Every Friday we take an in-depth look at each member of the contender's division. This week, we take a look at KENNETH HALFPENNY
Wrestling Style: Technical wrestling and strategic
Top 5 KENNETH HALFPENNY matches (in no particular order):
- KENNETH HALFPENNY vs SHAUN JACKSON - Live in Southampton 7 (Debut)
- KENNETH HALFPENNY vs KYLE FLETCHER vs DAN MOLONEY vs CARLOS ROMO vs RKJ vs ROBBIE X - Uprising 2019
- KENNETH HALFPENNY vs BRENDAN WHITE - Live at the Cockpit 47
- KENNETH HALFPENNY, SHAUN JACKSON & GABRIEL KIDD vs KARL FREDERICKS, CLARK CONNORS & BRENDAN WHITE - Ungovernable
KENNETH HALFPENNY is an interesting member of the Contenders division, often putting in strong performances against multiple opponents, such as other Contenders division members, NJPW LA Dojo students, and the main roster.
HALFPENNY's strengths seem to be in tag-team and technical wrestling. When the situation calls for it, HALFPENNY works well with other contender members, in particular with SHAUN JACKSON as they both seem to compliment each other, with JACKSON bringing his athleticism to HALFPENNY'S technical wrestling and strategic prowess. HALFPENNY has also worked well with GABRIEL KIDD, as HALFPENNY, JACKSON and KIDD picked up an impressive victory over WHITE and LA Dojo members KARL FREDERICKS and CLARK CONNORS as well as HALFPENNY holding his own in a tag match with WHITE against AUSSIE OPEN at the 7 Year Anniversary show.
HALFPENNY's tag wrestling record shouldn't detract from his impressive outings in singles either, his latest outing being in the 6-man scramble match at Uprising 2019 with 5 other members of the main roster. With HALFPENNY holding his own and using his intelligence as not long after FLETCHER ate a Canadian Destroyer off the top rope to the outside, HALFPENNY realised this would be a good target. When speaking to HALFPENNY, he mentioned this saying "I was in the ring with arguably five of the best wrestlers in the country and I like to think I held my own. My York Hall debut was the proudest moment of my RevPro career so far, I mean, I saw KYLE had taken that Canadian off the top and saw an opportunity to take advantage of, unluckily though, neither of us won the match."
When speaking to HALFPENNY, he spoke very highly of himself, a very proud wrestler, he discussed his career so far. "I think of my career in levels, like level 1, 2, 3 etc. and I think of the York Hall debut as the end of level 1, my match with CHAPMAN at Live in Southampton 12, that is my proving ground for going up to level 2". Looking at his career so far, HALFPENNY started to reflect on aspects of his training and where he believes he could have been. "To be honest, I've been training with Revolution Pro for five and a half years, and, without tooting my own horn here, if it wasn't for a few untimely injuries, I would have been in the Contenders crop with MAGEE, LIAS and CHAPMAN, I would be where they are now, I've been playing catch up."
HALFPENNY commented on GABRIEL KIDD leaving the Contenders Division which, arguably left a hole for the other Contenders to try and fill themselves and how it hasn't turned out the way HALFPENNY thought. "GABE was the de facto leader as part of the original four, which was me, GABE, SHAUN, and BRENDAN. Once GABE left for the LA Dojo, JJ came in and he has excelled. However, I was listening to a podcast and it seems that, to the fans, BRENDAN has adopted the role of the new leader, which I take a little exception to. For BRENDAN to say he's pushing these guys, nice sentiment and all, but I don't need that. I'm not satisfied with being some guy on the team, I naturally want to aim for championships, titles etc. It's why I was disappointed that BRENDAN won the chance to face NARITA."
Speaking on the subject of York Hall shows HALFPENNY reflected on JACKSON's match at York Hall but had some choice words for WHITE "BRENDAN's performance on the day against NARITA was suspect at best, in a sense I think the moment got to him, and, this is no slight on SHAUN either, I think that happened to him as well when he went up against GABE, he even admitted he was not happy with how he fought. With BRENDAN I think there is something different there. When I faced BRENDAN, I felt like he was treating me as a warm-up rather than taking me seriously, I took exception to this, I slapped him, screaming in his face 'wake up, you have REN NARITA in two weeks', that seemed to flip a switch and, to be fair to BRENDAN, he got the better of me that day. I immediately thought he'd woken up, he'll turn up at York Hall, but he didn't turn up, that's why he lost that day. He let himself down, he let RevPro down, but worst of all, he let the Contenders division down, I was disappointed in him, to say the least".
After finishing his discussion on York Hall and the other Contenders, we prompted HALFPENNY to discuss what made him different from his other Contender members. His immediate reaction was "that's a very difficult question", but after a moment to think, HALFPENNY stated he is "more of a student of actual wrestling than the other three. I tried other styles, like high-flying but it became very apparent it wasn't for me as I already had previous multiple shoulder issues. So I started watching old World Of Sport videos which were very rarely high risk, with very little impact on their own bodies, with it all impacting the opponent, so I branched out into that style. As I started watching more of wrestlers like Johnny Saint, Antonio Inoki, Billy Robinson, and Nick Bowinkel to name a few, I started to gain an appreciation of what wrestling actually is. This has resulted in me being more traditional in a way, making what's old, new. With so many tag matches also, I studied the Midnight Express as well as Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard."
HALFPENNY is arguably, the most strategical of the four current contenders, and he knows it, using his wit and his technical wrestling ability to gain whatever leverage he can over his opponents, as evidenced from his debut match against SHAUN JACKSON, using an inventive roll-up cradle pin to keep JACKSON down for the three count.
Check back next week when we take an in-depth look at SHAUN JACKSON. If you missed it, last week we looked at JJ GALE to start off this article series.