Welcome to Starter For 10. We ask professional wrestlers 10 questions so that you can find out a bit more about your favourite real life superheroes.
On this edition, Ian Skinner answers our questions.
What drew you into professional wrestling?
It’s a bit of a cliche, but it rings true so loudly, it’s all about those characters. When Eddie Guerrero gave that cheeky smirk into the camera, he was doing it right at you. I can’t really pin point a time, wrestling was generally in the background of my childhood, I have a brief memory of “Bubba Claus” from a random Smackdown on Sky, which I’d say is my earliest “wrestling memory”.
Who were your favourite wrestlers going up and who are your favourites now?
Eddie Guerrero was definitely at the top of my list when he was in his prime, when he turned on Rey Mysterio I was absolutely flabbergasted. Tajiri was another favourite of mine, but he’s a bit more of an unsung hero, can’t beat a bit of poison mist. The guy who blew me away first time seeing him and is my current favourite to this day is Katsuyori Shibata from New Japan. I watched Wrestle Kingdom a few years back to catch up with what AJ Styles was up to but Shibata stole the show for me with his hard hitting bought against Tomohiro Ishii (another top boy on my list).
What made you decide to start training to be a wrestler and where did you start?
My pal had some spare tickets to Shug’s Hoose Party back in 2014 and I had a night to spare in Glasgow. I was knocked off my feet by two moments of that show. Firstly, Kay Lee Ray performing a moonsault off of a barricade that I was holding in place is the moment I fell in love. The second moment was when Kid Fite jump off the upper level of the crowd into a pile of people which I was on the outskirts of and my head got caught with a boot as collateral. I began training under the school that these two talents represent with the PBW Academy. I started and still train with PBW in Airdrie with the big man TJ Rage, popping along to see Kid Fire in Barrhead every month or so.
Who are your biggest influences in professional wrestling, as a fan and as a wrestler?
As a wrestler, Krieger and Lou King Sharp have been great influences on my development. They both always have enough time for me and my multitude of questions. TJ Rage has been a great influence on me as a wrestler, working through my ideas with me despite his aversion for the style I try to emulate. Kid Fite, as well, stylistic has helped fine tune the edges of what Ian Skinner is to this day. As a fan, I’m in love with mid 2000’s Ring of Honor; KENTA, Daniel Bryan, Austin Aries, Nigel McGuinness, Eddie Edwards. If they hit hard and have that fighting spirit, I’m hooked.
Who has been your favourite opponent(s) and do you have a favourite match?
Whenever I’m at training, I always feel blessed to work alongside Daz Black. He’s got abilities beyond his years and he’s always down to try something new. Our different styles seem to gel well as our mentalities are pretty much the same. Scott Valentine pops his head in the door at Airdrie every now and then, he broke me into my first 2 singles matches at training and his willingness to try something new with me puts me forever in his debt. Logan Smith gave me my debut match victory and I think I owe him a rematch at some point, when he’s back from his shoulder injury. Favourite match, I’d probably say would be a tag match at PBW in Drumchapel; Myself and Chris Arkley vs John Trettan and Danny Edwards. The crowd was going absolutely berserk – we all worked extremely well together.
What has been your career highlight(s) so far?
At the end of 2017, we made a 2018 resolutions list. I’ve ticked off the majority of that list by having a showcase match at a PBW show and debuting for another company, which I’ve done with Reckless Intent. I had some great opportunities to see the camps run this year as well – it was brilliant to see some of my training colleagues make their debuts on those shows. At this moment, every show and every opportunity to get my gear on is a highlight for me – the roar of the crowd whether cheering or booing makes every show.
Who would be your dream opponent, past or present?
Kid Fite, Top of the list. The energy he exudes is what initially brought me, and many others into wrestling. When it comes to the wider Scottish scene, you cannot deny that Stevie Xavier, BT Gunn and Mikey Whiplash are craftsmen of their trade. I’ve my eyes, firstly on Scott McManus and Alexander Darwin MacAllan from Source – who I’m sure I could tear the house down with. I’d also love to wrestle Daz Black on a show at some point. If I’m shooting for the start, It would be amazing to wrestle Daniel Bryan in his mid 2000’s ROH days.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Hopefully I would be a main stay in a few, if not many, Scottish wrestling companies. Showed face in a couple locations outside of Scotland. If all goes smoothly, I would love to be in Japan or flying over to California to partake in the BOLA tournament.
Where can we find you on social media?
For wrestling nonsense and motivational quotes, my Twitter is @IanSkinnerPBW – for memes and dumb stuff, it’s @DeathcampSean. If you want photos of me with my pals and me at the gym, my Instagram is @seanxskinner. I don’t have a page on Facebook as of yet, but keep an eye out.
Since answering our questions, Ian has indeed made a Facebook fan page – Ian Skinner.
And finally, why do you do what you do?
There’s something different about wrestling, it’s special. You can’t really describe it – but it feels good.
Thank you to Ian for answering our questions.
Photo credit The Wilsons