by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Tristan Archer is a French wrestler who has been performing since 2009. Archer was trained by Lance Storm and began his career in Canada having just one match in front of a paying crowd before heading back to France to hone his craft. Archer has worked for a variety of promotions in France including the International Catch Wrestling Alliance (ICWA), N’Catch and Europe Catch Tour Association (ECTA). Titles this man has held include the ICWA French Championship, N’Catch Major Championship and the ECTA Championship. Archer has also had additional training after working with Storm from Jesse Hernandez and Joey Ryan. Archer has also worked beyond France and throughout the world with appearances for the Empire Wrestling Federation (EWF) in California, Pro Wrestling Showdown (PWS) in the Netherlands and Irish Whip Wrestling (IWW) in Northern Ireland among others. This interview was completed on August 23, 2014. In this interview Archer and I focus on the topic of wrestling in France.
Daniel Johnson: My first question is, and correct me if I’m wrong, but you were born in France in 1985. Was wrestling popular where you lived growing up? How did you first get into it?
Tristan Archer: Wrestling was popular until around 1995. From that date, no more wrestling at all on any channel at all in France. My father is a big fan of wrestling so everytime he was in front of the TV for it, I was too.
Daniel Johnson: What are your earliest memories of being a wrestling fan?
Tristan Archer: My first memory was the entrance of The Undertaker! Scary at this time!
Daniel Johnson: I was wondering if seeing who your father enjoyed made you enjoy similar wrestlers?
Tristan Archer: Not really, we never really liked the same kind of wrestler. He’s really more into the old school.
Daniel Johnson: When did you know you wanted to make the leap from being a fan to becoming a pro wrestler?
Tristan Archer: Since I was 10! But unfortunatly for me, there’s no wrestling school in France so I had to finish my studies and work for a year until I saved enough money for Lance Storm’s class.
Daniel Johnson: Was Lance your very first trainer? Also, what was a normal day of training like?
Tristan Archer: Yes he was. This man is incredible. He taught me everything I needed to know about wrestling. I have a lot of respect for the man, the wrestler and the teacher. We trained everyday, around three hours a day. A lot of bumps, drills, promos, etc. Then in the afternoon two hours or more in the gym!
Daniel Johnson: Aside from Lance I believe you also trained with Jesse Hernandez and Joey Ryan. What were these experiences like?
Tristan Archer: Jesse Hernandez is more about lucha so completely different, but I really enjoyed it. Joey Ryan helped me to strengthen my basics.
Daniel Johnson: Getting more into your career, for people who have never watched a Tristan Archer match how would you describe yourself as a performer in a few words?
Tristan Archer: It will be one word: All-rounder. I like to adapt my style to the opponent. I can be technical, high flying, comedic, striking, etc.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, I was curious since you first trained with Storm when did you have your first match in front of a paying crowd? Was it in Canada or France? Also, what do you remember about this match?
Tristan Archer: My first match was in Canada for Prairie Wrestling Alliance (PWA) just a few days before getting back home. It was a rumble match and I will always remenber Johnny Devine told me after the match that I had a very good performance for my first time I stepping in the ring.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, did you have any other matches in Canada or was that the only one?
Tristan Archer: No, the only one.
Daniel Johnson: What was it like wrestling in front of a crowd in France for the first time? Was it any different than from wrestling in Canada?
Tristan Archer: The first show was very stressful, but it went well! It was really amazing to hear a French crowd cheering for me! The difference is quite big. People in France come to a show just to have fun, in Canada they come because they love wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: This is a broad question, but is there anything that makes French wrestling fans unique from wrestling fans elsewhere. If so then what is it?
Tristan Archer: Nothing special really. A real wrestling fan is kind of the same between different countries.
Daniel Johnson: Getting into the French wrestling scene how many promotions have you worked for so far based in France?
Tristan Archer: So many, at one point there were around 30 differents promotions in France. Most of them closed, but I think I worked for all of them except Wrestling Star.
Daniel Johnson: Who are some of your favorite French opponents to work with? Also, are there any wrestlers who are big names in France that outsiders may be less familiar with? If so who are they?
Tristan Archer: My favorite opponents are Peter Fisher, Damien Barone and Jack Spayne! There are not really big names in France except maybe Peter Fisher and Lucas Di Leo who wrestle as The French Flavor across Europe, and Booster who has traveled a lot too.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any places online you would suggest readers can go to learn more about French wrestling and stay current with the industry?
