Growing up as a diehard fan of anything tends to inspire that individual to look for a way to be a part of it. In the case of professional wrestling, countless fans have gone on to enter the industry as wrestlers themselves, trainers, ringside announcers, journalists covering the sport itself, and plenty of other professional positions. ONE37pm's very own Justin Dhillon aka "The Wrestling Classic's" adoration for the wide and wonderful world of sports entertainment inspired him to create social content that showcases the many personalities and unforgettable events that wrestling fans love to be reminded of. With the success of his Instagram page, The Wrestling Classic has earned enough of a good rapport with those who compete in the squared circle. That in turn has led him to sit down and interview in-ring greats such as "Bret "Hitman" Hart, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Trish Stratus, Bayley, and many more. We spent some time with The Wrestling Classic to pick his brain about the sport of professional wrestling, what led him to adopt his famous moniker, his favorite wrestlers, and so much more.
The Squared Circle is The Wrestling Classic's First Love
ONE37pm: When did you start noticing that your work was gaining a lot of traction?
The Wrestling Classic: I wish I understood what was happening earlier than I did. My numbers were growing exponentially. There was a point where I was doing nearly 20 million impressions a week before being forced to make some changes. Big names started following and interacting with the page. At one point, I had celebrities such as The Weeknd and Lebron James following the page. Each and every year I feel like the credibility continues to grow. I started forming a genuine connection with the fan base.
Whether it was connecting with the Hart Family, getting blocked by a few large names, popular people from other industries showing love or young kids such as someone named Max Friedman commenting that he will one day be featured on the page is when I picked up on it. It was all the small moments. WrestleMania 32 was an eye-opener too. I sold merchandise, I had my own website, my own podcast, started doing interviews, started a show with the late great Shad Gaspard, I was getting recognized at the most random places, and the list goes on. I am a fan who loved this business that built a space for myself in this business that really hadn’t been done on Instagram before me. It’s all been surreal.
ONE37pm: Can you remember the very first wrestler you interviewed? How nervous were you when it finally happened?
The Wrestling Classic: Initially, the first wrestlers I interviewed were either MJF, whom I formed a friendship with, or talent locally who I got to know personally such as the Bollywood Boyz, Artemis Spencer, Nicole Matthews, and EL P. I also got to interview Heath Slater. Those weren’t as nerve-wracking. There was a level of comfort there.
Now Jinder Mahal and Sheamus both gave me my first-ever in-person interviews. I was more nervous for those. I did an in-person Instagram livestream with Mahal and everything that could have gone wrong sort of did. The Sheamus one didn’t go as we planned it in the studio but we made sure to make it happen. This was the first one I was on camera for. It went really well but you can tell I was nervous and didn’t know what to do with my hands. Last year I got to interview Bryan Danielson here in Vancouver in front of 300 people at the Rio Theatre. It’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.
This year alone I had the privilege to interview Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Trish Stratus, Chris Jericho, and more. It’s been a wild ride.
- The Wrestling Classic
ONE37pm: Alright, now let's have some fun with these last three questions! Give me your Mount Rushmore picks for your favorite male wrestlers and give me your Mount Rushmore picks for your favorite female wrestlers.
The Wrestling Classic: If it's my personal favorites, it’d be:
Male - "Macho Man" Randy Savage, The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
Female - Mercedes Mone, Charlotte Flair, Trish Stratus, Lita, and AJ Lee.
However, if I had to be unbiased and look at the industry as a whole, these would be different of course.
ONE37pm: What are your five favorite matches of all time?
The Wrestling Classic: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13, Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VII, Sasha Banks vs Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in 2015, CM Punk vs. MJF AEW Revolution 2022, and Shawn Michaels vs Mankind at WWF In Your House 10: Mind Games.
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