PTW sent this in:

Interview with Power Trip Wrestling’s disabled wrestling star Dan Edge

* Courtesy of www.piledriver-online.co.uk *

Piledriver : Can you explain to my readers exactly what cerebral palsy is
and how it affects you?

Dan : Well firstly thank you for having me. Cerebral Palsy is a disability
that affects the way in which the brain communicates with parts of the
body mainly muscles. The brain either sends too many messages to certain
parts of the body or in some cases not enough. In turn the disability has
a huge spectrum of the way it affects people I am yet to see two people
who are exactly the same. In my case however it generally affects my
balance hence why I walk with sticks the majority of the time as well as
my fine motor skills and some co-ordination.

Piledriver : As well as being a wrestler you’ve also enjoyed success in
wheelchair basketball and in swimming. How important is it that people who
have a disability take up sports?

Dan : Personally in my humble opinion I think everyone should take up a
sport in some way or another if they have a disability or not. It is great
for self confidence, physical fitness and being able to achieve tings and
push yourself.

Piledriver : What made you decide that you wanted to actually get in the
ring and wrestle?

Dan : Well without wanting to sound completely clich? I grew up watching
wrestling on TV and always used to wrestle my teddy bears and an and old
soft tortoise shaped soft foot stool we had at my house. Then of course
there are the times that you grow up and when you?re a kid you wrestle
your friends (not that I say you should because it’s dangerous and carries
risks of course and we don?t want anyone getting injured.) Then as I got
older apart from just watching the sport I began to study it trying to
realise how the moves worked etc. Following on from that I was fortunate
enough when I was studying my A-Levels to have a friend that was training
to be a wrestler and we were messing round in the common room and he told
me that I should come along. So I jumped at the chance and the rest as
they say is history.

Piledriver : How did people react when they found out this was what you
wanted to do?

Dan : Well reactions were not as loud as everyone might think in terms of
my family anyway as they have always been used to me pushing boundaries on
some level. My Mum’s response was ?Well if you do do this just don?t come
crying to me when you get injured? My Uncle who has been involved in
martial arts for many years told me to just go for it. The rest of my
family just responded saying oh yeah he is doing some wrestling
thing….fortunately they pay a little more attention these days ha ha.

Piledriver : You were trained by MTX, how did he react when you asked him
to train you as a wrestler and how did other trainees react?

Dan : I have to admit when I first when I first walked in to the school I
was quite prepared to be rejected but I don?t think I will ever forget
MTX’s first words to me. ?So you wanna train then hey kid.? I nodded and
said yes. Then came the response ?Fine you wanna train prove to me you can
bump if you can bump I will train you? Fortunately for me falling came as
second nature as I had done plenty of it over the years. As for the
Trainees and indeed some of the other more experienced guys that were
helping to run the training. I think in the beginning they were
unsurprisingly weary but as I mentioned before I was lucky enough that my
friend had introduced me to training and he knew I liked to push
boundaries so once I had been chokeslamed by his 6?3 23 stone frame a
couple of times I think people realised that I was not as fragile as they
first thought I might be and although I had limitations they were things
that could be worked round.

Piledriver : How difficult does the cerebral palsy make it for you to
perform in the ring?

Dan : Well obviously with it affecting my balance and on the whole
wrestling without my sticks this can indeed create some issues. I do
wrestle a predominantly mat based style to try and cut down on this
though. However I think one of the biggest issues I face when performing
is my abilities or in some cases lack of physicality in terms of jumping
and balance etc throwing my opponents off their game as they are so used
to a guy turning round and being able to do things automatically that when
I say hang on that won?t work it can leave them at a loss at times and it
can take them some time to adjust.

Piledriver : What was the most difficult part of your training?

Dan : I guess for me one of the most difficult parts was knowing my own
limits. When I first started wrestling I had this ideal of being a suplex
machine similarly to the likes of Tazz with some highflying moves off the
top…. It quickly became apparent that this was not going to be my style
and I had to adjust. Mind you that doesn?t mean I haven?t thrown the odd
Huracanrana, or diving head but in my time!

Piledriver : What memories do you have of your debut and how did the fans
react?

