Kiwi pro wrestling hopefuls have received some tips from one of America's kings of the ring.
Pro wrestler AJ 'The Phenomenal' Styles - one of the stars of Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Impact Wrestling - yesterday paid a visit to the Impact Pro Wrestling gym in South Auckland.
During his 60-minute stay, he checked out the Kiwi talent, handed on first-hand advice on potential pitfuls inside and out of the ring and passed on some fighting techniques.
''I love getting out and seeing what talent the world has to offer,'' Styles said.
''It's great to come and see what Auckland has got and check out this training facility.
''Who knows where the next big star is, so we are out there looking all the time.
''When I got off the plane I thought a lot of big Samoan guys would be greeting me. And I wasn't too far off ... there are some big dudes here.''
Styles said he was impressed with what he had seen at the Impact Pro Wrestling gym.
His time in New Zealand had given him the chance to meet several young hopefuls who he believed had the physical size to have a crack at breaking into the American pro wrestling scene.
But he warned that Kiwi hopefuls needed more than just size to fulfil their dreams of fighting in the US.
''Wrestling isn't just based on physicality, there is a lot more to it than that,'' he said.
''Knowledge is the key, experience is everything ... you have to know how to react to different situations and only experience will do that.''
Styles is now one of the fans' favourites of TNA Impact Wrestling, the new home of ring legend Hulk Hogan. Impact Wrestling screens on BOX, Sky Channel 005, every Saturday at 9.30pm.
On August 13 the channel will broadcast TNA Hardcore Justice Live. Styles is a former TNA World Heavyweight champion.
Styles, aged 35, said he was living his dream.
''I'm on a television show where I get to wrestle and do something that I love ... there is not really much that you can complain about,'' he said.
''It's an unexplainable feeling when you walk through the curtain and get into the ring.
''If someone came to me and said that I could start all over again and I didn't have to wrestle, I don't know if I would take it. Despite the fact when I get old I might be in a wheelchair, or it might be hard to get up the stairs, it will all be worth it.''
Styles had earlier completed an Australian promotional tour before arriving in New Zealand on Friday.
Today he is expected to attend the Warriors' NRL clash against the Cronulla Sharks before flying back home to America.
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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