THIS WEEK WE HAD A CHAT WITH INSANE CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING REFEREE THOMAS KEARINS!! Follow him on Twitter @ThomasKearins
What made you become a wrestling fan?
My earliest memory of wrestling is watching The Rock when WWF was on channel 4 in the UK at the time. I didn’t fully get into wrestling until around 2005. The first match I ever watched was Rey Mysterio against Eddie Guerrero at Wrestlemania 21, from that moment I was hooked. I was the kid at school who was the only one with wrestling stickers while everyone else traded football cards.
Who was your favourite wrestler as a kid?
I always idolised Rey Mysterio growing up. Every time I went to a WWE event when the company toured the UK he was always out with an injury, I’ve still never seen him perform. Hopefully now that he’s taking independent bookings we’ll cross paths one day.
What got you into becoming a wrestling referee?
I used to train in wrestling at Scottish Wrestling Alliance’s old training complex in Linwood before making the decision to become a referee. I started when I was twelve years old and had a lot of growing up to do. This led to me taking a bit of a back seat and opting to referee matches instead of participate in them. It meant I had enough free time to focus on school work while still being around wrestling. From that point onwards I guess I just took the ball and ran with it.
What’s been your favourite match you have officiated?
That’s a tough one! I’ve been in the ring with some incredible talent from around the world. Being able to stand in the same ring as guys like Rhyno, Ultimo Dragon and Hardcore Holly, just to name a few, is always a surreal experience. It’s definitely a toss up between Brian Kendrick & Paul London vs. NAK in Newcastle and Drew Galloway vs. Jack Jester in Glasgow. Both matches still give me goosebumps watching them back for a lot of reasons. When I was eleven years old, my mum took me to a WWE event that had Kendrick & London defending their WWE tag titles. The fact that eight years on I crowned them ICW tag team champions in front of a packed crowd in Newcastle’s O2 Academy was pretty cool. As for the match between Galloway and Jester, it had everything. It had so much hype behind it, meaning that everyone was watching. I felt like it really pushed ICW to another level that night, something I’m proud to say I was a small part of.
What was your first match you refereed?
The first match I ever refereed was BT Gunn vs. Charlie Cox in Cumbernauld, almost five years ago. The MC that night introduced me as Thomas Kinglsey, I’m glad that name never stuck!
Ever considered having a wrestling match?
I think if any wrestling fan says they haven’t considered having a wrestling match then they’re a liar. When I was training, I was adamant that I wanted to debut. As time went on and I stuck with reffing, I felt like I didn’t have the passion to go back to wrestling. Anyone that’s involved in our business will tell you that you need to love what you do to be good at it. I love what I’m doing right now, so I can see me sticking with the stripes for the foreseeable future.
If you could have refereed one match in history which would it have been?
I think being the ref who counted the three on the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak would be a massive thing to be able to say you were a part of. I think it would be pretty hard to top that.
Who was the biggest influence on your career?
My parents. Without them I would never have been able to get to Linwood to train every week, I would never have been able to get to the shows to help out and I definitely wouldn’t have the thick skin necessary to work in this business if it hadn’t been for the way they raised me. I owe them everything.
What do you think of the current state of British wrestling?
It’s in the best shape that it’s been in for decades. Not only are the family shows selling out around the country, ICW has been a catalyst for the rejuvenation of the professional wrestling scene in the UK and ensuring that it gets the recognition it deserves across the globe. It’s definitely a worthy contender against any scene on the planet just now. Not only do we hold our own in Britain, we’ve also shown that we can hold our own further afield as proven by so many of the lads thriving in places like Japan, Germany and America. It’s an exciting time for all of us.
SOMEONE STOP THE DAMN MATCH!!