by Dave Adamson
Well, this list is going to be one of those where anyone familiar with wrestling in the North of England will be thinking “where’s <enter wrestler’s name here>?” Truth be told, it took some soul searching and wordsmithing. For every British wrestler I included, I had to overlook a number of quality up-and-comers. It was a challenge, and then I had to find matches to demonstrate them at, arguably, their finest.
After that apologetic opening, here’s ten of the best future star of British wrestling that you can see, quite regularly, in the North of England. Wait until I get onto the guys who mainly work as tag teams; now, there’s a challenge!
David Graves – The Grafter has won legions of wrestling fans across the North of England, with impressive showings at NGW, Grapple, 3CW, RISE, Tidal, True Grit, North Wrestling and many others, including successive tours with Megaslam. A superb, intense trilogy of matches against Liam Slater have established him as a premier quality worker, and his work as part of Team Sports/Ace Athletic shows that he’s got a fun loving streak, too!
Ace Matthews – The other half of Team Sports/Ace Athletic, Ace Matthews is a product of the NGW Academy in Hull. For those who have seen him in 3CW, they know how annoying he is on the microphone, but they can’t deny that, in the ring, he’s got talent. Hopefully, after a sojourn down to Futureshock with Graves, they’re both going to see much more exposure across England.
Amir Jordan – Trained at the former ProJo before moving up North and training with the likes of Marty Jones, El Ligero and Nathan Cruz, amongst many others, Amir Jordan has made his home in the North of England and, thanks to the respect his various trainers in the North and South have ingrained in him, has made a name for himself at companies around the country. Hard working, gregarious and has an entrance that gets people talking; it’s when he steps into the ring, though, that you see just how bright his future is.
Kip Sabian – Okay, technically he’s not from the North, but he resides near Leeds, so that counts. He’s also possibly the most recognised name on this list. Trained by the legendary Knight family, he honed his skills at WAW before spreading his wings, and what a skill set he has! He quickly became a fixture of Fight Factory Wrestling, making appearances at BWE, Tidal, NGW, BWR and many more places across the North of England. Already a regular at HOPE and Southside, he recently popped up on the Progress radar, which can only be a good thing for the larger than life man who calls himself Superbad.
Jack Bandicoot – Bandicoot is an odd one and he certainly stands out. He’s not the tallest of guys, but there’s something gangly about the way that he moves, as if he believes himself to be 6’ tall. That’s not a bad thing, as it makes him stand out wherever he appears, and Tidal, Grapple, True Grit and RISE have got in early with their appreciation of this character.
Matt Myers – The Amazing Matt Myers has been a centrepiece of NGW since its inception, facing some of the best of British with a pure, underdog attitude. A capable cruiserweight, singles and tag team wrestler (he’s currently part of Team SHAFT with the far too enthusiastic Kelvin Kayton in BWR), he has the ability to fit absolutely anywhere, on any show. Why he’s not seen further afield, I really don’t know, perhaps his new alter ego, Chuck Wood, a lumberjack who wields an axe, not for trees, but for his mighty beard, will be the making of this stalwart of the squared circle!
Dom Black – Black has been around for quite some time, but it’s only in the past year or so that he’s really found his feet again thanks to great work in North Wrestling, a hometown hero run in True Grit and appearances elsewhere, including in Europe. Despite all this, he seems to consistently fly under the radar, but with confident displays wherever he appears.
Luke Menzies – A former rugby player, you can’t help but be taken about by how imposing Menzies is when you see him up close, and that’s part of the reason he’s getting the exposure he’s getting, with Defiant taking an interest, adding to his resume that so far includes NGW, Tidal, 3CW, Grapple, True Grit, RISE and others. It’s when he moves that you see the influence of Marty Jones and El Ligero, both of whom train him, in his work. There’s every chance he’ll be snapped up by WWE in the very near future, until then, you’ll hopefully get to see him across the UK.
Joseph Biggs – A fixture in the North East, Joseph Biggs is one of those wrestlers that seems a bit hard to define. He’s as confident as a brawler as he is a cruiserweight and certainly deserves the attention he’s getting at companies such as RAD:PRO, Target Wrestling MEW, Almost Pro Wrestling and NGW. He’s stepped into the ring against some of the finest on the British wrestling scene and shows no signs of stopping his ascent.
Tyler Devlin – Devlin, based in the Grimsby area, is a bit of a conundrum. Primarily now finding himself in hardcore matches for BWR, he’s a more than capable wrestler in his own right. Hopefully, after his encounter with Drew Parker and an upcoming showing against Jimmy Havoc, Devlin will branch out further afield.
Hopefully his BWR matches will appear online in the near future.