Contributors

David Dunn – Editor
davidDavid joined NZPWI in 2006 and, after trying his hand at anything and everything, was promoted to editor in 2012.

He was hooked on wrestling from the moment he saw WWF Survivor Series 2000, which means – at 25 years old – he has spent the majority of his life as a wrestling fan.

David is NZPWI’s leading interviewer, having had the honour of talking to some of the industry’s biggest stars including Chris Masters and AJ Styles on their visits to New Zealand in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

He also covers the Wellington wrestling scene and has travelled as far as Tauranga or Whangarei to see KPW and NZWPW competitors in action.

Outside of NZPWI, David holds two university qualifications — a Bachelor of Communication and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism — from Massey University and has had a handful of articles published in Wellington-area newspapers as a freelance journalist.

Email David at *protected email*
Follow David on Twitter at https://twitter.com/david_dunn

 

Richard Butler
richardRichard Butler has been a fan of wrestling and combat sports for over 10 years since coming across the larger-than-life characters of WWE while spending an afternoon at his grandfather’s.

After finding his needs were not being met with just WWE programming, Richard expanded his horizons and started to seek out action from other promotions—TNA, ROH, Lucha Underground, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling—discovering new international stars and learning to appreciate the different styles from around the world.

Email Richard at *protected email*
Follow Richard on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RitchieBBB

 

Grady Hooker
gradyGrady was brought up with WWF in the household from a young age with his mum and grandfather watching it and him gaining great role-models for a five-year-old. Wrestling has always been engrained in his family, all being avid watchers and his grandfather being an occasional ring-roadie in the old-school days and running the ropes more than once.

IPW came down to Hamilton in 2011 for a winter show, this opened his eyes to a local wrestling scene and he was hooked ever since; Armageddon Expo shows, Hamilton shows and lately he has been travelling up to Auckland to watch those shows with his uncle.

Grady started blogging on a website, FourDown, with some other internet friends, but this wasn’t enough and within the year they started their own radio show, Wrestling Roundup, on a community radio station in Hamilton, which has been running for two years with over 100 episodes and listeners from multiple continents including North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. They have yet to break into the Antarctic market.

Through Roundup, he has had the pleasure to interview multiple personalities in and out of the wrestling business about their passions for wrestling including Kharma, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Michael Rowe (Deadshot from Arrow), Mike Hart and various NZ wrestling talents.

Outside of wrestling, Grady is currently studying a Bachelors in Computing and Mathematical Science majoring in Computer Science at the University of Waikato, attained a black belt in martial arts, and is working on a second show, The Idiot’s Lantern, focussed on video games, movies, and all things geeky.

Email Grady at *protected email*
Follow Grady on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GradyHooker

 

Mike Kilpatrick
mikeMike Kilpatrick has been a wrestling fan since the heady days of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks on British television.

But the day World of Sport was pre-empted by a WWF house show was the day his life changed and he’s been trying to master his wrestling persona since.

The British Bulldogs were responsible for his conversion to the US-style but it’s Mick Foley who remains his all-time idol – and he freely admits to making a non-ironic ‘Dude Love’ sign for his first ever live WWE event.

A former scientist turned journalist, Mike was the senior sports editor for Yahoo! New Zealand and Stuff.co.nz before heading for a more general communications role at Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

But writing has always been his passion and his occasional foray into documenting WWE in his Couch Potato television blog for Stuff.co.nz allows him to share his wrestling geekery with a wider audience.

If he was a finishing move he’d tell everyone he was the Perfect-plex. In reality he’s worse than The Worm.

Email Mike at *protected email*
Follow Mike on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mikekilpatrick

 

Blake Leitch
blakeOne night in ’99, Blake was introduced to the crazy world that was the Attitude Era of the WWF.

Since then, he has been completely obsessed with professional wrestling. A graduate in journalism studies, he decided that he wanted to enter the wrestling business the best way we can. As a result, he is now a constant contributor to NZPWI with focuses on WWE, TNA, and the Auckland independent wrestling scene.

Email Blake at *protected email*
Follow Blake on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BlakeLeitch2

 

Steve McCleary
stevieAn avid follower of pro wrestling since his Nana sat him down at six years old and told him to quietly watch the men in tights do their thing, Steve has also spent his life dabbling in whatever took his interest; acting, comedy, and most importantly – writing. Across all media nothing interests him more than dissecting characters and storylines, where they’re going and what it all means. Usually using far too many words.

He has followed the international and local scene closely, making many trips to see talent perform, and has had the occasional peek behind the magical wrestling curtain along the way. Turns out they keep unicorns back there. The more you know.

If Steve was a wrestler, his finisher would be called the Deadline. He’d never hit it.

Email Steve at *protected email*
Follow Steve on Twitter at https://twitter.com/syxseed

 

Dion McCracken – Founder
dion Dion created NZPWI in 1999 and has seen the site grow into the leading professional wrestling resource in New Zealand.

Dion is a highly respected figure in the industry, having formed and maintained relationships with WWE and TNA. Dion has been involved in the promotion of all WWE tours to New Zealand, as well as acting as a consultant for the 2003 WWA Tour. He has appeared on New Zealand television in several wrestling-related roles, including a SKY special for the 2007 WWE Tour and interviews with WWE Superstars for Sky Arena Access in 2011.

Dion currently has a role as a social media and marketing consultant for WWE in New Zealand. As part of this role, Dion was involved in media duties at WWE WrestleMania 31, providing content for various radio and television outlets.

Dion has interviewed many of wrestling’s top stars, including John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, Batista, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Kurt Angle, Sting, Paul Heyman and many more.

He is a former play-by-play commentator and Commissioner for Impact Pro Wrestling, and in 2006 added Promoter to his list of accolades when he showcased the cream of New Zealand’s wrestling talent at the 2006 NZPWI Invitational. Both that show and its 2007 successor were aired by SKY Television and were arguably New Zealand’s top pro-wrestling events in this era.

Dion’s other interests include bass guitar and Martial Arts, holding a 3rd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo with extensive training in Kempo Karate and Judo as well. He is currently a Senior Instructor with Pacific Sun Taekwondo. He has also recently added television commercial actor to his list of achievements.

Dion is a Business Development Manager at Advanced Data Centres in Whangarei, and with his wife Sasha, is a proud parent of Jake and Taimania.

Email Dion at *protected email*
Follow Dion on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DionMcCracken