I’m warning you now, this will be a length one, as I’ve got a lot to get through! So let’s crack on.
Going all the way back to May 23rd to start off with, on that sunny Saturday afternoon, I made my début for Grapple Wrestling as they presented their latest effort in front of a packed house in Horsforth, a venue that was a wonderful 4 miles from my house. I’m one of the trainers at the Grapple school, and I always think it benefits the students to have the more experienced guys involved, so I opened up the show teaming with Joey Divine (who I’ve mentioned in here before after wrestling him at 4GW the other month) against regular opponent Dan James and Benjamin Rock. Now, I knew what Divine and James were like, but this was my first experience of wrestling Ben, who the first time I saw work was dying in this HORRIBLE fake Mexican gimmick. Seriously, can’t ever see anything like that ever taking off. I’d made it clear to him in the past that I thought it was rubbish and he didn’t suit it, so it was nice to see him a few months later working under something totally different. Furthermore, he gave a really good accounting of himself in this match, and I’d like to work with him again. The match itself was pretty decent, minus a couple of over enthusiastic miscues, and Dan James being massively terrified of having another mans head near his groin.
After that show, it was off half an hour down the road for NGW’s latest Keighley show, Anarchy. I ended up wrestling twice on this show, first of all teaming with Matt Myers against The Proven in a match that all the moves. Loads of them there were. Wrestled at a frantic pace throughout, I’d like to give this one another go, as I think the 4 of us could be capable of something really good if we were all on the same page. As it turned out though, I felt this was pretty enjoyable. I also wrestled in that evenings main event, a Triple Threat against Nathan Cruz and Bubblegum, 2 fantastic wrestlers who I’m obviously no stranger to. The fact that Cruz is currently the top Babyface in NGW gave the match a different and refreshing dynamic and we all worked hard in this. I doubt there’s a better Jr Heavyweight villain in the country than Bubblegum at the moment, and he shone in this. Didn’t pick up the victory, but a great reaction overall to wind up a busy busy day.
The next morning, it was off to London, massively hyped for Progress Wrestlings first ever weekender, as part of a huge 16 man elimination tournament, the Super Strong Style 16.
Genuinely honoured to be selected to be a part of this. In fact, my entrance was actually the first of the tournament, to open up the show against Will Ospreay. The reaction to it was so generous that I almost felt sad as to what was coming later… No feeling-out process here, Will and I went hell for leather from the off, and the result was 9 minutes of ridiculous. This was only my 2nd ever singles with Will, the first being a long, drawn-out affair at IPW:UK last year, whereas here it was go go go! Will is capable of some amazing things, and I feel we click with each other. He finally dumped me on my bonce with that daft Essex Destroyer to progress (geddit?) Later on in the show of course, the mood changed, as I was revealed, alongside long-time rival Nathan Cruz, to be behind the whole Faceless deal. Whilst I’m aware that people had worked out my involvement in it, the reactions for the reveal was still very heated and the look of shock on some peoples faces was superb. They say the best ‘angles’ are based in reality, and this one very much is.
Both Cruz and I felt we had a lot to do with the initial buzz surrounding Progress, and whilst Cruz was left off shows for various reasons, I was still used for the most part, but even though I was half-killing myself at times, I wasn’t getting the reactions I wanted. So, we decided to shake things up a bit. The next afternoon, Cruz and I lost the Progress Tag Team Championship (which I had acquired under the Faceless guise) to the SDS of Tommy End and Michael Dante. The match itself was a war, which saw hundreds of chairs wiped out and blood spilled, resulting in a scar on my index finger, and the reaction when I was pinned was deafening. But people seem to think that’s it, because they don’t know where this is going or what the bigger picture is. This wasn’t just ‘oh let’s put Ligero and Cruz together as a baddie tag team’, this was the start of something grander. Cruz and I aren’t the only ones who work for that company that feel unappreciated. Overall, the 2 days at Progress were amazing. I got to watch a lot of the shows, and the quality was mindblowing at times, and it’s such an incredible atmosphere there.
The next 3 days were far removed from the high pressure of the previous 2 days, as I enjoyed 3 nights of MegaSlam Wrestling. Don’t get me wrong, I take huge pride in my work wherever I go, but there’s a lot less pressure on smaller camp shows such as these, simply because the crowd have no expectations of what they’re seeing, they’re just there to enjoy their holidays and the entertainment that comes with it. I wrestled a few different people in those 3 days, Bully Boy Carter (Mablethorpe), Liam Lazarus and Dara Diablo (Skipsea), Robert E Sharpe and Paul Malen (Skirlington), wrestling 5 matches in those 3 days, all of which I had a lot of fun with. Shows like that are especially good for guys like Lazarus and Sharpe, as it helps so much with just relaxing, taking your time and focusing on engaging the crowd throughout.