Tristan Archer: Not really, it’s a very weak point here in France, no one does that kind of work.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any fans of non-American foreign wrestling in France? What about some of the bigger independent promotions around the world? Do they have a fan base in France?
Tristan Archer: Yes of course, there are a lot of WWE fans, but also some indie fans. They follow a lot of different promotions like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), Ring of Honor (ROH), Westside Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) and of course those fans follow non-American wrestlers.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, getting more into your recent career you debuted back in 2009. How has wrestling changed since then for you?
Tristan Archer: Less promotions and less wrestlers in France, but a better quality.
Daniel Johnson: Speaking of quality promotions what is your favorite promotion in France to work for currently if you had to pick one. What makes this promotion stand out? If you can’t pick just one then what are a few?
Tristan Archer: Honestly, I can’t pick one. The promotions which have survived over the years made it because they put good stuff on the line!
Daniel Johnson: One promotion you have worked for a lot is N’Catch based in Tourcoing, France. How did you get involved with this promotion?
Tristan Archer: This promotion closed two years ago. The first time I was contacted by this promotion was just after my first show. The promoter was there as a speaker and really liked my work so he offered me a booking for the second show of the promotion. Since then, I was booked on every single show and after a year and a half I beat the champion to become the last N’Catch Major Champion.
Daniel Johnson: You wrestled Alexei Petrovitch in that match. Anything in particular stand out about that particular match for you? What was it like to be a company’s final champion?
Tristan Archer: It was during Paris Manga, it’s a huge event with a big crowd, the reaction when I won the title was amazing. I would prefer to have more matches as a champion.
Daniel Johnson: Speaking of titles what are the most important championships you have held. Was the N’Catch title the most important championship you have held? If not then what was?
Tristan Archer: The most important is the ICWA French Championship! It was held by some very big names here in France and also in Europe. I also hold the ECTA Championship which is very good for me, if you check the roster you will see how good it is.
Daniel Johnson: What do you consider to be some of the best matches you’ve had for each title? What made those matches stand out for you?
Tristan Archer: For N’Catch I will pick up two matches: One against Jon Gresham and the other one against Tommy End. Those two matchs taught me so much stuff. Tommy and Jon are really amazing. For ECTA: Against Robin Lekime. The match was really intense and brutal. For ICWA: Against Peter Fisher because he’s my favorite French oppenent.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, speaking of Jonathan Gresham and Tommy End I know both can work great catch style matches. Catch seems to be very popular in France. Why do you think this is and how do you feel about catch wrestling in general?
Tristan Archer: I really like it too. I think it’s something different and it can make the difference in a show if it used properly. I remember having a 15 minute match with Jonathan and it was all about catch wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: Looking to the future are there any French wrestlers you have yet to work with that you would like to? If so then who?
Tristan Archer: I would like to have more matches with Tyson Furia and Damien Barone.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, going beyond France and Canada what other countries have you worked in so far? Also, are there any memories you have of working outside of France that stick out to you in particular?
Tristan Archer: I’ve worked in California, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Ireland and Germany so far.
Daniel Johnson: Wow, I had no idea you worked in California. Where did you work in California and how many matches did you have there?
Tristan Archer: I don’t know about the matches, I should say around 12. I worked for Mach One Wrestling (M1W) and EWF.
Daniel Johnson: Speaking of working different countries and promotions are there any other places you have yet to work for that you would like to in the near future? If so then where?
Tristan Archer: Japan would be amazing.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, I like to end interviews with five non-wrestling related questions followed by a few more short wrestling questions. First, what is your favorite movie to come out in the last year?
Tristan Archer: Guardians of the Galaxy.
Daniel Johnson: Have you tried any food for the first time this year? If so what has been your favorite?
Tristan Archer: Nothing new, but I love sushi.
Daniel Johnson: I think a little further back, but that’s okay. Anyway, what is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Tristan Archer: The Walking Dead Volume 20: All Out War—Part One and yes I would recommend it!
Daniel Johnson: Getting back to wrestling are there any French wrestlers you have yet to mention you think wrestling fans should check out? If so then who are they?
Tristan Archer: A few names: Lucas Di Leo, Blue Falcon, Marc Sebire.
Daniel Johnson: What do you think the weirdest part about being a wrestler in France is?
Tristan Archer: Nothing weird about being a wrestler in France.
Daniel Johnson: I’m always interested in hearing ribs and road stories. Do you have any that you could share?
Tristan Archer: Nothing special sorry.
Daniel Johnson: That’s alright. My last question is, is there anything you would like to add?
Tristan Archer: Thank you for this interview, and if any of your readers see me at a show, come and say hello!