I recently caught up with one half of the newly crowned Platinum Wrestling Enterprises Tag Team Champion’s Josh Shooter. Australian born wrestler Josh Shooter began his career in wrestling during 2008, and has carved a name from himself throughout this time in Australia, Japan and also made inroads in the UK.
Firstly, did you have a good birthday, you were wrestling over that weekend weren’t you?
It was grand. It consisted of wrestling down at Outback Championship Wrestling and Warzone, both in tag team action over the weekend while enjoying the simple things such as burgers and horror movies. Always pleasant seeing something abnormal and feared succeed in their goals.
You were trained under Mike Burr and Mike Manson at the Alpha Pro Wrestling Training Academy back in 2008, looking back at that how did you find the training?
Intense. It had more people turned away and ‘broken’ than actually made due to the training that separated the boys from the men. Whether it was the drills or the squats; Mike Burr made sure to hold no punches when giving criticism on how to fix people’s flaws and bring the best out in them. Sadly even established wrestlers that came in wouldn’t like to hear on their areas to improve from Burr’s amazing mindset.
In 2011 you went to train with Booker T for 6 weeks, how was that experience and what did you take from it?
I took so much away I was unable to process it all. Lucky enough, Being a student of the game I brought notepads and took everything down like I was an ambitious university student. Little things never “clicked” and made sense till a few years later so it was definitely teachings that has made me adaptable to every style and situation that would pay off in years to come.
You made your debut in Big Japan Pro Wrestling in the Kōrakuen Hall in 2013, your thoughts on that night and the reception you received?
It was pure luck that I had work with Big Japan Pro Wrestling at such a young age of 19 and for them to casually tell me that I will be debuting at the world famous Korakuen Hall was overwhelming. I was tagging with Shinya Ishikawa at the time and for majority of the tour; turned out to be the saving grace there because he briefly competed in England for a handful of promotions such as IPW;UK so he had amazing english that helped. Sadly my debut match was taken off youtube as most matches that aired on Samurai Tv was uploaded; so bonus points for anyone that can chase that up.
Your have been quoted saying that the main event of Wrestlemania 20 is your favourite match of all time, what made you chose that match?
Someone asked me what a standout WrestleMania match is as that came to memory from recently watching it when I answered it. A fave match of mine from memory would be Naomichi Marufuji vs Roderick Strong for the style clashes and constant fight between these two great wrestlers, Nigel Mcguinness vs Danielson as it was a stretched out rivalry that I felt invested in the whole time, if not Masato Tanaka vs Mike Awesome was a great story of a powerhouse vs an underdog / striker from ECW days.
You have faced some awesome wrestlers in your career so far, who could be fantasy opponent be, past, present, and in any promotion?
Tough question with the variety of talent that is out there. Roderick strong,James Davis, Mcguiness, Ospreay, Dowie James, Jimmy Havoc, Taz, John Moss, Bret Hart, Bryan Danielson and more so those wrestlers that are about the fight, work rate and in it for a fight more than the razzle dazzle like the Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan’s.
This year House of Hardcore joined with Outback City Wrestling to perform in front of a sell out show of 1200 fans, you teamed with Dowie James, Josh Shooter, JXT & Mike Burr in a fantastic eight man tag match, how was it working on such a massive show?
Self named team of Super-Juice- XT- inc. in a non stop 10 man tag match that I believe was equal match of the night next to Adam Brooks vs Syd Parker. It might be the aspect that the Australians knew how to react and give the Australian audience what they want or it could be the fact we are competitive and outworked everyone. The atmosphere that night was astonishing
Last year, you were in the UK, part of IPW:UK, BCW, Progress ENDVR and many more, what is your thoughts on the Wrestling Industry in the UK?
Outstanding! A league of its own; hence my ambition being sparked to move overseas to learn their style, adapt and overcome all that comes my way. I met some people that I will call friends for a long time and then met some people who inspire as the likes of Jimmy Havoc and John Moss. The industry over there is booming where some people are competing as full time independent wrestlers year round were at times they will open a show and main event another. Fans are spoilt with talent and constant internationals appearing on shows from Southside, to Progress in London to Futureshock based in Manchester where I faced the underrated Zack Gibson, Liverpool’s finest.
Will Ospreay produced a checklist for his career, he mentioned Melbourne City Wrestling, your response, “Please came to MCW so I can kill your hype”, want to explain that in more detail?
I say this in regards to I have my best matches against smaller guys from Dowie James, Cletus, Ryan Rollins, Zak Douglas and many others. We gel well and tell a better story out their. Being as young as I am I feel it’s time to test our ambitions, mindset and styles to define who is the better wrestler here.
Speaking of Will Ospreay, and Cruiserweight wrestlers who have made an impact this year, what are your thoughts on the division between the new high flying wrestling compared to that of wrestling of twenty years ago?
