I won’t lie, this is the one interview in the world I never expected to get. Back when I didn’t take this quite as seriously as I do now, I don’t think Mikey Whiplash was a great fan of my writing. Which is sound. I think I won him over a bit, and I’d be utter shite at this if I didn’t at least try to get him to answer a few questions for us. He done so in a most entertaining manner.
For me in terms of pure wrestling ability, there’s still no one better currently plying his trade in this wee country. The match Whiplash and Tommy End had at SWA in Cumbernauld was a masterclass in storytelling through powerful striking. Whiplash is in the shape of his life, and made a dramatic return to ICW at Fear and Loathing 7. Helping his new allies the Sumerian Death Squad defeat the NAK, and backing it up with a brilliant technical battle with Darkside. Make no mistake, this is Mikey Whiplash operating somewhere close to his best, and that makes him someone to fear in Scottish Wrestling. Even the wrestling world generally.
We also chatted about the promotion he currently runs. Fierce Females. Which if you weren’t aware, and don’t have the gift of intuition, is an all-female promotion (barring GM Christopher Saynt) where the females who wrestle on the shows…are quite fierce.
Anyway, I’ll shut up now. Read this.
Obligatory boring opener. Apologies in advance for making you roll your eyes at it. How did you get involved in wrestling, and what made you pursue it as a career?
I think like most I got into wrestling at young age, I think where I sometimes differ from others is it was WCW/NWA that I first remember watching guys like Steamboat & Flair.
It wasn’t till I was a little older that an Aunt & Uncle got me a best of Saturday night’s main event which had Texas Tornado Vs Mr Perfect as well as Million Dollar Man Vs Blue Blazer and I was hooked on it till Sky came a long and my family only had the 4-5 main channels you used to get.
In ’97 my Mother & Father broke up, the man my Mother moved in with had the full Sky package and I was introduced to the Monday Night War(silver lining of it all I suppose).
In late’99 early 2000 I saw a poster for a local show and ended up heading a long with my younger cousin who was about 10-11 years old at the time and while there they announced they’d just opened a training school 5 minutes from where I was living at the time.
I ended up heading down to the training school a week later, where I met for the 1st time Robbie Dynamite, Kid Cool & Xtreme Dean Allmark. The school itself was woeful and we learnt pretty much nothing and the stuff we did pick up was pretty much self taught.
It turned out Dynamite had always seen wrestling as a job and had been chasing Brian Dixon for a “tryout” and when he finally got it the 4 of us went down before a local show and the rest is history.
You recently returned to ICW in quite dramatic fashion. Joining the Sumerian Death Squad and taking on (and beating) the NAK. How did the alliance with the SDS come about, and is teaming with them something you’ll be looking to do more permanently in ICW?
It’s funny really, I’ve always been very honest in the sense that if it weren’t for wrestling I wouldn’t have anything to do with 99.9% of the people involved in it. But there is a very small group of guys I consider real close friends and in the last year Tommy has become one of them in some ways as close as a brother as I can get.
Regarding teaming with the SDS I honestly hope to work with them as much as possible because they both have very similar mentality as myself when it comes to wrestling and we push each other.
That crowd reaction you got when you were unzipped from the body bag. A sold out Barras all losing their shit for you. How did that feel?
The Barras was kind of surreal as I’d said to Dallas & Tommy backstage I was concerned about the turnaround in fans since I left and the Insane fight club was shown but when I came out of that bag it was amazing, even Dallas said he thinks it’s the 1st time he’s seen me break character when in the ring.
A wee photo of troops together. Celebrating wins, and eh….booting shins? I dunno. We’ll work on that.
During your reign as ICW Champion, you faced a good friend in Robbie Dynamite. Can you tell us a bit about how you and him originally got together, and your thoughts on those two matches in ICW?
As I said earlier Robbie is someone I met my 1st day through the door at the training school and is the reason I am where I am today(funnily he was the one who put the poster up for the local I went to and heard about the school) and I don’t think any number of words can do justice what that guy has done for me over the years along with Tommy & Rampage Brown they’re probably the three people I trust the most in wrestling(which says a lot as wrestlers are technically paid to lie)
Regarding the matches I think it was the 1st time a lot of ICW fans actually got to see me wrestle and I couldn’t think of a better person to do it with than Rob as when it comes to wrestling we’re completely on the same page.
The second match I think had a lot of hype behind it after the 1st but we ended up being put in difficult spot of following such a strong card. Strangely I’m still yet to watch that match back.
Anyone around in the British Wrestling scene who you feel flies under the radar a bit? Someone who you maybe have great matches with yourself, but not a lot of people see much of?
I think what people deem to be the “radar” varies, I mean a few months ago I gave props to Will Osprey, Robbie X and Flash Morgan Webster… now down south all three are doing really well for themselves but have never worked north of the border, In the same sense I think Stevie Xavier is great and pretty much everyone in Scottish wrestling would nod their head in agreement but down south very few would know the name.
One guy who really stood out to me on a recent Progress show was Paul Robinson, the guy is have talent with plenty to spare and get what he has to do.
All the names mentioned there are guys you should undoubtedly check out. Particularly Will Ospreay and Stevie. Robbie X is an entertaining guy as well. Not seen enough of Flash Morgan Webster yet, but will be making an effort to. Robinsons heel work up against Ospreay in Progress speaks for itself.
Check out this excellent bit of fan art Whiplash will have on t-shirts soon.
You’ve been a regular at PROGRESS for a while. Wrestling under the name Michael Gilbert. An exaggerated no-nonsense throwback type of wrestler. No entrance music, no frills. Batters a lot of guys in masks. How much have you enjoyed that character, and how much of the ideals of the character apply to you personally? (more the wrestling philosophy than the battering guys in masks haha)
Ha, this is a tough one…. I’ve always said since moving to Scotland I’ve wanted to work on aspects of my wrestling that I didn’t really get the chance to while working for Allstar and two of those things were complex character work & multi layered match psychology as the average 8 years just wants cowboys & indians.
