As the UK slowly comes out of the lockdown caused by Covid 19 and the vaccine is being rolled out across the country, British Wrestling Promotions will once again be allowed to run shows with small, socially distanced crowds as of the 21st June. So with the imminent return of British Wrestling I thought I would take the time to shine a spotlight on British Wrestlers, providing who to look out for, where you will be able see them compete. As well as shining a light on British Promotions and where they run shows and who’s on their Roster.
For this first spotlight I chose to look for a wrestler with a first, the first ever openly transgender British wrestler “The Notorious Angel” Amber Jo, who is currently training at Rev Pro’s Portsmouth School of Wrestling. We were lucky enough to speak with Amber Jo as well as her fellow trainee “The Devious One” Curtis Elliot for the Tea and Tights Podcast, together they are hoping that they will team together as an Inter-Gender tag team called the Vainglorious Authority.
Both Amber Jo and Curtis Elliot train at Rev Pro’s Portsmouth School of Wrestling under the watchful eye of trainers such as Joel Redman (Formally Oliver Grey on WWE NXT) along with the rest of Rev Pro’s Contender Division. Amber and Curtis made their in ring debuts at Rev Pro’s Revolution Rumble 2020 a Royal Rumble that featured young British wrestlers and Rev Pro contenders. The likes of Micheal Oku, Mad Kurt, Kenneth Halfpenny and Zoe Lucas, among others, have all competed in this match. In making her in ring Debut at this event Amber became the first British Transgender wrestler to compete for Rev Pro and here in the UK, she was eventually eliminated by Zoe Lucas.
As the first ever openly transgender competitor Amber was naturally worried about starting her journey despite her dream of wanting to become a wrestler. Her worries were put at ease during her first meeting with Rev Owner and Promoter Andy Quildan, who simply asked her how she saw herself and from that point on that was it. The only issue was that Amber had noted that she wanted to be heel where is Andy thinks her story would be more suited to a face;
“I really do prefer being a heel but obviously as I am mainly with Rev Pro at the moment you know I have been talking to Quildan, I really want to be heel but he’s like your story and everything that you have is good you wouldn’t want people to boo you. But I was like love being booed or I could do a Nikki Bella and just be the best heel ever and still be cheered but I love being heel.”
She also spoke very highly of the team behind the scenes at the Rev Pro Portsmouth School of Wrestling with helping her and how everyone has been fully accepting of her, discussing a particular incident with trainer Joel Redman;
“He (Joel Redman) is actually a really nice guy when we were training he accidentally miss-gendered me because I do have a deep voice and I was talking, so I said I am trans female and he never stopped apologising I said Joel it’s really okay its fine but he quickly switched it calling me right.”
Continuing she talked abut how supportive Joel is as a coach;
“He actually turned around and said you have a lot of potential my only down fall is I eat my opponents up I don’t give them enough time to sell I just want to get back in there and knock’em about.”
Despite only making 1 competitive appearance in the rumble match the young Amber understands the magnitude of the occasion,
“I’m the very first transgender women in the UK to become a professional wrestler and I made history not just in the UK but under the Rev Pro banner which is a big step in history.”
With that appearance Amber has already managed to garner attention of even international eyes as Amber was voted into Outsports QWI 100 a list of the top LGBTQ wrestlers from around the world, an accolade she was not even aware of at the time;
“Like I really as someone who is relatively new to the industry not watching wrestling I never heard of it before and I was on twitter and someone was like the QWI does list of some of the best LGBT wrestlers in world, I just commented “Ha Ha I should be on here” and then someone replied to my tweet “You Are”
She would talk about how much it meant to her and how her coaches supported her;
“I was just like oh wow, I said to my coaches and they said that’s a really good achievement a trainee I feel like being new I’ve been training for like two years being really new still being under the trainee spectrum I’ve had a lot of big attention a lot of that is the story that I am telling not only am I a transgender women I also have special needs as I have mild Asperger’s and like my story is to show people that our gender identity and our disabilities shouldn’t stop us progressing in our dream jobs and that’s all I want to do… no wonder why he (Andy Quildan) wants me to be a face.”
