JM & MC : I just thought I would explain that this interview came up between me and my friend who is a fan of pro wrestling and wanted her to know what it was like to interview someone in wrestling, to walk a mile in our shoes; and this is her first question.... Where is Luton in the UK?
PETER : Luton is 35 or so miles away from London, we have a football (soccer to you I guess) team that I adore, an international airport, and the 'honor' of being voted 'Number 1 Crap Town In The UK' around a year ago. To say Luton is a rough place is to understate it, and it's the perfect town to be cocky enough to say you're proud to be from. It has what I believe is similar to the attitude of being from New Jersey in the USA - other people may rag on the town and put it down, but you have a certain pride from being there all the same. It has always been a good wrestling town though, and does have one or two good things in it; and I'm most certainly one of them!
JM & MC : How did you feel when forced to wear a dress in ACW recently?
PETER : I wasn't exactly over the moon. But hey, luckily it was an orange dress, and with the fact I look good in orange; I managed to carry it off. That, and I got my bodyguard Tommy Gunn to go out to my car during the tag team title match and get my Luton Town FC scarf for me to wear during what remained of the show, which always adds some good heat from any crowd.
JM & MC : Do you know what's the difference with wrestling in the UK & The United States?
PETER : I have always loved the independent scene in the US, be it higher level promotions or the smaller ones. I'm blessed to know a lot of the guys involved, and I often say to people that it's the indy's in the USA where the most groundbreaking wrestling is happening and where the new moves are created. The UK, it's a bit messed up in parts, with arrogant rich boy promoters and an establishment that needs to be broken up but probably won't be in the for seeable future; but there are some really good wrestlers over here that really deserve the chance both here and in the US, to perform.
JM & MC : How did you become a wrestling manager?
PETER : I think I was a bad person in a past life and it's karma! To be honest, this isn't much of a character or gimmick. The 'Internet Icon' Petey Staniforth is just....himself. With the volume only turned up ever so slightly, because I am what you see. How did I get into this? I think it was always going to happen at one point, I'd done nearly everything else in some shape or form, writing, talent relations, helping with booking; so being the very driven and determined person I am, I wanted to prove to myself I could manage too.
JM & MC : Which wrestlers do you curently manage?
PETER : I have the pleasure in ACW of managing Matt Naylor & DOA, Samson, and Tommy Gunn. In EAW, I manage Nero, and Bull Harley; and in BRAWL I manage Bull Harley as well. I think that's everyone, but correct me if I'm wrong. I'm blessed, every promotion I work for has me in their main events, so vocally I must be doing something right and I feel my ringside presence has picked up a notch as this year has gone on. I'm my own worst critic to be honest, anyone close to me will tell you!
JM & MC : Okay, Pete; tell me about yourself in the ring on your debut?
PETER : August 2005, I was nervous as hell. Now, well I always find that I'm a bit nervous with the first thing I do on a show, but once I get that first part out of the way, I tend to have no problems after that. Recently, I haven't even been that nervous like before, so I guess I'm finally getting the hang of taking the nerves and making them positive. We live once, and to me it's about giving people something to remember you by....as often as you can! And once you go out there it's a different ball game entirely. You're there to make the crowd react, and to play with their emotions...and to live out your dreams too.
JM & MC : Name some of your favourite wrestlers in the UK?
PETER : Oh boy. Everyone I don't mention will soon be annoyed with me.....but hey. Off the top of my head, bigger names I love to watch include Pac (who has recently come over to the US to work for Wrestling Society X), and Nigel McGuiness is great too. But I'll be honest, there's a lot of guys over here that I pop for watching who are friends of mine on the shows. I just try to hide it as much as I can!
JM & MC : How did you become a journalist, and what was your first active duty writing about wrestling?
PETER : I emailed a wrestler called 'Sexy boy' Bobby Storm, out in West Virginia, and we became good friends. He was writing for a web site (Pro Wrestling Daily), and I'll never truly know if he put in a good word for me or not; but I started to write there and then everything just snowballed with my now writing for numerous web sites. The people I owe a lot to with my writing, are Arnie Katz, Bill Kunkel, Bob Magee, and the almighty Bill Apter, for their advice, help, and just taking a daft Brit under their wing somewhat and letting me write for them.
JM: Is it true that you had a falling out with 1PW? If so do you mind explaining the situation?
PETER : I'm proud to say I got 1PW promoter Steven Gauntley into this business, and that I helped him get started. I'm also proud to say I was involved the first six months of 1PW's life. I'd do things differently if I could go back and change them, but I'll always have some kind of bond with Steven for the dream we shared and I'd never change the fact we worked together. Right now today...? We're cool. I went up in October, and we got on well, and he and his wife Rosie made me feel very welcome and I loved being up there and seeing things that I'd had a part in creating and people I got involved that are still there today. I wish 1PW's business side of things wasn't the talk of the Internet, and that the 'smart' fans would stop hating on 1PW, but that's what they do I suppose and eventually they'll either grow up and appreciate the hard work that goes into this business or they'll find a new target to criticize. I'd work with him again if the opportunity came up and was suitable to both of us, and hope 1PW achieves what we used to speak about when it was first starting.
JM : Any interesting stories during your time in wrestling and writing?
PETER : I'm not daft enough to answer that question honestly....! NEARLY everyone I've dealt with the journalism side has been really good. There's one or two people (one employed by WWE today) who have been awkward, but it's a 1 in 500 ratio thank god. Any other stories from shows and traveling are probably unsuitable for a family web site!
MC : How did you meet John Mikels & write for his website; and do you have any comments for John's web site?
PETER : I met John through a mutual friend, the adorable and intensely dedicated Crazii Shea, who is a US based independent wrestler and one of the best friends you could ask for. John works very hard on his site, and he deserves a lot more attention for it than he currently gets, but hard work will always pay off in the end and I know the credit he warrants will come.
JM & MC : Is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
PETER : Fans? Most fans tell me I suck. Especially children! (Including my son, but not my daughter!). To those, I wish to remind them that I'm better than them....because I'm from Luton! And to those that appreciate what I do online writing, and performing on shows; then I appreciate you sincerely and more than you will ever realize. I live my dream, I'm lucky to do it, and if people didn't react to me then I'd not be doing it. So thank you to anyone with an opinion about me, because if you didn't have it, I wouldn't be here!
JM & MC : Any words of advice you'd like to offer wrestling fans?
PETER : Yeah, stop watching wrestling while you can IF you can! Because otherwise, you'll get sucked in and you'll never be able to escape. This business can take your life over completely, and in my position, when your entrance music hits then it's the biggest high in the world that you'll ever feel. All I honestly advise fans to do is appreciate the physical sacrifices that wrestler put into this, because having even myself suffered two serious concussions recently; this isn't chess, it is a serious contact sport. And keep watching... because without you, we look stupid!