Interview with Kid Fite (13/01/2016)

Recently one of our contributers was able to interview one of the most highly decorated UK wrestlers currently working today, Kid Fite. Although perhaps best known for his work in ICW where he is a former Tag Team Champion (he teamed with fellow 55 member Sha Samuels), Kid Fite has also won championships for several other promotions including One Pro Wrestling, British Championship Wrestling, Dansk Pro Wrestling, Deutsche Wrestling Allianz, Preston City Wrestling and the Union of European Wrestling Alliances. As well as performing all across Europe at an incredibly high standard Kid Fite also owns and runs Premier British Wrestling and runs a training school that counts Kay Lee Ray and Noam Dar as it’s graduates.

KidFite

Neil Rogers – I’m looking into what happens when wrestlers get injured, most of the guys I’ve spoken too so far are lower indie guys who have a regular 9-5 job, Monday to Friday so if you get injured you have to explain to your boss on a Monday, I can’t come to work. Obviously the higher up you go, it’s not a problem, John Cena doesn’t have to call in sick on a Monday.

Kid Fite – I don’t have a normal job either, did you know that?

NR – Yes, so you being the middle ground between the guys who hold down a 9-5 and the jet setting guys in the WWE, so before you got where you are now did you have any injuries that prevented you from doing anything?

KF – It affected my training school which is a big part of my income. My full time job is wrestling, not specifically just as a wrestler, I have my training school, I run my shows.

NR – How long has your training school been going for?

KF – Probably about 4 years now, so if I get injured, last year I fractured the vertebrae in my neck, realistically because it’s not my full time job but it is quite regular with some companies, I wrestle will All Star Wrestling in the summer run at the camps, I had to wrestle through it. I limited myself what I was doing, all the guys I was working with were really professional and knew I was limited. The big annoying thing, the most annoying thing for me was getting to training on a Sunday and I have 20 students that I want to show them something and the senior guys might not really know that yet, might not know what I’m meaning and I couldn’t really physically show them made it difficult at times. On occasion I felt, they would have been none the wiser because I was ok to show them other stuff but I felt I was short changing my students.

NR – Who else does the training with you?

KF – We are the first of our kind in Scotland, had a different psychology in training. I wanted to offer training at a younger age, Noam Dar, Stevie Xavier made their debuts at 14, Davey Blaze at 15, so I run shows in a few towns in Scotland, two of my biggest are Greenock and Airdrie so I thought I want to get a school in each of those areas, so when it comes to running the shows you have trainees nearby in each town so you are not putting all the stress on one group of trainees, you can split it out a wee bit. Then if you have a few trainees that are local to that show, they would never just get on the show because they are on there they have to be a certain level but then they get to that level and it’s a double benefit for everybody.

NR – They bring their friends and family

KF – They do but they are good enough to be on the show themselves, so that works well. I’m at Barrhead on a Sunday so I get people into do the Greenock and Airdrie shows so TJ Rage who was initially one of mine, he’s a personal fitness instructor, he has all his qualifications, so we got him up and running with Airdrie because he knows all the gyms in the area. We then got Scott Maverick who recently retired from wrestling, he’s doing a great job teaching down at Greenock. Then at Barrhead I have my senior trainees like Lou King Sharp who is on the show tonight, he’s there every week and he’s at a stage now where he’s more an asset to me than a trainee. You never stop learning, sometimes my trainees show me stuff but he’s at a stage now where if I have people in who have been training for 6 weeks anything I was going to show them at that stage, he can show them. We can split the class into 3 and have some mat work over here, some basic bumping and selling over there, some strikes over there.

NR – What about before you got to the stage where your full time income was wrestling, did you have a full time job?

KF – Yeah I done a few bits and bobs, I started in 2006 but I didn’t go full time until 2008/09, I’m not sure when it was for the wrestling so initially I served my time as a plumber and a heating engineer, I wasn’t the best and I nipped that in the bud. At one point I worked as a croupier in a casino, this is how bad my memory is, too many hits to the head, I can’t remember if that was before the plumbing or after, no it was before because when I left the plumbing my brother in law at the time got me a job as a storeman in a warehouse, it was less money than the plumbing but it was Monday to Friday, I could do it with my eyes shut and it freed up hours in the day to do PBW stuff which was also off and running. At that point I was still with my folks I didn’t have a mortgage, I’ve not got a house, I thought if I’m going to do this I have to do this now before real life responsibilities.

NR – How old were you at that point?

KF – 2009 so I was about 23.

