After stoating off the train in Greenock and walking for a solid 10 minutes in completely the wrong direction (or to put it in a way where I seem less daft, I was ‘taking in the sights’) I eventually arrived at the Greenock Sports Centre to for an interview with Kid Fite about the trials and tribulations of being involved in the mad world of wrestling as a wrestler, trainer and promoter. What better way is there to see that in action than to see him actually do a bit of all 3 right in front of me? The reason we were doing this in Greenock was because PBWs Greenock school were holding their first trainee show run by former wrestler and now head trainer in Greenock, Scott Maverick. Kid Fite was mainly there to wrestle one of the more promising trainees in the main event but within 5 minutes of me getting there he was handing out advice on building the ring and had even sent another trainee to post a DVD of a PBW show (we’ll call that task ‘character building’), before we finally sat down with a few cans in the motor of another trainee by the name of Krieger. Admittedly that scene might have looked slightly dodgy to passers by unaware of the purpose of this lager fuelled chat, but that’s proper journalism so it is. Going the places ye need to go, and drinking the lager ye need to drink to get the story. Or three stories to be precise. Story number one..
Kid Fite the PBW head trainer….
With the recent emergence of the GPWA school, and the long standing outpouring of talent from the PBW Academy and Source Wrestling School, Scottish Wrestling has plenty of options when it comes to learning how to do it. Being the head trainer of the PBW Academy, Kid Fite has his own philosophy on the best way, or at least HIS chosen way of teaching the next generation. That starts with setting the age limit for trainees lower than other schools.
“My big thing is that the age limit is over 12s. I quite like that its our thing. The likes of Noam started when he was 12, Kay Lee Ray started when she was 13 (originally with SWA but went on to train with PBW) Our school is over 12s. Granted you get a lot of kids that come in at 12, and they just want to do John Cena moves and all that. You get parents emailing asking if their kids can come and train. Sometimes as young as 5, and you just have to simply say ‘naw’. Its impossible to teach someone as young as 5 that its an art-form, so they’re either going to come along and play, or they’re going to start whacking people. The way I look at is that things like judo, karate, football even MMA are taking younger ones on. Its scientifically proven that people are more likely to absorb things when they’re young. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll very rarely debut anyone under 16. But even debuting someone as young as 17, you’ll get people saying “he’s only a young boy” but they don’t take into consideration if they started at 13, they’ve got 4 years experience of training, seminars, setting up rings etc etc. Anyone that might think its too young just has to look at the likes of Kay Lee Ray, Stevie Xavier, Noam Dar and Davey Blaze and where they are now. I’ve got 7 or 8 trainees just now across the 3 schools between 13 and 15 who are looking good. A girl called Angela who reminds me of Kay Lee Ray in terms of her style and intensity. All of them have been training over a year and not one of them is 16 yet. They’ve got that basis and that year of experience already under their belt. A couple of the yonger ones were on the show we ran in Clydebank recently, advertised as a showcase match, and they done amazing. ”
The age limit being lower isn’t the only thing that makes the school unique. As of now the PBW academy runs training sessions in Airdrie, Barrhead and Greenock with all 3 schools yielding show ready talents.
