by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Big D is an impact player at Dansk Pro Wrestling (DPW) in Denmark. In recent years Big D has teamed with fellow Danen Kool Krede as the charismatic team D-Kool. Together Big D and Krede held the DPW Tag Team Championship for nearly a year before dropping the belts in February to Chaos and Michael Schenkenberg. In addition to his work for DPW, Big D has also wrested for the Union of European Wrestling Alliances (UEWA), Fight Club Finland (FCF) and GBG Wrestling in Sweden. Like many, Big D first got into wrestling by watching the WWF as a child, but unlike many Big D followed through on his dream to become a pro wrestler. This interview was completed on December 3, 2013. In this interview Big D and I focus on his career in DPW.
Daniel Johnson: In a nutshell how would you describe yourself as a performer?
Big D: I’m an entertainer. There are guys on the card that are equipped to go out there and put on a flawless chain wrestling extravaganza or a high flying spectacle, but that just isn’t me. I’m booked as a powerhouse brawler, and that style suits me perfectly.
Daniel Johnson: Who were some wrestlers that first interested you as a fan and have any of these wrestlers gone onto inspire you as a performer?
Big D: I started watching wrestling at the young age of 5, against my mothers will as it is, and the first show I ever got to watch, was the Royal Rumble 1988. The man that caught my attention was Bret Hart. The amount of heart he showed during that match, made me a wrestling fan. As I got older, so did the wrestling business and as the Attitude Era came along, so did my fondness for beers and backtalk, so the obvious choice became Steve Austin. To this day, the two have inspired me a lot when it comes to my wrestling style, my character choices, as well as my promo work.
Daniel Johnson: When exactly did you know you wanted to be a wrestler and how did you go about finding a place to get trained?
Big D: I knew right away and I loudly proclaimed it to my friends, who just laughed at me. As I got older, the dream kind of faded away, as there weren’t really any opportunities, for a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks, to train for wrestling. I tried my luck at the Olympic wrestling, but that eventually faded out as well. Then when I joined the army at age 19, I had the chance to learn some shoot techniques, and I actually got very good at it. Eventually I was brought to a local indie show and one of my friends introduced me to one of the bookers, Poul Roest, and then I was on my way.
Daniel Johnson: Was the local indie you talked about DPW or was there a different promotion then?
Big D: Back then it was called Dansk Wrestling (DW). It would eventually evolve into DPW.
Daniel Johnson: Do you remember your first match at all? If so then what stands out from it?
Big D: My first match, was actually a battle royal at a local market. I remember having to fireman’s carry a guy over the rope to the apron, so he could get a soft landing. That became an F5 as I still didn’t have my strength completely under control yet, so he landed several feet from the ring. Luckily he was alright and no injuries were sustained. Eventually I got my “official” debut, as I did a four minute job at our “naesten live” show in Fredericia on TV. Talk about nerves!
Daniel Johnson: For those unfamiliar with DPW how would you describe the promotion in a broad sense?
Big D: DPW is the national Danish wrestling promotion. We specialize in family shows that for the most part are PG, but from time to time we do bust out the more edgy hardcore shows (first blood, tables matches, ladder matches), which completely negates the PG standard. We run these shows out of the town of Randers, where our primary fan base is also found.
Daniel Johnson: Likewise are there any performers in particular that you think readers should check out?
Big D: Most definitely. Chaos and myself are in charge of training the young emerging talent of DPW. At the moment the two standouts are Ravn and FVN, two very gifted young athletes, whom I see great things happening for in the near future.
Daniel Johnson: In DPW you have teamed extensively with fellow Danish wrestler Kool Krede. How did this team first come about?
Big D: Well, Kool Krede was actually one of my original coaches when I started training, so I have actually learned a lot from him. I eventually started tagging with my bro, but as he became sidelined indefinitely, my wrestling character became sort of complacent. Eventually the bookers contacted me and asked how I would feel about tagging with Krede. I immediately jumped at the chance, as I saw this as an opportunity to learn from a very talented individual. Eventually they merged our names into a tag team name and things just took off. I really enjoy tagging with Krede, as I know that he is as filled with ideas as I am, when it comes to matches. It also gave me the opportunity to do more promos, as Krede isn’t as mic-enthusiastic as I am.
