by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Jurn Simmons is a 23 year-old wrestler from The Netherlands who has become a big player for Pro Wrestling Holland (PWH). Simmons currently holds the PWH Heavyweight Championship, having defeated veteran powerhouse wrestler Big Geert for the title in May 2014. In his native country Simmons has also appeared for Pro Wrestling Showdown (PWS). This year Simmons also debuted for Westside Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) in Germany, one of the most critically acclaimed promotions not just in that country, but in all of Europe. In his home continent he has put workers away with some devastating powerbombs, but those elsewhere are not safe either. Simmons has traveled to the United States where he wrestled for Brian Kendrick’s Wrestling Pro Wrestling (BKWPW), Empire Wrestling Federation (EWF), Apex Pro Wrestling (APW) and the Alternative Wrestling Show (AWS). Simmons can be found on Facebook here, on Twitter here and on Instagram here. This interview was completed on December 4, 2014. In this interview Simmons and I focus on the topic of pro wrestling in Holland.
Daniel Johnson: To start off how would you describe yourself as a performer in a few words?
Jurn Simmons: Mainly just young and hungry, I think I still need to fully come into my own as a performer to answer that question properly.
Daniel Johnson: When did you decide you wanted to be a pro wrestler and how did you find a place to get trained?
Jurn Simmons: When I was around nine or 10 years-old and saw it on TV for the first time. I found a place to get trained through my dad who saw something about professional wrestling in The Netherlands on TV.
Daniel Johnson: Who was your head trainer and what was a regular day of training like?
Jurn Simmons: My main trainers are Tengkwa and Gabriel Angelfyre. The way training days are set up differs per trainer of course, but for me it was usually running drills and learning/repeating the basics.
Daniel Johnson: In a broad sense how would you describe the wrestling scene in the Netherlands? How many promotions are there that you know of and how popular is wrestling in the country?
Jurn Simmons: Wrestling in The Netherlands is very low key, but the quality of the wrestling and the performers is quite high in my opinion. I think there are currently about three promotions. As far as popularity goes, like I said it’s very low key, but it seems to be on the rise lately. People generally know what it is or at least have some idea of it and most of them, that I know, are also interested in it. So I’d say there’s a lot of potential.
Daniel Johnson: PWH is the main one that comes to mind for me. What are the other two you are thinking of? Also, have you worked for all three and if not do you plan to?
Jurn Simmons: The other two are Pro Wrestling Showdown (PWS) and Dutch Pro Wrestling (DPW). I’ve worked for both PWH and PWS, but I got my start at PWH and that’s my main promotion. I don’t necessarily have plans to work for all of them, but I’ll work anywhere as long as they book me and pay me good enough.
Daniel Johnson: How did you first come to work for PWH? Was it through your training? What was your first impression of it?
Jurn Simmons: I started wrestling for PWH, because I started training there. I really liked it there from the start, as there’s a great group of people there who generally know what they’re doing so I had a blast right away.
Daniel Johnson: Do you remember your first match for PWH? What was the experience like?
Jurn Simmons: I had about 10 matches on a festival before I did a match on an actual show, but my first match on a show was against Ymah. It was good for experience, but it’s not a match I’m really proud of mainly because I was pretty nervous. It was fun at the time, but most of all it was a good learning experience.
Daniel Johnson: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you had your first match in PWH just last year. What are your thoughts on you career in 2013 as a whole?
Jurn Simmons: My first match was indeed last year and I think I had a decent first year. I was mainly doing squash matches, but at the time that was a good thing because I was able to get comfortable in front of a crowd which I really needed.
Daniel Johnson: Last year in PWH you wrestled several matches with Young Money Chong. What are your thoughts on these matches and Chong as a performer?
Jurn Simmons: Chong’s fun to work with, he’s really solid and easy to put a match together with and he helped me get my footing a bit too so I think he’s great.
Daniel Johnson: Chong also mostly wrestles in the Netherlands. Who are some wrestlers in the country readers should know about? Are there any wrestlers in the Netherlands that are particularly popular?
Jurn Simmons: Like I said before, I think the Dutch wrestling is pretty high up there from a quality perspective. Some of my favorites to work with or to watch are Tengkwa, Dragan [Spazic], Gabriel Angelfyre, Young Money Chong, Richie Julio and Johnny Evers.
Daniel Johnson: You opened this year by wrestling against Dragan Spazic as part of a tournament for the PWH Television Championship. What are your reflections of this match and of PWH establishing a television championship?
