Klondyke Kate interview, Monday 21 November 2016

Far too many people far too easily bestow the title of legend on those they admire, not me, for me you have to earn it with blood, sweat and tears and I confidently say that Jayne Porter (aka Klondyke Kate) is a legend.

There was no path for her to follow in her career, no path for her to follow in her life, she did it her way, on her terms and I for one know the wrestling family is better for having her in it.

I was lucky enough for her to give me some of her time recently and to hear her story in her own words…

Neil Rogers – How old were you when you started wrestling? What made you decide that was what you wanted to do?
Jayne Porter – Professionally, I started at 14 but what happened was I was one of those kids who used to watch World of Sport with my family who used to sit there rocking and screaming and swearing and I just loved it. I only saw men then, no one had ever seen women on TV or anything like that so it was something I really enjoyed watching. When I was coming up to 14 I went to Blackpool and saw the challenges where they stand outside and people from the crowd challenge them in the booth.
NR – Is that the sort of thing William Regal used to do?
JP – It’s the exact same place! He came obviously afterwards, yeah and I was there watching it and I was on the front row and a guy called Crusher Mason flew out the ring, he was bleeding and it landed on the front of my dress, I had a white dress on and the blood was all over it so I went to complain to the promoter, got chatting, I don’t think he realised I was as young as I was, I told him I was interested in wrestling. I think probably to try and get rid of me he said come up to the shows next week and we will have a look. I turned up about 4 weeks on the trot and kept getting fobbed off, I just was too young but I kept on and on and on. After about six visits they put me in the ring with a guy called Tony Francis who was also one of the promoter’s there, he slammed me and broke my ankle.
NR – What!?
JP – My ankle just snapped, I landed with my ankle underneath me and it just broke so off I trot the 90 miles back to Stoke-on-Trent and six weeks later, plaster off, I was back again and I think they just thought “Oh we aren’t going to get rid of this one”, I was very plain looking as well, a chubby kid, straight up and down but somebody saw something in me. The guy who had bled on me, Crusher Mason, had said that there was something about me so let’s give me a go and down to him only I got a chance to start to learn to wrestle. There was obviously no training schools in those days, you are talking early 1977, mainly men and when I started there was only six women in the business altogether so you really had to dig deep to have something different about you. My very first match was in this horseshoe bar against this wrestler called The Cherokee Princess and a new girl, myself and a girl called Rusty Blair. I was absolutely awful but they noticed that I kept interacting with the crowd, the showbiz part of it I seemed to pick up straight away so I got to stay and that was how I started really.
I actually did challenges where people came in from the crowd and I wrestled females and males and that was late 70’s, early 80’s so it was practically unheard of then.
NR – I was going to say, that must have been quite a novelty.
JP – It was very much so but I think it was because my size, I had got bigger, I was talked into becoming this sort of monster heel, it was something I wanted to do and I was happy having that kind of persona. I think because I was a big girl and I was taught by men anyway that I was accepted as being willing and able to take on men and women so I started to do it but must have definitely been one of the first ever to do it.
NR – So how did you actually get trained? Was it at the shows?
JP – No I used to go up to Blackpool every weekend from Stoke-on-Trent, I would get the train up there and they would train me in the same place that William Regal was trained. It was a garage with a concrete floor, ringposts that were cemented into the concrete floor and a canvas, basically that was it and truthfully that was what it was and it was horrendous every time we hit the floor was vile and it was sometime before that was improved. I had it quite tough at first, I came home every weekend looking like I had been run over! It really was hard for me, at 14 if you really want to do something you don’t know any different and that’s how I came to be in it. This is why I get slightly miffed when people say that they can’t get to training as its 20 mile away I used to travel 180 miles every weekend round trip. I also think that kind of start gives you that longevity to stay in it throughout all that goes on even through all the injuries if you are really into wanting to be a wrestler you do put up with a lot of stuff.
NR – I would guess it was only going to get easier from there. I would have thought once you are used to hitting the solid ground a ring canvass would be a doddle.
JP – Physically it couldn’t get any worse than what it was when I first started but mentally it got a lot worse because there was only six women across the entire country, there was no mainstream, it was such a novelty. A lot of places we weren’t allowed to wrestle because it was such a novelty they just didn’t know what to expect, it took us a long long time to be allowed in lots of counties and lots of boroughs to wrestle. The first legal female wrestling in London was in The Albert Hall in 1987 and I was one of the four girls that were there to do that.

