‘I’ve been invited onto a show... I need to get it cleared by the club’ – Norwood ready to make charity wrestling debut

James Norwood's wrestling themed goal gifs have been watched by millions of people online. Photo: Pa

James Norwood's wrestling themed goal gifs have been watched by millions of people online. Photo: Pagepix

James Norwood is a guest on Sky Sports’ WWE podcast ‘Lock Up’ this week after his wrestling themed goal gifs went viral. The Ipswich Town striker talks about getting a message from ‘The Rock’, what finishing moves he plans to imitate next, which Town team-mate he’d pick as a tag team partner and reveals his plans to take part in a wrestling show for charity.

How James Norwood could look as WWE wrestler. Photo: Archant

How James Norwood could look as WWE wrestler. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

Q: The first goal gif that dropped was the 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin one. Talk us through that. Is he your favourite of all time?

A: He's obviously up there. I grew up in that generation of Stone Cold, The Rock, Triple H, The Dudley Brothers…

I don't know what came over me! I just thought I had to do something a little bit different because all the lads were doing quite generic ones and I just thought 'I love wrestling, I've got some mates who are wrestling fans, I'll see what I can do'.

Q: What's the response been like?

A: I've been taking so much about 'The Peoples' Elbow', because I took off the left elbow (pad) and not the right. It wasn't completely not thought though. I did that because I needed to stay on the angle of the camera.

Q: So who is your favourite wrestler?

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A: The Rock, without a question. If you are my sort of age and that's not your answer then something is seriously wrong. He's the most electrifying man in sports entertainment isn't he?

Q: Do you have a favourite match?

A: You've put me right on the spot here… I'd say the one where the Dudley Brothers went to get the table. When you were with your mates you'd always shout 'get the table'. We'd mess about jumping off sofas and put pillows on the floor.

Q: Are there more wrestling goal gifs lined up?

A: I'd like to get off the top rope, but I don't know how wide angled with the lense we can get.

I'm not entirely sure what the plan is, but I've got a couple more ready.

These have taken off a lot quicker than I was expecting, but yeah, I've got a couple left in the tank. It's about finding the next one now.

It will be from the same era. I'm trying to think what I can say without giving it away… It's similar to Stone Cold. I'll just say that.

Q: Will we see them on the pitch as well as on Twitter?

A: Definitely. The last few goals I've scored have been equalisers and I don't really want to celebrate equalisers too much.

I've got a couple of on-pitch ones planned. It's just about finding the right victim and getting it cleared by the lads because if things go wrong I'll be in a lot of trouble! But I've definitely got a couple lined up.

Q: We asked our listeners to send in some suggestions from you. They've said about the Big E hip swivel, Kane, Batista's machine gun, the DX crotch chop, Rick Flair's strut...

A: Somebody sent me the hip one. I was going to have a look at that. Whichever ends up being most popular I'll make happen.

Rick Flair would be good. I think we can get sound as well, so I might even be able to get the 'woo!' in there.

Q: Would you ever take part in a wrestling show yourself?

A: Oh, 100%. I've been invited onto a wrestling show as a guest enforcer in a couple of weeks. It's still in the early stages. We're just trying to clear it with people.

Somebody came to me and said they would put on an event for a charity oif my choice and I said I'd love to do it for Cancer Research. He said we can do 10 matches and it would be somewhere near Ipswich. That's all I can give you at the minute.

We're looking at dates and I need to get it cleared by the club then it's all go ahead.

Q: What about a career in wrestling after football?

A: I just don't think I'll be mobile enough. If I keep playing for another 6/7 years I'm not sure the knees will be able to handle climbing up to the top rope and all the landing. If I feel I could do it I'd love to give it a go in some capacity.

Q: Fans have nicknamed you 'Lord Norwood'. What's that about? And could that be your wrestling name?

A: I got that because I bought a lordship online when I was with my friends in Pizza Express. One mate said it gets you free upgrades on travel. Supposedly anyway.

Would it be a good wrestling name? I'm not sure it would scare anyone.

I could be in a world of trouble if I came out dressed in a crown. Maybe I could be carried out by six or seven people and then flip off the top rope?

Q: Which of your team-mates would you pick as your tag team partner?

A: That's difficult. Probably Toto Nsiala because he is absolute ginormous and all the lads are scared of him.

He'd be like the Undertaker or the Big Show. I probably wouldn't need to be tagged on. When he's got them pinned he can just tag me in and I'll just finish it with the Peoples' Elbow.

Q: And we can't let you go without talking about 'The Rock' himself tweeting you...

A: I couldn't believe it. I woke up Sunday and my Twitter went mad. I scored down the replies and when I saw the blue tick and Dwayne Johnson I couldn't believe it.

Obviously he's a triple threat and is pretty much best in the world at all three of them. For him to find the time to respond amongst his schedule is unbelievable.

The official WWE account follows me now so I'm under a lot of pressure to perform better ones. I hope they keep picking up on them.

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