Both Jack Lawrence, my co-founder, and I started off making Demon’s Pit [their podcast] as a kayfabe thankyou to all the federations in the south-east whose shows we attend (IPW, FPW, Hammerlock and Progress), so really it just snowballed from there. Whilst talking to guests like Jimmy Havoc and Terry Striker about their experiences, we just thought that we could book the kind of show that I’d like to take my kids to see and from there it was a natural progression for us to combine the comics angle, what with Jack being a comic artist and me owning a comic shop.
You have a fantastic card – how did you manage to put that together at relatively short notice?
We had a lot of help with the revised card. Initially when the date changed there was real panic from us. We’d lost a number of guys around whom we were centring the federation – Mark Andrews, Nathan Cruz, Colossus Kennedy, Devilman, Terry ‘Moose’ Frazier – but with some help, we found suitable replacements in the shape of Jon Ryan, Iestyn Rees, Project Ego and Bhangra Knights. The only issue we have is the size of the card now. We were settled on seven matches, but then the opportunity to book Noam Dar vs Zack Sabre Jr came up and we thought it’d be madness to pass it up, hence the dreaded eight-match card.
You’ve had to change the card, though, and change the date – can you explain why that was?
Yeah, initially we were booked in for the 23rd September, the same day as I’m running Demoncon4, a comic convention, in Maidstone. However, it turns out that LDN were booked in for a show the same week and weren’t happy with us running on the same week. Personally, I wasn’t fussed, but the venue, under pressure, asked if we’d consider moving date, to which we obliged.
What makes your promotion different to the others in the south-east?
I think that the main reason we’re going to be different to the rest of the south-east feds is the comic connection. Jack and I are intending to book the shows with kids in mind, particularly my own. There will be comic artists present on the day, to draw wrestlers, superheroes and celebrities for those in attendance. The program will contain comic art match graphics as well as a six-page comic featuring the story of roster member Marmot, whose debut will then take place in ring. Also, we’re going to be big on factions, with heel stables initially, then face factions forming to counteract. To be honest, we’re looking to become the UK equivalent of Chikara Pro, but definitely with our own stamp.
And is this a long-term project or a one-off?
This is definitely a long-term project. As well as the guys on the first show, we also have Mark Andrews, Wild Boar, Flash Morgan, Nathan Cruz, Colossus Kennedy, Pete Dunne and Devilman on the roster. We’re also yet to find out from Gabe Grey who the other two members of the Damned Nation will be. Storyline-wise we’re already looking ahead to show 3, ‘Choosing Sides’, plus we’re already making booking decisions about show 2, ‘Team-Up’, which will focus on the tag championship.