“Another thing is, when you are you’re younger your parents still make the decisions for you. A lot of the time parents will be reluctant to let their kid travel for training, so that’s the benefit of having different locations. Go to any town you’ll find a dance class, karate class, all these different things. Why can’t it be the same with wrestling? Kenny Williams has admitted to me, if the training was further away he probably wouldn’t have done it. He came along more out of curiosity than anything else and got bit by the wrestling bug. TJ Rage started his training and we furthered it on the camps and stuff, but he told me that before he got to know me and got to know how it all works that he might not have kept at it. So I’d go as far to say that if we didn’t open Airdie, Kenny Williams wouldn’t be a thing, and now in my eyes he’s the best babyface in Scotland outwith Grado. He’s over in ICW but on the family shows the weans are just drawn to him. Its like he’s had a shot of adrenaline up the arse before he goes out. Without having the Airdrie school that might not have happened, so having more locations gives us a bigger catchment area and to put a quote on it ‘the more mines you have the more chance you’ve got of finding a diamond’ ”
A few of those potential diamonds were making their debut on the show taking place that night. The younger ones might not have been allowed to travel to the next nearest location in Barrhead, and that’s where Kid Fite’s philosphy starts to bear fruit. Talents like the first ‘graduate’ from the Greenock school Lucha DS, who would be facing his head trainer in the main event, and who happens to be a Greenock native, might not have taken it up at all if PBW hadn’t started classes there. You could excuse Fito if he decided to phone the match in a bit, considering the ICW tour was due to kick off the next night, but shortly after the interview concluded, he was in the ring with Lucha DS going over what they were going to do in the match. Clearly recognising a wee bit of nerves in his trainee that needed settled. “I don’t wrestle on PBW shows myself, and I’ll only put a trainee on one of my main venues if I’m sure they’re ready. Greenock’s one of my main venues, Lucha’s been doing shows for over a year now but I’ve not had him on a Greenock show yet even though it would shift tickets. Its not about that, but when the time comes and all his friends and family want to see him perform in his hometown, that’s a wee benefit for me as well. ”
The likes of Noam Dar, Kenny Williams, Lou King Sharp and most recently Aaron Echo have all been in the opposite corner from their head trainer in matches for ICW. Something that clearly makes him prideful purely for the fact that he gets to go toe to toe with someone he personally helped shape as a performer, but also with Kid Fite not actively wrestling for PBW, him facing his own trainees means they have been deemed good enough to be booked elsewhere. Although that’s a double edged sword for the trainees themselves as a booking opposite Kid Fite in ICW a few years ago might have meant getting up close and personal with their trainer’s baws when the infamous teabag was deployed. “I’ve got a good reputation with Dallas in that sense that I won’t push for someone unless I know they’re good. I done it with Noam, Kenny, Lou King Sharp, who’s pretty much established now, and most recently Aaron Echo. I was very proud working him in Maryhill. There’s a bit of history there as well, and as much as the Lionheart match done a lot of great things for Kenny Williams and helped give him a platform, the match that announced him to the ICW match was the one in Maryhill with him and Christopher against the NAK. I thought it was a really good match with Echo, then he got another shot with Kenny. I watched that one back stage and there was a bit of a feeling of its Kenny in there with an unknown but then slowly the crowd got behind it when they realised how good Aaron Echo is. I was a wee bit different in our match as well, more like the style I work in BCW as opposed to The 55 hardman style, and that’s the thing when you’re in there with one of your own trainees. You always want them to look as good as possible. Its easy to say he needs to find a character but more experienced guys would have struggled in that situation as a face against one of the top good guys in the company but I thought they done great. Another one I’d happily vouch for that’s coming on the camp shows with me this year is Krieger. He’s maybe got the character side a bit more locked down, whereas Echo’s more polished in the ring. In fact we need to get them in a pub together swapping ideas” (or maybe put one on the others shoulders and form a 12 foot tall mega wrestler? naw? fine then)
I got a wee glimpse of exactly what Kid Fite was talking about when Aaron Echo and Krieger were on opposing sides for a 6 man tag match in the Greenock show that saw a few debuts, but also gave Echo and Krieger a welcome chance to continue to shape their characters and in ring work. There seemed to be a good bit of chemistry between the two as well, Krieger poking fun at Echo being considered “the bees knees” and declaring he was going to outwrestle, then outmuscle him, both to no avail. While Krieger made interacting with the audience and playing the amusing baddie seem like second nature, Echo’s in-ring work was ridiculously smooth for such a big guy, and even though debutant Jeff Kelso took the win for Echo’s team in the 6 man tag, it was plain to see that Echo and Krieger are two guys who are not far from being seen on a wider scale. Krieger has a bit of the Lou King Sharp about him with the kind of patter he was giving the crowd, a point that was illustrated perfectly by Lou demonstrating this patter in his own match, but less of the bratty side of it, more of a belligerently arrogant big dude. Noam Dar and Kenny Williams once again faced their trainer just 2 weeks ago at ICW, in a match that followed the shocking split of the NAK. While the match was good, it wasn’t the easiest spot to have on the card.