Daniel Johnson: What do you think makes you two mesh so well as a team. Do you think it mostly comes from him being one of your coaches or are you just naturally inclined towards similar in-ring strengths?
Big D: I think it comes from differences. He is agile, where I am strong. He has speed where I have power. Basically we complement each others strengths as well as weaknesses. I think it’s dangerous if tag team partners become too similar, as you won’t be able to separate the two from each other.
Daniel Johnson: With Kool Krede you held the DPW Tag Team Championship for nearly a year. What most stands out for you about your title reign?
Big D: Our first title defense followed by the extensive feud with Damage Inc. We basically stole the show venue after venue, by having an awesome storyline going combined with energy and chaotic matches.
Daniel Johnson: Does any one match in particular stand out from this period?
Big D: Yes. We did a six man Texas tornado hardcore match in Copenhagen with StarBuck against Kimball, Rick the Prick and Chaos, where we tore the house completely to the ground! It was especially fun for me, since StarBuck was one of the guys who trained me at one of the first training camps I attended, and he was a huge influence for me.
Daniel Johnson: You mentioned StarBuck, who I first became familiar with through his work at FCF. From what I’ve seen there seems to be a decent amount of collaboration between wrestling promotions in the Nordic countries. Do you think this is fair to say? Also, do you think the collaboration between these promotions will only grow in the near future and if so how?
Big D: We do a lot of talent exchange with the other promotions. Especially with GBG and Svensk Wrestling Syd (SWS) in Sweden, but also with FCF in Finland, where I had the privilege of training under the legendary Robbie Brookside. I believe that this collaboration will only grow in the future, as it gives us the chance to keep the card fresh and give the fans some great talent to experience. Hopefully more youngsters will get the chance to travel and learn from these great promotions. Also we have done some inter-promotional shows with GBG and SWS, which have been hugely successful.
Daniel Johnson: This is kind of an odd question, but one I was curious about. I’ve noticed that Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden all have at least one wrestling promotion, but I’ve never been able to find any promotion based in Iceland. Are you aware of any promotions there and if you’re not do you think a promotion could ever spring up there?
Big D: I have no knowledge of a promotion in Iceland. I could imagine that Iceland is a little isolated, being as they are positioned where they are. I could imagine that travel costs and such are too high for a promotion to be able to bring in talents from other countries, which you need in order for your wrestlers to evolve, and to keep audiences interested.
Daniel Johnson: Getting back to wrestling in Denmark are there any promotions in Denmark aside from DPW? Likewise could you see any new promotions coming about in Denmark in the near future?
Big D: We have a local promotion called Wrestling.dk (WDK) who specialize in doing carnival shows and free house shows. I doubt that there is room for another promotion, as Denmark is such a small country, and the fan base is still limited.
Daniel Johnson: I was wondering about the fan base, what are fans like in Denmark in a broad sense? For instance, are they mainly just into Danish wrestling? Are they WWE fans? Would you be able to find any fans of major independent promotions like ROH or CZW in Denmark?
Big D: There are two kinds of wrestling fans in Denmark. The WWE fans and the indie fan base. In the broad sense, you rarely find fans that are familiar with promotions aside from WWE, TNA and ROH. But there are a few. In Randers we have a strong wrestling fan community, and there is also the group, self-named Team Doom, out of Copenhagen that are into the more indie style of wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: I also had had some more questions to ask about your career. You mentioned the six man tag match you had earlier as being one match that stood out to you. Do you consider this the best match of your career to date? If not then what is? Also, have you had any one singles match that stands above all the other singles matches you have had?
