WWE and the world of grime have more similarities than you think – just ask Sam Gradwell and Sophie Aspin.
The NXT UK wrestler and viral YouTuber – as well as her former rival Millie B – have come together for a special video interview celebrating the connections between two very different artforms.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk after filming the clip, Sophie said: ‘I think there’s a big similarity between the way we are, and the way people are in wrestling. I think that we’re all big characters, wanting to be the biggest character.
‘What we do as a skill is to exaggerate certain versions of ourselves to make our character seem over-exaggerated.’
For Blackpool-based wrestler Sam, the grime scene isn’t something he knew too much about but he can see the crossover.
He added: ‘To be honest, watching their tracks, I got about a minute into Millie’s video and I immediately recognised the parallels between grime and WWE. This was essentially a promo that rhymed.
Gradwell sees the similarities (Photo: WWE)
‘It was exactly what we do in WWE when we call out an opponent except she’s doing it in a bit of a different way. She’s sat in KFC, walking around a supermarket, giving us these horribly insulting rhymes. but it’s so creative!’
Gradwell – who appears on WWE’s NXT UK brand on BT Sport and the WWE Network – noted how the best wrestling personas often come from something genuine and real.
‘Much like Millie and Sophie do when the cameras on, I just take that bit of my personality,’ he began. ‘The bit that’s big, the bit that’s loud, that bit that is a bit gregarious – and just dial that bit up and let it out.
‘It’s surprising that the more honest you are with yourself and the more authentic you are, the more it catches on and the more people like it.’
Sophie agreed with the notion, admitting she exaggerates ‘certain versions’ of herself to form her character.
And when it comes to helping wrestlers craft their own promo skills, she’s got some good advice – while sympathising with certain rules WWE’s stars have to follow.
‘It’s really hard with WWE,’ she said. ‘I didn’t have to be careful. Whereas with WWE, they say a lot of stuff but they’ve gotta be careful what they’re saying. I’d say try and say the worst things possible but still get away with it. Don’t swear!
‘You’re trying to wind that other person up and you’re trying to put that dominance that to say, “Listen, I’m not messing”. Have a laugh with it.’
So, could we see Sophie step into a WWE ring in the future?
‘You have no chance! I’m bloody tiny,’ she laughed. ‘I’d have absolutely no chance. If I was doing the rapping for [Sam], I’d do that.’
*NXT UK airs Thursdays on the WWE Network and Fridays at 10pm on BT Sport.