Tuesday, 31 December 2002

Interview with Paul Tyrell

Paul Tyrell is no stranger to those who follow the British wrestling scene closely. A WAW regular, he also competes in and runs the re-formed Ultimate Wrestling Alliance, one of the few companies to actually have a television contract since 1988.
Now Paul speaks exclusively to the WAW website, talking about how he got his start in wrestling, the old and new UWA, his tag-team partner Phil Powers, working for WAW, and fan's comments on the Internet. Paul Tyrell is the second man to face the "10 Questions"

1) Firstly, can you tell us how you got started in the wrestling business?

It's hard to say exactly how I got started in the wrestling business, I suppose it was just by going to watch so many shows that the promoters just started to recognise me. One day at an All Star show in Clacton I got talking to the M.C. and time keeper during the interval, they invited me to a show in colchester that weekend organised by 4 star promotions. The offer of helping with the show in exchange for free entry and an oppertunity to meet the wrestlers was great and along I went.... it all went along from there really, I was only just 14 and helping with the ring before and after the show was great, a chance to meet and be a part of the promotion. I got the chance to spend a bit of time in the ring, never expecting to actually become a wrestler one day. Before I knew what was happening I was 15 years old, sitting in the changing room at the corn exchange in Diss preparing to make my debut appearance as school boy Paul "Kid" Tyrrell against Bob Collins, a British veteran and amateur champion! I was petrified but excited, very nervous but did my best. The match lasted about 12 mins and just as expected, I lost.

Shortly after that i flew to Florida, USA to train with Exotic Adrian Street at his Skullcrushers Training school. I spent a few weeks ther and learned alot from this great British wrestler, an oppertunity to combine the traditions of technical wrestling with much of the risky high flying the Americans were more famous for. A great experience that made me very eager to get back and put my new ideas into action.

2) As well as wrestling regularly for WAW, you also run your own promotion, the Ultimate Wrestling Alliance, along with tag-team partner, Phil Powers. For those who don't know, can you tell us a little about the old UWA, and what made you decide to reform the company?

The old UWA was great to be a part of, especially as it got British wrestlers back on regular TV, even if it was only
available on cable. The big difference was that we had the backing from two guys that had at this stage never been
involved with British wrestling. Andrew was the man who invested most of the money and Dan was the TV genius who organised all the taping, editing and broadcast from the UWA studio that was based in Canary Warf in London. Dan had previously worked as part of the TV crew at the WWF and it was while working on their UK Rampage TV shows here that they had the idea of getting involved and putting British wrestling back where it belongs.... on TV!

The shows were generally quite good and with a talent roster including myself and Phil Powers along with the likes of Doug Williams, Jodie Flash, Jonny Storm, Flash Barker, The Death Squad, Danny Royal, Kerry Cabrero etc..... well there were some amazing and very memorable matches. The first show was at the Epping country club, sold out to approx 600 fans!! The success saw the first TV taping soon after at the Crystal Palace Arena, infront of 2500 fans the show was amazing and also where i had my first ever match against the Canadian All Knighters. The tag team brothers Joey and Robin, the latter of which has spent most of 2002 competing succesfully in the UK including many WAW shows!

The shows also saw many other foreign stars competing in our rings. The Fallen Angel Chris Daniels was here a few times, Gran Naniwa and the legendary Tiger Mask from Japan were there, even big Papa T from Africa was a popular contender.

Maybe we can organise to get some of the UWA TV footage onto tape so the WAW fans can get them at the shows, me and Phil still have the master tapes and there truly are some matches well worth watching... my match with Jody Flash from Barking is still one of my best ever in my opinion!

3) You've earned a lot of praise for your work in the Essex Boys tag-team with Phil, but you've also competed against him on a number of occasions. Which is easier, working with or against him?

Working with Phil as a team is always great fun, we both think alike and always give our best to the match and to the fans that are watching. Over the years the Essex Boys dreamteam has had some great tag contests and there are more stories than I could ever fit on the WAW web page, if you wanna know those... well you will just have to wait for the book? Although some are staying with me and Phil to the grave!

Wrestling against Phil is one of my favourite matches. Its hard and fast but I always know that were an even match and will bring the absolute best out of each other. Over the years many of the fans that have seen me will know me as the big good guy of the show, well you put that against Phils little eveil streak and you got a recipe for match of the night in any arena.

4) You've also competed in America this year. Could you tell us a little about that?

America was great, I was working for the NECW. Thats New England Championship Wrestling based in Boston. It was their 2nd anniversary while I was there so there was a big celebration show. I wrestled a guy called Aaron Morrison who was really good, although no match for some true British grappling. There was a little bit of interfearance from the ex- ECW star Jason Knight but luckily my lerg drop from the top rope made sure that I didn't go all that way to get beat. 1...2....3 your winner Paul Tyrrell!! The trip also gave me the chance to visit New York where I enjoyed eating at WWF new york while watching a live RAW and meeting WWE Diva Jazz. I also went to Canada to see Niagra Falls... amazing!!

