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US wrestler Max Ammo reveals English roots and homecoming hopes

Martin Cooper April 23, 2020

Alex Rea, aka wrestler Max Ammo, has quite a tale to tell. He leaves no holds barred in his upcoming autobiography, The Angriest Man Alive.

Alex Rea’s story starts in a small Sussex town and spirals into the ultra-violent world of squat living, traveller camps, drug deals, smuggling and surely one of the toughest jobs out there – being an English doorman in Scotland.

I’m currently editing Rea’s autobiography entitled The Angriest Man Alive ahead of a big publishing push. His doom-laden journey – from being victimised at military school to suffering from heroin addiction and being forced to literally fight for his life – is a story that will excite and horrify in equal measure.

Part Dickensian drama, part Norse mythology, the book balances its air of grindhouse horror with a number of well-placed darkly comic moments.

STEVEN GERRARD TO ASTON VILLA IS WRONG.

An excerpt

I did the hit, spiralling softly into the big black. A herd of grey horses galloped down on me, pressed so tightly together they made a wall of muscle as white as sea foam.

Wild eyes burned into my soul as they grew as tall as the sky, wiping my vision with blinding light. I felt the weight of my sins anchor me in their path.

I waited to be trampled, to get what I deserved, to be ground into the dark earth by the iron hooves towering above me.

An excerpt from The Angriest Man Alive

Last punk standing

The Angriest Man covers Rea’s experiences at punk concerts that ended in death, race riots resulting in bloody retribution and free festivals immersed in stupor, with vendettas and punishment beatings thrown in for colour.

The violence, though explicit, isn’t glorified. Instead, Rea exposes the demons that drove him to live like he did. Wrestling fans will be disappointed by the shortage of grapple action but, rest assured it will come in part two of his story, provisionally called The Last Punk Standing.

Wrestling career

Rea trained to wrestle at the FWA Academy in London under Drake Maverick, who was recently let go from the WWE as part of cost-cutting measures amid the coronavirus crisis. This week, Maverick fought his first contest in the NXT interim cruiserweight title tournament.

Rea later had to quit training to care for his elderly father, which meant he never got to wrestle in the UK. However, when he moved to Los Angeles in an attempt to leave his dark past behind, he got hooked on the lucha libre scene in the Mexican neighbourhoods and “wanted in”.

US wrestler Max Ammo, who has written his autobiography, The Angriest Man Alive

From his current home in the Colombian mountains, Rea tells me: “I was trained in the US by golden-age legends Ric Drasin, Black-Heart Fern Owens, Robby Phoenix at Santino Bros, Martin Marin at WPW Lucha Libre, Brawlin’ Bo Cooper at MPW Wrestling school and the Ballard Brothers.

“I wrestled all styles – high-flying Mexican lucha, hard-hitting Japanese puro, British catch-wrestling and ultraviolent death matches.

“I competed mainly with my tag-team partner Jimi Mayhem. We were mainstays of the indy circuit for ten years, competing for promotions including the most controversial one of all – UEW.”

Pints of blood

“My career highlights”, Rea continues, “were winning both the MPW and UEW tag-team championships. The latter took place in a steel cage and I lost two pints of blood and finished the match with two broken ribs after falling from the top of the cage.

“I also competed in the 2018 Bushido Cup, a tournament showcasing full-contact puro, and wrestled in front of 40,000 fans at Dana Point as support for rock band, The Offspring.

“My career ended when I moved to Colombia but my ambition remains to wrestle in the UK and have a successful run in my home country.”

So there you go, publisher and promoter required – and when Rea returns, you know he’s bound to be a big hit.

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Martin Cooper is a senior editor and writer at The Focus. The man behind the style guide comes from a newspaper and magazine background and has worked in the sports, aeronautical and hospitality industries. While head of production at The Argus he appeared on the Jeremy Vine radio show and worked as a freelancer on the sports desk at The Sunday Times. Martin is also an FA Level 1-qualified coach and took his youth team from division five to division one in two seasons before going out at the top.