On The Road With ‘The Mexican Sensation’ El Ligero: NGW, Tidal, PROGRESS, MegaSlam, EBW & PCW

Away last week, travelling around and doing what I do, so no chance to get anything written, so that means it’s time for a big old catch-up on the past fortnight of life on the road, whilst not making people have to read an absolute essay. We’ve all got sunbathing to be getting on with.

Photo Credit: New Generation Wrestling

Going back to May 27th, and the first of many double shots over the last 14 days. NGW ran their 3rd or 4th show at Northallerton’s Forum, where bizarrely enough, the company drew their likeliest smallest crowd that they have there (around 80-90) , but with what was probably the most receptive and enthusiastic crowd that I’ve ever worked in front of at this building, eclipsing any previous crowds that both 3CW and NGW have drawn there. I had the total pleasure of opening the show against AJ Anderson, who was debuting his new ‘Screwface’ persona. Anderson is a wrestler who has really stepped up his game over the past few years, his work is quick and snappy, his conditioning is excellent and he’s innovative with how he lays things out. I was a big fan of this match, and it was a step up on every level over our only other singles encounter, at Tidal’s debut show in Newcastle. Speaking of Tidal, that’s exactly where I drove to after this show, as they were 30 minutes away up the road in Darlington. It’d be kind to say the company drew a healthy crowd, as maybe running an event so close to another wrestling show hurt both companies draws, but I still had a lot of fun in my impromptu 6-Man Tag main event, teaming myself and The Burial against Kid Fite and the newly formed team of Out Of Service (or something along those lines) of Dan ‘The Body’ James and Sean Only. I’ve been an advocate of The Burial for a good while, and it was good to see them get the chance to step up to a main event match, and it’s always fun tussling with Fite. The match ended with a bump into popcorn, so that pretty much sums up what you’re looking at here.

It was back at NGW the next night, when they returned to Hull City Hall. This has easily become one of my favourite venues to wrestle in these days, as the crowd there are SO hot, and the loyalty that NGW fans have shown the brand through the years has been nothing short of incredible. From the tiny Eastmount Centre, to the ever changing name of the Arena, to City Hall, they’ve followed the company all the way and familiarised themselves with all the wrestlers, which makes it such a good environment to create stories. I actually received a text on the morning of this show asking if I wouldn’t mind wrestling on the pre-show, as well as the main show, and I just can’t say no to more matches! I ended up wrestling young Ace Matthews in a babyface wrestling match, and one that I was really happy with afterwards. Matthews is a very dedicated student at the NGW Academy in Hull, and often travels to other shows and seminars to learn. He has a great attitude and gave a really solid accounting of himself here. I also wrestled Bubblegum in the evening, in an unsuccessful challenge to his Gen-X League Trophy. I’ve wrestled Gum over 60 times, and we always try and produce something new, which is an easy feat with someone like him who’s always evolving his offence. It’s never not a great buzz to step into the ring with him, as everything tends to connect really smoothly, and he definitely brings the best out of me. Meanwhile in NGW, the feud between myself and Dara Diablo rages on. Watch this space….

Big couple of days followed, as it was Progress Wrestling’s 2nd annual Super Strong Style 16 tournament, which ended up being one of their biggest shows last year, and this year was no different. Myself, Nathan Cruz and The London Riots had the high pressure task of closing the first day, as our Tag Team Championship Match headlined Day One. The Progress fans, whilst massively positive about most things, have still seen an awful lot through the years, so the onus is always there to give them something new and engaging. Despite an early injury to Rob Lynch (leaving a gaping hole out of his forearm and an arm that he could barely move), the 4 of us combined to give the sell-out 700+ crowd a 20 minute rollercoaster of emotions, with as many highs and lows as we could wrench out of them. In the end, when all the smoke was cleared, when is decked 2 referees and been decked by a 3rd (damn you Joel….), when all the drama had reached its apex, the reaction when the Riots FINALLY upended The Origin to claim the shields for the first time, was so huge and so rewarding, that it truly felt we’d done a good job. How did I celebrate? By getting crunk of course!!!

