The wrestling business over the last couple of years could accurately be described as “unconventional” which has made it especially interesting to industry commentators and participants alike.
My career path in the last two years is in many ways a fun representation of the same plight as it too has been pretty unconventional but without a doubt the most interesting and rewarding period of my career.
Part of the reason for this is that I’ve been a part of a huge variety of unique one-off shows all over the world…
An historic title defense in a sports arena in Wenzhou, China, the groundbreaking All In event in a sold out Sears Centre in Chicago which followed a title defense at a state fair in West Virginia (stay humble kids) and who could forget the theme park in Australia where I made my entrance in the shadow of the “Little Beaut Toot Toot” ride while Hall of Famer Mick Foley gazed in awe.
The Hardcore Legend was also in attandance at a more recent event which definitely falls into the “interesting and/or special” category.
In May, I defended the title at Fightmare, the biggest event in history for WAW, the long-running promotion run by the Knight Family, most recently known for being the subject of the movie Fighting with My Family.
But the Knights have a different relevance to me as WAW is where I got my start in wrestling, so it was very cool to appear at this event, held at Carrow Road stadium, home of newly-promoted Norwich City.
WAW have been getting a lot of media coverage in the local area thanks to the movie but also their relationship with the club thanks to the participation of Grant Holt, former player turned part-time pro wrestler.
Thanks to Holty, the family could realize a long dream of putting on a wrestling event at the stadium in their home city.
I’ve been impressed with Grant’s efforts so far; he’s obviously very green but his enthusiasm and passion makes up for his lack of experience. He will continue to improve if he keeps at it. Holty’s new found career gave me pause to wonder about which other professional footballers might have made good pro wrestlers.
Here’s my top five:
- Vinnie Jones: Any fan from the 90s knows that Vinnie Jones has to top the list. The former “Crazy Gang” member has parlayed his no-nonsense style of play and tough demeanor into an acting career. But if he ever decided to blend sports and entertainment then he would have been great for pro wrestling because he has the ever-elusive “it factor”.
- Romelu Lukaku: Great physique, strong, athletic and with a flare that the true deadly strikers always seem to have, Lukaku could have probably done anything athletically he wanted, and with his excellent facial expressions and cool name, I include pro wrestling in that.
- Mario Balotelli: I like to think of Mario Balotelli as the Dennis Rodman of football. Completely eccentric, always controversial, but supremely talented almost to a fault. Some people just have that innate ability to attract controversy and publicity. Rodman had a positive impact on WCW in the 90s and I see no reason why Balotelli couldn’t do the same in the right setting.
- Eric Cantona: Another iconic player from the 90s who has enjoyed an acting career post-retirement, “King Eric” was a natural sports-entertainer. He always played with his now iconic up-turned collar, so he clearly understood branding and marketing, he was large, physical and charismatic, despite his less-than-stellar disciplinary record. Plus, he throws a helluva dropkick, just ask Matthew Simmons. He also delivered one of the greatest press conference speeches of all time: “When the Seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they thik sardines will be thrown into the sea, thank you very much.” Genius.
- Diego Maradonna: Some people are just special. Some just have the ability to be the best in their field and also be a total rollercoaster of human behaviour. Maradonna is exactly that, and this was never more evident than his Mexico ‘86 game against England where he managed to score the most famous goal of all time and the most infamous in the same damn game. Just his mythical status alone would be enough to have made him an effective wrestling villain, but the fact that he already has a great name for his finisher (The Hand of God) is just icing on the cake.
Information about the Author:
Nick Aldis, better known to some as Magnus from his career in TNA Wrestling, or Oblivion from his popular villain character on the SKY 1 TV show Gladiators, is an English pro wrestler, author and TV personality from West Norfolk.
He was the first British Wrestler to ever become recognized as World Champion. He is the current NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion.
You can now see Nick as part of the NWA at YouTube.com/NWA
He began his fitness journey at just 12 years old, and has never looked back, constantly staying in touch with every new development in the endless pursuit of self-improvement.
Nick accredits his success in his career to his dedication to diet and exercise, and now wants you to enjoy the benefits of being in great shape by reading his debut book “The Superstar Body”.
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