Photo: Cory Lockwood Photography
Benny English is the owner of the latest NWA affiliate in Australia NWA: Warzone, and has been a manager for several promotions throughout the country for a number of years. Tez caught up with Benny to ask about his career as a manager and what the future holds for WarZone.
ALLIANCE–WRESTLING: You have worked as a manager for several promotions over the years. How did you get your start?
BENNY ENGLISH: OK, this is no where near as exciting as maybe it should be. I was 19 at the time and went onto the internet to look for wrestling companies in Melbourne. PCW (Professional Championship Wrestling) popped up on the screen along with information on it’s training school. I went down there with no idea of what to expect. I did the basic break falls ect. and was terrible, but the trainers at the time noticed I didn’t shut up. So they offered me a commentary spot on their student shows, and soon after I ended up on their main shows.
AW: Which managers in particular inspired you to become one?
BENNY: Well most people say Bobby Heenan and even though many will say he is the best out there, and I am never going to deny he is amazing. Personally, my favorite is Jim Cornette. He is a total verbal machine gun and barely stops moving, but isn’t a distraction from a match, which a manager should be. In the beginning I emulated a lot from him. Even William Regal was a huge inspiration for me, his facial expressions and reactions were great, so it was two great performers to learn from!
AW: Out of all the wrestlers you have managed on shows, which ones have been your favourites to work with?
BENNY: Hands down it had to be Steve Frost, we had a great chemistry I think is rare with the manager/wrestler combo’s. We worked together monthly for 4 years, some times 3 times a month and we’re still friends to this day I am proud to say.
However Jay Andrews, Mike Burr, Hartley Jackson, Damian Slater, and the Enforcer are all great to work with. I recently had the blessings to work with Adam Brooks, a great opportunity to work with such a easy going and giving performer, and I had a lot of fun working with him.
AW: Is there anyone you would like to work with as a manager that you haven’t had the opportunity to as yet?
BENNY: Ummmm good question. Working with Tre is on my list of people to work with. Tre is often overlooked, but is a great performer with such a unique look and the best attitude anyone could ask for out of a performer.
AW: What made you decide to start WarZone Wrestling?
BENNY: At the time PWA (Pro Wrestling Alliance) had shut down and PCW disappeared for a time, leaving a lot of wrestlers without anywhere to work. I decided to run a one off show, and it seemed to have been received well so I decided to keep it going.
AW: Do you hope to run shows on a more regular basis, or are you happy with how things are going?
BENNY: I would love to and we have been running a little more regularly in 2012. Ideally a monthly show is the goal but as with everything it’s all about dollars and cents. By running the way we do, we have been able to bring in international guests like “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce, Paul London, and Orlando Jordan, along with wrestlers from all around the country that fans in Melbourne don’t often get to see. So the positives of running less frequently have out weighed the negative at the moment but we have got some exciting things in the pipeline.
AW: How did the alliance with the NWA come about?
BENNY: Shortly after WarZone 1, I went to California for two months and while I was there I caught up with David Marquez, whom I had met earlier in the year while working a show in Adelaide. We got to speaking and he generously offered me a NWA affiliation. At that time in my mind WarZone was still finding its feet, so I turned it down however left the door wide open. While there I met Adam Pearce and we kept in touch. When I heard of the last ride tour I invited Adam over and when offered the opportunity to join the NWA, I took it with both hands and run with it. It’s definitely something I am proud to be doing.
AW: KrackerJak will be defending the NWA: WarZone championship at SWA’s Clean Slate. Is this the first time the title has been defended outside of WarZone?
BENNY: Indeed it is. The fact SWA (Showtime Wrestling Alliance) has been so supportive of NWA: WarZone has been nothing short of amazing. The fact they feel the title is important enough to put on their biggest show of the year proves we are heading in the right direction. It also helps promote the NWA brand which is also a great thing, so a huge thank you to SWA has to be put out there!
AW: Now with NWA Pro becoming Zero One. WarZone and EPW are the only two NWA affiliated promotions in the country. Would you like to do something with EPW?
BENNY: Of course. EPW have set so many standards in Australia for wrestling that alone would make me want to rub shoulders with them, and they also brought the NWA back to Australia to begin with.
AW: Are there any updates about what is happening with the NWA Australian National championship?
BENNY: Not at the moment, however we are working on getting it back out there. That’s all I can really say at the minute.
AW: In the latest issue of legendary magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated there is a piece on then NWA World champion Adam Pearce defending the title in WarZone. It’s very rare news on Australian promotions gets printed in a worldwide publication. Did you know there was going to be something printed in the mag or was it a surprise?
BENNY: It was a total shock (Laughs). It’s one of those things people assume I will know about. When I saw it I was so proud. To see something so many people have put time into to helping grow and improve, and then to see us mentioned at a respectable length (in PWI) was not only a great moral booster but validates all the sacrifices made for NWA: WarZone. I can’t thank everyone enough.
AW: Can you give us any details about what’s coming up for WarZone?
BENNY: Hmmm (Laughs), it’s a toughie, I would love to tell you everything we are doing. We have some returning guests this year including “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce, and we have some more surprises coming up as well. Sadly, I’ve got to keep them under wraps for the moment.
NWA: WarZone’s next event “Warzone Wrestling 13” will be held on July 21 at the Berwick Performing Arts Centre in Berwick, Victoria. To keep up with all the latest WarZone happenings visit www.warzonewrestling.com.au or add Warzone Wrestling Australia on Facebook.