I plan to be heading back in 2003 for a bigger tour so watch out for that USA.

5) Who has been your toughest opponent?

I can honestly say that over the years I have had many tough opponents, anybody can be tough in their own unique way and especially if they are just having a good day and can catch you off guard. If i am honest the toughest days were the early ones. When I was just 15 years old and weighed less than ten stone everybody seemed like giants, the WAW's very own Rowdy Ricky Knight was a regular adversary for me. I had my face smashed at the hands of him and his partner Jimmy Ocean many many times, it didn't get much more challenging than a match with the Superflies!

6) The relationship that the WAW and the UWA is probably one of the few instances of promotions in this country
working very closely together. Do you think this is the way forward for British wrestling?

British wrestling is fighting to compete with what has become the biggest entertainment giant the world has ever seen... Vince and the WWE. There is so much great talent right here in England that can honestly put many of the top American stars to shame. The only way we can get British wrestling back in the spotlight and as popular as it used to be is by sticking together. I honestly believe that if promoters work together an cooperate the wrestling business here would be a lot healthier, we cannot afford to battle each other as promotions when were all working for the same goals. I say leave the fighting to the ring and get all the wrestling organisations to help each other... just imagine the shows that could be arranged if we all did that??

As part of UWA I can honestly say that working closely with WAW has been great. I think that they have some great wrestlers and are also responsible for running a great training facility that has discovered some talented people. You can be assured of seeing alot more from the united WAW and UWA organisation.

7) What's your view on the current state of the British wrestling industry?

Like I said before, i think that British wrestling is currently laying in the shadows of what it used to be and many honestly think it will never get back? I know that TV plays a major role in its success, you need the wide coverage that TV gives to promote the British wrestlers to the stars that they are and to advertise the shows to a wide enough audience that will guarantee big crowds at the shows. I really can say that there are still far too many wrestling fans out there that only ever watch the American stuff on TV. If they got out of the chair and came to see some live UWA / WAW action they would really see what wrestling can be and what they are missing!! I hope the wrestling here will grow and become as popular as it deserves to be.

8) In recent months, a few wrestlers have criticised Internet wrestling fans, or "smart marks", as they are sometimes known, for the apparent negative effect they have on the industry. What's your view on this, and do you agree with what's been said?

Well I suppose that everybody is entitled to their oppinion but some times you should have the tact and reserve required to keep it to yourself. I believe a wise man once said that if you ain't got nothing good to say then SHUT UP!! I often find it quite funny to read the fans comments on the internet. I think what some of these so called smart marks need to understand is that the wrestling world is very complex and while much of it is far more exposed these days than ever before there is still so much that they dont understand.... some of the rubbish that gets posted on the internet always makes these poeople look far from smart? Wrestling is about entertainment so I guess if you don't find it entertaining then you shouldn't watch. People paying for a ticket just to come and see what they can fault in a show is stupid and far worse is when they spam their uninformed bias view across the net for true fans to read and have their enjoyment spoilt by a minority of "Stupid Marks" that are killing the wrestling that they should be supporting.

Thats only one side of the story though, but one that is unfortunately there. The other is a large community of people that spend many hours online talking about wrestling and visiting / running wrestling web sites. Alot of these are very supportive of British wrestling and want to help our sport however they can. To these guys I say a big thank you, a thanks for supporting the British wrestling scene and for the publicity and coverage that you provide for the love of wrestling. The internet is a very powerful tool that reaches more and more people than ever in every place on earth, so why not use it positively and push wrestling to the top!

9) Staple question - a promoter comes up to you and says they can get any opponent for you, money being no object. Who would you choose?

I would love to name somebody British and if I was going to it would be Dynamite Kid, lets face it, he is probably the most talented guy from here to ever make it big not just in America but in Japan etc.. A truly hard man who was both feared and respected around the globe. On the other hand the fan in me would say Macho Man Randy Savage, he was a big influence on me when I started in this job and to have one match in the ring with him would be great, Oh Yeahhhhhhh! There are many great stars i would love to wrestle, a very long list but Randy Savage is at the top.

10) Finally, any comments for your fans?

Just a big thanks to all the fans for their support. Wrestling can be very hard but it always makes it worth while when you hear people shouting for you during the matches, see the look on the kids faces when they see you win, its great when we get to talk to fans and hear their views when they congratulate and appreciate what we all do to keep them entertained. See you at the shows and dont forget you can e-mail me via the UWA at commissioner@championshipwrestling.co.uk