Name: Eddie Dennis
Nickname(s): The Pride of Wales, The World’s Largest Luchador, Eddie Mysterio
From: Swansea, Wales
Started training: 2008
Companies worked for:
Adrenaline Fueled Wrestling
Anarchy Pro Wrestling
ATTACK! Pro Wrestling
Battle Pro Wrestling
Chicago Style Wrestling
Combat Sports Federation
Dragon Pro Wrestling
Entertainment Wrestling Association
Exposure Wrestling Entertainment
Fight Club: Pro
Full House Wrestling
Future Pro Wrestling
Great Bear Promotions
International Pro Wrestling: UK
New Scene Wrestling
Next Level Wrestling
NORTH Wrestling NCL
Phoenix Pro Wrestling
Pro Evolution Wrestling
Pro Wrestling Chaos
Pro Wrestling Kingdom
Pro Wrestling Malta
Pro Wrestling Pride
Over The Top Wrestling
Revolution Pro Wrestling
Revolution Red Wrestling
Shropshire Wrestling Alliance
South Coast Wrestling
Southside Wrestling Entertainment
The Wrestling League
Tidal Championship Wrestling
Triple X Wrestling
United European Wrestling Alliance
Vertigo Pro Wrestling
ATTACK! 24:7 Championship
PROGRESS Tag Team Championship
PWC King Of Chaos Championship
PWC Knights Of Chaos (tag team) Championship
SCW One To Watch Trophy Championship
2014 – PROGRESS Wrestling Tag Team Championship Tournament winner
2016 – PWC Tag Team Championship Tournament winner
2016 – ATTACK! Championship Tournament winner
“People talk about chasing your dreams; I’ve stood in countless assemblies trying to inspire children to take risks, to follow their dreams and never settle for second best yet truth be told I was standing before then as a man who had settled, a hypocrite.”
That is a short excerpt from the video Eddie Dennis produced to announce to the world that he was going to take give up his job in teaching to become a full time professional wrestler. To use his own words he was going to take a risk and follow his dreams.
I was lucky enough to meet Dennis around a week before he made his announcement and he shared with me his plans on and mentioned that he had worked with James Musselwhite (from Portrait of a Wrestler) on a video and I then spent the next week excitedly waiting to see how it turned out. If you haven’t watched the video I would strongly recommend you do so, it’s brilliant. If you have already watched it then I would also recommend this promo which was recently released by PROGRESS and in my opinion is one of the best promotional videos I have seen in 2017.
I asked Dennis about his earliest wrestling memories and he told me he remembered watching WCW on Channel 4 from the age of five and that blonde hair Sting was his favourite. Then once he got a little bit older he was at a friend’s house and they were watching WWE (then WWF) on Sky (Dennis’ family did not have Sky until he was in his teens) and he pretty much forgot about WCW at that point.
Dennis specifically recalled watching the 1992 Royal Rumble along with that year’s SummerSlam and WrestleMania 92 and vividly recalled excitedly watching Ultimate Warrior run in to save Hulk Hogan (another of his favourites) from Sid Justice and Papa Shango.
His love of wrestling continued throughout the Attitude Era and even though he did not have Sky so watching it was tricky he was still able to watch either at his friend’s houses or by watching the pay-per-views on videos that his grandfather would record for him each month.
Although he was a huge wrestling fan Dennis wasn’t aware there was a British wrestling scene, let alone where he could go to become a wrestler so his journey as a wrestler so it wasn’t until 2008 when he was in university studying for his maths degree and deciding what he wanted to do once he graduated that he decided wrestling is for him. However since he wasn’t aware of a local school he decides to look further afield and contacted Lance Storm about attending his academy. However while he was emailing back and forth with Storm a friend of Dennis’ put him onto Carl Griffiths’ Celtic Wrestling. He spoke to Storm to weigh up whether it was worth him trying to learn the basics before he attended the Storm Academy or whether he should hold off learning to prevent potentially learning bad habits. Storm gave the pros and cons of both and Dennis weighed up the options and decided to attend the Celtic Wrestling academy and a few months later he had made his professional wrestling debut. During his short time in wrestling he quickly became friends with Mark Andrews it was partly because he felt he needed to improve quickly and catch up with Andrews that he decided he should still travel to Canada.
