Don’t call it a comeback.
Don’t call it nostalgia.
And whatever you do, don’t call him “Andrew Wilde”
This isn’t some novelty act from the past coming back for one last hurrah, Andy Wild is back in all his Unstoppable glory. When he was the Zero-G Champion in 2012-2013 perhaps the “Unstoppable” moniker wasn’t factually correct. He was a lot more stoppable back then, at least in a physical sense, but now he’s bigger, badder and quite literally unstoppable. This guy runs at ye full pelt, you are going down. Try and get in his road, he will take you down. Especially when that road leads to The Hydro, and a shot at that Zero-G crown he wore so proudly before being usurped by current ICW Champion Wolfgang back at ICW’s first Edinburgh show and first forray out of Glasgow. A defeat that as champion he was entitled to a rematch for. A rematch never came. Now that Wolfgang is once again a champion in ICW, one might ponder if Andy Wild might be due a wee shot. An issue he was understandably coy about as he looks to re-estbalish himself firmly before aiming at the very top of the card
“A match with Wolfgang would be amazing, He is an incredible talent and I think with my change in style/size now I could give him a different kind of competition completely” A match is one thing, but Wild humbly rejected any notion of it being for the title. Insisting a lot of hard work is still to be done before he’s near that sort of opportunity. “I do feel that I haven’t proved myself enough yet to be in the Heavyweight Title run for ICW. The lads have been working their socks off for the last 3 years to grow the company and their own reputations who deserve it before me. Don’t count me out though, I’m not here to make up numbers anymore.
Whilst he hasn’t necessarily been “making up the numbers” it has been an uncertain couple of years for Andy Wild as he’s tried to keep himself as involved in wrestling as possible. Doing as many shows as his personal life would allow and keeping his name out there. A brief flirtation with a new character in ICW means that current fans might only know the “Andrew Wilde” version of Andy Wild and not the guy who helped mould the Zero-G division with classic matches against Liam Thomson and a certain WWE employee who made us all cry with his post match speech in the wake of his final ICW match. A match that importantly ended in defeat to his old pal Andy. “Yeah, Noam touched on this in his leaving speech at ICW a few weeks back. Around the time the ball started really rolling for me in 2012 my Fiancé and I had our first child and to follow that I made a big change in career to a much better paying job. Family is number one to me and the most important thing in my life and had to take priority. In the time between then and now I concentrated on just keeping my name in the hat, doing shows I could. Now with my Son being older I’m ready to take on more shows again.”
Becoming a father was of course a factor for Andy Wild taking a bit of a step back from wrestling, but he insists it never had any impact on the passion he has for Professional Wrestling. Instead it merely changed how willing he was to make sacrifices many of us wouldn’t even dream of making in the first place. “I wouldn’t say becoming a Father changed my view of wrestling nor did it change my passion for it. All that happened was I sat back and thought to myself ‘Can I justify working 60 hours a weeks with only one day off to use my only available time with a new-born child to go and wrestle’ and of course the answer to that is no. I have to say though, it wasn’t easy taking a step back.”
For any fans of “Andrew Wilde” his alter ego Andy had a bit of bad news when asked if the pompous one would ever make a return. “I have to say I think Andrew Wilde may have hung up his cravat” Devastating news for a few I’m sure, but a necessary change as Wild looks to almost relaunch himself. When asked about the key difference between the Andy Wild gunning for the Hydro and the Andy Wild who was popping up in a blazer to wrestle Solar every few months, Andy admitted his focus is as sharp as its ever been “I would say the difference between that Andy Wild and the Andy Wild you see now is that I am focused on wrestling again, properly focused. The last time I was this focused things were going pretty good. I’m bigger, faster and stronger then I have ever been. I hope to show that in coming shows.
The emotionally charged battle with Noam at the last ICW show and Noam last ever ICW show has certainly acted as a fresh launchpad for Wild to catch the eye of anyone who might not have been fully aware of his talent before, as the two somehow managed to produce a stellar match whilst drowning in the tears of about 800 people watching on.
“This was huge for me. Noam and Myself were inseparable early in our career and for Dallas to allow that to come full circle was amazing and I am very thankful for it.
