CARTER Deams describes Steel City Showdown as our "Wrestlemania".
Anyone with a passing interest in professional wrestling knows WWE's annual showcase is sports entertainment's Superbowl. To main event Wrestlemania, is to become a WWE legend.
Therefore "World's Finest" Carter Deams, real name Nathan McCarter, is treating his Newy Pro heavyweight title defence against Matt Pilton, aka "The Chief" Rig, as the biggest match of his career.
"Wrestlemania is the best way to put it," McCarter says, on the steps of Newcastle City Hall where Steel City Showdown takes place on July 15. "This show has the potential to be the biggest one we've ever done."
McCarter and Pilton came through the wrestling ranks together. In 2016 Pilton was rookie of the year and in 2017 McCarter followed suit.
Carter Deams has been the heavyweight champion for the past three years, headlining March 2021's sold-out event Brawl At City Hall against Mick Moretti and its follow-up last March in a triple threat bout against Robbie Eagles and Rig.
"It's gonna be an emotional day as I know I'm gonna be out there with a best mate fighting for the prize we've worked together six or seven years for, hopefully it's in front of a sold-out crowd," McCarter says.
Showdown will also feature a middleweight title defence from Dazza and the inaugural tag team champions will be crowned. Capping off the card is a 30-person rumble with the winner earning a heavyweight title shot.
McCarter, 25, broke into wrestling at 19 when he attended a Newcastle Pro Wrestling try-out at their Gateshead gym. As a former Hunter Sports High student and Lambton Jaffas soccer player, he was naturally athletic.
Despite his physical strengths, the 6'4 powerhouse admits the transition was difficult as wrestling forced a lifestyle change in terms of diet and gym training.
"It's a hard progression," he says. "People think it's a hobby and they can come to a try-out and they'll learn a few moves and they'll jump off the top rope and that'll be it. It took me a year and a half before my coach said I was ready to be in front of people."
McCarter initially tag teamed with Matty Walhberg (Matthew Farrelly) in The Babes, before breaking out as a singles wrestler. Farrelly has since signed with WWE's development brand NXT as Grayson Waller.
McCarter has had his own chances on the international circuit. He earned a scholarship to train with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, but a broken wrist curtailed those dreams.
These days with a young family, he's happy to continue grappling for Newy Pro and help train the next crop.
"You can never be perfect," he says. "You're always learning. Someone said something the other day that really resonated with me, 'The more you learn, the more you realise you've gotta learn'."
Newcastle Pro Wrestling's Steel City Showdown comes to City Hall on July 15.
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