Upon its return, NXT UK has been bigger and better than ever. Emanating from the BT Sport Studios, the presentation of the show has been incredibly impressive – and the Superstars seem to have taken the challenge to personally up their games too. That rise is no more prominent than in former NXT Tag Team Champion Trent Seven – who has blasted his way to the final of the NXT UK Heritage Cup! Ahead of his battle with A-Kid, Trent spoke to Inside The Ropes‘ Gary Cassidy about his journey to the final, his NXT Tag Team Championship run, and meeting The Undertaker and Ric Flair!
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Inside the Ropes. I’m Gary Cassidy, and today I’m joined by a former NXT Tag Team Champion and, at the time of recording – we’re not going to jump the gun – NXT UK Heritage Cup finalist Trent Seven. How’s it going today, Trent?
I’m very well. Thank you very much for having me on.
Thank you for joining me. So, NXT UK is back, you know, arguably bigger than ever in the BT Sport Studios. How has it been for you being back after so many months of not being able to wrestle? Was there any ring rust or is it just excitement and adrenaline to be back?
Yeah, I’d be lying to everyone if I said there wasn’t a bit of a ring rust. Yeah, the way things have been set up is obviously very… It’s had to be very, very meticulous. You know, obviously we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so we have to make sure that we’re looking after everyone’s best interests. But we’ve managed to be able to get back to our Performance Center and get some get some level of training back into it so we didn’t have to just turn up at BT Sport and remember everything, everything that we’d ever worked on.
So, you know, like just kudos to the company and BT Sport for all coming together and working together to create what I feel is a very memorable part of our, and of NXT UK’s history. You know, it’s been very tough and it’s been it’s very trying and very testing for everyone. But I feel the amount of work and the amount of effort that’s been put in by the WWE and BT Sport, it’s just been second to none – and it’s given us a chance to be able to perform for our fans at this very testing time as well. So, my hat goes off to everyone that’s put in such amazing effort.
Most definitely. And, you know, I wouldn’t want to call you a tag team specialist because you’re a former ICW World Heavyweight Champion. So, obviously, you’re well-versed in singles competition. NXT UK fans may know your best as a tag team specialist up until probably the start of this year and then we had the big gap with no wrestling. “Where is Tyler Bate?” is the big burning question. You know, Are you just looking to break on a singles run? Do we have any update on Tyler Bate’s whereabouts?
Yeah, at the moment, I am solely focused on this Heritage Cup. It’s given me a huge chance to be able to cement myself and cement the Trent Seven name rather than the Moustache Mountain name, and as important as Tyler is to me and as important as obviously part of being Moustache Mountain and British Strong Style is, there is that part of me that needs to be a little bit selfish sometimes and take the opportunities that I’ve got, because it’s always good to be in the history books as part of a stable, part of a unit but you do have to cement your own little bit of a legacy as well – and that’s what I’m focusing on with the Heritage Cup. But don’t worry, Tyler’s going to be OK.
Excellent. That’s always great to hear. The reason I ask that is because we mentioned you’re a former NXT Tag Team Champion. One fact for me… It’s always one where I need to go back and check, “It’s NXT, not NXT UK” and then I remember the exact moment you won those titles, which was absolutely incredible. How do you look back at that? Because it was such an incredible moment, but obviously quite a short run. Do you look back with any regrets at all or just take it for what it was moment-wise?
Yeah, not at all. Everything happens for a reason, and the timing was right, and our opponents were right. Like, it was just perfect. It was the absolute peak of my wrestling career.
To be able to even walk out and perform at the Royal Albert Hall is a career honour. There’s so many people that haven’t had the opportunity in all forms of entertainment, you know, singers, actors and incredible famous opera singers that haven’t had the chance to perform at that venue and we very, very lucky have. Then to get that kind of career-defining moment as well. It gives me goosebumps now thinking about it.
But that taste of gold is something that you have to focus on through your wrestling career and as you progress through your career. You are looked back on and your career will be looked back on and valued with how many championships you won or nearly won and now I have the chance to win the Heritage Cup, to be the first a name on it. These chances don’t come at you very often so, just like at the Royal Albert Hall, I’m going to jump up, I’m going to grab whatever I can. I’m going to grab it and run with it. And we’re very, very close to having the final of the Heritage Cup as well. So there’s going to be no change there.