Dan : Well that depends I made my first debut on a wrestling show a few
months after I started training as a crowd plant. I was picked on by one
of the heels and made an example off as I was pulled out of the crowd. The
one thing I remember about that is the face coming over to me to check if
I was ok as he was really worried I was injured (I was fine just so you
know) and then later the company not being allowed back to perform in that
venue again as it had generated so much heat and people had physically
written and complained about it.

My full debut as a wrestler was in fact not till maybe a year or two later
I was working for UWL under the name of X-Saviour in a little village near
my hometown called Bugbrooke and the few things I remember was being run
ragged because I helped out with production back stage at the time.
Setting my own entrance to play and then walking out it was against Tommy
Stevens I was face green as anything it wasn?t glamorous or pretty but I
was glad to have done it and hope I have improved now!

Piledriver : As well as being a wrestler you’ve also been involved in the
promotional side of the business with your company UWL, how did that begin
and what have been the highlights of your time as a promoter?

Dan : Well as you may have guessed from my answer to the last question I
didn?t start UWL it was actually started by a lady called Carol-Ann who
was around the training school since myself and a lot of guys started
training. She saw a bunch of young and in a lot of cases talented guys
that needed a break and could see due to wrestling politics and situations
that a lot of us were not going to get that with the training schools
sister promotion. So took it upon herself with some of us to help to
create UWL. She later left the business for personal reasons and offered
me the opportunity to carry on using the UWL name and run shows which I
did for a while but then my degree became my main focus and now a lack of
decent funding is stopping me from promoting. As for highlights, for me
when it comes to both promoting and wrestling there is nothing better than
knowing the public and fans have been entertained. As well as that though
there is nothing better than knowing your giving some good talent some
chance to work and do what they are best at I always prided myself on
using young good wrestling talent and putting on a strong card.

Piledriver : You’ve worked as a face and a great deal as a heel, which do
you prefer?

Dan : Personally although I am willing to work as either a face or a heel
if I had the choice I would work heel no questions asked. I guess I have
always had a problem with ?awww look at what the disabled person has
achieved? scenarios although they are warranted and have their place I
feel they are far too over done. For example if anyone ever asks me about
Zach Gowan’s run in WWE I always say I wish Vince would hire me so I could
tell him hell no I am a heel I can make this crowd hate me let me prove
it. I have no issues with Zach’s work he is a great wrestler and does some
amazing things and he has worked for the biggest company in our business I
just hated the way he was used in WWE.

Piledriver : Do fans ever feel awkward about booing someone who’s disabled?

Dan : To be honest I don?t think I can comment on that I guess some people
would. However I would like to think that the strength of my mic work and
sheer arrogance as an in ring performer give the crowd enough reason to
despise me and I think in the majority of cases they do!

Piledriver : You work a great deal with Power Trip Wrestling, what have
been the highlights of your time with the company, in particular your
battles against Petey Staniforth?

Dan : What can I say? PTW is probably my wrestling home after UWL and my
training school. Petey Staniforth is one of the few promoters that books
me on a regular basis and sees what I bring to the table as a performer
which is individual to say the least. As for some of my highlights as a
manager I have handled champions, I have cut some tremendous promos, gone
on summer tours, been featured in a documentary on Current TV on sky
digital and wrestled some of the best matches of my career. As for my
feuds with Petey The Fantastic 4 promo and the I?m a winner Staniforth
moments stand out both which can be found on you tube for fans willing to
hunt. Our feud is one that is going on for many years to come I feel and I
don?t think we have seen the best of it yet.

Piledriver : Recently you’ve had a few matches with Tiffany Wantsmore,
whilst managed by Petey; how’s that feud progressing?

Dan : The matches with Tiffany well I am 2-0 up on that one she will never
be 100% like Dan Edge I said I could beat any man in the back and now I
have beaten the women to She had her 15 minutes of fame in the ring with
me word is she might want a rematch but we shall see! On a more serious
note they have been fun matches to work if we go any further I am sure the
fun will continue.

Piledriver : Have you ever faced discrimination in pro wrestling because
of your disability?

