Thursday, November 13, 2014

Do you smell what Grado is cooking?

Scottish wrestling star Grado has come a long way. It's World Wrestling Entertainment's turn to lay the smack down at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro, but the man from the "tap end of Stevenson" will get his chance on January 29 when TNA Wrestling’s Maximum Impact tour visits the arena.

While he gets set for the "biggest experience of his life", he’s not just lying about eating fry-ups and sausage rolls. Well, he is, but he’s doing other things too, because Grado has got his eyes on being a Scottish replica of the ‘most electrifying man in sports entertainment' - The Rock.

"That’s what I’m going for, the Scottish Rock," said the 26-year-old Graeme Stevely who stills works in a call centre to pay the bills. "There’s nothing like folks chanting your name and wrestling to a crowd. When I come out to Like A Prayer by Madonna, there’s no better feeling. I’d love to do more TV work, I’d love to do films and it’s great exposing British wrestling to the public who might not know there’s a local scene, but my heart is in the ring."

Grado will once again share a locker room with the TNA roster at the end of January, an experience he described as "amazing".

He said: "When you’re a wee boy wanting to be a wrestler, you want to wrestle in the US. The British scene is amazing right now, it’s the best. The chance to wrestle in front of a US crowd and share a locker room with the Hardy Boys was amazing, just brilliant. Kurt Angle introducing me and saying, ‘it’s yersel’ was the best. If I could have anyone do that, it would be him."

He was joined on the US trip by fellow Scots Kay Lee Ray and his best pal, Noam Dar. "I was even more concerned about him getting through than me," Grado said of his fellow Ayrshire native.

"Going to America to wrestle is amazing, but to go with your best mate as well? He doesn't drink right enough, he’s into all these diets and sat in the airport eating almond nuts and protein shakes while I’m there with my big Scottish breakfast and pint, all munchied up. I’m hitting the Jack Daniels and he’s there reading bodybuilding magazines."

Rockstar Spud, winner of the first season of British Boot Camp, said: "Scotland is always awesome. The many times I was in Glasgow, they were always rowdy and loved their wrestling. Last year on the UK tour, the Hydro crowd blew me away at the atmosphere and I can't wait until we're back.

"Noam and Kay Lee are Scotland's own superstars. They are loved by their fellow countrymen and they deserve this moment. Then there is Grado! I'd go as far as to say if Scotland had it's own king it would be him. Scotland has given us a great gift and that gift is Grado."

It’s still up for question whether Ray or Dar will make an appearance at TNA’s Hydro show, but rest assured, Grado will be there, with bells on.

He said: “It’s going to be brilliant. I just hope they use my music, the Madonna number. Imagine me coming out to generic rock music? It wouldn’t work at all, man."

Credit to STV Glasgow