Feelings leading up to the match were very mixed, I found myself being quite nervous for it. Myself and Noam had always had notably good matches and I didn’t want to let him down, especially with me being a bit rusty. However, from the second I walked through the curtain at The Garage I knew it was going to be special once again. The reaction he got was amazing! Not to mention how thankful I am for the support the crowd gave me too. Even as I type this I feel goose bumps thinking about it”
It was a special atmosphere and one that was the perfect breeding ground for a great match. Perhaps a bit different from their previous encounters which blended seamless action and incredible speed. This encounter matched the weight of emotion behind it all and the end result was a crowd left in no doubt of the talent level that existed both with the outgoing superstar and his resurgent opponent. “I feel the match went very well. Was it our best match ever? No. Did it need to be? No. It was two really good mates being allowed to go out there and put on a performance with no restraints and just enjoy the moment. I feel it has played a massive part in my resurgence in the company I think both myself and ICW management have seen something in me that hasn’t showed itself for a while.
Andy and Noam’s friendship blossomed at the PBW Academy, as Noam would travel from Ayr and Andy would travel from Fife to get to training. A hardship that perhaps wouldn’t exist if they started nowadays as trainees have more options than ever when it comes to where they want to train and how they want to be trained.“What a time to be a wrestling trainee now, the days of having to search the lands for a decent coach/training school are far gone. All three training schools are bringing through a variety of talents who all seemed to excel in all aspects of wrestling. PBW Academy, to me, stands out the most because it is where my heart is. I gave them absolutely everything I had and they gave me the same in return. They are my family.”
If Andy ever does try out coaching it might be a proper family affair. With his young son already showing signs of following in his old man’s footsteps. “I love to coach people. Would I open a training school? Not at this stage. If I ever did it I would want to give it everything. Haha, he loves wrestling! I haven’t really ever pushed it on him but there seems to be a little spark there.”
Perhaps that wee spark from Wild Jr has led to the fire being re-lit in Wold snr. A spark that has also been ignited by seeing so many British talents make an impact all over the globe. “Now usually I would highlight people like Devitt, Regal and Malenko as inspirations. These are the guys that when I doubt my love of wrestling I pop their names into YouTube and reignite the flame. But now I have to say my biggest influences and encouragement comes from watching all the British lads smashing it and getting signed left, right and centre” It would be difficult not to inspired by the recent success stories as British Wrestling continues to go through a boom period. The inspiration seems to have hit Andy Wild at the right time as he experiences a resurgence that thrusts him right back into the ICW limelight at a vital time.”I feel the next three months are vital for me getting back on the map and you are right in saying a regularly appearance at ICW is the way to do that. The attention currently on the British wrestling scene coming from the big companies in the world is astounding but you have to be on the shows to be seen.
With some of the companies biggest shows ever in the horizon leading to the Fear and Loathing at the Hydro. Coming shows don’t come much bigger than this Sunday. As Andy is faced with the task of overcoming another former Zero-G Champion Kenny Williams with a place in the Zero-G “Stairway To Heaven” match at the Hydro. A match that will see 6 competitors enter under elimination rules with the final 2 battling out in a ladder match for the gold. A spot that Andy acknowledges he definitely wants, but recognises the queue is long and he might need to bulldoze his way to the front of it”A spot on The Hydro show would be unbelievable, to go from not really wrestling at the beginning of this year to being on the biggest show in UK history would be a massive turn of events and I am very passionate and focussed on trying to get there. Again though, there is a load people who have been working non-stop to get a chance to be on this show and I’m in the queue behind them”
When asked why each and every person in The Garage on Sunday should be getting behind him on Sunday, his answer was a simple one. Get behind him because he loves this wrestling caper just as much as you and I do. This isn’t about fame or getting signed. Its about a genuine love for pro wrestling and a desire to re-introduce a wider audience to his talent for it. “I’m not one who enjoys to talk myself up. What I can say is – this time round I’m doing it because I love it. I’m not doing it solely to get signed or to be noticed, I’m doing it because I love wrestling and I want to perform and entertain people who are paying good money to come to shows. What sets me apart is I will give it everything and I did not want to step forward again until I knew that I could. I need everyone behind me to help me work my way back up and I will give you guys everything I have in return.
Thanks to Warrior Fight Photography and David J.Wilson for the photos. Still tickets for ICW tomorrow at The Garage so go there, see a smashin show, and see Andy Wild and Kenny tear it up.