NR – So early 20’s, you said before at the camps you had to wrestle hurt, did you ever have that before you went full time?

KF – Unless you get a right bad one which you never know when that could happen, look at Lionheart, broke his neck in his prime, he was in a match with AJ Styles but I do find as I’ve got older it’s taken its toll a bit more between the camps, the training school and my indie bookings. I wrestle as much as anyone in Scotland. Early on the worst you would get was a black eye or a split head and you just go to work the next day, when I did the plumbing they just thought I had been fighting, they didn’t get it. Early on when I was younger wrestling was nee cool in Scotland like it is now, you get a bit of stick for doing it so you sort of just keep it to yourself but now all my trainees are proud and show their scars, say they got it at the wrestling. Back then they would ask if I got beat up in the toon and I would say yeah because it was easier than saying I was wrestling a 30 stone man. I tore my rotator cuff back now in 2007 and like an idiot I wrestled through it, I diagnosed myself absolute young idiot. At that point 1PW was a thing, I was getting out to Irish Whip Wrestling that was more, not to dismiss what they are doing now but at that point it was more of a name value indie company, now they do local shows. At that point it was somewhere you wanted to be, I remember going out there and having a match with Bingo Balance, I hadn’t re-hurt my muscle in ages but I took a front bump and tore it again. Then I tore it in a holiday park then I tore it in a 1PW match in Doncaster so I re-tore it 3 times in a year. Then it got to the stage where I literally didn’t take a front bump in a year.

NR – Were you still working and not taking the bumps at that time?

KF – I was working but just not taking front bumps, I diagnosed myself and figured it was every time I took a front bump.

NR – So at any point did you see a medical professional?

KF – No because, ‘scuse my language I knew I was fucked, things were going well for me at that point, still at the back of my mind I was hoping for WWE and at that stage of my career that was the goal and I thought there’s no way. I broke it at 1PW on the show with AJ Styles back then, shows with Ric Flair, Bret Hart stuff like that, the top US guys, Roderick Strong and I was like I cannot be taking 6 months out now because you can be easily forgotten.

NR – What about the future from now? Do you see your training schools getting bigger? What would be the ideal future?

KF – Like I said there when I started out WWE was the goal that was the dream, as I got older, as I developed into a wrestler myself I fell away from WWE and became obsessed with British wrestling. That’s the industry I’m in, that’s my job, I wanted to know everything that’s going on. There’s not enough time in the day especially when you are wrestling at the weekends so I eventually got to the stage where PBW built up and obviously I’m 31 now, by no means am I the biggest guy, I know things have changed recently where you see smaller guys, it’s no longer as much the body business it used to be. For me now its leaving my legacy in British wrestling, what we are doing now in ICW is putting Scotland on the map.

NR – Definitely.

KF – It filters down to PBW and BCW they are getting their up from it as well. In Scotland, in wrestling, we are at the stage where most people have heard a wee bit about it.

NR – The BBC documentary was great.

KF – Obviously the documentary was great but for me the main aim right now is to get a show on terrestrial or even one of the main sky channels. If ICW get it great they are the most likely candidates but if someone ever came to PBW and said do you want to do a family one on a Saturday morning I would hear them out but we’ve not got the production values that ICW have got. I want to get more lads on tv, Grado’s a star now in Scotland and it’s all down tv. The tv people got word of him and he’s great with the charisma and all that but once he got on tv, on the documentary on Scot Squad and River City that was when he was getting pantomimes and shows at the theatres and if we can get another 5 or 6 guys on tv to get the same kind of exposure level we would be on a right good footing.

NR – Do you think that when Drew Galloway/McIntyre when he was in WWE and he was the chosen one do you think that helped Scottish wrestling, was he something you could aim at?

KF – At the time it got a buzz initially when Drew was doing well, not too, Drew’s lived the dream, he’s lived the life we all want and is by far one of the most talented guys I know and one of the most hard working guys I know but they could have done a lot better with him after the initial thing. Towards the end the best thing for him was coming back to do things he wanted to do, to wrestle how he wanted to wrestle with that star power from WWE the current fans were seeing a Drew that they had never seen before, he’s an intense man.

NR – He’s still quite young.

KF – He’s younger than myself.

NR – As someone coming from Newcastle we have Adrian Neville/Neville, formally PAC, lots of the guys round here wrestle the guys he’s wrestled and in places where he has wrestled and quite a few of them say well if he can make it I can whereas beforehand there wasn’t that example.

