Hi Simon, thanks for having a chat with us. Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thank you for having me. Well, my name is Simon Hill and I am a radio and TV presenter who has recently broken into the wrestling business as a host/backstage Interviewer for TNT Extreme Wrestling, a promotion that I understand you guys know very well.
My career started at Kerrang Radio when I was 19 years of age, where I ended up working on a show that I religiously listened to every night which was so cool at the time. The show was called Tim Shaw’s Asylum and I ended up co-hosting that show and being paid to fool around on live radio, it was one of the best experiences of my life.
What drew you into the world of wrestling?
Just like any young child watching superstars on a Saturday morning did, I loved the theatrics of it all. I remember my ﬁrst VHS which was ‘In Your House 7’ [Laughs] where Shawn Michaels went up against Diesel - I remember watching that match completely engrossed in it all, on the same card was Ultimate Warrior Vs Goldust for the Intercontinental Championship which was another fantastic match. These larger than life characters were putting on a show and I was fully invested from that moment.
Tell us a little bit about Safe in Our World.
Safe In Our World is an incredible organisation that supports, aids and helps those who suﬀer with mental health issues within the gaming industry. The mission is to foster positive mental health wellbeing and deliver support not only for players but also developers, publishers, retailers and teams who make up the video games industry.
I am a proud ambassador for Safe In Our World and when I was approached to be a part of this great cause it was a no brainer for me. I myself have suﬀered with mental health and I wanted to be able to reach out to help in any way I can, it’s always important to understand that you are never alone and that it’s ok, not to be ok.
Have you been in any matches yourself?
[Laughs] No, not quite - but I have taken a few bumps. The most memorable (and painful) was when we were live at Kerrang Radio, we had Bomber Dave Mastiﬀ and Rockstar Spud on the show. During a live segment Tim was asking Dave to explain how wrestlers take bumps and urged the listeners to vote in favour of me taking said bump - over 3000 votes came in and Dave Mastiﬀ would go on to pick me up and slam me on metal ﬂooring outside the studio, if that wasn’t bad enough he helped me to my feet as I was winded and did it again. I missed my next link because I was rolling around on the ﬂoor in agony, cheers Dave.
That's amazing, I'm sure you'll remember that moment for a long time still. Tell us about your podcast and where our followers can listen.
The podcast is something I had in the pipeline for a very long time, it was only the week we went in to lockdown that I decided to actually get oﬀ my A** and make it happen. It goes by the name of ‘Keep It Locked with Simon Hill’ which is what you see plastered all over my merch.
It recently relaunched from the Gone Gold Podcast which I’m super proud of. I wanted to bring a fun, well-researched insight into the lives and careers of our favourite wrestlers. It’s also about giving the talent an extra platform to talk about themselves and share their experiences with the listeners. So far it’s gone pretty well.
Already we’ve hit over a thousand downloads, streamed in over 40 countries and broke in to the top 50 wrestling podcasts in the UK - strangely, also the top 20 in Australia [Laughs].
Who have you interviewed recently? Any big names to drop?
I’ve actually had the pleasure of Interviewing a few of the NXT UK talent recently, which has been a lot of fun. CandyFloss was a ball of energy and one of the funniest interviews I’ve conducted, she likes to dab [laughs] - Then there was my chat with Aoife Valkyrie which was fascinating to hear her tell stories about her journey to WWE, there’s a great story during that interview where she talks about winning the Junior Irish Heavyweight Championship without her knowing she was going to win it, if that makes any sense. A-kid is my kind of guy, loves wrestling, video game nerd and loves to talk, that interview is one of my personal favourites, he is an unbelievable talent in the ring as well.
A special mention needs to go to MechaWolf or Mr. 450 as some people still call him, his interview was no holds barred. He came out and spoke about so much, the controversies surrounding his last televised match with WWE against Mustafa Ali and what really happened that day alongside the aftermath, what it’s been like working for IMPACT and being crowned The Crash Tag Team Champions with Bestia 666… Really cool interview.
As for live shows, I have been very privileged with the opportunities I’ve been given to interview so many talented individuals. Eddie Kingston is one I will never forget as it was highly emotional and very eye-opening, I always have a giggle when I interview the Medusa Complex as
both Charli Evans and Millie Mckenzie will start busting some dance moves or just genuinely being best friend goals. The IMPACT X Division champion, Ace Austin was a great guy and very passionate about the business... there has been so many, I don’t want to just keep name dropping [laughs] but you can expect many more.
Tell us about what it was like to be nominated as Presenter of The Year.
Mind-blowing, I woke up and got the message, I genuinely couldn’t comprehend what I was reading for a few moments. It was an honour to have that recognition for all of the hard work you do, I feel very lucky and fortunate that I am able to entertain people with what I do for a living and to have that level of appreciation… I am incredibly thankful.
Do you have any memorable stories from your career?
So many [Laughs]. Now, Trent Seven will try and take credit for this but he knows I won’t let him. I was DJing an after-party and I hyped up the crowd which was packed with talent, I then dropped Alterbridge - Metalingus, which as you know is Edge’s theme tune - I’ve walked up to Trent Seven, Orange Cassidy and Eddie Kingston with drinks in hand and jokingly said “Get your phone out” then Trent, Cassidy and Kingston recorded a video of them singing along, to which Edge Retweeted saying he helped bring three diﬀerent promotions together… when in fact, it was me [Laughs] but that was a great night.
This question was a lot harder than any other as you wonder which one to tell and how long you can ramble on for.
How important is merchandise in the world of professional wrestling?
Merch can help build your story, your brand and give what you stand for a personality. It can be the diﬀerence in you standing out from the crowd or fading out into the background, I feel these days, it adds another layer to the business which is great.
I see you are also a DJ, what kind of music is your favourite? What are your top 5 bands?
I do try [Laughs], very tough question. I was always brought up on rock because my Dad would have his vinyls playing in the house, so I was introduced to the likes of Iron Maiden, Metallica and Black Sabbath at a very early age. These days I do enjoy a variety of music whether that be Limp Bizkit, Justin Timberlake or Bugzy Malone… My top 5 bands, I’ll regret this at some point I’m sure.
Eminem (Not a band, but he’s amazing)
What is your all-time favourite gimmick in wrestling?
Great question. I mean who didn’t love The Heartbreak Kid? If I had to go on sheer dynamic, reinvention and all-out talent - I think you have to give it to The Undertaker in my opinion. I remember watching his ﬁrst appearance for WWE at Survivor Series 1990 and I was terriﬁed but intrigued. He has constantly reinvented himself with diﬀerent variants and seeing his recent match where he almost played all three of his gimmicks in one breathtaking match with AJ Styles was in a league of its own.
Who do you prefer, The Dead Man or The American Bad Ass Undertaker and why?
Wow… hmmm. This is so diﬃcult [Laughs] I think I would have to go for The Dead Man, just because that is what the Undertaker’s legacy was built on. It’s what I grew up being both scared of but somehow I was still so captivated by his gimmick, from the early ’90s to his Ministry Of Darkness days were all terrifyingly brilliant. However, I did love the American Baddass gimmick, I actually play that theme song by Kid Rock when I DJ rock venues [Laughs].
Where can our followers ﬁnd you online?
I am on every form of social media under SimonHOﬃcial, I use Twitter more than anything as I do enjoy that platform and you can ﬁnd me there @SimonHOﬃcial and of course the Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Deezer, Stitcher and any other streaming device you can think of, you can also watch them as they were recorded on YouTube under Keep It Locked Podcast... This has been awesome, thank you so much for having me.