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By Mike Johnson on 1/13/2018 7:26 AM

Yorkshire wrestling star lives out childhood dream

‘The Professional’ returns to venue where he watched WWE as boy

Hull wrestler to star in Sheffield and Leeds legs of historic 5 Star Wrestling tour and live TV series

When 5 Star Wrestling comes to Sheffield in February it will be a particularly emotional night for one of Yorkshire’s top grapple stars.

Nathan Cruz was a wide-eyed 12-year-old wrestling fan who dreamed of one day emulating his heroes when he watched the WWE superstars at the Fly DSA Arena as a boy.

Now 15 years on, the Hull-born star known as ‘The Professional’ will get to live out his childhood dream when he competes as part of 5 Star Wrestling’s historic arena tour and live TV show.

Cruz will perform alongside the WWE legends he idolised as a child when 5 Star Wrestling presents the first and only weekly UK-based live wrestling TV series in the history of British television, starting on February 1.

Real name Nathan Irwin, Cruz has been handpicked as one of Britain’s best to join a star-studded roster of wrestling names from all over the world including former WWE champions Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, John Morrison and Jake Hager (formerly known as Jack Swagger) to tour the biggest arenas in the UK and appear live every Thursday night on UK all-sport TV channel FreeSports.

And this time the Yorkshire wrestling fans will have their eyes firmly on him when 5 Star Wrestling comes to Sheffield on Thursday night, February 15 and the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Thursday, March 29.

“Sheffield is really special to me because I came to see my first WWE show there as a fan, when I was 12 years old,” said Cruz.

“It was called the Hallam FM Arena back then. I went with my best friend Matt Myers who also went on to become a pro wrestler.

“It was a point in my life when I thought yes, I definitely do want to pursue wrestling as a career. Getting to wrestle in the venue where I first saw WWE and being a Yorkshire lad myself, it’s very special.”

Cruz, who grew up on a small council estate in Bilton Grange, Hull, became hooked on pro wrestling after watching a match on TV between WWE icons The Undertaker and Triple H at the massive American spectacular WrestleMania 2001.

The former Griffin Primary School and Archbishop Thurstan pupil then started training aged 15 and within four years became the UK’s youngest full-time professional grappler.

Cruz was helped on his rapid rise by the guidance of Leeds-based grapplers El Ligero and Rampage Brown, who will be joining him on the 5 Star Wrestling tour and TV series.

“It’s exciting and I love being a part of things like this that are creating an alternative to the WWE and highlighting the best of British talent,” said Cruz.

“It’s no secret that British wrestling is booming at the moment. So this is a huge reward for everybody involved.

“Coming from a small city like Hull that’s starting to expand due to the City of Culture last year…and now me being able to do this as part of the wrestling industry going nationwide with 5 Star Wrestling, I think it’s going to put more attention on Hull as well as myself.”

The 5 Star Wrestling tour kicks off at Liverpool Echo Arena on February 1. This is also a venue Nathan knows well from when he received a try-out with WWE in 2014 and wrestled a ‘dark match’ as part of the company’s Smackdown brand.

Since then Cruz has developed his new ‘Professional’ persona which has taken him to the upper echelons of the rising UK wrestling scene.

The well-dressed Nathan says ‘The Professional’ symbolises his real-life dedication to pro wrestling.

“Being a wrestler is a fun job but it’s still a job,” he said.

“I want to be successful so I don’t want to treat it as just a hobby. I always conduct myself as a professional. I show up on time, early if I can. I always wear a suit. And it became one of those things that people always said ‘he’s the consummate professional’. There’s a lot to be said about that.

“We’re in an era where some of the fans almost see being professional in wrestling as a bad thing. I’ve made a career out of being the wrestling bad guy. So dressing smart and being punctual, taking what should be deemed good qualities and making them bad qualities, and being smug and arrogant about it, it’s a way to complement my own career within a character role.”

Cruz hopes to get the chance to actually face off with some of the WWE legends on the 5 Star Wrestling tour, including Rey Mysterio, who he describes as “phenomenal…a revolutionary” and 5 Star Champion John Morrison who he says is “an incredible athlete…the total package”.

“I’m now in the 11th year of my professional wrestling career and I’m still only 27,” he said.

“At 27 I’ve still wrestled in eight different countries and had 1200 matches, wrestled for the WWE and wrestled in all the top countries in the world. Now I’m going to be on live weekly British television doing what I love, facing some of the biggest names in wrestling, in some of the best-known arenas in the country. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

5 Star Wrestling On Tour

An army of larger-than-life wrestling stars from around the world, including ex-WWE favourites Rey Mysterio, Jake Hager (Jack Swagger) and Rob Van Dam, are going on the biggest, most ambitious arena tour ever created by a UK-based wrestling company and they are coming to your town in 2018!

5 Star Wrestling will bring the most thrilling and physical sports entertainment action up close and personal to the huge numbers of fans who love and follow professional wrestling around the country.

