Wrestler Joe is living his
You’re about to embark on a nationwide tour following the success of WOS Wrestling on
ITV. What do you think is the appeal of the TV shows?
I THINK the shows offer something for everyone. All those on the roster bring something to the team. Grado is an awesome personality, Sha Samuels is so powerful, Viper brings something new, Osprey is one of the best performers and Justin Sysum has a background in stunts and does incredible things. I could go on and on. I think ITV picked the best of the best.
The professional wrestling scene has been growing exponentially over the last five years. I think I’m very lucky that I came into things when this trend started. It’s an amazing time. Everyone from kids to someone like my gran loves wrestling. I think it’s why ITV decided to bring it back.
What does your training involve? IT’S a very physically intense business, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m absolutely living my dream.
I won’t name names, but some of the best athletes in the world have come along to training sessions and then said ‘it’s not for me’. You need a certain level of toughness. I took part in the Commonwealth Games and I’m the current British champion of freestyle.
I train four or five days a week. I do three or four hours if it’s prowrestling training and one and half hours if it is freestyle. The focus is very different and different skills are needed.
When did you start pro-wrestling?
I STARTED pro-wrestling in 2013 and on day one I told my trainer I wanted to work with a major organisation and I wanted to be the top talent in the world. I’m a lot closer to that than I was five years ago and in five years time I want to be a multi-style freestyle champ. I see myself being the top talent in pro-wrestling. It’s as simple as that. I want to get to the top.
How did your nickname the Prestigious One come about?
I USED to go by the name The Local Hero. It’s a cool character, but it doesn’t sound like a main winner and I realised to be the top in the business you need something more.
I wanted something a bit old school and that paid tribute to the old wrestling roots ... (laughs) and the Prestigious One sounds like someone you should not mess with. You have become known for your musical entrances into the wrestling ring. How did that come about?
IT’S a way to connect with the audience and singing is something that I can do for the rest of my life and the fans can get behind you.
I was in a band called Lost In Audio for 10 years before WOS came along and they were both dreams of mine. I came out of university and was offered a graduate job, but turned it down to be a musician.
How far did you take it?
WE once played the Picture House in Edinburgh and more than 1,000 people came to see the band. RCA Records, who had people like Justin Timberlake and the Foo Fighters, invited us to meet with them in New York at the famous Sony Tower. We felt like this was it, but they told us ‘we really like you, keep on doing what you’re doing and let’s come back’.
You needed to get a million hits or something on YouTube. It’s weird because my wrestling music videos probably have 10 to 20 million hits now.
I never thought I would be going down this route and I’m looking forward to taking it to the next level. Maybe I’ll release the songs, put them out there and have a bit of fun.
Do you have any pre-fight superstitions or traditions?
I TRY my best not to be superstitious. If I need to think about putting one knee pad on first or the other knee pad it just gets in the way. I stopped all that before it started. It just gets in the way because there is a small margin for error when you are out there and it messes with reaction time.
Have there been any injuries along the way?
I HAVE been really lucky. I have had no major injuries. It’s just general wear and tear. I have been pretty fortunate. I train smart and recovery is a big part of what I do.
How do you relax away from the spotlight?
I FIND it very hard to unwind after a match. I’ve very bad at it. I can’t just sit and watch TV. I often play a video game to try and switch off.
I see myself being the top talent in pro-wrestling. It’s as simple as that. WOS Wrestling’s Joe Hendry
Joe in the ring with Rampage ●●The WOS Wrestling Tour begins on January 18 and includes dates at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate and Stoke’s Victoria Hall.