Tommy End is a frightening man. I mean that in the most complimentary way possible, but he scares the shite out of me. That means he’s very good at his job. He once said he was “howling” at a review of mine, and after first taking it as a compliment, I realised “Maybe he means howling like a wolf howling?….is this his way of telling me I’m marked for death?” Turns out I’m thankfully not important enough to be murdered by Tommy End, but the exceedingly talented Dutchman did take the time to answer some questions I fired in his direction, resulting in this here interview.
I had to put all this through a Dutch to English translator thing, so if some of it is a bit off, you know why. I jest of course, Tommy End speaks better English than me (and all Scottish people) and he gave me some thoughts on ICW, Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, and having his own brand of rabbits.
Read, share…and most importantly, pure enjoy it. Or Tommy will kick yer front teeth out.
1. You’ve wrestled all over the world as a single, and with the SDS. Where is your favourite place to wrestle? And where does Scotland rank on your list?
That’s a difficult question, each and every country/continent I’ve wrestled on has its own allure. I love competing in Japan as it’s completely different (cliche answer I know) than most countries. I love being in Germany as fans are just so rabid and die hard. Same goes for the United Kingdom, I love being in Scotland as people really get into what we are doing, they love the characters, they love the show and they wanna be taken away with what we are doing.
2. You identify yourself as an “anti-hero” and that seems to be a persona a lot of people identify with. Can you explain a bit about where that came from?
Oh boy, I feel this is going to be a long answer. Where to start with this one? to be honest, I think it all started in my childhood. Now there’s people who’ve heard me talking about how I grew up and that it wasn’t your regular growing up, I think it all comes from there. Because of the way I grew up I had to look at life, society, people in a different light. I always felt I was on the sidelines watching people walk by and indulge in their lives, but I always felt that none of them really understood what they were doing. It was almost as if everything they did was automatic, systematic if you will. I was never great at school because I didn’t care about what the economic system of 1742 looked like, I always wanted to know what was beyond this world, beyond this planet, why the color green was the way I perceived it and if people saw the same color as I did.
When I started wrestling it was fueled by my past and made sure I could push through, I think for the first part of my career I tried too much being a cliche. I followed the rules too much. When I started growing older I realized that a lot of what I have always done was kind of the opposite; thinking, coping, managing etc that it would only be normal if I developed a character that started doing things differently. I didn’t need to look very far, as I could easily use things of my own character trait and implement them into my wrestler persona. As it will the past 4/5 years society has been developing in such manner that the outcast/underground is more mainstream accepted, for better and worse. To give you an example, if I would come up to a job interview looking the way I do ten years ago they would have turned me away thinking I was some sort of convict. Now I’m being welcomed and cheered for by people who wouldn’t give me the light of day 10 years ago, all because it now fits in the norm. People want to see the bad guy win, people want to see the bad guy persevere. There is a big group of people now a days that can sympathize with me because they look the same, feel the same, and think the same. And I’ve used of that to my advantage to create my individualism in wrestling. I just never wanted to fit the norm, in any shape or form. Is what I do unique? no, but my approach to it is. I will continue to shift my form to have a better understanding of myself and to build a stronger character.
3. You and Dante have been ICW regulars for well over a year now, having some outstanding matches with The Bucky Boys, NAK and more. Having wrestled for every promotion worth talking about throughout Europe, how highly do you rate ICW and its talent?
I rate ICW extremely high, you dont get to a sold out Barrowlands, 2 documentaries on BBC, celebrities wanting to partake in what you do by being at the bottom of the barrel. ICW is a hard-working company and so are the people who work for them in the ring and behind the curtains. ICW is going places, and people are starting to take notice a lot. I get regular questions from fans and wrestlers in different countries about ICW, so I think the word is out.
4. Sticking with ICW, you and Dante revealed Mikey Whiplash to be your tag partner and Fear and Loathing. His return to the company after around 6 months out. Did you expect that crazy reaction when he was unveiled? And are there plans for you three to team in the future?
I think none of us did, especially Whiplash didn’t. He was (and I don’t know if he minds me telling this) afraid the fanbase had shifted to much with all the new people coming in that they lost interest or didn’t know who he was anymore. Luckily we were proved otherwise. That reaction was immense. The moment I push my forehead against Mikey’s that was me telling him “I told you so”.
And as far as the future is concerned, We Are Legion, For We Are Many.
5. Being a well-regarded singles wrestler, and one half of one of, if not THE best tag team in Europe, you get a regular dose of singles and tag wrestling, do you have a preference or do you like having a mixture of both?
Thank you, I love doing both. At this point I would love to do a bit more singles in ICW as I feel me and Dante both have something to show in that regard as well. Don’t get me wrong, the SDS will keep running rampage in ICW, but I would love to have a bit more single competition.
6. Is there anyone out there on the Indies you’ve yet to wrestle who takes your fancy?
Not really, I’ve basically wrestled everybody who I’ve wanted to wrestle. I think with the younger generation coming on, I would like to wrestle William Osprey, Joe Coffey, Pete Dunn.
I would also very much like to wrestle Martin Kirby and Stixx in Singles.
7. How vibrant is the local wrestling scene in Holland? Are you on the road more often than not, or is there a lot of shows at home?
I don’t work in Holland very often, I have been working a little bit more than the previous 6 years this past year due to Pro Wrestling Holland running a lot of regular shows and doing a great job. Apart from that I compete for Pro Wrestling Showdown. Wrestling in Holland is a slow process, there’s been big shows, but never record-breaking. Hopefully the future will prove otherwise.
8. You recently had the chance to wrestle Jushin Thunder Liger in Germany. What was it like stepping in the ring with a true legend in pro wrestling?
A lot of fun, I was anything but nervous. The feedback I received was great and motivated me to push even more. I was very happy to hear Liger being so pleased with the match.
9. What draws you to pro wrestling? As an individual, I imagine anyone who does it full-time must have a great love for it, with all the physical exertion and travel that comes with doing it.
I’t odd to put your finger on, there’s moments I can explain why I love all this lack of sleep, pain, airplane in, airplane out, 8 hour car drives and barely any social life, but most of the times I can’t. It’s a feeling you obtained whilst being a wrestler, it’s a feeling that comes with it. With all passions it’s about the emotions that go with it, and this is no different. I love professional wrestling, I love seeing my colleagues, I love to be in the ring and I love being occupied with it 24/7, and why? I have no idea. It has grown onto me. I think true love comes from being able to use it as a strength when your entire world seems darkest, and I’ve done that on many occasions. So I owe so much to wrestling, it’s harder to eventually let it go than to explain why I am in it.
10. Do you have a favourite opponent? Either as a single, or with the SDS?
A few, I love competing against Davey Richards, Daisuke Sekimoto, Yuji Okobayashi, Isami Kodaka, Yuko Myijamoto, Zack Sabre, Ligero, Kris Travis, Big Van Walter, Bad Bones, Axeman and the list goes on and on.
11. Last but not least, anything you want to tell us about, feel free here (Any upcoming shows, social media links, or the launch of Tommy End name branded baguettes…anything you like)
Big thank you to Tommy End for taking the time to do the interview, and for answering so openly and honestly. If you want to see Tommy wrestle…well you cant right now, he’s injured, but he’ll be back soon, kicking folk in the face with his usual brand of callous accuracy.
Photo of Tommy End vs Liger courtesy of TP – Fotografie & Bildbearbeitung – Like their Facebook page here