Wrestling evolves but it will become old and old will be new again in the same sense on why people are going wild over the unique aspect of Zac Sabre Jr’s mat wrestling ability where it was regularly seen on world of sport. Everyone has there own style they are a fan of and to some degree their own time era or territory in wrestling they area fan of i believe.
In your own list you mentioned that you’d want to move to England, why is that?
No ego in the following statement; I am 23 years old, lean at 103 kgs, outworking most people, more ambitious than most people I am in any given room and I have wrestled most people I rate within this country and there is a whole other country (or continent in europe) to take over and test my craft against the best it has to offer. I respect wrestling for the competitive side it has to offer and between their unique hold for hold mat wrestling and unique stories they tell, I rate the UK scene as one of the best in the world at the moment.
We have discussed your debut in Japan, training with Booker T, but to you what would you say has been your biggest achievement so far?
That’s hard to define. Training with James Davis and John Moss gave me great technique that helped me stay above the cut but Davis Storm in perth and Jimmy Havoc helped my understanding
of wrestling. Achievement wise it would be between finally debuting on a progress show and Korakuen Hall in japan because I worked and strived so hard for them yet my Australian goal would be to obtain either the OCW championship or the MCW Inter Commonwealth Championship before I leave again.
Earlier we discussed your Birthday and how you travelled between Outback Wrestling in Melbourne & Warzone in Victoria, those are one of many sacrifices wrestlers make, is it safe to say to actively become a success you have to make those sacrifices?
Yes but if you love what you do this wont be considered a sacrifice. Chances are of finding a partner that understands the commitment or a strong female fan base is low, supportive of hours required, certain nutritional value of meals that need to be calculated and many other aspects.
What do you say to those fans or new wrestlers who want to want to become a wrestler?
Look at a credible school with credible coaches that make their wrestling look smooth, believable, have a list or successful achievements or student that have gone onto bigger and better things. Doesn’t matter where you finally decided to start just keep working, wrestling and out work everyone in the class. The learning doesn’t stop once you leave the ring. Learn the history of the sport, watch characters with personalities in movies, hit the gym, learn about nutrition, the mindset of champion and what those that have been successful, have done.
Australia has some excellent promotions at the moment, to fans who have not seen them, what ones would you recommend and what sets them apart from what fans may regular see?
I work for every promotion bar one in Melbourne but in regards to what is the cream of the crop? Perth has EPW, Adelaide has either Rampage (home of WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic competitior Damien Slater) or Riot City Wrestling, NSW I would tip my hat to what they are doing at Newcastle pro, Queensland has AWA leading the pack up their and down here in Melbourne; Melbourne City wrestling being my home is the clear stand out but Outback Championship wrestling has given myself great opportunities to wrestle big names with a variety of a roster working on their craft.
Also fan interest in Australian Wrestling has grown significantly in recent years, why do you think that is?
There is a better ratio of good to bad wrestling. I mean that in a way of more people these days care about their craft enough to travel to get training to have a point of difference, invest in themselves to have a better image, increasing their own name value, more professionalism and with more people with a mindset to be the very best, there can only be limited spots for wrestlers on the very best shows. Making it more competitive and cutthroat even.
A question to pick your opinion on, Women in Wrestling during the last two years are finally given the chance to show what they can do in the ring, fans have definitely seen that from Evie, Kellyanne and Erica Reid your thoughts on this?
They have been booming and as they should. They work harder than most people and you wont ever find a female wrestler that has my heart for wrestling than Kellyanne; in a non biased opinion I think she is one of the best female wrestlers in the world. Adam Brooks and her facing tag teams really does show there is no male and female competitors rather than ‘wrestlers’. If you can have a heavyweight face a guy 60+ kilograms smaller than him then why is a female vs male any different? If people want to say it promotes domestic abuse then I would tell them to wait until it comes full circle because most of the time the female will rise above and hold her own.
It has been documented that you’re a massive of Pokemon as well as DragonBallZ, any recommendations?
Well depends where you start. The Dragon Ball GT saga is terrible and Dragon Ball has no main characters worked in yet but is great for the backstory for a younger Goku, heel Piccolo, Master Roshi that teaches him the Kamehameha wave attack as well as the friendship of Goku and Krillin. Dragon Ball Z has many different sagas with different heels from the nostalgic Dr.Geo with the red ribbon army and cause for creating the androids and Cell (Named cell after being a gene pool from the best Z warriors in the world from Tien, Yamcha to Piccolo and Vegeta) but I love the dynamic character development of Buu for as he’s intentions was less innocent and more destructive later in the series it got. In regards to pokemon; I’m a fan of the video games more so than the series but after Indigo and Johto collection of Pokemon I personally felt like it sizzled out. Stand out Pokemon vary from Hawlucha to Ganger but Charizard being one of my original homies would be my go to pick..
Also available is Josh Shooters new Merchandise on redbubble.com/people/theaxe
Images by Cory Lockwood Photography+ Digital Beard Photography