Any Premier League defender who dreaded a physical battle with ex-Norwich City ace Grant Holt were made to count themselves lucky when the Englishman outlasted 40 other competitors in a ‘Royal Rumble’ match.
Holt’s towering height, naturally stocky frame and assertive playing style made him the perfect centre-forward for those managers who just love to get it in the mixer. However, the now retired star once traded the penalty area for the squared circle as a surprise entrant into a 40-man ‘Royal Rumble’ event for Norfolk based wrestling company, ‘World Association of Wrestling (WAW’).
Despite taking to the ring wearing smart chinos, a lovely navy sweater and a crisp white shirt underneath, Holt throw opponents out of the ring like they were mere training ground bibs. And he achieved this feat with less than half a day’s notice, as his call to the ring came shortly after a tough day’s training.
“Yea, the first one I won the Royal Rumble” Holt said to the Under the Cosh podcast in 2018. “It was just an ad-hoc thing.
“I had been training in the background because when I want to do something I want to do it properly. I don’t want to just swan in there and hit someone with a clothesline like you see everybody do, or just do a little slap and a lift or whatever.
“I had been training for ages and I was driving back and I was asked ‘look, are you confident?’ and I was like ‘confident to do what?’. And they said ‘we want to stick you in the Rumble because somebody has let us down?
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“We know you will come to the show anyway, do you want to come in?’ and I was like ‘erm I don’t really know what to say… f*** it, I’ll do it and I’ll get in there’. I drove straight to the venue, straight in, and won the rumble”
Victory was clinched in dramatic fashion as the no-nonsense forward showed excellent athleticism and upper body strength to pull himself back over the ropes when he looked to have been bundled out of the contest.
And he took great advantage of some poorly advised showboating on the top rope by his opponent, running and booting him from behind and sending him flying out of the ring.
Hold did compete in another event for the company again as the star baby face in the 2019 ‘Frightmare’ event in WAW’s ‘Frightmare 3’ even a year later. Holt has previously suggested he would love to try his luck with the WWE, but he is yet to get the illustrious phone call from Billionaire owner Vincent McMahon.