1. When did you first begin your training Pete and where and when did this take place?
I started training with a company called Midlands Pro Wrestling that was a training school based in a social club just outside of Coventry. Pyscho Steve was the trainer of the school and luckily for me they took on trainees from the age of 12 years and up which I’m still grateful for now, despite the fact the training left a lot to be desired as I was so young, it did however give me a massive head start and it has lead to some great life experience in my teenage years that I wouldn’t change for the world.
2. Do you recall the first match you had, how did it go and on what show was this on?
My first ever match outside of the training academy shows was at a outdoor festival Coventry. I wrestled twice that day, firstly against Jordan E, a female wrestler from the school and then a matchwith Mark Andrews. I look back at that match now and cringe watching it but it was the first time myself and Mark met and off the back of that we grew up in wrestling together and are at the point now where we’ve done an over seas tour and run two businesses inside of wrestling together. So as cringey worthy as we both find the match, it’s nice to look back on and remember how it all started.
3. I first heard of you when you ran the ATTACK Pro Wrestling shows in Birmingham, you run this promotion with Mark Andrews, tell us how did your relationship with Mark develop and where did the concept of ATTACK come from?
After meeting Mark at my first show we just stayed in touch after that as it was rare to find some one of roughly the same age and have an interest in wrestling that matched mine at the time. Being so young and inexperienced we struggled to get a lot of work so myself and a trainee of the same school as me called Jim Lee would travel down to Cardiff during school holidays and we would all rent out a hall and set up a 10 foot boxing ring that Mark owned and cram as much wrestling in to the day as we could. I’m glad looking back that that DIY mentality has carried through with us!
As far as ATTACK goes, originally it was started by myself and Jim. We ran a few weekenders in Birmingham but we struggled to make it financially worth while at the time so after a few attempts at running shows we decided to call it quits. A few weeks later I was in Cardiff and we decided to give it one last try with Mark on board by running his home town, in the same venue we used to rent out when we were a few years younger to get some practice in and it was a massive success. Responsibilities in the ‘real world’ took over for Jim and he stepped down. ATTACK is very much a group effort with a lot of the guys on our roster, more so than being just the two of us, we’re a pretty close nit group and everyone likes to be creative and get involved so it’s much more than just me and Mark.
4. You’ve wrestled for a number of notable promotions here in the UK like Southside, 4FW, Fight Club PRO but over the last 12 months you have been on a couple of international tours, first in Japan with Michinoku Pro Wrestling, how did this come about and tell us about some of your experiences.
4FW have a working relationship with Michinoku Pro and have sent homegrown talent out in the past such as Owen Phoenix and Benham Ali. I debuted for 4FW a few months prior to the tour and Dave Sharp asked me if I would be interested in spending 3 months out there, of course the answer was yes. It all seemed to happen very quickly to be honest. I’m still very grateful to 4FW and Dave Sharp for giving me such a great opportunity, it really was a massive learning curve and eye opening experience. Aside from having around 25 matches out there I also trained and lived in the dojo. For those who don’t know MPro although Japanese is actually a lucha libre influenced company so getting the chance to learn that style of wrestling in a part of the world that most of my friends unfortunately won’t get the chance to see was awesome. Myself and Jason Larusso who went out there with me were treated so well and made to feel icnredibly welcome by both the office and any one we crossed paths with on the tour. I think western wrestling has a lot that it could take from the way they do things over there!
5. The second international tour was over in the US, this time you was with your good friend Mark, again, how did this come about, you guys did a few vlogs while you was over there and you seemed to have a great time, again, give us some stories from your time over there.
Myself and Mark have always been the British kids that wanted to be American. I think that was reflected in many ways, including our style of wrestling so we’ve always wanted to spend time in the country so in terms of how it came about, we had talked about doing it for a couple of years prior so as soon as Mark left uni we just decided to go for it!
Over the time we were there we travelled through 10 different states and ended up having 20+ matches. We met so many great people, it’s still amazing to me to think that we only had a hotel booked for the first 3 nights and after that we never had to pay for accomodation again. Going out there with no solid contacts to living on floors and sofas in houses of people we hadn’t met until we arrived in the states for almost 3 months is still mind blowing. We liked to take a punk rock approach to pro wrestling and this was as DIY as we’ve got so far for sure!
