Inside Dragon Pro, An Interview With Oliver Sudden

Interview conducted By Ciaran-James @TheCiaranJames

So, what was your reason to want to train to become a wrestler? Did you take any advice or talk to anyone beforehand? Well similar to a lot of people, I started watching wrestling when I was younger, I used to go play rugby then afterwards id stay over a mate’s house and we’d just watch wrestling. I can’t remember exact dates but one of the first things I remembered watching was the DX vs Spirit Squad/ McMahon feud, especially the handicap hell in a cell match Dx vs the McMahons and Big Show. I remember watching and being amazed by the characters of DX and being a larger child let’s say seeing someone the size of Big Show wrestle just made me think I could do that too, so I guess that’s when my fascination with wrestling started. So fast forward a few years, I went to a book signing for the comedian Lee Evans. I made friends with the other people in the queue with me, one of which was a wrestler himself and told me all about Dragon Pro Wrestling. So, after a few weeks of nagging my parents for a lift down to Newport and a mate come join me I finally went wrestling training and from there I was hooked.

Before attending Dragon Pro did you have any second thoughts, and what were your initial thoughts after your first session. I remember thinking before going to my first session that I’ve never really been that athletic growing up and I would probably struggle a lot training and I just wanted to lie to my mates tell them I was sick and leave it at that. But after I went to my first session all those feelings of nerves went away completely I had so much fun, everyone there was so helpful and welcoming I’ve never experienced anything like it. Of course, afterwards I was quite sore after attempting my first bumps but I was itching to get back down as soon as possible.

Who was your trainer(s) at the time and how did they benefit you? Well when I went to my first session Mike Bird was in charge, but due to work and money after a few sessions I couldn’t train for a while. When I eventually managed to get back to training I was very fortunate to have Mark Andrews taking a few weeks of training along with Mike. I think I benefited well from both, Mike got me to start to watch wrestling than more than just a fan and really made me fall in love with not only watching wrestling but doing it too. While with Mark he helped me so much with my fitness and pushed me to do more than I thought I could. Thanks to him I went from not being able to do a forward roll and finishing almost every session with some sort of injury too being able to do things that I never thought I could. 

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When did you make your debut and who was it against? How did you feel after? My first wrestling appearance was in the annual Dragon Pro Rumble match, but my first match was on 29th May 2016 Dragon Pro Wrestling Battlelines, I was in the 1st Badman Invitational Scramble match alongside Beano, Mr Bananas, Oliver Satchwell, Ian Williams and Jay Trixx. And honestly, I was terrified. Everyone else in the match had previous match experience except for me and Jay Trixx, and with a few family and friends in the crowd I just remember thinking to myself that I didn’t want to mess up or embarrass myself in front of everyone. I will say though after the match all those thoughts completely changed. I got some great feedback from people back stage and plenty of advice of things to work on for the future, all I could think was. When can I wrestle next? 

You come across as a comedic/ slapstick character, however when in the ring you work more a physical style. How did your character and style develop? It kind of all came together towards the end of last year. In the first few matches I had last year I didn’t really have anything to me, I was just the big guy in the purple, however I did seem to always get comments on how flamboyant I am and can be when walking to the ring and even how I moved in the ring too. It got me thinking on how to incorporate it into my wrestling. I’ve always loved comedy in wrestling with the likes of Les Kellet, Colt Cabana and Grado so I’ve always wanted to do something similar but make it my own, not be a carbon copy of someone else. So, I was constantly watching wrestling and working hard in training trying to figure out what I could do. Conveniently I had recently ordered a new singlet to help update my look, however when it arrived it was cut a bit lower than I would have first imagined with my new logo emblazoned across my belly. But after having a few conversations with people we came up with the idea to start using my belly more in my wrestling, there have always been bigger guys in wrestling but not many use their belly to their advantage really so I started to develop my comedy from there. I like to try and let the comedy flow naturally there’s nothing more awkward than trying to force a joke to a crowd and it not working. But you can’t win a match with comedy alone so I started to adapt my style into a more physical style when appropriate almost as if there two sides to me when I wrestle the comedy guy and the big guy. 

Last October you made your surprise debut for Pro Wrestling Chaos, you unfortunately lost to Beano. What was the occasion like, especially at one of Chaos’s bigger shows? Fantastic! It was a surprise even to me. I’ve always been taught whenever you go to help at a wrestling show always take your gear with you because you never know what might happen on the day. So, when I got to the show that day to help out I was shocked when Dave Mercy asked me to wrestle that night. To be honest I thought he was joking for about half an hour or so. I’d always wanted to wrestle for Chaos and to be given an opportunity like that on one of their bigger shows of the year so thankful that they gave me that opportunity, I mean I was also terrified it was the biggest crowd id ever wrestled in front of but at the same time I was excited to go show the crowd what I can do.

