a ROH Tag Title Gauntlet for #1 Contendership, how was this experience and did you and Joey Daddiego team previously or were you thrown together by ROH management??

That was certainly an interesting experience. I knew Joey for sometime and had even roomed with him in Vegas once which could be a whole separate interview worth of stories, mind you. But Truth Martini was looking for new members of the HOT and you take any opportunity when it presents himself.

7. What are your future ambitions in wrestling and where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time??

Truth be told, I didn’t see myself here 6 months ago, so prophecy is not my strong suit. My ambitions is to continue to prove people wrong. Whether it is continued success at IWC, a lengthy run at ROH, international travel, or wrestling on the biggest stage of them all…whatever people tell me I cannot do; I’ll make every effort to prove them wrong. After all, I call myself the heir apparent so I must think there’s a throne and a crown somewhere in my future.

8. Of course the blog is called TheBritishWrestlingRevival, would you ever come over to the UK if given the chance and if so who would you have your eye on facing??

My knowledge of British wrestling is in it’s infancy but I cannot help but be awestruck with the scene across the pond. Rev Pro and Progress both have given me jaw dropping reactions to their shows and I’m looking forward to this rebirth of World of Sport. I would jump at the opportunity to do a tour of the U.K. It might be cliche to say so, but Will Ospray is someone who I would love to share the ring with. Then again, the winner of the Top Prospects Tournament gets an ROH tv title shots; a title currently held by a certain British “Villain”

9. Where can the readers follow your progress on social media and where can promoters book you for shows if they are reading this??

@chrislerusso on both twitter and instagram. Chris LeRusso on Facebook. Social media is honestly the easiest way to get a hold of me, so DM or Facebook message me if you’d like to see the Heir Apparent in your hometown worldwide.

10. Do you have any future dates or projects that you want to plug to end the interview off??

While you should obviously follow the ROH Top Prospects Tournament closely; Keep your eyes on the International Wrestling Cartel (iwcwrestling.com) as there are a number of big shows coming up, including our yearly super Indy tournament this summer. Follow me on twitter for updates and show dates. And keep support professional wrestling from the big leagues to your local independents.

I hope you enjoyed this interview and I would like to thank Chris for answering the questions for you to read, please go and support him on social media if possible! 

If you want to support BWR as well as Anthony go and follow us on Twitter : @BritWresRevival

and also like us on Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/BritishWrestlingRevival/

Blu-ray Review – WWE TLC 2016

tlc2016

Hello readers and once again welcome to another WWE review, this time we go back to the realm of Pay-Per-Views after last reviewing Best Pay Per View Matches from last year, for those interested I would have also been reviewing Survivor Series and this was I think mentioned in my previous review but it got lost in the post I think so that is why that review was not released!

It is the last PPV of the year that we will be visiting which is TLC – Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2016, this was put on by the Smackdown side of the draft as opposed to all together or on the RAW side, looking at the card in my opinion apart from probably Styles vs Ambrose in AJ’s first TLC match nothing stood out which is more of a testament to the SmackDown roster and the fact I am not a massive fan of most of the wrestlers on it which is nothing personal but I am more likely to give this a worse review as a result unless they knock it out of the park!

Anyway onto the matches :

First of all we had Heath Slater & Rhyno vs Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton, Orton and Wyatt ended up picking up the victory with a bit of help from their ‘manager’ Luke Harper who was out ringside and took a spear from Rhyno instead of Orton and allowed Orton to come back in and RKO Rhyno and pick up the victory and become the new SmackDown Tag Team champions with Wyatt, the match overall was very short and WWE used it as an intention to put The Wyatt Family over and instead of them drawing it out it was very fast to make them seem dominant and above what is currently there in the tag team division! I don’t have any complaints with this match as they are going somewhere with it, it is the matches that have no purpose and are quick that bother me!

