Name: El Ligero
Hometown: Los Sancho. Mexico
1. How did you you become involved in wrestling?
I first started watching wrestling when I was 8 years old, which was in 1992. I saw the main event of WWF WrestleMania 8, and I was instantly hooked. When I became older, around the age of 15, I took my dad’s laptop (possibly the worlds oldest machine), and typed out a letter to a bunch of UK wrestling contacts I’d gotten out of WOW Magazine, seeking direction on how to get into the job. My first real exposure to it was selling programmes for Brian Dixon at Leeds Town Hall, and doing the bill postering for that show. A short while later, I found a training school in Sheffield ran by a man called Alan Johnson. I started there as soon as I was 16.
2. How were you feeling when you made your debut?
I’d been training for about a year, and was still in no way ready to be on a show looking back. I didn’t have proper gear, I was skinny and pale, and incredibly clueless. I wasn’t too bad before my debut as it was with a guy called Dan DeSoto, someone I’d paired up loads at training. The match was incredibly basic, which still didn’t make it anywhere near passable by the way, and it lasted an epic 1 minute 42 seconds. What a roller-coaster that must have been.
3. How did you choose your name and gimmick?
A desire to stand out, combined with a huge lack of confidence. I was terrible at working an audience and had no zero charisma or presence. I figured, with the encouragement of my original trainer, that because I was small and could at least do a couple of athletic things, a mask might be the way to go. It was actually only meant to be a temporary thing, just until I got up enough confidence. In time, I realised it made me stand out and I ran with it. I don’t know what I’d do without it now, I sometimes wear it to the shops or cinema.
4. What promotions outside of the UK have you managed to be apart of?
I’ve been fortunate enough to wrestle a fair bit outside the UK. DCW (Holland), STHLM (Sweden), EWF (Italy and Switzerland), EWE (Spain), BCC (Belgium), a few different promotions in France, and NWA Wildside/BWA in the United States.
5. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Far far too many to mention. I could never choose just one singular moment, I’ve enjoyed the whole ride so far.
6. Does being one of the few UK wrestlers to making a living out it over her give you much free time?
Not at all. I’ve just finished with 2 weeks off, and that’s the most amount of time off I’ve had since October 2009 after shoulder surgery. I don’t get a huge amount of social time, as it seems I’m either wrestling, helping run the NGW school or in the gym. But it is something I’ve recently tried to make a more concerted effort towards, as I do feel it’s important to blow off steam from time to time.
7. Being a key part of British wrestling’s revival, do you think it has what it takes to compete with America and Asia?
I think competition and competing is the wrong approach towards it. America is gigantic with hundreds of promotions. So compete with which level of promotion? WWE/TNA? PWG and ROH? The minuscule promotions that people haven’t heard of on a global level? To compete implies a victory is possible. What would that achieve? Rather than focusing on competing with overseas promotions, the goal should be bettering our own shores to benefit us, not to look good to those overseas. The UK has some phenomenal talent that should be seen worldwide. The aim should be to showcase that talent to generate more work for those who have grafted. Not to try and match up to others, as in terms of talent, I feel we already do.
8. Along with wrestling you train others, do you see a bright future from with those who you do train or is it too early to say?
Every individual is different. Some, you can see have that instant spark. Others, it takes time to understand certain philosophies and aspects of the job. It’s never quite as cut and dry as ‘yes/no’. I’m sure anyone who saw my formative years would have cast me as a no-hoper, but I worked and worked at it to try and improve myself.
9. What promotions on the independent scene would you love to work for that you haven’t done already?
I guess I’d have to look further afield for the answer to that really. There’s some truly fantastic promotions in the UK, and I feel very privileged to be on their rosters, but one aim I have this year, is to expand my wings (cape?) overseas a bit more. I’ve never wrestled in Germany before, and I’ve just been booked over there in May, plus I’m debuting for a promotion in France next month.
10. What is your opinion on the rise in wrestling promotions up and down the UK over the last few years, is this a good thing or is the scene becoming too cluttered?
To use an analogy: there’s an awful lot of films released in the cinema on a regular basis. Some of them are fantastic, some are complete drivel. But every one of those films provides work for actors. The moral dilemma there is, would you rather be in work but be putting your name to sub par products, or would you rather wait till the Oscar nominees are filmed. But, everyone has bills to pay. I’ve worked for a lot of promotions, and some of them have been worse than others. But, I also have bills to pay. I do think it would benefit some of the smaller promotions to try and work together to build up an area or to go to the more successful promotions for advice, rather than trying to run WrestleMania in a pub. But, I’m a believer that the cream rises to the top, and the smaller ones do die out quite quickly, hopefully without damaging the area.
Thank you Ligero
You can all follow me on Twitter @Craig_Jarrett