Time for that weekly catch-up with what I’ve been doing with my comings and goings, tumblings and Topés! (I’ve never actually done a Topé, but let’s not ruin such an upbeat and jaunty intro)
Friday night saw me travel up to North Shields, for my second ever appearance for First Class Wrestling, taking on Vitto Peru, who has affectionately been referred to for several years as merely ‘Finland’. No huge back story, it’s just where he’s from. One of the first things I noticed upon arriving at the lovely leisure centre that was hosting the event, was the upped production values of the company, with a very well designed glossy programme, a nice entrance way and those big vertical banner thingys that are becoming really popular. Production like this is so undervalued when it comes to giving the audience that buzz when they enter a venue and can make all the difference to how a promotion is perceived. Wrestling fans want to feel like they’re at a well-produced and genuine show, rather than watch the wrestlers enter through a fire exit into a shambles of a ring. Leisure centres can also be a bit hit and miss when it comes to atmosphere too, with them sometimes being far too light and vacuous, making the crowd feel self-conscious about making noise. The atmosphere on this show was terrific though, and I had a ton of fun opening up the event against Peru, as well as making the save later on in the night for Xia Brookside, daughter of WWE Developmental Coach Robbie Brookside. The whole evening was a really positive experience, the place was packed and there was a great atmosphere both in front of and behind the curtain. First Class, you could say.
The next day was a long old trek down to Bristol, which appears to be a breeding ground for 50mph zones on the motorways into the place. Pretty awesome those things, let’s have some more of them…. The premise of the evening was that Pro Wrestling Chaos run a show once a year called ‘Total Chaos!’, where none of the matches are announced on the night and the crowd have no idea of the card going into the show. It speaks volumes then, that the promotion was still able to pack over 400 people into Yate Leisure Centre based just on the promotions reputation and their local advertising methods. What match did the Chaos Generator provide for me? Well, it teamed myself and Martin Kirby up in our Project Lucha team, against the bruising brawlers The London Riots. So much fun, many tag combinations. I love teaming with Kirby, and Project Lucha is without a doubt something I’d love more promotions to look into using (hint hint!). Obviously, Kirby was one half of the incredible Project Ego team with Kris Travis, so it’s a big thing for me and Kirby to team up. Kirby and Trav had so much amazing chemistry as a team and a superb catalogue of work, if Kirby and I could achieve even half of that, I’d be happy. The Riots are a great team as well, who’ve come on leaps and bounds over the last 3 years, and have learnt how to work as both a blue-eye and villain act so well. Crowd were extremely receptive of this match, especially the end stretch and this definitely feels like a match that could easily be revisited.
Sunday finished off with a double, as it seems to do more and more these days. Up first, BWE (formerly UKWE) celebrated their 1 Year Anniversary in a unique fashion, by producing SmashCon, a sci-fi convention with the added bonus of wrestling matches throughout the day. There was a lot to see and do, and I was kind of annoyed with myself that I insisted upon myself watching all the matches I could instead of exploring, especially as my other half went wandering and got to hold a python and browse through many SNES games. Damnit! Some of the matches I saw worked well and others didn’t. The crowd was primarily consisted of non-wrestling fans (in my opinion), so certain concepts, eg babyfaces matches with previous back story most likely went over people’s heads. I myself however, was incredibly pleased at the reactions for my match with the uber talented Jason Prime, resulting in the capturing of the BWE Championship. People forget just how new Prime is to wrestling, but a huge desire to learn, a jaw dropping look and being under the wing of the fantastic Rampage Brown has made ‘The Primate’ a force to be reckoned with extremely quickly. Our fight took us all over the venue, past an inebriated S Club 7’s Hannah (who looked on with bemusement and a hint of lust in her eye), through a small replica scene from Star Wars (genuinely, we brawled through a family photo) and even onto a bouncy castle! The action back in the ring felt crisp and the crowd were great for it, resulting in a big ovation at the 3 count. Honestly can’t put over enough how much I enjoyed this match!
So, from that bizarre and wonderful experience, to finishing off a HOPE show with a beer/yoghurt bash! Yep, that’s right. After beat downs, run-ins and challenges, myself and CJ Banks (AKA AriBeer!) were victorious over the team of Rob Sharpe and Kyle Kingsley, Filthy Gorgeous in the headliner of the promotions debut in Warsop. I’ve wrestled at The Black Market a few times over the years, mainly for a small promotion called MCW that never really seemed to pull an audience in. They weren’t exactly hanging from the rafters at HOPE, BUT the difference is that the crowd were red hot and you also got the feeling it was a venue that could easily be built up into something really good. The tag match itself was a right riot to be part of, and it was great to team with another one of my best mates in the space of 24 hours. Some people might wonder if this LifeTrain thing with Banks is a gimmick. Hell no it’s not! I’m having my pre-workout and he’s popping a cold one, and yet he can still go better than most! Some promoters would have killed us for the state of the ring afterwards with Budweiser and Pepper Pig yoghurt (seeing as I don’t drink) everywhere, but the crowd seemed to be up for it! Speaking of the crowd being excellent, I didn’t even see the match but I heard the reactions for Kirby vs Lucas Archer, and it sounded like they tore the house down. Seriously, get yourselves down to one of these shows!
Great 3 days.
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Where You Can See El Ligero This Weekend
May 27th: New Generation Wrestling ‘Live In Northallerton’. El Ligero vs AJ Anderson. The Forum, Northallerton.
May 27th: Tidal Wrestling ‘Point Break 2016’. El Ligero vs Kid Fite. Dolphin Centre, Darlington.
May 28th: New Generation Wrestling ‘Ultimate Showdown’ NGW GenX League Trophy: Bubblegum (c) vs El Ligero. City Hall, Hull.
May 29th: PROGRESS Wrestling ‘Super Strong Style 16 2016’ Day One. Progress Tag Team Championship: The Origin (El Ligero & Nathan Cruz) (c) vs The London Riots (Rob Lynch & James Davis). Electric Ballroom, London.
May 30th: PROGRESS Wrestling ‘Super Strong Style 16 2016’ Day Two. Electric Ballroom, London.
*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.