He’s been an enforcer for ICW owner Mark Dallas. He was part of the victorious Team Hemphill at the Kelvin Brawl. He’s been the best in the world. He’s been Scotland’s very own luchador. He’s been a global hero. Put it this way. He’s done a lot of things. A man who has lived a life quite unlike any other, but all of that has been left behind in favour of making stars. Finding diamonds in the rough, shining them up real nice, turning them sideways, and sticking them straight in to wrestling rings up and down the country. In other words, if your career is lagging, phone Toal. Naw wait, there’s a catchphrase here. THAT’S IT. Better gie Toal a phone! Nah that’s not quite it…eh…..Etoal, phone home? Nah. this is useless. Maybe there’s something that could help us solve this mystery. Perhaps an item with a slogan on it available to buy now from Squared Circle Ringwear.
We don’t do sly plugs here. We do very obvious plugs masquerading as confusion. Buy the t-shirt here, and read the interview down there. Toal talks about his new protégé and his story in wrestling so far. Its good gear. Get it read.
I usually ask the boring “how did you get into the wrestling” question to start, but your story is a wee bit different as your debut came when you acted as Greg Hemphill’s enforcer at the Kelvin Brawl. How did your involvement in that come about? And was it a pure laugh?
Aye. It came about through myself and Rab Florence having a chance meeting at Hamilton Races for my mate Gavin Bradley’s stag doo. Myself and Rab had been chatting over twitter for a while and we had a lot of the same interests, wrestling,video games and the Rocky movies (I’m no a geek, honest). Anyway, I started to support a lot of the shows and stuff that Rab done buying tickets. The first show I went to was Oran War. I met Greg’s wife Jules that night and his 2 boys Bennie & Chevy seemed to be drawn to me so I spent some time chatting with them and letting Chevy play with my phone (it was getting late and he had begun to get tired so that kept him interested). This was when i first met a few folk i still consider good mates and they filled me in about a local indy company called ICW. I stared going to shows and was hooked immediately.
A few months later, Rab done a screening of They Live at the GFT and Greg Hemphill was sitting in front of me at the show. We got to chatting after I made a typically hilarious quip about Mick Foley, Greg followed me the next day. Then at new year I sent out the obligatory “happy new year” tweet. Greg sent me a private message telling me he wanted me to be a part of an upcoming show that he and Rab we’re doing in the Kelvin Hall. Being a mad wrestling fan I jumped at the chance. When I got to Kelvin Hall, Dallas approached me and said if I done well that night then there might be a spot in ICW for me. I must have done well because I’m still a mainstay on the ICW roster and I’ve recently made my PBW debut so hopefully onwards and upwards.
The Kelvin Brawl was a huge show. With over 1,000 in attendance. How much of a part do you feel that show, and the publicity that came with it, played in the growth of Scottish Wrestling?
Without Rab and Greg there are a lot of people who are now huge fans of the Scottish wrestling scene who would never have heard of it or considered going to a show. When I was growing up and World Of Sport had stopped broadcasting, all we had in Scotland was “tribute” shows wi bans dressed up as Undertaker & Kane and putting in shambolic “wrestling” shows. So that’s what I connected with the UK scene. How ignorant was I?
All in all I think it had an immense impact on the mainstream when it happened and 99% of people who went to it as their first show have come back.
Went to a show like that myself when I was wee. Hawk from LoD was billed and me and my cousin genuinely thought he’d be there. Then the music hits and out stoats this roofer fae Clydebank wae a beer belly, and 10 Benson and Hedges hanging out his back pocket.
You’ve been Mark Dallas’ right hand man. CM Shrunk. Toalar. Jack Jestoal. Toal Hendry. I feel like I’m missing someone. But the point is, you’ve been busy in ICW for well over a year now. How much have you enjoyed your involvement and seeing the company grow, with you being a part of it?
It’s been fantastic. When I first came in I was a nervous wreck. Thank God my gimmick called for the half bottle of Jack cos I needed it to calm my nerves. My first show for ICW was Daves Not Here in the picture house. I walked in and was greeted by cameras filming the first installment of IFC. That really helped with the nerves………
To be in a dressing room with Sabu on that first night was mind-blowing because I had watched him doing some mental shit throughout my teenage years, big Wolfie took me aside and told me that if anyone doesn’t get nervous beforehand then it’s not for them. I still get that same feeling every time I walk through the curtain but now I know it’s a good thing.
The growth of ICW from the day I started attending as a fan until now is unreal. I’m so proud to be a part of it and I’m proud of what Dallas has achieved. It’s only gonna get bigger and I can’t fucking wait for the ride.
Knew I forgot one. Toalda.
Right now you’re advising Saqib Ali. Who has re-invented himself as The Sultan of Swing. What’s your vision for Saqib going forward?
If Saqib performs the way he can then the sky is the limit for him. He is a phenomenal athlete and once he gets the momentum going then there will be no stopping him. The Sultan of Swing is what we finally decided on but I wanted to call him The Pakistani Punani Prince.
Anyone else on the radar for a Toal makeover? Are we going to have a Dungeon of Doom type of stable on the go with you at the helm?
I’m keeping my eye on a few folk who have made enquiries for my services. There’s always keys clicking and phones ringing in Toal Towers.
CM Punk int it? It must be.
How long have you been a fan of pro wrestling? When did the love affair with sweaty men in their pants first come about?
I have been a fan for 24 years. The first show I seen was Mania 6 and by fuck it grabbed me. Ultimate Warrior, Mr.Perfect and Million Dollar Man we’re the catalysts for my love of wrestling. I fell away for a few years and got more into MMA but I soon got fed up of how fake MMA was. Back to wrestling I went!
Your PBW debut involved coming to the aid of Lionheart and helping him overcome Davey Blaze. Is there a regular role in the future of you in PBW?
If there’s someone who needs to call Toal then it doesn’t matter what promotion it’s in, if I think I can help then I’ll be there. Working with PBW in front of a crowd of mostly kids was great fun though. I loved it and I’d love to go back. Lionheart was brilliant that night and I hope I get to cross paths with Blaze & Boddington again.
What are your ultimate goals in wrestling?
Let’s not kid ourselves on here, I’m not in this to become WWE champion one day but if I can put a smile on some faces and make a few folk laugh along the way and helped Dallas, ICW and any other promotion I am lucky enough to work for then I’ll have considered it all a worthwhile success.
With the Scottish Wrestling scene booming at the moment across the board, there’s a lot of talented people out there. Perhaps going unnoticed a lot of the time. Is there anyone you see a lot of potential in that hasn’t quite had the break yet?
There are a few who are right on the cusp of breaking through. Aaron Echo, Tam The Ram, Matt Daly amongst others. Believe me with Source, PBW and GPWA, The future in Scottish Wrestling is brighter than ever.
Last but not least. Tell us anything you like. Tell us about your t-shirt. Plug it tae fuck. Anything else you want to plug anaw. Go for it. Tell us about were you’re going your holidays this year too if ye want. The floor is yours.
Social media stuff. Twitter handle is @chrispytoal and this is the official Chris Toal Facebook. Get it liked.
Get my shirt at this link on Squared Circle Ringwear. IT’S A FUCKING BELTER.
There’s only 1 other thing I plug and that’s ma mrs!
Cheers Marty Boy.
The pleasure was all mine x
Photo credits to the wonderfully talented David J Wilson as per.