Featured Collection – Bolton Wanderer’s David Wheater
Our featured collection for March belongs to the Bolton Wanderers central defender, David Wheater. Now plying his trade in League One, David was club captain for Middlesbrough and a premier league regular for Bolton. Having been a wrestling fan since the age of ten he was keen to give us his opinion on who has impressed him in the ring and what the guys in dressing room make of his love of the business. David is also a collector of wrestling action figures and kindly gave us a peek in to his collection.
How did you get in to wrestling?
My first memory is my dad bringing home a tape of Wrestlemania 10 from 1994. He was working offshore on the oil-rigs and brought me back this tape and I watched the ladder match with Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels. I remember thinking – this is amazing. Then the next tape he brought back was Summerslam ’94 which was Undertaker vs Undertaker, which looking back now wasn’t the greatest match, but it was brilliant watching these two guys who looked exactly the same wrestling each other. After seeing those videos I was hooked.
What do you think of the modern era?
I like modern wrestling. I think most of the wrestlers put on great matches and are very athletic. They can do nearly everything inside the ring but I just hate some of the comedy bits that you see on Raw and Smackdown. Coming from the attitude era when everything was edgy and cool to most of the stuff you see now it is just embarrassing. I think the wrestling is better now, just not as entertaining all round. Not enough wrestlers are over enough with the crowd. Back around 2000, you could have had one of 6 or so wrestlers that could have been champion, but now maybe three at the most. I also think there are too many championships and too many programs to watch.
How big is your collection?
My figure collection is quite big. I have most of the people who are on the roster now and some legends but I could have had many more. I remember my first figures, which my dad brought home for me, which were the old WCW figures. I had Arn Anderson, Sting, Ric Flair, Brian Pillman and El Gigante but I just lost them somewhere or other. Even when I fist started to buy them around the attitude era, I have lost a lot. I love to collect them and have some that I have in the box like the classic superstars series. I’ve got Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant in one box. I have Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels in one box. I also have The Rock and Stone Cold single figures which I hope one day I can get signed.
What do the lads in the dressing room think of you being a wrestling fan?
The lads in the dressing room watch it a bit more that they let on I think. Whenever I start talking about what has happened on the most recent Raw or Smackdown they start talking about it. So I think they just want me to start the conversation. However they can’t believe it when I stay up to watch a Wrestlemania or Royal Rumble until four in the morning, but I just can’t miss it.
If you could meet any wrestler who would it be?
I would love to meet Ric Flair and Stone Cold. I think Ric Flair is my favourite wrestler of all time. Shawn Michaels for me was the best wrestler, but Ric Flair had everything. He was so funny to watch and put on brilliant matches for years. You hear all the stories about him so I would love to go on a night out with him. I would also love to go to Stone Cold’s ranch for a cold beer and a drive on a quad bike around his land.
Which modern wrestlers have impressed you the most?
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. For them both to be near 40 years old and doing what they do in the ring is unbelievable. I just can’t wait for Nakamura to come to the main roster just so he can have another match with Sami Zayn. I thought that match from NXT was unbelievable. Styles has come to the WWE and has become the top wrestler within a year and his matches with John Cena have been tremendous. I just hope he has a high profile match at Wrestlemania, with someone that can give as good as him, not someone like Shane McMahon because that would be a waste of Styles’ talent.
You follow David on Instagram to see how his collection is growing @bigwheatz31