Other side of the Coyne

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

BEL­MONT’S own NC Viper is get­ting ready to take on the big guns at a wrestling show­down in Rock­ing­ham.

The first indige­nous pro­fes­sional wrestler in WA, Neil Coyne has spent more than 10 years in the spotlight, both in the ring and as a host of Noon­gar Dand­joo on NITV and Smashcrew Sports on Noon­gar Ra­dio.

“It’s a great hon­our to rep­re­sent Bel­mont in wrestling, some­thing I love do­ing,” Coyne said ahead of his April 22 match.

“And I’m indige­nous, I’m a Noon­gar man. I rep­re­sent my peo­ple, I’m proud of that as well. To rep­re­sent all those walks of peo­ple in some­thing I love do­ing.”

Coyne grew up watch­ing Muhammad Ali and Hulk Ho­gan on tele­vi­sion, drawn in by the glitz, the glam­our, and larger-than-life char­ac­ters.

“I started watch­ing when I was 13, I’m 46 now,” he said. “That’s how long I’ve watched wrestling. I still haven’t grown out of it. “Peo­ple have their likes; some peo­ple like watch­ing cars go fast, I don’t like that stuff. Some peo­ple like wind­surf­ing, I don’t like that stuff. I like wrestling.”

Get­ting into his fierce NC Viper char­ac­ter has be­come a breeze.

“It’s al­most like a flick of the switch; it’s like OK, we’re on,” Mr Coyne said.

“And you be­come that char­ac­ter. I’m NC Viper now, and I’ve got to do my thing. I’ve done this for over 10 years now and so it comes easy.”

Coyne said he was par­tic­u­larly proud of be­ing the first indige­nous pro­fes­sional wrestler in WA

“I hold that close to my heart,” he said. “I sup­pose when you get older, you look at all your ac­co­lades and things you’ve done; be­ing the first, it’s some­thing I’m proud of.

“It’s show­ing there’s an­other route that kids can look at other than be­ing a net­baller or a foot­baller.

“Most indige­nous kids look to go for that. We can also be great wrestlers, which is a flash ath­lete as well as an ac­tor.”

The up­com­ing An­niver­sary XI fight is a ‘sur­vivor se­ries’ match, with two teams of four wrestlers. As soon as one is beaten, they go back to the chang­e­room and the re­main­ing team mem­bers take on who­ever is left.

Coyne said the match was par­tic­u­larly note­wor­thy be­cause of the in­ter­na­tional wrestlers in­volved from com­pa­nies over in the USA, in­clud­ing the Ring of Hon­our cham­pion Christo­pher Daniels and Jay Lethal, and Booker T tak­ing on the role of his team’s man­ager for the night.

“He’ll be back­stage in the chang­e­room giv­ing us ad­vice and guid­ing us, and he’ll be bring­ing out the best in us,” Coyne said.

Whether he’s go­ing day-to-day as Neil Coyne, mak­ing tele­vi­sion or ra­dio, or tak­ing to the ring as NC Viper, Coyne’s em­brac­ing it all.

An­niver­sary XI is tak­ing place on Satur­day, April 22 at the Mike Bar­nett Sports Com­plex in Rock­ing­ham, with doors open­ing at 6.45pm and tick­ets start­ing at $20.

Head to www.raw­perth.com or phone 0423 676 023.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d467859

Neil Coyne, aka NC Viper.

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