Dan : Unfortunately and I hate to say this on lots of levels some
intentional some not. Some directly some indirectly I feel I have. I will
be the first to admit I am not the world’s best physical wrestler and my
wrestling style is not perfect. However I strive to entertain the fans and
I feel I give them something different and do it well. In terms of
discrimination I know that there are some fans and promoters and indeed in
some cases fellow wrestlers that think I should not be in the business
because my disability ?destroy the business? or ?I am dangerous to work?
or ?fans don?t like to boo me? Yet I feel most of these people have not
given me a fair chance and have not seen some of my better work over the
years or indeed paid attention to my work as a manager as well as a
wrestler.

I also feel that it is harder for me to get work sometimes as bookers and
promotions are scared to take a chance on me. Now everyone is entitled to
their opinion and that is up to them.

However most of the people I work with on a regular basis will tell you
that I add a level to the show that someone else can?t and I take heart in
the fact that I know where ever I go I generate a reaction and at the end
of the day that is what the business is about. Entertaining people and
getting that crowd reaction. So for all the people that have said I
shouldn?t be in the business I hate to disappoint you but I don?t plan on
going anywhere any time soon.

Piledriver : Do you think your participation in wrestling will encourage
other disabled people to realise they could still get involved in the
business?

You know when people ask me a question like that I feel extremely
flattered. I have had fans come up to me and tell me what I do is amazing
and I am an inspiration. I find it all a very humbling experience. I am
just a guy doing what I love to do. As for me getting other disabled
people involved I am far from the only one with the likes of Zach Gowen,
and another wrestler in the states called Gregory Irons as well as the
deaf wrestler Sean Midnight and others deaf wrestlers like Sean and indeed
the legendary Alan Kilby of World of Sport fame before all of us. So there
is in fact a small group of wrestlers with either a disability or deafness
in the business already. However if I can become one of the standout names
in this group firstly that is a huge honour and if it means getting more
talented people in the business disabled or otherwise this is never a bad
thing.

Piledriver : In 1PW you had a memorable confrontation with Sterling James
Keenan, what did you think when told that would be happening and what did
you think of the reaction to it by the crowd?

That was actually thanks to a now good friend of mine Steve Corino.
Steve’s involvement in 1PW and history with the company is no secret. At
the time he was working the now infamous angle with Abyss which lead to
the barbed wire rope match. Then at one point Steve son Colby (who is now
becoming a very talented wrestler) became involved and was thrown around
by Abyss. I then later approached Steve joking around asking when was
Abyss going to bump me he’s bumped Colby so why not. This followed by
Steve and I having a conversation about me being a worker and to be honest
I thought nothing more of it.

A couple of months later I walked in to the Doncaster Dome gear in hand
because wrestler 101 you take your gear everywhere….only to hear Steve
shout my name going Dan great I was worried you weren?t going to show. I
look at Steve a little bemused saying it’s nice to see you to Steve what’s
up. His response …. ?How do you feel about bumping for Sterling
tonight?? It was an opportunity I couldn?t turn down and grabbed it with
both hands. The fans….well they reacted….1PW fans some of them were
great fans of Sterling’s evil antics and cheered every second of my head
getting MK Ultra?ed into that mat. Some of them were screaming for me to
fight back and not take Sterling’s abuse and I learnt later that night
that there were indeed fans that physically cried, and who could forget
the blow up on the 1PW forums about the arguments to if I was really
disabled was the angle right etc etc. If I am honest I loved every second
of it and my only regret is that it wasn?t progressed any further so I
could perform in front of that crowd again as I feel I had a lot more I
could give 1PW.

Piledriver : When you went to the States you planned on wrestling but the
New York State Athletics Commission wouldn’t let you wrestle as their
insurance policy didn’t cover people with disabilities. How disappointing
was that for you and could you be able to get that ruling changed in the
future?

Dan : Ah the New York situation. Now there is a little bit of confusion on
this subject I would like to clear up its right the commission didn?t let
me wrestle because of my disability.

The insurance side of the issue is where people get confused. The
commission stated to NEW the promotion I was due to work for that they
would let me work if NEW placed another $500 on their insurance due to the
commissions laws on athlete health to cover it and my disability
apparently put me in a position of ill health in their eyes although my
doctors will tell you I am perfectly healthy and I am on no medication for
anything or anything of that sort. Unfortunately though neither I or NEW
were in a position at the time to pay the $500 so rather than put NEW at
risk I did not wrestle. It was tremendously disappointing for me not to be
able to wrestle there as again similarly to 1PW I felt I could of given
NEW something different. As for me getting the ruling changed who knows I
would like to as I still hold aspirations of working companies out in New
York however I have learnt that not all laws across states are the
same….so you never know I might pop up somewhere else.