Next up was Nikki Bella vs Carmella which was No Disqualification and considering the stipulation and the two wrestlers part of it I thought they would really put on a great match that I would really enjoy but let’s just say it wasn’t very good in my opinion, it lasted 8 minutes and even though the intensity for a feud was there, the quality was lacking and it didn’t go on long enough for a No Disqualification match! I have become quite a big fan of Nikki Bella since Total Divas and Total Bellas after initially not thinking much of her and even though I have never been that enamoured with Carmella in the ring, I really enjoyed her work in NXT so I was surprised when this wasn’t as good as I thought it would be! Skip past this if you can!

Next up was The Miz w/ Maryse vs Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship in a Ladder match and this was brilliant and definately a stark contrast from the last match! I am always a big fan of ladders in matches or any weapons due to my love of ECW growing up and also loving the Hardy’s so I still get pumped when the ladders come out! We had of course the best bit of the ladder match which really builds up tension and that is the near win scenarios and there were plenty of those and for someone who didn’t watch the PPV live I got that feeling as if either man was going to pick up the title. The Miz of course got a heelish ending by low-blowing Ziggler twice and using the advantage of No-Disqualification and I was sitting there applauding it as it ended the feud nicely and kept up Miz’s character. I thought myself Maryse would have low blowed Ziggler so that Miz would of got the win but it shows him to be a great heel that doesn’t always have to rely on others to get him results! Overall a brilliant match well worth a watch especially if your like me and really enjoy ladder matches.

Next up was Baron Corbin vs Kalisto which for me was good but not brilliant like it could of been, because it was a Chairs match both men went all out to deliver moves using the chairs which especially using a guy like Kalisto is always worth a watch but the crowd overall just weren’t into the match especially after the great one before it and as a result it suffered and fair enough if you have no reaction during a bad match but when it is good like Corbin vs Kalisto it doesn’t make sense but still worth the watch even though the crowd didn’t love it!

The next match we got was another women’s encounter but a stark contrast to the other one it was between Becky Lynch who if you read this blog regularly know that she is my favourite female wrestler vs Alexa Bliss who I was puzzled at when they brought her up but after a while it made sense and she has become quite the force on the SmackDown roster ever since now aligning herself with Mickie James, the match was for the Women’s Title in a tables stipulation. Bliss ended up winning to become the new SmackDown Women’s Champion so like I said because I didn’t know the results going in was a gutter, she ended up winning after they battled and Bliss tripped Becky before powerbombing her through a table to win the match and unlike the other womens’ match it was quite good and went nearly 20 minutes so apart from that I would definately watch it over the other one! I hope Becky wins it back sooner rather than later but I reckon Mickie might turn on Alexa and potentially win the itle herself in the future but that is just a thought!

Finally we got the match that I was very much looking forward to and that was AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Title. I was a big fan of AJ before he came to the WWE so I will always give his matches a watch even though they don’t have the same effect on me and Ambrose isn’t my favourite but I still enjoy watching him on occasion! This match though was brilliant and a great end to the show, AJ Styles ended up retaining his title unsurprisingly but the finish was a weird one with James Ellsworth getting involved and pushing Ambrose off the ladder through two tables which gave AJ Styles the chance to grab the title and retain. Some cracking spots and overall a great match to end the feud with Styles moving on to face Cena at the Rumble which will shape who either man faces at Mania but a satisfying end to the feud that is for sure and a very good main event to end the show!

Rating 7/10 – A good show to end the year off, some matches that were not worth watching but if you get the chance for Ziggler vs The Miz and Styles vs Ambrose alone it is well worth watching either on the WWE Network or if you want to buy the Blu-ray which includes all the Pre-Show stuff for those who always ask about the extras involved but overall worth picking up!

I am looking forward to my next WWE review and you can find out when the next one will be by going to :

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Finally I would like to thank WWE Home Video and Fetch Publicity for their continued support of myself and my reviews! So please go and Support WWE Home Video : https://www.facebook.com/WWEHomeVideoUK?fref=ts and @WWEHomeVideoUK

 

Interview – Anthony Henry

henry

1. Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival Blog Anthony thank you very much for agreeing to take part in this interview, first of all could you please introduce yourself to the readers??

