I’m probably not the only one but while I was watching the most recent installment of British Boot Camp, I had no idea who was going to win it. Would it be Big Dave Mastiff? His connections with Spud and the potential for a feud with Samoa Joe to rekindle that fire and something for Joe to get his teeth stuck in to. Would it be Grado? TNA could have done a lot worse than to take a British wrestler who is brimming with charisma. Rampage Brown? with his physique wouldn’t look out-of-place at the WWE.
And what about the women’s division and Kay Lee Ray? In the end it was the very talented high flyer, Mark Andrews. TNA certainly need to re-invest in the X division and remember what made it so successful, the days of AJ Styles, Petey Williams, and Christopher Daniels. For TNA this a great investment.
But in the background, away from the favourites, was a young talent I hadn’t seen before, a rising star north of the border. I saw a glimpse of something, and I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. That is, until I got to see him live at Nottingham Rock city, where the Jewdi, Noam Dar, took on Marty Scurll. These two athletes put on a chain-wrestling clinic. Everything Scurll did, Dar had an answer for. Scurll’s reputation speaks for itself – he’s been around a while – but what about Dar?
Since Nottingham in April, I’ve been watching more of Dar’s work and there’s a few things that impress me about him. He keeps himself in good shape, so he’s doing the work outside of the ring and his character is connecting with the audiences. He’s a student of the game – you can tell because almost every move and hold is crisp and sharp, and this only comes through hard work and practice. But there are so many other talented British wrestlers that do the same, what makes Dar stand out?
The more I watch him the more I like him, but what was it that I like about him? Then, during a match Dar was having with Kenny Williams, there was once again this lovely sequence of chain wrestling which came to a standoff. Then Dar stood up and that’s where it hit me:
“My life, this guy is a young, British Dean Malenko!”
I’m a huge fan of Dean Malenko. From his ECW days and his work with 2 Cold Scorpio and Eddie Guerrero to his run in WCW with Chris Jericho, Ultimo Dragon, and Psicosis. He had this fantastic finesse about him, and he made chain wrestling look like second nature. He had a certain stature about him, a respect not only for the business but also for the guy he was wrestling against. The greatest thing about Malenko was his style. He could work with pretty much anyone, whether they be a flyer or a brawler, big man or small. He could wrestle anywhere – take him to Japan, Mexico, Canada… because of his wrestling style he didn’t need to adapt much and they didn’t need to adapt to him. I see Noam Dar has these same traits. He has that finesse about him, his style is adaptable, and he wouldn’t look out-of-place in the ring with, say, Drew Galloway or Rampage Brown.
It was this hard work, dedication and application of this brand of style that took Dean Malenko to the number one spot in another wrestling publication in 1997 (He was voted #1 in the PWI500 – editor’s note). Malenko was regarded by his peers as one of the best wrestlers at a time where we saw the budding of the “Attitude Era”, with its so-called edgy characters and gimmicks. Whereas Steve Austin and many others changed their styles for the changing of the times, Dean’s style remained pretty much the same. That scientific, chain-style of wrestling. In fact his style got him noticed for not following the crowd but being unique, standing alone and saying this “is who I am.”
And just like Dean Malenko, the world is certainly at Noam’s feet. He’s got the right work ethic and the tools to take him far in the wrestling business. People are starting to pay attention and notice him and he’s got that wrestling style that will allow him to wrestle anyone. He’s also got a look that says he’s dedicated and cares about his in ring appearance and has excellent ring presence. He knows how to connect with an audience and he has that same, Dean Malenko finesse that will take him wherever he wants to go.
I think it is pretty safe to say that Noam certainly has a bright future ahead of him.