So….turns out I write these on a Thursday now.
Anyway, after spending LAST Thursday recovering from Monkey Madness, I hit the road again last Friday for the 22nd Evolution of HOPE. If HOPE was a Pokemon and it had evolved 22 times, it’d be a fucking destroyer of worlds by now. I was matched up against Joseph Connors one-on-one. Connors is somebody these days who I’m constantly stepping between the ropes with, but very rarely in a singles match. In fact, I can only really remember a couple of individual encounters that we’ve had, an opening match in front of 25 people in Shirebrook for NBW about 5 years ago, and a far superior opening match in front of 800 people in Stevenage for SWE last year. Without pulling back the curtain too much, Connors is flat out one of the best in Europe right now, and is one of the cornerstones of the Ligero/Righteous Army feud in Southside at the moment, and whilst he wasn’t in RA-mode at HOPE, recent transactions in the company have seen him start to slowly embrace a more aggressive and ruthless side. As evidence by slamming me through the first row in this match. A lot of thought and deliberation went into this one, and it’s probably one of my favourite matches I’ve had this year so far. A totally different vibe to everything else on the show, and one that I feel really stood out.
Saturday, I Climaxed everywhere. I mean, I debuted for Climax Wrestling. Handcuffs were the order of the day here, which pretty much sounds like a reference to the first sentence again. The match was a 6-Way Cuffed Chaos match, where 2 start in the ring and the other 4 are handcuffed to the ropes on the outside. Every 4 minutes, a new wrestler escapes this torrid sexual imprisonment and enters the fray. Myself, Martin Kirby, Noam Dar, Scott Star, Mark Hendry and Pastor William Eaver were the deviants involved. Kirby and I started the match, and 25 minutes later, Kirby and I were the last remaining two. In the meanwhile, the match saw much shenanigans and tomfoolery and numerous Double Chokeslam attempts (all of these from Noam) and everybody got moments to shine. Despite a mishmash of styles and experience levels, this was nothing if it wasn’t entertainment. And that’s our job! Only their second ever show, Climax seem like an ambitious group that I look forward to being more involved with in the future, really enjoyed myself there.
Finally, on a day that was originally scheduled to be a day off, Sunday actually saw me appear as a surprise at the Arnold WMC in Nottingham as HOP presented their last event at the venue. That’s the last show at that venue I mean, HOP aren’t closing down or anything. Tag team action closed the weekend, as I teamed with Lucas Archer against Steve Justice and Alessandro. I wouldn’t call this a great match by any stretch, I’d say it was passable, but i’m my own worst critic. The big positive I took away from this, was how keen the 3 trainees afterwards were to learn from their mistakes and how to improve. I’m not someone who’ll turn up to student shows like this, do my match and just come backstage and collect my money regardless of the quality, nor will I tear the trainees apart with no explanation. Nobody benefits from either reaction. What I am more than happy to do, is to sit down those involved and offer advice and feedback on the areas where improvement is needed, as was the case here. I’m very grateful for the opportunities to be brought in to shows like these, and whilst I don’t see myself as anything special in the slightest, it’s very humbling to be seen in a certain light by those less experienced. So I wrestled my match, gave some lengthy advice afterwards, sold some merch and then had cake. All in all, a good Sunday.
Where You Can See ‘The Mexican Sensation’ El Ligero In Action This Week
May 23rd – Grapple Wrestling. El Ligero & Joey Divine vs Dan James & Benjamin Rock. St Margarets Hall, Horsforth.
May 23rd – New Generation Wrestling: Anarchy. El Ligero & Matt Myers vs The Proven. Victoria Hall, Keighley.
May 24th – Progress Wrestling: Chapter 19 – Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Edition Part One. El Ligero vs Will Ospreay. Electric Ballroom, London.
May 25th – Progress Wrestling: Chapter 19 – Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Edition Part Two. Electric Ballroom, London.
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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 Brett Hadley Photography for the images used in the column.