As it’s been a couple of weeks since we brought you the last SWE Spotlight, I thought “what better time to bring it back than the week before Christmas”? Think of this as my early Christmas present to you! Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with one of the rising stars in SWE, the man who’s been embroiled in a feud with out last interviewee (Johnny Lyons) over the SWE Future Division Championship: Martyn Stallyon.
I chatted with Martyn after the last SWE shows of 2012 a couple of weeks ago and he was really good with his time, just like the other interviewees have been. We talked about how he got started, his match with Chavo Guerrero and who his dream WrestleMania opponent would be! That’s enough from me, let’s hear what Martyn had to say!
Tell us a little bit about how you got started in wrestling and who your influences were when you started watching it?
To the best of my memory, I believe Wrestlemania 8 was the first time I watched wrestling, I remember the Ultimate Warrior charging to save Hulk Hogan from the attack of Papa Shango during his match with Sid Justice. I kept watching until the 1995 Royal Rumble, when Shawn Michaels started as number 1 and went on to win it.
Shortly after the Rumble, for whatever reason, I stopped watching wrestling. A few years later, I remember my brother telling me to watch wresting one day after school. At the time, my brother was just getting back into wrestling and he mentioned someone called Stone Cold Steve Austin. I remember telling him no. Why would I watch wrestling? Wrestling is fake, but he kept bugging me about it. My friends started talking about this wrestler called Stone Cold Steve Austin, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt, watched an episode of Raw and I’ve been hooked ever since.
With all that being said, my biggest inspiration and influence has to be Triple H. I believe he’s the best wrestler at telling stories inside and outside of the ring. You know it’s Game time when his music hits!
When did you decide that you wanted to be a wrestler?
I’ve been to a lot of wrestling shows across the UK and I’ve been at a couple of WrestleMania’s. I’d been thinking about giving wrestling a try for a while. When I was at WrestleMania 24, I remember standing in the crowd with a tear in my eye as I watched Ric Flair lose to Shawn Michaels in his “final” match. It was at that moment that I decided to become a professional wrestler. I told my brother about it the next day over breakfast in Orlando, Florida.
For anyone that hasn’t seen you wrestle, how would you describe your style?
I like to go out to the ring and do what I love. I have so much fun in the ring and I love wrestling. I look up to wrestlers like Triple H, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle, so I’d like to think that my style blends high-flying with power and technical ability.
What’s the one thing that frustrates you about the world of wrestling right now?
I believe that right now, mainstream wrestling suffers from a lack of imagination and competition.
There are lots of good, strong wrestling companies in the UK right now. What do you put that down to?
Teamwork. When you’ve got the right people on board who want put on a great show, that’s how you get bums in seats.
How did your ring name come about and what sort of character did you have in mind when you started training?
I took my time trying to come up with a name and character for myself. My original idea came from a boxing game that I used to play on the PlayStation. There was a character called Romeo who looked like me. With the name Romeo, I thought I’d try an 80’s-style wrestling character. I’d be hated by men and loved by women. I’d walk down the aisle holding a rose, which I’d hand out to 1 lucky lady (whether they liked me or not). She’d by me Juliet and I’d recite poetry to her.
However, in the end, I scrapped that idea and went for something a little simpler. I thought I’d have a character a little more like me. I love the Rocky films. If I ever need cheering up, I’ll watch a Rocky movie, so I took the Stallion name from the “Italian Stallion” and changed it up a little to create my ring name. I also remember Chris Jericho saying in one of his books that Japanese fans love animal names, which also influenced my decision to use the name Stallyon. If I’m ever booked in Japan, I think my name would go down well there.
What was it about the SWE’s training school that made you decide to learn your craft there?
I took my time looking at wrestling schools. I contacted a few, but narrowed my decision down to SWE in Blairgrowrie and All-Star Wrestling in Birkenhead, Merseyside. I thought about All-Star Wrestling because I was born down there and I’ve got family there too, but I chose SWE for 2 reasons. 1 – SWE is closer to home and 2 – SWE is the only wrestling school in the North East of Scotland to use a wrestling ring to train in.