Alright, I went to Nandos with my girlfriend and chilled out watching The Inbetweeners in the hotel. Which, to me, is the far better option anyway.

From closing Day 1, to opening Day 2, a card reshuffle due to a medical emergency with Mark Haskins meant I was included in a 10-Way opening scramble match to determine his tournament replacement. Alongside such names as Matt ‘M-Dogg 20’ Cross, Pete Dunne, Pikachu, Rimmer, Luigi, Catwoman, several characters from The Wizard Of Oz and a host of others (a couple of those are true), the match was 11 minutes of wild chaos, high spots, dives, Joel backdropping me onto everyone (damn you Joel…) and RAMPAGE BROWN DOING A DIVE!! This was great fun in the end, and I loved being a part of it. Mark Andrews eventually was declared the victor. The whole Progress weekend itself was another amazing experience from a promotion that goes from strength to strength and doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon. I might not be one half of the Tag Team Champions anymore, but I still feel incredibly privileged to be part of something so special.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week were spent with the MegaSlam Wrestling team, as I wrestled 7 matches over the 3 days with shows in Skegness, Mablethorpe and Skirlington. I had a ridiculous amount of fun over these few days, as all 4 shows were absolutely rammed and the atmosphere at them all was ace! I wrestled a multitude of both singles matches against Boris Koslov, Peter Pumpkin and Bully Boy Carter, as well as a few mixed tags alongside Lizzy Styles. The morale amongst the team was so high, even during ring jobs in the pouring rain or finding out the caravan we stayed in one night was devoid of any heating, much bedding or a TV that resembled anything more than a miniature toy! The summer season is obviously right around the corner, the busiest time of year, and if this past week is any indication of the fun, rewarding work and entertainment I’m in store for, it can’t come soon enough!

Photo Credit: Brett Hadley Photography

Last Friday night was spent in Sheffield for EBW, wrestling a first time ever match and also trying to keep the smug thorn in my side that is Craig Anderson at bay. A fun little match with Radu Bulat, who I actually met back in 2008 through the 1PW Academy, was punctuated by the interference (and low blow) from Anderson, who cost me a match that was going swimmingly until that point. Don’t worry folks, retaliated later on that night by dropping him on his face, and he’s actually been fired by EBW! On a more positive note, Bulat gave a decent showing of himself here, he has a great look and carries himself very well. I think that once he gets out there a bit more, it’ll help boost his confidence and presence which will really help accelerate him. EBW actually booked me for this event at very short notice, but were extremely accommodating as usual, with the whole roster being very respectful, with a couple of them asking me if I wouldn’t mind watching their matches and if I’d offer any feedback, something I’m always happy to do.

Annnnnd finally!! I spent last Saturday night trying to avoid getting my face kicked off! I wrestled someone who’s work I’d become familiar with through CZW and PWG, ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey. Honestly, his precision and accuracy when it comes to strikes is just ridiculous and the guy is super athletic. This match was one that I ended up really enjoying, even if I feared for my life/head on many occasions. Much like the first time Tommaso Ciampa and I wrestled at PCW, I could see scope for a rematch afterwards as the audience seemed to connect well with the action too. Bailey seemed to make a great impression on the busy PCW crowd too, with a hearty ‘Please Come Back!’ chant afterwards. If Bailey does indeed come back, I might actually try and tape some pillows to his feet before the match next time, just for my own wellbeing.


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Where You Can See El Ligero This Weekend

Jun 10th: HOPE Wrestling. El Ligero vs Blake. The Polish Club, Derby.

Jun 11th: New Generation Wrestling. Lord Mayors Parade, Queens Gardens, Hull.

Jun 12th: HOPE Wrestling ‘Evolution XXXVIII: I’ll Be There To Watch You Fall’. Forest Town Arena, Mansfield.


*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.