‘Nothing to Prove’ – ELIJAH – (Insight series 04)

South Wales currently has a habit of premiering the latest flock of talent on the British independent scene and beyond. Mark Andrews, Nixon Newell, Eddie Dennis and The Wild Boar are but a few to mention.

ELIJAH is working relentlessly to add his name to the list. Don’t for one-second doubt him. After all, he has everything to prove…

For those that don’t yet know, who are you?

My name’s ELIJAH. I’m a PRO Wrestler.

‘What Happened To The Passion?’ (Photo Credit: The Ringside Perspective)

Why Professional Wrestling? What made you want to be a part of it -were you a fan growing up?                

I was a huge fan growing up. I was always hooked in by stories and I watched WWE PPV’s religiously.  I wanted to be a wrestler so badly.  I was always fairly athletic at school and I wanted to be just like the guys and girls I saw on TV! I looked into wrestling schools when I was about 17/18. But I was about 8 stone at the time and I knew I had to be at least a little bigger and stronger to do it, so it became a bit of an afterthought.

Did you have a favourite match/event when you were younger?

I’ve probably watched Wrestlemania 17 at least once a year since it happened so that probably make it my favourite event! As a kid, my favourite match was Triple H vs. Cactus Jack, the street fight from Royal Rumble 2000. That was the first PPV I had ever seen. I’m pretty sure I didn’t blink for the entirety of that match!

Let’s talk training. When did you start and where was it? Do you still train there now?

I started training mid-2015 at the Dragon Pro Academy, South Wales (Cardiff). Still do.

To follow on from the above, what goes into your training schedule? Do you find yourself to be regimented when it comes to your personal well-being outside of the ring and do you think that aids once inside the squared circle?

I lift weights in the gym 3-5 times a week, as well as training in the ring at least once a week, and I tend to do some bodyweight workouts at home too. I think it’s so important to put the time into training outside of the ring. You look better, you’re more capable and aware of your own body, and you’re less likely to get hurt.

KILL ALL GIMMICKS. (Photo Credit: The Ringside Perspective)

What about your first shot? If anyone, who would you credit with giving you your first proper opportunity in the business?

I’ve been blessed with a lot of opportunities really early on in my career. But if I had to credit one, I’d have to say Chris Brookes. He brought me into Attack! Pro Wrestling when I’d had no more than 20 matches, and last year I got to wrestle alongside him and Kid Lykos at Chikara’s King of Trio’s tournament!

To carry on from the last question, we’ve come to know you as a man bent on destroying anything in his path asking the question of ‘where’s the passion gone?’ – How did ELIJAH come to being?

“What happened to the passion?” is a line from a H2O song (What happened?). At the start of the band’s music video for the song, there’s a clip of Michael Rappaport criticising the New York music scene. Via several questions, and niche references he essentially confronts the “posers”. Those who are in it because it’s cool. He asks ‘What happened to passion? What happened to making music for the love of it?’ I parodied this whole clip for my debut at Attack (Attack! Pro Wrestling).

The ELIJAH character hates gimmicks, over-the-top characters, and anything that isn’t wrestling for the passion of pro wrestling. A lot of the imagery/music I use is based around the Hardcore scene too to tie it all in.

Brothers in arms. (Photo Credit: The Ringside Perspective)

ELIJAH has gone from a lone wolf of sorts to teaming with The Brotherhood in Chaos, and the notorious Nothing to Prove in Attack. Do you feel that it’s been necessary to evolve as you have in today’s scene to stay relevant?

I love wrestling on my own, and at the end of the day, everything I do is for ELIJAH. But with both The Brotherhood and Nothing to Prove, there’s a common theme. We’re taking over the places we’re wrestling. You can’t always do that alone. Now I’ve got like-minded people working together for a common goal. It might not last, but for now it seems to be working.

What was it like stepping out from behind the curtain for the first time in front of a paying audience? Where/who was it for and how would you describe the thoughts and feelings running through your head leading up to it?

I was nervous, but also weirdly comfortable. I’d done a short segment on a show the night before, so I think that eased me into it. I remember just being very aware of messing up. My first match was for Dragon Pro. It was a six-man tag match including Danny Jones, Mike Bird, Big Grizzly, L.K Mezinger and Bishop. Nothing can really prepare you for your first match. It’s just something that has to happen really. I think in the grand scheme of things, mine could have gone a lot worse!

Who are you currently working for? Are there any that stand out as a sort of ‘home’ promotion to you?

