David Starr is looking forward to a run of beating up WWE contracted talent at PROGRESS Wrestling's Super Strong Style 16 tournament and then he wants to beat Walter for the company's world title on the same night.
The lines between independent and contracted wrestler have become more and more blurred in the last few years in the British scene, especially since WWE started its NXT UK division but David Starr stands out as, to borrow from his many nicknames, the physical embodiment of the phrase 'independent wrestler.'
Whilst others have signed for WWE, AEW, Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Starr proudly wears his latest merch that just reads 'Independent' across the front whilst his in ring gear says 'wrstling' on because he 'doesn't need the E.'
This weekend's Super Strong Style 16 tournament for PROGRESS really shows how lines have been blurred with plenty of NXT UK talent involved in one of the biggest weekend's in independent wrestling in the world, and even NXT's Kyle O'Reilly involved.
Speaking ahead of night one on Saturday Starr explained how going through the contracted men in the tournament to win it would give him great motivation, saying:
"I just wish it [the tournament] was a little more independent, but that's okay.
"I hope I see Travis Banks tomorrow, I hope I see Ilja Dragunov the next round and I hope I see Jordan Devlin in the final. That's kind of what I'm hoping for for a kind of vengeance thing, like really pushes me for motivation.
"But if I have to think who I'd like to see in my heart of hearts, I'd love to see Chris Brookes and Chris Ridgeway make it through. Because they represent the right things, and Kyle Fletcher. If it was the four I'd say the four independent guys because that's what it really should represent. But from a motivational stand point those [WWE talent] would be my guys."
It's safe to say that day one went according to plan for the 28 year old as he beat Defy champion Artemis Spencer, Banks beat NXT bound DJZ, Draganov beat Brookes and Devlin beat Lucky Kid.
For day two to go to plan Starr really wants Walter to beat Trent Seven in the main event as two more NXT UK talent face to unify PROGRESS' World and Atlas titles.
The independent star has a long running history with Walter, who is also the NXT UK champion, and their rivalry in Germany's wXw is one of the greats of modern indie wrestling.
However it seemed to end at wXw's 16 Carat tournament earlier in the year. In round one the American made the Austrian tap out but the referee missed it.
Now Starr wants revenge by winning SSS and cashing in his title opportunity straight away. When asked when he'd challenge the champion the 'Circumcised Saviour' said, "Immediately after I won the tournament. Straight away. Why wouldn't I? He's been ducking me now, after I tapped him out at 16 Carat he said he's pretty much done with it so he's not going to do the match until his hand is forced and I know he won't be able to fly off anywhere and run away, so I know he's there. Why wouldn't I ask him right then and there. Confetti will be falling, whatever they're gonna have, let's get him out there and do it right then and there"
Either Walter or Trent Seven will walk out with both belts after night two. Image: PROGRESS Wrestling.
Much has been made recently about how WWE treats its 'Superstars' due to John Oliver's piece on Last Week Tonight and plenty of Starr's reasoning for wanting to stay an indie worker, and part of the reason he moved to the UK, mirrors that. Asked about being an indie wrestler he said:
"I have been contacted by WWE before, I've turned it down a couple of times.
"I think it's something that doesn't really hit home with European audiences is the healthcare thing. Very fortunate to just be able to go to the hospital, and that's one of the reasons I moved to the UK, that's a big thing. The fact that being a professional wrestler it's hard to afford the things you need. My point is, similar to John Oliver, stuff I'd talked about in private. I just want workers, wrestlers, labour in general to just realise the power we have and we don't have to just accept whatever is given to us, we have our own terms and our conditions and I want wrestlers to understand that it's cool to say 'no', it's fine.
"Don't just give in to something because it's got three letters and you think it'll be cool. Think about yourself and don't just cave into a corporate power who just say 'look at all this exposure you get.' How about you treat us right, how about a billion dollar corporation, that is able to provide healthcare to it's wrestlers but clearly don't care. So yeah, that bothers me."
Independent's wrestling most independent wrestler really can say and do as he pleases and don't be surprised to see him back up his words on Monday, win Super Strong Style and call out Walter immediately, after all he's got all the motivation he needs.
PROGRESS Wrestling's Super Strong Style Weekend is taking place at Alexandra Palace, London, Sunday 5th and Monday 6th May. Tickets are still available for the two days at the venues box office. See PROGRESS Wrestling for more details.