New Wigan wrestling academy hopes to tap into town's sporting history

The owners of a new wrestling school are hoping to tap into the town’s rich history in the sport.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 3:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 3:51 pm
CLAW Academy

The owners of a new wrestling school are hoping to tap into the town’s rich history in the sport.

CLAW Academy (Combat Learning Academy of Wrestling) has opened at Brookhouse Terrace, with instructors trained in a variety of styles, from WWE and classic Catch Can to Mexican Lucha Libre.

Alongside Jay Apter, the Academy counts former world champion mixed martial artist Dave Faulkner as one of its co-owners, who will be conducting some seminars himself. And its bosses hope they can discover some new wrestling prodigies right here in Wigan, by drawing on the town’s world famous wrestling heritage.

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Dave Faulkner and Jay Apter at Claw Academy

Kieran Moran, one of Claw’s administrative chiefs, said: “We have some top range trainers who have a wealth of experience between them all, and we have both a male and female instructor at every class.

“It makes so much sense [to open in Wigan]. There is such a rich wrestling history within Wigan. Its roots are in the Snake Pit with Billy Robinson, and so many people have learned so much there. And, of course, Davey Boy Smith, the British Bulldog, who has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

“We are incredibly excited that we can open a gym in Wigan and continue that lineage of professional wrestling in Wigan.”

He added: “We’ve got trainers who can teach everything from WWE style to Mexican Lucha Libre. We are trying to be as varied as possible to give people as many options as we can.

CLAW Academy

“We’ve had a lot of interest already, and places are starting to fill up nicely. It’s exciting to get going.

“We’re independent for now, but plan on opening more. We are also in association with TNT Extreme Wrestling, who are based in Liverpool. They put on shows which are known nationwide throughout British wrestling. This has provided a new platform to help bring through future wrestling stars and help mould the next generation.”

Kieran went on: “We are just trying to offer more options to people. Two training schools in the North West have recently closed, and there is such a demand for pro wrestling training. The North West is a hotbed of talent right now. In the past, it’s been London, and the likes of Wolverhampton and Birmingham. But the North West scene, and the wealth of talent within it, is absolutely phenomenal.

“So we’re giving these youngsters a chance to really shake off a bit of the rust of the past few months, and also to give them the opportunity to learn as much as they can.”

CLAW Academy

As well as its ties to TNT Extreme in Liverpool, which attracts crowds of hundreds to its shows, CLAW is also linked with other promotional firms such as Superstar Pro Wrestling, which has an emphasis on up-and-coming talent. To find out more, visit

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CLAW Academy
CLAW Academy team with Mayor Steve Dawber
CLAW Academy