ZERO1 Monthly Interviews: Nick Savage (August 2012)
We took a different approach to this month’s interview by straying away from the wrestlers and approaching ZERO1 referee Nick Savage. Nick is one of the most experienced referees in Australia as he has officiated every major professional wrestling promotion in South Australia for over a decade. He has been right in the centre of a majority of Adelaide’s biggest and most monumental matches. See what Nick has to say about his career and future aspirations in this rare insight.
I couldn’t really say, I don’t think I have one actually. Among my favourites would be Powderfinger, Live, Coldplay, Maroon 5, The Eagles, The Black Eyed Peas and Gym Class Heroes
My favourite movie would have to be Schindler’s List. Extremely moving and a very powerful story.
What are your first memories of wrestling?
My first memories of wrestling are quite vague funnily enough. As a young child I used to watch in wonder as these huge strong men yelled and threatened each other in front of a camera and then went to town on each other in the ring. I primarily remember the bigger names such as Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Rowdy Roddy Piper. Back then I didn’t really understand what was going on and there wasn’t a lot of wrestling readily available for me to watch, It wasn’t until the WWE Attitude era came along that I started following wrestling closely.
How did you get your start as a referee?
I was training to be a wrestler at the Monster Factory under Col Devarney. Col asked me if I would like to referee at an upcoming show to get a feel for being in the ring and in front of a crowd. I refereed ‘The Real Deal’ Steve O’Neal versus Blarzay in my first outing and must have made an impression as I was asked to referee the main event that same night. Since then I have focused primarily on becoming the best professional wrestling referee I can be.
You were the senior official and often sole referee for top South Australia promotions for the past decade. Have you sustained any injuries between the ropes?
Funnily enough I have. Several small injuries to the knees, I’ve been hit pretty hard a few times as well. The worst would have to be only last year, I was speared pretty hard and sustained some rather nasty bruising to my ribs.
What have been some of the highlight shows and matches that you have officiated in your career?
That’s a tough question. I have had the honour of working on some of the biggest wrestling events in Adelaide throughout my career. Definite standout shows would have to be the first ever NWA Australia show in Adelaide which featured some of the very best talent in Australia at the time. Also the International Assault show in Adelaide back in 2007 which also included what would have to be one of my highlight matches when Jag Hartley Jackson and Bruce ‘Havok’ Mills teamed up against Masato Tanaka. Other standout matches include the Jag ‘Hartley’ Jackson vs. Robby Heart – Ladder Championship Match in 2010 and the Tables, Ladders, Chairs Championship match in 2008. The recent Col Dervany tribute show also stands out as a highlight and I was both honoured and humbled to have been a part of it.
What are you aspirations for the future?
To become the very best wrestling official in the country. Ultimately I would also like to gain more experience and even possibly work with one of the large companies overseas such as Zero1, New Japan, TNA or WWE. To obtain a full time contract with WWE would have to be my ultimate aspiration. Unfortunately overseas travel does not fit in with my current personal plans but you never know what the future may bring.