NXT General Manager, William Regal, has opened up about almost choosing a career as a clown over a lifetime inside the ring.
Anyone that has read his gripping and affecting autobiography will know that William Regal has had a lively career both in and out of the ring. From bare knuckle boxing on Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach to overcoming the most crippling addiction to having a heart murmur corrected in a procedure he feared would end his life.
However, one detail that has been kept close to his chest is that he almost forfeited a career as a professional wrestling to chase another dream as a clown.
Appearing on The Swerve City Podcast, hosted by NXT talent Isiah Scott, the Brit detailed his dreams growing up and where he knowledge of professional wrestling came from living in the United Kingdom:
“I didn’t see any American wrestling until two years after I was a wrestler. We had our own wrestling on at four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. British wrestling, which has now turned to World of Sport on ITV. It was an hour, well fifty minutes actually, at four o’clock every Saturday afternoon. I grew up watching a different style of wrestling, different characters. All I remember from being probably four years of age, I used to go sit with my granddad. From being seven, I was very lucky. My father wasn’t the greatest wrestling fan, but he used to take me to live wrestling every two weeks in the nearest city.”
World of Sport, the once premier professional wrestling programme in Great Britain, spawned international stars such as Adrian Street, Fit Finlay and most notable Davey Boy Smith who would of course find fame in the United States as The British Bulldog.
With wrestling firmly in his sights, Regal revealed that the profession was only one of three possibilities of what he would do with his life. One of the other two would have involved painting his face:
“I can’t honestly think of any time when I didn’t say, ‘That’s what I want to do for a living. It was three things: I either wanted to be a wrestler, a clown, or a comedian. And that was it. And I’ve always thought I got to do all three doing this.
I didn’t know if I had the athleticism or the ability, but I knew I was going to try to get into some kind of that world, because I knew real life wasn’t for me. My earliest memories [were of me] thinking that my dad is the nicest person I know, but all he does is look at a row of bricks all week. That’s not a way my brain can handle, I couldn’t do that.”
A former WWF European, Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion – not to mention the gold he was adorned with in WCW – William Regal is also a King of the Ring and current serves as the long standing General Manager of NXT.
Credit for the interview: Swerve City Podcast
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.