Welcome to a brand new interview on the Scottish Wrestling Network. Today, we had the chance to speak with a man who recently made quite the statement in WrestleZone as we chat to Blue Thunder!
What was it that initially drew you into professional wrestling?
Late 80s and early 90s WWF was an amazingly wonderful shiny lure for a 6 or 7 year old kid. The look, the characters, the matches, the announcing – all of it hooked me instantly. I loved this magical superhero-laden world that was being shown to me.
Who were your favourites to watch growing up, and who are your favourites now?
I was always a Bret Hart fan. There were tons of other guys that I really liked watching but The Hitman was The Man as far as I was concerned. Nowadays, I like to follow all the folks from the UK and Ireland who are making waves all over the world right now. As a fan and as a student, I still enjoy revisiting classic old-school footage, 80s NWA, 90s WWF, and WCW. The archives on the WWE Network draw me in.
What made you decide to start professional wrestling training? Where and when did you begin training?
Without giving too much away, it was during the mid-2000s in the south of England. There are far more – and far better – places to learn these days, which is pleasing but it makes me wish it had been the case back then. It’s a lot easier to gather information on the best ways to get started now, which has its pros and cons. I toyed with the idea of learning to wrestle for ages before finally plucking up the courage to do it. The whole idea was fascinating and terrifying to me at the same time.
You’ve been with WrestleZone for a number of years now. What have been some of your favourite matches and moments from your time spent there?
I’ve enjoyed some real high points in WrestleZone, being part of big cards in front of sell-out crowds along the way. I was in – and won – the first ever WZ match at the Aberdeen Beach Ballroom, that’s a feather in the cap for sure. Sharing a ring with guys like Andy Wild and Jackie Polo or even a WWE Hall of Famer in D-Von Dudley, those are learning experiences that I’ll never forget. Seeing the company itself grow over time has been amazing. On top of it all, the fans here have been great to me for years and I respect and appreciate all the support they give me. Seeing a kid in the crowd wearing a Blue Thunder mask is a fantastic boost because I realise that I’m making a connection there, people are caring about what I do. WrestleZone is home for me.
In 2013, you were paired together with William Sterling and in a surprising twist, you actually won the Tag Team Championships. What were some of your personal highlights from teaming with William?
The championship win and run as tag champs obviously stands out, but really the response and support from the fans that we received was both surprising and very pleasing. For a thrown together odd couple pairing, we left a pretty memorable impression on some folks. Sterling and myself are totally different people but we approach wrestling and think about things in very similar ways. That helped a lot.
At Aberdeen Anarchy 2014, you were part of WrestleZone’s first ever Ladder Match alongside Sterling against The Granite City Hotshots. Did you enjoy being part of WrestleZone history with this match?
It’s nice in hindsight to have been part of something like that, yeah. It was a challenge, a totally different environment to what I was used to, but all four of us were in the same boat. It was a bit daunting going into it, but you always want to test yourself in those types of scenarios. That match is still highly regarded by people who were there that night, so at least I know we gave it all we could.
Fast forward a year later to the breakup of The Thunder Buddies and your rivalry with William Sterling, which had some rather brutal matches. How much did you enjoy working against William as opposed to being on the same side of the ring as him?
I try and aim to always enjoy myself every time I lace them up, regardless of who is standing across from me or even beside me. There was an intensity level to things at that time that took me out of my comfort zone though, but I did my best to really sink my teeth into it all. Those matches were rather brutal, as you say, no niceties involved there. Nothing too subtle, just leave it all in the ring. Like the Ladder Match, it ended up on a big stage in front of a packed house, little bit of history.
More recently, you’ve been on quite an extensive losing streak that resulted in you turning on Scotty Swift and realigning with William Sterling. Would you say the losses had anything to do with this sudden change of attitude?
Look, losses are part and parcel of what we do. I always made the effort to not let that drag me down in any way, but I did get to the point where I realised I was going nowhere and needed to fix that. I became the whipping boy and, let’s be honest, a laughing stock. Please don’t pick things up the wrong way; I don’t see it as having turned my back on anyone or anything. I still love WrestleZone and it’s a major part of my day-to-day life. Like I said before, the fans here have been great to me and I get to share a locker room with some of my best friends. I’ve done my best to be a ‘company guy’ for a good few years now, doing my bit whenever, wherever and however I could. All that’s changed is that I now realise that due to that I haven’t been looking out for my own career as much as I should have been. My standing has obviously suffered as a result and I need to change that. I need to get back to a level that I know I can be at. I have to know.
Now that you’re back in a team, have you got your sights set on the Tag Team Championships again? Or would you rather focus your attention on making Scotty Swift’s life a living hell?
This isn’t about Scotty Swift. Seriously, it isn’t. Nor is it about Johnny Lions for that matter. This is nothing personal to anyone else except me, my attention is now focused firmly on myself. Scott is Mr WrestleZone, think of one and you think of the other. He’s a big fish, but unfortunately that also makes him a very visible target. I had to make a statement so that people around here would take notice. By focusing on Swifty, I think I achieved that. He has every right to be pissed off about it, but I can’t keep worrying what everyone else thinks about stuff. William has his own reasons for doing things how he does them, but he’s sharp, and I take the advice he gives out. So far, it seems to be working. I can’t forget what William Sterling did to me or what it led to, but I can’t deny that my best moments in wrestling were when I called him my tag team partner. The belts are my goal. The highest level I reached in WZ was wearing tag team gold but I never pushed on from there. If I can get back to that level then I’ll have proved to myself that I still have something to offer. I need to reset things back to 2014, because I got lost along the way. Scotty and Johnny are also aiming for the Tag Team Titles, so yes, in that regard I suppose it does make them opponents and targets, same as any other team in WrestleZone.
When you’re not in the ring, you’re taking classes at the WrestleZone Training Academy. 2018 saw several new names come through the ranks, including Ryan Riley, The Outfit, Anastasia, and Lord Michael of Graham. How proud have you been of all these names (as well as the previously graduated guys) to make it this far?
Extremely. I enjoy coaching, I like seeing things click into place for someone and them opening their minds to all things wrestling. If they are willing to listen and I can make them think the right way then I consider it a win. There has been some really good talent come through the doors of the academy, people with a hell of a lot of potential, and I want to see them all go as far as they can, in WZ and elsewhere. Some are already doing that. What I need to do is give myself the same focus that I give to these guys each and every week. There’s still time for me to take advantage of all the chances that I want them to have.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
With any luck, having dug myself out of this hole that I made for myself. I’d like that to not have to take 5 years, mind you. Thriving and surviving, let’s go with that as a good old-fashioned clichéd goal.
Where can fans find you on social media?
Better yet, put down your phones, get yourself along to a live event and see me in person.
And finally, what does 2019 have in store for Blue Thunder?
Hopefully a big upside. Blue Thunder has far more time for Blue Thunder now, and that will make a difference. I still want to have a laugh and enjoy myself, but I’ve made a choice and it’ll bring one of two things; either I’ll prove that I can still have a big part to play in WrestleZone or I won’t.
Our thanks to Blue Thunder for taking the time out of his schedule to answer our questions.
If you wish to become a wrestler yourself and learn from the likes of Blue Thunder and Scotty Swift, you can do so either by messaging the WrestleZone Training Academy Facebook page or by dropping them an email on firstname.lastname@example.org!