6-Man Tag action was the order of the day the following night (Friday the 29th we’re up to now btw) as I teamed with Timm Wylie and Babyfaced Pitbull (bit excitable that guy) against a member of The Council, Dean McManus, and The Bad Lads. This was for my return to the Grand Central Hall in Liverpool for Infinite Promotions by the way. Tidy little match this, nothing to set the world on fire, but it was straightforward enough and seemed to get the desired reactions, and nobody died. I’ve no idea if I’ve been stripped of the Infinite Tag Team Championships by the way, as I’ve still got the belt in my house, but it was nice to be back at the promotion. I know there’s been quite a dip in attendance lately, but the show quality is still to a decent degree, so hopefully the tide can be turned, as it’d be a shame for them to not success, based on past accolades.
The next day was the longest day. The most draining day, and the most rewarding day. 4 matches in one short period. Christ. This was, of course, the huge Southside double shot of an afternoon show and the annual Speed King tournament. So let’s do this! Up first was 4-way action with Pete Dunne, Damian Dunne and Tyler Bate. To step into the ring with 3 brilliant young talents as the first match of the day, knowing what lay ahead was a great relief as these guys really have their heads screwed on. 2nd match on the card, this provided 10 minutes of fun, exciting action without being overkill, knowing full well that the crowd had a LOT more wrestling ahead of them. Up second was my impromptu joining of Stixx in a 3-on-2 match against The Righteous Army of Connors, Havoc and KLR. Justin Gabriel was meant to be involved too, but his flight was delayed, never gets any luck that guy. A heated affair this one, further proving the theory that the crowd will get much more invested in stories and build than they will ‘a guy vs a guy’, this one saw me get ever closer to getting my hands on that deceitful Kay Lee Ray. We’d also been building for months that she’d give an explanation of why she turned, and this show was the date. Her explanation? She flat out hates everything about me, simple as that. What a bitch.
2 down, 2 to go, as I faced Matt Sydal, formerly Evan Bourne of course, in the tournament. Sydal was hugely enthusiastic about getting to wrestle each other, and I could tell we would both enjoy this. Which we did. Upbeat, light hearted to start with, then kicking into some cool stuff near the end, I’d definitely like to wrestle Sydal again. And finally, the tournament final, a 6-way elimination of myself, Jimmy Havoc, The Amazing Red, Will Ospreay (who apparently turned villain earlier in the night judging by this), Flash Webster and Robbie X. As far as 6-man scrambles go, I’d say it was pretty decent, but it probably wasn’t the incredible highlight reel some were expecting. Instead, it told the story of Havoc being crafty and unstoppable all the way through, as he found a way to eliminate everyone, until it came down to me and him. That’s when the drama kicked in. Some ultra close falls, including me being launched over the merchandise table and legitimately nearly getting counted out, to Havoc kicking out of the C4L, to KLR getting wiped out by Havoc, to me finally hitting Havoc with his own finisher, Kay Lee’s finisher and finally my own to capture my first Southside title, some of the reactions were some of the best I’ve ever had. To draw an audience in like that, and to take them on that rollercoaster is exactly what wrestling is about. Afterwards, I was tired, sore, drained…but elated.
Aaaaaand finally! The final day, match number 16, saw me successfully defend the Speed King Championship against former TNA X-Division and ROH Tag Team Champion Kenny King. Whilst he didn’t have a crown (he’d never get over on Butlins that guy), he is a smart and insightful wrestler. Can’t say enough positive things about him, and it was a great way to finish off a great run of shows, one of the best I’ve had in years. I had a pizza to celebrate.
Where You Can See ‘The Mexican Sensation’ El Ligero In Action This Week
June 5th – Preton City Wrestling: Showdown. El Ligero vs Dean Allmark vs Charlie Garrett vs Ashton Smith. Evoque, Preston.
June 6th – Premier British Wrestling: Live In Dumbarton. PBW Heavyweight Championship: El Ligero (c) vs Joe Coffey. Meadow Centre, Dumbarton.
June 7th – BritWres-Fest 2015. Fatal Four-Way: El Ligero vs Martin Kirby vs Mark Haskins vs Robbie X. The Olympia, Liverpool.
Follow ‘The Mexican Sensation’ El Ligero
Official ‘The Mexican Sensation’ El Ligero Facebook
Official ‘The Mexican Sensation’ El Ligero Twitter
*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, Rob Brazier Photography & Tony Knox for the images used in the column.