Wrestling wise, the highlight of the trip was getting the chance to work with Paul London in a tag match at IWC in Pittsburgh. But as awesome as it was wrestling wise, socially and personally it was definitely the best time in my life and I’m sure Mark would agree. Can’t wait to go back and see everyone again, it definitely won’t be the last the US has seen of us!
6. Another thing you are involved in with Mark and Eddie Dennis is the Defend Indy Wrestling brand, it started off with t-shirts and then you moved on to hoodies, jackets, caps etc. I believe you guys say there is no message behind the brand but where did the idea for the name come from?
There is a definitely a message behind the brand. It’s just not a complicated one, let’s just take a positive approach to wrestling! It’s easy to get caught up in negativity in the wrestling business and we’re all guilty of it from time to time, it’s impossible not to. But if we could all chose to be positive as much as possible and just appreciate how much fun it is and what great experiences we get out of the indy scene then we would all be a lot happier!
In terms of the name, as I said before we like to take the punk rock approach to pro wrestling and there have been shirts on the past such as DEFEND hardcore and DEFEND pop punk so we the three of us decided it would be cool to apply the same concept to wrestling.
7. It would be unjust of me not to ask so I will, Nathan Cruz, Mark Haskins & Rampage Brown are part of a group called Screw Indy Wrestling, for months they have bad mouthed Defend Indy Wrestling and you guys have never answered back, first off, what do you have to say about what they have been saying and secondly, why have you never answered back?
Because the brand is here to spread some positivity. Why would we ever want to draw attention to anything negative?
8. Onto some of your matches, many months ago, you and I had a chat about matches you had been in with Zack Sabre Jr. and you said no one talks about these because no one has seen them, tell us, what was it like in there with Zack and where do you rank him in the British wrestling scene?
Well it would be no suprise that I’d rank him right at the top of the British wrestling scene. Working with him was another eye opening experience. At the time I hadn’t got the chance to work with many people with more experience than myself as I was having a hard time breaking out so wrestling him twice in the same weekend was a big learning curve. I look forward to wrestling him again on the 26th for Triple X Wrestling in Coventry, it should serve as a good marker for my progression in wrestling aswell as being yet another learning curve!
9. After being local to the West Midlands it was quite a while before you got a chance to work for Fight Club: PRO in Wolverhampton, first off, I know you had been there as a fan beforehand but what was it like stepping in the cage in front of that crowd, had you been in front of a crowd like that before and how do you think your match with Chris Brookes went that night?
Fight Club: PRO was some where that I had wanted to be a part of for a while. They’ve had a lot of top talent over in the past and being so close to home it was definitely a goal of mine to be a part of so getting the chance to wrestle there was already a prospect I was looking forward to. Now having worked in front of that crowd I’m even more excited to go back. The crowd are one of the livliest I’ve wrestled in front of. I’ve done similar adult based shows in the past but FCP was definitely one of my favourites and I felt the match with Chris went well. The crowd seemed to enjoy it so it was a fun debut, excited to step in the cage again!
10. Finally Pete, where do you hope the career of Dynamite Pete Dunne goes, most wrestlers say their ambition should be to go to the WWE and if it’s not then you’re in the wrong business, what is your take on this, I know of one high profile British wrestler who has said the WWE is not something he is looking for but what about you, would you like a career in Japan, in the US for ROH or something, please tell us?
I think that’s a pretty daft mentality to have really. Wrestling is completely subjective and there are numerous ways to be succesful, not just the WWE. If you wrestle purely as a hobby or you wish to one day make a living off it, even if your only goal is WWE then go for it! Who cares what some body with a close minded view of the scene thinks, do what makes you happy.
As for me, sure, WWE would be great but it’s not some thing that I’m counting on to say I’m succesful. As long as wrestling is still fun, I’ll be happy. I’d like to make a comfortable living off it and be able to keep travelling and having great life experience on the way and that’s my only long term goal really. No one can count on the future so we’ve just got to try and have fun during the process of getting where we want to be otherwise what’s the point?!
OK Pete, thanks for your time today, please now tell the readers where they can find you on social media (well your twitter handle is in the title of this interview) and please plug anything you wish to.