“We had a tough spot after the whole NAK thing. Sometimes with ICW I don’t ask what anyone else is doing, so I can watch it on the monitor and see if it gets a reaction out of me. See when Stevie turned on them? It reminded me of when he turned on Blaze. For me he’s one of the most underrated guys in that company. He’s got that look where he just looks like a wee prick. He’d be the one that you’d want on your side if you got into a scrap. Wouldn’t get involved in the fight, but he’d walk up when the guys on the deck and stab him. That’s the impression you get from him. That’s what I got from his character. He looked like the one that perhaps, out of them all, looked the most dangerous”
The opportunity to work with Noam and Kenny for the ICW Tag Team Titles clearly meant a lot, and it came a couple of weeks after a defence against another PBW trainee Lou King Sharp and Dickie Divers. A match where The 55 were perhaps guilty of having a wee bit too much fun. “We were having so much fun that night, people started popping for us. That looks like we’ve been given a t-shirt (for sale now, ICW website, its the red yin) and we’ve came out like “yasss….here we go…cheer us….EAST! buy the t-shirt” and the thing with me and Sha going to bars and getting photos before shows was more about the gimmick initially, but that day we maybe stayed for one more and we wound up having a bit more of a laugh. I maintain that the match went as well as it could have considering Lou and Divers had their own storyline, but it almost looked like we were going into business for ourselves when we were out there having a great time and getting cheered, so for the Noam and Kenny match we brought it back to the usual 55. None of the crowd pleasing stuff (he even said he told Sha not to ‘East’ which shows ye how much they’ve gelled as a team, cause that’s like telling a bird not to shite on folks foreheids) and I thought considering the spot we had that it worked out well. So yeah, I always enjoy working with my trainees and as a heel your job is always to make the good guy look good, but when its one of my trainees I want them to look a million bucks. In terms of ICW, anyone I vouch for and put my name on will always be of a high standard”
Kid Fite the wrestler….
There’s a subtle way to tell what kind of character Kid Fite is portraying. At least in ICW anyway. When the singlet is blue, he’ll be nice to you. When the singlet is red….off with your head. Aye that wis a poem, n whit? Right now Kid Fite is as red singlet’ed as man can possibly be, and at times its a hard balance to strike keeping the character as villainous as possible when it comes to interacting with fans.
“That’s something you do appreciate as a heel, people buying your t-shirt. I hope fans understand, maybe I’ll reply to a tweet telling me they bought the shirt with something like ‘aye fuckin right ye did, best thing you’ll ever buy’ but deep down we do appreciate that support. Sha has his catchphrases like ‘mug’, ‘east’ and ‘punter’ over with the fans. Like for example when he said to Connie ‘you’re the only punter I like’ I couldn’t do that, the only word like that I could use is ‘mark’ which is seen as more derogatory. So I don’t want to be giving it’this is the only mark I like’ and the person takes it as a dig and goes ‘fuck you!’ and I’m like “I’m just being Sha!”
The emergence of The Black Label in ICW led to The 55 being used less as a stable, and more as Sha Samuels and Kid Fite as a tag team with James R.Kennedy managing. A set of circumstances that Kid Fite believes has worked out well for the constants in The 55. “We had the likes of Bram, Doug Williams even Robert Florence involved. I love all they guys but it was getting a bit too much like the NWO. So with The Black Label coming in, there’s only really room for one top heel stable and it led to me and Sha being used
more as a team. He’s doing much better with it now and kind of thrives off folk not really thinking he suits the character, but when Jamie (James R.Kennedy) first came in with that money suit we were like ‘we’re supposed to be proper hard men, football hooligan cunts that would stab ye in a second’ and he comes in with that suit looking like a cartoon. I like Jamie, so it ended up being me that had a word with him about it and he took it on board so fair play to him there.”
Maybe if it was Sha broaching that issue outcome would have been less of an amicable middle ground, more of a ‘money suit gettin shoved up an arse’ situation and that reveals a bit of a strange situation where Kid Fite is probably the level headed one in his tag team.
The voice of reason isn’t supposed to have a skinhead and 500 ways to slice you open with a Stanley blade, but when you’ve been doing this wrestling malarkey for as long as Kid Fite has, you learn how to deal with different personalities. While he currently holds the ICW tag gold with Sha it was a potential rivalry between The Kartel (Sha Samuels and Terry Frazier) and the original Fight Club (Kid Fite and Judge Jimmy James) that first saw Sha and Fito cross paths. Seemingly destined for a feud that never quite materialised thanks to Kid Fite’s tag partner at the time leaving wrestling.
