Jim Smallman isn't a new wrestler that has been signed up by WWE developmental company FCW, he is in fact a British stand-up comedian.
You may be asking yourselves where the link is with wrestling, well Jim has had the pleasure of touring with the Hardcore Legend Mick Foley on his UK comedy tours and now Jim is promoting his own British wrestling event This Is Progress.
We caught up with Jim to talk about touring with Mick, a special tribute to the Hardcore Legend, comparisons between wrestling and comedy and This Is Progress.
Q. How did you first get into wrestling and who were some of the wrestlers you enjoyed watching whilst growing up?
I use to watch the old World of Sport wrestling because I'm old enough to remember watching it, I remember watching a Tiger Mask v Dynamite Kid match when I was about six-years-old and thinking that is amazing. I never really liked people like Big Daddy.
I then started to watch WWE when I was a little bit older when SKY first came along and watching people like Randy Savage and thought 'wow, this is amazing'.
I went off it for a bit when I was around 13, because I decided I hated Hulk Hogan enough not to watch wrestling again but then came back to it when I was around 19 or 20-years-old with the likes of Mick Foley.
Q. Are there any comparisons between wrestling and comedy?
Before I started doing comedy I read Mick Foley's first autobiography: Have A Nice Day. I remember reading it and thinking I want to do comedy. I thought if you want to follow your dream you need to sleep in your car and earn no money to start with, which is definitely true with comedy. When starting out in comedy, you are earning no money and driving all over the place to do gigs and I suppose it's the same if you're a new wrestler.
Any wrestler who is able to cut a good promo, especially an amusing one, will be great as a stand-up comedian and Mick Foley is a great example of this.
Q. Are there any other wrestlers who you feel could make it in the world of stand-up?
People like Colt Cabana are doing well in comedy, and I think someone like Kevin Nash would make a good stand-up comedian. Some wrestlers are just naturally funny and very good at improvising, thinking on the spot.
Q. You have toured with Mick Foley on his UK comedy tours, what have those experiences been like?
Mick is one of my heroes in life. He is a great writer, great performer and he is just the nicest man, and I'm very proud to have him tattooed on my arm. I cannot speak highly enough of him, not just as a wrestler but as a human being.
Q. What did Mick make of the tattoo when you showed him?
He tried to talk me out of doing it before I had it done. I'd mentioned on Twitter that I was going to have it done and he sent me a message saying I didn't have to do it. I explained to him again why I wanted it done, because apart from members of my own family Mick is the biggest hero I've got.
He likes the tattoo but on stage, when we were doing shows on the last tour, he would come out when I show the audience the tattoo and that the micky out of it. On the last tour he also met the girl that did the tattoo and he was very complementary about her work.
Q. You have done to opposite to Mick and have moved from comedy into wrestling, to promote your own wrestling show This Is Progress - how did the idea come about?
I've been a wrestling fan for ages and it's one of those things when you try to get publicity in show-business but you think it's not right to talk about it. I'm lucky enough to have an agent, Jon, who runs Progress with me and has been a comedy promoter for years and we spent most of our time talking about wrestling when we hung out together.
Last year when we were in Edinburgh we just decided to run a wrestling promotion and we're not doing it to make loads of money, we're doing it because we both really love wrestling. We just wanted to put a show on in London, in a cool venue and just hopefully create an atmosphere where people will want to come back and watch it again. Hopefully if we entertain ourselves we will entertain the fans as well.
Q. What can fans expect from the new promotion?
We have billed ourselves as a strong style promotion mainly because I'm a fan of promotions like Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. We said to a lot of the guys that wrestle in Britain, we want you to let it all hang out and put on good matches. There are loads of great in-ring performers in the United Kingdom, more than we could fit on this card, so hopefully we can do more shows.
We wanted to create a promotion that wasn't so much for kids. It's not a deathmatch promotion but we want the wrestlers to know they can go out there and have good matches with each other and showing the audience what they've got to offer.
Q. Colt Cabana is part of the show on the 25th March but he's going to be doing something special the day before as well?
Colt is going to be doing a live version of his Art of Wrestling podcast. He really wanted to do one of his podcasts from over here in the UK and he is really excited about it. The podcast is very popular and gets a ridiculous amount of listeners. I don't know what guests he's got lined up for it but I'm sure it will be an interesting show for him to record.
Q. Could we see any more This Is Progress shows this year?
We have a show pencilled in for June and I see no reason why that won't be happening again at the Garage in Islington. It's on June 24th, so again it will be on a Sunday afternoon. Hopefully we can do another one before the end of the year. We really want to put shows on a Sunday as people usually have less to do, people are busy on Friday and Saturday and I'm always busy on those days and want to be at the shows.
After the first two shows at the Garage, we might look to take This Is Progress elsewhere, although we are concentrating on the fact we are the only wrestling promotion in central London at the moment, which is something we are quite proud of.
Q. Do you think we could have see you putting on the tights and tying up the boots, to step inside the ring?
Having done The Slam for Sports Tonight Live and interviewing a few wrestlers, they have said they would train me to become a wrestler but I'm very rarely in one place for any amount of time so will find it hard finding time to train but it is something I am very keen to do.
I don't think I will ever become a wrestler but I would quite like to become a manager. I would be quite good at doing promos and don't mind taking the odd bump, but the chance of me putting on a good match with people who are good wrestlers is probably quite small. If I just had one match it would definitely be a life-time achievement.
For more information about This Is Progress and to buy tickets visit progresswrestling.com You can also watch Jim on The Slam on Sports Tonight Live