It takes many elements to make a good wrestling show, no single part on its own can truly make a great product. On the 29th of October we lost an incredibly valuable cog from our machine in the form of the best MC I’ve personally worked with, Hank McCoy.
It was February 1st 2014 when I first met Hank when we debuted in Hanham Community Centre. We needed an MC, my business partners Nick and Rob were aware of Hank from his time working for other promotions around Oxford and thought he’d be a good fit for us. MC’s are an interesting thing in Wrestling. People get to know Wrestlers and referees as they travel around promotions. It’s not that often that MC’s become well known. It’s rare that an MC would work for more of a handful of promotions, so for me this was very much a sight unseen.
Hank arrived with one of our senior referees Paz and Chris Walker. He was very pleasant, introduced himself, was happy to be there, but also made it clear that he intended this to be his last MC gig as he was looking to take a step back from Wrestling. Which, not knowing him beforehand, I couldn’t challenge, but I was happy to have an MC for the night.
We were fortunate to start our run of 8 consecutive sell outs in Hanham Community Centre that night, so the place was rocking, the atmosphere was great and Hank went out there, like a total pro and got the crowd up before any in ring action. That is where I think Hank was great. He knew how to work a crowd better than some wrestlers! He knew what to say and when to say it to get the crowd ready for the next match. Some shows can have a lull period, that’s natural when you’re putting on a 2-3 hour event, in the time that I’ve seen Hank work, at Chaos shows, because of his efforts, that’s never happened!
After that show, Hank spoke to me, explained that he thought tonight would be his last gig, but asked if he could stay on for a bit. I was more than happy to keep him on! That was nearly 3 years ago now. Hank had become more than an MC, he was an ambassador for us, someone who fans built a connection with, fans who I know were just as upset as me that he has decided to call time on his run.
I was incredibly happy to see him get easily one of the biggest reactions on his last night where he addressed the audience in Yate Leisure Centre, announcing that he’s going to be dad. Before he signed off for one last time and left the mic in the ring. We were waiting for him behind the curtain, think everyone was a little emotional.
Hank is a special guy, someone who I know will be a success at whatever he wants to do. Someone that I know that I’ll see again, but will always miss not hearing his voice at shows anymore. A good MC is hard to find, a great MC and friend is a lot harder.