“The Kartel were seen as the top tag team in England and Fight Club were considered the best in Scotland, so it was a dream match at the time. I think it was IPW who eventually booked it, then ‘the Judge’ quit overnight and the match never happened. That’s something a lot of the newer fans might not know about, but me and Sha pop for it. At the beginning there was a lot of different pairings tried within The 55. Martin Kirby had a run. I will say this, it was me that recommended Kirby. Professional guy, brilliant in the ring. He never quite suited The 55, but I definitely think he still has something to offer. But I think with The Black Label coming through, ICW realised The 55 was better as a tag team. We look like a couple of guys you’d find in an auld mans pub. Me in Glasgow, and he’s my counterpart down in London. I’ve incorporated the scarf and the jacket into my ring attire, and yeah, I’m really high on it right now. We’ve got a couple of double team moves, I remember Tommy End asking us what double team moves we have and they’re aw indy Slap the leg and all that. I just kinda went “eh….we do a double suplex….but we use the rope!”
The 55 becoming more established in ICW has not stopped a resurgence in other promotions of second incarnation of Fight Club, comprising of Kid Fite and Liam Thomson. The duo hold the PWE Tag Titles and count the PCW Tag Titles amongst their list of past accolades. It was during the run of the original Fight Club in 1PW that brought the current pair together, as they demanded a replacement after Judge Jimmy James quit. Liam Thomson was someone Kid Fite admired and while he didn’t have the more ‘neddish’ elements about his character, he looked like enough of a fighter to make it work.
“Liam was someone who’s work I admired, so when 1PW told me to find a replacement when The Judge quit, I thought of Liam. We ended up holding the PCW Tag Titles before we dropped them to The Stieners, but we worked with some of the best tag teams around. I don’t mind saying this now because I’m very happy in ICW, but at the time I felt like they dropped the ball a bit with Fight Club. That was my career at that point so it did piss me off, there was one year where we only won one match the entire year, against Project Ego in The Garage. At that point we had won tag titles in England, Scotland, Denmark, Germany etc and I felt like we weren’t being used to our full potential. They kept teasing us falling out and splitting up, then keeping us a team and I just felt like they weren’t paying it a lot of attention and I felt like it was messing with our legacy a bit. We eventually had the match at the 02 and it was well received. Everyone said it was a good match, so I was pleased with it in that way. I legit knocked Liam out that night accidentally, we got into a forearm war and he caught me with a good one so I hit back and all of a sudden Liam looks at me and goes ‘mate’ before he goes crashing to the ground. It ended with the draw in Edinburgh and that was one thing I wanted from it. It ending on a draw leaves it open for another day.”
The frustration from what he felt was a bit of a wasted opportunity to do something special with Fight Club did lead to a huge positive as it led to the match that Kid Fite considers a career highlight. When ICW made their debut at the 02 ABC and his opponent was none other than Paul London. It was seen as redemption for Fito as months of personal problems and a bout of depression led him down a bad path. Funny to think that a match that ended with both men brandishing their baws could hold such significance but it was that element of fun that helped the encounter steal the show that night.
“At the time when nothing was really happening with Fight Club and I got a bit frustrated with it, I also had a lot of personal problems, and at that time a bit of depression. So I was drinking a lot, and that’s something I’ll say to any fans or anyone out there going through similar problems with depression and stuff that it does get better. I know the gimmick we have just now is me and Sha as drinkers, but at that time I was really drinking a lot. There was a match between Fight Club and Team CK (Kenny Williams and Chris Rampage) and I’ll be honest and say I was drunk. It was highly unprofessional and I was full of remorse over it but at the time I just wasn’t feeling it. I did speak to Dallas about how I was feeling at the time, a bit pissed off and all that, and it led to having the chance to wrestle Paul London. A lot of Americans come over and just focus on their match, then you’ve got someone like Paul London. Willingly embracing something like the teabag thing. I woke up to about 100 tweets the next morning after that match. It connected with people on a level that I never have, and a lot of that was down to London being open to it and bringing me up to his level. I’m mates with him so I went to him beforehand and spoke about how much the match meant and that I felt I had something to prove. I’m proud of that match. I see it as being my night. The one night people ended it talking about what I done and it was never meant to be that type of match. It was meant to be good, but not as good as that. ”