Piledriver : How’s the acting going?

Well I was actually in acting before I was in wrestling but only turned
fully pro over the last year. I have had some auditions for some big TV
programs in the UK so things are in the fire and I have done some smaller
stuff in between so here is hoping that that goes well.

Piledriver : How can my readers find out more about you and your career?

Well unfortunately I do not have an autobiography coming out because if I
did this would be the ideal time to plug it.

Dan Places I can suggest if you want to keep tabs on 100% Dan Edge though
are :

Myspace: www.myspace.com/uwl

The PTW Website: www.PowerTripWrestling.co.uk

And eventually when I get the time to get it built my own website:
www.danedge.com

Until then though I will happily take questions if the fans have any
burning ones they are desperate to ask on the myspace and of course if
you want to see the documentary I spoke about it can be found at
http://current.com/items/89550810_wrestling-with-disability.htm

And I hope to see you guys at a wrestling show soon!.


PTW also sent this in:

Interview with Power Trip Wrestling’s profoundly deaf wrestler, Sean Midnight

* Courtesy of www.piledriver-online.co.uk *

Piledriver : Breaking into the business and achieving your dream of
becoming a professional wrestler isn?t the easiest thing to do . However,
if you?re profoundly deaf or have cerebral palsy then it becomes that
little bit harder. The doubters are out in force and you have to work even
harder to dismiss your critics and make it in the business. Over the next
few pages we interview Sean Midnight and Dan Edge, both whose stories are
highly inspirational . We start with Sean who’s profoundly deaf but just
recently won the PTW British Heavyweight title. We begin the interview by
finding out the story behind that triumphant day and then look back at his
career to date.

Sean : Before the match, I did feel nervous because I was having a title
match, especially as it was the debut of the British Championship at the
PTW show in Isle of Sheppey. Just before I made my entrance, I felt like
“This is time for me to kick Marcus’ ass!”. The crowd was quite nice.
especially some of the fans who cheered throughout the match. I won via my
finisher, sitdown powerbomb. Soon after the referee counted the pinfall. I
couldn’t believe that I?d actually become PTW British Champion. I have
been professional and never won any big thing, such as title. Now I’ve won
the PTW British Championship. I felt great and over the moon.
When we travelled back to my hometown, Birmingham. I had the PTW British
Championship belt on the car seat, and I looked at the belt and felt 100%
proud of myself and what I?d achieved. I do hope I will have a long reign
with this belt. From now until then, I hope I?ll be able to win more
championships. So now I can represent the Deaf community!

Piledriver : What first got you interested in pro wrestling and who were
the wrestlers that inspired you to actually become a pro wrestler?

Sean : I do remember I was watching WWF (WWE) with my brother when we were
young, I told my brother that I wanted to become a professional wrestler
when I older. So we kept watching WWF, ?Rowdy? Roddy Piper was my
favourite. He made me laugh, I loved him! Then in 1998, Kane made his
debut to tombstone pile drive The Undertaker in the Hell in a Cell match
against Shawn Michaels. I was very into that, I loved Kane. When I was 15
years old, I decided to attend K-Star Wrestling (KSW) to train to become
professional wrestle. Soon after that I quit K Star Wrestling, to go to
Ultimate Championship Wrestling (UCW). Now, I am a professional wrestler,
so I would say ?Rowdy? Roddy Piper and Kane actually inspired me to become
pro-wrestler.

Piledriver : How did people react when you said that you were going to
become a professional wrestler?

Sean : It all depends on the person. My mom was worried and she didn?t
want me to be a pro wrestler as she worried that I may get seriously
injured. But now she’s accepted it and she’s very supportive me, so is my
dad. Some people say that because I?m deaf there’s no chance for me to
turn pro wrestler. As I said it depends on the person.. Most people said
?go for it? and they?re proud to see the deaf guy step in the ring. Now
there is one promotion interested in booking me to appear on their show in
America! The promoter watched some of my matches on YouTube, visited my
website, and contacted me for some match videos, and now he says he’s
satisfied enough to book me. That;’s a big step for me. We still work on
it. Finger crossed!