Attack! Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Chaos, SWA (Shropshire Wrestling Alliance), and Dragon Pro primarily. I’ve also made appearances at Chikara, Lucha Forever, and Fight Club Pro. There are a few more to add to the list in the coming months too! I’d say that Attack! probably feels the most like home to me, because I get a lot of storylines there. Sinking your teeth into a good storyline is great for developing both as a character and a wrestler. I’ve loved my storylines with Drew Parker, and more recently Chief Deputy Dunne.

Many (myself included) say that you’re one of the next breakout stars of the year. You took to wrestling like a fish takes to water. With that said what promotions would you like to work with that you haven’t yet had the opportunity to make your mark in?

I have one or two on my list that I’ll be ticking off in the coming months, and I’ve already ticked off several promotions that were dreams for me when I first started training. I don’t really want to list off places I want to work. There are so many incredible places to wrestle in the UK and beyond now, and if I’m supposed to wrestle there, it’ll happen. I do believe that.

Beloved by all. (Photo Credit: The Ringside Perspective)

Let’s switch gears a bit. What challenges have you faced coming into the business and how have you overcome them? Have you found the rumours of backstage politics to be true in your experience or do you try to stay out of such situations?

Size. I’m not a big dude. I’ve put on almost 10kg of muscle since I started, but I know I’ll never be “big”.  The only other issues I’ve really faced are minor injuries and the occasional over-thinking. As for backstage, it’s what you make of it. If I’m not a problem, there’s no problem.

Are you hard on yourself when something goes wrong? Do you find yourself watching/thinking back to what you could have done better? Can it be a hindrance being judgemental of your own performance or do you think it helps you to improve as a performer?

I’m my own biggest critic. I rarely watch a match back and feel good about it. I’d definitely rather be critical of myself than think I’m flawless. I’m very aware that I’m still young in my career. I have no delusions of grandeur!

To turn the above on its head, let’s talk achievements. What would you say you’re the proudest of so far?

To me, it’s the little things. I’m proud of moments. My first main event match, a good promo, a loud reaction for a near fall/surprising finish to a match, hearing a reaction to my entrance music somewhere new. Getting to work with my trainers, friends, and people I’ve looked up to.

Embassybingomania. (Photo Credit: The Ringside Perspective)

How about a favourite match you’ve taken part in yourself so far?

Despite hating his guts, I think my main event match with Chief Deputy Dunne at the recent EmbassyBingoMania (Attack’s Wrestlemania tie-in show) was something to be really proud of. Again, I feel like that comes back to my love for storylines. There’s something about the Walkabout venue in Cardiff. It has such a big show feel to it too, I’m not sure why. The match felt like a really big deal, and it went really well. I won.

Who would you say is the best wrestler you’ve stepped into the ring with so far? What was it about them that made it so and who would you like to tick off the bucket list in the next 12 months?

I can’t just name one here. I’ve wrestled the likes of Travis Banks, Mark Andrews, Damian Dunne, Eddie Dennis, Flash Morgan Webster… the list goes on. I think Mark and I have good chemistry together and I’d love to wrestle him again soon.  I have a few on my bucket list for this year. I had a bit of a brawl with Chris Brookes and Pete Dunne in January, but I’d love to go one-on-one with both. To name a few; Jordan Devlin, Chris Ridgeway, Millie McKenzie, Dick Riley and…. Session Moth Martina!

What are your long-term aspirations in the business? Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I’m sure it’s the same answer you always get to this question. I want to wrestle as much as possible and make wrestling my main source of income. I want to wrestle for WWE. In 5 years’ time, I see myself as a mainstay of some of the major promotions in the UK.

Aside from you, is there anyone out on the current Indy scene that we should keep a look out for?

Nope. Just watch me.

One last thing – has ELIJAH got any social media links so that the people out there can find you?

I’m @ELIJAHWrestler on Twitter and on Instagram. I have a Facebook page I don’t use all that much, but I tend to upload my MV’s (Music Videos) on there as well as on YouTube.

Merch is available at https://www.elijahwrestler.bigcartel.com

NOTHING TO PROVE. (Photo Credit: The Ringside Perspective)

Since conducting this interview, ELIJAH has made another monumental step towards the next chapter of his career. Nothing to Prove has revealed their leader to be none other than ‘The Attack Original’ – Eddie Dennis. Now aligned with Dennis, L.K. Mezinger and ‘The Urchin Prince’ Drew Parker, all four members of Nothing to Prove seem Hell-bent on ‘Destroying all gimmicks’ and ‘Bringing Attack! into the 21st century’…

The future of Attack! Pro Wrestling is uncertain…

*I’d advise viewer discretion for the attached tweet from Attack! Pro Wrestling’s ‘Lifestyles of the Weird and Wonderful’ below…

 

Joshua White – Steelchair Magazine 2018.