Nick Radford discusses first memories, career next steps and Pokemon

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Nick Radford
Photo / Nick Radford

We’ve seen a lot of great talent come out of the Pacific Northwest. One of the more unique figures I’ve encountered as I watch the local scene is Nick Radford! He’s a talented wrestler and writer, two very different disciplines. He has gear with Pokemon, NPR and even one with a cat! He evolves as a performer and has one of the most engaging gimmicks on the local scene. This makes him a standout and one of the most entertaining performers in the Pacific Northwest.

Nick is highly engaged with his fan base and knows how to utilize his social media like an expert. He has been an outspoken advocate for the trans community. He engages his fans in all manner of discussions including gaming, film and one of his favorite subjects… Pokemon. As you will see I nearly offended Mr. Radford with one of my questions demonstrating my ignorance on the subject.

He’s worked with a number of notable promotions in the region including DEFY, Prestige, DOA, WCWC, and ECCW to name a few. More recently he has been doing shows with Project42, Without A Cause and was recently announced as a member of the roster for Reign Wrestling a new promotion debuting in Tacoma later this year.

If you haven’t had a chance to see Nick Radford perform live, I highly recommend taking the opportunity if it presents its self. You won’t be disappointed. In the meantime take a minute and get to know Nick Radford a little better.

Nick Radford

Philip: Tell us about your first memories of wrestling. What made you a fan? Who were you a big fan of? What role did it play in your childhood growing up?

Nick: My first memories of wrestling were when I was very young, and I thought it was a stupid, macho waste of time. My cousins who were also big into football would watch it all the time and I couldn’t be bothered. It wasn’t until I was around 14 and a friend of mine started telling me about the stories that were happening at the time that is when I started to become curious and would catch a random Smackdown. That’s what drew me in; stories and characters.

Philip: When did you decide to take this from fandom into the professional arena? How did you find a place to train? Did you start at the BWA? Tell us about your training.

Nick: Growing up, I traveled a ton. My parents were super into drag racing (like cars) and my dad took it to the professional level. We would fly out to Kentucky, Tennessee, Las Vegas, etc. on the weekend. My parents would occasionally take me out of school on a Friday to go to the races. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are riding home in my family’s big semi-truck with my dad in the middle of the night, listening to “Coast to Coast” with Art Bell and eating whatever we could get at a truck top. The more I learned about wrestling, the more I related to the lifestyle. That’s what made me want to do it.

I almost forgot the rest of your question, you’re like a lawyer asking compound questions.

Philip: I’m something far more frightening than a lawyer Mr. Radford, but I digress. Please, continue.

Nick: I did not start training at the Buddy Wayne Academy. I actually started my search for wrestling training in Portland, Oregon, because while I was attending college at Sothern Oregon University, I saw ads for Portland Wrestling Uncut, which had the late Rowdy Roddy Piper attached. By the time I graduated and moved up to Portland, Uncut was no more, but it had drawn my eye to the Portland Wrestling scene, which led me to the DOA Pro Wrestling Academy to train with Dr. Kliever, Drexl, Nate Andrews, and Quiz. I trained there for a good period of time until people started to tell me that my next step should be to train at the Buddy Wayne Academy. I already knew the Cunninghams and saw how good they were, so I followed that lead and it was the best decision I’ve made in my career so far.

Philip: Tell us the three highlights of your professional wrestling career thus far.

Nick: 1. Being on Live WWE television in a match with Braun Strowman. 2. Starting my journey, training at the Buddy Wayne Academy. 3. Main eventing Invasion Championship Wrestling with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase in my corner.

Nick RadfordPhilip: What are the next steps for you in terms of your wrestling career?

Nick: I’m always keeping an open mind about my wrestling career and my goal is always to get better. Over the six years, I’ve been doing this, I’ve gone through a lot of changes and had a lot of growing pains, but I feel like I’ve finally found something that really feels comfortable for me and works. That being said, there’s still a lot of growing and changing I have to do. I just want to get more eyes on my art and learn from those who are more experienced than I. A goal of mine for this year is to do a camp or travel a little further for wrestling. I’ve wrestled up and down the west coast (British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California), but I haven’t had the opportunity to travel east at all yet. I don’t like to plan a lot for something in a business that almost relies on spontaneity, but I have a general idea of where I want to go and how to head in that direction.

Philip: You have been making a huge splash on the local scene with your Cook Brothers fan fiction. Tell us about what you look for with inspiration? When will we see a compilation of your work published? What has the response to your work been so far? What are your goals and aspirations as a writer?

Nick: Weirdly, I have zero training as a writer, it’s just something I like to do to play around. I rarely showed off my work publicly because it never felt “up to snuff,” but when the opportunity arose and I felt sufficiently inspired, I just jumped into writing the Cook Brothers fanfic. When I started getting positive feedback, I realized I might actually have something.

Those fanfics aren’t even the first works I released to the public either. I also like to write IMDB-style movie synopsis based on wrestling posters. I post those on my social media, but I don’t hype them up as much.

A goal of mine is to branch away from the poetry format with my fanfic and start writing actual short stories, gender swaps, etc. but that format obviously takes more time to write so that’s still a work in progress. I absolutely would love to release a collection of my works at some point in the future but that will require to have many more poems/stories under my belt, so it’s still a way off.

Philip: Tell us about the path for you at Project 42 now that your family has lost control of the company? Are you planning to take it back? Revenge seems likely. Who will face the wrath of Nick Radford?

Nick: Project 42 is one of my favorite places to work. The venue, El Corazon, really gives it this punk rock vibe. It’s also where I feel I have the most artistic freedom. Those who have been following along would know that Beckett (the ring announcer) has a weird obsession with me and will constantly vaguebook post about me like a bored housewife so I’m sure that will lead to something. I have some fun things in the works for Project 42 that I feel are very different from other stuff you’ll see in the Pacific Northwest wrestling scene.

Philip: Tell us about your love of Pokemon. Tell us about your collection of Pokemon cards. Which is your favorite? If you were a Poke, would you be fire, water, grass, spirit…?

Nick: I appreciate the intention with this question, so I won’t even begin to get into everything that is wrong with it. Pokemon has been a love of mine since Red and Blue versions came out. I used to rent Red Version for the Gameboy from Blockbuster, play it for the weekend, return it, and rent it again the following weekend hoping that I got the same copy so I could continue my saved game. I fell out around high school (cause I was too old and cool for Pokemon obviously) but all my friends in college played it and taught me how to play the card game (up until that point I only collected the cards) and I was right back into it. My collection is extensive; I have three binders full of cards, numerous figures, at least on a version of every generation of games, special edition Pokemon-themed consoles (I just got the Let’s Go Pikachu Edition of the Switch), and much, much more. I even have a pair of Pokemon-themed gear.

If I were a Pokemon, I would like to think I’d be Fighting and Grass-type since those are my favorite types.

Philip: What book are you reading? What was the last movie you watched that you really enjoyed? What television show have you most recently been obsessed with?

Photo Credit: @deathbykitty23

Nick: Since I started working on my master’s degree, I don’t have a ton of time for entertainment but I’m currently reading “If You Come Softly” by Jacqueline Woodson, which I got through an online book club called Life’s Library. I most recently watched “Us” in the theater, Jordan Peele is an absolute genius. The horror genre has been a vehicle to have a discussion about societal issues for ages, but “Get Out” and “Us” have really changed the game and brought attention to new societal issues for the genre. I haven’t had the chance to watch much television lately but since I already brought up “Us,” Tim Heidecker (who’s in the movie) does this amazing AdultSwim.com exclusive show with Gregg Turkington called “On Cinema” that is the most ambitious and masterfully done shared universe since the MCU. Everyone needs to watch it.

Philip: Who are three talent’s you’ve worked with, who are grossly underestimated, that people should be paying attention to?

Nick: Johnny Flynn is my favorite wrestler and has been criminally underrated for years. Thom Alman may be new to the public scene, but he’s been working harder than anyone I know at the Buddy Wayne Academy for over two years. He is driven to prove everyone wrong and he’s damn good at it. Guerrero De Neon, in a similar vein, works so incredibly hard. He’s still a dumb naïve kid but he’s good at the lucha style, good at American style, good at video editing, and is incredibly creative.

Philip: Who have been the biggest inspirations that have helped shape Nick Radford into the man he is today?

Nick: I think the most obvious answer to this question is Buddy Wayne. The gifts he’s given me and continues to give me, are countless. He welcomed me into his academy on good faith and gave me an opportunity to learn. He has also left me with countless words of wisdom that I refer back to on a daily basis. “What would Buddy say about this?” is a question I constantly ask myself.