Piledriver : Who trained you and how more difficult did your deafness make
that training?

I used be trained at KSW, then Davey Jones at UCW. Davey Jones as a
trainer was wonderful! That was much easier for me because he’s deaf as
well. The communication was smooth. We used be trained together with
another deaf pro wrestler, Lightning Lewis. Now we trained to new
wrestler-to-be.

Piledriver : What are your memories of your pro debut?

Sean : I do remember my pre-debut match. I was travelling down to
Trowbridge by train from Birmingham with my friends. I was worried and
felt like going to be sick. My friends seem worried about me. When we
arrived at the venue, the ring was in the middle of the l room with empty
chairs around the ring. I sat down in a chair and I kept telling myself
that I couldn?t believe that I was actually going to become a pro
wrestler. My debut was against Lightning Lewis. The match was amazing.
Especially as I turned heel to join Forecast Express. Lots of people
seemed to enjoy our match, I did enjoy my debut match and I loved it.

Piledriver : Why did you choose the name ‘Sean Midnight’ and why are you
always holding that clock?

Sean : Well, there was three reasons I chose Sean Midnight as my ring
name. 1) My surname is Noone, Noone sound like as ?noon? which mean
afternoon. Opposite 12:00 afternoon is Midnight. So I use Midnight. 2) I
normally stay up after 12:00am. 3) That sounded an awesome ring name and I
liked that. So there’s the three reasons I chose ?Sean Midnight? as my
ring name.

Clock… Some of the wrestlers did ask me why I made my entrance with the
clock. Some of them think that I ripped it off from Boogeyman, But I
didn?t.. The reason I carry a clock is because of ?Midnight? which links
with the time (12:00am). I also like to make an entrance with something
else, otherwise I would look boring. Lots of children love my clock, so do
people, some of the wrestlers as well. Peter Staniforth is just jealous!
Ha!

Piledriver : How does the fact you’re profoundly deaf affect your career
and how do you overcome those problems?

Sean : I would say ?Communication Breakdown? to be honest. I found it was
extremely difficult to communicate with wrestlers but we use paper/pen to
solve the problem. To work with the crowd was difficult, I believe some of
them seem scared to meet me and talk to me after the show, I think all
because they didn?t know how to talk to me. I would like to talk to the
fans after the show. It would be nice to talk to see if they did enjoy
the show, etc. Some of the fans on my Facebook, I occasionally talk to
them on there like Nisa who is one of the big fans of Power Trip
Wrestling (PTW).

Piledriver : How does the fact you can’t hear the fans cheering you affect
you in the ring?

Sean : I normally work with crowd a little bit, as my wrestle style is as
a grappler. That means I?ll be too busy to look to the crowd and wait for
them to cheer. But I can make them cheer at my entrance and after the
match. Some times, I make them cheer in the middle of the match and I can
see them cheer. That wasn?t a big problem, really. But it would be nice if
the fans stand up and cheer so I can know when they?re cheering or not..

Piledriver : You’ve had a few matches with Lightning Lewis, who’s also
deaf. What are your memories of those matches and what’s he like as an
opponent?

Sean : Actually I?ve only faced him three times so far and the matches
were really tough Lots of people say we remind them a lot of Batista Vs
Randy Orton, and most of them says the match made them feel it had a
main event feeling which was great. I believe we always put lots of
effort into the matches with big moves, lots of bumps, etc. My debut match
was the most memorable, especially as I gave Lightning Lewis a
handshaking to turn myself heel.

Piledriver : What reaction have you had to your appearance on the
Community Channel in April?

Sean : I appeared on ?WICKED? on 20 April and I had a match for PTW on the
24th. Some of the wrestlers said they?d seen me on television. That should
be interesting to see what the crowds reaction is going to be like. There
was lots of reaction from the Deaf community. I went to a rally in
Tamworth on the 25th, lots of deaf people talked to me about wrestling,
and they said they saw me on television. That was awesome. I just feel
like as ?At last! They all now know there is a Deaf Professional
Wrestler!?. The programme can found here:
http://www.bslbt.co.uk/wicked/programmes/episode_four/episode_four/

Piledriver : You’re a regular in PTW, just what is Petey Staniforth like
to work for and do you need to check the latest Luton Town result before
chatting to him to gauge what mood he’ll be in?

