By Louise Westie
Welcome to another SWN meets. Joining me this week is FPWA’s Robbie Balfour. Robbie, thank
you so much for speaking to me and doing this interview.
How did you get into wrestling?
I got into wrestling in 2004/05, I remember the first ever wrestling show I watched was SummerSlam which had Randy Orton facing Chris Benoit for the World Heavyweight title, I remember being so intrigued by Benoit due to the simple fact he had a tooth missing, as a wee boy I thought he looked ‘hard’ and that made me like him going forward.
When I first met you three years ago, you were training at W3l (Mike Musso’s promotion). You’ve started training at FPWA in Glenrothes, which is Andy Wild’s training school, how is that going and what’s Andy like as a trainer?
I started out at W3L on September 28th ’16, the day after my birthday, I left there in September of ‘19. I met a lot of good guys at W3L, like Taylor Bryden who in my opinion is the most underrated professional wrestler in Scotland, obviously Stu (Johnny Lions), who mostly trained me during my time at W3L, he is the most down to earth and probably the funniest guy I’ve met in my short time in wrestling, and obviously Mike, who done so much for me giving me my start and I will always be appreciative of that and will always hold a great respect for him, but FPWA is just a different animal. I’ve never had someone believe in me as much as Andy does, I have improved so much since joining and I am so glad I decided to join him in this journey, he’s not only an amazing trainer but he’s just a great person, his people skills are second to none.
Can you tell us in more detail about your first day of wrestling training and what people can expect?
Well as I said it was the day after my birthday, my pals convinced me to go because at first I wasn’t too sure. I walked in and I saw a few guys like obviously Musso, Roddie Jones, Callum Lions, who by the way was class but unfortunately he had an accident which means he can’t wrestle anymore which is a great shame, but the one guy who stuck out the most to me was Jason Reed. The way he moved and the energy he showed whilst doing drills was just incredible, there’s a reason he is where he is today, hard work.
If you ever decide to train to be a wrestler don’t expect to be John Cena in two weeks. It’s hard, bumps suck, trying to keep in shape is very hard but doable with the right plan which I have just figured out. Most importantly, RESPECT everyone around you, especially the guys who have been doing this 10+ years, they know what they’re talking about.
You train with a lot of folk, who personally stands out for you?
A guy called Mike, who will be wrestling under the name ‘Frank Gallo’. I’m not actually sure what age Mike is, but I have a feeling he will be around for a long time, he has a great natural ability, but as you that can’t always get you places, he has a second to none work ethic and a respect for this business that will send him places.
There’s been a lot of training seminars, who’s been your favourite superstar to learn from?
Okay so I’ve never actually had a seminar with this man, but in my opinion, he is a Legend, and that is Len Ironside. He has always been on hand to give me any advice that I need, he tells me how he would do things differently to how I do it to work the crowd, and he’s shown me some old school British maneuvers that you can still use effectively to this day.
You’ve got a wrestling gimmick; can you tell us about your character in more detail?
You’ll find out soon enough…
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I will only be 24, turning 25, so I will still have more time ahead than behind me hopefully, I’d love to wrestle for ICW, have wrestled abroad and have held championship gold and as difficult as I know it will be because there is amazing talent coming through, I would love to sign a contract as a long term goal.
How often do you train?
I train twice a week at FPWA, and I am in the gym four times a week and I cycle Monday to Saturday which helps my conditioning.
Who would you most like to wrestle past or present?
Past, I would like to wrestle HBK, he is awesome, and present I would love to wrestle Chris Jericho, he is my favourite wrestler of all time, I would be privileged to step in the ring with him.
Are there any promotions that you have your eye on or would like to wrestle for?
I’d obviously love to wrestle for ICW, but I think it would be an amazing experience to wrestle in Japan, I love their culture, the fans aren’t too loud, but are so invested in everything they are seeing, it would be an experience I would love to have.
Can you describe your first day in wrestling training?
Petrifying. I was scared to say anything, I was scared to run the ropes, I was scared to bump. I was just petrified.
When you are a wrestling trainee and you have to help dismantle/set up the ring, unload/load the van etc, what has been your favourite venue to set up in?
Kirkcaldy Ice Arena, it’s in a massive door and you literally walk straight into the middle of the arena where you are setting up.
When can we expect to see you make your wrestling debut in the future?
I’ve wrestled before but that is the old me, I am ready to go when COVID-19 is under control and it is safe to do so, I am just waiting for the green light.
Finally, where can we find you on social media?
Thanks to Robbie Balfour so much for the one on one interview.