“I’m just putting it oot there, Season 3 of Rick and Morty was f****n shite”
It had all started so well tae. I walked in to The Howlin’ Wolf pub on Bath Street in Glasgow a wee bit late, having walked past it maybe 4 times in a shocking attempt to find it as I quikcly realised I only recognised the name because its what Wolfgang calls his Swanton these days. When I eventually did get there, I was greeted by Stevie Boy and Kay Lee Ray sitting with a dug. A real life dug they had brought along to this apparently dug friendly pub. When conducting interviews its important to be professional you see. Show up on time, don’t get lost, don’t ask anyone if they’ll do one of they delayed vertical suplexes on you like The British Bulldog used to. Be very journalism I guess is the point here, and that duty of responsibility is the only thing that stopped me running right out the back door and shouting “A FUCKIN DUG!? YASSS” when I seen Berty the Pug. Giver of life and more importantly paws. A good boy. The good will that came from the dug’s appearance vanished entirely when my man Stevie started giving Season 3 of Rick and Morty a bit of stick. It was different mate. Not all highlights, but shite? Mon noo. Ease up on the accelerator before this misguided opinion takes off. A bit like his career has done over the past year.
A fine way to segway into wrestling stuff eh. That’s what this interview was initially about before we got all caught up in the land of dugs and Rick and Morty. The wrestling. Kay Lee Ray and Stevie are not only a couple, but a couple of brilliant wrestlers. The uniqueness that comes with them going through the trials and tribulations wrestling throws at them as a unit made this interview one of my favourites to conduct, but at the same time, they brought a dug, so they could have spent an hour calling my beard shite and I’d have walked away thinking it went well. Because dugs are life. Well, wrestling then dugs. Or more specifically, wrestling at The Hydro….then dugs. As Stevie explained when he spoke about his match. A fatal four-way death match for the “King Of Insanity” crown which may or may not see people die in a pool of their own blood and snotters when the big show takes place on Sunday. Some eerie promo’s from the competitors as they had their psychological state assessed ahead of it properly set the tone for what’s to come
Stevie “It was something different. They just told me they wanted me in to film something, I showed up and had no idea what it was. They laid it out. It’s loosely based on The Joker Diaries. I’d never seen it but they fired on the computer and I was like “Aye…I am so down with this” there’s a wee bit I keep telling people because it just makes me laugh. In the promo my hand is completely white, because the wall behind me had just been painted. So I grabbed the chair and chucked it off the wall and when I turned it round I realised my full hand was white. That’s how my hand’s down at my side the whole time. I pull it up to spark the fag and it goes right back in the pocket *laughs*. The promos have added something extra to the match. People keep asking me if I’m looking forward to it and I keep saying I’m looking forward to the Monday morning. See if I can wake up and go “its done man” and I’m in one piece, I’ll be happy. I think its going to be a yearly thing. I don’t get why they wouldn’t want to capitalise on the interest in it so I assume it will be something they build on. Another reason I’m glad its come about is that I think we lost the insanity a wee bit of a while in ICW. We lost that edge. We used to be the company doing all this mad stuff, and as much as I’m not a death match wrestler and its so far from what I want to do long-term, I want us to bring that back, so I’m excited to do this”
While Stevie will be trying to avoid three of the maddest bastards in the UK trying to end his life, Kay Lee has the simple task of defending her ICW Women’s Title inside a steel cage. Against two women. Who also happen to hate her. It’s a match that’s been built up perfectly to come to this potentially brutal conclusion. As Kay Lee went on to explain
“That main event match with Kasey was a really good match. I think we played the match perfectly. I wanted people to forget it was a Women’s main event and just focus on the match we produced. There was a lot of pressure, and it was nice to see that Kasey CAN step up. Its nice to see that because it’s always been just a few women in ICW who are trusted like that. Its nice to have a variety of people, and we can all work together and do different stuff. Hopefully next year there will be even more. I’m sure they’ll all be coming for my belt, but it’ll be nice for some of the attention to be on other people. There’s a lot of hype around us going in and I think if there’s anybody who can pull it off it’s the three of us. The matches I have with Viper are always good as well, so we have chemistry. It feels like we’ve been going against each other forever. Maybe one day we can be pals *laughs*, but it’s not today, It won’t be Sunday, and it probably won’t be Monday either”
The chance of duelling cage swantons had both Stevie and Kay Lee buzzing. As Kay Lee will look to emulate her big pal and steel cage veteran Wolfgang who Stevie remarked has made jumping off the cage a bit of a hobby “You could ask Wolfie what he’s upto this week, and he’d hit out with ‘Nuhin much, just gonnae set the cage up and jump aff it” Kay Lee tantalisingly chimed in with what I took to be a promise rather than a clue “Wonder who can do the Swanton off the cage better? We’ll maybe find out eh”
Balls to maybe. After that if there’s not at least one Swanton off the cage, a lawyer will be consulted. While the big one at The Hydro has always been on the horizon, it was only after a tough couple of weeks that the duo could really bring it in to sharp focus. “I feel like we’re good at keeping it in perspective. The hydro is happening, but we’re good at focusing on whats happening in the here now. Even if it’s always building towards The Hydro. This weekend for Pro Wrestling Eve, I wrestled Charli Morgan, Nina Samuels and Nicole Matthews. Three tough matches that definitely sharpened me up for this. It’s always been the focus, but its only now that we really think about it. The Hydro’s really crept up on us this year”
Stevie and Kay Lee have always been at least loosely affiliated in ICW. On a permanent basis since Kay Lee’s short stint as Davey’s replacement after an injury stopped him defending the ICW Tag Titles he held with Stevie, but over the past year they’ve really carved out an identity as a team with The Filthy Generation. A stable which recently took on new recruits in Lewis Girvan and Aspen Faith. Talks of expansion had always been in the works, as Stevie explained
“It had been spoke about since the start. Like we need more members. It needs to be a generation, there was names floated but it got to a point where we thought, we need to pull the trigger on this before it dies”
Kay Lee “There was a chance taken with this. It could have been almost too similar, to the point that we clashed instead of gelling, but I think it stuck very quickly. There was a few wee kinks to work out but we instantly thought “this works”. There’s wee things, but with a team coming together that’s always going to happen. We’d never really done anything together before either, and we all came from different training schools, but there’s wee things the boys do that pop me and I think we’ve come together well”
While the lineup is a bit younger and a good bit hairier than the NAK days, that thirst for carnage that exists in Stevie and Kay Lee made this setup perfect, and early signs show that the newly formed group has the potential to wreak havoc on the card in a similar way “The Kliq” did in his heyday, as Stevie explained.