Sean : To be working with Petey Staniforth is awesome. He’s like my
family, I just love to wind him up. But he can be nasty when he appears on
the show, but I am looking forward to see us both in the ring at the same
time so I can tell him to save his breath, because he can give you a
mouthful but problem is I can?t hear it! Do I check the Luton Town FC
result? Not really, no. I know if Luton Town FC lose, that won?t affect
us. The interesting fact is that Luton Town FC chairman, Nick Owen lives
up the road from me. I asked him for an autograph to give to Petey
Staniforth. He loved that. He couldn?t believe that. His face was
priceless.

Piledriver : What have been the highlights of your time so far in PTW?

Sean : I would say the Isle of Sheppey show, as lots of people kept coming
to the PTW stall to buy a promo picture of me, and asking me to sign it,
take picture with kids, etc when I didn?t have any chance to go get
changed to normal clothes from wrestling attire. That was my highlight at
PTW. WICKED came over to film the match, as well where I was captain for
team PTW against team LPW in a battle royal. Being captain for PTW meant
lots to me.

Piledriver : What are your ambitions in pro wrestling?

Sean : There are two things that I aim for being a pro wrestler. First, I
would like to become heavyweight champion where I can represent the Deaf
and it would be good for the Deaf community, and also the disabled
community. Second, I would like to get more bookings I always love to
wrestle for other promotions including big promotions, again which would
be good for me to represent the Deaf, but also the disabled community, as
well. I would loved to wrestle overseas such as America.

Piledriver : How important do you feel it is that other people who suffer
from deafness have role models like yourself so they can also forge
successful careers?

Sean : I do feel that is very important. So Deaf people can achieve what
they always want to as I have. I watched WWF and always wanted to become
pro wrestler. Look at me now. I am a pro wrestler and there are ONLY
three deaf pro-wrestlers in UK as far I know. The other role model in PTW
is Dan Edge. He is disabled and he’s a wrestler as well. Even though he
has limited ability he shows that his disability hasn?t stopped him
becoming a pro-wrestler. I always believe that everyone can achieve as
much as anyone else, no matter what they are, deaf, disabled, gender, age,
and many more, it hasn?t stopped them achieve something that they always
want to.

Piledriver : Do you feel other promoters have discriminated against you
when deciding not to book you for their companies?

Sean : I?ve emailing lots of promotions to see if they keen on booking me.
Most of them haven?t replied, but some of did reply and they said I can?t
wrestle for them due to my deafness, which is discrimination. I think that
was very wrong to decide not to book me, Lewis or Davey Jones because
we?re Deaf. One promotion was interesting in booking me until they found
out I was deaf. and they dropped it. I wouldn?t say just promoters, as
most wrestlers as well. There are some wrestlers in the UK who are VERY
poor wrestlers and get lots of bookings which is hard to understand for me
because I only get limited booked and lots of the fans enjoyed my match.
However, most wrestlers look to us, and tell us we can?t be wrestlers if
we?re deaf. I can?t see there’s any problem. After the match, most
wrestlers are just surprised to see how tough that I was. I would say
that we wrestle similar to the WWE style instead of British Style which
means we do lots of big moves, tough matchetc. That usually happens when
it/s me against Lightning Lewis. Again, I would love to get bookings from
other promotions around the UK to wrestle on their shows. That would be a
great experience for me and that would help the promotions as it’s good
that they recommended a Deaf wrestler to wrestle on their show. I think
that it is time for promoters to meet the challenges! I?m sure the
promoters wouldn?t regret having us at their shows, as I (and Lightning
Lewis) always put lots of effort into the match. One promotion in America
is interested in booking for their shows and that show that I do have the
ability to wrestle a match. So there isn?t any excuse for British
promotion who won?t book me due to my deafness, really.

Piledriver : How can my readers find out more about you and your career?

Sean : I would say just visit the official website of Sean Midnight, which
can be found http://sean-midnight.tripod.com/ or my FaceBook. Also visit
Power Trip Wrestling website, www.powertripwrestling.co.uk