Big Damo

Credit to Portrait of a Wrestler for the photograph

Name: Big Damo

Nicknames/Aliases: Damian O’Connor, The Beast of Belfast, Hound of Ulster, Killian Dain

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 23 stone

Age*: 31

From: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Started training: 2004

Trained by:
Fergal Devitt (WWE’s Finn Balor)
Robbie Brookside
Paul Tracey
SWA Academy

Companies worked for:
Absolute Intense Wrestling
Alpha Omega Wrestling
AMP Wrestling
BEST Wrestling
Beyond Wrestling
British Championship Wrestling
Discovery Wrestling
Dragon Pro Wrestling
Five Star Wrestling
Futureshock Wrestling
German Wrestling Federation
Global Force Wrestling
HOPE Wrestling
Hungarian Championship Wrestling
HXC Wrestling
Insane Championship Wrestling
International Pro Wrestling: UK
Maximum Pro Wrestling
Maximum Wrestling Germany
New York Wrestling Connection
Over the Top Wrestling
Premier British Wrestling
Pride Wrestling
Pro Wrestling Chaos
Pro Wrestling Elite
Pro Wrestling Eve
Pro Wrestling Heroes
Pro Wrestling Ulster
RAD:PRO Wrestling
Reckless Intent Wrestling
Revolution Pro Wrestling
Rock N Wrestle
Romanian Wrestling Alliance
Scottish School Of Wrestling
Scottish Wrestling Alliance
Scottish Wrestling Alliance: Source
Scottish Wrestling Entertainment
Showcase Pro Wrestling
Target Wrestling
Three Count Wrestling
Tidal Championship Wrestling
Tier 1 Wrestling
TNT Wrestling
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Triple Team Promotions
Triple X Wrestling
UEWA
Westside Xtreme Wrestling
WhatCulture Pro Wrestling
World Wide Wrestling League
WrestleZone
Wrestling.ie
WWE
X Wrestling Alliance

Titles/Accomplishments:
3CW Tag Team Championship
ICW World Heavyweight Championship
Pride Wrestling Championship
RIW World Championship
SWA Laird of the Ring Championship
SWA Tag Team Championship
SWE Heavyweight Championship
W3L Heavyweight Championship
W3L Tag Team Championship
WCPW World Championship
XWA British Heavyweight Championship

2011 – W3L Heavyweight Title Tournament winner

2014 – XWA British Heavyweight Title Tournament winner

Signature moves:
Belfast Bomb
(Top rope senton bomb)
Coiste Bodhar
(Lifting inverted DDT)
The Hangman
(Crossface/Scissored armbar combination)
Ulster Plantation
(One-handed electric chair driver)
Cú Chulainns Wrath
(Rapid elbow strikes followed by double arm crossface)

Bio:
Big Damo is a bit of an understatement, the moniker Massive Damo would be more fitting for ‘The Beast of Belfast’. Standing at well over six feet tall and around 23 stone “depending on the buffets” Big Damo cuts a very intimidating figure so imagine my surprise when I was sat opposite him and discovered how polite and softly spoken he is. Possessing an accent as smooth as glass and oozing a natural charm, he quickly put me at ease despite me being a nervous wreck (I always am when I meet my favourite performers). Despite me reading about Damo’s gentle demeanour and having him described to me as a giant teddy bear by Viper (who was trained by Damo) I was still surprised by how different Damo the man is to Damo the wrestler.

As I always do I asked Big Damo what got him into professional wrestling and was genuinely surprised by the clarity of his answer. Damo remembers being a fan of wrestling since childhood and remembers watching WCW and World of Sport around 1988/89 when he was about five years old. I cannot for the life of me remember what I was doing at that age so was impressed at his memory. He credits Fit Finlay as being his inspiration for becoming a wrestler and told me that Carrickfergus (Finlay’s hometown) is eight miles from where Damo grew up and “to know that somebody from a small town in my country can go on and be a success made me believe that anybody, if you work hard enough can have anything happen.”

Damo also shared with me some stories of his childhood growing up in Belfast and spoke frankly about the troubles his country had at the time. As someone who has never had to worry about domestic terrorism I was shocked at how matter-of-factly he spoke about it. He recalled WCW touring the country try in 1993 and remembered thinking how big a deal this was as few bands or companies toured Northern Ireland at the time. Unfortunately there were no wrestling schools in Belfast at the time so he had to move to Scotland and attend the SWA Academy to receive the training. As well as the training from SWA, Damo has also been trained by Fergal Devitt, Paul Tracey and Robbie Brookside at different points of his career. He states that the time he spent learning from Brookside is probably the among the most enjoyable times of his career.

Early in his career Big Damo was primarily a tag team wrestler but after his regular tag partner Scott Renwick became a singles competitor Damo found himself as a solo performer and from there his career really took off and he became the dominant force that he is today. It is no exaggeration to say that Damo is one of the best big men currently plying their trade on the UK scene. Whether he is booked as a monstrous heel or a slightly less monstrous babyface there are few performers who can match him. Given his frame you could be forgiven for thinking Damo is “just” a powerhouse or perhaps a lumbering Big Daddy-esque big man, you’d be forgiven but you’d still be very wrong. Blessed with the agility of a man half his weight Damo has been known to frequently take flight from the top rope and has even gone coast-to-coast to deliver a dropkick to a downed opponent in the opposite corner which is a sight that has to be seen to be believed (don’t believe me? Watch this). No man of Damo’s size should appear comfortable on the top rope but ‘The Hound of Ulster’ doesn’t appear to be fazed when he stands on the top turnbuckle. Along with being able to brawl with the best of them and fly like a cruiserweight, Damo can also be a technician in the ring and has won many a match with a variety of submission holds. Among these matches is Damo’s ICW World title victory over Chris Renfrew where he left him a bloody heap in the ring.

Currently Damo is at the very top of the UK scene and is a regular main events for many of the top companies on the British scene and I have to wonder how much longer he will remain on our shores before someone in America or Japan come calling. Until that time I highly recommend you attend any show where he is scheduled to perform and see the mammoth mass of man that he is. Myself and everyone at Calling Spots wish Big Damo all the best in the future.

Social Media:
Facebook – Big Damo O’Connor (@bigbearddamo)
Instagram – bigbearddamo
Twitter – BigBeardDamo

Dream opponent:
Big Damo’s dream opponent would be Finlay although he also said he would love to have been in the ring with Bam Bam Bigelow and Vader. He also told me that he had always dreamed of wrestling Shinsuke Nakamura and he was lucky enough to wrestle him in October 2015 for Revolution Pro Wrestling at the York Hall in London.

Random fact(s):
Big Damo was originally given the nickname ‘The Reflection of Perfection’ when he first started wrestling.

Damo’s favourite wrestler as a child was WCW icon Sting.

Damo has been a Manchester United fan for 27yrs and attends Old Trafford seven or eight times a year as well as attending as many away matches as he can. He also estimates that he spends around two hours every day online reading about them.

*as of September 2016

Written by Neil Rogers

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,