“Its nice to be causing a bit of carnage again. It reminds me of the Kliq with hunners of cunts runnin aboot causing it. Even backstage as much as we hadn’t worked together, I knew Aspen from working him at Wrestlezone years ago and I’ve known Lewis a long time. We all knew each other but we had different groups socially, so we were almost strangers going in. So it took a wee second to get to know each other. Now when we go backstage they’re the first people we speak to. We’re having fun with it”
Kay Lee “We have merch now so its official! Buy our merch! *laughs* I was sick of getting battered as well so its nice to have a wee bit of extra hauners. We still get battered but at least now there’s people getting battered with us”
While this venture has given Stevie and Kay Lee the platform to build something of their own, their involvement in the NAK gave them the template for team handed anarchy. A period they both look back in with a great deal of fondness. If a slight bit of regret over what was seen as a slightly premature end
“We were resident arseholes. We were the bastards”
Kay Lee “How annoying did that music get for you though? Everybody said that at one point. That the music had played too many times, and I was like “Its never enough!” *laughs* The more it plays the more they’ll hate it. I wanted people to be like “fuck off!”
Stevie “We caused some riots. There was one time in Newcastle I remember we ran in on someones match, I cant remember what match it was, but that night in Newcastle we had people throwing drinks at us. People asking to take us a square go. I remember knocking a drink out of a guy’s hand at ringside, and him kinda gesturing to go for me, and I look up and see BT hanging over the ropes going “Fuckin go for itttt!” *laughs* It was chaos at times. The night we split nearly turned into a riot as well. That was a proper tense atmosphere”
Kay Lee “I think that was because it wasnt just one person leaving or something like that, it was the whole thing blowing apart. I fuckin loved it!”
Kay Lee “I feel like I was always the one in the vicinity, to be able to grab somebody before they done something daft, but at the same time I was also the one egging them on *laughs*. I’d be in BT’s ear just winding it up, telling him “he said yer maws a bitch, go!”
It was a time where having a lot of fun and bringing a lot of violence went hand in hand. Stevie remarked when he recalled a segment for Chris Renfrew’s birthday that involved water pistols, a lot of stunners, and the now defunct Gzrs.
“One of my favourite segments was Renfrew’s birthday bash with The Gzrs. It was just a pure shambles. It was such a laugh. ICW has a no drinking policy backstage but we weren’t doing anything on the show apart from that segment and getting battered, so I thought “Fuck it, I’m going out there for a laugh and getting steamin’, why not?”
“People say it ended prematurely, and I think all of us kind of felt the same. We had the problem of being so over as heels, it was turning us face. A bit like what happened with DX. I think we could easily have had another year in us as faces if we turned. Like it could have been us vs The Black Label at The Hydro. In hindsight now, when you look back it, you think maybe that was the best way to end it. We’ve all gone on from it and done so much good things. Its one of those things, where you can never rule it out (a reunion) even if its 5 years down the line”
KLR “If Triple H showed up in an independent ring, anything can happen!”
Stevie “We tend to think of the NAK being that five man group, so to us it ended prematurely, but the NAK have been around for a long time. Even before ICW. There’s been different versions throughout. So even though we were only the NAK for about a year, its been around for a long time. I think it kinda launched all of us individually and gave us a lot of attention. Something that we craved individually and as a stable. ”
One of the biggest positives from that time for Stevie was the emergence of a new side to him that has since become a big strength. The art of the promo. An art that was passed down by one of the best promo guys in the UK in Chris Renfrew. Something Stevie never really had to deal with in his days as a Bucky Boy, as The Wee Man acted as their resident mouthpiece.
“I wasn’t hiding behind wee man as such. He was there to do that job. So I’d never say he took the spotlight from us or anything like that. He was doing his job perfectly. I don’t hesitate to say without The Wee Man, The Bucky Boys would have been nothing. He gave us that extra dimension. Renfrew was one of the first ones who encouraged me on the mic. When I broke away from the Buckies he was the one that pushed me on. I have to thank him for that, because that was another platform for me to make an impression”
Learning his promo craft has certainly helped Stevie get to that next level, but it was never something he prioritized in a big way. Always busy with trivial side projects, like making history as part of the Bucky Boys. Daft shit like that keeps you busy it seems.
