An Interview With Mark Coffey

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“I just don’t agree with people who try and separate themselves from the locker room. Its almost in an attempt to make yourself seem more important. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. We all share the one locker room. We’re all one”

Mark Coffey

A lot of making an impression on people is in how you carry yourself. On many occasions in wrestling someone with a bit of swagger can catch the eye of fans long before a more polished in-ring talent without that swagger would be able to. Mark Coffey has managed to seamlessly mesh the two things together from the first time I seen him wrestle and with only 7 years graft under his belt he seems to have naturally become one of the leaders of the locker room. A firm believer in unity amongst his peers, he marries that desire for unity with a desire to forearm folk’s teeth clean out their heid. That’s what makes him unique, and someone I’ve been absolutely gantin’ to interview for a long time. His belief in ‘the boys’ and fondness for the bond a growing band of the locker room seem to have shines through with every sentence and that all for one, one for all mentality can only be a good thing as British Wrestling powers forward.

Polo Promotions

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As I sauntered towards The Venue in Carlisle for the hotly anticipated Target Wrestling show taking place that night, at 4pm in the day the last thing I expected to see was fans already queuing up.  Yet as I approached I seen 4 or 5 guys huddled round the entrance; Happily chatting away. Most, if not all of them had one thing in common other than being clinically insane to voluntarily be in a queue rather than a pub a 3 full hours before a show. The other thing they had in common was being Polo Promotions to the core. Donning the club colours proudly, feverish at the prospect of the duo who run Carlisle taking their main even tag team vision and turning it into a reality. Polo Promotions are incredibly popular with the fans of Target Wrestling and enjoy an electric rapport with its fan-base, which brought about a momentous occasion on June 17th 2017. Polo Promotions vs Moustache Mountain. Two of the finest teams in the country. Two of the finest teams on the continent. And the two teams who made the concept of having a tag team match as your standalone main event a reality, but make no mistake about it, if it wasn’t for Mark and Jackie Polo pushing for this for a long time, it may never have been a reality.

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“This (Target) is just great because up until the match with Moustache Mountain the crowd have been 100% in our favour. Tonight its going to be more of a 50/50 because of how popular Moustache Mountain and British Strong Style are, but up until tonight we’ve had most of the crowd with us. This is like a testing ground for everything we do. Because we get on so well with Ryan (Devlin) the promoter, John who does a lot of the booking as well, and the fans. They trust us enough that when we go “can we try this?” when we want to do new things, they trust us to do it.”

That trust and the right team to make the match as huge as possible popping up was the perfect mixture of circumstances to make the whole thing come about. With Carlisle bathed in beautiful sunshine and their opponents bathed in beautiful facial hair, it was the right amount of beautiful shit to bring about a beautiful main event. “We’ve been pushing for ages saying we’re a main event tag team. We can put on a main event calibre show. Tonight is a culmination of all that. Of us telling Ryan we can main event and him agreeing that we need to go that way. Getting the right opponents so its a big enough tag team match for a British Wrestling company to go with as their main event. The way you look at shows now, particularly in independent wrestling, guys have a lot more freedom. You notice it a lot on shows now that when it gets to the main event, the crowd struggle. Because they’ve seen everything they could have possibly wanted to see. Sometimes 3 or 4 times over. If you put a tag team match out last, you couldn’t possibly have seen it before. They might have seen a tag match somewhere on the card, but not a main event tag match”

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For what felt like hours, they chanted. They sang. They made every manner of noise they possibly could for tag team wrestling in the main event. When Moustache Mountain entered you could hear a pin drop. The away team. Respected, maybe even feared a bit, but not supported. Not yet anyway. Their fans would get more vocal as this whole saga played out but in that moment they almost seemed scared. Like an away fan at a European game nestled in the home end. Fearing the repercussions of even giving the natives a sniff of the possibility that you might not be one of them. Moustache Mountain will no doubt go up and down the UK this year but I sincerely doubt they’ll face an atmosphere like this again anywhere they go. Rabid loyalty to a pair who might not be born and bred in the city, but a pair who have grown to be two of Carlisle’s favourite sons, as Mark recalled upon proudly.

“A lot of our matches have a derby day feel but this sort of has a Champions League feel. The thing I’m most pleased and excited about is going on in the main event. That’s something we’ve really pushed for. We also pushed for a Tag Division in ICW and I think as a duo we’ve done as much as we can to achieve that, so lets start pushing tag wrestling. Having this match in the main event slot is a win in our column. So we’re gonna keep pushing that way. This is the first step. This is like an achievement unlocked kinda thing. That’s the best thing about it and why we really appreciate it down here. Not only are the fans phenomenal for us and they have been from day one, but Ryan, John etc have been great with us and to get that wee nod from them in having us in the main event tonight is special”

The match was indeed special and became another in a long list of outstanding bouts the team have been involved in this year. Many of those coming in ICW, the company where the team rose to prominence as a duo after singles success and a company where the duo have always been polarising figures. In stark contrast to the almost universal acclaim they get in Carlisle, even when they were devilish big bad baddies, they still had a vocal band of followers, and since transitioning to become fan favourites, its only served to split the audience more. Its an environment that Mark seems to have a huge amount of fondness for. “I love it. We’re lucky enough that most matches we do have a. I don’t want to say ‘big match feel’ because it sounds a bit up your own arse, but it has that sort of derby day feel. Everyone’s up for it. You look at the match with The Kings Of Catch. The crowd were going back and forth for the whole thing. I think that plays into our favour because we’re used to it, whereas our opponents might not be. I said that recently about me and Trent in the singles. He’s not used to that atmosphere either. He’s used to everyone singing for him, and having the Trent Seven army. He’s not used to half the crowd staying faithful to his opponent. So it always kinda plays into our favour. I always say it would be nice if everyone did cheer for us, Jackie doesn’t care either way but I think aw yeah it would be nice, but we’ve experienced it so many times. That’s our atmosphere now, that’s what we bring to a show. The last three times we’ve been down here at Target, the match hasn’t been able to start for 10 minutes. We get in the ring and there’s 10 minutes of absolute chaos before the match starts”

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That chaos and the seemingly never-ending duel between the “Polo Promotions” half of the crowd and the “get tae fuck” team of dafties (sorry journalistic integrity n that, need tae stay impartial, you’re all entitled to your opinion’s, its just a shame those opinions are  very wrong) was never more apparent when the duo took on international superstars and IWGP Tag Champions War Machine at Barramania. “It was a wee check against our name to go in there and have a good match with the IWGP Champs at that time. I think we proved a decent point to the crowd but i think we proved an even bigger point to War Machine themselves, both in the ring and backstage. A lot of guys are afraid when bigger teams come in, but they were coming in to our company. The thing seems to be they (imports) come in, call the shots, and if you disagree you’re wrong. Fuck that. We built this house. I’d like to go again with them. The only fear id have is that with the first match being so good the expectation is there for the second one.”

The team came up ever so slightly short against War Machine, but they managed to topple one of the finest teams in wrestling history at ICW’s Hydro debut. Retaining the ICW Tag Titles against Team 3D aka the legendary Dudley Boyz.  “The match with Team 3D was a great indicator for us. No team has the accolades that team 3D do, they’ve held every major tag title there is. A strong argument could be made for them being the greatest team in pro wrestling/sports entertainment history. So it was a good test to see where we stood on a stage with one of the greats”

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Whilst the outstanding contest with the former ROH and IWGP Tag Champs, and the victory over the most decorated tag team in wrestling history solidified Mark and Jackie as a force to be reckoned with on a wider scale, its the work in building ICW’s tag division that seems to be a personal source of pride, tempered with frustration at times “We worked a bit with The Purge recently and the first match we had was great. Worked with them the next night and it wasn’t good. Then we worked with them 2 or 3 more times and you could see them getting better and better andmcoffey6 its frustrating because you could see the difference in them from the first match to the last and there’s no solid plans to use them going forward. If you’re going to pull the trigger, go the full way. Don’t half pull it. But I feel positive about the tag division right now.”

