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By Ciaran-James @TheCiaranJames
Since 2008 Dragon Pro Wrestling has been training, nurturing and showcasing some of the best talent in the United Kingdom, based in South Wales Dragon Pro has worked tirelessly to become one of the most well known training schools in Europe. Together with Dragon Pro, I will talking to and gaining some insight with some of the most promising graduates and finding out what makes the academy and promotion the place to train. My first interview is with Josh Holly, he talks training, aspirations and New Horizons on June 11th.
Please introduce yourself, what made you want to train for wrestling and did any individual inspire you? Well, I’ve been a lifelong wrestling fan. I don’t know where it started or where it came from but it’s been what I was in to for as long as I can remember. Becoming a wrestler was never something I thought was possible. 3 years ago, I was the least likely wrestling prospect you would see. I was lazy, out of shape and unmotivated. Then it came time for me to decide what I wanted to do after I finished school and for some reason I just thought, ‘why don’t I be a wrestler?!’ I was inspired to do something I was passionate about. No one in particular inspired me to do what I do, but now that I’m involved I’m constantly being inspired by different people that I meet at every show I’ve been involved with, such as Dragon Pro, Attack! Pro Wrestling, Welsh Wrestling and ICW.
You train at the Dragon Pro Academy (Wales) talk to us about the training, trainers, have you had any up and downs along the way? I was aware that it was going to be the hardest thing I had ever done and expected nothing less. I made sure I came prepared. I changed my life around to attend my first training session and never looked back. I feel that Dragon Pro offers a huge variety of training. The coaching staff involved are some of the best and most well-travelled wrestlers in the country and I couldn’t feel luckier with the fact that it’s on my doorstep. It’s tough. Wild Boar is one hell of a trainer and pushes everyone to their limits. He doesn’t do it for the hell of it. He does it to produce the best talent in the country and so far, it’s working. All eyes are on Dragon Pro and every opportunity that one of us gets to represent the academy; we do it with the respect, values and ability that is drilled into us from the first time you train.
As much as the physical aspect matters, the character you portray matters once you make your debut, have you taken any inspiration from your peers? Definitely! I take inspiration from a lot of people within the academy. It’s more than just a group of aspiring wrestlers. It’s a family system where everyone is working to make each other better, as well as ourselves. If I do something, and someone has a better idea of how it could be done differently, I will listen and vice versa. I take inspiration from a lot of places but the people in the academy are the ones that inspire me the most.
Earlier this month you were defeated by Lestyn Rees at ICW in Cardiff. Your next match is at Dragon Pro New Horizons on June 11th, has the loss altered your mind set, might we see a new reinvigorated Josh Holly? It has. I feel I’ve got more to prove now than in any match ever before. Having the opportunity to perform on a bigger scale, lit a fire beneath me and I plan on proving why it was me that was given that shot, and not any of the other great wrestlers in dragon pro.
Who will you be facing on June 11th, do you know your opponent? Any opinions on him? I will be facing the ‘WONDERBOY’ CAL ADAMS. He’s ok. He’s quick, he hits hard but when it comes down to it he’s just ok. When you put him next to me, there is no competition. I am bigger, I am stronger, and I am smarter, I am better looking. The list goes on. Cal will soon learn not to step in the ring with me and think he is going to leave unharmed.
Have you friends/family attending? Have they been supportive through your journey? I know my dad is definitely coming. He’s that one person who makes sure he is there at every show. He’s so proud. He gets disappointed if I end up having a match and he’s not there. I know that every match he’ll tell me if I did well or if it was a dud so as well as getting the seal of approval from my coaches and my peers, he’s another person I go out there and try to make proud.
With Dragon Pro talent Big Grizzly and Morgan Webster receiving WWE try-outs and Joe Mezinger/Elijah making waves on the Indy scene does it make you want it more? Definitely, when you see your friends doing so well, it makes you motivated. Following their path has to be the goal. Fair play to both of those guys for getting their try-outs and so many more great UK talent getting the same opportunity. I know those guys deserve everything they’re getting and will continue to get in the future. It all goes back to having the work ethic to succeed. As for current Dragon Pro Trainees like Joe Mezinger and Elijah Dahl, it’s great to see those guys killing it everywhere they’re going. They don’t get enough credit, just like Matt Horgan and The Original Badman- Beano. These are the people that are representing Dragon Pro to the highest standard possible and this lot are all going to set the UK scene on fire very soon.
As discussed you face Cal Adams at New Horizons on June 11th, although it’s early in your career have you set yourself any goals? I think you have to have goals to succeed. It starts on how many matches you want to have in your first year. Then which promotions you want to work for in the near future and by a certain time. Simply gaining as much experience as possible is a goal of mine. I want to be the best and I’m willing to put the work in to do it. I want to travel the world and you don’t get to do that if you don’t have the ability in the ring. Wrestling full time is the goal. WWE is the goal. NEW JAPAN is the goal. ATTACK! PRO WRESTLING is the goal. Becoming a Dragon Pro trainer one day is the goal. I have so many, and I don’t plan on stopping until all have been smashed.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get involved in training for a career in wrestling? Train! Don’t come if you think this will be easy! You have to be in the gym if you’re serious about doing this otherwise you won’t get very far otherwise. Be respectful. If you can do a moonsault on your first day of training, fair play to you but it doesn’t make you John Cena. Respect has a huge part to play in the success you have long term and if you have an ego early on it will hinder you big time. Be Humble, Be Prepared, and Be Hardworking!
And finally, who on the Dragon Pro roster would you like to face? Anyone! I just want to wrestle. And if it’s against or alongside my mates, win win! I really want to face Beano, Elijah Dahl, Matt Horgan, Joe Mezinger, Danny Jones, Wild Boar, Dean Winter, the list is endless. I’d win all of them, obviously. I would especially want to work with Reg and The Regiment though. Those boys are hilarious and so hardworking and I would love the chance to get in the ring with some of my best mates.
A huge thank you to Josh Holly for his time and Dragon Pro for making this all happen. For further information about Dragon Pro check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DragonProWrestling/ And a special thank you to @jim_turningface for the image used.
To keep up to date with Josh and his exploits on the indy scene check him out on Twitter and Instagram