On Thursday 25th August we caught up with Mr Speciality entrance himself, ‘The Local Hero’ Joe Hendry. The previous day he had competed fatal four-way match for the WhatCulture Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship against Big Damo (champion), Rampage Brown and Hendry’s tag team partner Joseph Conners. The match itself (which can be viewed here) The match ended when Conners turned his back on his friendship with Hendry and annihilated him with a steel chair.
NR: Hi Joe. I’d ask how you are but I imagine you are sore after yesterday?
NR: That looked pretty stiff at the end.
JH: Yeah it was pretty brutal
NR: How did you find it, obviously you have been at every what culture show so far, are you getting used to the crowd?
JH: Well I was more concerned with my best friend turning his back on me.
NR: Even after you tried to save him and push him out the ring when Damo had that chair.
JH: I’m in a lot of pain today and the Kurt Angle invitational is today and it’s going to be tough for me but I need to push through it.
NR: Is there going to be a new entrance tonight?
JH: I can never reveal these things!
NR: Is your favourite entrance still the Seven Nation army parody you did on Lionheart and Liam Thomson?
JH: I like that one a lot, I like the Joe Coffey one too though just for getting Toys R Us into a song, that was a highlight for me.
NR: I spoke to Liam Thomson a little while ago and he said he wished you had called him a fanny
JH: *laughs* did he honestly say that?
NR: *laughs* Yeah he did. He said it’s because that whole thing has followed Lionheart and he’s selling shirts saying “Lionheart is a Fanny” but noone wants to buy one saying “Liam Thomson has failed his degree”. Has anyone ever asked you to do something specifically for them?
NR: Do you get requests from other wrestlers?
JH: You do get requests but it’s down to what’s best for the situation.
Knowing how busy Hendry has been in recent months, up and down the country, we then moved on to ask him about his various other tag team partners in ICW and NGW. Unfortunately since we spoke Hendry and his Local Fire team mate, Davey Blaze, have lost their championships to Polo Promotions, aka Jackie Polo and Mark Coffey (Joe Coffey’s brother).
NR: I saw your live feed for ICW with you and Davey Blaze, before it was hacked by Polo Promotions, how would you compare Davey to Joseph Conners?
JH: Well obviously emotions are still high but Joseph Conners is very good technically, he’s a pro, he’s been doing it for a very long time. Davey is more of a powerhouse type wrestler and Joseph has a very serious personality and Davey has more of a comedic personality so I bounce off both personalities.
NR: Do you prefer being the straight man to Davey rather than the comic foil to Joe?
JH: I don’t feel I am the straight man to Davey Blaze…
NR: There are only a few people I can see you being the straight man too and Davey would be one of them. The other would probably be Grado…
JH: Well you could say that but we both get fairly wacky at times.
NR: What was it like winning the ICW tag team titles?
JH: It was a huge moment for me, I’ve been in ICW since pretty much my pro debut so to reach that accolade was important for me.
NR: One of our readers pointed out that during the live feed you said that champions have responsibilities to defend their titles but at NGW you are the tag champs and you have hijacked the belts and so far have refused to defend them…
JH: Well we have different contracts with different companies and our contract with NGW stipulates we can defend them when we want. That’s the business deal that we made with NGW and that any of the three can defend the belts and we are defending the belts in the future.
NR: How would you compare those tag team partners to others you have had?
JH: Again it’s a different dynamic with NGW you get to see the cheeky side of Kid Fite, I get on well with those guys and I enjoy teaming with them and I think that comes across, I guess I have just fallen into this tag team specialism.
We then moved onto discussing WCPW and the strategy he would employ in that evening’s Kurt Angle Invitational Rumble which you can view here.
NR: Do you know what entry number you are in tonight’s big match? Do you have any thoughts on what it will take to win tonight?
JH: Strategy wise this is not the match where I’m going to be taking lots of risks this is the match where I’m going to be focussed on getting the job done by any means necessary.
NR: What did you think of the news about Bret Hart coming over?
JH: That it’s phenomenal news, I think that getting someone like Bret Hart involved with the company adds prestige to what we are doing and I am very excited for it personally.
NR: Did you get a chance to speak with Eric Bischoff when he was here yesterday?”
JH: Very quickly, unfortunately there was lots going on so there’s not a whole lot of time to spare but I had a quick word with him.
Now moving onto the WhatCulture staple, the top 10 list, we asked for a couple of names of Joe’s “Top 10 Wrestlers of All Time” list.
NR: Adam Clery (WhatCulture’s head of PR) told me that they are putting together a list of the best wrestlers of all time as voted for by wrestlers. Do you mind sharing any of the names from your list?
JH: Yeah I can give you some names. Kurt Angle, The Rock, Chris Jericho and Ric Flair.
NR: There’s certainly no disputing any of those names when it comes to the best of all time. Can I ask something? Three of those guys are know for their submission maneuvers, Jericho has his Walls of Jericho, Angle has his Ankle Lock and obviously Flair has his Figure Four Leglock. At the moment you use your Freak of Nature Fallaway Slam to finish your matches but have you ever thought of incorporating a submission move into your repertoire?
JH: When the times right I’ll probably bring that in but only when the time is right.
Our writer then asked Hendry about his thoughts on some of the angles currently occurring across the pond in TNA and WWE.
NR: For our next issue one of our writers are putting together a piece about the Final Deletion, have you seen it? Do you have any opinions on that?”
JH: I actually haven’t seen it from start to finish but what I will say is it’s brought attention and I think they went in with a goal and they have achieved that, Matt Hardy has this whole new outlook on his career and that’s testament to his skills as a veteran in this business to reinvent himself. I do want to watch the whole thing start to finish as I’ve only seen highlights to this point. It’s one of these things in wrestling it’s different, people will have varying opinions on it but for me I can only see positives in it.
NR: I like anything in wrestling that crosses over to the mainstream, it widens the pool of people who are talking about wrestling which means I can talk to more people about something I love. Other things that have made this transition into the recently are things like SummerSlam and particularly the finish to the match between Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton. Also there is a lot of buzz around The Miz and his spat with Daniel Bryan in that segment from WWE’s Talking Smack. Do you have any thoughts on those?”
JH: I have, I didn’t see the main event live but I heard about the cut at the end. I hate to see wrestlers get injured as for Miz’s spot I have always been a big fan of his I think he’s one of the most underrated wrestlers WWE has and has been pretty much for the last decade. How could you argue what he was saying?”
NR: I agree, I don’t think you can criticise anyone for wrestling the way he wrestles or for what he said. It reminded me a little of when Doug Williams was mocking the guys in the X Division for their high flying style and saying that it would take years off their careers.
JH: Whatever works for that person, I’m not going to criticise someone else’s style but I felt a lot in common with what he said.
NR: What would your thoughts be on wrestling The Miz?
JH: Ah yeah I would love to wrestle the Miz, long term in my career that’s a dream match for me, he would be in my top 10 of favourites for me to face. For me I would say one of my favourites was Mr Anderson and I got to wrestle him.
We then finished off our chat asking Hendry about his amateur wrestling plans and if his aim.is still to qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He told us that qualification is still his ultimate goal and that the first series of contests for that start in October. Unfortunately Hendry has stated he may have to look at his professional wrestling commitments and cut back on these but hopefully his hard work will pay off and we will all be able to support one of professional wrestling’s true good guys.
In the meantime you can check out ‘The Local Hero’ every Saturday on WCPW’s YouTube channel or cheer him on at a show near you.
As always, Joe, it was a pleasure speaking to you and I wish you all the best in your upcoming projects.