Bird and Boar may sit on top of the tree right now and have been superb performers since debuting as part of the tag team tournament that took place when Polo Promotions vacated their titles, but the tag division they currently rule wouldn’t exist if not for Mark and Jackie’s record setting reigns with the titles. A fact Mark is rightly proud of

“When we started tagging in ICW, we realised there wasn’t much of a tag division at that time and we wanted to rebuild it. Teams nowadays are a means to an end to a lot of guys. They do it so they can split up eventually. To get on the card, get experience and move further up the card. We just wanted to be a proper team who moved up the card together. Looking at it now, specifically when we came back from the match with the Hunters, I felt very good. Thinking about what we’ve done overall in 2, 3 years worth of pushing. Saying we need a division and recommending teams. Now I think we have a strong division. There’s us, Bird and Boar, The Hunters, Kirby and Hayes had a match on the tour and are coming back. Kings of Catch (who the Polos face at ICW in Edinburgh this Sunday) even The Buckys popped up again. The Purge. Its great and its moving forward. We’re almost where we need to be as a tag division and then when you throw guys like War Machine in. Its a nice bonus. The get to fuck side of the crowd were a bit like “why is it Polo Promotions in with War Machine but i think that was strongly outweighed by by the pro Polo Promotions side”

The quality of the match itself was proof enough that Polo Promotions deserved that match. Stealing the show, and continuing to add weight to their desire to make tag team wrestling a main event fixture. “I think tag wrestling is on the up and is seen as something that’s cool again. People want to team up. Guys like Gallows and Anderson, The Revival and even The Young Bucks are making it more appealing. I don’t understand why you wouldn’ t want to do it to be honest. I’m big on team sports and very much see wrestling as a team game. When you lose you lose, when you win you win, but if you do stuff in groups its definitely more rewarding. I feel weird now having singles matches”

Fuck Yer Coffey, We Want Tea. Then Mark Coffey won the Zero-G

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“If you think about it from when I won until when I lose it you can look at it like a book. There was a beginning, a middle and an end, and its closed now. A lot of people just think about what they’re doing immediately, they don’t think about after that. Being able to look at the whole thing and move on, its something I’ve got a lot of pride in”                                                                                   – Mark Coffey on his Zero-G Title run

A popular, not to mention hugely inventive (naht) chant in my early days attending ICW shows was “Fuck yer Coffey we want tea” aimed at both Coffeys, but when Mark Coffey took the Zero-G Title with a clean win over then ICW Champion Mikey Whiplash, that all seemed to die down. Even those who didn’t naturally gravitate to Mark and his brother Joe had no choice but to recognise their talent in the ring. His run as Zero-G champ might have had a wee Balor shaped mishap in the middle when Fergal Devitt showed up at Still Smokin unannounced to end Mark’s first reign. That blip serving as the middle part to a story Mark looks back on with a great amount of pride.

“My thinking at the time wasn’t that this is the midcard belt. My thinking was that this is the championship, and the main title was the hardcore championship. ICW being what it is, with the rules being at the refs discretion and Jestemcoffey8r being who he is and doing what he does. All of his matches were going to be violent, so again, my thinking was I’ll main event with my title. *laughs* It was never gonna happen…well apart from me and Kenny main eventing Spacebaws that time. That whole run, from winning it to eventually losing it is something I have a lot of Pride in. As one whole piece. A lot of people struggle to look at the bigger picture and just take wrestling as it comes, but if you think about it from when I won until when I lose it you can look at it like a book. There was a beginning, a middle and an end, and its closed now. A lot of people just think about what they’re doing immediately, they don’t think about after that. Being able to look at the whole thing and move on, its something I’ve got a lot of pride in”

Having toppled the ICW Champion at that time with a clean win, Mark carried the moniker of being the “Real ICW Champion” for a while. A tag that was only shed when the champion who eventually did usurp Whiplash, Jack Jester, beat Mark in a match for the title. That match, and a shot at the title Mark recently had against then champion Trent Seven served as a reminder that while singles wrestling might not be high on Polo Promotions agenda at the moment, there’s an audience ready and willing to chuck their support at both parties if the unthinkable does happen at Shugs House Party 4, where they face The Maruaders in a match that will see them forced to split if they lose. “The first title shot I got against Jester when I held the Zero-G, I thought I got quite a bit of support. That surprised me. I didn’t think there was any support for me in that one. The one with Trent I realised ‘oh shit, there is a lot of support for this’ and not only that, there was a lot of support from the locker room. That’s kinda what me and Jackie have become. Not locker room leaders, but just…the boys. I think I’ve got it on Twitter somewhere, that the best part about wrestling is being one of the boys. Its not that I don’t like these people, but I just don’t agree with people who try and separate themselves from the locker room. Almost in an attempt to make yourself seem more important. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. We all share the one locker room. We’re all one. We try and bring that atmosphere and there’s a big group of us now that are all pals. Everyone is getting that feeling now. The feeling of, this is what it’s about. It’s about the boys. That’s the way it should be”

Indeed it was the backing from his peers that humbled Mark the most before his title match with Trent. Most other opponents on a routine Garage show would have put up a good fight without much hope that they might actually take the title, but there was an outpouring of support for Mark that heralded a real belief that “The Power Forward” might actually go ahead and fucking do it.

“The support from a lot of the locker room meant a lot, it was surprising to get a lot of support from the audience because all I’ve ever been was the midcard champ or tag team guy, so to get a sniff of it and for folk to go “aye, this should happen” and for them to really get behind it, it meant a lot. It would have been nice to win it and would have been a massive upset. I think its something that would really have boosted The Garage as a venue. You see a lot of ‘big game hunters’ and ‘celebs’ coming out when the big shows come around and it does my nut in. They appear on Hydro day or Barras day and hit out with a tweet about how much of a big fan they are. No you aren’t. Fuck off. Where are you when we’re doing The QMU? That’s why I like smaller shows. Don’t get me wrong, I like every show, but I enjoy more intimate venues like The Garage and the QMU. I think for a while there, now that everyone has an on demand streaming service, so they’re all concerned about interviews, cameras, lighting and all this shit. Fuck that. They’ll watch it no matter what. Give everything you have to the people that are in the building at that time. The people who have showed up that night and paid more for that single ticket than they would for a month (or even 3 months) of the on demand service. Give them more that night than what goes into putting an on demand show together”

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The “we’re all pals” movement that has seen the formation of almost a brotherhood is something almost unprecedented. Forgoing the in-fighting that tears locker rooms apart, replacing it with days out on the swally watching Scotland snatch a draw from the jaws of a glorious victory against England. “It just kinda happened. We realised none of us had a show and we all went out to watch the Scotland game at Oran Mor. I see guys in wrestling a lot more than guys I grew up with. Mates who you try and make plans with. So thats kinda cool. A lot of the boys are standing up for the boys now. You cant pay people next to nothing anymore. Me and Jackie have set our stall out, and you might notice we dont work at a lot of places other people do because they’ve not agreed to pay us what we’re asking for”

He Aint Heavy….He’s My Brotherrr

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While Mark’s tag team legacy will be largely attributed to achievements as part of Polo Promotions, he first broke on the the scene as part of a tag team with current ICW Champion and his brother Joe Coffey. The team seemed to naturally go in their own directions, and last year they had their first high profile foray into feuding against one and other. Having matches in SWA and PWE, with one in particular tinged with regret for Mark.

“(Working with Joe) Its a challenge. A lot of people just see me and Joe as brothers and assume they must like the same things. They must do the same things. But we dont. We are so far opposites, and wrestling is where its become so apparent that we are thinking totally different ways. We are chalk and cheese when it comes to wrestling in terms of what we like, what we do and what we try to do. So its a challenge. You’re in the ring with someone thinking the totally opposite way. When me and Joe tagged together it was the same thing and it worked against us at times. I felt anyway. We had some good, some bad. But he would bob, I would weave and vice versa. Whereas with me and Jackie, again we are total opposites in terms of personality wise, but in that case opposites attract. He’s so extrovert and I’m so introvert, that he’s sort of pulled me out my shell, and at the same time I’ve sort of tamed him a wee bit.”

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“Working against Joe….it was what it was. I’d have liked it to have been better. I’d have liked it to have been in a different place than SWA if I’m honest. One day in ICW I think it will happen. It has to. When the time is right. I think the idea did get floated in early 2013 and I said no, and they said “why not?” and I said “well….why?” and they were like “brother vs brother” and I said no because it would just be about that. I think Joe was kind of up for it, but I said no him when we do it, its going to be the main event.”

Perhaps with a certain shiny belt Joe currently carries on the line at some point? One can only imagine the atmosphere if Joe in his current villainous form defended the gold against his brother. Hopefully without illness or injury getting in the way as it did when Joe challenged for Mark’s SWA Title last year.

