Photo Credit: (c) Tony Knox
Eddie Dennis is a wrestler who has a cult following from his escapades in ATTACK Pro and PROGRESS. If you haven’t heard of him, then really need to check this guy out!
For those of us out there who don’t know who you are, could you describe yourself?
Hi there, my name is Eddie Dennis. I’m 29 years old and I’ve been wrestling for about 7 years now.
When you started out, you first trained under Karl Griffiths at Celtic Wrestling and you trained a little under Big Dog I believe then went over to Canada to train with Scott D’Amore, what were the differences in the training methods and what were the experiences like?
Yes, I started out training with Celtic Wrestling under Caiman (Karl Griffiths) and Thomas Bassey. Dog was at some sessions and definitely helped me out early on, as did guys like Matt Vaughn but I’d say my first trainer was Karl.
As I started at around 22 years of age, I was aware that there were lots of guys younger and much better than me on the scene already, so I wanted to catch up as quickly as possible. I’d finished my degree and my PGCE and had saved up some cash, so I decided to spend 6 months out in Canada training with Scott D’Amore and Tyson Dux.
It was a really great experience. I’m extremely grateful to Karl and Celtic for giving me my start in wrestling but definitely my time out in Canada helped tremendously in making me a better rounded performer. I would’ve loved to stay out there even longer.
Do you remember your first pro match and how do you think you performed?
My first ‘pro’ match was in a carnival field against my original trainer Caiman. The ring was about 8 foot by 8 foot and we were both comfortably over 6 feet, so I’m sure it looked hilarious. At the time I thought it was great, I’ve never seen any footage but in retrospect I’m pretty sure it wasn’t!
The majority of your early matches were in Celtic Wrestling but as Eddie Dennis in ATTACK Pro, what is it about them (ATTACK) that makes you keep coming back?
I really cut my teeth with Celtic Wrestling, that’s where most of the Welsh guys started out (there or NWA Wales) and got much more experience by wrestling for Alan Ravenhills’ Welsh Wrestling up and around the country. Those shows really did wonders for guys like me, Mark Andrews and Mike Hitchman, as they gave us the opportunity to wrestle regularly in front of good size audiences.
ATTACK came a little later in my career. It’s essentially my ‘home’ promotion. While different people have been involved, it’s always been ran by my friends. It’s evolved into this really cool thing, where we’ve all worked together to find a little niche in the UK market and we’re all doing super well from it. Without Attack I don’t think me, Flash Morgan, Pete Dunne and tons of other guys would have the exposure we currently have on the UK scene.
A big part of your career has been you teaming up with Mark Andrews (TNA’s Mandrews), how did that come about and why do you think you gel so well?
Mine and Marks tag team over the last few years has been the most fun. We held the PROGRESS shields for almost a year and I think we’re like 2nd or 3rd in the FSM Tag Team of the year last year and we’ve only actually teamed a total of less than 10 times, which is pretty nuts. Originally Mark was meant to tag with someone else at Chapter 6 against the Banghra Knights but his original partner was unavailable, so Mark suggested me. The reason I think we have good chemistry is just because it’s real and everyone can see that. The energy you see from us when ‘Party Hard’ hits, is the exact same energy you’d see from us if you saw us in a nightclub and that song came on. We really are close friends and that comes through when we’re out there, I think.
So far in your wrestling career, you’ve held the ATTACK! 24:7 Championship, the One To Watch Trophy Championship, the PROGRESS Tag Team Championship and the TXW Championship, what’s your proudest achievement of them all?
I said during my promo at Chapter 17; that Mark getting signed for TNA was my proudest achievement and it really is. That’s a weird thing to say, but to me, Mandrews’s success is validation for everything that we’ve done as a small group of friends in wrestling, be it ATTACK, DEFEND or any of the matches.
I’m also really proud of my involvement in the growth of PROGRESS and more specifically, the ProJo and ENDVR.
I main evented ENDVR 1 and I’m main eventing ENDVR 10. In that time, those shows have grown immeasurably and the trainees have improved so much, it’s great to see.
You are part of DEFEND Indy Wrestling, along with Mark Andrews & Pete Dunne. Whose idea was it to create the brand?
DEFEND is just a clothing brand, myself, Mark & Pete founded the brand a few years back, which has grown into something people really associate us with. Again, it’s something we’re really proud of. It’s great to see so many fantastic talents wearing the wristbands and representing the brand.
Over the course of your career so far, you’ve faced opponents such as Robbie X, Tyler Bate, Marty Scurll, Jimmy Havoc, Tommaso Ciampa and many more. Are there any matches you’ve had that have been particularly memorable for you?
I really love the main event of the first ATTACK, goose bumps show between myself and Pete Dunne, the matches Mark and I had against the Swords Of Essex at PROGRESS Chapter 11 and the Riots at Chapter 14 and the crazy 8 man tag from Chapter 15 is pretty memorable too. The time I got to wrestle Sabu, for CSF in Weston Super Mare was very memorable too.
You sometimes compete as Eddie Mysterio Jr, what’s the story behind that?
A friend of mine brought the mask back from Mexico for me years ago as a gift. Before the match with the Swords at PROGRESS, I was thinking of a funny way I could make reference to the fact that I was much bigger than everyone else in there and thought becoming a Luchador was a funny idea that the PROGRESS crowd would dig, I was right and the place went mental!
Since then I’ve bust it out a few other times. It’s definitely not something you’ll see from me in every one of my matches but occasionally I’ll bring it back out. It’s cool to have a Foley-esque alter ego. I think it’s pretty unique on the UK scene at the moment.
You’ve worked a few spots for Fight Club: PRO out of Wolverhampton, how do find working there in that enviroment inside the cage?
I’ve really enjoyed my times at Fight Club. I’m still relatively new there having only wrestled a handful of shows there but the guys who run it are total class acts and a pleasure to work for. Within the Planet the cage makes for a really cool atmosphere. It also looks pretty awesome on video! It definitely adds an edge to the Fight Club product.
As part of the Fight Club: PRO & ATTACK rosters you were on the pre shows of the CHIKARA UK tour recently, thoughts on working that tour and alongside the CHIKARA guys?
The CHIKARA tour was great fun. The cards where pretty massive as they brought so many guys over so there where definitely some cramped locker rooms that weekend. I watched the CHIKARA product most evenings and really enjoyed loads of their quirky gimmicks, the Swamp Monster is amazing! But definitely the best part of the tour was getting to spend 4 days partying and on the road with some of my best buds in wrestling. Getting to hang out for 4 full days with Pete and all the other guys was great as it’s something I don’t get to do often due to school.
What are your plans for the rest of this year?
For the rest of this year, I’ve got plenty of bookings coming up. Hopefully, I’ll continue to feature prominently for ATTACK and PROGRESS and continue with some of the other gigs that I have. I’d love to head back to Rev-Pro and Southside later in the year too, amongst a few others. As a teacher, I’m pretty busy, so I restrict myself to one booking a weekend, whenever possible. I occasionally do two but that’s a real rarity these days.
Is there anything else you’d like to say, add or plug?
Plugs to my athlete Facebook page-‘The Pride Of Wales’ Eddie Dennis, my clothing brand-www.defendindywrestling.com, follow the DEFEND Twitter-@defendindywres and the wrestling school that I’m associated with, the ProJo.
‘Don’t do drugs, stay in school!’
Thanks to Eddie for taking the time to participate in this interview.