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In this edition of “Let’s Talk About…” we get the chance to chat to Austin Brookes! A Source Wrestling School graduate and we cover a load of topics such as what drew him to wrestling, being an LGBT athlete and a whole host of other stuff! If there is anyone you want to have us interview, let us know in the comments section!
Now, on to the interview!
So firstly, tell us what made you make the decision to begin training? What was your first day like? Any fun stories?
I have been watching wrestling since a young age, and when I watch all I feel is pure joy. So when I learned about a pro wrestling school in Glasgow (Source) I had to go but due to me being 13 I was to young. At this time I stuck with dancing (which I done for 5 years before wrestling). I finally joined at 14. I just want to make people feel good/invested and I feel through wrestling, I could do that. My first class was nerve wracking but so fun. I was a small, chubby, 14 year old boy stepping into what felt like a grown ups world. However, I felt nothing other than welcome. I cant really remember much due to the lack of oxygen in my asthmatic body due to drills and such (which I was not used to at all) but it was actually such a great experience and I then knew this is what I wanted to do.
Fast forward to your first match, what can you tell us about that day? Any advice from anyone before you went through the curtain? Anything of note happen that day that sticks out in your mind?
My first match, I was the young 15 year old boy no taller than 5 foot, stepping into the ring with one of the men who taught me what I know, Mikey Whiplash. To all those that know Mikey Whiplash he has a reputation of being one of the UK’s best. But again I felt honoured to have been facing him in my first match, and also excited to wrestle him and put what he taught me to work. Before I went out Whippy reassured me that I was going to do well and I wouldn’t be debuting if I wasn’t ready, that made me feel so much better! Two things that sticks out about this is having friends and family watch me do what I love (and my mother living up to the stereotype of a “Maryhill maw” and advising her son to “fling a brick”) and also taking a nasty bump which made my shoulder immovable for two weeks (still didn’t go to doctors or anything) but the pain was so worth it. And no, no brick were thrown.
So now that you are on shows (well not the now due to Corona, hopefully that changes soon) any fun road stories or shows that stick out in your mind?
Every road story is fun, due to my age for most of my time at training/on shows I wasn’t out after shows (from what I hear, they had some wild nights). But weirdly enough, building the ring was always a good laugh. As much as it’s hard work, doing with the girls and guys was so much fun!
What can anyone who may not have seen you wrestle expect from a Austin Brooks match?
Austin Brookes is a name which after lockdown and COVID, I will introduce into wrestling. Prior to COVID I wrestled under my real name, Mark J Wilson. As Mark my character was just me being me having a good time, doing high flying stunts and striking (and some bumps which my peers feel fear for my life). But as Austin, this will be me finally feeling confident because I have always had a slight confidence but since coming out (LGBT) I finally feel like confident. So for those wrestling Austin Brookes, expect the unexpected.
Since we have been in lockdown, what have you been doing with yourself, taken up any new hobbies?
I admittedly let my self go slightly during lockdown, but not working out as much. However in this lockdown workouts are back as the norm for me. I cycled a lot during the summer to places like Loch Lomond and Falkirk. And spent a lot of time outdoor with my friends which made me feel younger again.
We love some fantasy booking here so what we’d like to know is your Ideal tag match, who your partner be? who would you be facing? Venue, stipulation, anything! What is the dream tag match for Austin Brookes?
Dream tag match. Never thought about this but I would love to team with Ray Mysterio/Jeff Hardy/Bianca Belair/Io Shirai and would love to face The Usos, Kings of Catch, KoE, Working Men’s Club, be honest anyone would be great and my dream matches include TLC, War Games, any extreme stipulation.
You are an LGBT athlete, has that changed anything in wrestling for you?
Coming out (as already mentioned) has allowed me to feel more confident, and before COVID, I felt my matches getting better, my wrestling, my crowd work everything. So yeah, coming out has only positively impacted me. Also everyone and Source has been very supportive and so has many others I have met from the other schools in Scotland!
Who are your main influences when it comes to wrestling?
Main influences for me mostly stem from female wrestlers, such as Gail Kim, Lita, AJ, Paige, more recently Io and Ember. To be honest all the people I have met through wrestling have influenced me in a positive way. Just working with people, training with, and talking with always taught me something new.
What can you tell us about yourself outside of wrestling, any fun stories or talents?
Myself out of wrestling is very clumsy. I am fun-loving and like a laugh, and can never say no to a night out. I am now a fitness student at COGC (City of Glasgow College). You would find me in the gym in the morning, college during the day and training some nights at Source. Weekends I’ll be out in the “gay area” of Glasgow drinking in Delmonicas/Katie’s/Polo Lounge or most commonly AXM. I do have some funny stories… but those are mostly likely best kept out of this haha.
Where can we find you on social media?
We Just want to take this chance to thank Austin one more time for the interview