I want to mention three names I want to mention to you and see if you can tell me what they’ve got in common. John Cena, Samoa Joe and Trent Seven.
What’s the link? Uh… I think Cena was younger than me when he debuted. Is it something our age? Age when we first did something?
No, all three of you have been part of the Transformers franchise.
And I believe you were actually the first of the three to be part of it. I’m going to take it, from your answer, that none of those two guys reached out to you for advice on acting as part of a Transformers movie?
Yeah, I mean, I’m not going to lie, I think they’ve slightly bunny-hopped me as far as their acting careers have gone – but yeah. Oh, that’s a very cool fact as I was in The Last Knight.
I know that, you know, through NXT UK, you get to portray that side of things on the mic and stuff as well, and I know there were acting classes ran by WWE during lockdown. Is acting something you want to do more of?
Yeah, absolutely. Acting and presenting is something that’s always been a passion of mine. I suppose, realistically, before and during me starting to even get remotely entertained by the fact of becoming a wrestler or having a go at wrestling. It was something that I always wanted to have a look into. So it’s always something I’ve kept my finger around, but obviously with the schedule that I’ve been working over the last four years, you just don’t really get the chance to be able to go to auditions and things like that. It’s a little bit more complex now, obviously – but, yeah, it’s definitely something I’m going to be continuing to look at for the rest of my career and if the chances or the opportunities fall into my path, I’ll be grabbing those as well. But, yeah, that’s a very interesting fact. That’s awesome.
Let’s keep it in the theme of three because you’re part of a three in British Strong Style. So I want to ask you, what is the scariest thing you’ve faced out of these three?
Last time we spoke, you told me your fear of almost making a fool of yourself to Ric Flair when you met the 16-time World Champion a little bit worse for wear, shall we say, at a hotel…
Yeah, in a hotel room. He just dominated the conversation. Yeah, that one was absolutely fine. I was a little bit worried, but he’s great. He’s so entertaining just to talk to. Like, he’s as colourful and and enthusiastic in a normal conversation as he is when the camera’s in front of him. He’s just so great.
What is more scary – that moment of almost thinking you may have made a fool of yourself to Ric Flair, doing the Dare Skywalk at Tottenham Stadium, or being in the ring with Dave Mastiff?
Taking the cannonball off Dave Mastiff! When Dave Mastiff is mid-air, wrapped into a tight little ball of about 20 stone hurtling at you with the force of gravity against you, that’s probably the scariest thing I’ve ever had to witness. It is absolutely frightening. But yeah, that walk at Tottenham, that was very cool. Very, very scary – very scary – but an excellent idea, like a really cool idea the club’s got for the fans and people to have that extra little experience apart from just going to the stadium and watching the football.
But out of those three, a hurtling, 20-stone man coming at you when you all you’ve got is a metal turnbuckle behind you… Yeah, that’s the absolute most frightening by miles.
I don’t think anyone would argue with that, even not being in that situation. But my favorite thing about the Tottenham thing was the fact you’re top said Trent 7. I was like that is genius. Perfect!
It’s the 30th anniversary of The Undertaker this week, it’s his final farewell. Have you ever met the Undertaker? And if so, what was the experience like?
There was one brief meeting where I met the Undertaker and I can’t remember the exact pay-per-view that we were backstage at, but I picked my time and I went over and introduced myself and he was absolutely wonderful. He was so lovely. But very early before, me and Pete and Tyler, and a couple of the other lads, we had been watching some like… Going deep into the realms of YouTube, like the Undertaker’s matches – and we found a match from Japan. And I think it was Zero1. It’s going to be around about… Oh, God, I can’t even imagine how many years old, but he fights against Hakushi – or what would be Jinsei Shinzaki – in Japan for Zero1. I spoke to him and it sparked this thing, he just explained to me how incredible it was, they had little bit of a talent share thing going on that Vince had sorted out, he started telling me about the match and it was just wonderful just to be able to have that kind of interaction with him. 30 years of just absolutely unbelievable top-level performance. There’s nothing he hasn’t done. He really is the man.
