‘Embrace Brick Lane’ – Owen Charles (Insight Series 01)

Life has a strange way of working things out. I had met Charlie (Owen) back at Progress Wrestling’s ‘Chapter 36: We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Room Again’ back in 2016 having spoken as friends online months prior. We spoke briefly about his aspirations to get into the ring and the fact that he’d been training with the HOPE Academy in preparation for his debut.

I left that night full of hope (pun fully intended) that he would make it. From that one conversation, I knew that the man you’ll all come to know as Owen Charles, lives and breathes pro wrestling. So it’s only right that the spotlight is given to one of the good guys.

Embrace Owen Charles. Embrace the future.

So, who are you for those who don’t know? Why pro wrestling, and what, if anything influenced your decision to get involved in the wonderful world of the graps?

My name’s Owen Charles, I’m 21 and have been involved in wrestling for 3 years now. I started off refereeing, and have since started wrestling on shows since November 2016. I was a fan of pro wrestling because of primary school. I moved to a new school when I was 11, and it was the thing everyone watched. I stopped watching, along with my peers when I grew up. However, I started getting bullied at school and filled my time watching wrestling, instead of having friends. I ended up getting involved in wrestling personally due to a friend, the very good photographer Brett Hadley! He shoots HOPE shows, which opened up a school locally. I went along, and the rest, as they say, is history.

‘You want this?’ Owen Charles defiantly stares down the crowd, ready for whatever challenge stands in front.

You mentioned briefly about getting your start in the business as a referee. Can you tell us a little more about that?

I refereed for hope when they had a Milton Keynes branch. They’ve now changed to APEX. I have also refereed for GOOD, as well as HOPE up north.

You’ve mentioned HOPE a few times. Do you still work for them and where else have you worked?

I currently work for Sacrifice PRO, WIN Wrestling, DOA, and HOPE’s version of NXT – HOPE: FUTR. I’m super grateful to everyone that believes I’m good enough to be on their shows and am looking for that list to grow this year!

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Any promotions in particular stand out on the list?

I’d like to wrestle for GOOD, PROGRESS and HOPE (HOPE itself, not FUTR) this year. Anyone of those in the next 10 months would be great!

Let’s talk influences. Many in the business would say they aspire to be an Austin, Styles, Okada and so on. Who inspires Owen Charles?

The current scene is super strong right now. Being personally involved with it, you notice so much change – what’s the current ‘in’ thing, and what you need to do to keep up with wrestling in general. So in that sense, I guess my influence is wrestling itself.

You say that wrestling itself inspires you. That being given, the floor is wide open for my next question. Favourite match you’ve watched? 

This feels somewhat controversial to say, but I don’t know if I have a “favourite match”. The first match I remember watching was Big Show vs John Cena for the United States championship at Wrestlemania 20. So I guess that holds a special place in my heart.

Interesting choice! How about a favourite match you’ve been involved in?

My favourite match I’ve been involved in was myself and my tag team partner (Shogun J) as part of Brick Lane against Team MAD (Danny Mayhem & Chase Williams) for the Saints of Sacrifice tag team championship. Winning the titles for the first time and knowing we’d worked hard and shown the right people we deserved that opportunity was an amazing feeling.

‘Saints Of Sacrifice’ – Owen and Shogun pose with their tag team championships, the rest of Brick Lane in tow. (Photo Credit: Y2GRAE)

Does anyone else stand out for you?

I really enjoy working with The Hit Set (Kieran Kurupt and Alexander Roth). We’ve had two matches and currently have one win each. They’re both super good and have charisma coming out of all their orifices – (sorry for using the word orifices). I’d love to get back in the ring and have that all-important rubber match!

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Tell us a bit more about working with Shogun J – you tagged together first as the Bromantics is that right?

That’s right; I’ve tagged with Shogun J in the Bromantics since 2016. It’s the best. It’s great having someone to bounce ideas off. Especially to tell you when your ideas are stupid, so you don’t go out there and make yourself look like an idiot. I’ve tagged with Jay (Shogun J) in Brick Lane for less time, but I love it just as much. Its new characters for us – working heel as opposed to myself and Shogun working face as the Bromantics. Having a support network behind you makes this “job” so much easier. And you grow really strong, emotional friendships.

‘Deffo Just Mates’ – Owen and Shogun J as The Bromantics

How are you finding it working as a heel? Do you still get that ‘rush’ when you head out to perform?

I’m really enjoying working heel. But there’s so much to learn. It’s almost like I’ve started from the beginning again. I just enjoy being able to get out into the ring and do what I love. I don’t get a rush. I get nervous. I’m my own worst critic. If I do something wrong, I’ll beat myself up until I get a chance to correct it in my next match. And being at the level I am, it can sometimes be up to two weeks.

So do you find yourself watching tapes back to see where you can improve?

I always watch my own back. Like I’ve said because I’m so judgemental about myself, I have a tendency to micro analyse everything.

You talk about being hard on yourself, so let’s talk adversity. Have you faced any struggles coming into the business, and if so how have you worked to overcome them?

There’s a lot of drama and nonsense in wrestling. However, I try to stay away from all of the politics. The main struggle I’ve faced is injuries. I was supposed to debut a lot earlier than I did. Unfortunately, I damaged my neck which put me back a few months. Because of this, I’ve realised how important looking after your body is, from stretching, to seeing physios/osteopaths, and so on.

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We can both appreciate just how strong the independent scene in the UK is right now. To that point, is there anyone that you’d like to face?

I really want to face CCK (Kid Lykos & Chris Brookes) again. Me and Shogun (Shogun J) have faced them before and lost (as The Bromantics). At the time everyone said it was my best match; however, I know for a fact as a tag team me and Shogun are miles better since then, and could put on a much better match with the CCK boys.

What about long-term aspirations? Where do you see yourself in the future?

I believe in setting mini goals, with the level of said goals increasing. For example, my first goal in wrestling was to win a championship (Saints of Sacrifice tag team championship). Now it’s to wrestle for certain promotions. It’s super hard to keep up in this business as I said earlier, so I think keeping grounded and setting achievable goals is super important.

One last thing before we wrap up – social media links so the good people reading this can find you!

You can find me on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram via the username @OhhhhCharles (that’s 4 h’s) – 1, 2, and 3 h’s we’re all taken…

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ohhhhcharles?lang=en

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OhhhhCharles/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ohhhhcharles/

Thanks again for doing this, and remember – ‘Embrace Owen Charles’

 Joshua White – Steelchair Magazine 2018.