At the Feb 10th Tidal show “When The Boot Goes In” I was lucky enough that Sugar Dunkerton was able to find time for a quick chat. Here is what one of the nicest guys in wrestling had to say:
Calling Spots: I’ve seen you working with a few companies in the UK, how many and who are you working for when you are in the UK?
Sugar Dunkerton: As many as I possibly can at the moment, I recently did Futureshock and think that might continue to be a thing, HOPE, Tidal, 3CW, they were the first companies who used me when I came over so I am always going to have loyalty to them. I’ll be making my debut with IPW coming up this month, also there should be things in the works with a few other ones that I can’t necessarily specify but we got a make up date with NCL in May. As far as it goes there will be a few other place’s ill be popping up at, it very much hinges on them being surprises. [since our interview Dunkerton has made his debut for PROGRESS Wrestling (match link here)]
CS: Very interesting, how long is it you have been over in the UK?
SD: The funny thing is I think I’ve done more matches over here now than I have done in the states, at least within a calendar period, last year I was here for about 6-7 months and now starting this year, I am here for a six month stretch February to July and then probably be back a little bit later in the year. I really like what I am finding out here, it’s a big sense of discovery so I can’t leave that alone, you’ll see a lot more of me.
CS: I’m very glad to hear that. How does the UK scene compare to the US scene?
SD: As far as America it’s very spread out, there’s a lot going on at any given time and I know it’s one of those places that everyone wants to check out and you absolutely should, there’s just so much going on and it’s so spread out it almost made more sense for me to pop over here and see what awaited me. With the UK a lot of it was taking a risk, there were some people aware of me and there was a lot of people where they had to figure it out so that first trip I took what I could get but as more and more trips started happening it got a bit easier. It’s been a year now since I’ve been over here so this month is my anniversary of being over here so it’s a trip being back here. The biggest thing with the UK scene is there is such a passion, the scene has become so self-aware it’s at a point where they know they can sustain, they know they have something hot, they really don’t have to reach out to the outside world if they don’t have to but they choose to. I also love the fact that it’s very discerning so if they let you in the way they did with me then you have to bring something special to the table because they have so much talent they don’t have to bring in people from the outside.
CS: Do you feel pressure if you don’t perform that you might not get brought back by that company?
SD: ALWAYS but that doesn’t matter if it’s the UK or America or anywhere else, it doesn’t matter I always feel like you are only as good as the last performance you had going on and if you don’t step it up there is always someone hungrier who wants your spot so you constantly must fight to prove to people why you belong, why you paid this ticket to see me always.
CS: You mentioned that you always feel like there is someone there and at the minute there is a lot of conversation going on about the NXT UK contracts impacting what shows people can perform on, do you feel this has opened new opportunities?
SD: Sure, absolutely, as a matter of fact if you look at how America is working MLW is signing more people, ROH are getting exclusive with their contracts, there are more ways than ever to get a contract AEW even are starting to look like they are big competition throwing out good money. The thing to keep in mind is that the UK got to the point where they were sitting on so much talent at any given time, now it’s finally recognised so it leaves a gap and I feel like I came in at a very good time and I am fortunate to be taking advantage of that and it’s good for all parts because there are some guys that shouldn’t just be indie forever. Those guys do deserve a get that big shot and to make some good money and if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t work out but here I am in the meantime.
CS: You have such an awareness and knowledge of the UK scene, what sort of stuff do you check out if you have the time?
SD: I’m a big fan of NOAH’s resurgence right now and I feel they have some of the best wrestling right now that not enough people are talking about, so there is a lot of fun stuff to watch there. I’ve been a World of Sport fan for the longest time, the original Johnny Saint, Jim Breaks so I still watch that over and over. I’m a student of the game at the end of the day, my earliest memory was a VHS tape of Wrestlemania 5.
As far as what entertains me I think Lucha Underground was a brilliant product unfortunately I don’t know if it will be coming back but for the time I got to watch it oh man! NXT UK has been fun to watch anything that stimulates doing anything different even though there is so much wrestling out there then I’m all for it and I absolutely love watching it.
CS: When we have spoken earlier you mentioned 2 Cold Scorpio, is that where you got your start? Does he have a training school?
SD: He’s not how I got my start but he is one of my influences and an idol of mine and I finally got to have that dream match with him in 2017, it went really well. It was around the time I was planning to come to the UK so he talked to a few people and put a word in and it worked out well. It meant a lot to me that we could have that match and he thought highly enough of me that he could say to people hey this kid’s got something, let’s get him out there and let him do something so I respect and appreciate him to no end.
CS: Do you think that was one of your better matches? If you were to recommend to people a couple of matches to watch what would you say?
SD: At the moment there’s an English rules match with Darius Lockhart that I am absolutely in love with, no rounds 2 out of 3 falls (see the link here ) I can’t say enough good things about that then any of the matches that I had with Doug Williams last year. The first one was PCW in Blackpool Tower, the second one was at WAW for the Knights absolutely love both of those and I learned so much out of both of those. A lot of the stuff I have been doing lately I feel like I am always trying to top my last performance and a lot of people who think I am just fun and games gotta pay attention to what I’ve been up to.
Thanks to Sugar for his time. We can’t wait to see what he has lined up next on his busy schedule and we wish him all the best for whatever it is.