“It was never a thing I gave a second thought to if im honest. I’ve never really felt like it was needed because since I came in to ICW there’s always been something. It’s never felt like something was missing. Its only when I split from Davey and with Renfrew’s encouragement that I ever really thought about it. It got to a point where I’d show up and they’d tell me “you’re no wrestling tonight, you’re doing this promo” and I’d be like “thank fuck man, I’ve been in this company 5 year and never had a night aff ” *laughs*
Nerves did set in before Stevie went out to cut his very first promo in an ICW ring but that nervous energy and the support of Renfrew propelled him to produce something remarkably good, particularly for a first try.
“I was 10 times more nervous for that first promo than I have been for any wrestling match. That’s why Renfrew was there. In case I tripped up over anything, he was there to make the save. He was always going to come out with me I think, but I also encouraged it and I think him being there helped it become the promo it did because I had that comfort blanket there. It turns out I’ve got a natural instinct for being a wee arsehole. I seem to have a talent for it”
While Stevie prides himself on his talent for being a wee arsehole, his other half prides herself on well…being heavy talented. They both are but we’re doing a slick transition here. One thing running in to another so its an easier read eh. Kay Lee has built a reputation around the world as one of the best female wrestlers out there. Nah actually, just one of the best wrestlers full stop. Before we got to talking about Japan, The USA and everything in between, we had to start at dogs. Because dogs are life
“We are pro dogs. I actually tried to get a dog to be our tag team partner this week. There’s a wee pug at Pro Wrestling Eve, and I asked if I could take him in the ring. He’s used to it all, so they said aye as long as you’re careful. If he was ever uncomfortable I was ready to take him away from it all, but he fuckin loved it. He was getting “hes a good boy” chanted at him and I could feel his wee tail wagging. He loved it”
That allowed Berty the pug to once again take centre stage. The true subject of this interview if we’re all being honest with ourselves and a man who at the tender age of 1 almost made his own wrestling debut recently as Stevie told us
“He nearly made his Lucha Forver debut the other week but he’s still quite young. He watched the show and he seemed keen, so he’s in about it”
Kay Lee “Life’s about dugs. He’ll no let me have a dug. This is his sisters dug, but she works a lot so we’ve kinda adopted him. I understand why because of how much we travel and all that.”
The travel is undoubtedly one of the more strenuous parts of the wrestling game, but one that Kay Lee and Stevie accept and make the best of. Getting to travel together a lot of the time being a big selling point. Living in close proximity to Kay Lee’s family recently has allowed them to gain better insight and understand as to what the couple go through and how much hard graft they put in, as Kay Lee explained.
“My mum and dad realised recently how much we do now I’m a bit closer to home. We live just across the road from them and they see the car coming in at 2-3am and stuff like that, and by the next morning we’re away again to the next show.”
Stevie “When people say they want to be a wrestler, I don’t think they really know what it is. They don’t know how much of a hard graft it can be.”
Kay Lee “TNA was the first thing I done where my mum and dad realised. That was when they realised this wasnt just a hobby. This wasn’t something daft. This isn’t a dingy wee town hall. This is real. Not that I’m downplaying that kind of thing. Some of the best times I’ve had have been working in that environment and we still do those shows. Stevie had a brilliant match with Wolfy in a wee pub in Dennistoun for GPWA. ”
Stevie “You’re an international jet setter now so that kinda convinces them as well”
International jet setting is all good when you go to places like Japan and America and wrestle in front of crowds absolutely ganting for that sweet wrestling action, but it’s not always like that as Kay Lee recalled on a recent trip to Germany for a show that was a wee bit surreal to say the least.
“I done a show in Germany recently. One of the most professional shows I’ve ever done. Pyro and everything. And it was full of business men who didn’t have a clue what they were watching. No one was into anything. I was valeting for one of the wrestlers, Bad Bones and once I realised the situation I just had fun with it. I was trying to steal pints off folk and everything. I feel like I made it fun for myself anyway since no one was into anything. It was so professional as well. it was so odd to be part of it. By the end of it there was a lot of people taking photos and stuff. I just think they didn’t really know what you’re supposed to do at a wrestling show so that’s why they were so quiet”
Before Kay Lee went on to chat about more exciting jet setting experiences, we somehow got on to bigging up Sha Samuels. Context wise I have no idea how, but its going in because Sha Samuels, much like dugs, Rick and Morty, and the wrestling in general, is life (Sha Life)
Stevie “Sha is just an all round good cunt man. I’ve only wrestled him once and honestly, I fuckin loved it. It was brilliant. Naw in fact it was twice. Me and Grado foguht him and Martin Stone in Edinburgh just before Stoney left, but that was the first singles match we’ve had at ICW recently, and aw mate, what a buzz. The Canadian Destroyer was the only bit we actually had planned. The rest was just us having fun. Like we both knew we just had it. Everything was built round that destroyer”
Stevie “The first time you went it was horrible man. I hated having you away”
Perhaps the one drawback to both giving your lives to something as all-consuming as wrestling is the separation when one half ends up somewhere else. In Kay Lee Ray’s case that has been regular trips to Japan and the USA. Her love affair with Japan starting as far back as 7 years ago, before going on to make her trips more regular over the past 4 or 5 years.