Big D: I wouldn’t consider the match itself as my best to date, but it was definitely a standout moment. The first title defense we had in Randers against Fight Club, was probably the best tag match I have had to date. As for singles matches, I would probably name it a toss up between my tables match with Lionheart, my recent match in Viborg with Michael Schenkenberg and my first blood match with Chaos. Three matches that are so different in style, which is why it is difficult to name which is best. Hopefully the best is still to come, as we keep evolving as performers.
Daniel Johnson: Who is your dream opponent?
Big D: Chris Jericho. A man that can make anyone look amazing, and definitely among the best ring generals in the entire world. But that is from a list of 20 great wrestlers where the final 19 are at a close second.
Daniel Johnson: Cool, What is the furthest from home you have ever wrestled and do you plan to wrestle even further away sometime in the near future?
Big D: The furthest I’ve wrestled from home is still Finland, but I hope to see more countries and promotions in the future. What 2014 brings, has to be left to the speculators, as I have no clue where I’ll end up. We all dream big, because without dreams, why would we bother to evolve? Why would anyone? Dreams are what makes the world go round.
Daniel Johnson: I always like to hear ribs and road stories. Do you have any that you would be able to share?
Big D: Well, one that stands fresh in mind is, “The accidental theft of the GBG title.” When we were in Sweden last, the GBG champ ended up packing his back next to Chaos. Chaos being the prankster that he is picked up the GBG title belt looked inquisitively at the champ. Steinbolt looked at Chaos like nothing out of the ordinary was going on, and kept packing. Chaos put the belt in his bag and continued to pack, while staring at Steinbolt. No reaction. He looked from Steinbolt to the belt several times, but still nothing. I guess Steinbolt didn’t think that Chaos would take the belt. He didn’t mean to do so, but sometimes people forget. He realized that he still had the belt, the next day as we were boarding the ferry to Denmark, and it was too late. What followed was a couple of hours of fun picture poses with the Swedish title belt that ended up coming home to Denmark with us. We ended up running out of gas on the freeway as well, having to push the car to the nearest gas station. We got the title back to Sweden though.
Daniel Johnson: I also like to ask five non-wrestling related questions just to bring a little uniqueness to the interview. Outside of wrestling, what television shows do you enjoy watching these days?
Big D: Sure. I like Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, Californication, The Big Bang Theory and Battlestar Galactica. But it variates from what period of my life I find myself in.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
Big D: Olympus Has Fallen.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Big D: Bacon-chocolate chip cookies! Awesome!
Daniel Johnson: Wow never tried those. I might have to haha. Anyway, what is your favorite song to come out this year?
Big D: “Blurred Lines” [by Robin Thicke]! Why you ask? Because the lyrics are so incredibly idiotic, while the song is just so fracking catchy!
Daniel Johnson: Cool, what is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Big D: I am currently reading the Game of Thrones series [A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin], and before that I read the first Mick Foley book [Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks] simultaneously with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [by Douglas Adams] (tenth read to date equals favorite book). I can recommend all three!
Daniel Johnson: I only have a few short questions left. First, what is the weirdest part of being a pro wrestler in Denmark?
Big D: Meeting fans in the outside world. In Denmark people don’t make a fuss about wrestlers, but the young fans do. I am a teacher as well as a wrestler, and I have had students line up to get autographs after having substituted a lesson.
Daniel Johnson: Who is one wrestler anywhere in the world who is 25 or under that you think readers should know about?
Big D: I would have to mention my prize student Ravn. At the age of 15 (come January) he is already performing at a level that takes most workers a lifetime to achieve. I believe that he will make it big in the coming years, if he keeps at it. He was the attention stealer when we went to the Robbie Brookside training seminar, and he always turns heads no matter where we go.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to add?
Big D: I hope people out there keep supporting your local indie promotions. We survive on the doors, and wrestling is always better live. Plus it is fun to be able to say: I saw him perform back when. And to any bookers out there: If you book me, I will come.
Check out Big D in action! In the first match of DPW TV 16, D-Kool challenge for the DPW Tag Team Championship. Also featured is the behemoth Demolition Davies wrestling Johnny Nielsted and Kaptajn Jack in a handicap match:
Categories: Wrestling Interviews