Oliver Newman is a British Wrestling fan turned author who has released three books and also works on a great podcast. We chatted about how he started as an author, his books, thoughts on the British Wrestling scene and what his future plans are.
Tell us about how you got started as a writer and author:
My Brother surprised me with tickets to a WWE RAW House Show (Saturday 29th May 2004) in my hometown of Birmingham, England.
After watching a thoroughly entertaining show, highlighted by Edge vs. Batista, a two out of three falls match for the WWE I.C. Title – Shelton Benjamin vs. Randy Orton (c) and ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels. The latter was an absolute classic, I felt compelled to write about professional wrestling, I was sick of all the critics and wanted to use my voice to say ‘no, I love pro wrestling and this is why’. I have been writing about the sport of professional wrestling ever since.
Whilst working in a Warehouse I got speaking to a colleague about writing books, he told me about Createspace (a place where you can self-publish) and I was like, ‘wow, really!?’ I told him of my idea to collate my British Wrestling reports from 2007, write around it, put them in a book and publish and he said I should absolutely do that. I did just that and to celebrate my 25th Anniversary as a fan of professional wrestling (26th August 1991) I published my first book – A Fan’s Perspective: One Man’s Exploration Of British Wrestling.
Do you ever suffer from Writers block or a slowdown of creative thoughts when writing? How do you get your inspiration back?
I actually answered this question on my Goodreads Author Profile – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15709029.Oliver_Newman – hope you don’t mind the plug.
“I either try to power through or understand this is just in the moment and come back to writing at another time”.
Wrestling is clearly a huge love of yours, tell us about what first got you hooked:
One match, Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (c) for the WWE I.C. Title from Summerslam ’91. I think in this instance I’m best quoting from my British Wrestling Book to explain my thoughts on the match:
“I remember vividly watching professional wrestling for the first time in August 1991 (26th August 1991) to be exact. The event was WWE Summerslam and the match I remember (clear as day) was Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart vs Mr. Perfect (c) for the W.W.E. Intercontinental Title. What I witnessed was a pro wrestling masterpiece (my six year old) self didn’t know that at the time – but this match has gone down in the annals of history in WWE.
I disliked Perfect’s cockiness and arrogance (I would later on learn to love it) and rallied behind the man who would become my favourite all-time professional wrestler in Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and when he pulled off the upset win (at the time) I was to experience my first ever joyful pro wrestling moment”.
You have written a book about British Wrestling which is going through a huge resurgence at the moment. What are your current favourite things about the scene and what are your hopes for the future of it?
Wow, I don’t know where to start.
Seeing guys I knew in 2007 in places like New Japan Pro Wrestling (Zack Sabre Jnr), NXT UK (Ashton Smith, Dave Mastiff & El Ligero), WOS Wrestling (Martin Kirby & Doug Williams – one of three men who heavily influenced me into watching British Wrestling in the first place, along with ‘The Phoenix’ Jody Fleisch & ‘Wonderkid’ Jonny Storm) is just awesome. The amount of top promotions in the scene is astounding, so much so it might take a good while to say which ones!
The sky is the limit for British Wrestling.
Who do you admire?
‘Kiwi Buzzsaw’ Travis Banks – here is a guy I met at a Chikara/Fight Club Pro joint event in Wolverhampton a little over two years ago (as a complete unknown), now he is Progress Champion, going to Pro Wrestling Guerilla BOLA (this Summer) and is a big part of NXT UK, it is unbelievable how far he has come in such a short period of time – I’m so proud.
‘Liverpool’s #1’ Zack Gibson – A guy I knew about but hadn’t seen wrestle before. Was a part of the Pilot WOS Wrestling. Blew me away with in-ring and microphone work in 5 Star Wrestling. Now the world gets to see how great he is as part of NXT UK.
WWE UK Champion – ‘The Bruiserweight’ Pete Dunne (c) – A truly fantastic wrestler, the complete package. Makes me proud to be a Brummie, knowing the Champion is from my Hometown.
How did you decide to get started on a podcast and can you give us a flavour of some of the things that you cover on a typical episode?
I was invited for an interview with Broken But Glorious to talk about British Wrestling (because of my British Wrestling Book), I became a part of the team (shortly after).
I decided to start Positive In Pro Wrestling because something that has been levelled at me my entire writing career was that I was too positive about pro wrestling, I’m not sure why that’s a bad thing.
So four months ago, I decided that I wanted to talk about the PIPW. On some of the shows (from episode 8) I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Impact Wrestling Teleconference Call, so my chats with some of the stars are a part of the show.
It’s on hiatus at the moment (working on the Kindle for third book) but I cover 205 Live, WWE NXT & Impact Wrestling, I have talked 5 Star Wrestling (in the past) and sometimes talk about New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Why did you choose 2016 as the focus for one of your books?
2016 was just a great year.
You have AJ Styles debuting in the company, Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (c) steals the show at WrestleMania. The WWE I.C. Title scene produced some amazing matches.
Dean Ambrose became WWE Champion, The Cruiserweight Classic was exceptional – leading to the 205 Live Brand. Smackdown went Live as SD:Live – leading to RAW & SD:Live PPV’s mostly twice a month.
DIY vs. The Revival (c) was Tag Team Wrestling 101. AJ Styles vs. John Cena was a TNA/Impact Wrestling vs. WWE Dream Match, that lived up to the hype (twice, in that year).
Charlotte & ‘The Boss’ Sasha Banks had an incredible feud (including Main Eventing a PPV in a Hell In A Cell) that was a catalyst for the women’s wrestling revolution.
Another of your books has an intriguing title – ‘How my lifelong dream became a nightmare’, without giving too much away, what were your thoughts behind this?
My lifelong dream was to attend a WrestleMania live, I did that at WrestleMania 24 – that’s the dream part. I tell the story of the before, during and after – that is the nightmare part. I put the two together and came up with the Title.
What are your plans for the future?
Selling 100 books was a mini-goal of mine (I have just achieved that – which is amazing! I’m actually on sale 101 – a bit of insider information), hoping to go back on to British Wrestling scene more in the future, as there is nothing better than taking in a live show, hopefully selling some books, meeting and personalising them for readers & fans of mine.
I don’t really think Long Term, I tend to like to live each day as it comes.
How can people keep up to date with your work?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/default/e/B01L24QI3U/ – Where you can buy my Books, alternatively you can buy personalized copies through me, if interested contact me through the links below:
I work for a Podcast called Broken but Glorious Wrestling Podcast (alongside Chris Lappin & Nick Davie). I have worked there since September 2017, I even have my own show called Positive In Pro Wrestling – where I talk about the positive aspects of Pro Wrestling for that week: https://soundcloud.com/v2football
We have our own Merchandise, if you want to support Me and the lads: https://teespring.com/stores/broken-but-glorious
Oliver will be at Oasis Market – Wrestling Funday on Saturday 21st July 2018 at Pro Wrestling Cartel Birmingham. He will be launching his third book, signing and also doing a meet and greet and Q&A.