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THEY do say better late than never, don’t they?
In one of the most overdue interviews in the history of this column, FT is delighted to welcome “East End Butcher” Sha Samuels to the page this week.
Londoner Sha has been a model of consistency through a career spanning almost 20 years.
An abrasive figure in character, the articulate Samuels has recently hung up his real-life meat cleaver to focus full time on wrestling.
“I’m chasing the dream! I’ll chase it until the day I die,” he begins. “I’ve been doing it for so long now that it’s turned into my social life, my hobby, my passion! Hopefully something big will happen.”
Sha admits the last eight months of 2017 have been frustrating with the collapse of the ITV WOS project and YouTube pulling the rug out from under wrestling companies, but he’s a fighter.
We chew over the fact that our scene is thriving but Sha argues that despite the volume of wrestling in the UK at present, it’s in danger of becoming somewhat generic: “There is an indy wrestling format now, which consists of a bit of wrestling, a bit of comedy – a bit more comedy, shake hands and a cuddle at the end.
“Everyone’s doing the same thing.
“If you speak out you are seen as bitter – it’s not that. It’s just frustrating to see. I see the mistakes happening that will affect our legacy.”
Here is a man who argues the collective cause, that shows should be a sum of their parts, that there should be a general desire to work for the greater good.
He adds: “It’s been a bit depressing, I’m not going to lie, the ITV project being postponed.
“It’s a bit of a myth – it is the best scene on the planet – it is stable for some guys but certainly not for everyone. Having said that, I’d take today over 15 years ago.”
“I believe in being committed. When it comes to a character, you have to believe it yourself. If you don’t believe it, it’s going to be rubbish.
“I may not be the best high flyer, or the best technically, but I am believable in whatever I do. That makes a big difference.”
®Ê BUTCHERED: Sha Samuels is in flying form in the ring