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PTW World Champion Conor Hurley Interview

From Irish newspaper, ‘The Kilkenny People’

Published Date: 28 August 2009

By Staff Reporter
Alan Neary

The rise of Conor Hurley (Michael Wall) in the ranks of wrestling was capped by a recent Power Trip Wrestling success. The success didn’t come easy, but the Callan man insisted his scenic route to the summit was worth the wait.

?I actually did quite a bit of judo when I was younger growing up in Callan. I would have finished up with an orange belt when I was around 16 years of age,? began Mike, a 27-year-old who hurled with Graigue-Ballycallan and John Lockes (Callan), when the ‘People spoke to him last week following his big win.

Later today (Wednesday) Wall will return to England for the second defence of his Power Trip Wrestling (PTW) World heavyweight championship title which he won in England 10 days ago.

Since that achievement Wall has been over and back across the Irish sea once; for the time being Wall wants to retain his crown.

Catalyst

Wall has come a long way since a working holiday in Australia back in 2004. That trip was the catalyst for his introduction to the sport, and recent glory.

?I was like many people in their mid-20’s who take a year out,” he recalled. “When I was over in Oz I just took to the sport quite quickly. I got some good coaching and well, sure the rest is history.

?When I returned to Ireland I wanted to keep on going, although it’s really in the last two years that I’ve started to have a right go at the sport.

?In saying that I’m under no illusions. The sport is unlikely to pay the bills, but at the same time I want to see just how far I can go.

?As it is, I’ve wrestled and pretty much held my own with the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) competitors, and there was talk that I might get a chance to make the move to WWE.

?It’s something I’d never rule out, but by the same token I’d be wary of doing anything too soon from a pure preparation and training point of view things have to be right. If it does happen, the likelihood is it won’t occur for another twelve months at least.”

While wrestling is firmly a minority sport in this country, Wall insisted interest in the discipline was increasing all the time.

?It’s vital that if anyone does start up in the sport that they get the technique right from the start. With that in mind it’s important to be involved with a proper coach,” he insisted.

?In my case I got competitive bouts under my belt relatively early on, but it’s not uncommon for chaps to go two to three years before they get their first crack at things.?

Wall, also known as Conor Hurley in the ring, spent his formative days in the sport under the watch of the Dublin based Irish Whip Wrestling team, but for now Wall’s focus is firmly cross-channel.

?England is where it’s at for me right now in terms of big venues, bigger crowds, positive exposure and potentially slightly more lucrative things down the line,” he said.

Generous

?It mightn’t pay me to go full time, but by the same token PTW have been good to me in terms of flights and associated costs. Because I am the champion they’d be more generous than if I was starting out in the business.?

Fellow competitors in the United States regularly receive coverage on general entertainment channel, Bravo TV. Wall is content for a slightly lower profile for the time being at least.

?I actually had the chance to go over to the UK over the weekend and compete, but between one thing and another it simply wasn’t possible,? he revealed.

Following on from his defeat of G ‘The Lap Dancing Superstar’, in the recent PTW World Title Tournament final, a feat which saw Wall become the first Irishman in history to win the title, the former hurler said he was readying himself for a busy Autumn and Winter schedule.

?I’ll spend quite a bit of time between now and Christmas in Germany, England and later-on Australia. So yeah, things are taking off which is nice,? he told us.

According to Wall, his training mate Shane O’Keeffe won’t be far behind him.

?Shane is from Loughboy in Kilkenny, and at 22 years of age time is really on his side,” he felt. “PTW are likely to give him a chance in the coming months. From there anything is possible,? concluded the Macra na Feirme Training and Development Officer.

Anyone looking for further information on PTW is asked to contact Michael Wall on 0868359891.

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