“I’ve been going to Japan for 7 years. First time I went to japan I was 18. I didn’t go for 2 years after that but still, that’s amazing to think that. It was hard because I was on my own. There was this journalist who worked with the company that helped me a bit. Showing me about and stuff, but I was basically on my own. I think more recently I’ve been getting to know Japan, and a lot of it is what you make of it. A big part of enjoying it is who you’re with and I’m always out there with my best pals. People like Viper, Toni Storm and of course Nixon before she got signed”
“That’s not a slight on the Japanese girls at all, but if you’re out there without friends it can be very very difficult. I’ve been lucky to have my pals with me every time. Every time I’ve been to Japan there’s been great nights out and moments I’ve enjoyed. Toni Storm kind of has to do it on her own sometimes because she’s got a big commitment with Stardom. I kinda like the agreement I’ve got with them right now, I go in January, I go in May and if I can keep that the way it is I’d be very happy. I think they’re happy with that as well. We spoke about it a wee bit and it was a bit of a co-incidence with the way the dates worked out, but its got to the stage now where companies here have kinda got used to that. They expect me to not be available at these points and cater to that so it works out well. ”
Having familiar faces makes it a bit easier on Kay Lee, but knowing how much these trips are helping her progress as a person and wrestler is a fine way to soften the blow.
“I do miss home. I miss Stevie. But having that familiarity being with pals helps a lot.”
“it depends how hard the schedule is. January we have more training days. Its not mandatory but it is at the same time. Me and Viper go them a lot. I always love the pop when she does something they don’t expect her to be able to do. She’s a great example for me, in terms of adapting to situations they throw at her. If they give her something she can’t do she wont just down tools and tell them she can’t do it, she’ll do something that’s at least close to what they’re asking and they go mad for it every time”
While the two Scots have made a huge impression in Japan, it is not without its tough moments, or indeed moments of true inspiration with a hint of envy when it comes to learning from one of the best in Io Shirai “Training is hard over there though. Maybe not as hard as some of the horror stories you hear, but still very hard . There’s one drill in particular everyone hates. Its handstands. You need to do it for 2 minutes then drop into a headstand for 1 minute. This is Io Shirai and she’s one of the very best. If shes there I’ll be at training every day. I’d love to see her in ICW one day because she’s just amazing. She used to be a gymnast so she can do all that nae bother. After the handstand you’re already feeling a bit sick, then you have to drop into a headstand for a further minute and if you get through that good. Well done. You’re gallus. Then you do drills where the person opposite you either does punches or kicks, and they go down the line until they’ve got everyone. Its hard work. Io is so good, I hate her but I love her. Ye cannae be jealous because shes just so good. She’ll do it all, and while everyone else is dying, she started doing push ups. Still in the handstand. I was like “You can get tae fuck”. I fuckin hate you. Why are you so good. I want to be you”
Her experiences in training with talents like Io Shirai have no doubt helped Kay Lee get to a level where she can hang with people like that, although she was never too far from that level in the first place, being genuinely inspired by talents must be a special thing when you’ve been doing a job for as long as her and Stevie have done it.
“I’ll watch my matches back with Io and it always leaves me with ideas. It sparks me like that which is nice. She speaks great English as well which helps. I didnt exactly come in as a trainee either. I had that bit of step about me so that made it easier”
While matches with Io are highlights, Kay Lee is also fond of her battles with one of her best pals. Mae Young Classic semi finalist and current Progress Women’s Champion, the very talented Toni Storm. Even if one of those matches ended up three times as long as originally planned.
“I’ve had great ones with Toni Storm. Its funny sometimes because they do things a bit differently over there. Over here there’s a bit more creative freedom, but they do it differently in Japan. Me and Toni had this 12 minute match planned once, and the promoter comes up right before it and tells us “I’ve changed my mind for the finish, time limit draw, 30 minutes” and we’re like “for fuck saaaaaake” We’ve got this 12 minute match planned and now we need to somehow stretch that out over half an hour. It was good, but it was difficult because we didnt have the time to prepare and get in the mindset for a match like that. We had one a Korauken Hall recently, but it was part of a tournament so you knew one of us would have another match that night. It felt like it had come full circle because we’d wrestled each other all over the world and now we had the chance to do it a Korauken so it was a wee bit disappointing because neither of us wanted to do anything that would hurt the other, knowing whoever won would go on to the finals that night”
While battles with familiar foes and pals like Storm make the whole culture shock easier, its battles with the homegrown talent that have been really eye-opening. As Kay Lee explained when she spoke of taking on Mayu Iwatani. One of the smallest people she’s ever come across in wrestling who dropkicked her haufway back to Glesga Airport.
“Mayu’s very quiet but I’ve had some great matches with her. Hell of a wrestler. She kicks fuck oot ye. I remember my first impression being reluctant to hit her because she’s so small. Then she dropkicked me and I was like “naw, fuck this” she doesn’t just dropkick you, she tries to send you out the ring. The first time I took that I thought to myself, naw, never again”
Regular trips to Japan have been paired with regular trips to the USA for Kay Lee, working with Shimmer against many of the competitors that made up the field for the Mae Young Classic, which Kay Lee herself exited in the first round but made a strong impression. Although her first trip to the states led to an experience that might have needed a bit of therapy to get over. Her first WWE show being The Undertakers first Wrestlemania defeat
“First time I was over there was for New Orleans during Mania 30, where The Undertaker lost to Brock Lesnar. That was my first WWE show. So that was me. I’m never coming back to a wrestling show”
Stevie “I was fuckin raging about that because the bookies were taking bets. I thought to myself, if any cunts gonnae dae it’ll be Brock Lesnar and I was so angry with myself. Thats one I’ll take to the grave.”