NR – Do you remember the other three ?
JP – I certainly do, the two I was against were Nicky Monroe and Mitzi Mueller and my tag partner was Lolita Loren, I think we were called the Bovver Birds! Sadly Lolita is gone now, she passed away not long ago. We actually brought the house down, they loved it but like I said it was 1987 not that long ago.
NR – I was born in 1986… *laughs*
JP – Yep so you were one! I’ve never forgotten it, it was April 1987 for the simple reason in February I had my son and I was back wrestling in the March so I remember exactly because I had just started back from having the boy.
NR – So you were four weeks on from having a child?
JP – This is a bit of a thing going on at the moment, I was actually in every national paper, every magazine on the planet so it seemed at the time because I was wrestling in Tunbridge Wells and I went over the top rope, landed on the floor, got up, thought nothing of it then the next day I woke up and all my left side was numb. They thought I had had a stroke so I go to the doctors and it’s my usual doctor so he’s checking through everything, decides I’ve not had a stroke, he examined me further and turned out I was eight and a half months pregnant and was straight rushed up to Alder Hey Hospital for a scan and they confirmed everything and I had him two weeks after I had been in the ring and I was back to work three or four weeks after. So big big shock, the news was all over the place, it was a hell of a thing. At the time I was living with a wrestler called Doc Dean, he was the first tag partner with Robbie Brookside as the Liverpool Lads, and he was my partner at the time so when I told him he was flabbergasted, a baby and then in six weeks back on the road. That’s just how it was and I took him all over the world with me when he was a baby, I had went nearly nine months wrestling practically every day with absolutely no sign that I was pregnant. They had actually told me on a number of occasions that I couldn’t have children and I was 24 when I had him, I can assure you had I known I would not have been wrestling.
NR – When you say you were all over the world, where was it that you were travelling too?
JP – The only continent I haven’t actually wrestled on is Australia, I’ve been to Japan, that was in ‘82 then all around the world along with up and down the country. I don’t think there is a city or town in this country that I haven’t wrestled in. Wrestlers saying these days class themselves as a veteran in the business after 10 years. I was in it from 1977 until 2011 and I’ve luckily worked full time.
NR – Did it help that you were an established woman wrestler at a time when there wasn’t many women wrestlers around?
JP – I think a lot of the thanks for the women go to people like Brian Dixon from All Star and Orig Williams who used to run all of Wales. Those two were quite determined to put women on the map and Brian Dixon started running fan clubs, he’s been a promoter now for more than 40 years and he married Mitzi Mueller and he was trying hard to make the girls a big deal and he actually did he started off with around six girls and about four guys and one of those guys was David Taylor and as other promoters released wrestlers and they came and worked for All Star and Orig Williams and it all grew and became more women but still not a lot. There’s been such a big big influx of women now working its really unbelievable and the talent is amazing. Orig Williams is the guy who got me abroad, he was my agent for all the trips I did abroad, in those days we did lots of British Army bases.
NR – Who would you say was the highest profile wrestlers you wrestled? I know you wrestled Big Daddy!
JP – It depends, it depends on your perspective as to what high profile is, I’ve worked with some of the WWE girls, I watched Paige grow up, and I’ve wrestled Paige and her mother. I can’t really answer that because I don’t see them as anything other than what I am or I’ve been they are just another person I am going to be wrestling.

