We recently had a chat with British wrestler The Phantom Thomas Dracuul, check him out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/The-Phantom-Thomas-Dracuul-559158724148577/ What first got you into watching pro wrestling?
It was actually my female cousins back around 1993 weirdly enough. They had Sky and I didn’t so one Christmas they taped Survivor Series 93 for me and gave it to me for Christmas. The main event was Lex Luger, Steiner Bros and Undertaker Vs The Mountie, Crush, Ludvig Borger and Yokozuna. Before that I had played the old Mega Drive games so I knew the main guys on the roster at the time. After that I started watching WCW when it was aired on Channel 5, with the rotating ring at Disney Studios.
Who was your favourite wrestler when you were a kid ?
My favourite as a kid and even now is the Undertaker, his ability to constantly change with the times and stay relevant for over 25 years is amazing. My favourite incarnation of him was with the Ministry Of Darkness with the reaper cloak and black long goatee. Unsurprisingly a lot of my character evolved from him.
What made you want to be a pro wrestler?
It was a transition from watching it on TV , to playing wrestling with my brother (don’t try this at home kids haha), to getting into my late teens and starting looking for a school to learn at and also teaching ourselves stuff in the garden using a crash mat.
Who was your trainer and what effect did that have on your career?
I’ve had several trainers over the years. I learnt the basics at the old FWA academy when they ran classes in Croydon, must have been about 8 years ago now. The main trainer at the time was JC Thunder. So from there I learnt all the basics. Since then because of work I’ve not done full on training with one particular gym or company. I’ve learnt by doing, learnt by watching others, and attending seminars with different companies over the years. I learnt a lot about match structure and selling from one of Will Ospreay’s seminars. Learnt more technical stuff when I attended Priscillas seminar with KAPOW Wrestling. Each person gives a different outlook so I try to attend as many as I can around my regular job and finances etc. But at the same time forge my own path and not just emulate others.
Who has been your favourite opponent so far?
It’s hard to narrow down this list as I’ve wrestled quite a broad spectrum of people. From established country wide performers like Mr Ospreay, to more local talent. I’d have to say one of my best opponents is now ironically my tag team partner Darren Hogg (Gimmick: Dowan) Me and him have had heavyweight brawls that the crowd seemed to love and we always had a good connection, probably why we work well as a team (current DOA tag champs) Another favourite of mine is a guy called Rob that goes under the ring name of Damian Black. He is one of the best “Big guys” I’ve ever seen. So easy to work with him and always have a solid match. Theres other honourable mentions like Sean Wilson, Ash Draven, Blackbelt TD, Will Ospreay. I could list even more but those are the main ones.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
This one is tough as its constantly changed as my career has progressed. Originally it was watching guys like Undertaker, Sting, Stone Cold and all the attitude era guys. Now it’s mostly the indy talent coming out of Britain, I attend a fair few shows for the larger brands in Britain like RevPro and Progress and watching guys like Dave Mastiff, Marty Scurll, Zack Sabre Jr etc all just get better and better with each month that passes and that makes me wanna be better so I can eventually share that stage with them.
Who would be your dream opponent to meet in the ring?
Theres a few people I want to wrestle for different reasons, Undertaker for the kid and teen in me that idolised this guy and continues to this very day, Shawn Michaels for his showmanship and general ability to entertain, Shensuke Nakamura also comes to mind as i love his style and Seth Rollins i can really see becoming the next gen Shawn Michaels. When it comes closer to home and looking at the current UK Indy scene I would of loved a comedic match with Mad Man Manson, he always cracks me up. I have only been in multi man matchs with Will Ospreay so i would love to have a crack at a singles match with him. Would also like to see how i would get on with Finn Balor or Zack Sabre Jr although they’d probably tie me in knots haha.
What is your finishing move?
As a singles wrestler my 2 finishers are a curb stomp and a double handed chokebomb. the curb stomp is very reminiscent of how Paul Burchill did his back in the early 2000s and the chokebomb is like the baldo bomb Albert used with a 180 degree mid air twist.As a tag team with Dowan, we’re called Oblivion and we use a move called the 10 tonne hammer which is a running powerslam/neckbreaker combo. and our newest one doesnt have a name yet but its basically a double military press and the opponent is then swung like an alabama slam onto the mat, hard to describe unless you watch it.
What do you think of the current state of British wrestling?
I love the current state of British wrestling, It’s getting bigger and better as the months roll by. You had ICW selling out the SECC for their flagship show, Progress selling out shows in less than half an hour and moving onto Brixton and going up to Manchester, still selling out as they go. RevPro going the same way with their large London shows and on top of that theres a lot of smaller promotions slowly making their way onto the bigger map. There is however a bad side to all this. I’ve seen a lot of very amateur shows being put on by promotors that don’t really know what they’re doing and using cheap talent that aren’t ready for a paying audience. I won’t name names but I’ve seen a lot advertised and just held my head groaning at the prospect of people paying for these shows and being utterly disappointed, but that’s just a small complaint.
What promotions do you actively wrestle for?
Right now as of February 2016 I wrestle for RCWA based in the Rainham area of Essex. Their main stars are Will Ospreay, Paul Robinson, Chuck Cyrus, Priscilla, Joel Masters, Blackbelt TD, Mexican Eagle, they’ve also used the London Riots, Pollyana, DnD, Ryan Smile, The Dunne Brothers and local talent who are amazing like Ash Draven, Sean Wilson, Damian Black, myself and Dowan. I also wrestle for DOA Wrestling based on the east coast in the Great Yarmouth area, they do shows around Yarmouth, Bury St Edmonds and Cambridge. It’s a smaller company thats slowly growing, In my last match with them i faced Richard Parliament in a tag match. They use guys like Kid Crazy, Danny Blaze, Brett Meadows, Scott Fusion and used to have an alliance with WAW in the past. In the past I’ve done a couple of small shows for KAPOW based in Sussex but haven’t worked with them in quite a while. I’m always on the look out for new bookings in 2016.
What does wrestling mean to you?
Wrestling has always been fun, its great to learn and do properly with the right tuition and there is a great social aspect to it. All the locker rooms i have been in have been a great laugh with some memorable characters not just in the ring. Training sessions you get to meet new people all the time and learn vast knowledge from many different sources and at the same time i can sit back relax and enjoy being a fan when i watch WWE, NXT, NJPW etc.
Where do you see yourself in 12 months time?
In a year I’d ideally love to be doing bigger shows in Britain for guys like FPW, Southside, PCW. My gimmick probably wouldn’t go down too well in promotions like Progress and Revpro but never say never! I’ve seen guys that have been doing small shows in 2014 now being booked in Europe and even in the States. There’s a never ending glass ceiling that I’m gonna keep reaching for, for as long as I possibly can.
What should someone who has never seen a Thomas Dracuul match expect?
If you come and see Dracuul or Oblivion as a team be prepared to watch a heavyweight team with a lot of hard hitting power moves. We can be scary and intimidating to younger audiences and whether we’re loved or hated we’ll be remembered for how we look and act, definitely leave a mark on the audience and our opponents. Just think of the Road Warriors, Disciples Of The Apocalypse , Nation Of Domination and The Brood all rolled into one.
SOMEONE STOP THE DAMN MATCH!!
Big thanks to Thomas for taking part in this interview and supplying us with the great photos, be sure to check him out at a live show!! Here’s a link to see what he’s all about https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uV1YOZaPIrg&index=3&list=LLRbQf19wNfsO4p7EiRe8T6Q
Let us know what you think of the interview over on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SomeoneStopTheDamnMatch