Social media is more powerful than ever these days (thats such an auld cunt thing to say int it ‘back in ma day it wis aw CB radios and dial up internets’ aye naebdy cares Granda) and a recent Facebook post on Kid Fite’s fan page seemed to resonate with anyone who holds wrestling dear. While out postering for an upcoming PBW show he and his trainees had a few folk giving it the usual ‘is that wrestlin’ hing no just fake?’ and it sparked a deep seeded annoyance at some of the ignorant patter people involved in wrestling and fans need to contend with every day. “I never take the huff over it because its uneducated people who say that kind of thing, but the word fake always bothers me. You go into a shop to put a poster up and you get the usual ‘is that no aw fake?’ and yer like, fuck you mate, I was in a neck brace this time last year. I’ve torn my rotator cuff. You can say its all fake, but say I’m working Jackie Polo, you go into that match knowing your taking a slam but that doesn’t stop it from fucking hurting. You’re still lying there on the deck struggling to breathe. A few of my trainees were coming to me that day and they’re saying folk are making fun of them and that, but they’re not making fun. They don’t get it. Folk don’t say its ‘John Cena versus Triple H at FakeFightingMania’ its Wrestlemania. Its wrestling and its an artform. It did get a lot of attention, something like 600 like, 170 shares and for one of the ICW guys that’s not the likes of Grado, Drew and even Dallas now, that’s a lot. The video’s have worked out well for him actually. A mate of mine who works on the oil rigs was saying guys in the pub were talking about his videos, and its not ‘ICW owner Mark Dallas’ its more talking about him as one of the guys. He’s a very intelligent guy. If he gets 1000 likes on his page for a funny video, then 100 of them take interest the next time he shares something about a show, its served its purpose”
Kid Fite considering himself more as a singles competitor is never more apparent than it is in BCW, where he is approaching 3 years as the champion. Controversy in the promotion led to Graham McKay taking over full responsibility at a time where the title was supposed to be going to Kid Fite and much to Fito’s appreciation Graham (who also works as Charles Boddington in PBW) stuck with that decision and has continued to place his faith in Kid Fite. “Graham’s had me working with Devitt, Davey Richards, Mr Anderson, Marty Scurll. He gives me the matches, so I can’t fault him, and he appreciates what I do for him. Its kinda similar to what I’m doing with Jester in PBW at the moment. He’s over with a lot of the adults and the internet fans, but you want to send the weans home happy so sometimes he’ll be the first half main event as opposed to going on last and having weans complaining to their mums and dads that the bad guy won. Its similar for me at BCW, but I always put in a shift. I think Graham’s favourite one was the match with Davey Richards. Davey himself was delighted with it and didn’t even mind that he ended up with a fat lip. Graham asked him about it and he told him he wasn’t bothered about it because of how the match turned out so that was a huge compliment to me. I’m under no illusions, its coming up for 3 years now and I know it has to end at some point but I think Graham appreciates that I’ve been there from the start and I always put in a good shift for him.”
Indeed with the original Fight Club seeing its beginnings in BCW it could be a case of end of Kid Fite’s reign as champion leading to run for the current version of Fight Club in the company but that is for future, the here and now sees Kid Fite at the forefront of BCW although he does admit it is occasionally a tough spot with some of the high profile names that step through the BCW ropes, and subsequently ‘ball out’ in the finest establishments Kilmarnock and East Kilbride have to offer (that was a really shite MVP reference btw, BCW booked him recently so aye…..shut it) but its a role Fito relishes. “Sometimes it can be difficult. You’ll have guys like Carlito, Hardcore Holly and all that on the card. The crowd have already seen Grado, Jester and all that as well, and I’m on last so at times I’m wondering how I’m supposed to follow all that, asking Graham ‘What is it you want me to do?’ but it always works out. So yeah, I’ve really enjoyed the run there but with Fight Club coming back to prominence it might be a case of getting that back up and running. I’ve never really bought into this idea that a champion has to ‘stay strong’ after dropping a belt. I’d quite happily put a trainee over, as I’m doing tonight (wee spoiler there, Lucha DS beat him in the main event, after a spot that saw Fito flung into a metal cage before Lucha dived off the top of it on to him. Getting in amongst that kind of match with the ICW tour starting the next day kinda sums up what Kid Fite is all about) but with the reign being so long and in my opinion it’ll never be beat. It wouldn’t look right me dropping the belt then straight into losing in the first match or something so if it went from losing the belt to back into the Fight Club thing it leaves me looking good, and the new champion looking strong at the same time. ”
