First of all, please tell us a little about yourself including how long you've been wrestling, what companies you've worked in and one's that you currently work in and some of your career highlights.
Hi I go by the name Big Joe, big "fucking" Joe depending on the type of show. I've been wrestling or at least trying to wrestle for around 10 years now. I've worked for promotions as diverse as All-star to RISE and even did a male guest match on an early pro wrestling EVE show. That was pretty sweet as I got to work [with] Tommy Dreamer which year old [me,] I was super happy about.
Where did you train to become a wrestler?
I first got in by training with the UK Pitbull’s and then after half a year or so started also training with WAW and the Knight family. The Pitbull’s were awesome and always told me to train with everyone you possibly can. This is the best advice for people starting out. I owe those guys a lot!
For those unaware who you are, how would you describe your style and character?
Style wise it depends on the show. I tend to mainly work family shows, so it's a standard type deal depending on who I'm working. But it's the over 18's show which is where the fun is. I can pretty much do what I want to do on these shows. I like fun old school type brawls. My favourite era as a kid was watching FMW / ECW tapes. So anything I can do to try create mayhem is what I go for.
What would you consider the hardest part about being a professional athlete?
The hardest part of wrestling isn't the actual physical part or the super long car journeys. I'd say it's the struggle of the struggle, to keep plugging away at it and go against being a conventional adult. Turning up at the school gates wearing a wrestling shirt and bruised / cut up from the night before whilst all the other dads are there with their dress shirts and brown shoes sometimes make you question things.
Who are your favourite, and who would be your dream opponents, to face? And do you think you could beat them in their prime?
As a young kid my favourites were the likes of sting / ultimate warrior but then as I got into my early teens it was the likes of Mick Foley / Nick Mondo. Dream opponent wise I can't really think of anyone off hand as I never think of things like that. I guess to give you an answer I'll go with Necro-Butcher or the wife beater. That would be pretty rad
You’ve been known as a death match / hardcore wrestler. Why death match wrestling? Why not a normal family friendly type shows?
I wouldn't say I'm known as a death match wrestler. I wouldn't even say I'm known as anything. But the appeal of death match stuff to me is that I just find it fun to participate in.
How does it feel knowing there's people out there who say you're delusional or stupid for doing such a thing?
Delusional is a bit harsh as I don't know what I'm being delusional to. However stupid is correct. Life's too short to really care too much.
What would you say to those people who say death match wrestling is “fucking stupid” and “only a redneck/untrained wrestler would do it”, despite there being so many talented technical/grappler wrestlers that have done death matches?
Deathmatch wrestling as in normal wrestling is one of those things. You'll never convert people that don't get it so there's no point really trying. For me it's just a different genre, much like horror movie or punk rock. It's less mainstream and conventional, but it's what I'm into. That's not to say I don't like Adam Sandler movies or the Vengaboys. It's all relative.
How do you prepare for such matches as opposed to a standard match?
It's the same preparation, stretching etc. It's no different.
Why do it? Why do death match wrestlers subject themselves to the pain, blood and scars?
Why not? Life's short, WW3 could happen tomorrow, so do what you want whilst you can.
What are your favourite and least favourite death match/hardcore stipulation/match types?
Favourite would have to be the FMW exploding death match. They're always such a spectacle and so absurd. I love them. My least favourite would be something like a tables match when the tables are doors or something equally crap
Could you tell us the worst decision you ever made in a match?
The worst decision by far is to wrestle in Y-fronts. It's pretty cheap attire and they do well selling them on the black market jokes. But a lot can go wrong with them. Not to mention getting barbed-wire stuck in my crotch.
Has there ever been a point in a match where you’ve said to yourself “fuck it, I’m not doing this shit”?
What was the craziest spot you’ve done?
Craziest would easily be having WAGNER of X-factor fame hitting me with a chair "the world’s worst chair shot" in a death match. Just for the absurdity of it.
What is the most unique weapon you’ve seen or used in a match?
That's a hard one we used a bag of old school WWF Hasbro figures and even the Hasbro ring in a match. I don't think that's been done before. Maybe for a good reason. But you can't really top stuff like scorpions and all the silly stuff done in Japan.
What's the most fucked up thing you would do that wouldn’t end your career?
I really can't think of a good answer to that. Anything in theory can fuck your career up. I've seen people retire because they've messed their legs up on a leap frog. Sorry for the lame response
If you could challenge any “PG wrestler” to a death match, who would it be?
That's a tough one as if someone's not up for it then it could be a really lame match. I'll go with whoever will get me the biggest pay day. So someone that would at least garner two hotdogs and several handshakes
Can you tell us if there has ever been a point where you got so badly hurt you thought your career was over, or potentially could be over?
Luckily not yet
If you had the chance to go back in time, but know the impact death match wrestling would take on your body, would you still do it?
Yeah I would. It's defo worth checking out Nick Mondo's the trade documentary in regards to that question. You can check it out on amazon prime.
Any other dates/future appearances of yourself that you'd like to plug?
I'll be at the gathering of the Juggalo's for JCW on the Thursday night so if anyone is going come hit me up. Cold brewskis are much welcome. I'm also doing a death match for the RISE promotion in Leeds UK coming up soon. I'm really bad for dates but if you care then add me on social media.
Anything else you'd like to add / give thanks to anyone / shout out to any companies / people?
Thanks to anyone that's ever booked me / worked me / bought a t-shirt / put me over ha-ha.
There are so many cool things happening in the UK at the moment. I'll plug RISE as they let me do whatever crazy stupid stuff I want. Here's a link
Thanks for anyone who took the time to read / put up with this interview. Keep supporting the Indies / death match wrestling. Like what you like and if you don't like something then don't be a troll! Life's too short