Up first on this past weekend was a trip to the regular haunt of PCW, the Evoque nightclub in Preston centre, as the time of year had rolled around for the annual Road To Glory tournament. I’d missed last year’s event due to wrestling in France that weekend, but I’d featured in previous incarnations, suffering a First Round loss to Super Crazy in 2013, and an elimination at the Quarter Final stage due to injury back in 2011.
This year, I was originally pitted against former WWE Tag Team Champion Justin Gabriel. However, a passport related spanner was thrown into the works at the last minute, and I arrived at the venue unsure of who I’d be up against instead. Step forward another former WWE star in Ricardo Rodriguez, the former ring announcer of Alberto Del Rio, and as it happens, a heck of a wrestler in his own right! Despite going into this match rather unprepared, quite literally in some cases (my music hit as I was in the bathroom y’see, but don’t worry, I washed my hands) , I had a lot of fun with this and advanced to the next round by dropping him on his beautiful hair with the C4L. Wrestling Ricardo was a surreal experience, but the reaction to his entrance was terrific, and I’d love to be able to do a longer match with him in the future. You never know who’s going to turn up in Preston!
The next afternoon, it was Quarter Final time, and I’d drawn a biggie. One question I get asked a lot is ‘who’s the biggest name you’ve wrestled?’. I’ve been extremely lucky to get to work with some amazing talent from all over the world, but in all honesty, after Saturday afternoon, I probably have an easy answer to that question in Matt Hardy. Put it this way, if my mum knows who I’m wrestling, then they’re pretty well known! Stepping into the ring with Hardy was a big deal, someone I’d watched an awful lot when I was younger and before I’d even started training, someone who’d obviously taken risk-taking to new heights with hugely famous TLC matches, his feud with Edge etc. He was extremely well ingrained into my fan-side of wrestling, and now I was wrestling him. Life is ridiculous at times. Minus the loss to a Twist Of Fate, this was a great experience and it meant a lot to me for Hardy to publicly endorse me on Twitter after the match.
Having been knocked out of the tournament, I wrestled on the Saturday evening show in a ridiculously fun 8-man tag match. The fact that my team consisted of myself, Dave Mastiff and former WWE stars Carlito and Eugene was…..bizarre. On the opposing side was Rampage Brown, Sha Samuels and Scottish tandem Fight Club. Team Happy vs Team Grumpus. This match will never win any MOTY awards, but amidst all the drama of the weekend, this felt like a really fun little addition. The rest of the weekend featured the return of Lionheart from injury, the tournament itself, and a truly superb Loser Leaves PCW Match between Uhaa Nation and Chris Masters. I want to mention Uhaa a bit actually. I feel very lucky to have had his first ever match in PCW (and England I think), and even the first night I met him, I could tell a couple of things. Firstly, just what a nice guy he was. Down to earth, humble and consistently upbeat, I’ve never seen Uhaa in a bad mood. Secondly, what a fantastic talent he is. It wasn’t hard to see that he had all the tools in the world to really make it in this industry, and I genuinely think he will. Over the last year or so, I’ve had the chance to travel with him, wrestle him and get close with him. I’d consider him a friend, and I’m going to miss having him around. But he deserves everything he’s getting right now, and I wish him all the luck I can.
Finally, my weekend finished off with a lengthy trip down to Newport, Wales for my debut with Dragon Pro. Really fun trip all round, with a load of non-wrestling discussion (amazing, I know) on the way down, covering government conspiracies, the moon landing, 9/11 etc. Proper upbeat and light it was. I wrestled a young lad called Ian Williams The 3rd in a solid opener, got to watch a lot of the show and sold a decent bit of merch (unlike Dan James). Really nice crew, really nice bunch of people down there, and I hope to be back down there at some point!
Felt like a really relaxed way to end the weekend, and I even had some cake.
Mar 20th – Infinite Promotions: Ex Terra Luctatio. El Ligero vs CJ Banks. St Helens Town Hall, St Helens.
Mar 21st – Power Wrestling Entertainment: PWE Live 3. PWE Championship: El Ligero vs Chris The Bambi Killer (c). Cycas, Potenza, Italy.
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Our thanks to Nik Towers for the use of his artwork in the column header. You can see more of Nik’s artwork at the Wrestling Artwork NT Facebook page.
Additional thanks to Sarah Hollywood Snapshots for the use of their images in the article.