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Before your debut for Chaos you’ve worked the merchandise tables for months. What was it like watching from a far? It was great to be honest. Chaos has such a great product so being able to watch from the merchandise tables was a great experience. Not only did I get to watch the shows but I also got a great opportunity to meet the guys on the shows and ask for advice for wrestling. But it also made me want to push myself and work that much harder so that hopefully I could be a chaos regular one day. And hey I love selling merchandise too it’s been a great way to meet the fans and have new people to chat about wrestling with.

How do you feel 2017 has gone for you so far? Do you feel you’re progressing at Dragon Pro? So far, I think 2017 has been awesome. I’ve had some great matches and opportunities both in and out of Dragon Pro. I’ve developed myself more as a wrestler and have been able to come up with my own unique style and move set. I may not have had the most matches this year this year but 2017 is not over yet. And I fully intend on ending this year on a high. I’ve still got plenty that I want to achieve this year.

The Dragon Pro shows seem to be gaining more traction, the buzz around the welsh scene is amazing. How does it feel to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Big Grizzly, Mark Andrews, Mike Bird and the Wild Boar? You’re right there. The welsh scene is fantastic at the moment and I feel privileged to be a part of it right now. The Dragon Pro shows have been awesome so far, each show is getting better than the last so I can’t wait for the next show now. It feels awesome to follow in the footsteps of Grizzly Mark Andrews Bird and Boar each of them has done so much with their careers, it really gives me something to work towards, and if I could ever be half as successful as anyone of them I would be extremely happy.

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Do the owners/trainers give you any indication of the direction on your character between shows? How much prep takes place before shows? I get some help with it. Usually I’ll approach them after shows and we’ll have a chat about what’s next for me. They’re great, whenever I get an idea about my character they’ll listen and help me to develop it and apply it to my wrestling I wouldn’t be where or who I am today if it wasn’t for them.

You’ve also worked the Thursday Night Throws shows with the ATTACK roster. What was it like working with some of the best talent in the south west/Wales? It was such a surreal experience. I love the ATTACK guys their shows are fantastic and when I got asked about being a part of the first Thursday Night Throws show I was over the moon. And when I found out that I would be in the match with probably the best tag team in the UK in CCK and with one of the hottest prospects coming out for Dragon Pro right now in ELIJAH it drove me to work and train my hardest to make it the best match I could possibly have. I remember thinking that that was my opportunity to show the ATTACK roster and fans who I am.

Although still young do you see wrestling as a serious career path? Outside of it what else keeps you busy? I would love nothing more to make a full-time career out of wrestling. So many people have ‘normal’ jobs, like in a shop, an office or pub and that’s fine, but I don’t want to do that with my life. The best way I’ve heard it said is I don’t want to conform to normality. I love wrestling and to be a full-time wrestler would be a dream come true. Unfortunately, I’ve got to pay the bills somehow so I currently work in a pub just to be able to earn money for wrestling and to be able to chip away at my student debts. It’s not too bad at the moment but the only thing getting me through is the thought of the next time I can wrestle.

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What has been the highlight for you since debuting? That is a tricky question. I think that I would have to say the highlight for me so far is the 8-man tag from the first Thursday night Throws. It was such a great experience to be able to wrestle with some of the best in the country. And it was also a lot of fun being a matador against Los Federales Santos Jr I don’t think I’ve laughed that much in a long time. It was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had wrestling and the day wrestling stops being fun is the day I stop wrestling.

Between Dragon Pro, ATTACK and Chaos, who would you most like to go one on one with? Well like a lot of people I’ve got a long list of people I’d love to wrestle. But if I had to name just three of them right now it would be Damien Dunne, because that much would be so much fun, he such a fantastic wrestler and I think that we could have a great match together. 

Then I would have to say Big Grizzly, I truly believe that he is one of the best big men that this country has to offer and if you want to be the best big man, you have to beat the best. 

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And finally, I would have to say my number 1 would have to be Wild Boar (Mike Hitchman) it would be a dream match for me being able to go one on one with him. He’s my trainer and has taught me the majority of what I know, he’s helped me so much over these past few years and I would love the opportunity to show him fist hand what I’ve learnt from him.

I want to thank Oliver and the staff at Dragon Pro for their cooperation for this interview. To keep track of Oliver you can follow him @MrOliverSudden on Twitter, for information on Dragon Pro check out their Facebook page for all the latest event news https://www.facebook.com/DragonProWrestling/

Photo credit to Jim Maitland @Jim_TurningFace

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