My name is Anthony Henry. I am a pro wrestler from Augusta, GA USA. I’ve been wrestling for 12 years.

2. Let’s first of all talk about growing up for you, did you watch wrestling growing up and if so who inspired you at the time to train to become a wrestler??

I definitely watched growing up. I started from a very young age, actually. I never stopped. I had a number of influences but the main guy was Shawn Michaels.

3. Next of all let’s speak about training for you, what are your thoughts on your training experience, who trained you and what advice would you give the readers if they are just getting into wrestling training??

I initially started training in Augusta, GA. I learned how to bump and do a few simple things, but that was about it. Once I started travelling, I found NWA Wildside in Cornelia, Ga and was kinda retrained by Sal Rinouro and Todd Sexton. My best advice is to find the most reputable place starting out. It will save you a lot of time. There are many places across the world that would be a great starting point.

4. You won the PWX X16 Tournament defeating the likes of Zack Sabre Jr and Trevor Lee on the way to it over the course of two nights, how did it feel to win this tournament and will you be back at the end of the year to defend it??

Winning X-16 was probably the best wrestling experience of my career, thus far. As to whether I will be defending my title, I am hoping that I will move past that and win the PWX World Title and won’t have to defend the tournament title.

5. You are part of WrestleMania weekend competing as part of CZW’s Best of the Best tournament, are you looking forward to this and do you have a message to any of the other participants in the tournament??

Yeah, I’m excited for best of the best. I think this may very well be the biggest one yet with the most high profile talent. It’s going to be insane. The advantage I have over the other guys is that they have all had a taste of what it’s like to be on top of the wrestling world. I haven’t. I feel I’m a little more hungry than my fellow competitors.

6. Speaking of CZW and tournaments, if given the chance would you ever take part in the Tournament of Death??

Tournament of Death is not for me. Nothing against it, but it’s not my style. I won’t say never cause you never no, though.

7. What are your future ambitions in wrestling and where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time??

My future ambitions are to get some international exposure and possibly get a contract somewhere. In 5 years? It’s interesting because people assume I am Young because they have only heard about me more recently. However, I’m 33. So, for me, I have some goals that I want to accomplish by 35. If I haven’t done so by then, I may hang up the boots. We’ll see where this crazy business takes me and hope for the best.

8. Of course the blog is called TheBritishWrestlingRevival, would you ever come over to the UK if given the chance and if so who would you have your eye on facing??

Wrestling in the UK, and Europe in general, is a major goal of mine. It’s difficult because you almost have to reach a certain level of notoriety in the states before you can make that type of move. If the opportunity comes up, I’d love to. Guys like Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne are favs of mine, even before the UK tournament went down. So I’d love to compete with those guys. Also, Mark Haskins and a few others.

9. Where can the readers follow your progress on social media and where can promoters book you for shows if they are reading this??

My username for the majority of my social media is Antnyhenry. Promoters can certainly book me here, twitter, or even Instagram through DM. I travel all the time so am down to go wherever.

10. Do you have any future dates or projects that you want to plug to end the interview off??

Wrestlemania weekend will be big for me. I’m on pwrevolver show as well as Best of the Best and FIP. I may find my way onto others as well. In 2 weeks I face Jake Manning for the PWX World Title. That’s February 19 and is gonna be a huge event and, hopefully, a big moment for me. I hope everyone can check it out. I am hoping for it to be on IPPV for highspots, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet

I hope you enjoyed this interview and I would like to thank Anthony for answering the questions for you to read, please go and support him on social media if possible! 

If you want to support BWR as well as Anthony go and follow us on Twitter : @BritWresRevival

and also like us on Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/BritishWrestlingRevival/