The allure of staying close to home and training in an actual wrestling ring was too good to turn down. I had good communication with the SWE and I went for my first training session in January 2009. SWE were very helpful with any questions or queries I had. On my first day at SWE, they welcomed me with open arms. Every member and all the coaches were always friendly and respectful, and I’ve been loyal to SWE ever since.
What did you pick up the most from the training seminars you’ve been to that were held by current British TNA wrestlers Magnus and Doug Williams?
I remember Brutus Magnus telling me that with every move you do, focus on the safety of your opponent and commit to every move you do. Doug Williams taught me a lot about chain wrestling in a match. He said that if you and your opponent work together, you can make a match look good and fun to watch. Both seminars were great experiences for me and I enjoyed them a lot.
Yes, my first match was at Hell 4 Lycra 7. I’d been working hard for 6 months and had dreamt of wrestling a match in front of a big crowd and being a part of a big event like Hell 4 Lycra. I got extremely lucky. I arrived on the day of Hell 4 Lycra 7 at the Bonar Hall in Dundee to work security, which I was happy with, but I let the SWE officials know that I had my gear with me just in case any wrestler couldn’t make it.
I continued with my security duties until 2 hours before the show, when the organisers came up and asked me to get ready because I would be taking part in the 6-man title-on-a-pole match. I remember being overwhelmed with excitement. The moment I walked through that curtain in front of 500 people in the Bonar Hall, I knew my dream had come true. That night, I performed as “The Stallyon”, but there was no character behind it. Just me.
I don’t remember much of the match. I think I got injured when one of my opponents jumped off the top rope to do a 450 splash. He didn’t jump far enough and I was the only wrestler close enough to catch him. As I caught him, I felt my left foot bend underneath me. I got through the match on just pure adrenaline and I didn’t feel anything until it was over. After a long bus journey home the next day, I went to the doctor and was told that I’d torn a ligament in my left foot and I could be out for up to 6 months.
You also got injured in your first match. How did the injury affect your mind set, if at all?
The injury didn’t really affect my mind set too much. I was extremely happy that I had my first match and everyone at SWE were very supportive. I was eager to get back into work, the gym and wrestling. I was meant to be out for 6 months, but I was back in 4 weeks.
In the last 3 years, you’ve developed into one of the most exciting members of the roster. Who do you credit your improvement to, other than yourself of course!
I have so many people to thank for my development as a wrestler, including David Low, Alan Smith, Steven Murray, Euan Swinton and Kevin Purdie, but most of all Charles Riddell. He helped me realise what I can and can’t do in the ring. I remember him saying “less is more”, but I didn’t realise what he meant until I started wrestling matches in front of crowds, so a big thanks to all those guys.
Going abroad to wrestle was so much fun. Once again I got lucky. When I went to wrestle in Poland for Do or Die Wrestling (DDW), I was told that I was going to referee, but when I got there, plans had changed. Don Roid (the DDW promoter) asked me to wrestle instead. Therefore, I wrestled 2 shows over 1 weekend in Poland.
When I was there, I met 3 Hungarian wrestlers and I must have impressed them enough to get invited back a few months later to wrestle in Hungary for Hungarian Championship Wrestling (HCW). I travelled to Hungary with SWE’s own Bravehart. Each experience travelling abroad to wrestle was rather exciting. I enjoyed wrestling in front of the big crowds in Poland and Hungary and those shows were such great learning experiences. I’m very thankful to each promotion (HCW and DDW) for giving me the brilliant experience of wrestling abroad and hopefully, I’ll get the chance to do it again.
You’ve been involved in a battle with Johnny Lions lately over the SWE Future Division Championship. What’s it like to work with him?
Johnny Lyons reminds me of Kurt Angle. Many wrestlers have said that when you step in the ring with Kurt Angle, you’ve got to be ready to go, and that’s how I feel about Johnny Lyons. When I step in the ring with Lyons, I’ve got to be ready to go. Johnny Lyons brings the best out of me.
Who do you think is the most under-rated performer in the SWE? Not by the other members of the roster, but by the fans?
