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Zack Doyle enters ring Friday as part of Red Rock Wrestling: Eye of the Hurricane event at Holland College


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – ‘The Last Real Apprentice’ Zack Doyle is following his father’s footsteps.

The 25-year-old from Kentville, N.S., grew up watching his father, ‘Trash Canyon’ Rick Doyle, in the wrestling ring.

Now, Doyle is training with the man who trained his father, ‘Kowboy’ Mike Hughes in Charlottetown.

“It is the toughest thing I’ve ever put my body through,” Doyle said. “Mike is an amazing instructor. If you don’t get something, you work on it over and over until you get it. You don’t just move on from one move to another.”

Doyle said he has applied this no-quit attitude to his studies in the business administration program at Holland College, particularly when it comes to math.

“You just have to keep working at it until you get it,” said Doyle.

Doyle will be one of 14 wrestlers taking part in the Red Rock Wrestling Event: Eye of the Hurricane at the Centre for Community Engagement at Holland College Friday at 7 p.m.

The main event is a heavyweight championship match between Hughes and ‘The Big Picture’ Chris Cooke. This is Hughes’ first title defence since wining the championship in October from Cooke, who held the title since April.

Hughes has been wrestling since 1998 and has toured the world spending the main part of his career in Puerto Rico.

He retired from full-time wrestling in 2009 and opened Red Rock Wrestling in Stratford. He now has several people, including Cooke and Doyle, who have come to P.E.I. to undergo his old-school style of training.

Hughes said he teaches the physical aspect as well as the psychological aspect of wrestling.

“The most important thing in wrestling isn’t the moves and isn’t the action, it’s the psychology of the match and being able to read the emotions of the fans, which is the hardest thing in wrestling to learn.”

Hughes said the biggest misconception about wrestling is that many people believe it’s fake because it’s sports entertainment.

Some matches are pre-determined but everything that happens in the ring is real and is “extremely physically taxing.”

“Knowing that I’m going to get kicked in the face doesn't make getting kicked in the face any easier. It actually makes it worse if you ask me,” said Hughes.

“You hit them loud enough for everyone to hear and for them to feel it,” said Doyle. “I like it when guys hit me because I can sell it better.”

Doyle said his story in the ring is around the fact that he is an underdog.

“When you think of a wrestler, you don’t think of a guy my size,” said Doyle. “Every guy I have gone up against is bigger than me. I am a small guy, these guys are pretty big, but that is the fun of it.”

“It’s like an underdog kind of story,” added Doyle. “Every match has to have a storyline to it, it’s a storyline already written for me before I get into the ring, so people cheer for me because of that.”

Quick facts

– The Red Rock Wrestling: Eye of the Hurricane event will be held at the Centre for Community Engagement at Holland College Friday at 7 p.m.

– Advance tickets are available at Naturally Fit, Phinley's Diner & Dairy Bar and the Centre for Community Engagement at Holland College. Advanced tickets are $15 (adults) and $12 (seniors, students and kids).

– Tickets are $20 for everyone the day of the event.

– The Hurricanes Dance Team and School of Performing Arts students will also be performing during the event.

maureen.coulter@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/MaureenElizaC

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