Picture Credit: Oli Sandler/The Ringside Perspective
Chris Brookes is a grappler from the Midlands, who has international experience with both CZW and wXw. He is also a lover of puroresu.
For the benefit of those who aren’t aware of you, could you please introduce yourself?
Hello, I am Chris Brookes; Kicker of faces, manipulator of ankles, holder of trophies and lover of coffee.
You’ve been trained by a handful of people, including The Hunter Brothers, Brandon Thomas, The Clarke Twins and you currently train at ATTACK Pro. What have you taken away from all the guys you’ve trained under, with the different methods and styles?
When I began wrestling, it was in Tipton, with the now defunct Alpha Wrestling Evolution, so training weekly varied between all the above. The Hunters influenced me greatly and are the ones I credit as my main trainers; they still teach me things to this day. Along with the Clarke twins, they came from under Brandon and had previously been to a lot of the same schools, so I guess the training was pretty uniform.
Do you remember much of your debut match at all?
I remember it was really, really bad.
Early in your career, you wrestled mainly around the Midlands, competing for the likes of Wrestle Midlands, AWW, ATTACK!, Fight Club:PRO, and further up north with Great Bear Promotions amongst others. Are there any matches of that period that stick out for you?
My earliest matches I don’t remember fondly! My first singles and second a day later with Jonathan Gresham for EWA & Great Bear respectively was when things really started to click into place.
In 2013, you got to compete for CZW in a four way versus Shane Hollister, Alex Reynolds and Chuck Taylor. How that that opportunity arise?
Through Project Mayhem, I became acquainted with DJ Hyde and The Crist Brothers. Initially, I was going over to stay with Gresham and train at his school but scheduling conflicts meant I fell in Ohio and Jake I believe, got me the CZW spot, having tagged against Jon & I at Fight Club: PRO.
Also in 2013, you spent some time with wXw, competing against the likes of Axel Tischer (now in NXT), Jay Skilet, Toby Blunt and others. What as that experience like?
Nerve wracking! I went alone and was pretty terrified. I’m glad I had that experience though because I think its character building. Everyone was super welcoming though and some of my closest friends are people I initially met on that trip.
The matches were nothing to scream about but I got invaluable advice from Christian Jakobi that weekend that I still utilise today.
You became a part of a tag team with Jonathan Gresham called The Calamari Catch Kings, firstly, who put you two together and who came up with the name?
We sort of just fell together through a mutual appreciation of the same things in wrestling. I got penned as Jon’s protégé and Fight Club: PRO began using us a team and it went from there. We came up with the name one night in my living room. We decided all good team names had alliteration and settled on Calamari Catch Kings.
You’re also one half of The Vulture Squad with Nixon Newell (or Luchadora in ATTACK Pro), what’s the reason for an inter gender duo?
Again, it was sort of a brilliant mistake. Kamikaze Pro threw us together on the off chance and we got on really well and realised we both complimented each other. We discussed it and sought out more bookings together and it was pretty popular.
Earlier this year, you were a part of the CHIKARA pre shows for Fight Club:Pro and ATTACK Pro, what was it like working with some of CHIKARAs finest?
Really fun! When I got into independent wrestling in around 2005, Chikara was one of the things I’d frequently watch, so to get in there and mix it up with some of their current crop was a fantastic experience.
Early in the month, you got to team up with the legendary Yoshihiro Takayama, what was it like tagging with someone of that level of experience of wrestling and MMA?
One of the most surreal moments I’ve had in wrestling but equally one of the best. Takayama – San was a joy to work with and it was a real privilege. I can’t thank wXw enough for giving me the opportunity.
At the latest ATTACK Pro, Now That’s What I Call Wrestling! 37(which I attended), you teamed up with Marty Scurll. What was that experience like?
Again, it was a really fun experience. One of the first training camps I ever attended early on was with the LDRS in Kent and I’ve always had a good relationship with Marty. He went down a hit with the ATTACK! crowd.
You’ve faced the likes of Jack Gallagher, Will Ospreay, Wild Boar, Flash Morgan, Ryan Smile, Joseph Connors, Damian Dunne, DJ Hyde, Eddie Dennis and many more. Are there any matches thus far in your career that are memorable to you?
In recent memory, the tag matches I had with Die Schilds on my most recent trip to Germany were all really fun. It’s amazing how much they’ve both come on. I had a three way in Ireland in the beginning of the year with Pete Dunne and Ryan Smile, that was special. The Infinity finals with Tyler Bate in December is probably my favourite match to date.
For a lot of wrestlers, reaching the likes of WWE or TNA is the goal. Is that your ultimate goal?
No, that’s never been my goal. I’d like to continue going to Germany and see more of Europe and maybe one day experience Japan but everything is going great. I love British Wrestling.
Thus far in your career, you competed for many promotions, are there any you’d like to work for that you’ve not been able to as of yet?
Non specifically. I always say I’d love to do more shows for Premier Promotions down South, as they still utilise the rounds format and I think it’s a wonderful but sadly dying art.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
There’s some potentially exciting opportunities lined up towards the end of the year but I don’t like to jinx anything. Just keep on, keeping on! Wrestle as much as possible.
Is there anything else you’d like to add, say or plug?
Follow me on Twitter @OBEYBrookes if you like! All dates and such get posted on there. Go support local shows, however big or small. Without people attending live events there’s no scene and that’d be awful sad. Thanks for having me!
Thanks to Chris for taking part in this interview.