Teen wrestler ready for hometown event

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ASPIRING young wrestler Jack Smith will be returning to his hometown next month as part of an evening’s entertainment in the style of WWE.

Invasion will feature the 17-year-old competing against one of his heroes as alter ego Justin Hawk.

The teenage sensation, from Thurcroft, said his attachment to wrestling began when he was at school: “I started watching from the age of seven.”

“My favourites at the time was Hulk Hogan, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, all because they were larger than life and it felt like their characters could burst out of the TV at any time!”

“Nowadays, I look up to less well known guys, who are all about the wrestling, guys like Sami Callihan, who I can’t wait to wrestle in March - it’s a huge honour for me.”

“A lot of people used to make fun of me for watching wrestling, but it is something I love and I would like to make a career out of it.”

“I carried on to watch wrestling in secondary school and then saw an advertisement for a local training school opening up and I couldn’t believe it!”

The training school was ran by Brad Flash, who would become a close friend.

“He is my trainer and has helped me through everything. I can’t thank him enough,” he added. “I made my debut in 2009 in Rotherham and since then I have wrestled in front of more than 500 fans in Bridlington and also competed on Holiday Parks in front of 2,000 fans.”

“It has just been really awesome and I am very grateful for the opportunities that are presented to me.”

“I think wrestling in my hometown of Thurcroft will be really special for me.”

Jack said his stage name came about after he was “intently” watching the ring being put up: “One of the lads said that I was watching it like a Hawk. So that was my last name, and also, a load of people say I look like Justin Beiber, so I took the first name off Beiber and added it to Hawk, to create Justin Hawk.”

He added that the show is family based, attracting children of all ages.

“I would advise people to appreciate wrestling for what it is, a form of entertainment. People should watch out for their children practising moves at home, because that really is dangerous unless you are trained to do so.”

On Saturday 5th March, Invasion will land at Thurcroft Miners Institute, on Katherine Street.

To be in with a chance of winning two family tickets to the event, simply answer the following question.

Q) What is the name of Jack’s wrestling character?

Mark your answer ‘Thoresby wrestling competition’ and email your entry to competitions@worksop-guardian.co.uk or send it by post to The Worksop Guardian, 21-27 Ryton Street, Worksop, Notts S80 2AY. The closing date for entries is Friday 25th and winners will be contacted by telephone. Competition rules apply.