“I was disappointed in the match that ended it. Its nothing to do with the company, or the match stipulation or anything. Its nothing to do with any of that. I was just unwell. Thats my lasting memory of it. It was the week after Barramania last year, and I woke up the morning after Barramania violently ill. Coughing up blood and stuff. Me and my mate watched Wrestlemania that nigmcoffey3ht and it obviously got worse without sleeping so I woke up the next day in an absolute mess. Didn’t leave my bed for 3 or 4 days. I live three floors up and the thought of going down to get food and stuff was a no go. Eventually my mum phoned and asked if I needed anything brought up and I said “Yeah…bring me 4 mcflurrys and 4 milkshakes. That…and Tesco pink doughnuts” and she was asking why and all I could say was “I don’t know, I just need it, bring it” I just needed sugar and cold things. It pisses me off because that day David Wilson was there doing photos and he done the photo that got used in the FSM one to watch article. My bellys hangin out. I’ve got tits, but I’ve got a big left tit and small right tit and I hate it because people still use that photo! Soon as I got in the ring, the cage I think is built for a slightly bigger ring to sit on top of it, but with that ring it cant so it sits on the floor. So you have to go up under the ropes to get in the cage, and even just doing that, Thomas (the ref) asked if I was awrite, and I said “I’m knackered…I’m blowing up here, I cant breathe” and he was like “fuck sake mate. I felt disappointed in myself and that id let down Joe. It was what it was and I needed to just get through it that was that”

Japan Ground Zero (One)

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Mark kickin the tits clean aff Aaron Echo

Even though they may not have worked out as a tag team and have differing views towards the industry they both work in. Joe and Mark do have a lot of similarities. Aside from their DNA (huvin the same maw n da n that) the pair both got the chance to cut their teeth with a stint in Japan working for Zero One, who were affiliated with the Source Wrestling School the brothers came from. Mark recalls on his stint in the far east and how it shaped him as a performer today. When in doubt, be John Cena. Never give up.

“When I was there I lived with Jack Gallagher and Jon Gresham (now of ROH). He’s another I’d love to see in ICW. Bring him in and stick him in a Zero-G match. They’re missing a trick on that so badly. I’ve been pushing for that for ages. Him vs Kenny would be great. I got to spend a lot of time with him and he’s so smart. He tells you things you’d never have even thought of it. When I went over there, my main thing was to work on finishing a match better. When I think about it, my first couple of training sessions over there. I was the shits. When I went over I thought yeah, I’m cool, and then I quickly realised I don’t know anything. The first few days we were there we didn’t train, and I was dying to see what it was all about and then we finally did and I had no idea what was going on. Shinya Hashimoto’s son Daichi was working for Zero One at the time. We were doing some ring drill, and I didn’t have a clue what he was saying. For some reason he ran off the ropes and dropkicked me right in the knees, and I just fell like a tonne of bricks, and I’m thinking “what the hell’s happening here” . There was a few times I knew in my head what was going on, but realised its just something I’d need to put up with”

Putting it with it would mean taking a power of Germans. Something John Cena also has notable experience in himself. I’m not saying Mark Coffey is Scotland’s answer to John Cena or anything but well, he clearly is. Deal wae it.
“They held me behind in training twice. Once was to get Daichi to practice Germans on me. I took about 25 in a row. Another guy I’ve been trying to get over to the UK, Dylan. Guy from New Zealand, 6 foot 4, jacked to the gills, I can’t not see him in WWE in the future. He’s just built for it. He was really good to me. So he was like “let’s go back and get something to eat and train” and they stopped us and went “No, Coffey stays for ring training” and I seen Dylan looking back, he didn’t say anything but he had a look that said “I’m so sorry mate”. So yeah, I went back, took all these Germans, and my mentality was just keep getting up. Keep getting up. In the end it was him who gave up. They done it again a week later and I took like 30 spears. I ended up being sick but he was hitting me square in the belly. So I went out, was sick and got back in the ring before they said stop. I think that’s one of the big things you need to do over there. Keep getting up. Even if you did want to quit, you couldn’t say you wanted to quit. ”

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Another thing Mark and Joe have in common is their involvement in ITV’s revival of World Of Sport. A full run of shows were announced for May this year but have been “postponed” until further notice. Many believing that it’s dead in the water. Even if it never happens, over a million people were watching The Coffeys in a scudding war with the bold Rampage Brown and Ashton Smith and in the immortal words of DDP, that’s not a bad thing…it’s….A GOOD THING.

“I know a lot of the boys are kinda frustrated. Last year ended on such a positive and such a high note for a lot of people. We were thinking “this is actually a thing now, British Wrestling is becoming something where you can make a living and you don’t need to leave the country”  Then this year we’ve seen it fall quite drastically quite quickly. I think a lot of the boys are thinking “fuck, we were so close” but you’ve just got to keep doing it. We’ve got to accept the fact that this current crop of talent in the UK right now might not make a full-time living out of wrestling, but the next generation might if we keep doing what we’re doing. Because if i look back when I started there was no one. Big Damo taught me and he’s been wrestling 6 years, which is less than I’ve been wrestling now. I don’t feel like I could teach somebody now. There was no one for us to turn to. Apart from guys like Robbie Brookside, and even Drew Mcdonald stayed down South, so these guys weren’t readily available to turn to. In America you’d probably have one veteran in every car going to a show and 3 or 4 more backstage but with us we were more flying by the seat of our pants and teaching ourselves. Now I think if we’re 40 and we’re still doing this here, at least we’ll have accomplished something and young guys coming up will have someone with 20 years experience to turn to. ”

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Despite frustrations about how the World Of Sport endeavour has panned out, it seems to have been the breeding ground for the locker room unity that has grown since and even without the show itself, it still may turn out to be the driving force behind the continuing rise of British Wrestling, and the lessening need or desire for performers to give it up.

“I think people need to justify it less. When I started about a year in I done a show with literally 4 people there. I wrestled Lewis Girvan, he’d been at it maybe a year longer than me and its something I wouldn’t even want to look back at now to laugh at. I think it would genuinely make me sick. Back then you’d be worried sick wondering if anyones going to show up. Now you know at least there will be people there. Its nice to go into certain shows now knowing its sold out. I think guys that are 2 or 3 years in, wrestling guys who have been doing it the same length of time. In a building that has more people in the back than it does out front, you can understand thinking “whats the point?” but now that’s less likely because people who’ve been doing it that length of time can look around at people who have been doing it for a long time and think there’s value to keeping at it”

The World Of Sport(s) Entertainment

Moving too far away from what made the ‘pilot’ of the WoS a success seemed to be the problem for the show. Teaming up with Impact Wrestling and allowing the company to not only impose their will, but a lot of their talent on the roster. I was admittedly a wee bit feart to even ask Mark about it all. Overstepping is always something I try to avoid when doing these interviews, and make no mistake about it, World Of Sport was an opportunity that could have been life changing. A palpable annoyance almost paired with renewed motivation poured out of him as he explained further.

“We were told to hang tight and see what happens. They’re still trying to sort it all out. I just think they got in bed with the wrong burd. They’re a TV mcoffey13company, great at TV, but they didnt have anyone wrestling related in the office. Apart from when they got on board with Jeff Jarrett. When they phoned up to tell me it’s not happening yet, I didn’t lose my shit or anything, because I kinda knew it was coming, but I swore at them, and I’d been very professional to that point but I just thought “fuck it, its not happening, or you’re telling me now it might not happen, I’m just gonna tell you what I think” If you’re asking my opinion and you’ve not asked any of the boys their opinion; I’d say tell Impact Wrestling to fuck off. They’re bringing in guys I’ve never even heard of. What’s wrong with our guys?”

That palpable annoyance over it all gradually turns into a huge amount of pride over the show that did air on ITV on Hogmanay. A continuance of the comradery that burns bright in a locker room more united than ever in the face of adversity. If the show ever does end up happening, it should happen with the talent who were involved in the first place “The best thing about it was the roster that was there was so unselfish. There was a general atmosphere that didn’t say “We’ve got this thing, its ours, lets not let anyone touch it” everyone wanted to just do a good job, and the mentality was “if we do this well, it will be good for everyone” . I think they saw how big wrestling had got in this country and they weren’t prepared for dealing with the inner workings. How you deal with certain talents, etc.”

