Starter For 10 #16 | Craig Anthony

STARTER

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, Craig Anthony answers our questions.


What drew you into professional wrestling?

I’ve always been a fan ever since I can remember. I have four older brothers who were into it growing up so as a youngster, I would watch their VHS tapes of 80’s into early 90’s WWE like SummerSlam and the early WrestleMania’s with Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Ultimate Warrior. I was hooked instantly and quickly became obsessed. That then led me into watching it on my own in the 90’s with guys like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels and I remember being in awe of those guys. Then it bled into the Attitude Era with Stone Cold coming through, and DX and Chris Jericho, and that then literally became my life and my childhood into my teens! I had the figures, the t-shirts, the sticker books, the games – anything I could get my hands on.

Who were your favourite wrestlers going up and who are your favourites now?

Now, I enjoy watching guys like AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Pete Dunne, Kyle O’Riley, Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega, and KUSHIDA!

What made you decide to start training to be a wrestler and where did you start?

Well it was always something that was in the back of my mind forever. I used to play wrestling with my brothers growing up and make our own title belts, etc. I’ve always been quite naturally athletic too. Growing up I always used to say whenever someone asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ I would say a wrestler. Then getting a bit older I realised that isn’t an option. I said an actor. Then getting a little bit older again you say ‘oh that’s not realistic either’! I studied at college doing aeronautical engineering for a year before seeing my college had an acting course. I said to hell with it I’m going to peruse my dreams! I graduated uni with a degree in acting and have been working professionally in acting for 5 years now and I have now made my debut and getting bookings as a professional wrestler. So I’ve achieved both my childhood dreams! I still have a long way to go to get where my aspirations are for them are, but still not something a lot of people can say!

I decided to start training after meeting a friend at a New Year’s party a year and a half ago and she worked with ICW and was friends with Mikey Whiplash. She knew about my passion for wrestling and we talked and she said if I was really serious she could put me in touch with Mikey and I can go and do the intake class at Source Wrestling School and see how I got on. I mailed Mikey and went to the intake and was hooked! Started training as much as I could and working my way up the beginners, intermediate, advanced classes and the rest is history as they say!

Who are your biggest influences in professional wrestling, as a fan and as a wrestler?

My biggest influence would obviously be my coach Mikey Whiplash. He is an incredible trainer and coach, and his attention to detail and knowledge is incredible! Also watching guys growing up like Shawn Michaels, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle and Stone Cold influences me incredibly growing up watching them. Those guys were my heroes! Apart from Stone Cold and maybe Kurt Angle, they were all considered smaller guys like myself so I credit my style to them a lot!

Who has been your favourite opponent(s) and do you have a favourite match?

My favourite matches and highlights so far go hand in hand really. It’s been a whirlwind start! Getting to wrestle NXT UK star Jordan Devlin was a huge opportunity. Getting in there with him, you get to see first hand how good he is and how on point his timing is. It was a great learning experience! Also getting to wrestle my coach Mikey Whiplash meant a lot and I had a lot of fun doing that. My first ever title match for the SWA X Championship against Kieran Kelly is one I think was a stormer of a match, and we both put in everything we had! And recently I got to step in against BT Gunn which was so much fun and so easy working with a guy like that with his experience. Every match I have I see as a learning experience and I’ve had the opportunity to step in with some really established guys that I can learn something from.

What has been your career highlight(s) so far?

See above answer.

Who would be your dream opponent, past or present?

Dream opponent would be Shawn Michaels without a doubt! The guy was in a different class in every aspect of the game. A true legend! Then it would be maybe Chris Jericho and AJ Styles. I would love to tear it up with any one of those guys!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Well I have high hopes for myself in this industry! I want to be at the top of the game. I want to be competing at the highest level against the best opponents. Being Scottish, obviously the top dog in the game is ICW and I’d love to make my debut and work for them. My goals are to work all over the country in as many promotions as I can, and I want to work in Europe and Japan and America. Also, WWE UK is now a top goal for me and I’ll strive and do everything I can to get there. There are lots more opportunities for guys and girls in the UK now with all the promotions and WWE and WOS and I want to grab as big a piece of the pie as I can!

Where can we find you on social media?

You can find me on both Twitter and Instagram @CraigAR_/@craigar_ and on Facebook (Craig Anthony).

And finally, why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because I love it! I love the reaction of the fans, I love putting on an absolute show for them and ripping it up with whoever I’m in there with, I love to make peopled shocked, surprised, cheer, boo, shout, get out their seats and take them on a journey with me! It has everything so to me, it’s the ultimate spectacle!


Thank you to Craig for answering our questions.

 

 

Photo credit David J Wilson

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