SAMSON may be 6ft tall and 17 stone of rippling muscle but at heart he’s just a big softie.
The 35-year-old wrestler – aka Steve Biggs - is pulling in the crowds at Dunstable Leisure Centre every month.
And he claims his skill is less to do with aggression and more about all-round entertainment.
“When I was younger we used to watch Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks on TV,” he said. “At one time more people watched that than the cup final.”
He’s a huge fan of the late gravel-voiced World of Sport wrestling commentator Kent Walton, who introduced his Saturday afternoon show with the iconic phrase “Greetings, grapple fans.”
Steve started wrestling as a teenager and soon got hooked on the American version – Total Action Wrestling.
“It’s bigger and more glamorous,” he explained. “It’s acting really. You’re not going to kill each other.”
Steve, who lives at Lewsey Farm with his Turkish wife Ozlem and sons Teo, five, and three-year-old Batu, is keen to see it reintroduced as a regular television slot: “But it doesn’t fit any particular category. It’s not sport and it’s not entertainment.” The Milton Keynes Atlas Gym manager thinks of it as an art form: “It’s the way I express myself.
“It’s hard training. And you have to eat properly to get the best performance out of your body.”
Steve, a strict vegetarian, will ‘graze’ every two to three hours .
“I have porridge and six eggs at a time,” he said, “I like them scrambled. But no milk - just eggs.”
He’s always been a keep fit fanatic and would head for the gym when all his friends were going to the pub.
“They started calling me Samson because I’ve had long hair since I was 16,” he said.
Steve has seen a massive surge in interest since he started organising wrestling bouts at the Leisure Centres in Dunstable and Milton Keynes.
“In two years the numbers have trebled,” he said. “We used to get 80 to 100 people in Dunstable but in January it was 300.
“Milton Keynes can only hold 250 and it’s been sold out this year.”
He admits he gets a kick out of interacting with the crowd. “I love having a platform and hearing the boos and cheers.
“I’m a goodie really but sometimes they think I’m a villain because I’ve got a baddie feel.”
> For more information visit www.totalactionwrestling.com