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“That was another thing we got a lot of support from the roster on and it was nice. You do start to wonder, why have we become these martyrs? Its gonna benefit everyone, and someone needs to do it so fuck it. ”                                                                                                                                                       – Mark Coffey on Polo Promotions departure from ICW in 2016

The postponement came around the same time as 5 star Wrestling cancelling their 170000 man, 45 year long tournament, where the winner is the last one to retire. The combination of the two breeding a lasting annoyance at the pitfalls that come with British Wrestling’s “revival”. Although kind words were reserved for WCPW who also had to cancel shows around that time for different reasons “That, along with this 5 star thing that went down. I was supposed to be on all these Friday dates, and I said to him “can we confirm this now?” and he never got back to me. I actually feel for WCPW because they’ve been tarred with that brush a bit when in reality they didnt book a bunch of shows and go “we aren’t doing these now” they were honest and came out with their reasons for cancelling. I thought that video they put up was great and explained it well. They almost dumbed it down, but in a good way, explaining this is how we get our money, and if we don’t get that money we can’t pay these guys so we can’t run these shows. But with all that happening, and a lot of shows being cancelled recently, in my 7 years of wrestling, id had 3 shows cancel on me until January this year, and since January I’ve had 20. At that stage you start to count the money you’ve lost and go “fuck”. So there’s a unity now. Theres a lot of unity in the ICW locker room, and a feeling of “let’s do this for the boys, lets stick together and make sure this is good for everyone”

The spate of cancellations came not too long after Polo Promotions ended a self-imposed exile at ICW. Sacrificing their own interests and taking a step back from the company for a variety of reasons. Relinquishing their tag titles only to scoop them up again upon their return in a ladder match with the team who ‘won’ the tag titles in their absence ‘The Local Fire’.

“Money wasn’t the issue. It was a load of different things and it was one of those things where a lot of the boys felt the same way so we just took the hit for it. I went in to the office to speak to them and it quickly turned into a shouting match, so I thought ‘fuck this, im not having it anymore’ It was becoming too much of a headache. I avoid wrestling from about 9 o’clock at night before you go to bed, because if you think about it gives you a headache. It was left on Dallas mcoffey12saying I still want to work with you in the future, so it was left open-ended. I’m all about putting the power in the boys hands, and you know, there’s a lot of people backstage now that aren’t wrestlers and there was this feeling that they’re more important than us. I don’t mean that in a bad way, they are important, but at the end of the day if the backstage interviewers, the graphics guys and all that show up but the wrestlers don’t, there’s no show. All these people bought tickets to watch nothing. If it’s the other way about, there’s still a show there. The show goes on. It was a feeling that we’re undervalued. That was another thing we got a lot of support from the roster on and it was nice. You do start to wonder, why have we become these martyrs? Its gonna benefit everyone, and someone needs to do it so fuck it. ”

Every End Has A Start

polos3Despite the setbacks its important to remember just how far the independent scene in wrestling has come, both locally and globally. Mark is no different to many wrestling fans in the sense that wrestling for much of his life was just WWE. Maybe Japan a bit, but mainly WWE. Nowadays WWE are featuring British Wrestlers prominently and cherry picking the ones they think can make a difference for them. A compliment to what’s going on in the Independent wrestling scene here and beyond. “I didn’t know Indy wrestling was a thing until about 2009. I knew there was things other than WWE out there but I never watched it. I’m not gonna claim I was a big fan of this, that and the other. Nah. I’d seen Japanese shows and stuff like that and thought “aye…that’s cool…there’s Prince Albert!” *laughs* I remember picking up a magazine at that time, it must have been FSM or something and seeing Brock Lesnar when he was working for New Japan. This was when he first had that sword tattoo and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing”

His introduction to life outside WWE via Brock Lesnar’s frankly terrifying chest tattoo quickly led to the Source Wrestling School. The very existence of which seemed surreal at the time. “Joe and Jackie found the SWA school and I couldn’t stop laughing about it. Not in a mean way at all, i just couldn’t believe that something like this existed to close to home. Even wanting to be a wrestler. People always say how they watched their heroes, and said how they wanted to do that. I would always watch them and go ‘Thats amazing, I’ll never be able to do that’ the thought of me doing that is outlandish. Then I went to an SWA show with Joe and Jackie one time and thought “Fuck….I can do that!” I think it was more the physique of people who made me think I couldn’t. Because I was always very heavy. I was a very fat child, and I played rugby since I was 5 so I didn’t need to look good. As long as I could go. For the position I played in rugby I was always the fittest. So it didn’t matter that i was carrying a bit of weight as long as I could run fast enough, but getting in to something where you need to take your top off? Seeing some of the guys, the physiques now have improved tenfold as to what they were, but looking back, even me at my worst, I looked at guys back then and realised I was in better shape than them. For my first couple of matches I changed my training, then I seen pictures back of me and I thought aw god, I look terrible. Then I dropped just as much weight as possible, but it does creep back on. I think going to Japan as well, they did say to me you’re mid way between a Junior and a Heavyweight, what do you want to be? and I was like “aw yeah, a heavyweight, naturally” and they said you need to put on 10kg. So I ate everything in sight. I ate everything in sight, but I trained like a loony, came back, I was still eating everything in sight but not training like a loony *laughs* ”

“We Are A Main Event Tag Team”

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“Everywhere we go we get such a spit atmosphere and its weird. I always crack the same joke to Jackie. The moment we’re in the ring at ICW or wherever and you’ve got one half chanting “Polo Promotions” and one chanting “get tae fuck” or whatever, I always turn round and say to him “It’s like being John Cena innit”. Like we’re the John Cena of tag team wrestling” –                                                     – Mark on the mixed reaction Polo Promotions get in ICW

With the prospect of having to split in ICW hanging over Polo Promotions there’s no doubt their desire to become a tag team who regularly main event shows up and down the country will continue even if it’s not in ICW.  There’s a passion in both men when they speak about it, and there seemed to be genuine appreciation for the support they had after their victory over Moustache Mountain at Target. The pair exited through the crowd, shaking hands with fans. In their element as the main event tag team they’ve long desired to be.

“If we had to split now it would be hard. Especially coming off the back of the singles match with Trent and it got such a great response. If we split now I wouldn’t get that same organic reaction. If we were to split now I’d be swimming against the tide to move up the card in singles. So it would be a lot of treading water. In my mind, its logical to put a tag team match on last. It happens in Japanese wrestling a lot as well. If a singles match goes on last you have to be so invested in the story to get into it, but with tag team wrestling there’s more to keep you engaged. More people involved and just more action. Looking at this right now. This venue is perfect (for the match) we’ve got seating, its tiered, and over there is the Jungle (Polos singing section) the all signing all dancing section which is just the faithful. You’ll hear a lot of noise from this section tonight”

He wasn’t wrong. They are Polo Promotions supporters. Faithful through and through. Over and over. They will follow you.

Huge thank you to Mark Coffey for his time. Also big thank you to the amazing work of David J.Wilson, Chelsea Cochrane, and whoever took that photo from the crowd at Target. It captured a wonderful moment so well done to ye. 

Follow Mark on Twitter HERE
Like Polo Promotions on Facebook HERE

 

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An Interview With Iestyn Rees

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You lookin at ma belt mate? 

Iestyn Rees and The Marauders have made a profound impact on the Scottish scene over the past year, establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in ICW quickly after forming as Bird and Boar took the ICW Tag Team Titles from Polo Promotions. With Bird and Boar firmly established in the tag division, Iestyn Rees has been staking his own claim for recognition in the mix for the ICW World Heavyweight Title. As the only man to hold the PWE Heavyweight Title more than once, his credentials are there. In PWE particularly he’s wrestled the best and became a better performer for it. He also happens to be carved outta granite. A big block of shiny Welsh granite who’s more than adept at chuckin dafties aboot. From wee dafties, to medium sized dafties, all the way up to big incredible hulk sized dafties.


You go by the “Alpha Male”, a bold claim by definition. Are you actually THE Alpha Male? and if you are, do you promise you wont steal my burd? Nah I jest, seriously though, how did that nickname come about and how does it tie in with your character?

No bird stealing I promise!! Yes it is a bold claim and if you look up Alpha Male in the Dictionary the quote is as follows: “the most dominant, powerful, or assertive man in a particular group” I think that when you look at the British Wrestling Scene and further afield when I step in locker-room of any company I am dominant, powerful and assertive hence why I am the Alpha Male.

Now there was a time when myself and Charlie Sterling were a tag team and we derived the name the Alpha Males because we literally covered all bases when it came to wrestling, high flying, power, technical etc. When that teams time came to a close it was a natural transition for the leader of the team yours truly to step up and take on the Alpha Male moniker.

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In case the answer itself didn’t suffice, here’s a visual aid articulating the point courteousy of Warrior Fight Photography

On to more wrestling based stuff I guess. You have twice been a PWE Champion. The only man in the companies history to do so. You also were the chosen opponent for 2 of Drew Galloways matches with the company. His only matches in his hometown. How vital has the PWE’s trust in you as a performer been for you establishing yourself in places like ICW, PCW, Progress etc?

