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, Jesse Santana answers our questions.
What drew you into professional wrestling?
What drew me into wrestling actually, when I was a little boy, I used to play the games where the characters look liked paper cut outs playing as The Hardy Boyz, Rey Mysterio and even, at that time, Chyna. Then, as I was growing up, I came off of it and I can remember just one time it was on so randomly started watching it and it was Mickie James vs Melina in a falls count anywhere match. From there I started watching backwards while keeping up with present and here I am today still a huge fan.
Who were your favourite wrestlers going up and who are your favourites now?
Tough questions one of my favourite wrestlers growing up has to be Rikishi, literally this huge guy that can crush anybody but instead he stuck to doing stink faces and whacking people with the booty. There’s so many that I do love even my first crush was on Matt Hardy. With that aside I use to admire the women’s division; Lita, Trish, Molly Holly, Victoria and we can never ever forget Torrie Wilson! This present day there’s so many talent to choose from Finn Bálor all the way to Seth Rollins, but in this present day low key one to keep an eye on is Bianca Belair from NXT, girl is an absolute beast and is improving day by day.
What made you decide to start training to be a wrestler and where did you start?
So, believe it or not, I thought training to be a wrestler was non-existent and I would have to go over to the US to do so, but it wasn’t till one time I failed my musical theatre audition due to planning a monologue the night before and leaving school too early. So I was struggling about what to do with my future and then it hit me, I searched wrestling in Google and here I am, almost 4 years in the PBW Academy.
Who are your biggest influences in professional wrestling, as a fan and as a wrestler?
So the place I started, as mentioned above, was the PBW Academy. I trained with the amazing Kid Fite who is a complete savage with a heart of gold and pushes for everyone to do so well. With that being said I’ve also been trained by guys the likes of Aaron Echo, Stevie Xavier, Joe Coffey and, believe it or not, the ref Sean McLaughlin.
As a fan we can all honestly put our hands up and say we would aspire to be like a WWE wrestler and due to my type character I decided to think of the box and go with a very feminine style of wrestling using moves from the likes of Victoria, Molly Holly and Naomi, but one my biggest influences would have to be Rey Mysterio. I remember just being so fascinated with the way he was so small yet so fast. At this day as a wrestler I admire guys like Noam Dar, Grado, Nikki Cross, just regular people that have came from the British wrestling scene and look where they are today.
Who has been your favourite opponent(s) and do you have a favourite match?
So it’s a tie between two opponents so far. Number one would have to be making my main show PBW debut in Dumbarton against Kieran Kelly, two young guys breaking out on the scene got to prove that they could do it and afterwards there was comments being made saying we were match of the night etc. couldn’t be more proud. Second one happened just before my injury where I got to face BT Gunn at PBW in Larbert, working with someone so experienced and coming up with so many different ideas. It was a different style of match and I couldn’t have had anymore fun so thanks guys!
What has been your career highlight(s) so far?
Highlights of my career, I’ve had a few one was holding a belt that sadly had to be retired but I can call myself the last holder of that belt. Another was the fantastic All Star camp run, it gave me a better understanding into the business and you spend a lot of time with guys you’ve not worked a lot but are friends with, the likes of Lou King Sharp, Krieger and, one my closest friends to this day, Angel Hayze. My most important highlight was being able to represent PBW in Drew Galloway Invitational, with all the upcoming talent from all different schools it’s a different atmosphere, you’re mixed in with people you barely even know or never spoken to then when you leave it’s as if you were leaving a small family you had met over night. Weird I know, but jokes aside Galloway 2019 should defiantly be The Jesse Show as I was one of the favourites to win last year!
Who would be your dream opponent, past or present?
My dream opponent in this present day is a difficult one, I wrestled my coach so that was one check off the bucket list. There’s so many talented guys at the moment if I was granted an opportunity I would wrestle BT Gunn all the time, but in the British scene dream opponents for me are Joe Coffey, Paxxo, Viper, Grado and a person that never fails to help me when I see her, Sammii Jayne. If we’re talking expanding options dream opponents for me would be Kip Sabian, The Miz, Mr and Mrs Wrestling Johnny and Candice and would love opportunity to get in the ring with Noam Dar, but the list does go on.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years time well I hope to be recovered from a dislocated knee for sure! I hope to be having my name out there and wrestling all across the United Kingdom. Maybe an ICW debut, I don’t know what the future has planned for me in the wrestling world, but a jolly hope it’s good!
Where can we find you on social media?
And finally, why do you do what you do?
The reason I do what I do is because it’s unique in every way possible. When I say to people I’m a wrestler the first thing you’ll hear is a laugh because they don’t believe me. Wrestling is not something everyone can do you have to have the talent, commitment, passion and charisma. There’s a lot more than going out and playing wrestler. For myself especially being an openly gay wrestler playing a gay sassy character is a huge deal to me because we live in a world where so much is now being accepted, but so much isn’t. I want people to realise just because your gay you don’t have to tie yourself down, you don’t have to jump around with rainbow flags chanting gay rights and you shouldn’t have to hide being yourself. So I hope one day younger kids, people who are scared of there sexuality etc. can look up to me and say “he may be gay, but he sure can kick somebodies head off” because I’m following my dream, why don’t you follow yours.
Thank you to Jesse for answering our questions.
Photo credit David J Wilson