NR – Do you have any favourite opponents?
JP – I spent quite a few months working with Natalya who was then Nattie Neidhart, actually wrestled her Dad funnily enough. If I am honest I would say I really enjoyed the competition and the viciousness of working with Saraya Knight. Everybody had something about them, there was no one as heavy as me so I wasn’t worried about working with someone bigger than me, I don’t think it’s down to my ability as a wrestler but more how I looked, how I acted, there was no one like me and even today there isn’t many big girls in the wrestling business who would get a good run at it. The only one I can think of who is doing amazingly well but so she should because she’s fabulous is Viper (Kimberley), I met her a few weeks ago at the ITV tapings and I tell you what she is the most amazing female wrestler, the way she carries herself in the ring and the way she wrestles. I actually said the ICW Fear and Loathing Women’s Championship Match was the best women’s match I have ever seen, they were just amazing. I hadn’t seen Carmel Jacobs work before and now she’s retired, she’ll be back, you can’t keep away believe me!

One of Kate's favourite oppents is Sweet Saraya
One of Kate’s favourite oppents is Sweet Saraya

NR – While we are talking about retiring, when was your retirement match? I had a brief look and found one from December 2010?
JP – I actually finished Christmas 2011 that was the last time I worked with my daughter, I wrestled my daughter.
NR – The last one I found was December 2010 for Solent Wrestling Federation, you and Faith Lehaine against Connie Steel and Erin Angel.

Kate and her daughter who describe themselves as "bestfriends"
Kate and her daughter who describe themselves as “bestfriends”