Yeah, most definitely. And we mentioned earlier Tyler Bate, and you kind of wanting to break away from being in a tag team. You also mentioned Pete Dunne who’s on NXT now. He’s bridged the pond. He’s been on both sides of the globe over the past couple of weeks. You’ve wrestled in NXT and even held gold on the brand, but do you have any aspirations at all of wrestling at the Capitol Wrestling Center?
Yeah, absolutely. Of course, you’ve got to you’ve got to have those little kind of career goals. And, you know, my goal is still to be on WrestleMania. I still want to be a part of the absolute peak of our industry. You’ve got to have that as you go – but, yeah, the Capitol Wrestling Center just looks amazing, right?
The cages and the perspex and that mixture of live fans and ThunderDome-style. It’s just, the effort that’s been put in by the production team and everyone there at WWE to give fans the best interaction and the best experience they possibly can get in these trying times, it just speaks volumes for just how much we actually do care about the fans and we do care about the fans’ experience with the WWE. So, yeah, that Captiol Wrestling Center looks very, very cool and, you know, if Pete’s over there, then I might hook him up and just stay with him for a bit.
We mentioned how impressive that is but the BT Sport Studios are impressive too…
Unbelievable. So good.
..so let’s round up with two final questions on NXT UK. They’re both kind of similar, but I’ve got to ask them anyway. You’re one of the veterans of NXT UK. You have been around since, I believe the very start.
Yeah, before NXT UK existed!
Yeah, at the United Kingdom Championship Tournament. So, a lot of faces seem to have come in over the past few weeks, not even just new faces, but people that we’ve known for a while, but who seem to be breaking out and either being rejuvenated or just kind of finding themselves. Who has really impressed you since coming back?
I think it’s common sense for me to say A-Kid.
I think he’s come on leaps and bounds physically, mentally, in the way he performs. Obviously I’ve been studying and watching him quite fervently for the past few weeks especially. But, yeah, I just think he’s got that kind of hybrid fighting style that’s becoming very popular in professional wrestling and he’s obviously he’s one to watch, he’s in the final against me! He’s definitely someone I’ve been watching very closely.
I think you’ve just had the return from injury for Sam Gradwell. He’s been marred with that with a knee injury. I think he was out for almost two years, full recuperation. That can be so testing, not just the physical side of it in actually making the repair and making your way back to the ring but I think mentally, it puts you under an incredible amount of pressure as well.
Touch wood, I haven’t had to deal with that myself, but watching someone so mentally strong, someone like Sam Gradwell just stick to his guns and stick at it, and just keep working and working and working to to go through two years of watching everyone else get these amazing things, like the Royal Albert Hall, all these things that he unfortunately missed out on – to then come back in, in the most incredible shape and the most incredible visual version of him, and I think that speaks volumes. I’d be doing myself an injustice if I didn’t give Sam Gradwell huge shout out for the amount of effort that he’s put in over the course of the last year or so.
Yeah, most definitely. He’s almost like an new Superstar. It’s amazing.
One final question. You mentioned A-Kid, your opponent in the Heritage Cup final. I don’t think you could find maybe two more different Superstars in terms of styles. And you represent everything about British wrestling, and the heritage of NXT UK. He is the new up-and-comer, incredibly modern and exciting to watch as well. What can people expect from that match?
I think that’s a great explanation. You can expect as one of the true merges of different styles. I’m coming from a slightly more heavyweight standpoint, like I say, a bit more of a classic British wrestling performance, whereas now you’ve got this super-fast hybrid, MMA-type pro wrestler as well. I think you’ve got a real big clash of styles – and I think what you’ve got on your hands is, it is a true tournament final, where I think every single aspect of each of our of our styles is going to be tested – and may the best man win.
Thanks to Trent Seven for taking the time and to WWE United Kingdom for facilitating the chat. You can follow Trent Seven on Twitter here.
You can watch Trent every week on NXT UK, which is available via the WWE Network at 8pm every Thursday, then on BT Sport every Friday.