What a lot of wrestlers will never realize is there is a certain security to having entrance music, until you walk out in front of 700+ fans to silence you will not get it.
They always say in wrestling the best characters are those that are an extension of yourself and this is no different, one of the 1st lessons I had breaking in with Allstar was off Skull Murphy and he said “Kid always remember, learn how to wrestle then get a gimmick. If you become a gimmick before you fully develop your wrestling skills it will become a crutch” and that always stuck with me, Allstar used to give me all these silly names and “gimmicks” but I always had it in the back of my head….. wrestle, learn to wrestle.
But was it fun? Definitely….whenever I get taken outside of my comfort zone that’s when I’m at my happiest as it’s hard to keep things fresh after 14 years.
Anyone who hasn’t checked out Progress yet, get it done. For me the only company in the UK doing something similar to ICW and doing it well. Whiplash vs Eddie Dennis on the free show on youtube is a belter. In fact, I’ll link the whole show. Watch the utter shite out of it.
I’m going to try and ask this in the least wanky way possible, but I reckon you’ll hate the question anyway haha. One of the first ICW feuds that properly drew me in as a fan was you vs Grado, and your second singles match with the ICW belt on the line is one of my favourite matches. In terms of atmosphere and entertainment, it was electric. Anyway, a lot of what made it so engaging is that you were polar opposites. Is there any genuine animosity between you or are you just that good at making there seem like there is?
Haha, “the least wanky way possible”…… I wish I could ask or in general just say things in the least wanky way possible sometimes. In all honesty I like Graeme Stevely, I don’t like Grado…. There are people who will stay they when you get to know Michael Gilbert he’s a decent guy but Mikey Whiplash is a complete wanker. There are aspect of what Grado does as a wrestler which go against everything I was taught in the wrestling business.
It’s funny that you mention that match between us as each time I watch it I hate it more and more. Because as much as the crowd were into it(and i think they’re what made that match), we told a great story, not just in that match but over the three singles matches this being our The Two Towers haha, everytime I look at it I pick fault with my footwork, ring positioning and even how holds and grips were applied.
So when Grado will sit there and say how great it was and I sit there and want to stab myself in the eyes I think it sums up how different we are as performers, one content the other constantly striving for the unobtainable.
That fuckin answer man. Oooft. Chanced my arm a bit asking I reckon, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. You also might get a sore face, but that’s life.
You’ve got in incredible shape over the past year. Even recently testing your stamina out in a brutal 3 round boxing match for charity at the Runaway Rumble. What’s been your motivation for getting in such good shape? Is there a particular goal there, or do you just really like being in better shape than…everyone in Scotland (maybe its a draw between you and Drew, but hes in America hauf the time, so I think you win)
To be honest it’s a lot to do with the people I have around me, It’s something that I’ve slowly been piecing together since starting with SWA where I met guys like Joe & Mark Coffey, Big Damo. Then later working with Jack Gallagher(who is a machine), I worked a few matches down south and after 20 minutes I was dead backstage and he hadn’t broken a sweat. When I came back north of the border it really eat at me that I ended up in that state even though I was carrying probably 4 stone more than him I didn’t feel I had an excuse so I went to work on my conditioning.
Then things finally fell into place when I did my 1st show in Progress against Tommy End and we got chatting about training, work ethic and we hit it off and he really helped me with the stuff I was still struggling with.
Aside from all that on some level I see myself as a role model to the guys and girls coming through the Source training school and will stay to them if I can do this so can you.
Check the incredible nick he’s in btw. Him and Renfrew are on the gear. Telling ye. Only people in the world in shape like that is people on gear and Mr Motivator.
You’ve run the Fierce Females promotion for the best part of two years now. At first as a sister promotion to ICW, and now independently. What’s the long-term vision for the company, and where do you feel you are with it now?
I think the main long-term goal is consistency, the shows themselves are coming on leaps and bounds with the girls working their arses off. but to go from zero shows for 5 months, then 1 and a break, then another then a break, then an afternoon show and the next 2 evening shows there needs to be a consistency of when then shows actually take place.
Have you always had designs on starting an all female promotion? Fierce Females seems to be doing a lot for changing the perception of female wrestling in general in this country, so huge credit for that, and the quality of the shows you’ve put on so far.
In short no. Myself, Lisa Fury & Erin Angel joked about it after the 1st show in 2012 in The Arches because I used to always have to do the mixed tags on the Allstar shows and I hated having to do it.
Just before I moved to Glasgow I ran a regular show not far from where I lived at the time and was really happy with it and wanted to continue to promote but the logistics of going backwards and forwards was to difficult so I decided to do something up here.
The main issue was with ICW, SWA, PBW, BCW & Pride pretty much every angle on the regular shows was being covered and I didn’t want to over saturate the market like so many areas in England where you can have 20 companies in 10 square miles.
I then got the chance to do the handicap match against Kay Lee Ray & Carmel, realized there was a market that was completely untapped, that had talent in abundance and the rest is as they say history.
Last but not least. Anything you want to tell us about to finish off, feel free.
Yeah check out Fiercefemales.co.uk for what going on with the ladies shows or follow on twitter at @FFemalesglasgow and if want to read about my hatred for humanity it @mikey__whiplash
Huge thank you to Mikey Whiplash for taking the time to do the interview. Fierce Females is growing with every show. Check it out, check out the big man wrestling also. In ICW, SWA, Progress and fuckin….other places. He gets about.
Credit to David J Wilson once again for the images, I feel like I should bake this wonderful man a cake or something.