JP – Yeah that was the start of me finishing because I was so injured and that actual match wasn’t the best of matches, I was so injured going through a really bad time. I needed to get rid of the weight and was ready to be hospitalised but it told me that it was time to go. I did quite a few after that though, nothing major I was picking and choosing ones that suited me best but I thought I have to go while I can still do what I do. I don’t miss being in the ring but if I’m not around the community then I’m not happy, I am still very much part of the community and involved in things but certainly not in ring. My daughter wrestles, solely because she wants to, I’ve never encouraged her to wrestle, I only ever wanted her to do something to give her a good financial life where she would be to look after herself, I talked her into uni and the wrestling is part and parcel of what she wants to do so that’s how it is. I definitely finished in December 2011.
NR – So it was the injuries, the weight things like that, if you don’t mind me asking, were you about 300lbs roughly?
JP – I don’t know in pounds but I was 28 stones [this is just under 400lbs] and I have diabetes, I was really poorly, cartilage in my knees kept coming out, I needed surgery.
NR – Because you are only about 5’4″ right?
JP – Yeah that’s what I am, it had just made me really poorly plus my mental health wasn’t really great, it’s like anyone who is big it’s like a vicious circle. I am really body positive I really believe people should be exactly what they want to be size wise but for me my weight was affecting my health, I didn’t want to die. I had quite a young partner, my partner was 16/17 years younger than me and hadn’t been worried about the size I’d been up until the last couple of years and I got so ill that our relationship split up and I just decided time to stop everything and get myself better. I mean I’m not quite there yet but I’m nearly there.
NR – So how much weight have you lost, if you don’t mind me asking?
JP – I’ve lost nearly 15 stones.
NR – Fucking hell!! Pardon my language but that’s a person!
JP – I’ve lost about 14st 9lbs at last count, I’m waiting for some surgery now to have some skin removed and bits and pieces to make me feel better again. To be honest, my turning point was nothing to do with wrestling, I went on a day out with my partner and my children to a theme park and I couldn’t walk so I sat in a wheelchair and I saw a photo of it and I thought, why am I killing myself? I’m not going to live if I don’t do something about it, you are supposed to be either five or six for your sugar limit and I was 22 every day, I should have been in hospital all the time. I’ve always had a stressful life but it’s the life I chose, what people don’t see is behind all the wrestling is all the injuries, how it makes our bodies feel it pisses me off when people are slating wrestling when every day these people put their bodies on the line to entertain people.
NR – Well I play five-a-side on a Monday and I can barely walk for the next two days and that’s just playing recreational football!
JP – It’s a well-known fact that wrestlers will not rest and heal properly they never ever do, they always get back in that ring before they should do but it’s just the way we are. You do want to try and heal but you just want to get back in as quick as you can and sometimes you have a really bad injury and you still want to get back in. I was on with Luna Vachon, I did a hardcore match with her and it was as hard as it could be, she hit me with everything she could including a fire extinguisher across my head, I had lumps on lumps but the stupidest thing I did was jump down off the ring and absolutely annihilated the tendons in my knee. I was in plaster for 13 weeks, all the cartilage in my knee had gone but it was nothing she had done, it was just something silly that can give you such a bad injury. I was 13 weeks in plaster, had the plaster took off did two days physio then I was back wrestling, madness!
NR – You are all fairly mad you wrestlers, I spoke to Kid Fite not that long ago about injuries and he told me he did something to his shoulder fairly early into his career but rather than take time off to heal he just decided he wasn’t going to do back bumps for a few months!