Jurn Simmons: Well, it wasn’t much of a match considering I got DQ’d almost at the start of the match, because Dragan tricked the referee into thinking I used a chair. As far as the PWH TV title is concerned, I think it’s a good addition to PWH because we’ve got a deep enough roster to warrant three titles. The added catch is that matches for the TV title are shown in their entirety on PWH TV (which has a new episode every Wednesday on YouTube), so people can fully see what everyone wrestling for that title is made of and can do which should be very beneficial to them.
Daniel Johnson: I was curious, in the United States the way I watch PWH is through YouTube. In the Netherlands does PWH air on regular television as well? If so where and what is the set up for that like? If not then how important is a place like YouTube for wrestling companies in the Netherlands?
Jurn Simmons: Unfortunately it’s not on actual television over here either. I think YouTube and just the Internet in general is crucial to not just Dutch wrestling companies, but pretty much every wrestling company out there because it’s what people mainly spend their time on nowadays.
Daniel Johnson: In May you defeated Big Geert for the PWH Heavyweight Championship. What has it been like holding a company’s top title so early in your career. Also, how important do you think wrestling championships are in the industry in general?
Jurn Simmons: I thought it was cool that they put the title on me, I don’t know how important wrestling championships are in general. I think it depends on where you get the championship and what championship you get. I do think that you usually earn it though, so getting a championship is always some sort of honor or privilege to some extent.
Daniel Johnson: So far you have had the chance to defend the title against one of your trainers, Gabriel Angelfyre. How did this program come about and what have your thoughts been on it?
Jurn Simmons: He’s one of the more established guys we’ve got, at least as far as someone can be established in the Dutch wrestling scene, so I think the idea was to put him against me so that they could bump my stock up a bit and make me look credible. There’s been a bit of interference in our feud though and we’re both occupied with other stuff now even though we weren’t quite done. I think there’s a lot more in the tank for us to work with and I hope we get to do that soon.
Daniel Johnson: Aside from your title run, at PWH Cyber Slam you wrestled in a six man match teaming with Paul London and Tengkwa against Angelfyre and the Sumerian Death Squad consisting of Tommy End and Michael Dante. How awesome was that experience given the amount of talent involved? What are your thoughts on this match?
Jurn Simmons: I thought it was a fun match, it was pretty neat to get to work with all the guys involved. I prefer to do singles matches though, but the crowd was quite hot the entire time through so I’ve got no complaints.
Daniel Johnson: Do you have any good stories involving Paul London or other international talent you have worked with?
Jurn Simmons: What kind of stories are you looking for?
Daniel Johnson: Any you wouldn’t mind sharing. Usually, funny ones in particular are interesting.
Jurn Simmons: Uh no, not really.
Daniel Johnson: No problem, Lately you have been wrestling Saxon Huxley for the title. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Huxley is a newer performer? What are your thoughts on the matches you have had with Huxley?
Jurn Simmons: I think Huxley has been wrestling a bit longer than me, although not by much. I’ve really enjoyed my matches with him, the second moreso than the first. I think he’s the first guy I’ve faced who is about equal to me in size and stature, so it was fun to finally slug it out with a bigger guy that’s not 400 pounds.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any wrestlers you hope to defend the PWH Heavyweight Championship against sometime soon? If so then who?
Jurn Simmons: I’d really like to finish up my business with Angelfyre, past that I think it’d be fun to work with Tengkwa, Johnny Evers and Mot van Kunder because I think I’ve faced everyone else one way or another, but I’ve barely ever faced Tengkwa and Johnny and I’ve definitely never faced Mot before so those are the main ones.
Daniel Johnson: I’m always curious about top championships in different promotions if there is any interest in cross promoting. Would you like to defend the championship in another promotion at all? What about in another country?
Jurn Simmons: I don’t know if there’s any interest in that, I certainly haven’t heard anything about it. I defended the title once in Belgium, but PWH works closely with that particular promotion. Besides that, I’d be glad to defend the title anywhere but I don’t think the choice is really up to me.
Daniel Johnson: That’s right, that match was Pro Wrestling Allstars (PWA) right? Also, this is just a random question, but I know Sabu has worked for PWH before? Did you interact with him at all? Any interest in working with him?
Jurn Simmons: Yes, the match was for PWA. I did get to interact with Sabu a bit, he was very helpful to me and he watched my matches, even though I didn’t ask, which I should have, and gave me advice. So I’m really thankful for him coming over and helping me out. Of course, I’d love to work him. Who wouldn’t want to wrestle Sabu?