PWE for me has been the company that allowed the evolution and progression of Iestyn Rees to occur. I had, had success prior to my long list of knee injuries and surgeries in IPW being crowned their champion beating Martin Stone, if I’m truly honest this was probably a little too early in my career and the title run exposed some of weaknesses I had as a wrestler at the time. The injuries caused my bookings to dry up, I was lucky enough to then spend 2 years working mainly for Welsh Wrestling honing my craft and trying to improve every aspect of my wrestling ability.

Once I started to gain more bookings elsewhere etc, I discussed with Adrian (Lionheart) about bringing me into PWE (I had always wanted to work in Scotland as the scene has grown from strength to strength). Adrian was keen to use me, but he wanted to get the best from me. So I had vignettes hyping my debut and from then on I have been a main eventer for him ever since, working all of Scotland’s top talent Wolfgang, Damo, Grado, Noam, Joe Coffey and of course Drew. The top tier talent I got to work and Adrian’s faith in me allowed my profile to grow considerably, this allowed me to pick up work in PCW and ICW and to be used as an integral part in both companies.

How did you feel those matches with Galloway went? Was it a learning curve for you at all? Being in there with someone who at that time was one of the hottest properties in Independent Wrestling?

Those matches were and still are the 2 of the biggest 3 matches I’ve been involved in, Adrian put a hell of a lot of trust in me to go toe to toe with the hottest commodity in world wrestling in his hometown. I felt that I held up my end of the bargain and gave as good as I got from Drew, in terms of learning curve every match I try to improve on the previous one, but certainly Drew forced me to work at a level I hadn’t until that point. I feel that coming away from those matches I am now a much better performer because of them.

Your ICW career started with a few defeats. Took a while for you to chalk up your first win. Since The Marauders started up you personally have been on a hot streak as have your fellow Marauders. How vital has this alliance been in your own upturn of fortunes in ICW?

Coming into ICW I was put up against the top tier talent 4 World Champions and a Zero G champion and perhaps I took them all to lightly as I had faced them at other companies and come away with my fair share of victories. The marauders came together as Bird and Boar reminded me that Wales has been over looked in terms of British wrestling for far too long and as a small nation we were better to stick together as there is always strength in numbers.

My current hot streak just proves that if you have your head in the game, you possess the physical capabilities and the support of your boyos the wins will come and come.

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Whats the overall goal for The Marauders as a unit going forward? Aw the belts?

Of course I can’t see a team taking the tag belts from Bird and Boar, and all I need is an opportunity at some gold and I can see us holding all the belts.

British Wrestling has never been hotter than it is right now and high profile opportunities are popping up all over the place. Do you feel you’re one of the next in line for one of these opportunities perhaps with WWE, WOS etc?

The eyes of the wrestling world are certainly focused on Britain and its wrestlers as we have the hottest products in the world right now. Next inline might be a little presumptuous to say, but do I think I have the ability, charisma, the look and the marketability to offer either WWE, WWEUK, WOS, Impact or wherever someone who they could invest in. #InvestInIestyn

#InvestInIestyn because who doesn’t like their champions to glisten? If you’re not as shiny as the belt itself you’re not worthy to hold it

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Is there anyone you haven’t faced yet that you fancy going up against? If you’ve not wrestled Mark Coffey someone should definitely make that happen

Oh wow, I feel that im only getting started and the list is as long as my arms (6’ 9” wing span, they are pretty bloody long.) But Mark Coffey is definitely top of that list the guy is phenomenal! Others include Lionheart, Jester, Whiplash, Zack Gibson, Pete (Dunne), Trent and Tyler hell anyone and everyone.

Do you enjoy proving people wrong/winning them over, or as a big baddie are you not particularly arsed what people think? I wasnt a huge fan before (sorry, dont kill me or that plz) but over the past year I’ve been won over so was just wondering if thats an aspect of wrestling you enjoy. Being able to shape the way fans see you with your performances?


I’m out there to do my job, in today’s Indy wrestling scene there aren’t many guys my size 6 foot 3, 17.5 stone. Now I wrestle a style that isn’t to everyone’s tastes and I’m used to hearing people not being impressed or not fussed by me as in the case with yourself I am confident in my ability and captivate people and win most not all round with my style. But don’t let that fool you I’ve got lots of tricks in my bag and I occasionally let them out and when I do most fans are shocked, I can fly (check out my “Undertaker” dive alongside Aaron Echo at the Hydro far example)

That dive is one of the chief reasons I became a believer. If you’re a wrestling fan and not impressed when huge dudes do dives that huge dudes shouldn’t be able to do, you’re not really a wrestling fan

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You’ve been compared to Chris Masters in the past due to your similar physiques and you’ve even wrestled him a few times. Is that a comparison you enjoy and is he someone you’re a fan of?

I feel the comparisons to Chris are flattering hell the guy has an incredible physique (I was a huge fan of him when he debuted in WWE) and has worked at a top level for the WWE, but at the same time I feel that although that maybe peoples first impression after they have seen me perform a few times then will understand that I’m not a Sh*t Chris Masters, I am Iestyn Rees, I’m the Alpha Male. I bring a whole different package to the table.

Because how many times has Chris Masters ever done a big dive at The Hydro with Aaron Echo? 0 times. Big man couldnae lace Iestyn’s boots. 

You’ve been putting people “on notice” lately. Making short work of “local” talent in ICW, and even posing with the corpses…sorry, opponents, in a fishing style “catch of the day” pose, are you enjoying making an example of these guys, or is it time for the Alpha Male to go toe to toe with some more worthy adversaries?

The whole roster is “On Notice” that’s been evident when I’ve been on tour and beaten Aaron Echo and DCT in quick fashion. Ill wrestle whoever I’m matched up against “Local Talent” to World Champion, but people need to understand if I’m sent out there against Local talent or anyone else they run the risk of being the latest “Catch of the Day”!

Last but not least. Tell us anything you like. Plug your social medias. Tell us a joke if you fancy. Whatever you like.


Thanks for the interview; your reviews are definitely a great read.

Find Iestyn on various social medias here
Twitter: IESTYN REES TWITTER
Instagram: IESTYN REES INSTAGRAM
Facebook: IESTYN REES OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE

Merch: www.iestynrees.bigcartel.com
Press/Media/Enquiries: Iestyn.rees@sky.com

Cheers to David J.Wilson and Warrior Fight Photography for the shiny shots that made the words pop

An Interview With Lucha DS

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Lucha DS is a talented up and comer from PBW’s ranks. A guy who accentuated his strengths in life and moulded a wrestling persona out of those strengths. A dedicated student of the game who you should definitely be keeping an eye on, but with all that being said, the big thing I took from chatting to him was the answer to something I’ve always wondered but never really knows how to ask. A burning question you might call it. The thing I’ve always wondered is does wearing a mask when you wrestle not make it much more difficult? Why would you voluntary subject yourself to sweaty faced misery? After a few months the mask itself must be about 90% sweat 10% mask. Apparently it fucks with your depth perception which doesn’t sound ideal for doing a lot of jumping about, but this is the sacrifice of the Luchador. The dedication it takes to commit to that type of character and adopt its traditions. It is also the sacrifice for siblings of The Undertaker who have magically disappearing then re-appearing third degree burns on their face, but mostly luchadors. Lucha DS has had a cracking 2016 and tells us all about that, his philosophy on learning his craft, his philosophy on how good Liam Thomson is and many more philosophical things.


For anyone who might not know, tell us a bit about Lucha DS. What sets you apart from the rest?

I’d like to think I have a couple of things that make me stand out, apart from the obvious of being one of being one of a handful of people who work wearing a mask, which causes a lot of issues itself, like the fact I’m doing something really physical that puts me at risk of injury so why don’t I cover my face to not only impair my vision and depth perception but also restrict my breathing at times, not greatest idea but the mask is a fantastic part of the character and have to take the bad with the good parts to make it work.

I am very quick and agile and as nice as a flip can look, if you are just flipping for the sake of it then I may as well be on a trampoline, I think I am getting more experienced now with use of gymnastic ability to the point of making things work well in matches to tell a story, where the addition of the Lucha libre style can hopefully add to a match, a show and bring that bit of variety to the overall card.

You’re a PBW Academy trainee, and the most decorated student to come from their most recently opened Greenock school. I wanted to ask you how big a part PBW has played in your evolution from trainee to performer and how important them opening a school that was easy for you to get to was in you taking the leap of faith and giving this a go?

PBW give you all the tools you need to become a wrestler, you have to learn what they teach and not just moves but everything in between. The core of things everyone can learn but I feel the real strength of the academy has been that the coaches Kid Fite, TJ Rage and Gary Burns (who is my coach) teach the structure, timing and psychology of wrestling in a way that makes sense to me. The step between trainee to performer I feel is a role I haven’t went from one to the other I still feel I learn every single time I go to training or have a match on a show, I feel I have to take something from each match to work on to improve, I even have a journal where I have written every single match I’ve had and the feedback after matches I received and I read it all the time. The location of the school has been like winning a watch, being there from the beginning and working hard and the benefit of the small group numbers the first few weeks meant Gary was more intensive with that small core group. I am just glad that I went and tried it.

