I sit here typing with the TCW heavyweight title sat next to me. Winning that belt was my favourite moment from 2014 and a career highlight. I say favourite moment, but I can’t actually remember winning it. After taking a nasty powerbomb in the closing minutes of the match, I was knocked out. Somehow I walked out with the belt barely in my hands, a bittersweet end to 2014.
I suppose I should start from the beginning really. Though it’s been documented a few times, it never hurts to hit the refresh button. I’m 21 years old and live just outside of Bradford, or Leeds, or Hull depending on who you ask.
I started wrestling in August 2012, after reading an issue of Fighting Spirit and seeing and an advertisement for a UKW show in Wakefield. On a whim, I went along to a training session and I was hooked. I had my first match in June 2012 at Academy Wars 9, against Lewy Paradise. I’ve watched a highlight video back, even its edited content couldn’t hide the fact I was nowhere near ready to wrestle. Regardless of its reputation, UKW gave me my start and at one point had a really decent school.
However, time moved on and I realised that I needed to grow. Around the middle of 2013, myself and Dan James started travelling to Hull on a regular basis and training with El Ligero at the NGW academy. Without NGW and the guidance from Ligero and Rampage Brown up at the North-East school in Durham, I would be nowhere near where I am today as a wrestler or a person.
2013 saw me get a start in NGW, appearing on their first Keighley show in the May. It was a small segment in which I was battered by the Proven. I was also a last minute replacement to the first TCW show in Leeds, where I was battered by Dave Mastiff. A lot of ‘batterings’ in 2013, but without those, my 2014 would have been completely different.
Early on in my journey, while talking to my ever suffering girlfriend, Jenny, I mentioned that everyone has a ‘sentence’; a phrase, something that they are known as. If you think of anyone successful, they’ll have a character sentence. Back in 2012, I said to her that I needed a sentence. In 2014, I found it.
‘That guy who dances to the Venga Boys.’
Yes, 2014 saw me dance to ‘We Like to Party’ more times than I’d like to admit. It’s a funny old world, and without finding my niche, I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had. Some of my favourite moments this year are down to that song. Wrestling Zack Gibson at NGW’s ‘Give it Some Welly III’ was an early indication of how well people react to the song. Wrestling at the Airco Arena and having hundreds of people dance along, while being able to wrestle Rampage Brown and Joe Conners, is something I’ll forever be proud of.
I’ve gone from strength to strength at Tidal this year because of having this character and being someone a bit different. Wrestling the likes of Matt Myers, Kid Fite, Flips and Forearms have all been stand outs and the match with El Ligero in November have all been highlights from being at Tidal. And where else would a teabag death match take place?
Which brings me full circle to my final and most important match of the year. Outside the accident, this was hands down my favourite match of 2014. I can’t begin to describe what it felt like being stood in that ring. It was really something, and I’d like to thank all the fans who were there for making it something as well. I hope I made it as cool for you guys, as you did for me.
Thankfully, the concussion was only minor and I can remember everything from that date, bar winning. You know Wrestlemania 27? Where the Miz gets knocked out on the concrete and is on cloud 9 for the entire finish? I’ve always looked at that and thought to myself, it must be awful to be on the big stage, winning the main event and not remembering. Well, on a smaller scale that happened to me. Thankfully though, I’ve still got a long road in front of me and plenty more big moments in me.
2015 brings some big opportunities for me. I’m making my debut in numerous places around the country this year. NGW is moving into its biggest year ever and I’m very much looking forward to that and you know I’ll be having some grade A opponents at Tidal this year. It’s also a daunting task, as this year I’m a ‘somebody’, people know who I am. The matches will be bigger and the pressure will be more. Nothing a bit of pointy dancing can’t solve though.
I just hope I don’t get powerbombed into oblivion again.