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, Grant McIvor answers our questions.
What drew you into professional wrestling?
I was given Stone Cold and Big Boss Man figures by my aunt for Christmas one year. I wasn’t until the summer and being bored off school and with no football that I asked my dad to find it on TV for me. I watched one or two episodes of WCW Thunder for a few weeks until my friends where talking about guys like the Undertaker and The Rock. I had no idea who they were on about until they told me to watch WWF Raw and Smackdown instead and that first episode I saw blew my 8 year old mind. This big guy with a red mask slammed his biker brother through the ring, something called a TLC match was announced, this punk chick beat this annoying woman and her husband to be woman’s champ and this guy that “the People” just loved and went mental for. (August 21, 2000 RAW. Go watch it!)
Who were your favourite wrestlers growing up and who are your favourites now?
The first time I watched it I remember JR and King building up the appearance of The Rock like he was the biggest thing in the world and absolutely adoring him from then on. I even rage quit watching wrestling for nearly a year after he lost at WrestleMania 17. Guys like Jeff Hardy and Jericho were guys I would imitate with my brother, hitting out move on my parents’ bed. As I got older, I became more interested in guys like Edge, CM Punk and Eddie Guerrero, you can see a lot of their influences whenever I wrestle.
What made you decide to start training to be a wrestler and where did you start?
I got fed up of the day job being the only thing I did, so I started to look to the possibility of training. I went to see the Kelvin Brawl to see what Scottish Wrestling was like and thought it was brilliant. I got to see the quality of matches and shows that was possible in Scotland and seeing people like Nikki Storm/Cross, Noam Dar, Lionheart and Grado made me think I could do it myself. I started at Source Wrestling School a few months later, in September 2013, under Damo/Killian Dain and Mikey Whiplash. Took me 2 years to make my debut on a show, longer than what I wanted and nearly quit at one point feeling that maybe it just wasn’t for me but glad I stuck it out.
Who are your biggest influences in professional wrestling, as a fan and as a wrestler?
Guys like Edge, CM Punk, Jericho, Guerreros, The Rock and Michaels are guys from when I watch as a fan that I try to live up to (to name a few). As I got more and more into training and learning I started to look at the people around me. The work ethic and talent of guys like Joe Coffey is something I have tried to live up to as the standard bearer of Scottish Wrestling.
The people from Source like Nikki Cross, Damo and Polo that have been able to move on to promotions in America, Japan and all over the UK are people that I really look up to in the sense of their ability, work ethic and passion for what they do. Mikey Whiplash, BT Gunn, Lionheart, Joe Hendry and Drew Galloway that have worked to raise Scottish Wrestling to the platform it is on today are the guys that I want to be only the same level as and are that goal of where I want to be.
Who has been your favourite opponent(s) and do you have a favourite match?
I don’t really think of matches that I’ve had a favourite. I can come back from a match enjoying it but the more I go over in my head what I could have done instead almost sours it for me. I can say that I like my recent matches with Alexander Darwin MacAllan, really due to the contrast of how they were compared to a match very early on when we started and shows how far we’ve come in that period. As far as opponents go ADM is someone I do believe I can have great matches and tell great stories with. I could wrestle Kieran Kelly every week, the Don Henley to my Joe Walsh. He’s that good and just gels well with me like he does everyone else (Still can’t stand him). Massimo Italiano, we never had a one on one match on show but had numerous training matches with him that helped shape how I work today.
What has been your career highlight(s) so far?
Being able to wrestle in front of 1000 people at a show for SWA. It was a last minute trainee match that was advertised so was an incredible bonus and felt extremely fortunate to be able to experience that early on in my career and a goal to make a common occurrence. Being part of the tournament for the inaugural Source Championship was special, being part of the school when it began to run it’s own shows and I was proud to be selected to participate amongst the number of great talent that Source has produced in the past 10 years. Making my debut for ICW this year was brilliant and a goal I’ve been wanting to achieve for a long time. ICW stands as one of the best promotions in Europe and being perceived as good enough to be on those shows makes me feel I’m on the right track.
Who would be your dream opponent, past or present?
Past, Eddie or Rock being my all-time favourites. Present, Kieran Ke- kidding. Cena or AJ would be my present-day choices. Two guys that are absolutely brilliant at what they do and performed at the highest level for years.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
5 years older. Honestly do not know. There are so many options open now than 5 years ago, so there are a number of things I could be doing. I want to be able to go around to places in Europe, America, Japan all the best places to graft with my craft. I could still just be doing shows in Scotland or UK, I could be travelling and working full time, have a contract with a big company or I could be outside of wrestling altogether, as long as I’m happy. I just want to do this as much as possible, as long as possible while I love it.
Where can we find you on social media?
Facebook: Grant McIvor
And finally, why do you do what you do?
Genuinely don’t have a proper answer for that. I’m a big kid that still loves the wrestling, get to act like I did when I was younger and be creative and tell these stories on shows. It’s just something I want and have to do and find it fulfilling whenever we put on a great match or show.
Thank you to Grant for answering our questions.
Photo credit David J Wilson.