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You’ve appeared on a couple of PBW’s Greenock shows. Most recently in a singles match with one of the top guys in Scotland, former ICW Champion Jack Jester. How much of a buzz has it been to be able to perform in front of such big crowds in a place that holds personal significance for you?

That match was amazing, the crowd were red hot for me and Jack Jester being his usual big, smug, evil gloating self-enjoying every single time he hit me, had the crowd eating right out his hand, working against the top guys is what we all want to do, it’s how you improve, watching how they work up close you can’t help but learn. It being in the Greenock town hall just made it so much more special, standing across from Jester and other big names is such a cool thing to do, doing it when you can see and hear all your friends and family cheering you on just made it more fun.

Who is your favourite opponent so far and is there anyone you’d love to get in the ring with but haven’t had the chance to yet.

Favourite opponents is hard and I know everyone always says it’s a hard pick because you don’t want to forget a name, but I have had a few guys who I enjoyed working for various reasons. Kid Fite who I have had three really good matches against now, is top drawer, TJ Rage was great to work against I love the big guy vs the little guy matches, and again he’s a powerhouse and I thought we matched up well.

Liam Thomson was a memorable match, at the start of the new year Mav (Gary Burns aka former Scottish wrestler Scott Maverick) asked us to set some goals for the new year we would like to achieve and the previous year I didn’t hit any of the three I wrote, then this year I had four written, one of which was, “have a match against Liam Thomson, ( I even tweeted about it in Feb/March) Liam was the PBW champion when I was a fan and on shows I always try to watch the other matches. Liam always has great matches, so thought why not put it down and by chance, I don’t tell anyone what I have written I turned up to do the All Star camps during the summer and got told I was working with Liam and the match itself was great. I told him afterwards that I had written it and he tried not to look weirded out about it at all ha ha ha and was very nice afterwards.

Right now Source, GPWA and PBW are crossing paths and getting talent involved from the schools which is amazing to see, and there loads of matches in there that would be interesting. I’ve had matches against CS Rose and Sam Barbour recently that were good, so many guys just now are killing it, being in with your pals is good fun too from Krieger and Lou King Sharp who are so funny it’s hard not to break, to the big name talents like Wolfgang and Joe Coffey who are killing it at the moment. Good thing is promoters pick who I get to wrestle so it’s out my hands.

Why do you love wrestling? What makes you willing to put up with the undoubted pain and suffering that it brings just for that 10-15 minute release when you’re actually out there performing?

It’s like no feeling in the world, standing at the curtain as you music starts and hearing your name get announced is the bit when the nerves reach boiling point then it go time, you get out to that crowd and do what you’ve trained to do. I try to enjoy every moment, to take it all in because that’s what makes the hours gym less shit, travelling for hours on end less tedious, being away from my wife and son on sometimes my only day off that week worth it, to perform in the ring, have my match, entertain the fans, win or lose that ten, fifteen minutes pass like seconds, it really does. Then you feel sore that night the next day and I’m already counting down the days until I get to do it again.

Who are your inspirations and main sources when it comes to learning your craft? Folk will be expecting answers like Rey Mysterio and the like so shock them all and tell them how you’ve closely studied the work of Adam Bomb and have essentially based your career on him.

I have loads of guys who I love to watch, just now I’m on a Jack Evans, Areostar binge, I watch a load of wrestling from everywhere, i just got a copy of Flash Morgan Webster s DVD to watch, he is such a unique character, I trained last year with Kris Travis and he said something that day that stuck with me, learn what you can from everyone take what you like from them and make it your own, I like tlucha2o think like a DJ with music, I take what I learned like small samples of music and I just mix bits of this and that to hopefully make my own wee tune. Seminars are where you learn some golden stuff to take away and I try to attend as many as a can to learn from everyone who all got to differing places in the business by doing things there way. This year I done a four day seminar with Atsushi Aoki from all japan, and just on Sunday I was doing drills he taught me. I have a move that I do that the set up into it Big Damo drilled me on in a seminar he took before he headed to NXT. Inspiration can come from so many places with everywhere putting on top shows.

With the wrestling scene going through a boom period here and you being one of the many “new” talents looking to establish themselves, how do you plan on doing that and getting involved with a few other companies in the coming year?

I want to work more places in 2017 I had a great 2016, PBW giving me a real crack in some big shows, debuted for a few promotions such as Discovery and PWL, SSW giving me lots of opportunities to work almost every month for them last year.
I have a couple of Debuts lined up for the New Year, a diary that is looking busy.
I will do what I have done from starting out, be professional, work hard, make sure I’m working for the show and not myself, knowing where my match is on the card and trying to learn from every match, train just as hard and know what, be nice to folk, which isn’t hard to do. I don’t have an ego, everyone is all trying to reach the same goal, I want to be part of this business to have a career that I’m proud of, and make friends along the way.

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What’s the best and worst thing about being a pro wrestler? 

Best thing, is the wee things, a fan saying to you had a good match, a wee kid telling me I was their favourite on a show, a wee tweet from someone at a show I was on, who says how good the show was, but the best my wee boy walking in town and seeing daddy on a poster.

Worst thing, the day after a show, when you look and its maybe a week or two until you can do it again, it sucks real bad, I am such a grumpy bastard for the next few days and don’t hide it well.

Last but not least, tell us anything you want. Plug your social media. Tell us your favourite food from the region of Mexico your from. Anything you like.

I have a Facebook page that I appreciate a wee like on and a twitter that I plug any upcoming dates and appearances.
Come and check out the PBW academy if this is something you’ve ever wanted to do, come along and just watch a session see if it’s for you, there’s no pressure to have to get stuck right in. There are school in Greenock, Barrhead and Airdrie.
But most of all I just want to say thanks for reading this, fans who get out to shows and help this scene you guys are why we do it, and the reason we can do it, I am only getting started, so 2017 get out and see live wrestling.

If war games strategy is your thing, check out the recent episode myself Mav and Donnie T done for BBC it’s on iPlayer just now, Time Commanders.
And Merry Christmas

Thank you to the incomparable David J Wilson and Jamie Spaul for the accompanying images. 

An Interview With Krieger

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Krieger throwing up gang signs moments after being given detention for wearing a singlet to school

When I first gave big Krieger a shout about doing an interview, he was not one half of the PBW Tag Team Champions. In between me asking and eventually sending him questions, he had somehow become one half of the PBW Tag Team Champions and that got me thinking. What if this is a trend? What if this is the winter of gold for Krieger’s young and old, and if I wait it out just a wee bit longer, he’ll be WWE Champion by the time I send the questions. Ever since I pulled the trigger and actually got this done, Krieger has won The TNA X-Division Title, The GFW Grand Atlantic 12 Gold Bars for £11.99 Title, The Nobel Peace Prize, The Formula One Drivers Championship, The ICW Zero-G Title, The WWE Smackdown Womens Title and The Johnny Thighslaps Award For Excellence In Wrestling Realism, so he’s on pace to have won every award available to the human race by the end of 2016. A number of postal votes for the US Presidential Election are said to have Trump and Clinton crossed out and “Big Krieger fae the wresslin!” scribbled in their place, but we pride ourselves on getting these interviews BEFORE the big break happens so we can be all smug lit that “See him? Knew about him before knowing about hings wis even a hing m8!”

So the questions were sent, and the big charismatic baw booter provided answers. Probably while he was covering Kevin Owens to become only the third ever WWE Universal Champion.


So new PBW tag champs eh? Ye think yer a big shot now do ye? Nah seriously though, how did it feel to take the titles on PBWs biggest show of the year?

Means the world. The fact that it’s for PBW who trained me and taught me everything I know makes it that much more special. The fact it was with Lou was special for me also because he has always went out his way to help me. When it became clear that our characters fell within the same ballpark it would have been easy for him not to be too keen on it but instead he went out his way to advise me on how to carry a character through a match. When you put they two factors together it was an honour.

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You and Lou King Sharp have been tagging for a wee while now and are part of a growing division of young tag teams in Scotland. How far do you see this team going and will there be a plentiful amount of dancing and maw shaggin along the way?

No need to worry, for the foreseeable future I’ll be dishing out scuddings and Lou will be sending yer maw scuddies. The tag division in Scotland is full of great talent. It’s no my place to say where we fit into that, that is the job of fans and promoters to decide. We will continue to work as hard as anyone and take any opportunity that comes our way.