I’ve never really got a focus group together to confirm this theory or whatever, but to me if you’re not yet fully invested in the product and going to shows casually, its wee things that stick in your mind. Or indeed two round hairy things commonly known as “baws”. Of all the things I expected to see when I attended my first ICW show in 2o12, a guys baws wasn’t one of them so it stood out as something just on the right side of ridiculous and something that ultimately stood out above some of the more impressive wrestling things that happened that night, so I saw this interview as a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only find out a bit more about the origins of Kid Fite’s infamous “teabag” spot, but also a chance to ask a direct question to someone about their baws that actually makes sense and works in the context of an interview. And Fito was happy to talk about the origins (or bawrigins if ye like a bit of wordplay, who disnae really?) of the teabag. “It was a year before it actually happened, someone in the crowd shouted at me to do it. At the time you’re taken aback, and yer like “eh…naw….ya weirdo” but I sort of regretted not just going for it, so when I got the shout again it was in a match with Wolfgang at ICW, I done it. You can’t just do something like that without saying anything. I asked Wolfy and he sighed at me so I took that as a ‘yes’ and it took off from there. Hadn’t even shaved ma baws man, it was like a cactus doon there honestly. Pubes poking out everywhere. But naw, it took off from there, but back then there’s folk going out on these ICW shows and having proper indy matches. Taking all these bumps, and I come on after the break or whatever do a few wee things, get ma baws oot and my twitter’s going mental the next day. Its almost as close as I got to something like Mr Socko, The Peoples Elbow and all that. When the yanks come over here, as long as they do their ‘tv moves’ they’ll please the crowd and for me that was as close as I came to having something like that, so in that way I was proud of it ”
That led to a suggestion that if we were ever going to see blue singlet good guy Fito in ICW again, it might call for the baws to be brandished in the direction of current manager James R.Kennedy.
“Folk would say ‘get Sha to do it’ but he’s got his catchphrases, that’s my thing. He’s got “EAST!” and I’ve got ma baws. Even if he did get them out, I’d tell him to put them away cause that’s my thing haha. Its tempting to have him do it right enough, cause he’ll likely have big hairy yins, but nah that’s my thing. There will be someone in American doing it in a few years, but I’ll always be the one that done it first. I got a bit creative with it as well, and had Eddie Roberts teabagging someone. Blaze teabagged me! then I chopped him in the dick. In terms of what we’re doing right now, we’re going on the tour with the belts and we’ll maybe see a few different opponents here and there. I love working with Polo Promotions, but its been seen a lot now and it might be a case of us going up against some different teams”
ICW tours have brought an influx of new talent to the roster with local guys from the towns they run being given a chance. New talent means opportunities to work with different people, and in the case of Matt Cross, it was Kid Fite himself who put a good word in. “I booked Matt Cross for a PBW show back in 2008. He likes to travel for the wrestling, and enjoys that side of it much like myself, so anytime he’s around he’ll ask me what’s going on in Scotland. SSW booked him right away, but I told him to send Dallas an email. Sometimes he gets that many folk asking he might not reply, but it got all sorted and I actually watched that match with Dallas on the monitor, and he turned to me and went “fair fucks mate” so he made an impression. I think the biggest tragedy over the past year or so has been Will Ospreay not being on an ICW show though. I’ve not been as excited about a talent from down south since PAC (aka WWE’s Neville) and Dallas has openly said he’s tried. I’ve tried to get him for PBW as well, but its just never worked out. But yeah, he’s a very exciting talent and I think he’d go over great in ICW. Then there’s people like Tyler Bate and Nixon Newell who haven’t been brought in yet but are both very talented. Bubblegum is another one in the Matt Cross mould, maybe not as flippy, so more of the London and Kendrick type of style, but its a tragedy to me that he’s not been given a shot. Another thing I’ll say. ICW needs more Rampage Brown.”
Who in there right mind could argue with that? If there’s who seems to be the perfect fit when it comes to in-ring style and look, its Rampage, and for someone with such a wealth of experience wrestling up and down the country to single him out for such high praise is a shining example of how highly regarded he is. “Rampage Brown is the best heavyweight in Europe for me. I worked with him in Leeds and Newcastle for ICW and I loved both of them. He’s the type of guy that looks like he’s giving you a proper doing, but not in the way that some guys proper wallop ye, and you’re wondering what the fuck’s going on, he looks like he’s giving you a doing but its nothing that knocks you dizzy or anything like that. He shouldn’t just be a guy brought in for tour shows in my opinion, he should be up for every Glasgow show as well. If will Ospreay’s the best junior in Europe, Rampage Brown is the best heavyweight”
Kid Fite the promoter….
