Whilst last weeks edition didn’t feature that much wrestling, this weeks features entirely too much. Well, not too much wrestling, because who can have too much? But there’s wrestling coming out of the wazoo this week. Whatever that means. Either way, this was an ambitious 3 days.
Friday started off with the final GPW show of 2014, Final Fight. All the way back through the mists of time (2003), GPW was the promotion I feel gave me my first real UK exposure when I debuted for them on their second show. Ever since then, I’ve been a total mainstay for them, from opening match to main event and everywhere in between. This year, I finally won my first championship for them, their mid-card British Title, and on Friday, I successfully defended the gold against T-Bone. The match was a short and spirited affair, that left the door open for further confrontation next year with an opponent I’ve gathered chemistry with over the years. Literally, as soon as I rolled out of the ring with the belt, I stuck some shorts and a hoodie on, and dove straight into my car (in full-gear) and sped off to Sheffield for SWE Ill Manors 2014! After not making the TravAid/Tidal double last week, I was under pressure to definitely make this one (plus I’d have never heard the end of it from Kay Lee Ray if I didn’t), and with that thought in mind, I raced across Snakes Pass in torrential rain to get to the second show. Here’s a tip for you: don’t do that, it leads to aquaplaning/life flashing before eyes.
I arrived at Club DQ, confidentially threw my keys at Ben Auld to park my car bitch, and got to the dressing room with 10 minutes to spare. Apologies for those who were waiting for the second half to start, it was delayed for me, but if I’d have been going any faster, I’d have gone back to the future. SWE saw myself and KLR take on The Vulture Squad team of Chris Brookes and Nixon. Whilst we suffered a loss (I got my horns spiked on a Somersault Piledriver), I’d say this was likely KLR and I’s best outing as a team. Pity that it coincided with growing attitude problems from her that are becoming more obvious each passing show. On the subject of the VS, I’d say Nixon is likely to be seen by many as the next Kay Lee Ray over the next couple of years. Some of the women I’ve seen come through over the years are too concerned with getting hurt or won’t get stuck in with the work that comes from putting the ring up or hitting the gym. Both KLR and Nixon are grafters and don’t moan about being banged up and tired, and that’s why they’re both respected and busy.
One of the highlights of my weekend was housing Uhaa Nation for a couple of days. Housing?! He’s as big as a house you mean! Etc. But seriously, what a class guy. It’s been a year since he debuted over here (I was fortunate to have his first match) and he’s just become one of the lads hasn’t he. Saturday featured an 8 hour round trip up to Scotland for my final appearance north of the border for the year, defending the PBW Championship against CJ Banks. I don’t think I’ve had chance to properly talk about Banks, but I’ll just say this: he should be on every show ever. This man is so talented that it makes me sick. He’s also one of the funniest men you could ever hope to meet, and I’ve never known a guy who can just ‘go’ no matter what condition or how tired he is. He’s a machine, and stepping into the ring with him is always so good. Airdrie Town Hall saw us both put in quite a lengthy shift, and after run-ins from The Models and Uhaa, I’ll be taking the PBW Championship into 2015. Despite the long trip, the journey flew by thanks to the BANTZ! provided by my companions, so much so that I ended up swerving around the motorway with tears in my eyes. I’m a safe driver, honest!
Whilst I was backstage at PBW on Saturday, I got a what’sapp message asking if I could replace one of my students on the NGW Vs HOP show the next afternoon, due to injury. I already had SWE and TCW that night, but it didn’t cross my mind for a second to turn a 3rd booking down. That’s either stupidity or passion, depending on how you look at it. Uhaa and I had a long talk about this on the way home, about how it’s a pet hate for us both about those who moan about bookings, who complain about being at venues, about those who turn up with that ‘I can’t be arsed’ attitude. If it’s that bad, don’t do it. Simple as that. Wrestling is what I’ve wanted to do since I was 8, and it’s never crossed my mind to not work as much as I can. Like I say, stupidity or passion.
So Sunday’s triple began with me teaming with TimberWolf, a HOP student who thinks he’s a dog. Yep. Our unwitting opponents were HOP’s Alex Gracie and NGW’s JD Boom. A second on Boom, he’s been training with NGW for a few years, and I’ll be totally honest (and I’ve told him this), the first couple of years I was convinced he wouldn’t last. But, he proved me wrong by training each and every single week. And all the credit to him in the world, because he’s starting to carve out an entertaining act. I think at some point, he realised his own athletic shortcomings and decided to go down a comedy idiot route, and it’s working for him. The tag match was a whole heap of fun, and a delightful start to the triple, featuring Lucha pratfalls, dog chews and walkies.
As they say, now for something completely different, as at SWE Opportunity Knocks 2014 (luckily in the same building), I was up against ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster and Uhaa Nation. Sadly, I couldn’t threaten Uhaa with kicking him out with no breakfast if he didn’t lie down for me, as he wasn’t stopping that night. That meant movez had to happen. Lots of them. And there was. There was also lots of Uhaa throwing Webster around like little rag dolls. Ever been really confident of how you’re progressing at the gym and that you’re putting on size? Well stand next to/wrestle Uhaa Nation and feel totally fucking inadequate. Managed to cling onto my life, but didn’t win this one. Thoroughly enjoyed it though, cheers to a great crowd for a standing ovation too.
Annnnnd finally! I was the surprise opponent for Liam Lazarus at Tidal’s 1st Anniversary in Leeds. A whole year of Tidal eh? A whole year of water-related show names! I was the first ever Tidal Champion, but before being thrown into wheelie bins in the streets on route to losing that belt to Rampage Brown, I’d defended the gold against Lazarus in Darlington back in May. This match, in my opinion, was vastly superior because of the story of Lazarus rising to the occasion to upend his teacher in order to capture the Number 1 Contendership. Lazarus has bags of talent already, and a charisma that is starting to come to the forefront more and more. This match was exactly what I’d hoped it was, and Liam now looks credible going into his challenge of the title against Rampage on December 21st. He also proved his ability to absorb a lot of punishment, a good thing because against the champion, he’s going to need it.
Until next week.
“The Mexican Sensation” El Ligero’s Upcoming Shows
Nov 28th – Preston City Wrestling: Supershow Of Honor Show One. Match To Be Announced. Evoque, Preston
Nov 29th – Preston City Wrestling: Supershow Of Honor Show Two. Fatal Four-Way: El Ligero vs Uhaa Nation vs Tommaso Ciampa vs BJ Whitmer. Evoque, Preston.
Nov 29th – Preston City Wrestling: Supershow Of Honor Show Three. El Ligero vs Tommaso Ciampa. Evoque, Preston.
Nov 30th – PROGRESS Wrestling: Chapter 16. Street Fight: El Ligero vs Michael Gilbert. Electric Ballroom, Camden, London.
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Our thanks to Tony Knox, David J Wilson & Brett Hadley Photography for the use of their images.