KF – Although I said it’s no longer the body business Drew looks like a Greek god, not being funny but he’s a good looking guy, he looks like a movie star. Adrian Neville it’s in his name the man that gravity forgot he can do stuff that not a lot of people can. There are guys on the British scene that try and do that still, the only one that’s come through recently is Ospreay. When I look at him I get the same excitement levels as when I saw PAC long before he broke out in British wrestling I tried to book PAC for PBW before he had even done FWA that’s how long ago it was. I got a video sent to me and I was like that guys amazing, even back then you can spot it and I think there is only so many British guys they can sign. I mean great that’s your goal but we really have to push British wrestling.

NR – Rather than people do well over here to go over there, do well over here to increase the size of British wrestling, there’s already Barrett, there’s Neville and Finn Balor.

KF – They cannae have the biggest company in America full of Brits. People need to start, the TNA thing is great, it’s worked out great for Spud, it’s worked out great for Grado even Drew’s in there now I just heard his match with Kurt Angle is fantastic. For me it does benefit British wrestling when guys go to WWE but what benefits us all is when guys that are in TNA doing well, Mark Andrews when they are able to still come back over here and compete, that’s when we really get the rub from it. If Grado was out in WWE he would be a national treasure and all that but none of the companies back here are going to get the rub from it other than from saying he used to wrestle here. When someone’s showing up on national telly and then showing up on your product, that’s when you get the rub from it.

NR – I was talking to one of my friends who’s not really into wrestling and he was asking me what would I compare it to and I said you see when David Beckham who went over to the MLS, MLS wasn’t a great standard he went over then other people went over and raised the standards. Now the MLS has got people going over in their prime. With British wrestling people used to come over when they were on the decline but people come over now AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio and hopefully some of them will be wrestling on more British shows rather than a one off.

KF – Definitely there’s still an element where some of the older Americans come over for a payday but when I spent time in America back in 2011 a lot of young guys over there that didn’t have their name yet were wanting to come over here and learn. That’s what you want it to be, guys not just coming over for a payday or to mark another country in their CV but because British wrestling is hot and there’s good talent over here those guys can learn from our guys. We get a new dynamic in our shows, it’s more like that now, we are here now at 5 Star and everyone is talking to each other as equals but back in the day we were very much the extras and they were the stars of the show. Now people are standing up and taking notice of the British wrestlers. The guys are doing well at PWG, you got Zack Sabre who may not be in WWE but that guys the best in the world right now, Mark Andrews, Marty Scurll.

NR – What about Kay Lee Ray over in Japan.

KF – Kay Lee Ray exactly, one of my trainees. Now it’s getting to a stage where people are saying that British wrestling is getting back to its best and the only thing we are missing right now is some tv exposure to bring the fame to the wrestling.

NR – I miss the wrestling channel.

KF – Yeah, that was great but even that’s not big enough, it needs to be on like a channel 5 on a Thursday night 9 o’clock whatever, something where people will turn it on by accident. Even if Eurosport picked it up, I don’t know if that’s even a thing but it needs something like that. People who know British wrestling know that it’s hot but Joe Blogs is still drawn to the big American product with the fireworks and the wow. A while ago according to the papers Simon Cowell was interested, him with the budget he could get with the pyro and the entrance and the professional ring.

NR – The worst thing I could think for British wrestling would be if someone did it half-heartedly put a bad product on air.

KF – That was like that MTV thing in America, obviously America is strong enough that didn’t matter but the first one, if it’s going to get done here needs to be done to a high standard. I can understand them bringing in some former WWE guys and them having UK v America or something like that, some kind of gimmick in it to draw in casual viewers as long as they were smart enough to realise they have to establish the home guys and not make it all about the guys who are already a star.

NR – What is it that got you into wrestling?

KF – Usual story, grew up obsessed with it in the attitude era, loved it. My earliest memory at about 6 year old, my dad got me a magazine with Ric Flair on the cover, I’ve still got it in the loft. I was just drawn to it, my young nephew he’s been drawn to it since he’s been like 2 or 3 years old it just gets you and for me it never went away. I just thought it was so cool Hulk Hogan’s the man and then Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels were more edgy and then the attitude era came when I was a teenager. If it had still been PG when I was a teenager I might have fallen away from it but there was DX, Austin and all that I was a 14/15 year old guy I didn’t miss it every Friday my pals were interested in other stuff and I was like I’m trying to get RAW and Nitro tonight flicking between the channels. From my teenage years I became obsessed with FWA as much as I could without being able to see a show because I was up in Scotland.

NR – Thanks for your time buddy, I really appreciate it

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