A bit of vocal support from a fellow globetrotter in Wolfgang helped any pre match nerves when Kay Lee made her Shimmer debut in front of an enthusiastic crowd. None more enthusiastic than the big man himself.
“Big Wolfgang came to watch me in Shimmer. He was over there on holiday with his mum and dad and he told me he was coming to see me at the show. So that was nice. A few people reacted when I came out, but hearing that big roar from Wolfie was nice. Especially in a company like Shimmer, it was a big deal. Since then its been most April’s then in the Autumn for a wee jaunt. America’s fun”
As fun as America undoubtedly is, Kay Lee has never seemed more in her element than when she goes up against her former perennial foe. A rival who was so good as an enemy, she became a pal. Leading to a poignant finale when Carmel ended her career at last year’s Hydro after the match where Kay Lee first captured the ICW Women’s Title. From the first match they had together, to that finale and the countless battles in between, their feud became one of the most notorious in ICW, as Kay Lee spoke about passionately.
“The death match was meant to be the end of our feud essentially, but then it just ended up that we never, ever stopped *laughs* We’ve wrestled everywhere from Glasgow to Denmark. I knew nothing about the retirement. I remember being a wee bit annoyed the night before because I wasn’t getting my own way. I didn’t want to win at The Hydro the way I did, but I kept getting told no to how I wanted to do it. So I thought “fine, yous want me to be a face, I’ll hit oot wae aw the fuckin gory bombs then” and it turns out it worked out really really well. Then she done her speech and it made more sense. There was a reason for it, they just didn’t want to tell me the reason. She wanted it to be a surprise and I’ve took that wrong way. So when you see me sitting on the ramp crying, that was genuine because I had no idea she was going to do it”
Kay Lee certainly has more battles with Carmel under her belt than anyone on planet earth, but she also crossed Stevie’s path during the all couples feud between them and Carmel paired with her other half, Liam Thomson. A massively entertaining bit of inter gender goodness that led Stevie to experience something Kay Lee had a lot of experience dealing with. Carmel’s exceedingly sare kicks.
Stevie “It was good humoured, and again thats because of the couples thing. There’s freedom to do things you wouldnt normally be able to do with someone else. Some of the tour matches were a wee bit mad, but they were always a lot of fun. Working them was just effortless. They’re both so good. You get that quite a lot, Kay Lee probably more than me but ive noticed it with travelling about a lot recently. Sometimes you can walk into a locker room and folk are reluctant with ideas. With them it was just effortless. They didn’t even need to ask, one of them would find you and just tell you ideas they had for the match and usually we’d say aye ”
KLR “Carmel was the easiest person to work”
Stevie “She kicked like a motherfucker though. I thought she’d broke my ribs the first time she kicked me. It was the stomps. Then the penalty kicks, when she punted ye man. She knew how to kick”
KLR “Aye see ye learned. Ye learned not to feed. I’d take any move in the world off Carmel, but as soon as I seen that boot coming I was like ‘noooo’ ”
In ICW intergender matches aren’t restricted. Both genders being allowed to freely scud each other stupid, as Stevie’s horror stories about Carmel’s kicks can attest. Kay Lee has plenty of experience in that area, as she almost perished thanks to a dangerous spot in the crowd during a match with Mikey Whiplash, which to use her words saw the venue “attack” her. The venue in question being the legendary Studio 24 in Edinburgh. A place where the walls had actual real human sweat glands somehow embedded into them
Stevie “I prefer the inter-gender stuff when its me and Kay Lee against two other guys. I feel that really pushes Kay Lee to bring out something different”
“We done inter-gender on the all-star tour recently and its a different ball game there. I wasn’t on any terms allowed to hit the female on the other team. We were in with a guy called Little Legs. Who’s a little person as well. I fuckin loved that. Would honestly do it every day of the week. I worked him for about 5 days in a row and it was the most fun I’ve ever had. Seriously, look up his stuff, he was in Harry Potter and all that. He’s so good”
Both Kay Lee and Stevie were at the recent ICW show where none other than the man himself showed up. The beak. Big Hunter. Paul to his pals. Triple fuckin H”. A nerve racking experience but one that showed them both just how much of a special time in wrestling they exist in.
Kay Lee “When Triple H showed up everyone was nervous. I knew I had to cut a promo, and I thought theres nae way I can cut a promo in ICW without swearing. Luckily he hadn’t showed up yet, but cheers for dropping that on us on the day anyway Dallas” *laughs*
Stevie “I could write anything down on a piece of paper right now. Anything wrestling, and it could legit happen in ICW. Thats how it is right now. We had Balor, Triple H. Anything can happen. Triple H showed up right before the interval, so a 20 minute interval became a 5 minute interval. He apologised because he couldn’t stick about as WWE were running just down the road that night but he didn’t need to come at all. It was nice of him to do even that. He was sitting backstage and you realised this is the first time he’s EVER appeared on an independent wrestling show. So we must be doing something right. We’re definitely still on the right course”
A unique accolade the pair hold is being a couple who have held the same singles title. Southside’s “Speed King” Title which Kay Lee Captured in 2014. Not unusual for a mainstay in the company who had made a habit of toeing the guy’s baws, but Stevie winning the same title this year proved to be a huge moment for him in his attempts to become a regular fixture in promotions down south. Although the fact that he isn’t everywhere already is a fuckin travesty.
