TNA’s British Boot Camp 2 reaches its climax this Sunday on
Challenge TV at 9pm. In advance of the final, we spoke with the hopefuls about
their past, present and future. Rampage
Brown has been a standout competitor from day one. With an immense
physique, unquestionable talent and superb in-ring ability, he is a most
formidable challenger for the TNA crown.
You faced Samoa Joe at Progress
Wrestling in London before Boot Camp 2 began and earned his respect. Do you think
that stood in your favour when you came to face the judging
Yeah, I think it did because Joe had already seen what I was
capable of in the ring, at crunch time, in front of a sold out crowd of 700
crazy Progress fans. So he knew that I could hold up my end of the bargain and
I think that definitely worked in my favour.
You trained in a US developmental system. Do
you think that gave you an advantage over the other finalists and does it worry
you that should you win, you’d have to go through a similar process
I think being in developmental training in the states
certainly has helped me both in general and in this case too. Just having been
in that environment gave me a step-up above everybody else in the ring but I
wouldn’t go back into another developmental situation. I’ve done it once – I
was with WWE for a year – but I’ve been wrestling for 14 years. And over those
14 years of my career, I’ve wrestled and still wrestle a lot of the TNA guys. I don’t see why I need to be sent out to a
developmental system for my ring work. Maybe that’s me being arrogant but to be
honest I’ve had more than a decade of busting my ass for this. I guess it’s a
very corny term but I’ve paid a lot of dues and I don’t think I’m any worse
than other people that are getting the opportunities these days – and that goes
for a lot of people in the UK.
We’ve heard you raise concerns in the past
that some companies attempt to get talent to wrestle in a uniform way. Does TNA
differ and would winning Boot Camp give you licence to keep to a “British
style” of wrestling?
There is definitely a difference. Other big companies like
people to wrestle and approach things in the same way, whereas TNA has a more
relaxed view of people’s styles. As a British wrestler going into an American
environment – you only need look at Noam Dar. He’s a fantastic wrestler. In my
opinion, he’s been shining through this whole Boot Camp process and really
stands out and takes it to another level. So I think he should and would have
the freedom to go out there and do his thing and so would I and so would
anybody that is put in that environment. It just depends if the Americans can
keep up with our style!
You’re due to face Bram
in the final – another Yorkshireman!
Were you pleased to face him or disappointed to be going up against
someone from back home?
Funny story – we’ve been best friends for 10 years! We both
wrestled over in the UK, we both tried out for WWE, we both got signed on the
same day and we both had our struggles. We lived together, we trained together,
we were best friends and still are to this day. We lost touch every now and
again over the past few years but like with any best friends you pick up where
you left off. So to get over there and find that I was facing him was, well, I
was pleasantly surprised to be honest with you. He’s changed a lot in the last
few years as well. His aggression levels have gone sky high and I really get a
kick out of watching him. So to go up against in him in this new frame of mind
he has was just what I needed and I really enjoyed it.
You mentioned Noam
Dar. He was given a reprieve for the finals. If you could bring back
one competitor from the whole Boot Camp process who would you give a second
It’s a good question! I’d probably say Kris Travis because as you’ll know, he
was found to be ill and couldn’t continue in the competition but he’s been
fighting away on the UK scene for so long that it was about time that he
finally got an opportunity. Although I guess there’s never a good time to get
that kind of news, his illness came at such a bad time for him – it was
heart-breaking. He finally had an opportunity on his doorstep and it was
snatched away from him. He’s been going out there for the last couple of years
and going on with guys like Chris Masters and talents from Ring of Honour that
people have rated the best in the world. He’s going in there and tearing the
house down and leaving the building with the crowd chanting his name – and he
showed he could perform at that level. He really should have got a better
reward out of this – so I’d definitely bring him back.
Is there anyone from across the UK Independent
scene that didn’t make it to TV but that you’d like to see in a British Boot
Oh – there’s so many guys out there that deserve an
opportunity. Guys that a lot of people don’t know but that work nearly every
night and put in as much as anyone else in the UK. Guys like Robbie Dynamite, all sorts of names
that should have some kind of opportunity in that light. Martin Kirby, Jack Gallagher
– there’s a lot of names that spring to mind.
You had to share a coach with the other five
finalists – who was the worst roommate?
You know what – they weren’t that bad. I’ve had a lot, lot
worse. It was only a short amount of time but I could see my patience wearing
thin if the process went on any longer. Grado was a bit messy, Andrews just
kept falling asleep every five minutes but I couldn’t pick them up on anything
Who do you most admire on the current TNA
There’s a few guys. Obviously Kurt Angle. He’s a phenomenon
so that’s a no brainer but I’d probably say Magnus as well. He’s a close friend
of mine. The reason I pick him is that being in the UK and then the States with
a big company is a completely different kettle of fish. He’s just gone there
and maintained a position and done so well for so long – it says a lot about
his determination and how hard he works. To be such a big figure in TNA for so
long, I’d say Magnus, definitely.
What’s the best rib [practical joke] that has
been played on you or that you’ve played on others?
I probably can’t tell you about ribs that have been played
on me! I’ve not done anything too bad recently other than throwing Grado in the
shower. It’s just stupid things like nicking people’s socks when they’re in the
ring so that when they go to put them on they’ve only got one and have to hop
home. Stupid things like that.
What does British Boot Camp 2 tell us about
the state of British wrestling?
I think when you really strip it down and look at the
individual talent from this country and what has been bred from this country,
it really does speak for itself so far as in-ring talent is concerned. There’s
obviously a few things missing in terms of UK promotions in general but for the
most part I think the UK is a hotbed for professional wrestling talent these
days. I’d like to think British Boot Camp came over and demonstrated that both
as regards me and the other guys on the show.