Belmont: Indigenous wrestler NC Viper getting ready to rumble

Neil Coyne, aka NC Viper. Picture: Jon Hewson   d467859
Neil Coyne, aka NC Viper. Picture: Jon Hewson d467859

BELMONT’S own NC Viper is getting ready to take on the big guns at a wrestling showdown in Rockingham.

The first indigenous professional wrestler in WA, Neil Coyne has spent more than 10 years in the spotlight, both in the ring and as a host of Noongar Dandjoo on NITV and Smashcrew Sports on Noongar Radio.

“It’s a great honour to represent Belmont in wrestling, something I love doing,” Coyne said ahead of his April 22 match.

“And I’m indigenous, I’m a Noongar man. I represent my people, I’m proud of that as well. To represent all those walks of people in something I love doing.”

Coyne grew up watching Muhammad Ali and Hulk Hogan on television, drawn in by the glitz, the glamour, and larger-than-life characters.

“I started watching when I was 13, I’m 46 now,” he said. “That’s how long I’ve watched wrestling.

I still haven’t grown out of it.

“People have their likes; some people like watching cars go fast, I don’t like that stuff. Some people like windsurfing, I don’t like that stuff. I like wrestling.”

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Getting into his fierce NC Viper character has become a breeze.

“It’s almost like a flick of the switch; it’s like OK, we’re on,” Mr Coyne said.

“And you become that character. I’m NC Viper now, and I’ve got to do my thing. I’ve done this for over 10 years now and so it comes easy.”

Coyne said he was particularly proud of being the first indigenous professional wrestler in WA

“I hold that close to my heart,” he said. “I suppose when you get older, you look at all your accolades and things you’ve done; being the first, it’s something I’m proud of.

“It’s showing there’s another route that kids can look at other than being a netballer or a footballer.

“Most indigenous kids look to go for that. We can also be great wrestlers, which is a flash athlete as well as an actor.”

The upcoming Anniversary XI fight is a ‘survivor series’ match, with two teams of four wrestlers. As soon as one is beaten, they go back to the changeroom and the remaining team members take on whoever is left.

Coyne said the match was particularly noteworthy because of the international wrestlers involved from companies over in the USA, including the Ring of Honour champion Christopher Daniels and Jay Lethal, and Booker T taking on the role of his team’s manager for the night.

“He’ll be backstage in the changeroom giving us advice and guiding us, and he’ll be bringing out the best in us,” Coyne said.

Whether he’s going day-to-day as Neil Coyne, making television or radio, or taking to the ring as NC Viper, Coyne’s embracing it all.

Anniversary XI is taking place on Saturday, April 22 at the Mike Barnett Sports Complex in Rockingham, with doors opening at 6.45pm and tickets starting at $20.

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