At age 25, Dave Marshall made some life changes and took steps to fulfill a lifelong dream. Four years later, he is living out that dream as an openly gay professional wrestler.
One thing that has become important to him is giving back and he has found multiple outlets, including an OnlyFans page, to raise awareness for causes that are special to him.
Marshal was born and raised in Perth, Australia and had a history of starting things without finishing them. He dabbled in Australian rules football and rugby, but the dream began for professional wrestling when he first started watching it on television as a child.
As a young adult he tackled weightlifting, which evolved into bodybuilding with his female ex-fiancé. After three years together, the couple split, and he came out of the closet.
“The manager at the gym where I was training was a pro wrestler and he asked me to come down for wrestler training,” says Marshall. “I had already built some big thighs from bodybuilding, so I felt like I had the body for it.”
His training was all about grappling and the technical aspects of the sport – learning to move with the other wrestler, studying the holds and throws, and knowing how to take the bumps from an opponent.
He launched his career with All Action Wrestling in Perth and stayed with them for a year-and-a-half. Marshall found he was more interested in character-based wrestling and telling stories, so he moved over to the Southern Hemisphere Wrestling Alliance where he became part of a tag team called Harms Way.
“I started off as just a face – the good guy. People didn’t like it because I was a big dude. They thought I was a wanker,” Marshall says. “As a tag team, we turned into bad guys and the audience loved it. That transitioned into good guys who work as bad guys.”
With his wrestling career moving along, Marshall also began working with Western Pro Wrestling and appears in monthly WPW Uncensored matches.
“They are uncensored meaning that the audience is over 18 and there is swearing,” says Marshall. “I get to tell the crowd to go fuck themselves. It’s entertaining and being creative with something is fun.”
Wrestling for Marshall is a side gig and he says he would never want to take it to the next level. His profession in Perth is working as a personal trainer and he likes his routine – walking his dog Ronnie, cardio most mornings, resistance training every day and then training clients.
His sexuality has been a non-issue with fitness clients and if the topic comes up, he prefers that people hear it from him directly.
As for his wrestling fans, being gay isn’t part of his persona in the ring but he wouldn’t be opposed if it was introduced in a tasteful way.
“My wrestling character is just me and he isn’t flamboyant,” says Marshall with a smile. “Dave the wrestler is gay, but it’s not like he can’t beat the fuck out of you.”
During his youth in Perth, there were no negative conflicts for him regarding his sexuality and he feels grateful to have escaped any bullying.
“When I was young I was seeing both boys and girls and I was lucky there were no rumors or bad experiences. I was able to grow up without incident,” Marshall says. “As an adult I needed to find out why I felt a disconnect. I didn’t feel whole until I came out.”
As his social media base started to grow in the wrestling community and the LGBT community, Marshall discovered a few of his friends had OnlyFans pages.
OnlyFans is a subscription-based platform that allows users to access X-rated content from someone for a monthly fee. His boyfriend at the time suggested that Marshall start his own page.
“I managed to be out for three years without my nudes being leaked. I had a partner, so I really didn’t need to send them out,” says Marshall. “People were asking me to start an OnlyFans page, but I wanted it to be different. My dad committed suicide the year before, so I decided to create the page and donate part of the proceeds to raising awareness for mental health. The day before he died was a normal day. It’s important to talk about mental health.”
The 6’3”, 240-pound wrestler has raised over $15,000 for mental health awareness since starting his OnlyFans page in March of 2018. His charity of choice is the Black Dog Institute, which is dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating mental illness.
There was controversy over his initial choice, Beyond Blue. The organization picked up on the fact that Marshall’s contributions were raised through work in pornography. They rejected the money and issued a refund.
His OnlyFans page has also raised $5,000, which sits in a slush fund for fans of the wrestling community. The money is earmarked to help fans with medical issues or other problems.
When he first started the OnlyFans page, he wasn’t sure what to expect or how far he would go with it.
“I started with underwear shots and gradually added more exposure until I went full on to what people wanted from me. You don’t need to pay for porn these days, so I appreciate that people are willing to pay to support these causes,” Marshall says. “I do have another person who is in some of the videos and it is more like OnlyFriends. It’s weird to think I have fans and having a friend there with me makes me more comfortable.”
Marshall has evolved on his physical appearance over the years and was initially presenting a wholesome boyish look. Except for occasionally shaving his legs for wrestling, he has let his body hair and beard grow out.
“I have accepted that I will never be a smaller fitness model and I am happy with how I am looking,” says Marshall. “I am definitely not my own type and I would say I am halfway between a bear and a jock. It’s important to promote people on embracing their body image and being themselves. Normal is boring.”
His transition to ‘hairy guy’ has led fans to referring to him as a gorilla. He has embraced it and recently added a rainbow gorilla tattoo to his body. He is also using gorilla emojis and the hashtag #thottygorilla.
“People are even sending me gorilla things,” he says laughing.
Marshall had a very successful weekend last month in the wrestling ring winning three matches over two days. On the first night, he won his WPW Uncensored match. On the second night with his tag team partner, Harms Way defended their SHWA championship belt which they have held for a year. Marshall capped off the weekend by winning the SHWA Mid Year 40 Man Rumble.
“The company is pushing me as their main guy and it is mind blowing,” Marshall says. “The dopamine released to me over these weekends leads to a pretty big crash on Mondays.”
On the personal side, Marshall has been in a relationship for almost a year and is keeping it private.
“People were abusing my ex-partner for being with me and many were saying that he wasn’t good enough for me,” says Marshall. “Being nice to other people is the most important thing to me and I am very happy in my current relationship.”
Coming up for Marshall is a new website with new products. There will be fitness regimes, beard oil, products to benefit environmental causes and a clothing line with proceeds going to animal shelters.
“Giving back means a lot to me and raising awareness for multiple causes gives back to different walks of life,” Marshall says. “I don’t want the OnlyFans page to define me. The LGBT community has been supporting the page, but I want to support everyone. It’s important, and it feels good doing it.”