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Interview conducted By Ciaran-James @TheCiaranJames
Tell me what inspired you to start training to wrestle, where did you start training? Tell us about that experience. As a kid, I lived and breathed wrestling. At around 5 or 6 years of age, my days consisted of obsessively watching wrestling on the television, wrestling my sister and parents around the home and continuously promoting shows outside my house with my huge box of wrestling figures along with the ring and belts. After years of making cardboard belts and jumping off my dad’s wooden clothes dryer, I lost interest in wrestling and took up rugby, playing for Cwmbran RFC up until the age of 17. My love for wrestling came storming back during my time in sixth form, having free time between lessons to rearrange the sixth form room chairs in to the shape of a ring and using crash mats to perform power bombs and suplexes. Sixth form proving difficult, I made the decision to leave three days in to my second year. Shortly after I landed on my feet, finding myself an apprenticeship in retail management and this is when I began my search for a local wrestling school. Fortunately for me, I discovered a wrestling school in Birmingham. After my first session of cutting promos and hitting hip tosses, the head coach advised me that there was a school right on my doorstep. This is when I discovered my true home, The Dragon Pro Wrestling Academy. After a few months of tutorage, direction and belief given by my mentors, Mike Hitchman and Mike Bird… Beano was born.
Dragon Pro has become well known for producing some of the best wrestlers in the United Kingdom, what does it feel like to train and wrestle there? Having a wrestling academy like Dragon Pro only a 10-minute drive away is a huge asset. Being able to train there and be around all the coaches and trainees is surreal in my eyes, especially having coaches that are hot on today’s wrestling scene. Big Grizzly, Flash Morgan Webster, Danny Jones and WWEUK’s very own Mark Andrews are all included when it comes to the school’s coaching staff. The trainees all work ridiculously hard during their times training and it’s good to see the hard work paying off for everybody, now getting the opportunities they all deserve around the country.
When did you make you debut, what was that like? I made my debut late January 2016 in Dragon Pro’s annual rumble. I entered early in the rumble, wrestling as Glyn Harries. Being out in front of an audience was great, but I was eliminated just as quick as I arrived.
Introduce the world to “Man Like Beano” what is he about, what does he stand for? The Original Badman is a cool guy. Beano was born with a fighting spirit, spending his days and nights on the streets of the NP44 and you can sense that as soon as he enters the room. He can be funny, he can have a laugh but when it comes to laying down the business, you don’t want to cross his path.
Did you take inspiration for your character or is it all you? When I started as Beano I was putting way too much thought into who he is and why. A few shows later at Dragon Pro, I had full confidence performing as the Original Badman and I’m more than happy to admit now that it is all me.
In 2016 you debut for Pro Wrestling Chaos, what was it like to take that step to a bigger company and how did you feel stepping out from behind the curtain that night? I woke up to a message from Dave, promoter of Pro Wrestling Chaos asking if I was going to be heading to the ‘All or Nothing’ show that evening and ironically, I had planned to go anyway. Walking through the entrance curtain to a sold-out crowd in Yate was electrifying. As if being on the same show as WWE legend, Hardcore Holly and recent WWE superstar Adam Rose wasn’t cool enough. I’ll never forget the night I debuted at this promotion.
Dragon Pro’s reputation is growing, what would you like to achieve while working there? Being able to train at Dragon Pro is excellent and I’m over the moon that I’m linked with the hard-working academy. I have become a regular working on the Dragon Pro Wrestling shows and that is what I was looking to achieve. This doesn’t come for free though; the coaching staff and everybody associated with the training school expect and demand the highest standard of commitment when representing the Dragon Pro Wrestling Academy and are there to give you support and guidance when needed, but remains down to the individual to forge their own pathway in the world of wrestling.
From Cardiff, Bristol to Cheltenham the wrestling scene is booming in the south west, how does it feel to be part of the next generation of wrestlers coming up? It feels great. All that runs through my head from the moment that I wake up to the moment I go to sleep is wrestling. From training and watching to picking matches apart, it takes a lot of commitment to get to where we are now, especially when considered as the next generation, and I can be particularly critical of myself. It isn’t all about the wrestling; the logistics of any event can also be demanding on times when it comes to performing as Beano or working to support my colleagues on alternative promotions.
In May both Big Grizzly & Flash Morgan Webster had try-outs with WWE, like you they are proud Welshman who have walked the path you are now walking, does that inspire you? Absolutely. Big Grizzly and Flash Morgan Webster – both being good friends of mine, deserve everything that they have worked for. The fact that they’re Welsh, local to me and associated with the Dragon Pro Wrestling Academy is a bonus, but the reason they inspire me is because they’re brilliant British wrestlers.
So, what do you want to achieve in 2017? In 2017, my aim is to branch out across the U.K. I have wrestled in Cheltenham and Bristol on a few occasions, but would really like to take it that step further. I’m proud to say that I’ll be representing IPW:UK in June; and that will be taking place in Snodland, Kent. After that is done, my goal is to establish myself in other parts of the UK, including South East England, North East England, Midlands and Scotland.
Have you got a favourite match to date and who would you like to face currently working in the UK? My favourite match to date is the one that took place in Cheltenham, stepping in the ring at Attack! Pro Wrestling. Danny Jones and I went up against the current ICW tag team champions and Dragon Pro coaches, Bird & Boar. It was an awesome experience fighting in front of a specialist audience like the Attack! fans. If I was asked to face somebody currently working in the UK, it would have to be between Mike Bird and Flash Morgan Webster. I can’t pick one out of the two at the moment.
Have you a final message for our readers? Fancy becoming a professional wrestler? Do it. You don’t have enough time to sit back and think about it, go online, find your local school, get out there and start training. There will be support out there for you. While you’re online… Follow my Facebook: The Original Badman – Beano Follow my Twitter: @ManLikeBeano Follow my Instagram: ManLikeBeano Fancy having your own Beano t-shirt? To check out my merchandise, go to Facebook, search ‘Merch Britannia’ and then search for ‘Beano’. Or you can simply turn up to a show that I’m appearing on near you! And finally, many thanks to Ciaràn and Kayfabe Today for your ongoing support in the overall UK wrestling scene.
A huge thank you to Beano for his time and kind words, for further information on the ‘Original Badman’ check out the links above. For further UK Independent wrestling news, previews and reviews check out @TheCiaranJames & Kayfabetoday.com
And thank you to @jim_turning face for the header image.