Damien Corvin took the time to chat with Sitting Front Row about all things wrestling. We discuss how he became a fan when he was just 4 years of age and which match he remembers from back then. We also discuss his current run in the heel tag team The Kings of the North, along with current and past happenings so far as one member of The Kings. We peek into some of his career in OTT Wrestling along with his role as assistant head trainer in Belfast’s Uprising Wrestling School and his qualification in fitness instructing.
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You are of course one third of the Kings of the North tag team wrestling alongside Bonesaw Al and Dunkan Disorderly. The Kings are undoubtedly a great heel tag team. How much have you enjoyed the reaction you guys get when you wrestle in Dublin in front of the lively Over The Top Wrestling (OTT) crowd? Would the Tivoli (OTT’s home venue) be one of your favourite places to perform? The reaction is great, as a heel you never want to have any sort of positive reaction from the crowd and at OTT wherever we go the reaction we get is always a chorus of boo, fuck you. The Tivoli for me is the best venue I’ve performed in, there’s something special about it, all the lads love it and when the Americans come over they love it instantly too.
At OTT WrestleCon 2016 night 2 you took a choke slam from Abyss onto thumbtacks in a 6 man tag team match. Overall were you happy with the match and how was the body feeling, in particular the back, the next day? Overall very happy, I think the reaction that the thumbtacks got was great, it’s what the crowd wanted to see, when you think of Abyss you think thumbtacks.
In that same 6 man tag match the Kings of the North also crossed paths with X Pac (Sean Waltman). Waltman has often been looked upon as one of the most giving wrestlers both in and out of the ring. How was your experience working with him? Being given the opportunity to work with X Pac was great, after the match he was very positive and happy with everything, it was a great experience to again work with someone I watched religiously growing up
On October 30th the Kings of the North wrestled comedian Al Porter and Fabulous Nicky in a tag match in Galway. I imagine a certain amount of preparation must have gone into getting Al ready for in ring action? Did he carry off his end of the bargain inside the ropes? Working with Al Porter was awesome, he fit right in to the OTT roster flawlessly. He came straight from a gig at a different venue in Galway, got ready and went for it. He could make a great wrestler with some training. He’s already got the personality for it.
Have you had any particular favourite moments that stand out for you in OTT overall so far? Any favourite opponents? Far too many favourite moments to name but I’ll give you a few. The Lads From the Flats vs The Kings featuring Father Ted characters is a massive favourite, for a tonne of reasons. Working with Sabu was a fantastic experience. Selling out the fringe festival in 2015 Vs the Gymnasties at Even Better than Better than our Best.
Of course during your down time from competing, you are also assistant head trainer for Uprising Wrestling School in Belfast. Is this a role you enjoy, training the next generation of up and comers? It’s something I enjoy immensely and something I take very seriously. We have some awesome talent at the school, some that get to work and gain experience regularly.
Are there any particular prospects we should keep an eye out for that may be nearly ready to burst onto the scene? Look out for Curtis Murray, Eamonn Rogers, Dave McKinstry and Gavin Fitz, these lads will be massive!
Is training new wrestlers a role you see becoming more prominent for you and taking over from wrestling or would you like to balance doing both? I’m far from done wrestling, I’m only 29!! There’s years in the tank.
When did you become a fan of pro wrestling? Did any wrestlers strike a cord with you when you were a young fan watching it on TV? I’ve been a fan since I was 4. First match I can remember is Ultimate Warrior vs Hogan at Wrestlemania 6, it’s something my dad introduced me to and I’ve a lot of fond memories with him and my brother watching.
Do any particular matches stand out as favourites that you watched?
Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero – Halloween havoc 97
Eddie Guerrero vs Kurt Angle Wrestlemania 20
HBK vs HHH Summerslam 02
Kingdom vs bullet club BITW15
Briscoe vs lethal BITW15
Omega vs Naito
Styles vs Nakamura Wrestlekingdom 2015
Ospreay vs ricochet BOSJ 16
And from OTT:
Ryan Smile vs Marty Scurll OTT Wrestlecon night 2
Kings of the North vs War Machine OTT Invasion 16
When you started out you had a slimmer frame. You have worked hard on your physique over the years. Was it during these early years that you decided to study to gain a qualification in fitness instructing? I got the fitness instructor qualification to enhance my own knowledge of training. I had no real plans to do much more with it but I’m now doing a PT course (isn’t everyone) to be able to do a bit more with it.
After making your debut for NWA Ireland you quickly made an impression wrestling for Pro Wrestling Ulster. During your 5 years with PWU you wrestled a variety of opponents. What are your best memories during this period? All My best memories with PWU are working with Tucker. We always worked hard to make each other better. When we started we were both skinny little kids with no business being near wrestling, but we pushed and helped each other and still do.
In 2010, under the banner of Sports Entertainment Wrestling, you wrestled current OTT owner Joe Cabery who was then wrestling under the moniker of Omen. Was this your first time to meet Cabery and how did the match go? No I’d met Joe years before at UCW when I was a referee there and than again at Wrestling.ie when I was doing security and ring crew (yep I’ve done pretty much everything on a show). I’ve always had a good relationship with Joe, and getting the chance to work him was great. I was stuck in a shitty gimmick at the time and the match was short but enjoyable. When I switched the vampire gimmick I did a lot more tag stuff with Omen, and have now ended up working a lot vs Luther Ward (Cabray). One of my to matches is from Outer Space Odyssey against Ward in a street fight for the NLW title.
The Kings of the North are of course available for bookings for 2017 and onwards. Besides WWE and TNA would you have any particular places you’d like to tour to build up more experience? We’d like to work everywhere. But there’s a lot of companies doing well that we’d be keen to get involved with. Progress, Rev Pro, What Culture and Attack are high on the UK list, WXW in Germany and of course Ring of Honor (war machine rematch?) and Evolve.
On December 18th OTT makes its debut in Northern Ireland when they present Invasion Belfast. You must be looking forward to this event? Do you expect a different reaction from the normal OTT crowd as this time you will be appearing on home turf? OTT Belfast is going to be great. Fans are going to get the wrestling show they deserve. The card is stacked! And it’s great to have Ricochet on the roster! I’m not sure what the reaction is going to be like honestly, we’re pretty much hated everywhere. But you never know with OTT.
I suppose we should end this interview with a simple dream opponent question. Past or present if you could wrestle anyone (or 2), who would it be and why? Eddie Guerrero. I don’t think there has been, or will ever be anyone better, it would have been awesome to have been able to work with him. Tag teams going right now though? Take your pick. The Kings are just getting started!!
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions and best of luck with everything going forward in your wrestling career!