You recently had your first run on the holiday camps with Kid Fite and co. How was that experience? Getting to wrestle so much in a short period, do you feel it helped your learning process a lot?

I had a 9/10 week run wrestling the best in the UK 5 days a week. If I wasn’t working them, BT Gunn and/or Kid fite gave me feedback after every one of they matches. So to answer your question it made me much better. At my stage of development what I was crying out for was reps. Consistent work, improving my wrestling and fine tuning my character. Thanks to Kid Fite giving me the nod I got all of that this summer. There is a long way to go for me and I have a lot of improving still to do but the camp run made huge improvements to myself.

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How would you describe your character? Like if I’d never seen you do your thing, how would you sum yourself up? Just a mad patter merchant that loves scuddin cunts?

Fito (clown owes me a fiver for plugging him so much on this) likes to describe me as “Lous big mosher brother” I think for a one sentence answer that’s the best.
Just a mad patter merchant that loves scudding folk is my tinder bio.
It was actually an interview with the bold Fito conducted in Kriegers car that made me pay particular attention to him, and sure as fuck he proved to be the standout on the trainee show PBW were running in Greenock that night. So a plug for a plug int it. If the guy who does the single greatest snap suplex in wrestling thinks yer decent, you must be doing something right. 
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You’re a PBW academy graduate. Tell us a bit about the school and what sets it apart from the others? Who have your main influences been during training?

One of the great things is that there are loads of top schools in Scotland each trained by people who have a wealth of experience. For me PBW has been brilliant, TJ Rage and Kid Fite trained me and they are very much believers of you get out exactly what you put in. If they see how bad you want it they will do everything in their power to make it happen for you. I am a prime example of that. If you work your arse off for they two they will give it back tenfold. My biggest training influences (outwith my trainers) is probably Kenny Williams. Kenny has only taken training a handful of times whilst I have attended but he started where I did and look where he is now. One of the very best in Europe

You make your first (I believe) main roster ICW appearance soon. Has becoming a regular there been a goal for you, and how do you intend to make that happen?

Anyone who says they wouldn’t want to be an ICW roster member is at the noise up. Of course that’s a goal but, at the moment, possibly unrealistic for myself. My immediate goal is to solidify my place in the promotions I work for in Scotland and build on my work down south. If I can do that and make a bit of a buzz around myself then ICW could become a regular thing but only if I continue to work hard and improve.

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So you tag with TJ Rage and Lou King Sharp. One big, one wee. Aw the dynamics. The big question is, who’d ye like better?

Fuck me. Both teams bring their own benefits and challenges. Both of them are extremely talented and I need to be at my best to not look out of place when I team with either of them. I appreciate the help both these guys continue to give me.
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The classic “I prefer the wee guy but don’t want the big guy to leather me” response. Safe but respectful. Hopefully reading this wee bit means big TJ will batter him anyway for a giggle.
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With Scottish/British wrestling going through a “boom” period right now, how much of a buzz is it to be slap bang in the middle of it trying to carve out a name for yourself in an era where opportunities are plentiful?
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The generation that have came before us have taken Scottish wrestling to a level never thought possible. They are the reason people like myself have the opportunity to hone our craft in front of packed out venues up and down the country. Without their hard work none of us would stand a chance. It undoubtedly is easier for us to make a break nowadays but fuck me we don’t half have a hard job following this group of wrestlers.
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Who were your wrestling influences growing up? Anyone in particular you try to channel through your own work?
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Growing up it was the attitude era guys as I’m sure krieger10most 22 year olds would say. In terms of people who I try to replicate I would probably say Michael Hayes. Guy was a big flamboyant guy who could either make a crowd love him or hate him, if I can replicate that even 50% we might have something.
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No gonnae lie, got a wee semi for that answer. Being a generic pants n kickpads wrestler man is fine, but unless you’re flawless at the grapplin’ it’ll go nowhere. Be a fuckin freebird and be something. 
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Anyone on the scene you’ve yet to aim the scuddin boots at but would like the chance to? 
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A few cause it’s too hard to just say one Stevie Xavier. Guy is a class act. Never seen him have a bad match. Aaron Echo, never really crossed paths despite training almost exact the same amount of time.
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Aaron Echo vs Krieger for the PBW Title will happen one day. Mark my wildly speculative words.
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What’s the big aim for Krieger? What are you personally looking to get out of this wrestling carry-on? 
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The big aim is to make a living from this carry on. I want to get to a level where this can be my full time job. In order to do that I have a lot of improving to do, so immediate plan is to continue to ask anyone and everyone for advice and make the most of every opportunity I get.
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Last but not least, tell us literally anything ye like. Plug yer social media if ye want. Tell us yer favourite sweetie. Favourite juice to enjoy in glass bottle form. Whitever ye fancy ma man.
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PBW academy has schools in Greenock, Barrhead and Airdrie every Sunday.
PBW has launched its on demand service where you can see any PBW show soon after its been. This includes Noam Dars last match for PBW(me and lou pure scudded him) that time me and Lou battered two power rangers. That other time me and Lou scudded Wolfie and Hearto just cause we could and soon our glorious tag title win.
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BCW needs no plugging as it sells out 3 month in advance nowadays but they have given me so many opportunities I need to to thank them here.
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Twitter- @kriegerPBW
Instagram- @KriegerPBW
www.facebook.com/KriegerPBW/

 


Big thank you to the massively talented David J.Wilson for the photos and to big Krieger for his time. Talented dude. Lots of charisma and seems to be finding his niche so keep an eye out and come and see his ICW main roster debut at The Garage the night before Fear and Loathing at The Hydro. 

An Interview With Ravie Davie “The Fresh Prince Of Drumoyne Square”

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Wrestling comes in many flavours. A good wrestling show should be a right good mix-up. A wee bit of everything. Some of it you love (fizzy cola bottles), some of it you’re completely indifferent to (normal cola bottles), and some of it makes you immediately gag at the sight of it (they fuckin weird blue cola bottles that taste like Windolene) but it at its best its a variety even if it’s not rammed with things you immediately love. Scottish wrestling for me is unsurpassed at putting on that type of show. There’s good stuff happening down south, over in America, aw err the globe, but if ye want my completely unbiased take on it Scotland does variety better than anyone. ICW in particular are famous for it and GPWA trainee Ravie Davie represents that variety better than most, because on the same show where we seen Chris Renfrew and DCT get steamin and chase each other with everything from kendo sticks to dildos, on the same show we seen Lionheart and Lewis Girvan have a stoater of a match ridden with shenanigans, on the same show we seen Damo powerbomb Trent Seven from the ring to a table on the outside, and on the same show where we seen BT Gunn, Wolfgang, Kay Lee Ray and Viper batter fuck out each other paying no attention to the gender of the person facing them, we also seen Ravie Davie wrestle Aaron Echo in the dark match, and respond to a “Where’s yer Da?” taunt from the crowd with an almost poetic response of “Ah dunno, he left when I wis a wee guy!” . If that’s not the definition of “variety” I dunno what the fuck is.

There’s nae doubt Ravie Davie has made an impression on the scene already and has proved to be more than competent in the ring (that moonsault’s a stoater), but its the fact that people already knew who he was before they even knew he was a wrestler that sticks out the most. You can teach folk wrestling, but you can’t teach charisma, and this cunts got bags of it, so we had to grab him for a chat. We had to get in there before he becomes a reality tv star, or becomes the guy to single-handedly bring back WCW, by telling Ted Turner to stop fannyin aboot and fuckin dae it. Hulk Hogan’s still alive and probably at a loose end so why the fuck no. There’s yer brand right there. Not like he’s done anything lately to hurt his public image. Listen but, less of my shite, more of Ravie Davie.

Obviously the patter is slangy as fuck, I imagine if ye’ve read my stuff before it’ll no be a problem, but if you haven’t and its a problem, well take yer problem elsewhere mate. Only room for love here.


Ravie fuckin Davie. First and foremost, hows things mate?

