“I Knew I Had To Do This” By Johnny Starr

“I knew I had to do this”

By Johnny Starr.

How did I get here? It’s Saturday the 17th of June 2023, its approximately 8:45pm and in 5 minutes time, I’ll be standing across the ring, with my best friend as my tag team partner, about to face the one and only, legendary, Ultimo Dragon! I’m nowhere near 100%, my back is still fresh off slipping two discs and in constant pain from a diagnosis of a condition that sounds like an STD, yet I am strangely calmer than I ever have been before. How did I get here? Well, to understand that you need to learn a bit about me and who I am, and to do that, we need to go back 26 years to the year 1998, when I was 16 years old and the thought of being in a wrestling ring at all, let alone with the Ultimo Dragon, was only a dream at this stage.

Let me first introduce myself, I am The Purest, Johnny Starr, and I have been wrestling since the age of 16, I am now 40.

You know, some people remember their first day at school, their first kiss or their first pet’s name, but me, I remember the first time I ever saw professional wrestling on TV at the age of 6, and I also remember the first time I saw a real professional wrestling ring in person.

To set the scene, it was school holidays in 1998 and around sometime after 9pm, I was driving through Menai (a small suburb in the Sutherland Shire for those not familiar) one night with my friends, taking in whatever sights we came across, but the sight that caught my attention the most, was the sign on a building that said, “Vulcans Pro-Wrestling School”. Directly below was a large window where inside the building could be seen. Sitting in this large space was my very first wrestling ring I would eventually step foot it. I ordered the car be stopped and dashed across the road to press my face onto the glass. I gazed in awe and couldn’t believe what I was looking at, an actual wrestling ring! At that point, I knew had to do this, I had been dreaming of this since I was 6 years old, and now, I could make that dream a reality.

A day or two later, I signed up as a trainee at Vulcan’s Pro-Wrestling School.

My trainer was John “Vulcan” Seru, who was a student of the Malenko wrestling academy in Florida USA. I trained 3 to 4 times a week or whenever I had the chance, for 2 to 3 hours each time.

This began my journey into this crazy world of professional wrestling, that has spanned over 26 years and taken me to companies such as UWA, PWA, VCW, and other various independent wrestling companies throughout NSW, before landing in my current company and place I call home, All Star Wrestling Australia.

But this is only a small insight into my time in Australian Professional Wrestling.

I’ll be back next week, to dive into and explore my time, experiences, the highs, the lows and the changes ive seen in Australian Professional Wrestling, over the past 26 years.

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