Student to take on WWE professional in the ring at former school

AS SPORTING events go, it is a bit like a university football team taking on Real Madrid on an Edinburgh playing field.

Tonight, a 24-year-old business student – and wrestler – will face American WWE superstar Kevin Thorn at his old primary school in Bathgate.

Chris McPhillips – ring name Ron Jeremi – who stands at 5ft 10in and weighs just over 160lbs, will square up to towering 6ft 3in Thorn, who is almost double the local wrestler's weight at 270lb.

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The difference in prestige between the two fighters couldn't be greater.

While Chris is used to performing to crowds of between 30 and 400 in Scotland, Thorn wrestles his foes in front of weekly crowds of 80,000 and millions of TV viewers globally in the WWE.

But it's not the first time Chris has been the underdog after beating another WWE star, Drew McIntyre – who is 6ft 5in and 245lbs – and Chris is hoping to upset the odds once again on Friday night at St Mary's Primary School.

"I used to watch Kevin Thorn on Wrestlemania when I was younger so it's a major event for me," said fans' favourite Chris, who also does Muay Thai and mixed martial arts (MMA) training.

"I obviously can't use my size against him so my plan is to use my feet and speed.

"It's great to be doing this at my old school as well because when I was there I was told that I was too small for the football team.

"I was heartbroken so to go back as a wrestler is quite ironic, I think.

"For anyone in this business to make it to Wrestlemania in any shape or form is a dream. I would not be one of the top guys because of my weight and size but I can live in hope and anything's possible."

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While dreaming of wrestling the world's greats, Chris also has aspirations to be an actor and has appeared in River City as an extra and the History of Scotland documentary in a feature role.

Tonight's fight was arranged as Thorn was in the UK doing other shows and was asked by promoter and wrestling trainer Murray Stevenson, from Bathgate, to take part.

On the card for the Guts & Glory night is a 15-man "royal rumble", with the winner securing a shot at the SSW (Shooting Star Wrestling) world title in December. Entrants confirmed so far are current champion Muzlem, Dark Angel, Kevin Brudaker, GI Joe, Tony Sensation, Chris Bang, Matt Starr, Ken Adams, Kid Fite, BT Gunn, Scott Renwick and Damien O'Conner.

The action starts at St Mary's Primary School at 6.30pm with the first bell at 7pm. Tickets can be bought by contacting 07788-594 699, or from the Tobacco & Confection store in George Street, Bathgate.

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