Tel Banham

Credit to Darren Potts for the photograph

Name: Tel Banham

Nickname(s)/aka: Rocky Future

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 161lbs

Age: 31

From: Halifax, England

Started training: 2013

Trained by:
MVK Valkabious
UKW Academy
PCW Academy

Companies worked for:
British Wrestling Entertainment
British Wrestling Revolution
Fight Factory Wrestling
Fourth Generation Wrestling
Futureshock Wrestling
Great British Wrestling
Grimsby Wrestling Alliance
K&S Wrestling Promotions
Leeds Professional Wrestling
Megaslam Wrestling
Preston City Wrestling
Real Deal Wrestling
TNT Extreme Wrestling
UK Wrestling

Titles held:
BWE Heavyweight Championship
GWA Championship
PCW Cruiserweight Championship
PCW World Heavyweight Championship
UKW Academy Championship

2014 – GBW Best Newcomer

2014 – GWA Best Newcomer

Signature moves:
Fast Forward
(Double Arm Neckbreaker)
(Death Valley Neckbreaker)
Back To The Future
(Orange Crush Release Suplex)

You may be asking “Who is Tel Banham?” and if this was a few months ago I wouldn’t have been able to give you a good answer. I could have had a look on Google and I’d have been able to tell you he’s an actor, presenter, comedian and professional wrestler. If you gave me enough time I could have done more research and told you that he is a very funny comedian and an equally talented wrestler (he had a very entertaining match with, one of my favorites, Liam Slater a few years ago that can be watched here) but I couldn’t tell you much more than that…

However all that changed when at the end of August Banham did something very brave that could have had negative repercussions on his young wrestling, he spoke his mind and he openly criticised a veteran wrestler on social media. That veteran was Will Ospreay and the criticism can been seen here. Now to if you work in an office or anywhere else this sort of thing would probably be ignored but given the unwritten rules of wrestling and the politics that are in effect in any locker room (most of which I don’t fully understand) this is something that you are not supposed to do. Whether Banham’s criticism was fair or not is pretty much redundant. It seems that despite living in an era where people claim that “there is no such thing as kayfabe in 2016” people inside and outside the wrestling industry had a different opinion on what Banham had said. Strangely even though a lot of people fondly reminisce about the times when everyone believed wrestling was “real” those same people didn’t think that the “real world” (or at least Facebook) was the place to say something that someone genuinely felt. It was around this time that I really started to take notice and want to know “Who is Tel Banham”?

It wasn’t long after the Facebook incident that PCW supremo Steve Fludder (who is never shy when it comes to promoting his shows) appeared to jump on Banham’s new found infamy and advertise that he would be at their shows if you wanted to go and tell Banham (pun not intended) what you thought of him. It was also around this time that I had started to plan the Calling Spots Championship Tournament and was putting together a shortlist containing names of wrestlers I would like to include. Somewhat ironically it was Tel Banham speaking his mind about a newly created championship that put him on the radar of someone who was about to create a championship.

Anyway, now you know who Tel Banham is let me tell you about him. Banham, aka Rocky Future, has been a fan of wrestling for most of his life and he told me that some of his earliest memories are of him watching performers from the early 90s like Tatanka and The 1-2-3 Kid (who went onto become X-Pac). As he reached adolescence he, like pretty much everyone in the world, fell in love with The Attitude Era and especially The Rock. However like many people who were fans duing that time (me included) Banham fell out of love with wrestling. That was until The return of The Rock in 2011 which was enough to encourage Banham to turn in and watch The Miz defend his WWE Championship against John Cena at Wrestlemania 27. Although it’s probably unlikely that many fans credit that main event as making them fall in love with professional wrestling but for Banham, he was once again hooked.

Upon rediscovering his love of wrestling he started to attend local shows in his hometown of Halifax and soon afterwardshe decided the time was right for him to give wrestling a go for himself and find a training school. Shortly afterward his first session he decided it would help his development if he started to find out more about the British scene. He wanted to know what the standard was like in other areas and see what he had to aim for if he wanted to be considered a top talent in the UK and make a name for himself. Due to the amount of time he spends training and watching British shows Banham told me that he “very rarely watchs any of WWE’s main shows, I’ll catch an odd bit of Raw and watch the major PPVs or check out certain matches or segments that have people talking. The most WWE I actually sit down to watch is NXT and recently the CWC as it’s much more the style of wrestling I enjoy working.”

Less than one year after he started wrestling training Banham was the Academy Champion for UKW (where he initially trained). After feeling his training had progressed as far as it could at UKW he left and started to take bookings at various local promotions. Unfortunately shortly afterwards Banham started to feel that his peers were improving while he felt like his had somewhat stalled. At this point he made the decision to restart his training and chose to attend the Preston City Wrestling Academy despite it being a 110 mile round trip from where he was living. He chose PCW for two reasons, firstly he knew that they were one of the biggest promotions in the UK (if not Europe) and secondly one of there trainers was Bubblegum who was one of the three British performers that Banham had based his style upon. He told me that “the journey and the cost are nothing compared to the experience, confidence and skills I’ve learned from Bubblegum and the guys at PCW… [and on his style] When asked about his style he described it as “technical, balls to the wall, strong style, whilst turning my personality up to 3000%.”

After speaking to Banham I found out more about his non-wrestling exploits. Along with his previously mentioned time working as a comedian he also spent a lot of his time performing in talent shows doing a variety if different things such as magic acts, dancing and karaoke (apparently he used to clean up with his Robbie Williams act). From children’s talent shows he progressed to stage productions and acting parts on TV shows and in independent films before focusing on stand up comedy and then moving to wrestling. With all this in mind he is undoubtedly one of the most interesting people I have ever had the good fortune to talk to and on behalf of Calling Spots and our entire staff I would like to wish Tel Banham/Rocky Future all the best for the future and I’d like to personally thank him for sharing his fascinating story with me. Oh and if you still want to know who is Tel Banham? Check out this video that Preston City Wrestling helpfully created.

Social Media:
Facebook – Rocky Future – Wrestler (RockyFutureUK)
Instagram – rockyfutureuk
Snapchat – rockyfutureuk
Twitter – rockyfutureuk
YouTube – Rocky Future

Dream opponent:
Originally when Banham got into wrestling there were three people he wanted to wrestle. They were Noam Dar, Zack Sabre Jr and Bubblegum.

When he joined the PCW Academy he was trained by Bubblegum and they have since faced off twice. This leaves Noam and Zack still on his list.

Random fact(s):
Banham was headlocked by S Club 7’s Hannah Spearritt.

*as of July 2017

Written by Neil Rogers