Kay Lee “I won it against Martin Kirby and for me that was some of my best stuff. He came to me with all these ideas and asked if I’d be up for them and I just said aye right away. I had so much fun working with him. Martin Kirby is one of my favourites. Great wrestler. He could wrestle a brush and it would be good. I think it would have been great no matter who I won it from, but working with him made it brilliant”
Stevie “I think he’s one of our joint favourites, he’s so good. It’s not really worked out for him in ICW yet, but thats not a slight on the company at all. I think they just need to let Kirby come in and be Kirby”
Stevie’s moment came as the title had been vacated due to Davey Richards inability to make it to a show. As much of a huge moment as it was for him, he had very little time to think about it due to the hectic schedule he and Kay Lee had undertaken that week.
Stevie “Davey Richards had the title but couldn’t get to the show because of some kind of visa issue. So it was me and Chris Tyler, with the belt vacant. We were first on. 10 minute match. They told me I was going over.It was my first title in England so I was buzzin about that as well. It was one of they things that I didn’t really have time to think about it. We were on the Fight Club Pro show the night before and travelled there right after that so I didn’t really have time to even get nervous about it. ”
KLR “It’s strange that it never really occurred to me that we’ve both held that belt, because I remember saying to you when you won “Its heavy” ” *laughs*
“It is that. The promoter asked me if I wanted to take it home, and I was like “Mate, I don’t think my shoulder could even cope with that”
While that was his first piece of significant singles gold down south, Stevie has been vying for big time singles titles for a while now. A match with Red Lightning in 2013 with his ICW Title on the line proving to be another career favourite during Red’s brilliant title run where he really set the blueprint for villains in ICW.
Stevie “Andy still says its his favourite title defence. I loved it. Initially I panicked because of how big a match at was. Me used to being in a tag team and if I fuck up, some of the blame goes on other people, but this was all me. I don’t think there’s anyone better I could have been in the ring with in that situation than Andy. See if I can finish my career and they say I was half the heel that Andy was during that run, I’d be happy. He was like an EastEnders bad guy. So witty on the mic. See even now because he’s a Dad, and that transfers to his work, he’s unbelievable. Any segment Red Lightning is on you can guarantee I’m on the other side of the curtain watching. There was no one else that could have made that as good as it was. I think anyone else being the head of the company at the time might have dictated to me, wheras Andy was so open to everything. A lot of the ideas were my ideas and he was so receptive to it. As nervous as I was, I was eager to impress. I was madly in love with wrestling and wanted to go out there and do everything I could and instead of holding that back he encouraged. I’ll always look back on that as one of my favourites. Looking back on it now I could have been at the time like aye i can do this on my own, but i was very focused on the Buckies at that point.
Red Lightning isn’t the only veteran who has had an impact on Stevie. Kid Fite has also been a huge part of both Stevie and Kay Lee’s careers. Both of them citing the PBW promoter and ICW resident hardnut as a big part of the reason they’re still even involved in wrestling, never mind both of them being on WWE’s radar. While they started at Source Wrestling School, they both feel they were fine tuned under Kid Fite aka Ross Watson’s tutelage.
Stevie “Ross is the reason I stuck at this. We were ready to leave wrestling, and Ross told us to come to training with PBW”
Kay Lee “We were 17 and we’d just moved into a flat, so we didn’t know where we were finding the money either, and Ross just goes “Know whit? Don’t worry about it, just come along” He started getting us bookings to get experience. We don’t give him enough credit. We’d done training but we needed the experience and he got us that experience”
Stevie “We knew how to wrestle. We had an idea of what it was, but he really fine tuned that”
Kay Lee “We did try and help him out a bit. Doing training sessions for him and stuff. But we were happy to do that because without him we might not still be doing this”
Stevie “He’s a gem of the guy. It might be a bit cheesy but he’s one of our guardian angels. He’s looked after us. He’s been brilliant in the ring lately as well. He done his shoulder around the same time as me, but he REALLY done himself and I think only now he’s really starting to get the confidence back and its showing. I wrestled him a few times since the injury and before there was definitely mental barriers there. He wasn’t the Kid Fite I met all those years ago, but he’s back to being that same guy now. I think the world of the guy. We argue and bump heids a lot but to me that just shows how close we are. That just means we are actually pals. He’s a master of getting on my nerves but I love him to bits for it”
The Bucky Boys made up so much of Stevie’s early career, and with so much happening since their ultimate demise its important to never lose sight of how huge they were in building the ICW tag division, and launching the singles careers of its two members. A journey coloured with major moments, including the duo’s two ICW Tag Title reigns and that mesmerizing moment where Stevie attacked his best pal and ended the group for good. The destroyer that literally destroyed Davey
“Man. I mind me and Davey having to do a walking tour of London on the day of the first ICW show there and it was the worst day of my life man. We’d stayed up all night drinking the night before, and we had to go from the venue all through London. We got the belts that night as well in the triple threat with the SDS and The NAK”
The night where it all ended was one that will go down in ICW folklore, as it signalled the beginning of the new NAK, and the beginning of a reign of terror Stevie hasn’t stopped since “Its mental. I’m getting the anniversary stuff coming up on Facebook since its Fear and Loathing time and some of the stuff is from 5, 6 years ago. I’m like no way man. I’m actually getting auld. I was a wean when I first started, and I’ve got grey hairs in my beard. I get asked about it a lot. Obviously I was young at the time and worked different jobs and everywhere I went there would be someone who knew me from The Bucky Boys. I wouldn’t change a second of it. Blaze is one of my best pals in the world. I love Neil to bits. Even the way it ended was brilliant. It was a story coming to a perfect ending. Blaze takes the destroyer brilliantly. For so long he was the one I couldn’t ever do it to, and when I finally did it was like “Maaaaaaate, that was amazin. You’ve got a natural talent for landing on yer heid”
The feud between the two ended up being centred around the ICW Zero-G Title as Stevie captured it in London not long before turning on Davey. His first singles title in ICW and a moment he will never forget. “Danny Hope won it the night before. It was something else I never really go the chance to think about, because I was told on the Friday and I wrestled every night from then to theat show on the Sunday. Literally until we walked into Koko and seen that we were all set up that it set in. This is actually happening then? I was overwhelmed a bit. It was a cool experience. Having a bit of support there made it special as well. I didn’t expect a reaction like that. The reception I got was amazing. BT Gunn got me a framed photo of it recently. After I won the title, David Wilson’s took a photo of me and I’m giving the finger. It’s up on my wall now. We’ve got a wall full of wee things from wrestling and that’s up there. It was just an epic experience. The reaction I got and even the messages afterwards was amazing. This all eyes on me. My first singles title in ICW. ”
That led to the former best pals having the huge accolade of opening the show when ICW sold out the famous SECC. A venue that could hold 3,000 more fans than their previous record attendance. The magnitude of that moment wasn’t lost on Stevie or his stomach, but a moment that a roaming camera got a bit too close too took none of the shine off what was an excellent match on a career changing stage.
