Green Street butcher’s second career as feared wrestler
PUBLISHED: 08:54 15 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:05 16 October 2014
A butcher who works in Green Street Market is hoping for TV stardom for his second career - as a professional wrestler.
For most of the week, Shaaheen Hosseinpour, 29, runs his family butchers shop in Upton Park, chopping meat for local shoppers.
But on the weekend he becomes Sha Samuels, the East End Butcher, a feared wrestler pounding his enemies into the mat in front of cheering crowds.
He has just auditioned for British Boot Camp, a new programme on Challenge TV which offers would-be world champs a shot at winning a contract with TNA Wrestling in Florida.
“It started as a hobby but it’s turned into a second job,” explained Sha. “I work at the market Tuesdays to Fridays and Saturday mornings, and then Saturdays and Sundays I wrestle. Monday is my recovery, when I stay home with my family.”
Sha started wrestling when he was 17 years old after a friend invited him along to training.
His technical skills and bad guy stage persona quickly saw him scoop prime time slots in shows.
Sha has since taken his signature wrestling moves, the Piledriver and the Butchers Crab Submission, to America and across Europe, and was the longest-running British champion in history from 2011 to 2013.
“It’s good to perform in front of a crowd. It’s a great feeling,” he said. “I get in the face of the fans and wind them up, to make them part of the action.
“I did a show in Liverpool, and just being from the East End and hamming up my accent, they hated me.”
Sha said his audition for the programme was intense but he received very good comments from the panel of judges.
He said: “Imagine X-Factor. You walk into a room, it’s completely empty, the camera’s on, and you have to say something. It’s a lot of pressure.
“Sometimes when I’m in the heat of the moment with some pressure on me I can be very witty and just blag.
“I got great feedback, so fingers crossed.”
Sha’s father came to Britain in 1977 from Iran to study engineering, but stayed here after the revolution in ‘79, later running the butchers.
“It’s been in my family for 25 years, but I’ve worked there since I was ten years old,” said Sha.
“We get a lot of Caribbean customers. They love pigs’ feet. I’m one of the only marketers in the borough that sells pork.”
British Boot Camp starts on Challenge TV on Sunday at 9pm, with Sha’s audition expected to air on November 2.