Went with a serious photo for the third and final section here, because promoting wrestling shows is serious business so it is. Whilst the trainee show in Greenock wasn’t strictly promoted and was more of a friends and family (and me) type of audience, the PBW stamp was all over it. 6 match card. Well paced and while a lot of it is aimed at a family audience, there’s enough to keep fans of all ages interested in the product.
“PBW is a 6 match card, and everyone that’s on it is there because they’re good at what they do, but in terms of the structure I’m gonnae open with a crowd pleaser. First half main event is the second most important on the card, and you want to start after the break with a bang so see the second and fifth match? by no means are they shit, but that’s the ones where you maybe try and blood a newbie or something like that and there’s a wee chance of it going a bit wrong. Its a family show, and it should be suitable for that audience but you have to provide good wrestling as well. My aim is to be a touring company. You’ve got BCW that’s more import driven, PWE’s similar in that regard, then you’ve got a few companies who do a similar thing to what we do, but while they’re running 15 shows a year or what you have you, we want to be the company running 50 shows a year. It would be difficult for any of the boys to earn a full time wage from PBW, but if more wrestlers end up doing it full-time and PBW is a big part of that? That’s the aim. A lot of folk aim for TV, and don’t get me wrong, if the BBC came to me tomorrow and said they’d handle all the production and all that then fair enough, but in terms of what Dallas does with On Demand and, I just don’t have the energy for that. I’m content filming maybe one or two shows a year, but the ultimate goal is to be a touring company running more shows than anyone else who does the same. People compare us to all-star and that we’re like the Scottish version but their shows are very family-orientated and our shows have a bit more wrestling. We also do a few bought in shows, where we’re paid a fee for it and whoever’s hosting it takes the ticket money. That takes a lot of the stress of promoting it out, which is the hardest part of running family shows. ”
After singling out BCW as the most underrated company in Scotland, Fito went on to reflect on the challenges that come with being a wrestler, promoter and trainer. He reflected on this because I asked him a question about it. That’s kinda how this interview shit works, but it sounds better if ye say he just reflected on it like a professor or something eh? I made some joke about him having his fingers in aw the pies or something of that nature, but its serious business and something that’s always intrigued me. Big Damo had a similar situation at SWA when he ran the promotion, training school and wrestled and there definitely a similar streak of self sacrifice in Kid Fite that’s easy to admire. “The most difficult thing about it is dealing with the politics I guess. There’s a bit of game playing there. For example, if I go down south to work as Kid Fite the wrestler, we go on a night out after and there’s 6 folk hitting you up for a booking when you’re just trying to enjoy yourself. You don’t want to be rude, but if I’m going to book someone, I’m going to book them. Someone could be up my arse all night and I won’t book them, but another guy could completely ignore me and I’ll book them if they’re good enough. Another aspect of it is when we hire out the ring to companies, and that brings things like Rock and Wrestle into the equation. I’m very high on getting something going up there so Steve (owner of Rock n Wrestle) knows I’ve got the best of intentions when it comes to them. Outwith the camps we do for all-star in the summer of course, for PBW to be running 50 shows a year, I probably wouldn’t be able to stay active as Kid Fite, because there’s only so many Friday’s and Saturday’s in the year. I love doing all of it, but PBW and the training school are the main bread winners, with the Kid Fite stuff and the ring hire being more like a hobby. ”
When it comes to the future, there’s a lot of realism in the way Kid Fite sees it. Clearly seeing the progression of PBW as his best means of having a long term future in wrestling, but that’s not to say that if the opportunity for a short spell abroad came up that he wouldn’t snatch it. “I enjoy what I’m doing here, so I don’t think I’d go abroad full-time. People ask me if I’d go to developmental but I don’t think I would. So they can keep me there for a year then it doesn’t work out? Competing with guys like Uhaa Nation, Dash Wilder who I worked with on the camps, Generico and all that for that one spot on Smackdown, when all those guys are more jacked than me, better workers than me and all that? Then I come back here and other promotions are running my venues, all my trainees are at other schools, and I’ve got nothing. I’d rather look back in 10 years at what we’ve achieved here than going abroad and regretting missing out on what we’re building. If you said to people 10 years ago ICW would run the SECC, PBW would be selling out 20 odd shows a year, they’d have laughed. So think what it’ll be like in another 10 years. I love wrestling. I love every aspect of it, but the first thing to go would be the wrestling itself. The real long term things are the company and the training school. I will say this though. Something like what Grado’s doing right now, and guys like Spud, Haskins and all that have done would be something I’d consider. If TNA said to me they wanted me to come over and do the Glasgow hard man act for a while. I’d do it.”