“I wish we had a bit more interaction, but I liked the feud a lot aye. I think that SECC match was the only one we had so it would have been good to maybe have had one in the build up or something. They did do well to quite us quite separate, and most the times we came face to face it was more being involved with run ins and stuff. It was amazing to face him in the first match at the SECC. Considering where the company had came from, and where we had came from personally, to be out there in front of 4,000, wrestling my best mate, the guy I started with, was such a special feeling. Then I spewed ma ring in front of 4,000 people *laughs* ”
Time must have stopped for Stevie in that moment, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of there. Anycunt who tells you wrestling in front of 4,000 wouldn’t be never racking is a liar of the highest degree and should not be trusted. It was more the collision the former tag partner made when Davey went for a big dive that caused the moment, which Stevie recalled upon with good humour.
“I was really nervous beforehand and with us being on first, you’re anticipating going out. Waiting on it. They kept delaying it and that made it worse. You’re jumping from 1,200 people to 4,00 so its a big thing. I dump bottles of water over myself before going out, so there’s always water there. Out of nerves I kept picking up a bottle of water, taking a sip, putting it back down, and doing the same seconds later”
KLR “I remember coming up to him and telling him to stop drinking so much water before going out”
Stevie “They kept putting the start off so I kept drinking more and more. The match starts and I go out after Wee Man, Davey is supposed to hit me with the big Undertaker dive, but he clipped the top rope, so instead of catching him I just moved under him to give him something to land on. All of a sudden I find myself scudding off the barrier behind me and I said to Blaze ‘I’m gonnae be sick’ but I thought I could hold it. Two seconds later I’m having to lean over the side of the barrier to spew, and I just heard 4,000 collectively groan *laughs* and I’ve looked up to see the roaming camera zooming in on my face. ”
If time stopped for Stevie, his other half watching back stage was more concerned with saving her man’s blushes. Irate that the camera had zoomed in on him in his moment of vulnerability. Only calming words from the bold Mick Foley helped calm her in that moment. Tap hauners fae big Mick.
“I was going mental back stage. I could see he was going to spew so I’m screaming at the monitor backstage to get the fucking camera off him. It was actually Mick Foley who had to calm me down and tell me it was awrite”
Hitting a bad yin took none of the shine off that moment though. One that Stevie beams with pride when he speaks about. A genuine fondness for not just the match, but the moment where he was beaten and Davey got to soak in the adulation of a 4,000 strong crowd. Truly The Bucky Boys story coming full circle.
“Even with that happening its one of my all time favourites. I loved every second of it. To hear the pop that Blaze got when he beat me with my own move. It was amazing that me and my mate got to go out and tear it up in the opening match of such a huge show. Another thing I remember is Duncan telling us not to touch the barriers when you come out. They were the venues so we’d need to pay for them. First thing Blaze does is fire me into one of them and we both fell through *laughs* the match has barely even started and I’m thinking ‘I’m already in debt!” I owe this company money and I’ve just walked out the curtain”
The Bucky Boys did briefly re-unite in ICW for some marquee matches. As two of the top villains in the company it made sense for them to come together, and it also made plenty of sense for it to not become a permanent arrangement. With both parties already off on their own directions as singles wrestlers.
“We had a few matches recently and its one of those things. We clicked again right away, but at the same time I never wanted it to be full-time again. I feel like I’m till only getting started with the solo stuff. As cool as it was, I never wanted us being back together to be the end of that. It turns out it wasn’t and it was just a part of the story”
The trials and tribulations of road life for Stevie and Kay Lee will certainly stand them in good stead if WWE ever do come calling. A thought that does cross both of their minds with Kay Lee recently making an impact as part of the Mae Young Classic as well as Stevie taking part in a WWE tryout recently. As tough as life on the road can be, finding enjoyment in the time spent together and with pals helps, and keeps the enthusiasm for doing it permanently one day strong.
