WHEN it comes to wrestling WWE is the pinnacle – and now Belfast’s Paul Gallagher (a.k.a. Tucker) is ready to grapple, grip, throw and pin with the best in the UK
Signed as part of the new NXT UK weekly streaming show from WWE Paul will be in the midst of the best male and female wrestlers across the UK doing battle from this weekend in Plymouth and in Liverpool in November. All are set to be shown each Wednesday on WWE Network.
World Wrestling Entertainment
The 28-year-old has had a life-long devotion to wrestling from when he was a mere stripling attending Belvoir Primary School and is now set to be part of the vanguard of talented wrestlers in the new NXT UK WWE venture.
Having already had several matches as part of NXT UK Paul has a burning ambition to grow wrestling across Ireland as he prepares to take to the ring throughout the the WRESTLING.IE tour hitting 12 venues north and south later this month.
Fighting For His Legacy
“I would love to be the man who failed maths twice but made history in his hometown putting Belfast city on the map” he said.
The former personal trainer started when he was 8-years-old, spurred on by his brother who helped him join a wrestling school on the Cregagh Road.
From that point Paul has worked hard to be a top grade wrestler and was part of the first UK championship tournament.
“To be held in such a high regard and be considered the best in Northern Ireland amongst such a highly talented bunch of individuals was a true honour.
“And to have the privilege of representing my country for the biggest company in professional wrestling was truly a dream come true.”
But it hasn’t been a smooth ride. In 2015 a series of injuries, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) a dislocated patella put Paul on the sidelines for 18 months, and as he confesses his knee at the time looked like a “Belfast Bap”.
No matter the risks associated every time a wrestler steps into the ring, Paul relishes it.
“What we do is amongst the most unique forms of entertainment on the planet, I have the greatest job in the world,” he explained.
“We have the ability to pull on our audiences heart strings, taking them on a rollercoaster of emotions, there is no other sport that possesses this ability.”
He is even going so far a helping train his girlfriend to help her get into wrestling as well.
But for Paul the work needed to get into matches at WWE level would make many an athlete quake.
“I train every day, between weights, cardio, mobility and of course in ring training,” he says. “I make sure to cover all aspects to stay at the top of my game with the wealth of young talent in Ireland north and south of the border as well as phenomenal scene in the United Kingdom I feel I have to ensure I am the hardest worker in the room.”
Of course, as a Belfast lad, Paul is self-deprecating…
“I am known as the man who has more guts than brains” he says. “You can expect a high energy, aggressive style with a mix of unique offence.
“I am constantly improving my game and updating my arsenal but as i always say it only takes one move to put the bad guy away – big or tall they always fall.”
And, should anyone coming along to the WRESTLING.IE events and want to go further Paul has words of advice.
“Work hard and stay humble, don’t hesitate to get involved and put your heart and soul into it,” he explained. “Just like in life, you get what you put in, if your putting your heart and soul into this and is your true passion the opportunities and possibilities are endless.
“Do not be put off by anyone who doubts you or tells you, your too small, too old or anything else. Becoming a wrestler now on the UK scene has never been more achievable with the level of talent, the number of schools and the amount of great coaches out there, if this is truly what you want go and take it.”
Now, for a man who came into this world eight weeks premature and was given hours to live Paul is now within touching distance of wrestling’s global elite.
The announcement was made earlier this week that NXT UK, will stream on WWE Network on Wednesdays beginning October 17 at 8 pm BT/3 pm ET.
The one-hour episodes will feature the biggest names from NXT UK, including Pete Dunne, Mark Andrews, Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, Tyler Bate, Trent Seven and Wolfgang.
Joining the NXT UK broadcasting team as backstage interviewer is British broadcasting personality Radzi Chinyanganya, best known for hosting ITV gameshow Cannonball, and in his ongoing role as a presenter of the world’s longest-running children’s TV show, the BBC’s Blue Peter. Calling the action are commentators Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph, joined by ring announcer Andy Shepherd and NXT UK General Manager The Legendary Johnny Saint.”
For the past decade WRESTLING.IE has brought entertainment to every major town in Ireland, with packed crowds roaring on every move, every slam and every hold.
Fun For All The Family
Promoter, Stevey Reavey, says the entire family will be enthralled by the show Corey and his rivals will bring to the ring.
“There’s something for children, mums and dads and we know granny and grandad will be amongst the loudest in the audience” he said.
“We are bringing larger than life characters, world-class athletic action, thrills, spills and the goodies battling the baddies. It’s a show not to be missed.”
Tucker will be appearing at 9 out of the 12-date WRESTLING.IE tour. For a full list of dates and contestants visit www.wrestling.ie