By Lewis Carlan @PWSoth
Current UCW GM Dave Boyce has come a long way since his debut into the world of pro wrestling four years ago. Starting as a ring announcer, he has played a role in turning the UCW into the successful promotion it is today.
On April 29th, the UCW has a huge 10th anniversary show that will include Markus Burke defending his UCW heavyweight title against JP Simms, Ryback taking on Riddick Stone, Abyss vs. Titus, Kelly Klein vs. Maritime female sensation Maddison Miles, as well as other tremendous matches.
Ahead of that stacked show, I had the pleasure of spending some time with Dave Boyce for a great conversation. Hope you enjoy my conversation with UCW GM Dave Boyce.
Lewis: First and foremost, I would like to thank you for granting me some of your time today.
Lewis: Tell us how you became involved in the world of pro wrestling.
Dave: My friend Dave Lowe who is a wrestling referee was working for the WrestleCentre Company here in Halifax. I saw a poster on a pole advertising AJ Styles coming to Halifax. I contacted him and asked if there was anything I could do to help on the show. He sent me the promoters contact information. When I contacted him, he told me to send him my wresting resume. Of course, I didn’t have one as I was never in the business, so I thought it would be a good idea to just create a manager character named Damien Kage. I shot a promo video and posted it on their Facebook page. Of course, I got major heat for that but on the day of their show, their ring announcer called in sick so they asked if I could do that. That rest is history….going on four years now.
Lewis: Wow, that’s awesome! So what was the experience like working for Jason Mosher and WrestleCentre?
Dave: At first, great. The roster was top notch. The shows were amazing. I became their “social media person” and grew their audience on that end of it. But eventually, the working environment became somewhat toxic. Jason Mosher would tell you one thing, Tyler Burns would tell you to ignore him and do it another way. They were giving the guys a hard time if they didn’t “wrestle” the way they wanted them to, and we are talking about long time, established wrestlers. To them, this wasn’t a wrestling show, it was a TV production. One time they tried to give Mick Foley a three page script on what to say….as soon as they walked away, he threw it in the trash can. (Haha) The breaking point for me was Mosher asking me to make merchandise for the guys but keeping the profit for himself. When I asked him if the guys would get a percentage, he basically told me to be loyal to him and not the boys. I quit on the spot. I feel like I was the start of eventually his entire roster leaving as well.
Lewis: My goodness, quite a revealing answer, something I was not expecting. Did they really dare give Mick Foley a 3 page script? I have noticed that many of the top stars are no longer in WrestleCentre and I have been wondering about that.
Dave: Well there was a lot of things going on that just either set people off or made them unhappy. One by one, for their own reasons, they chose to leave. I can only speak on myself and why I left.
Lewis: Now, you mentioned you created a character called Damien Kage. Did you ever get to be that character in the ring? And what kind of persona did Kage have?
Dave: Haha, never. I wish I did, though. I’ve done some videos with him, one using a split screen and having myself and Damien Kage together (he’s my “twin brother”). Maybe someday, you never know. But for now, Kage is “back in Switzerland” planning his return. He was a rich guy with a really bad accent and, even though he thought he was brilliant, was actually quite dumb. He calls his tablet a “google device”. Black suit, sunglasses, hair slicked back. He was fun to play.
Lewis: Well, he sounds like an intriguing character and hopefully Damien Kage will make his debut one day. As a ring announcer for four years, do you feel you have the mastered the art of ring announcing and do you have anyone that you admire such as Gary Michael Cappetta or Howard Finkel?
Dave: Mastered, no….you can always improve on whatever you do. I’ve been told my some that I’m good, so I’m appreciative when I hear that, but I would never say, “oh god, I’m great!” I make mistakes I’m sure at every show. When the new ring announcers come up to me and ask for advice, I give it and it makes me feel good when they ask. I remember one time I was announcing the winner of Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles, and again, this goes back to the frustrations of working with WrestleCentre, the winner was clear to everyone who watched the match, but for “tv purposes”, I had to announce the wrong reason for why someone lost. When I got backstage, I was chewed out by Christopher Daniels for announcing the wrong outcome. When I showed him my “script”, he forgave me. As far as announcers who I admire, Howard Finkel is the man. I met him last year at the Cauliflower Alley Club in Las Vegas. He’s awesome.
Lewis: Yes, Howard Finkel is one of the all-time greats. So according to the video I watched on YouTube, you made your UCW debut on Feb 27 2016 and got a nice pop when you walked through the curtain. How did your debut with UCW come about and how did it feel getting that pop from the crowd? Were you expecting that?