Daniel Johnson: I also had some questions about your career outside of the Netherlands. Aside from the Netherlands the European country you have wrestled the most in is Germany particularly for WXW. How did you first come to work for WXW and what has kept you coming back to work for them?
Jurn Simmons: I came into contact with WXW because of Johnny Evers, he was able to get together a tryout for himself and me at one of their [Westside] Dojo shows. The reason I’ve been coming back is because I’ve really enjoyed the matches I’ve had there, they treat me extremely well and generously, which I’m very grateful for and I guess because they like what they saw because it’s more their decision to bring me back instead of me deciding to go back.
Daniel Johnson: In WXW you wrestled for the WXW Shotgun Championship against John Klinger just last month. What was it like working with Klinger and what are your thoughts on championships like the WXW Shotgun Championship?
Jurn Simmons: Bad Bones was a joy to work with! He’s probably my favorite opponent so far, the crowds are always really hot for him too which makes it a lot more fun to work with him. I think the Shotgun title is great and there’s more than enough talent in WXW to fight over it, so I think it’s a good addition to their shows.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any WXW wrestlers you want to work with sometime soon?
Jurn Simmons: Since I’ve only been there for a short while, I think there’s a lot of potential match-ups there and I welcome all of them.
Daniel Johnson: You have also wrestled in the United States in California. Did you only work in California so far and what promotions did you work for? Also, how many matches did you have and how did these opportunities come about?
Jurn Simmons: Yeah, I went to California this summer to train with Brian Kendrick, which was absolutely fantastic. I was there with three other Dutch wrestlers, namely: Young Money Chong, Kid Lux and Johnny Evers. While we were there we had a couple of opportunities to work for AWS, Apex Pro, Wrestling Pro Wrestling and EWF. We almost wrestled somewhere else too, but that whole deal fell through. I think I did about three matches and a battle royal on actual shows.
Daniel Johnson: What most stands out about your experience wrestling in California?
Jurn Simmons: The training with Brian Kendrick was the most memorable thing for me personally. I learned so much from him, I feel like I’ve leaped ahead as far as my abilities go instead of just taking baby steps. I’d recommend anyone to train with him, whether you live in California or you don’t. Just go over there.
Daniel Johnson: I know you have also wrestled in France. Are there any other companies you have already wrestled for? What about countries you have yet to work in, but would like to? Are there any countries like this and if so then what are they?
Jurn Simmons: I wrestled for [Association les Professionnels du Catch] (APC) in France, besides that I’ve mainly wrestled in Belgium and a couple of times in Germany before WXW. I just want to wrestle anywhere and everywhere, I don’t have particular promotions or countries in mind just wherever I can gain experience and become a better wrestler.
Daniel Johnson: To end interviews I like to ask five short non-wrestling questions and then some short wrestling questions. First, what do you like to watch on TV?
Jurn Simmons: I don’t really watch much TV, but I enjoy stuff like Game of Thrones or Vikings from time to time.
Daniel Johnson: Second, what has been your favorite movie to come out this year?
Jurn Simmons: Definitely Guardians of the Galaxy.
Daniel Johnson: Have you tried any new foods this year? If so what has been your favorite new food?
Jurn Simmons: I started eating sweet potatoes this year and I’ve really enjoyed that, plus I’ve become addicted to smoothies.
Daniel Johnson: Cool. To get back to wrestling, ribs and road stories can be entertaining. Do you have any that you could share?
Jurn Simmons: I nearly killed Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Tengkwa, Kid Lux and myself because I was accidentally ghost driving in Belgium once, but that’s probably the craziest thing so far.
Daniel Johnson: My second to last question is, if anything, what is the weirdest part of pro wrestling in the Netherlands?
Jurn Simmons: I don’t know, probably the people in it. Then again I think most wrestlers are sort of nuts, but it’s a funny contrast in The Netherlands where the majority of the people are pretty down to earth or at least try/pretend to be.
Daniel Johnson: Lastly, is there anything you would like to add?
Jurn Simmons: Nothing in particular, but I guess I could plug some stuff. I’d be really grateful if people would tune into PWH TV, because I genuinely believe we have a great product. Besides that, I think people should just support wrestling as much as they can. Also, follow me on the social media stuff. I’m @JurnSimmons on Twitter. Jurn Simmons on Facebook. I think my Instagram is @bigdaddyjurn. That’s about all, I suppose.
Check out Jurn Simmons in action! From the September 25, 2014 edition of WXW Shotgun, Simmons wrestles veteran German star John Klinger aka Bad Bones in a barn burner of a bout. The match starts at about the 7 minute mark: