William Regal may be NXT’s resident authority figure now, but the former King of the Ring had quite the storied career before he traded his trunks for a suit and tie.
Despite making a global name for himself in the states, Regal apparently knew little about American wrestling growing up. Speaking on the Swerve City Podcast, Regal revealed his entire wrestling knowledge came from what he saw on Saturday afternoon television.
“I didn’t see any American wrestling until two years after I was a wrestler,” Regal said. “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.”
Regal’s fascination with wrestling from an early age propelled him to pursue the sport for a career. According to the NXT General Manager, he had his career paths narrowed down to three.
“I can’t honestly think of any time when I didn’t say, ‘That’s what I want to do for a living,'” Regal said. “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.”
Despite not knowing if he could handle it physically, Regal knew pro wrestling was his calling.
“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,” Regal said. “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.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit the Swerve City Podcast with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.