However in October 2008 when he did make his way to Canada it wasn’t to to attend the Storm Wrestling Academy and instead he enrolled in the Tyson Dux Wrestling Academy as some of his favourite wrestlers, Chris Sabin and Bobby Roode, were graduates of that school.
After six months of training with Dux and Scott D’Amore Dennis returned to the UK and started to work for Welsh Wrestling where he was able to showcase his new skills to larger and larger crowds. From there he was able to break out of the scene in Wales and work for English promotions in the Midlands where he would regularly work as a singles competitor or he would tag alongside Andrews.
It was alongside Andrews in 2013 that Dennis made his PROGRESS Wrestling debut as he appeared on Chapter 13 as a replacement for Andrews’ original announced tag partner, Will Ospreay. It is in PROGRESS where Dennis has had some of his favourite matches and it is with that promotion where he is perhaps most well known and it is in PROGRESS where Andrews and Dennis became the inaugural tag team champions and they still hold the record for the longest reign at an impressive 301 days.
Dennis has also had success outside of PROGRESS, he has been heavily involved ATTACK! Pro Wrestling since their first show in 2011 and he has also featured prominently for Pro Wrestling Chaos where he is the current King of Chaos champion (as of November 2017). Whatever company Dennis works for he is known to be able to wrestle a variety of styles and for his ability to mesh with almost all opponents. Due to this versatility Dennis is often the person that a promotion will match up against any big name import that they may have booked and in recent months Dennis has wrestled Sami Callihan and Jonathan Dijak (both for Rev Pro). I asked Dennis if he feels any extra pressure about being booked against international talent and he told me “it’s humbling to be the guy that a promotion puts against an import.”
As I mentioned earlier Dennis has recently left his job as a headmaster and is now a full time wrestler, I asked him if he has set himself any goals for the short or long term. Dennis was very open and honest and explained that he has set himself some short term goals that he wants to achieve. He did give an actual value but I have omitted that from this piece, hopefully the former maths teacher appreciates my outstanding use of algebra. Dennis’ short term goals are:
Wrestle every Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Make X amount at every show so he makes enough to “scrape by on”
Make 2X and make a comfortable living from wrestling
It was an absolute pleasure being able to speak to Eddie and on behalf of myself and the entire Calling Spots team I would like to thank his for taking the time to chat to me and I would like to wish him all the best for the future. I sincerely hope you achieve every goal you have set yourself.
Facebook – ‘The Pride of Wales’ Eddie Dennis (@EddieDennisWrestling)
Instagram – eddiedennisuk
Twitter – eddiedennis1986
YouTube – readysteadyeddy
When asked about who would be his dream opponent from wrestling history or present day Dennis was very pragmatic and talked about how it is difficult to imagine himself against a Shawn Michaels or a Steve Austin and instead his dream matches are people like Pete Dunne who he calls one of his best friends and one of the best in the world.
He also said that before he was fortunate enough to wrestle Chris Hero at Pro Wrestling Chaos he would have been at the top of any list of dream opponents.
While training at the Tyson Dux Wrestling Academy he trained alongside Kushida and Akira Raijin who were also training there at the same time.
Before getting involved with wrestling Dennis was involved in different martial arts. Up until the age of 14 he regularly trained in karate and then from 14 onward he trained in judo on an almost daily basis. Eventually he would gain a black belt and dan grade in the disciple and would even win multiple Welsh National Championships and a silver medal in British National Championships in 2007
I asked Dennis which of his matches are his favourites and he listed three:
The first match versus Chris Hero at Pro Wrestling Chaos which he called “most special match of my life” and told me”the audience were electric, I had waited my whole life to wrestle Chris Hero and we caught lightning in a bottle that night”
FSU vs London Riots at PROGRESS Chapter 14 which was one of the best reactions he has had from a crowd following he and his best friend Mark Andrews ending The Riots’ two and a half year unbeaten run in PROGRESS.
FSU, Noam Dar, Will Ospreay vs Jimmy Havoc, London Riots, Paul Robinson at PROGRESS Chapter 15, which won British match of the year in FSM and he was incredibly proud to be a part of.
*as of April 2018
Written by Neil Rogers
Credit to Jim Maitland of Turning Face for the photograph