Dave: They were having the big Steve Arsenault vs. Greaser James Carr match and to make it seem even more of a big time match, they brought me in just to announce that one match. No one knew I was there. Earlier in the day, I was approached by the booker and he questioned why Chuck Martin, who is the owner of UCW, would even bring me in, as “nobody knows who Dave Boyce is”. So when I got the third biggest pop of the night, it was bittersweet. It was definitely one of the biggest highlights of my career.
Lewis: Yeah, the crowd went nuts as you walked out. Did that popularity lead to you becoming GM of UCW?
Dave: Once the direction of UCW was changed and a different booker took over, I was asked to join “the team”. I agreed to come on board, take over their social media, and have a part on the show, but I didn’t want to take the ring announcing gig away from their ring announcer, Dave Nyquest. So GM Dave Boyce was born. I’m proud of how we’ve turned UCW around. The social media sites have grown tremendously. The audiences have grown like crazy. The top talent in the Maritimes are now there. I remember going to a UCW show a couple years ago and there was 26 people there. We now draw between 400-600. And our Anniversary show on April 29th will be huge, I predict.
Lewis: I agree, you guys did a great job with UCW. The 10th anniversary show is stacked with great match ups. One match I can’t wait for is Markus Burke defending his UCW title against JP Simms. Didn’t you have to move this show to bigger venue to accommodate the demand for tickets?
Dave: That’s true. The advance tickets sold as of right now are crazy. And we haven’t really advertised the show yet except for on social media. The entire card from top to bottom, as well as the fantastic VIP event we are offering, is, in my opinion, going to be the biggest wrestling event I’ve been a part of.
Lewis: I mean you got Titus vs. Abyss, Riddick Stone vs. Ryback, Maddison Miles facing her toughest opponent to date in ROH’s Kelly Klein, and a very intriguing match that has the monster Brody Steele vs. Steve Arsenault for the UCW Maritimes title. Why isn’t this show on PPV so I can see it, Dave?
Dave: It will be filmed for sure.
Lewis: I think it was awesome bringing in Kelly Klein as she will really test Maddison Miles who doesn’t have much competition in the Maritimes.
Dave: Yeah, it’s hard booking for Maddy when the female talent pool here in the Maritimes is thin. I see big things for Maddy. She’s doing everything right. I am so proud of her.
Lewis: Maddison is going to be ok; she has such amazing desire and the potential to be very successful.
Dave: I agree.
Lewis: I have always wondered, WrestleCentre was able to get a TV deal with the Fight Network, how come UCW doesn’t have any TV programming? I think a UCW TV show would be awesome, especially with the talent you have.
Dave: I think you will see that soon, now that UCW has turned around and has become a product people will want to watch on TV. It’s only a matter of time, in my opinion.
Lewis: I know you are pressed for time, but I saw a tweet I wanted to ask you about. You tweeted something recently about being “tea bagged” by Jake Roberts. LOL, care to gives us the details behind that hilarious tweet?
Dave: I spent two days with the WWE Hall of Famer. It was quite the experience. One day at an event, he told me to get my phone out because he wanted to send a personal message. At the end of his “speech”, he hit me down “in that region” for all to enjoy. Haha, it’s on YouTube, I believe. He’s a character, to say the least.
Lewis: Two part question – Here are two names and can you can give me your opinion on them – Markus Burke and JP Simms and what’s next for Dave Boyce in the world of pro wrestling?
Dave: JP Simms is a great guy. I get along great with him…he’s a new dad, too, so congrats to him and his family. Markus and I are pretty tight. We talk almost every day…mostly him wanting me to do something for him…haha. I’m actually going to be the MC at his wedding later this year. The first time I met him was right after all the Damien Kage foolishness and I asked him for advice. He simply said, “Yeah, shut your (expletive) mouth….haha! As far as what’s next for me, my schedule is already filling up. Besides UCW, I work for IHW in New Brunswick and other independents in the Maritimes. Plus all the social media, the graphics, the posters, I design t-shirts for the guys, I keep pretty busy.
Lewis: I know you have to get going, so I would like to thank you for giving me and Kayfabe Today some of your time today. I really appreciate and hope to see the debut of Damien Kage in the near future. LOL. I hope we can catch up again soon for round 2. I would like to discuss IHW as we didn’t have time today.
Dave: It’s been fun….thanks for having me. You can follow me on Twitter at @DaveBoyce and LIKE my page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Dave-Boyce-Wrestling-Announcer-BG-Actor-881409095215202/