JP – Yeah you do, you just get on with it, I went in the ring in ridiculous states, my left cartilage always used to come out, I would do some and it would come out, normally you can’t then put your foot on the ground but I would stamp my foot down as hard as possible six or seven times until the cartilage went back into my knee then I would carry on wrestling. It would have to be something mega mega bad to not be able to carry on, I’ve been wrestling and dislocated my finger and carried on till I get out of the ring and one of the lads has put my finger back in.
I’ve had injuries, I’ve been stabbed by one of the crowd, in Aberdeen Scotland, I have a lovely four inch scar down my thumb and even then I carried on wrestling with blood squirting out my thumb. Fit Finlay dragged the guy out of the crowd by his hair, down the stairs out the back and gave him a pasting. I carried on wrestling with Mitzi Mueller who had this porous bleach blonde hair, my blood was in her hair and she couldn’t get it all out for about a week, it had dyed her hair that bad and the blood was everywhere, I had to have seven stitches. I even had to go into surgery because whatever he had done had severed the nerve and I couldn’t feel the end of my thumb but I have a beautiful scar down my left hand, he had actually tried to stick the knife in my kidney, I had seen him coming but couldn’t get far enough away from him so I put my hand back to stop the knife and it caught my thumb but I’m a tough old bird me!
NR – What would you do, as a mam, if your daughter, not got stabbed, but had hurt herself and continued wrestling?
JP – I don’t know, I would probably have a lot to say about it, she’s a babyface and well liked so I am quite glad about that, it’s not the crowd I have to worry about its if she gets injured. She will get injured in the ring, it comes with the territory but I think if ever I was at a show and she was a heel and if anyone in the crowd went near her I would chin them! I am do what I say not what I do, I’ve tried everything to put her off, she’s a very clever girl, very intelligent but knows that the only times I am really happy is when I am around wrestling and it’s a bit of a cliché but it’s true, nothing has come up to the standards for me as being a wrestler and being around that kind of community.
NR – I was going to ask what was it like was at the World of Sport taping? You were sat next to Rollerball Rocco….
JP – Well they are all my mates.
NR – How often do you see them?
JP – I don’t see them that often because Rocco lives in Tenerife but I’ve seen him maybe five times this year, Johnny Saint I bump into all the time, Marty Jones is one of my best pals, I’m 55 next year and I’m the baby of the group, when they wrestled I used to travel with them all the time, I was part of their community, those are the people I watched when I was a kid so when I first met them all it was like a dream come true.
NR – What was it like having you guys there at the World of Sport taping to respect all that had come before and what was the show like? I know you can’t give us any spoilers.
JP – What happened, they are very very secretive ITV, even with us, we were interviewed, I feel so privileged to be part of the interviews and we did that separate from any of the tapings that went on the show. To be asked to be there and they were so fabulous, the show, the actual staging showed the effort they had put into it. For me the only criticism was that it wasn’t physically big enough because there was so many people disappointed about not getting in, that was a bit of a shame but everything else, on paper I would have looked at it and thought that wouldn’t work but it was amazing. Afterwards we all met up, they kept us very separate before the show, we didn’t want to influence them.

British wrestling legends (From left to right) Kate, Johnny Saint, ..............., Mark 'Rollerball' Rocco and Marty Jones at the taping of ITV's World of Sport.
British wrestling legends
(From left to right) Kate, Johnny Saint, tv producer/actor Max Beesley, Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco and Marty Jones at the taping of ITV’s World of Sport.