Kay Lee “I feel like i was kind of just on autopilot with all the travelling we’ve done recently, so WWE would be the same on a bigger scale. I cant moan about it because this is what we’re meant to do”
Stevie “When you think about it, we could be doing anything else, sitting in an office getting screamed at, so that makes all the travel and stuff much easier. Especially doing it with each other. ”
Kay Lee “I was booked down in Manchester and I asked if he wanted to come with me recently. We went a wee jaunt, had a rerr day, I done a wrestle, and we came hame. It was lovely. You’ve got to count your blessings and enjoy it. If it becomes a grind and you stop enjoying it, that’s when it really becomes work. We would much rather be doing this even with all the travel than doing absolutely anything else. ”
That being said, if the opportunity arose for one or both, they are more than willing to jump at it. As Stevie said, if Vinny Mac comes through the door with that contract, it’s getting signed. Although hopefully Berty the Pug’s name would be on there too.
Kay Lee “I’ve never turned down any opportunities in wrestling. I think its silly to do that. People can be reluctant. People can even be reluctant about WWE. Thinking it means they need to go back to training every day and all that. You know what I’d actually really like that. Especially if I was earning good money into the bargain. It would be nice to have that structure. We do all the same things as signing with WWE would entail, but it would be nice to have a bit more of a structure about it. I’d definitely love to end up there, but its not everything”
Stevie “That’s obviously the main goal. It’s the reason we all do this. I’ve got other goals for now that I’m focused on but it’s always in the back of my mind. They’re aware of me, I’m aware of them. I’ve always wanted to travel the world while doing this, and I can do that without WWE, but see if Vinnie Mac walked in one day, handed me a contract and said “right Stevie, stick yer signature on that” I’d be like “hand it over”. Its Viper that keeps you positive man. She keeps saying it “life is good” and great having that positivity. We travel with her quite a lot and its great to have that. You can be in the car after tour. Everyones seizing up. You’re sore, and she turns and goes “Aye but, think about what we’re doing right now” and it makes you think of it in a more positive light again. Its taken a long time to get here, I’ve been doing this for 12 years but its getting to a point where I feel like aye. Its happening. I’ve started to travel a bit more around the rest of the UK, so thats my goal for now. Winning the speed king and debuting for Fight Club, I think that’s broke down a bit of a barrier for me when it comes to doing that. Going back to the tryout, the only slightly disappointing aspect was that they don’t give feedback. Iwent in with the mindset that they’d tell you what you needed to be doing, but they don’t do feedback. As long as I know I’m going forward, I’m happy. I’m making my own name”
KLR “Its a situation that I’d love it to happen but if it never did, I’d be very happy with what I’ve done in my career. ”
One thing the pair will perhaps want to tick off the bucket list is something neither have done yet. The grand finale for this interview. Usually I don’t really structure them to come to a particular conclusion but this was special. This was a rare moment in time where it was absolutely acceptable to ask a couple if they wanted to fight each other and I had to cash in on that. So far we’d petted a dug, chatted about Rick and Morty, shattered any illusions about Stevie being actually filthy by discussing a mutual love of staying in the shower for fuckin ages and I even got offered a bit of Haggis Pakora. The rules were oot the windae long before we got to the grand finale, but when I dropped that question in, the buzz that came from them both secured it as a sure fire winner. A slam dunk as they say in baseball. Do you ever want to feud with each other?
Kay Lee “Actually since the FSM thing, we have actually been in a match together. It was a multi man thing for Fight Club Pro. We had a wee kiss at the start, done a wee tag move, then he tried to chuck me out the ring to steal the win.
Stevie “I tried to do ma burd and win the match *laughs*. I didn’t though. I lost. But the intention was there. If any booker is willing to book it I would happily punch lumps out my burd”
Kay Lee “Ye know what, I’m probably the only burd you could say that about and people would say ‘Aye I’d quite like to see that actually’ *laughs*. I like the fact that nobody will go ‘Ooh that shouldnae be happening”. I do appreciate that, as much as it usually comes with me getting kicked in the face”
Stevie “One thing I liked at Fight Club was that we came out to same music, so hers had played and then when I’m coming out they start giving it ‘You fucked up’ before they realised *laughs* but yeah. I’d relish getting the chance to punch lumps out my burd”
Kay Lee “I think it would be a great match as well. It would just be a case of getting us against each other somehow, but we’d both do it in a heartbeat”
Stevie “If anyone emailed me tomorrow saying I want to book you vs Kay Lee Ray, I’d be like ‘send me the date!” its something we’re definitely up for doing”
So there you have it troops. They’re enagaged to be married yet want to batter each other in a wrestling ring, and if that doesn’t make them extra endearing to you, I’m afraid there’s little hope for you as a fan of this wrestling carry on.
Oh aye btw. They’re engaged. They just casually dropped that in there somewhere along the way. Brought a dug, great news, and a fuckin top interview. Stevie Boy and Kay Lee Ray. Certified good cunts.
Was a pleasure chatting to Stevie, Kay Lee, and of course Berty. They brought a fuckin dug. Other wrestling people I interview need to somehow top that. Maybe a bear? Aye. Next wrestler I interview needs to bring a bear or at least a wolf or the interview does not go ahead.
Huge thank you to David J.Wilson and Warrior for the pictures used. And anyone else who’s pictures I might have used. If you would like credited and I’ve no done it, send me a message and I’ll rectify that heinous error.
See the t-shirt pictured way at the start there. BUY IT HERE