The groundbreaking 5 Star Wrestling tour kicks off at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Thursday night, February 1, then travels all over the British Isles with dates confirmed for Newcastle, Sheffield, Plymouth, Belfast, Aberdeen, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Dundee, Blackburn and Cardiff – and Rey Mysterio and Jake Hager are signed for all 12 dates!

Also appearing on the tour will be former WWE superstar and the reigning 5 Star Champion John Morrison, former WWE superstars Carlito, PJ Black (Justin Gabriel) and Chris Masters, ITV Love Island reality TV show star and pro wrestler Adam Maxted, Impact Wrestling’s former American Football stand-out Moose, Joey Axl from Australia and top Brits including El Ligero, Jack Jester and Dave Mastiff.

Roster names announced so far are:

5 Star Champion John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Jake Hager, Adam ‘Flex’ Maxted, ‘The Masterpiece’ Chris Masters, Carlito, PJ Black, Moose, ‘The English Lion’ Eddie Ryan, ‘Liverpool’s Number 1’ Zack Gibson, Rampage Brown, El Ligero, Dave Mastiff, Big Grizzly, ‘The Professional’ Nathan Cruz, Charlie Sterling, Jack Jester, Kid Fite, Lou King Sharp, Joey Axl

Already announced for the Liverpool event are a 5 Star Championship match between former WWE stars John Morrison (champion) and Rob Van Dam (challenger), Rey Mysterio vs Zack Gibson and Jake Hager vs ‘The English Lion’ Eddie Ryan.

5 Star Wrestling will then visit the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on February 8 featuring Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Adam Maxted, Eddie Ryan and the 5 Star Wrestling roster.

The touring company will then appear at the Fly DSA Arena in Sheffield on February 15 with Mysterio vs Brown on the bill, before vising Plymouth (February 22), Belfast (March 1) which includes Maxted vs Mysterio, Aberdeen (March 8), Manchester (March 22), Leeds (March 29), Birmingham (April 5), Dundee (April 19), Blackburn (April 26) and Cardiff (May 10) with more dates to be announced.

5 Star Wrestling: LIVE on TV

Every single 5 Star Wrestling show will be aired live to millions of homes from 7pm to 10pm every Thursday night on the new all-sport UK channel FreeSports.

This is the first ever wrestling TV series to be broadcast live on a weekly basis from the UK and the only live TV wrestling series to originate from anywhere in Europe.

Reality TV star signs for 5 Star Wrestling

ITV Love Island hunk and pro wrestler Adam ‘Flex’  Maxted loves to show off his body beautiful but will show no love or mercy to his opponents on the 5 Star Wrestling tour. The reality TV star is signed for ALL DATES of the tour!

The 5 Star Championship History

On January 13 2016, John Morrison pinned current WWE Champion: AJ Styles, to become the first ever 5 Star Champion. Morrison has since defended the championship at every opportunity, most famously in a one-night tournament that saw him defeat WWE’s Drew McIntyre, TNA’s Moose and the legendary master of the 619, Rey Mysterio on the first live TV special by a UK wrestling company in half a century.


Buy tickets

The early bird tickets for all 11 events on sale have sold out but you can be part of the 5 Star Wrestling LIVE TV experience by heading over to for all the ticket details.

Tiered seating (£30) and floor (£45) tickets are available as well as a limited number of VIP tickets (£150) which include the chance to get up close and personal with the stars of 5 Star Wrestling including access to a VIP pre-show meet and greet, priority ringside seats in the front two rows and exclusive signed 5 Star Wrestling merchandise. VIP ticket holders will also have their photo taken with the legendary high-flying masked wrestling superstar and former WWE Champion Rey Mysterio, before the show.

Children under 14 are allowed but must be accompanied and seated by an adult at all times.

Live shows start at 6.30pm. Doors open at 5.30pm with the VIP meet and greet running from 4pm-5.30pm.

Announced Tour Dates So Far

Rey Mysterio will lead the 5 Star roster on a tour of the UK’s biggest arenas. 12 shows in 12 different cities have been announced, with events running in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

LIVERPOOL – Echo Arena, February 1 2018

NEWCASTLE – Metro Radio Arena, February 8 2018

SHEFFIELD – Fly DSA Arena, February 15 2018

PLYMOUTH – Plymouth Pavilions, February 22 2018

BELFAST – SSE Arena, March 1 2018

ABERDEEN – Exhibition and Conference Centre, March 8 2018

MANCHESTER – Manchester Arena, March 22 2018

LEEDS – First Direct Arena, March 29 2018

BIRMINGHAM – Genting Arena, April 5 2018

DUNDEE – Dundee Ice Arena, April 19 2018

BLACKBURN – Silver Blades Ice Arena, April 26 2018

CARDIFF – Motorpoint Arena, May 10 2018


Watch LIVE on FreeSports

You can see 5 Star Wrestling LIVE on FreeSports on Freeview (ch 95), Sky (ch 424), Freesat (ch 252), Talk Talk TV (ch 95) and BT TV (ch 95) starting Thursday, February 1st 2018 from 7pm to 10pm. 5 Star Wrestling: LIVE on FreeSports will be repeated several times throughout each week with a weekend one-hour highlights show on Saturday and Sunday mornings.


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