NR – Jim Ross was there as well so it’s going to sound awesome on television.
JP – Yes Jim Ross was there, he came down and as he was walking down with Alex Shane and Jim Ross shakes Rollerball’s hand, lovely, he knew him, Johnny Saint, Marty Jones more of the same, he totally ignored my hand, Alex Shane leaned over and was like oh I’m so sorry, you don’t know how much I respect you being here and I said oh well Jim Ross didn’t! But afterwards, whether Alex Shane said something to him or something I do not know but he did come up to me. The only reason he did know of me was that me and William Regal are really good friends, we have been for over 30 years. I did feel like a bit of a tit but he wouldn’t have known me from Adam. The show was so good and I was so impressed with the girls match, once again Viper I haven’t got a bad word to say about her, I think she is so good for the business.
NR – I don’t think there are many women even in America who are better than Viper. For me Viper and Kay Lee Ray are amongst the top 10 in the world.

ICW regular and World of Sport wrestler Viper is one of Kate's favourites on the current scene
ICW regular and World of Sport wrestler Viper is one of Kate’s favourites on the current scene

JP – I’m telling you what you don’t need any divas from America, I don’t think they do because that was world class Sunday at ICW was world class and Americans are a lot about T and A and this is what pisses me off about wrestling in this country it’s still quite a bit about that but quite a few people are now getting the nouse to see that it is about ability or diversity, at least having something different. Viper is absolutely beautiful, she’s stunning and by her fans they think the same it’s just that she’s bigger than the other girls but I think that’s an advantage for her.
NR – Do you watch much wrestling today?
JP – I have to be in the mood to be honest, I think there is a lot of amazing wrestlers going on but there is also a lot of shit going on. I am on the internet a lot, Facebook, Instagram, I see a lot of things on Youtube that I totally disagree with. It’s like that old saying opinions are like arseholes everyone’s got one. I don’t mind what anyone else’s opinion is but I’ve been around coming up for 40 years and I just feel that some many people have worked hard to make the business look good then you have some people that are no good but think they are and it knocks it down a bit so I kinda watch when I wanna watch, when I am interested in someone’s career but if I could help someone I have always wanted to do that and people do respect my opinions sometimes so I’m honoured when they ask. I am very honest and very open, there is nothing in it for me so I can give my full opinion in a constructive way but that’s much about me than anything else. I watch some stuff, the only thing that took my fancy lately was Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. I just thought that match was absolutely genius.
NR – I thought it was brilliant.
JP – I’m glad because there has been a big divide in this, I thought it’s very clever and very good.
NR – I’m just thinking that if in six month time Goldberg has retired and they haven’t done anything with it it’s a bit of a waste but while it’s going on you can’t really judge it. Do you still go to shows like All Star?
JP – I’ve been part of holiday camps, it’s a big part of British wrestling and what I do is I run a run, look after some of the shows that are part of the camps so all summer I spent with different teams down the south west coast. I’m still very much part of it, I go to shows with my daughter, I do follow certain promotions.
NR – When I spoke to Rampage Brown a while ago he had a similar opinion to you, I thought he was being overly humble because he didn’t understand why people want to learn from him and come to him and I was like it’s cos you are brilliant.
JP – Exactly! He is brilliant and humble and he will stay humble, that’s how he is, he’s one of the best. I think your longevity and how people respect you in the wrestling says a lot about you as a person, you don’t have to be the best but if you are humble and willing to learn and don’t think you know it all it goes a long long way to putting you in that ring. Ollie is just amazing, no wonder people want to learn from him, he’s got a lot to teach.
NR – He’s also teaching the mind set and the etiquette, there’s a couple of guys who are on the shows up here who go to his academy and maybe they are not as good as him yet but they have the mentality from him so hopefully they won’t stray.
JP – I hope so but at the end of the day everyone is an individual and you have to have a bit of belief in yourself but you have to have a happy medium. I know exactly what kind of wrestler I was, I couldn’t be a technical wrestler if my life depended on it. I learned a lot of basics, a lot of my work was crowd work, verbal, all that kind of stuff but I don’t know why, it’s your personality goes a long way, I was always very humble and listened to people, I actually got a lot of respect from the guys. People who wouldn’t go in the ring with a woman if their life depended on it, Mary Jones came over from Joint Promotions to work for All Star, he hated girl wrestlers, hated women wrestling, hated it! Then he started being on shows where there were a few girls and I was on the shows, got to know him really well and then all of a sudden there’s a girl missing/something goes wrong, I can’t remember exactly but I do remember the match and it’s Marty Jones in a mixed tag match and I’m against him and it was one of the best matches I have ever had in my life. All I can really remember was getting him up in the air and slamming him. I think we did actually win, I can’t even remember who my tag partner was but it was Telford in the early 90’s and ever since then he has had no qualms against wrestling women and he is now teaching girls.
That was a lot of what men thought when we were wrestling, a lot of the old technical wrestlers wouldn’t give me the time of day but once they see you are willing to learn, I’ve had a lot of really good teachers. A lot of my luck has been down to listening to people, taking things on board, staying humble, you can kind of get a feel for it as you get older. All I wanted to do was be liked by people for what I did.
NR – Do you ever think what would have happened if you had come around 20-30 years later?
JP – I don’t think I would be in it, I don’t think I would have the stamina for what people are doing now, for what the style is now. I don’t know, I don’t know, I think I came along at the right time for me. I feel I had more fun in those days than they do now, it’s very work oriented now whereas a few years ago although we were very professional there was a lot of fun involved.
NR – Pranks and ribs and things like that?
JP – Yeah, you see a lot of the older wrestlers saying, it wasn’t like that in my day but we had a wicked sense of humour and I don’t find a lot of that in the locker room these days. They are very very serious and yeah that’s great, its very professional and wonderful but a bit of down time keeps you sane and that’s what we did. I am so glad I was around those people then, I meet some now and I don’t seem to meet a lot of characters, I meet a lot of brilliant wrestlers but outside of that they seem reserved and I just think to myself oh I never met many like that. My God though, saying that I would love to be on now with these girls who are doing so much stuff, still be me doing my stuff but going in with these girls and all I hope for now, my daughter aspires to be as good as they are and I don’t want to teach her I want her to go away and learn from people who are in it now, all I give her is advice and a wagging finger basically.
NR – Are you still based in Stoke at the minute?
JP – No I live in Weymouth now on the west coast.

