Picture Credit: NGW
Dan James is known as the ‘Armbar Superstar’. He’s making waves in NGW and other promotions in the North; he’s one name you should keep your eyes on!
For those out there who aren’t aware of you, could you please introduce yourself?
My Name is Dan James, also known as the ‘Armbar Superstar’. I’m a Leeds based wrestler who also spends a lot of time in Hull.
How did you get your start in the business; where did you train and who trained you?
I first started out in Leeds, at a small school that had just opened called Grapple Wrestling, run by Paul Clarke. Not long after that, I started travelling to hull to train under El Ligero. I also occasionally head up to the North East to train with Rampage Brown, and have been known to venture down to Nottingham to work with Stixx at his House of Pain school.
Your gimmick is that of the ‘Armbar Superstar’, who came up with that name?
My memory escapes be on exactly how the moniker was given to me if I’m honest. But, after basing a lot of my offense around attacking my opponents arm, it seemed that a nickname or moniker would suit quite well and after throwing a few ideas around and taking suggestions from some of my peers that was the one that eventually stuck.
Most people may know you from NGW, what’s like working for one of the top promotions in the UK?
Being a part of NGW is a great experience. Having trained at their academy for many years, they were the ones who offered me my first opportunity to perform on a bigger stage and have been instrumental in my success thus far.
To be part of a company that is constantly growing is also very exciting. With so many of the shows being filmed for TV, it’s also great to spend time learning more about the production side of things and how the TV show is produced.
Apart from NGW, you’ve also competed for TCW, GWA and more. The North has its fair share of quality promotions, what is it about the North that makes it such a hot bed of talent and promotions?
I think it’s largely the number of quality schools available in the area. The North’s aspiring young wrestlers have the opportunity to work with some of the best in the country. Anyone based in Leeds has the opportunity to train at Grapple Wrestling with the likes of El Ligero and legends like Marty Jones. The NGW academy in Hull offers training from Nathan Cruz and El Ligero and their recently opened North East academy in Durham is headed by Rampage Brown.
With so much learning potential from guys with literally decades of experience, they can bring the best out of almost anyone.
Out of the matches you’ve competed in, is there on you’d consider a “favourite”?
It’s hard to really pick just one favourite. I’ve been quite fortunate this past 12 months to work with a lot of established people who I have a lot of admiration for. My matches with Rampage Brown and El Ligero all rank high on my list of favourites. There are also matches that hold a lot of sentimental value to me, such as my match with Liam Lazarus at NGW 6th Anniversary, which I consider to be my first “big break” onto the British wrestling scene.
With the scene in the UK being on a high, what’s it like being part of the scene currently?
With so many companies growing in size these days and more media attention given to pro wrestling lately, it’s definitely a good time to be part of the scene. With promotions like NGW securing TV deals, in addition to ICW and British Wrestling Council launching very successful on-demand services, there are more opportunities than ever to experience some of the amazing talent in this country.
On top of all that, you have companies running shows in bigger and better venues, drawing larger audiences. It’s definitely and exciting time to be part of the BritWres scene.
Is there anyone coming up through the ranks that we should be looking out for?
There are loads of people coming out of the NGW academy that deserve a look at, in my opinion. Liam Lazarus is one guy rising up the ranks, getting better and better every time I see him. He’s definitely starting to make a name for himself already and will no doubt be one of the big stars in the next generation of British wrestlers.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Just to keep on doing what I’m doing, really. Keep working hard and trying to get my name out there as much as possible. One of my short term goals is to try break in down South and work with some of the guys down there, possibly do some work in Scotland as well. But ultimately, just focusing on getting better and putting on better performances each time I step into the ring.
Is there anything else you’d like to say, add or plug?
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@armbarsuperstar) for info on all upcoming shows/results etc.
You can also find me on facebook (facebook.com/realdanjames)
T-shirts are available to order online from http://armbarsuperstar.bigcartel.com/
Thanks to Dan for taking part in this interview.