Eddie Dennis worked as a secondary school headteacher five years ago. Today, he’s gearing up for his biggest professional wrestling competition yet.
Dennis previously worked for Berkshire’s LVS Ascot private school, teaching maths and working as their headteacher. However, from a very young age, his dream has been to wrestle professionally, not teach.
Dennis’ dream of wrestling began at a young age
The thirty-six-year-old had wanted to be a professional wrestler since he was a kid—five years old, to be exact. Standing at six foot six and weighing in at 230lbs, he had the physique for it as an adult.
As a child, he loved to watch pro-wrestling. His favourites were the Ultimate Warrior and Shawn Michaels. He would try to ‘mimic their movements and characteristics’, even going as far as ‘learning the way they speak.’
Dennis grew up in Gwaun Cae Gurwen, Neath Port Talbot in Wales, and this limited his ability to learn wrestling. There was ‘no clear route’ to it, he said in an interview with the BBC. So instead, he turned to teaching.
Dennis juggles his job and his dream of being a wrestler
Given there was no route to professional wrestling, Dennis completed a teaching qualification at Cardiff Metropolitan University, followed by a maths degree.
All of this he did while training.
While he started and progressed in his teaching career, he kept wrestling on the side, performing in competitions in his free evenings and weekends.
Dennis makes a name for himself in the UK circuits
His extra-curricular work begins to make noise on the NXT UK circuit, a place where WWE’s RAW and Smackdown stars coach up and coming wrestlers like Dennis to become the next hot-shot in pro-wrestling.
Dennis says he benefited from the boom UK wrestling saw in 2017—it was in fact during a WWE championship tournament that year that Dennis knew he had to quit his job.
‘I was sat on my sofa with my finance and cat watching my best friends perform on the stage we’ve all dreamt of an I wasn’t with them because of the path that I had chosen. A month later I handed in my notice to focus on wrestling.’
Dennis’ colleagues and students react to his career change
As you can see above, Dennis works his past career as a headteacher into his character as a wrestler.
The deputy head at Dennis’ school, Delyth Spurway began her career the same year Dennis began as a pupil. Hearing he planned to go full time as a wrestler, Spurway said: ‘It’s really amazing that he’s gone and chased his dreams and made it in that industry.’
‘The children think it’s really cool, the ones that watch WWE are saying “wow, look miss, he came to this school”.’
Olifer, a year seven pupil, said: ‘It shows that even if you come from somewhere small like this area you can do anything you want to in life. You don’t have to come from America.’
Now, Dennis is preparing for his biggest fight yet
Up next for Dennis is a WWE event in Cardiff, an opportunity that means a lot to him as a Welshman. He’ll be up against greats like Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Charlotte Flair. Can’t be too much harder than handling a classroom, right?