She was completely honoured by the accolade especially knowing that she shared the honour alongside the AEW star Nyla Rose. Amber spoke so highly of Nyla, who helped inspire her, reaching out to her when she first started her journey, telling us how supportive Nyla was, noting that they do continue to communicate;
“I love Nyla we do stay in touch, not saying to much I don’t know if I can get in trouble but we are quite good friends we do keep in contact, I ask how she is, I said I wanted you to know that I’ve gone from a proper fan girl to oh my god your the reason why I took courage to become a professional wrestler.”
As we discussed Nyla and Vickie Guerro the conversation came to who she would love to be managed by, listing WWE’s Paige as the person she would most like to be managed by, as one of her Idols;
“If I was to have a manager I would want Paige (WWE’s Paige) because I feel like the storyline with Paige could be amazing, two British Women with a very similar style we could do a whole female Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar.”
Amber spoke about so many amazing competitors who she has idolised whilst watching, listing wrestlers both past and present including; Beth Phoenix, Jacqueline, Awesome Kong, Rhea Ripley and Raquel Gonzalez but when asked who inspired to become a wrestler, Without hesitation she listed WWE’s Chyna as her biggest influence;
“Everyone who knows me knows what I am going to say mines really been Chyna, I was watching an Eddie Guerrro vs Chyna vs Kurt Angle triple threat match it was short but it was still one of the best matches that captivated me because there was this very big women against two men and that is when I knew I wanted to wrestle”
Despite still training Amber has lofty to aspirations to break down as many barriers as possible and to become the first ever Transgender wrestler for multiple promotions all across the UK;
“My main goal is just to try be with every company in Britain, to be their first, their first everything.”
Amber would continue on, stating she wants become the First ever British Transgender wrestler to become a British Women’s champion and not stopping there, as a supporter of inter-gender wrestling, Amber would also want to compete for Mens Titles;
“One thing I want Rev Pro to do is Inter-gender wrestling I am big fan of Inter-gender wrestling and I have had the whole idea of being the British Women’s industry Champion, demolishing all the women and then being like you know what chuck the women’s belt aside I’m going for the men’s titles.”
Looking towards the future Amber wants to make History by joining Rev Pro’s main roster in the next the year, to become the first British Transgender to wrestle competitively for one of the top companies across the UK;
“If I was to break on not trying to convince you mister Quildon if your listening if I was to break in to the main roster, Rev Pro would be the first company in the history to have a transgender woman that’s British on their main roster.”
Going on to tell us how she would love to face Zoe Lucas in her match for Revolution Pro;
“My first match I would love to wrestle Zoe (Zoe Lucas), because we wrestled together in the rumble which would bring the whole trainee/trainer to a main show there’s like a storyline their.”
Amber and Curtis continue to train at Rev Pro and despite their lofty ambitions they are both ready to take their time, with the return of British Wrestling they are focussed on getting back into shape at the Rev Pro Portsmouth School Of Wrestling. Although they are both looking to get bookings to gain more ring time and experience, they will only be taking bookings that go through Rev Pro’s Portsmouth school of wrestling. This year Rev Pro Wrestling is hosting their first ever Queen of the Ring tournament which Amber is surely hopeful she can play some part in the event. Amber did also hint to us that there could be something very exciting about to happen that is not wrestling related but that she might be on our TV screens sooner than we think. What ever Amber chooses to do she is likely to be successful especially when she lives by the catch phrase “Smashing Faces and Going Places” with a fantastically positive outlook and a ton of confidence this someone well worth keeping your eye on.
You can check out the full interview with the Tea and Tights Podcast below;
You can Follow Andrew More on Twitter @GBOtaku82
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