Name: Daniel Eagles
Hometown: York, UK
1. When did you become a wrestling fan?
I’ve seem to have always been a fan for as long as I can remember. I grew up spending my pocket money hiring Silver Vision video tapes from the local video shop, I watched everything they had in and then I nagged them to find me more. I remember watching Wrestlemania 3 so I’ll have been around 8. Later, as Sky TV became more popular I could watch more and more by going to friends houses or begging for the PPVs to be recorded onto VHS but getting hold of Wrestling when I was young was tough.
2. Who was it that you enjoyed watching that hooked you?
Jake the Snake! He was the man that everyone was scared of, he was evil. I remember cheering all of the faces at the time, Hogan, Warrior, Savage etc etc, but looking back I can see that I was cheering them because I wanted them to beat Jake. Looking back now I still get drawn in when I watch his old promos, imagine the effect those promos had on a young boy, I believed every word.
3. Did you ever want to be a wrestler or was being a referee always your goal?
When I was young I wanted to be a wrestler, like many small boys I was always wrestling with my friends, DDTing them onto the school playground and all that other fun stuff we do when we are young and stupid (Don’t try this at home kids!). Since I’ve grown up and actually decided to do this for real I’ve always aimed at being a referee. I’m not natural extrovert and that is a must to being a great wrestler. I am one of the worlds quiet people, I’m good at fading into the background but still being a part of what is going on around me, that is almost exactly what I feel a good referee should do.
4. Do referees look up to more senior referees?
That’s an interesting question. I respect the guys who have refereed in the major promotions, I listen and read everything I can find by them. I talk to any other referee I can. I’d love to have a chance to spend to time talking with some of the UK’s top referees. I guess it’s the same as any other profession, you study the guys who came before you, respect what they’ve done and learn what you can from them.
5. Where did you learn your craft in being a referee?
I am definitely still learning currently, I train at Grapple Wrestling in Leeds every week. I train with the wrestlers but often try and process what we are learning differently. For me learning the holds and moves help me to think about where best to be positioned in the ring. I try and referee every practice match I can, I even try and referee if we are working on short sequences. Some of the guys there have been invaluable at helping me learn.
I read every word I can find on refereeing and wrestling psychology. I watch online videos of refereeing seminars and watch some classic matches but try and watch the referee rather than the wrestlers which is actually tricky to do as the referee shouldn’t be hugely noticeable. I even try and take inspiration from other places which you might not expect, Traffic Police for example. They gesture for a reason, it’s clear and concise and not too flamboyant, that’s a great thing for a referee to want to come across as in my opinion.
I’d love to attend a referee seminar in the near future but I’ve been struggling to find one, one of my goals for early 2014 is to attend one and learn as much as I can from it.
6. Who would you say would be the greatest referee in wrestling history?
I bounced a few names around my head as the answer to this one but in the end I have to go with Jimmy Korderas. Jimmy was with WWE for over 22 years and in that time refereed 1000s of matches. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, he wasn’t hugely flamboyant, most of the time you’d never even notice him but he seemed to always do exactly the right thing. For example, Jimmy was the referee when a finalist from Tough Enough locked Kurt Angle in a shoot hold, He was smart enough to count the pin on the finalist despite his shoulders being not quite down, he saved Kurt Angle from having to tap out to an “untrained” kid on national TV. That is doing your job well!
7. Do you watch much UK wrestling in your spare time?
Spare time? What’s that? I try and watch as much as I can, always attending any show that is on anywhere close to my home but I’m hoping that this year I can travel further and take in more shows and more promotions.
8. What promotions have you refereed for so far?
I’ve actually only refereed for Grapple so far. I’m booked to referee the Tidal show on February 9th at The Cockpit in Leeds so that will be my 2nd promotion to work for and I’ve hopefully got another couple of companies interested who I should be working for early this year too.
9. Where in the UK would you like to work?
The UK has so many great wrestling promotions that it’s hard to narrow it down. NGW, PCW, Futureshock, Revolution Pro. I’d love to work a show for Kapow or even Lucha Britannica.
10. What has been your favourite match to be apart of so far?
I don’t think I can narrow it down to a single match but I’m currently enjoying refereeing tag team matches. Working with Boogie and The Geek or Los Rudos Boys always keeps me on my toes. I’m even having to learn to count in Spanish so that these Rudos can understand the counts.
Thank you Daniel
You can all follow me on Twitter @Craig_Jarrett