… Staring into the black eyes of the Devil himself, our hero refused to make way, back down, or surrender. With a sharp intake of breath, he strode forth like the colossus of the ring that he was and unleashed hell upon its ruler. This was no day for cowards, losers or dweebs: this was Mad Kurt’s day and Minoru Suzuki was to be his latest victim.
Starting out in Revolution Pro Wrestling in 2014, Kurtis Chapman wasn’t what you would call an instant hit. Beginning his run in the company predominantly wrestling in tag team matches. He was winning more often than not in fairness. It’s fair to say that his ascent in BritWres has been a slow burn. He became an important pillar of Rev Pro’s contender’s division – think NJPW’s young lions. Kurt would use his placement in the division to develop his first persona the Super Contender. That character can only be described as a whitebread babyface with just a hint of shooter added into the mix. Gaining victories over The Legion of Lords, Andy Boy Simmonz and Josh Bodom made sure that he was a name on the tips of fan’s tongues as he plied his trade.
Mad Kurt: Breaking Through
The initial breakthrough came when Chapman won Rev Pro’s British cruiserweight championship from then-champion Flash Morgan Webster in a five-way match at Uprising 2017. The crowd’s reaction to that win was overwhelmingly positive at that time but that relationship would sour over the subsequent reign. Incorporating his love of video games into his ring gear, fans began to see our hero as something of a villain. In all likelihood, it was the blandness of his persona when contrasted with perennial rival David Starr’s firebrand promos for/against the company. It would be the Jewish Cannon who would unseat Kurtis some five months after winning the cruiserweight title, a respectable reign with five successful defenses.
… Do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do etc.
Around that time, across the way in Brighton for RIPTIDE, Chapman would further develop the computer game loving side of his character. He would become known as the Keyboard Warrior. This was complete with, strangely enough, a computer keyboard which he would bring to the ring and usually use as a weapon. Yes, our shining hero had turned to the dark side. Forming an alliance first with the eminently despicable Lord Gideon Grey, and latterly Rob Lias, Riptide would be the company that allowed for Chapman to spread his wings a character. How best to describe that character?
Oh the Things He Will Do
Several phrases spring to mind: annoying little boy; bite louder than his bark; man-child; Scrappy-Doo. Singing along to his own theme tune and skipping to and from the ring like a live-action Martin Prince, Chapman took to winding fans up like a duck to water. Positioned as an annoyance who could score the occasional victory, Kurtis had found his artistic voice and would further embellish upon his creation. He also began dabbing. A lot.
The Birth of Mad Kurt
He rechristened himself, Mad Kurt. This is the cherry on top of the cake would be the addition of a wizard-style cape for his entrance. Our man had become a delusional (yet strangely likable) heel wherever he wrestled. Securing regular bookings in RevPro, RIPTIDE, Attack!, Breed, and Schadenfreude & Friends, Mad Kurt has staked his claim to stardom as BritWres grapples with a rebuilding phase. The mad one has also upped his social media game massively. This is something that one can contribute massively to the success of indie wrestlers. He was issuing hilarious grandstand challenges left, right, and center. His in-character tweets are truly something to behold and have occasionally caught his fellow professionals unaware. Although this is hilarious to the outsider, apparently it has held him back from some bookings, most notably PROGRESS.
GET BETTER AT WRESTLING (please) CHALLENGE
I nominate Eddie Kingston and Low Ki pic.twitter.com/G8IDhUhgx7
— 𝙈𝘼𝘿 𝙆𝙐𝙍𝙏 (@TheMadKurt) April 29, 2020
Whenever the wrestling world can return to a sense of normalcy following this horrendous pandemic, there are a ton of wrestlers chomping at the bit to make their mark. Near the top of that list must surely be Mad Kurt; someone who has turned fans’ early negative reactions to him into a positive. A wrestler unafraid to make himself look foolish and weak both in the ring and online on social media. The BritWres scene is full of men, and women, whose gimmick is that they’re hard as nails and that’s it. Sometimes that works perfectly well. But I’ll take someone with the sheer lunacy of Mad Kurt over those folk any day.
… And so he stands atop Mount Olympus, this man, this god, hands-on-hips, cape billowing in the icy cold wind. Mad Kurt, the man capable of striking down giants with a single blow; the hero we all need in an uncertain world.