CWL: Interview With Former IMPACT Star Gursinder Singh

Contributed by The WCSN

Words By: Spencer Love

Gursinder Singh – known to many Albertan wrestling fans as Tony Cage – is on the cusp of big things in his wrestling career. Since making his wrestling debut in Alberta in 2015, the Storm Wrestling Academy alumni has developed into one of Canada’s top names on the independent scene. His time on the independent scene includes stints with the Prairie Wrestling Alliance and Real Canadian Wrestling among others, as well as an appearance on Global Forged. However, it’s his time in Impact Wrestling that Singh is perhaps best known for; as a member of the Desi Hit Squad, Singh found himself aligned with Hakim Zane, Raj Singh, and the legendary Gama Singh.

However, earlier this year, Singh surprised many when he requested his release from Impact. Recently, Spencer Love of the Conversations With Love podcast spoke with Singh about his time in Alberta, wrestling for Impact and his subsequent release request.

Training at the Storm Wrestling Academy:

“There wasn’t really any notable training schools (in Australia). I think at one point when I was quite young, Al Snow had a school, but besides that, there were all these schools that weren’t all that well-known. I started searching, and the schools I was coming across were all in America and Canada, and I thought ‘man, I’m probably going to have to move’. Eventually, after doing some more research, I narrowed it down to Storm.

“He’s arguably one of the best technical wrestlers that’s ever stepped in the ring, and he’s come from the Hart Dungeon himself and my family’s always been big with the Hart’s as well so it was kind of inevitable it came to that.”

What makes Lance Storm a great trainer:

“The best thing about him is he’s got a very straightforward personality. Some people would tell you that sucks, and he’s quite hard to please. He looks for the small things that not necessarily fans would pick up if you watch a student wrestle; it’s more so when talent scouts look at you for a big company, they’ll notice the small things. He gives you the tools on how you’re going to have success and how to move forward. He teaches you a bunch of things, but the small things are the ones that stand out to me.”

Wrestling his first match for the Prairie Wrestling Alliance:

“As the classes were going on, me and my classmates would go to the local shows, PWA being one of them. We’d go watch jto see how the independents worked and everything like that; we pretty much went to all of them while we were there for that three-month period, and the way the show was run was great and the guys there were really nice. No one had a big ego and everyone was sort of helping each other out, and the shows were quite entertaining. I asked Lance, too, and he pretty much said they were the greatest promotion in Alberta, if not Western Canada. I was like, ‘that’s definitely the perfect start to go there’. I talked to the promoter, and he said they would love to have (me). It was cut-and-sewn pretty quickly from there.”

His most memorable moment wrestling in Alberta:

“The biggest thing that stood out was probably when I won my first title; that was at Night of Champions in Calgary (for PWA). That was really cool because my Dad was actually there, so he actually got to see me wrestle for the first time and see me win a title for the first time. That’s probably my favorite wrestling moment; there’s been so much that I’d probably have to sit down and think about it, but I don’t think I can top that in Alberta. It’s the first time my dad saw me wrestle, so it was obviously very cool.”

Appearing on Global Forged:

Signing his first contract with Impact:

“It was a weird feeling. It’s one thing getting told that you’re getting signed and reaching an agreement, but when you get the paper in front of you, it’s such a cool feeling. It’s like, ‘holy s**t, this is the first step. This is the first contract of many I’m going to sign.” It just reassures you that you’re moving from a rising independent star to a competitive TV wrestler. Your name’s more out there, and you’re on to the next level.”

“You have so much more responsibility; if people don’t have that passion, I think they might look at it and be like ‘oh, this is kind of cool, it’s a contract’, where people like me and people who strive to be a wrestler get a contract are like ‘I’m a player now . I’m in the game. Let’s go.’”

His relationship with his fellow Desi Hit Squad members:

“Me and Raj are quite close, even from my time in Alberta, I’m close with his Dad, family, Jinder (Mahal), and everything, so that was kind of cool. Me and Rohit were called from this Global Forged thing and became buddies and I was already buddies with Raj which was cool, so it was just for them two to eventually meet because they’d never met each other. It was cool that we all knew each other and had that relationship.”

“Obviously, he’s a big legend so we knew about him before; like, my granddad even knew about Gama. When it comes to the Indian community, that stuff spreads. When I first came to Alberta, I knew he was based out there, and when I first met him it was super nerve-wracking. Ever since I started getting closer with his cousin and his son, I started to get to know Gama more. When I was at Raj’s house, we’d sit and watch old wrestling tapes with him which was cool because you’re thinking ‘man, I’m watching Owen Hart vs. Gama, I’m watching Bret Hart vs. Gama,’ it’s so surreal. Even thinking about it now, I kind of get chills. When that turned into more of a mentor role when I was on TV and he was our manager, offscreen he was actually mentoring me. During matches, if you see him huddling up to us he would actually tell us legitimate stuff. He’d constantly be mentoring us, which is really good. It was really cool to get that sort of affirmation and that sort of support from someone like Gama because of how much knowledge he has, and how influential he is in this industry. We’re really lucky to have him there.”

Why he left Impact Wrestling:

“When I signed my contract, which was a two-year deal, the plan was to finish my contract, make a name for myself (in Impact) and then move on, so that was always the timeframe. When you get to the scenarios when you’re off the TV, and then it was so much time before I was back on TV, and then when I was back on TV there wasn’t that much direction. I felt like when I was under contract, I was limited to the opportunities I was getting, especially if other companies wanted to look at me, but if I was on TV and getting that experience and keeping that going, I would have been more than happy to stay. I just felt like even though it was getting to the point where I would have been back full-time, I just felt like I had to leave, and I felt like I had to move on. It was a gut feeling I had.”

“(Management) was quite taken back, because they didn’t see it coming. As I expressed myself on how I felt, and that it wasn’t any bad blood between us and that I was very grateful. They understood where I was coming from; obviously, it ruined any plans they had coming up and stuff, but they really understood and always said I was very professional through my time there and respectful to everyone. They knew I wasn’t trying to stuff them around on purpose, and that I was just doing the best for me.”

The next steps for Gursinder Singh:

“I’m in talks with other places to go, and I’m going to be making a big career move soon. It’s very exciting, but it’s only good things coming ahead.”

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