The legendary soul singer is hitting the road in celebration of her iconic album.
Watching the WWE Cruiserweight Classic last year, you could see how genuinely important being given another shot in WWE was for The Brian Kendrick, a previous WWE Tag Team Champion with various stints with the company; a veteran. This was what he called his final shot. After an exceptional showing in the CWC, The Man With A Plan has continued making his mark back in the WWE as part of the Cruiserweight division both on Monday nights on WWE RAW and Tuesday nights on WWE 205 Live – including a short but interesting reign as WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
After being involved in the CWC, Kendrick knows how important things like that can be on the WWE Network. “The Network is the best thing that’s happened for wrestling and wrestling fans in who knows how long,” he says ahead of the WWE United Kingdom Championship Live show in Norwich, which is being filmed for the Network. “Triple H and [William] Regal had a lot to do with both these tournaments happening – they’re real geniuses.” After breathing life back into the Cruiserweight division and opening doors for UK talent, The Brian Kendrick hopes “they do they same with the luchadores, the Japanese wrestlers and with women”. With the WWE Mae Young Classic taking place later this year for the women, his hopes aren’t far off being fulfilled.
Before The Brian Kendrick hit the ring at the WWE UK Championship Live show with his fellow 205 Live Superstars, we caught up with him about coming back to the WWE, the WWE UK Championship and how, even after all these years, he’s still taking every opportunity to learn…
ON HOW IT FEELS TO BE BACK WITH WWE…
“I’m making my way out of debt (laughs), which is nice. My mum doesn’t have to worry so much about me anymore. Wolfgang and I were talking and he asked me the same thing when we first sat down. They’re different styles – the Independent style is not my specialty and so it started to make me feel wrestling had passed me. I couldn’t, and wasn’t, doing what the Independent people wanted. This is the style that really suits me. My first contract was when I was 20 years old and now I’m 37, and this is the style I know. I feel like I’m at home. It’s been really nice.”
ON THE WWE UK GUYS AND THE WWE UK CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT…
“I knew almost all of them, I met a lot of these guys on the Indies – I’d never seen Tyler Bate before… big opportunity for him. I thought it was great. From just the location and getting to see a lot of these guys I’ve done ICW with, or a lot of the Indies across the UK, or even the States. It was exciting for me. I had a student on the show [Saxon Huxley], so I was thrilled for him and everybody on there. It’s good for wrestling and good for wrestlers.”
ON HOW HE’S STILL LEARNING…
“So, luckily enough, the Cruiserweights get to go Monday [on RAW] and Tuesday [on 205 Live]. They have gorilla position, where the wrestlers come out from, and there’s a monitor right there, and there will always be agents – the veteran wrestlers who are now helping guys out with their matches – and I’ll always grab a seat next to an agent and just start bombarding them with stupid wrestling questions. So, about five hours every week I’m sitting next to an agent, harassing them. I love wrestling – I think it’s an art from – and if I can pick their brains and become a better artist, I will. I’m always learning.”
There’s plenty more WWE action taking over the UK over the coming months, starting with the WWE NXT tour which culminates at Download Festival. Here are those dates:
5 June – GE Oil & Gas Arena, Aberdeen
7 June – First Direct Arena, Leeds
8 June – Centre, Brighton
9 – 11 June – Download Festival 2017
Tickets for WWE NXT are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.