It was by pure luck that I noticed this show was on. We were in Birmingham for the entire weekend prior to Monday night’s Smackdown house show, and as we headed back to the hotel after a curry on Friday night, I noticed a poster in a newsagent’s window for New Scene Wrestling’s show down the road on Sunday evening.
Googling it the next morning, I found out that Zack Sabre Jr and Marty Scurll were the main event – good enough for me, I decided, and rang the ticket line (a mobile number), which went straight to voicemail. I found their Facebook page, and left a message there asking if they were doing any press tickets or if any of the talent would be available for interview. The page admin was helpful, and gave me the promoter’s number – the same number I’d rung for tickets and hadn’t had an answer from. I rang again, leaving two messages in total, and heard nothing back.
Hey ho. Support indy wrestling, kids – I practise what I preach. We paid for full-price tickets on the door to take our seats in the Irish Centre’s function room, still liberally festooned with 70th birthday balloons from a previous party, but now also with a wrestling ring in the middle of the ballroom floor.
The funny thing about shows this small is the number of fans who know the wrestlers, whether they’re real-life mates or have just seen them a lot of times before. Andy Wild, the face in the opening match had loud support from a crowd of irritatingly noisy student types, but he was still crushed comprehensively by Tango Tim Wylie, a ridiculously muscular figure of a fella (“THIS IS WHAT A REAL MAN LOOKS LIKE!” he roared, much to the delight of the barmaids, who suddenly took an interest in the action).
I very much enjoyed the tag match between two Welshmen (one of whom was Wild Boar and one of whom, Eddie Dennis, was brilliantly hilarious) and a Jeff Hardy wannabe (BT Gunn) and another ludicrous giant (Shaun The Hammer Davis). The Welshman who did the talking refused to get in the ring with Hammer – “I’m only getting in if the guy with long hair is in too!”
Mark Andrews and Noam Dar didn’t really have enough time to fully explore the scope of their falls-count-anywhere match, but it was an entertaining little insert. I’ve seen Dar twice now and can easily imagine him in the X Division; and Andrews is a sparky little face who you can imagine kids adoring, particularly with his thunder and lightning-styled gear.
The one women’s match on the card was not brilliantly worked – champion Shanna (a petite, slender, smiling Mickie James type) faced the statuesque Alpha Female (a tall, muscular Beth Phoenix type, but with shorter hair). The German woman unsurprisingly battered her little Portuguese rival, but to no avail – somehow the champion managed to pin her and somehow she did not have the strength to kick out.
This is one of the things that always bugs me about women’s matches – often it’s when they don’t have enough time to think it through properly – but it just doesn’t make sense. Tamina and AJ had a similar match on Monday night but AJ managed to pin her bigger opponent after Tamina had injured herself showing off an incredible feat of strength. That’s logical. Just getting her to the ground and pinning her when she’s twice your body weight? That’s not.
There was another tag match – the Hunter Brothers (Eighties throwbacks but not putting enough effort in on the nostalgia front – come on, boys, at least get yourselves some Adam Ant jackets) versus the Second City Collective. This was a match with something at stake – the number one contender position for the wXw tag titles – but it all seemed rather thrown together and tough to follow if you didn’t know their history.
Marty Scurll v Zack Sabre Jr I’ve already written about – good on technique, low on engagement and interactivity would be my summary.
But for eight quid it was a decent evening’s entertainment with some great talent on show and some more names for me to follow. Have you been to any indie shows recently and think there are some young stars out there I should be watching or talking to for the site? Let me know in the comments.