Thanks for taking your time out of your schedule to do this interview with us.
First of all, please tell us a little about yourself (how long you've been wrestling, companies you've worked in/career highlights).
Hi guys, my name is Andy Wild and I am an Independent British Wrestler of 12 years. I have been fortunate enough in that time to wrestle in the UK, Europe and America earning Championship Titles in ICW, PWE, WZ Scotland and BCW to name a few.
Where did you train to become a wrestler?
I started my training at NWA-UK Hammerlock under the guidance of Andre Baker, Zack Sabre Jr, Jon Ryan and Johnny Moss. I also trained on a few occasions with NWA-UK Wales and NWA-UK Ireland under Paul Tracey and Finn Balor. After that I spent a short time training with W3L then moved to SPWA (Now the PBW Academy) coached by Kid Fite which is where I would train for 5-6 years.
For those unaware who you are, how would you describe your style and character?
My style is a hybrid of the British/Catch style of wrestling I learned early on from the guys at Hammerlock, explosive strength and power from my powerlifting/strongman style of in gym training and the aggressive, killer instinct attitude that was beaten into me for years at SPWA.
Who are your favourite wrestlers, and who would be your dream opponent to face?
I grew up mesmerised by the cruiserweight/lucha libre style of wrestling. After years of studying it I slowly started to realise my real passion was for the wrestlers keeping these guys on the ground – William Regal, Dean Malenko, Dave Taylor, Fit Finlay to name a few. My dream opponent would be Rey Mysterio, its was him that captured my imagination as a child and led me onto the path of becoming a wrestler myself.
What is your opinion on the current state of pro wrestling in the UK?
It’s like a dream. The fact that there is the opportunity to make a full time living from professional wrestling in the UK now is unbelievable. Long may it last!
There has been many changes to wrestling within the UK over the past few months, with the relaunch of World of Sport & NXT UK, does this change affect your outlook on wrestling and/or your future?
The changes, in my opinion, have all been positive. Opportunities are endless both on the independent scene and for people within contracts. For me at the moment it is a very exciting time, I have been working tirelessly to raise my profile within the UK as a credible heavyweight wrestler, I look for to seeing what 2019 holds for me.
Speaking of NXT UK, you were part of the WWE UK tryouts in Manchester last year. Can you tell us your experience and how the opportunity came about?
The experience of being part of the WWE Tryout process was incredible. The chance to be in the ring with the best coaches in the world was one of the best experiences I have had in wrestling. Basically, I made contact with the WWE and put my name forward for it and was lucky enough to get a reply.
Some of those have received WWE contracts within their NXT UK brand. If given the opportunity, would you be interested in joining NXT UK or World of Sport?
Yes, it’s what I’m working towards. To be in the position to earn a living from the sport I love would a dream.
What is your take on the World of Sport and NXT UK? And how the shows are / talent booked?
I can’t comment on the booking side of things as, luckily for me, I’m not a booker. As a fan I’m really enjoying both products and it is nice to see people I know work really hard get a chance to show off their abilities and to grow and learn. Look at guys like Joe and Mark Coffey, how long have they been under contract? 6 months? And already look and wrestle like absolute stars, they already look ready for the main roster.
How does it feel knowing that companies you’ve worked with, such as Scotland’s ICW, are helping to put British Wrestling back on the map?
It’s been very nice to be part of it all. We have guys like Doug Williams to thank for towing the line for years when there wasn’t anything going for the UK guys. I feel like the only way is up for the UK scene now, very nice position for people breaking through.
Speaking of ICW, you made a return at Barramania 4, sadly losing to Mark Coffey. How do you feel your match went and what were your thoughts on your return?
I loved every minute of it, it’s never good losing a match but it’s what you do when you are out there that matters. I feel I managed to show what I’m about in that match and that lead towards me being offered a full time place on the ICW roster again. Job done.
You came out to a huge pop at ICW France ‘99, and recently headlined an Aberdeen show, when are you next going to ICW?
Yeah, that was a really nice feeling I’ve got to say. I had sat at home contemplating whether turning up even though I wasn’t booked and just asking for a fight would pay off or not but I was very well received and ended up fighting one of the best wrestlers Scotland has ever produced.
Moving forwards, who knows? Myself and Mark Dallas haven’t exactly seen eye to eye in recent months and, unfortunately for me, he owns the company. That being said, after being so well received the last few times, turning up for an unannounced Wild Night Out might just be on the cards.
Who would you say was your favourite opponent and who was your toughest opponent to date and why?
My favourite opponents and toughest opponents always fall into the same category, at the end of the day British Wrestlers are fighters full of pride in what we do so anytime we are in the ring with someone that pushes our ability we are happy. Guys like Noam Dar, Liam Thomson, Wolfgang and Lionheart always bring out the best in me.
PROGRESS Wrestling made history having the biggest show in England for the past 30 years at Wembley Arena. ICW had the biggest show in the UK when they made their SSE Hydro debut in 2016. Do you see more UK promotions putting on huge independent shows?
I really hope so. For wrestlers and fans alike you can’t beat a big show feeling.
What are your intentions going forward in your career?
I intend to keep working hard for both myself and the people that support me. I have 12 years of experience, I’m 6 foot tall, I weigh close to 20 stone and I’m unsigned. I feel this opens a lot of doors for me in 2019 within the UK independent scene. I have never been so ready in my career to run with the ball as I am now.
Thank you for your time, Andy. This concludes our interview.
Anything else you'd like to add / give thanks?
I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has got behind me and supported me at shows over the last year. You guys have shouted so loud that promoters have listened and it has made 2018 my most enjoyable and successful year in wrestling. Big thanks to my wife-to-be, Hannah and my son The Wildest Wilboy, Jacob.
Thank you, Andy. Follow Andy Wild on the links below and check out his 2018 highlight reel!