Violet Vendetta names Kate as one of the main inspirations in her becoming a professional wrestler.
Violet Vendetta names Kate as one of the main inspirations in her becoming a professional wrestler.

NR – I was speaking with Violet Vendetta recently who was telling me that you are probably the main reason why she got into wrestling, because she’s from Stoke and it she says it’s a small place and that you were from there and because you had made it she realised that if she tried hard enough she could do it.
JP – Oh right I didn’t know that, I’ve just started following her because you said that and having a look at her, does she have another name?
NR – Anna Forrester.
JP – Oh course yeah I know who she is but I hadn’t realised she’s Violet Vendetta, I’ve spoken to her, I didn’t realise it was down to me that she started though.
NR – She said you are one of the main reasons why she did it and you would be her dream opponent.
JP – Oh my God!
NR – And she said I had to tell you about that because she wasn’t sure you knew.
JP – That’s really nice.
NR – She says if you are ever in Stoke she will treat you to a coffee because she would love to sit down and talk to you.
JP – Well I have family there so I do get up there, yeah I will do that, I am right by the beach here but my eldest son lives up there but sometimes I go up there. My daughter, you won’t believe this , she travels from here up to All Star school up in the Wirral in Merseyside to train every weekend, it’s like a 750 mile round trip, she feels it’s the best training and she does do a lot of work with All Star.
NR – Are there any training schools that you have heard of that you would recommend? I’ve seen on Facebook you talk about Johnny Moss, I imagine his school would be excellent.
JP – Oh yes Johnny Moss’ (World Association Wrestling) is absolutely mint, you wouldn’t get better treatment than there for learning, there’s not a lot down here, not a lot Andy Simmons runs one but it’s not on all the time but All Star is one, for me All Star is my family and I would always say they are the best and the likes of ICW are totally adult themed but very good, God it blew me away that show the other day. There’s so many schools these days all over.
I just want my daughter to do well and it’s great that she’s so determined, she had a tryout for WWE about four years ago and they were happy with the way she wrestled, the way she looked but she couldn’t do a vignette, she wasn’t very good at talking whereas I am and William Regal had said go back, keep practicing and come back to us and then she had a baby and she decided to go to college and uni and do this on a part time basis because she still wants to do it. So she’s determined to be good enough to do it and get work done on the circuit but I want her to have a career outside of that so she can always have that because injuries happen, work might get scarce you never know to have something up her sleeve would be a sensible idea.
NR – You have mentioned Viper and Kay Lee Ray, apart from them is there anyone on the scene that you are really impressed with at the min? We will accept that your daughter is probably one of them!
JP – You know what I critique her the most, I am very critical of her, I tell her straight, she won’t ever say she is my daughter unless she has too because she wants to do stuff on her own. She can get work because of me but she wants to get work off her own back and on her own merits so I really respect her for that. Erin Angel, I think she is very underused and underrated and obviously Saraya Knight, oh God Nixon Newell.
NR – I was going to mention Nixon Newell because she does a lot of mixed tag matches.
JP – Yes, amazing, absolutely fabulous, I’ve only just started to speak to her but I watched some of her stuff and my daughter saw some of her stuff on You Tube and said “Mum look at this girl!” when she was on with Bea Priestley.
NR – Yeah on WhatCulture, we are really lucky because most of that is filmed in Newcastle so we get to see a lot of Rampage and Johnny Moss.
JP – Oh that’s brilliant. That match I saw my daughter absolutely flipped over it and I sat watching it then contacted her to say so and when I contact people I never presume people know me but it’s always lovely when they do. A lot of girls do send me videos and ask for my opinion and I give it them and I also tell them when to slow down, how they carry themselves in the ring all that sort of thing. Not that long ago girls used to be very clumsy in the ring and it used to drive me up the wall but seems that’s passed but that’s one of the first things in training. You don’t go into an office job and start at the top you build your way up to what you want to be.
NR – Have you ever been tempted to set up a school or teach?
JP – When I lived in Stoke-on-Trent we used to teach ring psychology for about four years and All Star came to see us because they were setting up in Liverpool and they set up same as us but they’ve gone way beyond what we did. We had about 40 come to us over the years and about 10 got taken on in good promotions.
NR – Anyone that I might have heard of?
JP – Do you know Spitty? Tony Spitfire?
NR – Yes I know Spitty. I’m actually going to one of his shows on Friday.
JP – Well he used to come to our school, I just can’t think at the minute who else did that you may have heard of.
NR – Well you mentioned one and I’ve heard of him so that’s a success.
JP – There’s the girls who run the Wrestling Factory in Manchester, they were part of us. We did a bit down in Weymouth but not for long. I’ve been asked to do a lot of seminars and I mean a lot but I don’t feel confident enough to go and do it, I think what can I teach them?!? I can watch a match and critique it and I have confidence with that, I am really honest.
NR – I was lucky enough to sit down with Doug Williams recently, he said he’s looking once he’s done his 25 years in wrestling to not so much run a school or something like that but to go in and take someone who is almost the finished article and help them take the next step.
