Norfolk wrestler's American dream
By Richard Hancock
Nick Aldis is a professional wrestler with high hopes for his future. The 20-year-old, from Docking, has appeared on bills for all the major British wrestling promoters - now he is heading across the Atlantic in a bid to join the stars of WWE.
Many people when quizzed about British wrestlers will think of Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks and The British Bulldog, but one man from west Norfolk is trying to make his own mark on the sport of showmen.
At just 20 years old, Nick Aldis already has a year's experience as a professional wrestler in the UK, and he's jetting off to spend a month in the USA in a bid to hit the big time of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Aldis will spend five days at a training camp in Eldon, Missouri, learning from the leading lights of Japan's Pro Wrestling NOAH, while scouts from the Far East and the world-leading WWE look out for the best new talent.
Nick hopes that his trip can be the springboard to greater things in wrestling, after years of hard work, and a dedication that has seen him devote his life to his art.
Dedication's what you need
"I started training when I was 16. I've been a full-time pro for a year, and it's now my sole occupation," he said.
It's fair to say Nick is muscle-bound, but he says it's not his natural body shape.
"I'm a naturally skinny guy. To get to the size I am takes a lot of calories and a lot of proteins, it's a 24-hour job because you can't let it slip," he said.
Hitting the gym
A keen swimmer and tennis player when younger, Nick was often told he was too skinny to be a sportsman, which is where he found the determination to pursue his ultimate goal.
"I'm an avid body builder as much as a wrestler," he said.
"From a young age I realised this is what I wanted to do, and as a result began body-building.
"I think a lot of wrestlers are the same, because you have to look the part."
Not that Nick is hanging all his hopes on his trip to America - he still has to pay the bills after all, and he's booked for a show in Britain the same day as his flight back from the States.
last updated: 12/09/07