Sluggin’ with Steven O’Neil featuring NOVA

The following interview is part of an exclusive interview series courtesy of CWN Contributor Steven O’Neil. Steven has been a fan of Pro-Wrestling for the past 30+ years and on top of his love for the business, he has also lent his voice to several podcasts over the past year.

What do you do in your spare time when you aren’t wrestling, or training?
When I am not wrestling, I am working full-time serving my city as a Police Officer. I conclude most nightshifts coming off work at 7am, sleeping very few hours, and then hitting the road to travel to a show I am booked on. My “off-time” is strictly focused on my progression and business in Professional Wrestling. I am very driven and motivated in this period of my life. Any “free time” will be utilized productively where I will be either training in a wrestling ring or in the gym improving my physical fitness for both professions.

What is your favourite wrestling themed podcast or YouTube channel?
3-way tie between RJ City, JustinSaneTrain and Tyson Dux – each channel (still wrestling-related) has their own reason. All three of them are unique in nature and serve their own purpose which I find extremely useful.

What was the moment that made you decide to pursue wrestling as a career
In December of 2018 during an evening workout in my police gym and watching Raw, I had an epiphany, or a “Fuck it” moment, if you will. There was no planning, no prior intentions to wrestle or thoughts behind it. In that very moment, I thought to myself—I am not getting any younger. I am in the best shape of my life right now and I want to continue showing my athleticism beyond Varsity Volleyball, now that I have graduated College. In the field that I work in as a First Responder, I am extremely mindful that today could be my last day. Life can change drastically in any moment and tomorrow is never promised. In that exact moment, I said, “Fuck it” and contacted Rock Solid Wrestling. The rest is history.

How do your friends/family feel about your wrestling?
90/10. 90% are supportive, where the other 10% I wouldn’t say AREN’T, but are more so realists. They realize that what I am doing is very high-risk and is an “at your own risk” type of job. It is not covered or insured should I get injured. They constantly remind me that I have an important career to return to when the match ends and the spotlights fade. I need to stay healthy for that. They aren’t wrong.

How do you balance family/relationships while pursuing your wrestling career?
Work/Life balance has always been very important to me. I am a very driven & motivated human who typically focuses on myself. On my scheduled days off work when I am not booked or training, I will make time for those who need me; even if it means driving hours across the province to do so. Your loved ones won’t be around forever. Make time for them.

What does a typical training day look like for you?
Morning Cardio/HIIT
Rest/Fuel the body
Evening: Lifting or in-ring training

What does the diet of a pro-wrestler look like?
I have never been one to “count macros”. I do, however, understand the value in focusing on the three primary macronutrients: Proteins, Fats, and Carbohydrates. I try to incorporate them all into every meal. Aside from that, I have quite the sweet tooth when it comes to locally baked or home-baked goods and will never say no to testing a new buttertart!

What do you think is a common misconception about wrestling that people have?
That “it’s fake” so they think it’s solely theatrics. In reality, it takes an incredible amount of skill, training, and fitness to complete a match. There is an extreme amount of physical exertion, pain and injury that arises from this craft that people who aren’t directly involved will never understand.

If you had to wear a WARNING label, what would it say?
Will dropkick if crossed.

In an alternate universe where wrestling doesn’t exist – what are you doing instead?
I am working an amazing career and would have chosen this route with or without wrestling. A life retired and taking care of my dogs full-time will always be my first choice. However, it is unrealistic given my age. I have about 18 more years to go with my Police Service before throwing in the towel. I can truly say that I am where I was meant to be.

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