JP – He’s actually a good mate of mine so I know what he’s saying there, I think Doug would be a great teacher. I haven’t got patience and you need so much patience because they are trying so hard when they are in there.
NR – Doug wrestles for WhatCulture as well.
JP – Does he? I haven’t heard of them yet, who are they?
NR – Their first show was probably in June, they originally were a company that made a lot of lists and virtual content online, they did a lot of stuff about wrestling and the WWE but then they set up their own promotion and it has gone from strength to strength.
JP – Are they the ones who rip the shit out of everybody?
NR – Was he wearing a crown?
JP – I don’t remember but he had your accent **Geordie **
NR – Yeah that might be him, there are four or five of them that do different things but their promotion is ran more standard, the shows aren’t all about them but they have brought over American stars, they had Kurt Angle and Bret Hart over, Johnny Moss was in the ring with Hart for a little while to help out.
JP – Mind you if Johnny Moss is involved in something I would never have a qualm about it because I think Johnny is very particular about who he associates with and where he puts himself so I think that’s a good thing.
NR – Well Moss and Rampage Brown are heavily involved with them if that’s enough to vouch for them.
JP – Yeah that’s enough that’s enough for me to not even know about them and know they must be good.
NR – Well they have grown quite a lot but it’s mostly based on YouTube, they are going over to Orlando next year at Wrestlemania weekend, they had a convention recently, they are doing really well.
JP – That’s good.
NR – Most of it is British wrestlers, when Kurt Angle came over he was against Joe Hendry who was the opening match with the Bohemian Rhapsody entrance.
JP – I’ve watched the couple matches from that the first one and the girls match, I did see Joe, if I’m honest I didn’t know who he was but I enjoyed that and also Davey Blaze I talk to him on Facebook all the time. He was talking to me about the atmosphere because I am very big on crowd reaction and that’s actually why I liked the Goldberg thing, the heat they got was incredible and for me that’s what it’s all about, simple as that.
NR – I think sometimes matches are better in the crowd or sometimes when you are watching at home because of the atmosphere and the Joe Hendry one the crowd was noisy all the way through but I don’t know how excited they were at some points, they were quite consistently loud which may have been because it was the opening bout of a big show. I like Joe Hendry he does amateur wrestling as well.
JP – It was a really good match, when you have been in the business for so long you can get a bit complacent and after so many years I think oh I don’t want to watch that, I don’t want to watch that then something comes along and I get a little bit excited by it, I can’t explain. I can watch Daniel Bryan for ever and a day.
NR – Did you meet him when he was over wrestling for All Star?
JP – Yes I did, so I can watch him do anything, it’s really weird there are certain people I can watch. The internet buzz that was going around just caught my interest, normally I wouldn’t have even thought about it you know and then I saw Davey Blaze getting ready to go and I thought how smart he looked. It was a big deal for Scotland and I thought well it’s a big deal to have 6000 people in there.
NR – I went up last year with my wife and we went up this year, last year they sold out the SECC which is 4000 and this year they tried to sell as many and sold just over half which is a massive thing, it didn’t look like it was half empty, it looked full.
JP – It looked amazing, I was watching the first two matches and it actually gave me goosebumps and I really wanted to be there so I was really interested in it. I watch a bit of American stuff, every now and then something grabs me. I’m not jaded but in some way wrestling is part of my life every day, not just watching it, talking about it and all that. I’ve started going on Twitter and clicking on companies and making my own mind up about it, seeing how they put their show together. Since this World of Sport taping has come about I have been more interested in what’s out there and the new talent because they actually do ask our opinions on that. They have kept everything so very secret, we haven’t been able to say anything but spoilers came out, if its liked by ITV we may get that series we want.
NR – Oh yes that would be awesome.
JP – I just hope they haven’t burned themselves out before they start and then the talent that we can put out would be unbelievable, I would love it if it did take off.
NR – Anything that is going to raise the profile of British wrestling giving them more of an opportunity to work is a great idea.
JP – Yeah there has been so many opportunities wrestling companies have taken, documentaries have been made and I have thought why the fuck have they not made the most of this, like prime time.
NR – Did you watch Two Falls to a Finish, that’s the one covering World of Sport from when it started up until it finished and also covered Alex Shane when he was bringing back FWA.
JP – No I don’t think I’ve watched that one, I might have done and forgotten. I did a documentary called Raging Belles which was one of the first sort of reality thing that went out and that was on BBC2 and it got four million viewers. I saw that Insane Fight Club and I didn’t like it, I thought their antics being pissed all the time away from the wrestling, I would have preferred it to be more about the wrestling. We have all been there, I used to be pissed every day of the week but I would never have liked everybody to know because I’m private. In all it was ok but there was a few things they could have removed for prime time to make it better. Fingers crossed for World of Sport I just think it’s the right time for it all to happen and good luck to them.
NR – Well I think that’s a great point to finish on, thank you for your time.


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