Kevin Cook getting revenge for the Cook Brother’s Fan fiction!

In a similar vein, I believe it is extremely important to acknowledge Carl Randers for continuing on Buddy’s legacy in the form of running class at the Buddy Wayne Academy after his passing. There can be a lot of drama and a lot of bull shit that one has to deal with when in that situation, and Randers has done his absolute best to put anything personal aside and focus on running training for everyone’s benefit and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Philip: Tell us something about yourself that people don’t generally know that you don’t mind sharing.

Nick: I don’t know if this is something people would know or would commonly associate with me, but I love horror movies. The horror genre is something, along with Pokemon and wrestling that has truly informed and shaped me as both a person and as a performer. I think it’s the same kind of thing that I enjoy about wrestling; it’s a multifaceted genre that can be a fun way to escape from reality. Especially when it doesn’t take itself too seriously, or a tool to further explore societal issues in a novel way. Jason Voorhees was always my favorite because he just became so ridiculous and over the top by the later movies in the series. “Jason Takes Manhattan” is my favorite of the series.

It was an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to get to know Nick. It is rare to encounter someone so comfortable with themselves and open to new ideas and ways of approaching professional wrestling. There isn’t one way to approach this thing we love. Professional Wrestling is one of those things that changes constantly. With each new talent, move, style, and fan, we see something different brought to the table. With Nick, he has brought many things to the table. He is an innovator, a creative juggernaut and someone who approaches his work with the kind of mindfulness that has the potential to have an enormous impact on the industry.

It is also my pleasure to announce that Nick Radford will be joining our team of talented writers at the ProWrestling Post! The name of his column will be “Notorious Notes with Nick Radford!” It won’t be long before you too can read the fantastic pros of Mr. Radford for yourself. In the meantime take a look at what some of his peers have to say about him.

Notorious Notes with Nick Radford
Photo / Robbie Sutter

Quotes:

“Nick is one of the few wrestlers on the indies who puts emphasis on making his character more dynamic than his move set. In turn, he’s become one of the most interesting personalities on any show he’s on. He’s a personality whose goal and motivation goes beyond going around saying, “I wanna be the champion.” – Ethan HD, Professional Wrestler, and Trainer

“I remember a few weeks after Radford started at Buddy Wayne Academy we were talking and complaining about our lack of bookings and not making any money in wrestling. He told me that he had a plan, however, for making a little extra cash. He would attempt to become a male prostitute and specialize in servicing men. I told him I don’t think this was a good idea because he isn’t gay. He assured me everything was okay.

The next day he came into training very excited. He told me not to worry about my training fee for that day because it was on him. I asked him what happened, and he said he made $450.05 the previous evening. “Did you actually prostitute yourself,” I asked. He assured me that he had. I was amazed but had one more question for him. “Who the hell paid you $0.05?” He answered, “Every single one of them!” Nah, I’m just kidding, he’s a good guy! – “King Pin” Johnny Flynn, Professional Wrestler, and training partner

“Nick Radford has one of the most creative minds I’ve ever met!” – Guerrero De Neon, Professional Wrestler

“For as talented a wrestler as Nick is, what sets him apart is his mental acuity. He is a thinking man’s wrestler, a scholar of the sport, and someone who uses his vast intellect to outwit his opponents.” Thom Alman, Professional Wrestler

Here are some matches you can watch:

Nick Radford vs. Johnny Paradise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXyjXRfCJIA

Nick Radford vs. Nick Wayne: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvmEw8eSFCs

Nick Radford & Izzy McQueen vs. Hellion & Scarlett Black: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4YyQPPYdJE

Nick Radford vs. King Khash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjlH-wvQ4ME

Mannie Rioz vs. Nick Radford: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEkTNTyCXZU

Nick Radford vs. Ethan HD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLnQLkrrjiA

“The Devil Himself” Drexl vs. Nick Radford: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNCCzhpsBUs

Kevin Cook vs. Nick Radford: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqH_SPYm-H8

Christopher Ryseck & Kellen Raeth vs. Nick Radford & Rusty Diamond: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a79Fz5vswZ0

To read Philip’s interview with Without A Cause‘s Guerrero De Neon click here.

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