NXT UK star Eddie Dennis was a guest on the latest episode of They Are NXT UK with Wrestlezone’s Iain Chambers. Dennis talks about his beginnings in wrestling, including working while he was also a teacher, and discusses getting hired by WWE and standing out in the company.
Beginnings in wrestling:
“I was a secondary school math teacher for about five years, then my last two years in teaching I headed up a primary school. I walked away from that when I went full-time, but I wrestled all throughout my teaching days.
It’s pretty scary. At the time I wasn’t contracted with WWE, so I was going from a comfortable annual income to independent wrestling, where nothing is guaranteed. It’s scary from a financial perspective, I’ve got a mortgage. But I wasn’t a complete unknown, I’d wrestled on the UK independent scene for the past decade. I had a rough idea of how much money I’d be making wrestling. So I just backed myself.”
First time he saw wrestling:
“I can’t remember exactly. I do remember that it was definitely my dad’s taped WCW programming. Back probably in 1991, he let me watch it because he thought I’d like it. I started going to pilates classes when I was very young, so he just assumed. That was my first impression, Sting, Big Van Vader, The Steiners, people like that.”
How did he want to stand out in the ring?
“I can’t say that I thought about that when I first stepped in the ring. Ultimately, you just draw influence from all the wrestlers you grew up watching. As you get older, you start to appreciate that one of the more valuable commodities you can have is to be a unique package. As long as you’re unique, you’re kind of irreplaceable. I’ve always thought to try to have elements that are unique to me.”
When did he get hired by WWE?
“At school, I handed in my notice, but I had to work till the end of the academic year. I stayed in school until July then I went full-time wrestling. After that, in November, I had my tryout with WWE. Nothing really happened until the next April or May when all the UK stuff started kicking off.”