Wrestling engima Cara Noir has revealed how he was on the verge of quitting wrestling before coming back to become the sport’s “Black Swan”.
Real name Thomas Dawkins, the enchanting and mysterious Cara Noir burst onto the British wrestling scene in 2017.
Since then he has been swooping upward as his unique style and persona captivated audiences up and down the UK.
Cara Noir is now set to compete in PROGRESS Wrestlng’s coveted Natural Progress Series, a celebration of the best rising talent grappling in Britain.
He will have to outlast seven other wrestlers to claim the cup and an opportunity at a championship match of his choice.
Nominated for the bracket by British wrestling mainstay Chris Brookes, Cara Noir actually credits him with keeping him from walking away from the ring altogether.
“I’ve known Chris for the last few years having wrested together at Hope, Chaos and IPW,” he said.
“It was a period where I was banging out great matches with wrestlers like Chris Tyler, Jake Mclusky and Ryan Smile; doing something different every match, but getting next to no traction or notoriety on the scene.
“At one point I was so fed up with my lack of progress that I thought about quitting. But when Chris and the boys brought me into Attack – everything changed.
“They’ve given me great opponent after great opponent and made me feel like I deserve success – and for that I’ll be forever grateful.
“The NPS nomination is just another way in which Chris has been a great source of support at a difficult time.”
Cara Noir’s unique persona and finely tuned in-ring skill have helped him hit new heights - having major breakthrough matches in 2019.
He has hypnotised crowds with his spellbinding ring entrance to Tchaikovsky’s haunting Swan Lake.
Known as the Black Swan of British Wrestling, the story goes he was kicked out of the Royal Ballet school over his “anger management issues”.
With a black belt in karate and background in MMA, he took up combat sports to fight back at the boys at school who said he was “gay”.
And he once worked as a “genius” at the Apple store – giving him an “oversized ego” and knowledge of computers.
“He’s a brilliant strategist in the ring. Think of him as the Dominic Cummings of Wrestling; calculating, clever and creative,” Dawkins said.
Cara Noir saw his star reach new heights over the summer as he had acclaimed match with PAC, one of the most respected wrestlers in the world who currently grapples for AEW.
Their high-octane match at RIPTIDE Wrestling in Brighton has been viewed thousands of times on YouTube.
“Talented wrestlers get in the ring and can immediately feel the power and energy of another talented wrestler,” he said.
“PAC is a massively talented wrestler so I have huge respect for him. If I had to describe what it felt like – I’d say that the match had the quality of igneous rock.
“Two titans carved out of granite, going head to head to create a level of polish as high as any top of the range kitchen work surface.”
Cara Noir will have to wrestle three matches in one day if he wants to win the NPS tournament on Saturday at the Electric Ballroom.
And will have to overcome grapplers such as the rising star OJMO, the powerhouse Dan Malony, and the charismatic high flyer Scotty Davis.
The Black Swan said: “I’m a work horse and there’s nothing I love more than beasting myself in the ring.
“Most weekends I wrestle one match per show, which frankly is not really enough of a workout to test me.
“So when I get to wrestle tournaments - I’m in my element. I’m match fit and tend to only get better as I go through the rounds.”
It is also his third tournament in three weeks, winning both the IPW Super 8 and Wrestle League Cup.
Cara Noir was coy however in which of the PROGRESS Championships he would chase down should he win the NPS.
He explained that he doesn’t see himself as a champion, and is more akin to a “rebel with a cause” who would only want a title that “allows me to retain my artistic integrity”.
“Anyone can be a champion; you just have to do the right things at the right time... and could anything be more dull than ‘doing the right thing’?,” the grappler said.
“Being a rebel is far more artistically fulfilling. It requires genuine creativity to think up endless ways to disrupt all those boring wrestlers that follow main event ‘formulas’.
“Wrestlers that want to be champions do ‘painting by numbers’. I’m an artist - it’s the secret to my success and why I’m never phased by stepping in the ring with huge talent.”
Cara Noir may join the echelons of previous NPS winners including WWE stars Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster, PROGRESS mainstays Pastor William Eaver and Mark Davis, and former NXT UK women’s champion Toni Storm.
His nominator Brookes will have his hands full teaming with Lucky Kid and Jon Gresham - under the team name LuCCKy - to take on the Lax and Eddie Kingston at the Electric Ballroom.
And then on Sunday, PROGRESS will have a second day of grapple action with Still Chasing at Alexandra Palace.
It will be headlined by independent wrestling hero David Starr attempting to dethrone the seemingly invincible Walter for the PROGRESS Unified World Championship.
PROGRESS will be crowning their first ever Proteus Champion - a belt with no weight or gender restrictions - with a 30 person battle royale at the show.
Tickets are still available HERE for the double weekend showcase on September 14 and 15.