Picture Credit: PROGRESS Wrestling
Chuck Mambo is mainly known for his appearances for PROGRESS, he’s also spent time competing for CZW in America. Mambo is a man to keep an eye out for.
For those out there not familiar with you, could you please describe yourself?
Sure, I’m Chuck Mambo, I’m a pro wrestler, surfer, environmentalist, vegan, feminist, hacky-sack specialist, doodler, Skints fan and a Coco-Pops fan.
I was recently told I’m the best and worst thing in wrestling.
Being relatively new to the scene, what made you want to join the ranks of professional wrestling?
I always thought it was amazing, ever since my friend showed me his Owen Hart and Rock figures that he brought round when I was five. Originally, The Rock, Hogan and Mick Foley were my hero’s dude! Especially Foley but when I was saw shows like PROGRESS, IPW, Attack, and my mind was pretty blown!
When something’s so exciting that on a Sunday afternoon you’re jumping around shouting about it with strangers, you want to be a part of that!
Your training in the ways of wrestling came from the likes of James Davis, Jimmy Havoc, Darrell Allen & Eddie Dennis. What was it like being taught be an array of wrestlers and their styles?
It’s super cool, having so many different guys teaching you because they all have their own specialties. Jimmy is untouchable for psychology and he toughens you up too, I think he’s the only dude to give me a forearm so hard I couldn’t see for a while.
Darrell is mad to be around for learning technical wrestling, if I remember 10% of what he taught me, then I’ll be pretty happy! He really pushes you to get into good shape too, his conditioning sessions are mega fun, but pretty brutal. JD is secretly amazing at the traditional British style of wrestling and constantly really excited about wrestling, which is mega fun.
Being taught by Eddie is wicked too; he’s what I’d call a ‘highspots’ connoisseur and has a cool perspective on the business. Everyone there has their own little takes on the wrestling actually, which is mondo helpful.
It’s pretty sweet too having Darrell, JD and Eddie around for me and the Pastor starting out as a tag team, having some of the best known tag wrestlers in the country around us to help feels pretty nice.
On top of all that, just hanging out at the ProJo feels educational! Those guys have so much experience and knowledge, you kinda feel smarter about wrestling just by hanging out with them.
Do you remember much of your first pro match?
I sure do! ENDVR 1, at the Bedford in Balham, against Pantera Negra. The dude scratched pretty hard. I had swim shorts and flip flops to sub in for anything even slightly pro looking, it was a lot of fun though! It was pretty sick to get to debut in front of a portion of some of the maddest fans I know of!
You’re mainly known for your work in PROGRESS, what’s it like working for one of the most lauded wrestling promotions in the UK?
Pretty crazy man, everyone there is so crisp and on top of their game, it’s sweet! It’s cool because you can’t really help but get better because everyone around you is so good which is really cool. The fans are as nutty as they come, which is fun. I’m definitely lucky to have wound up with Progress and the ProJo being pretty much on my doorstep when I moved to London, it’s a really sweet place to be, never mind to start out at!
You spent some time in the States working for CZW, how was that experience and is that somewhere you’d return to in the future?
That was a sweet experience actually. I owe some mega thanks to Drake Younger for putting me in touch and DJ Hyde, Preacher and Drew Gulak and a bunch of other dudes for making it such a great time!
It was cool to see British wrestling has a good reputation out there, one dude was like “You’re a technical wrestler right?” I replied “Well, I’m OK” he said “You’re British right?” I said “Yeah..” He said “Yeah exactly, so you’re better at tech than me”.
They run shows at their school every Wednesday, which was a fun time, with a small friendly audience then the main show…that’s a tough crowd! But you live ‘n’ learn I guess, gonna go back hitting much harder!
Sweet Jesus is the name of the tag team you’re part of with William Eaver, who put you two together and who came up with the name?
We were both coming through the ProJo at the same time and then Jon, who co-runs PROGRESS asked if we wanted to go up against the Sumerian Death Squad. I mean, we weren’t gonna say no to that! I came up with Sweet Jesus name whilst I was on the beach actually, it just made sense cos I’m pretty sweet and he looks like Jesus.
Gimmick wise, you have a ‘surfing and wrestling’ one, how did that come about and how popular is it with the fans?
Outside of wrestling, I really love surfing, it’s pretty hard to come by good surf in London though, wrestling is different but a similar buzz, you know, when you’ve got the crowd up but you could still just wipe out, it’s gnarly man!
I was talking to Jim Smallman about character and stuff and he said “I imagine you own a surfboard don’t you?” I replied “Yeah” so he said “Just go with that man, I reckon that’d be cool”. And so far so good man, it’s fun as well just getting to see what fans like and don’t like and messing around with stuff, so hopefully, it’ll get more popular as I go, we’ll see!
Is there anyone coming up through the ranks or who you train with that we should be looking out for?
Geezers of the New School, well you won’t need to look for them, they’ll probably be shouting at you to but they’re pretty damn cool.
Also Jinny is killing it! And Ali Armstrong is definitely a good time too, mega funny as well!
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Chilling out and sort of, having a lovely time really, I’m thinking of buying a Cajon, you know, the little drum boxes, they’re so fun! I’ll probably get involved in some volleyball contests too.
Then just trying to get bigger and better I guess, got the Download Festival coming up with PROGRESS, so that should be sweet and I’m just looking to work as many shows as possible.
I’d really like to get to PCW and NGW among others. I’m hoping to continue work with All-Star, which has been really sweet so far and I’m a big fan of IPW, so it would be sweet to get more involved with those dudes.
I’m hoping me and Pastor can get our faces about the country, I’m actually looking into a tandem bicycle so we can save on costs and pollution and make a nice weekend out of the wrestling trips.
Beyond that, I’m genuinely looking forward to getting back to old mother ocean for some surfing this summer.
Is there anything else you’d like to say, add or plug?
Apparently, it’s a big year for climate politics this year, I guess every year is but there’s a lot going on about a world leaders meeting in Paris, http://www.campaigncc.org/12maymeeting , Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Surfers against Sewage, I think even the TUC, all the cats are getting involved! If you’re a fan of the whole, breathing nice air and having a future and that stuff, get involved!
Also, check out @SweetJesus on Twitter and Sweet Jesus on Facebook, we should have some pretty RIGHETOUS merch coming soon!
Thanks to Chuck for taking time out to participate in this interview.