Sammii Jayne. She works so hard and I understand the fans don’t see that, but Sammii is an extremely talented wrestler. I think the fans will realise that in time. I wrestled Sammii recently and I thought our match was really good. In my opinion, my match with Sammii is easily in the top 5 matches of my career so far. Sammii will continue to improve, so keep watching her!
Of all the matches you’ve had in your career so far, which one stands out to you most and which one are you most proud of?
That’s a tough question. There are so many matches that I’m proud of and it’s hard to choose just 1 because I’ve been in the ring with some great opponents like Mr News, Ian Ambrose and Bravehart, but I have to pick my match with Johnny Lyons earlier this year in Ardler, Dundee. That night, everything in the match went so smoothly. The crowd was right behind us and we got loads of great feedback from our fellow wrestlers and fans.
Another match I’m proud of is my match with Chavo Guerrero (at Hell for Lycra IX). To have had the chance to wrestle someone who I’ve watched and admired for years was just amazing and I’m so thankful that I had the chance to wrestle him. I learned so much in the match with Chavo. I haven’t heard a crowd as loud as it was that night against Chavo. It was a fantastic experience.
Who’s been your favourite opponent to get in the ring with and why?
I have a top 3:
3 – Mr News: News keeps wrestling fun and simple
2 – Johnny Lyons: Lyons gets the best out of me
1 – All Night Ian Ambrose: I think Ambrose is like Mr News and Johnny Lyons rolled into 1. Wrestling Ambrose is fun and simple, and he’s another one who brings the best out of me. I know that if we had to wrestle every night of the year, the matches would get better and better. Ambrose is 1 of a kind.
Is there anyone you haven’t had the chance to wrestle yet that you’d love to work with?
I’d love to wrestle Kevin Williams. We’ve not worked together yet and he’s taught me a lot, so he’s definitely up there. Sam Ross is another really talented, powerhouse wrestler. I believe both guys are really talented and we’d tear the house down if we worked together.
There are probably only a handful of wrestlers in Britain who have wrestled Chavo Guerrero Jr and you’re one of the men on that list, having wrestled him at Hell for Lycra IX. What was it like to wrestle a member of one of the most respected families in the history of the business?
To this day, I still find it hard to believe that I actually had the chance to wrestle Chavo Guerrero. It was an honour just to be in the ring with him. Chavo taught me a lot in the match that we had together, like how to listen to the crowd, feed off the energy, stay calm and speak to one another. After the match, Chavo was kind enough to give me some feedback on our match. Thank you again Chavo!
Going forward, what’s the goal for Martyn Stallyon?
The Stallyon’s goal is to keep improving. I still have a lot to learn. You’re never too good.
Let’s pretend for a second that I’m Vince McMahon. I call you up and say “I want to give you a match at Wrestlemania against any wrestler in the world, from the recent past or present”. Who would you want to face on that stage and why?
Triple H. Hands down, Triple H is the reason I’m here today. I’d love to stand toe-to-toe with the Game. I believe he tells the best stories in and out of the ring, and I could learn so much from Triple H.
And finally, have you got a message for all your fans?
Thank you to all my supporters and fans. I wouldn’t be the only wrestler better than perfection, St George’s favourite son and the purest of the pure without you!
I don’t know about him being my favourite son, but he’s definitely one of the brightest talents in SWE right now! Haha… It was great to hear about how Martyn got started in wrestling, and I get the feeling that we not even begun to have scratched the surface with his career! It’d be fair to say that Martyn has had a hell of a year in 2012, and 2013 could be the biggest year of his career so far. After a show-stealing performance with Chavo Guerrero at Hell for Lycra IX, I wouldn’t bet against him doing the same again at the Hell for Lycra X next August!
For information about Martyn’s upcoming appearances and matches, feel free to either like his Facebook page – www.facebook.com/MartynStallyon or follow him on Twitter @MartynStallyon. As always, you can get more information on one of Scotland’s best wrestling promotions at www.sweonline.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @SWE_online.
I’ve still got a couple of Spotlights to shine on SWE wrestlers and I’ll bring the next one to you as soon as I can!
Thanks for reading,