Wits hapnin Martin ma man n wits happnin to the troops that are readin. Aye mate all good in the life of the fresh prince at the moment mate 2016s defos been the best year eh ma life n its no even hawf way done yet

You came from the GPWA school run by a squad of experienced Scottish Pro Wrestlers. Tell us a wee bit about that experience and what made you go for it in the first place

Aye man the GPWA is honestly the best thing i have ever done wae ma life, honestly man 5 eh the very best wrestlers in europe training you 4 times a week man ye canny whack it mate know wit a mean? My experience in the asylum his been the fuckin business, from ma 8 week intake seeing if a was cut out for this, learning all the different types of holds n moves, getting to do matches in training to actually making my debut n putting aw the stuff av been taught together man it been immense honestly couldny recommend enough to anyone man the GPWAs like a family n a fuckin love it. The reason a went for the asylum was after seeing Insane Fight Club 1 n 2 a mailed Mark Dallas on Facebook saying a wanty get into wrestling is there anyway ye could help me out n he said search for the Glasgow Pro Weestling asylum on Facebook and they’ll train you or sometin along that line n ats wit a done a had a went n payed for ma place in the school at waited patiently to join n it was well worth the wait man ano av said it wance or twice but seriously the best hing av done in ma life.

Also the schools got alot of good talent in it ma nemesis The Sam Barbour Experience, Stevie James, CS Rose, The Purge, Jack Dillon, Soldato, Kez Evans, Molly Spartan n many many more that yeez will probably hear about in the not to distant future

Putting ye on the spot, but fuck it, this is hard-hitting journalism right here. Who’s yer favourite coach of the 5? I bet its Wolfgang. He seems like a delightful chap.

Ye’ll no believe me here coz yell hink am just avoiding answering the question but a like them aw the same they’ve aw got their different qualities coaching wise they’ve aw got a vast amount a knowledge, talent and past stories to use to help us aw grow and the fact that there 5 best pals really shows when yer there n they want nothing more than aw there trainees to succeed in the wrestling business n to be happy while there trying to achieve their goals.

Well dodged. Diplomatic answers to interview questions have been a cornerstone of civilised society for as long as societies have existed, but at the same time, I’m gonnae take this to mean “Wolfgang’s ma favourite, but if I say that BT Gunn will chop the nips aff me, Lionheart will superkick ma left molar oot, Jester will carve his name and shoe size intae my foreheid with that corkscrew, and Red Lightning will fire me”

You’ve made an impression in ICW early in your career. First with the videos of you “sneaking” in to shows, and more recently in the ring. How much of a buzz has it been to make a mark at one of the biggest independent wrestling companies in the world so early in your career?

How much eh a buzz has it been ?
Mate its been the biggest buzz eh ma life man a swear sometimes a don’t believe it’s actually happening, I know everybody says it, but honestly man this is a real life dream am living. Like see if a died the day, I’d die a happy man well no happy coz ad be deid but a wouldny be angry ye get me ???

Defo mate. Day after the most significant interview I’ve ever done I felt the same. Honestly sat and asked myself “Will it ever get any better than this? Interviewing my hero?”  To this day I remain thankful that Lou King Sharp gave me that interview. 

You play the “ned” character. Full of patter, charisma and surprising moonsaults. How close is that character to how you are as a person outwith the wrestling? “fae the scheme, fur the scheme” was the patter that first grabbed me tbh. That’s the kind of thing that sets ye apart.

Aye yer right there man av got more patter than a centipede wearing flip-flops, n more than wan surprising moonsault but aye the characters very close to me being born n bred in Govan am basically just a ned who likes wrestling but now instead a hinging about street corners wae the young team drinking n fighting wae other gangs am hinging about the asylum fighting other trainees which is much better coz ye dont needty watch out for the polis. Really am just a ned wae a gameplan n the fae the scheme for the scheme hing will still be happening, but instead reporting it will be fighting fae the scheme for the scheme.

Were you always a wrestling fan growing up? If so, who were your wrestling heroes? 

Aye man av been a big wrestling fan aw ma life ever since a was 4 years old n a seen it on sky sports wae ma uncle I’ve been hooked. Me n ma 2 pals Zander Mcguire n Steg Barnett used to roam the streets a Govan looking for mattresses that had just been flung out n would move them to this set a backs where there was a wall wee could jump off n wee just wrestle from morning to night. Honestly hinking about it now it was fuckin stupid n am surprised none eh us got seriously hurt but at was what the 3 eh us done everyday until we got to high school n ma wrestling heroes well av got a few lol … Mick Foley was my first ever favourite wrestler so getting to meet him last year was the donkeys conkers for me. Shawn Micheals is ma favourite of all time n ye canny no love yer Rocks, Austins n Eddie Guerreros aw the guys av grew up watching man but Micheals n Foley are definitely ma 2 biggest heroes in wrestling.

If the Foley love was an attempt to pop the interviewer. Well done. It 100% done the job. Here’s Davie going for (and missing, but I’ve seen him hit it and its a phenomenal site) that mad moonsault he does.

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You’re in amongst a feud with The Padded Weans Of Whatsapp or whatever ye call them. Taking a beatdown from them before coming to Davey Boy’s aid when they attacked him at the last ICW show. How much do you want to batter fuck out them? Like, I think we all do a wee bit,  but your desire to knock them out must be much stronger considering the fact that they keep fuckin’ with you.

Aye the spoiled weans who are heavy bams decided to fuck up my debut in Glesga by sneakying me, causing me to take ma eyes aff that big snake Aaron Echo so he could smash me about for the win. A don’t see why Aarons got them to help him coz he’s some size eh a boy but at least a know wit to expect now coz next time a face them a just needty do what a done when a hawnered Davey Boy, and thats take they 2 out first afore a get ma hawns on the big man. The fact that the fucked me over is the main reason but even if they didny ad still wanty batter them for the fact they think there better than cunts coz theyve got money or that fuckin stupid music they come out to man wit the fuck is that so a swear to u Marty boy that am gawny smash the lot of them like gless bottles n no amount a money in the world can stop me fae dain that to them.

Wee hint of an alliance with Davey Boy there as well. Could we see “The Two Daveys” make their tag team debut anytime soon?

No comment until my lawyer gets here 😂

Nah kiddin on mate obviously thats something I would love but eh guys busy being wae The Local Fire stuff n that but ye never know mate ye never know.

Where do you see this wrestling thing taking you? Whats the ultimate aim for Ravie Davie?

Honestly mate I don’t know mate if you told me in August when I started going to the asylum that I would have been where I am right now I would have laughed at you so hopefully I just keep progressing like I am then who knows but the ultimate aim for me in this is to become the best hing gawn in wrestling and to be the most successful person to come out of Govan since Sir Alex Ferguson except i want to have lifted more championships than him when I retire.

Picturing a version of that photie of Ultimo Dragon with about 50 belts, except its Ravie Davie wae every belt in Scotland (some he won, some he ‘borrowed’) stickin the middle finger up a photie of Sir Alex. 

There’s an ICW show at the Hydro this year. 11,000 capacity. Probably a daft question, but how much of a huge thing would it be to make it on to that show and how do you plan on making that happen?

If a made it onto that show I’d probably collapse the minute a got told coz a wouldny be able to contain ma excitement but to be fair ad just be happy no having to sneak in. I highly doubt at will be the case cause Red Lightning has got it in for me and doesny want The Fresh Prince bringing the scheme to ICW but I’ll just keep dain wit am dain and if worst comes tae it all just sneak in. I’ve awready been ‘hinkin of a way a can do it.

WWE are running RAW in the Hydro a couple of weeks earlier, so kid on yer Enzo Amore and Flex is Big Cass. Get on RAW. Tell the worldwide audience about ICW. ICW sells out the Hydro and there’s so much demand for tickets that a second show is booked. They’d have nae choice but to book ye then, or alternatively ye could hide in the toilets for 2 weeks and anytime somecunt asks, talk about how much of a belter of a shite it is, and you could be “anything from 10 minutes to 10 days finishing this bad boy aff, I’m no nippin it for anycunt!”

Last but not least. Tell us anything ye want. Like how a guy wakes up in Amsterdam no having a fuckin clue how he got there haha. Nah but, any social media plugs or things of that nature feel free to fire them in here. Anything else you want to tell us, fire away.

The Amsterdam thing was just a mad wan gawn that wee bit too far but that’s out ma system now its no something av done afore n wont be something am ever going to do again was funny at the time but regretted it when I realised the mess I’d got maself in haha. But it did work out no bad for me but coz a got a free trip back to Amsterdam out of it for a tv show that will be on ITV this summer so that was a result but naws its definitely no sometin a would recommend dain also if yer reading this n yev no awready liked ma fb page get yerself onto that Ravie-Davie, The Fresh Prince Of Drumoyne Square and also the asylum have an intake on June 15th wae limited spaces left so get yer arse along to the GPWA page n get yerself signed up.


Cheers to Warrior Fight Photography and Marion Mcginn for the images used and of course to Ravie Davie for his time. If you wan’t to see what all the fuss is about, get to the next Asylum show or the next ICW show the bold yin is on. Even if he’s no scheduled to be on it, the card is always subject to neds.