After tweeting back and forth via my @brummieol Twitter with Stu Rodgers of Wrestling's Last Hope @WLHSTU I am thrilled to say I’m back writing about one of my biggest passions, Pro Wrestling! So here I am for my third of hopefully many articles on the superb http://www.wrestlingslasthope.com website.
I have decided to write an article about one of the most sincere, kind and caring guys I know, I am talking about Dan Barnes, better know to fans of Pro Wrestling as ‘The Metro-Sexual’ Danny Devine, a man I‘m truly honoured to say is a friend of mine.
In September 2007 at an @AWW wrestling show, Danny and I met for the 1st time as I congratulated him on a superb match that he contested with @MartinHaffner better known to fans of Pro Wrestling as British Born Steele, which you can watch online:
Match 1 vs. BBS :
I admired his modesty and shyness, we had a nice, long conversation, exchange contact details and went on with our lives, we would be constantly intertwined though as this was the day I decided to devote my time and effort to promoting, writing and publicizing the British Wrestling scene.
In an interview I conducted a few years ago, I was able to converse with Danny via the medium of social media and ask him questions about his Wrestling career thus far, it was within this that I found out where his love for Pro Wrestling began:
“The first time I saw Bret Hart, I thought he was so cool and I wanted to be like him, but the match that did it for me was The Intercontinental Championship match at Summerslam '91 Bret Hart vs. Mr Perfect. It blew my mind and that was when I thought that's what I want to do”
The path to becoming and maintaining his status as a Professional Wrestler has not come easy for ‘The Metro-Sexual’ as injuries have curtailed a budding career on a number of occasions most notably causing Devine to quit in 2001 and 2005 (just after he was trained by Pro Wrestling superstar Lance Storm), on the 2nd occasion it looked like for good but thankfully Devine returned to the squared circle for a 3rd time in 2007.
The feud with British Born Steele was superb and really showed that Devine had a lot of the qualities needed to be a Wrestler, the two had a superb catch-as-can Wrestling match (shown in the video at the top of the article) and in the 2nd video:
Match 2 vs. BBS:
The two produced a great fight, which was far different from the 1st match but just as good. As you can see from the excerpt from my interview BBS and Devine had a great deal of mutual respect for each other:
“Me and BBS go way back, it was a pleasure to have had the series of matches that we had together. I think if we were given another chance down the line to be involved in a program we would not disappoint“
That helped the matches a great deal because Pro Wrestling has a lot to do with respect and trust, if either or both are missing this can cause calamities in the ring. From this match Devine would get lost in shuffle until he climbed in the ring with Marcus Kool and if the chemistry with BBS was good then the chemistry between Kool and Devine was off the charts!
A series of top-notch matches transpired between Devine and Kool culminating in AWW’s show of the Year at Aston University where the two battled it out in a well received 2 out 3 falls match, which Devine says is the best match of his career thus far, he also had kind words for Kool:
“Marcus and I go way back as trainees together at KSW we became really good friends and had some great matches together in 2005. With our feud in AWW we took it to the next level and had some classic matches (the finest being the 2 out of 3 falls match at Aston University) that ended the feud. I put it as the best match I have ever had and a lot of is due to the great chemistry we have together, Marcus is one of the best talents in the UK and always a pleasure to work with”
With his career dwindling a little, Devine decided to team up with the popular Dan Ryder and Miss Ryder duo to form the obnoxious and egotistical 3-Some, but in hindsight it was a masterstroke that UK Promoters never capitalised on, as the Ryder’s and Devine made a superb trio that caused a reaction wherever they went and that would have been money. Devine shared his thoughts on the trio:
“What started off as me and Dan just joking around throwing ideas back and forth, has become a monster! It worked and it became popular everywhere we did it. It was basically me, Dan and Miss Ryder just having a laugh being ourselves and enjoying what we were doing. But mark my words 3-SOME have not gone away for good they will return”
3-Some to return in 2012!? I hope so!
Ryder and Devine have had quite the storied past both as opponents and partners, one of the most impressive matches (as opponents) happen on a cold, Halloween night in Wolverhampton for the (now defunct) LWL Promotion, where the two men were apart of a tag team match that would have gone down in British Wrestling history, had someone filmed it, doh!
“Now that was a night when everything clicked into place. Tracey Smothers pulled in the punters that night but we stole the show. Unfortunately no one recorded it so that one is lost forever”
Devine much like myself decided in 2009 that he was taking a step back and possibly walking away from the Wrestling business, in one of his last matches he faced sometimes partner, mostly opponent Dan Ryder, (the match is linked below), Devine had very kind words for Ryder:
“Dan Ryder is awesome. We have become real good friends and he is one of the best I have been in the ring with, a lot of people only see one side to him though which is a shame. They see the no fear death defying high-flyer but there is so much more to his game, his technical wrestling has improved 100% but he rarely shows this side of his skills due to Dan always giving the fans what they paid to see. Whether he is in my corner and has my back or we are in there face to face we always have fun and can put on a show”
Match vs. Dan Ryder:
When I asked him what would you like to achieve in his career he stated:
“I think like everyone who starts out in this business they want to be at the top in the US making the big dollar with the WWE or TNA. That's where every wrestler dreams of being but you have to look at it realistically I'm not as big as the guys they have on there roster and probably will never be, also the fact that its thousands of miles away in another country also makes it harder to get to the top. My goal is basically to go as far as I can go but enjoy all the moments, I really am enjoying it and I feel more confident so only time will tell where I end up I would like to get some kind of work in the US and maybe Japan before I finally hang up the boots, then I would be satisfied”
10 Years after he started out and despite the low points (Injuries et al) I’m happy to say one of the best Wrestlers in the UK ‘The Metro-Sexual’ Danny Devine is once again back in the squared circle and with his skills and experience, I truly think the sky is the limit for him and that’s why I’m stating that 2012 is the Year of The Metro!
Credit for the above picture: Benjamin Fones
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