Being an active wrestler and promoter at the same time must bring some tear your hair out moments. PBW are an established company running reliably good shows year in year out, so there must be times where Kid Fite the wrestler turns in to Ross Watson the promoter and bemoans what he sees in front of him. Maybe a case of learning more from other mistakes than he ever could from his own. “That’s the thing I bring to the table, if you book me I also bring a wealth of experience when it comes to running shows and all that. If you need a ring I can provide that. Need a bit of help with the card. At the end of the day, anyone who wants to do business with me, I want them to make money as well. You do get situations where a bit of frustration creeps in, but you do your job. Guys like Steve from Rock n Wrestle who ask questions and want to learn are great to work with, and I always felt like I could speak freely when it came to giving him pointers and stuff like that. With other people, there’s not always that willingness to learn. Sometimes when I go down south as well, and I look online and see these amazing looking match graphics. ‘Kid Fite vs Chris Brookes, Kid Fite vs Tyler Bate’ etc, and you get down there to a venue that could easily hold 200-300 folk and there’s about 40 in the audience. You feel like saying ‘ you spent so long making yer nice graphic and getting it on the FSM forum and all that, instead of going out into town and putting 100 posters up. So it can be frustrating. Sometimes you’ll go down and the run-sheet makes no sense either, but its not up to me to dictate that. If anyone wants my help in that way, they know what I offer”
I thought it was best to end on a wee happy note, having spent the best hour I can honestly say I’ve ever spent tannin’ cans of Tennents Lager in a trainee’s motor with a pro wrestler. Writing about wrestling has taken me to some peculiar places and that’s the main benefit of doing these things in person. He even took the time to say nice things about my work which is always appreciated. I remember all that shit. Renfrew himself probably wont remember, but I’ll always mind him saying to me before I’d really ever spoke to any wrestlers to ‘keep at it’ after the first ICW show in London and that shit sticks. Same as any advice Kid Fito might have given one of his trainees in Greenock that night would have stuck. Speaking of the show, there was a point where one of the younger trainees called Logan Smith went for a springboard move and slipped on the top rope. It looked sare as fuck and that’s the type of thing that might need an arm round the shoulder from his head trainer and wee word to keep the chin up. The young lad to his credit got on with the match and it was much better than it had any right to be considering how young they both were, but that same instinct that allowed him to give me a bit of praise while we polished off a cuttla cans is the same instinct that no doubt makes him a great trainer. Kid Fite the trainer was put on the shelf for the upcoming weekend though, and we ended on him chatting about how buzzing he was to be going off on tour once again with ICW.
“The tours have helped us gel as a roster and its definitely given us more of a team mentality. You’ve got to remember, in any other walk of life the different personalities we have probably wouldn’t be friends, and thats why I love wrestling. It makes you meet a lot of people you probably wouldn’t have and teaches you not to judge people for what their into. We have a lot of people into different things, but it teaches you that everyone’s mostly sound. We always have a great time as well. It gives you a siege mentality in the sense that if anyone tried anything it would be dealt with as a team. Say a few guys jumped on the tour bus looking to cause hassle, you’d have everyone on the roster coming together and setting about them. I’m looking forward to it. With ICW in particular, they with all the merch etc, so once your match is done and the promo’s are done that’s you finished. You’re done for the night, and you get to kick about Liverpool and places like that. Living the dream.”
We rounded it off completely by asking the great jack of all trades, King Fito of the wrestling world if he had one last but of wisdom to impart on us and he ended it as poignantly as possible when he took at deep breath and said.
“At the end of the day…its night. Cheers.”
A right big swig of a can and a trainee show later I was on my way up the road with an interview that might never have happened. When we first sat down and I was handed a can, I might have not known it was fizzed up and some of the contents of the can wound up in Kid Fite’s lap. Thankfully pre-tour trainee show Fito is a bit less likely to rip yer throat out and feed it to you for such an error and my mistake was quickly forgiven as the photo below would tell ye, but it was one of they wee moments where you’re not sure how its gonnae go.
Big thank you to Kid Fite for his time, and Scott Maverick at PBW Greenock for letting me stick around for the show and sending me results for the article. As usual big thank you to David J.Wilson, Warrior Fight Photography and also Brett Hadley for the photos.
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