Bumping Up…Hayley Stewart (Referee Edition!)

Interviews can be a tricky topic. Not only do you have to create engaging content, but you also have to come up with questions that make for a cohesive read. And that’s all before you’re even able to find time in the interviewee’s busy schedule to ask the questions.

If it were an interview with someone you’re already aware of, then it’s more likely you will read it, right? But what about those you don’t know. You could be missing out on getting to know your next new favourite wrestler, and you wouldn’t even know it.

So, in order to spread the word on talent on the indie circuit, I got straight to the basics.

Bumping Up is here to point you in their direction and broaden your scope on new talent and promotions. If you like what you read, give them a follow & check out their next show. You never know where all this will take you.

This week I have a slight twist on the segment. Usually, I’d feature a wrestler, but recently I’ve been thinking about referees & their story. They are just as important in the ring as the men and women who fight. But how did they get to where they are? and who inspires them? well, today we’re going to find out as we speak to our first candidate…

Name: Hayley Stewart

Age: 26

Hometown: Belfast

For how many years have you been a ref? I have been a referee now for just over 6 months! My one year anniversary will be 10th March 2020!

Did you try wrestling before? or did you go straight into refereeing? I had attended an open day 2 years prior which unfortunately was quite a bad experience, and when I looked into the refereeing aspect and contacted a couple of companies I received quite a lot of rejection.

In March I was given the opportunity and thrown straight into the deep end, learning on the fly was a lot of fun and I have improved so much since my very first show. 2 months after that first show I signed up to train at a local wrestling school called Titanic Wrestling where I have been training twice a week since May.

Who are your role models? (either currently or growing up) I never really thought about role models, I look up to so many people. My Granda, my mum, my dad. I have so many friends that inspire me in so many different ways. Within wrestling, it was always Mickie James and AJ Lee who inspired me the most! I think I just always look for inspiration in everyone surrounding me, from my coaches to fellow trainees, everyone has something to offer.

Was this something you always wanted to do or did you slowly transition from ‘9-5’ to where you are now. I never really thought about it before. I loved being a fan and being able to support the indy scene in Northern Ireland and Ireland over the past couple years, as well as following the WWE for the past decade. I always thought that I wouldn’t be able to be involved due to my slim build and low pain tolerance. My parents weren’t very keen on the idea either (It took me a couple of months to even admit to my mum that I was going to wrestling training) Now that I’m part of this crazy business it just feels right! I regret not getting involved sooner but now that I am, I’m giving it 110% and learning as much as I can and working as hard as I can.

What are your main goals for the next few years? I think my main goals would be to just continue to learn and push myself both with refereeing and within wrestling training. I would love to get the opportunity to travel to referee some of the mainland indy shows in the UK and maybe one day abroad.

The main goal would be to ref in WWE or AEW whether this is simply on a tv show, the Mae Young Tournament or NXT UK. I think that would be the biggest dream come true.

What’s your proudest achievement in your career so far? It would definitely have to be between reffing the very first match of my training school’s debut show (Titanic Wrestling presents Wind Yer Neck In) and being presented with the opportunity to referee Pro Wrestling Soul’s All women’s Show Soul 6 over in Wimbledon, London. Even just thinking about those two events makes my heart so very happy and grateful!

And finally where are some of the promotions fans can currently see you in action? You can currently see me in action at my training school Titanic Wrestling! Also, you can see me refereeing at The Wrestling Ireland and in the future, you will also be able to see me ref again at Pro Wrestling Soul at their next All women’s event on May 2020!

Feel free to follow me on my social media accounts:

@hayley_the_tiny on Instagram

Massive thank you to Hayley for her time, she clearly has a great future ahead of her. Also, shout out to T.H.I.S for their exceptional photography skills