Rising Aberdeen wrestler Leo King relocated to the United States to chase his major title dream … only to have it derailed by the Covid-19 lockdown.
The 20-year-old was set for his American debut in an ACW event in New Port Richey, Florida, on March 18.
However, the coronavirus outbreak forced a cancellation just days before.
Now in lockdown in Tampa, the Aberdonian is making use of the extra time with a punishing training regime that involves 5am starts.
That regime is in a bid to emulate fellow Scot Drew McIntyre in securing a major WWE belt.
While McIntyre recently claimed the WWE Championship in the States, King’s dream is to lift the WWE British title.
King said: “Training was going exceptionally well and the lifestyle was like a dreamland and then the pandemic hit.
“It all went sideways.
“I was ready for my big American debut until I got a call from the guy running the company to confirm they would have to cancel all their shows.
“Now I have to wait until it all pans out to get back in the ring.
“During the lockdown I am getting up at 5am and doing three hours of exercise before studying material that (coach) Chris Silvio has given me.
“When the world gets back to normal, I want to continue at the same spot where it left off.
“I don’t want to go back to the ring in worse condition.
“Out here in Florida we get a lot of outdoor shows, so hopefully we are back up and running in the summer.”
For added inspiration during his American quest, King brought a replica of the WWE British belt across to America – and it sits beside the W3L Breakout belt he claimed last September in the UK.
He aims to follow in the footsteps of McIntyre, who beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36 last month to become Britain’s first WWE champion.
“My long-term target is to be WWE UK champion,” said King.
“When I was 10 years old, long before WWE even put that belt out, I thought if they ever make that championship I want it.
“In 2017 when WWE announced the UK title, winning that became my goal and I have been pushing myself every day to get it.
“I bought the replica WWE British belt when I was 18 and took it with me to the States so I can look at it and think ‘don’t stop until you have it’.
“I also have a replica of the W3L belt I won. I look at that W3L belt and think that is the first title and how I want the WWE one which sits right beside it.”
King secured the W3L World Wide Wrestling League belt when triumphing in a fatal four-way against Roderick Jones, Omar Mohammed and Kai Balfour last year.
He relinquished that belt to pursue his dream in the States.
King said: “During the pandemic I have been taking a bit of time to look at various things in detail.
“I was recently reading up on Drew McIntyre. He has done incredibly well and is now head of the company in WWE with the championship he has.
“I am just 20 so I can see what happens and maybe in 10 years I can be in McIntyre’s position.
“When he left WWE he pushed himself to the absolute limit to get back and look where he is now.”
Prior to the lockdown King was training with renowned coach Silvio, who won multiple titles in NVW and starred in WWE NXT.
That physical work will resume when the lockdown eases, but until then Silvio has given the Aberdonian study material.
King said: “I have seen the difference in my movement and flexibility with how I can now bend into certain wrestling moves.
“I never stop working and learning.”