Facts from IPW, Zack v Hero, Angel Centre Tonbridge, January 19th 2014

January 19, 2014

20140119_194756Well, I told you I was going to drag myself to Tonbridge, (very expensive) rail replacement services notwithstanding.

And frankly I think it was probably the best decision I’m going to make all year.

From the opening triple threat between Party Marty Scurll (resplendent in fur), Mark Haskins and Jonny Storm to the spectacular main event between Zack Sabre Jr and Chris Hero, every match was a gem for its own reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

Preview: ‘Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops’ – behind the scenes at FPW

May 8, 2013

 740788_510234235664175_1422120349_oThis is an extract from the forthcoming book ‘Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops’, taken from a chapter profiling some of the top promotions in the south-east of England. Obviously this isn’t the complete section – you’ll have to buy the book to read that! – but some edited highlights. Hope you enjoy.

When you walk into the Wallington Hall, it’s a state of organised chaos. Something about it is reminiscent about an end-of-term disco, as a clutch of boys huddle together in the corner, and the grown-ups march around setting out the furniture, with a group of men wiring up the lights and a group of women in the kitchen laying out the wares for the tuck shop.

Except this is February 2013, not the height of summer before six weeks of holidays, and this is the venue that Future Pro Wrestling have declared home. Read the rest of this entry »

Facts from Southside Wrestling, Raw Deal 2, Stevenage, April 27th 2013

April 28, 2013

haskinsIf I’m completely honest, my favourite part of Southside Wrestling’s Raw Deal 2 came at the start of the second half, as the partisan crowd voiced their objections to Stixx and his very own voice of the voice of the voiceless Harvey Dale.

Rather than being outraged and offended by the really rather pathetic homophobic abuse, the pair did what any self-respecting Punk/Heymanesque duo should do, and hugged instead.

And much as I like El Ligero, I was sneakily pleased that Stixx picked up the win as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: Mark Haskins and Nathan Cruz on ‘Screw Indy Wrestling’

April 5, 2013

You might have seen their new Facebook group. You might have seen their merch at some recent shows. And you might be wondering what on earth this is all about.

And so I spoke to Nathan Cruz and Mark Haskins about why they’re now heading up a campaign entitled ‘Screw Indy Wrestling’… Read the rest of this entry »

Facts from FPW Reloaded, Wallington Hall, February 3rd 2013

February 3, 2013

421034_510234235664175_1422120349_nA cold Sunday afternoon in February requires some kind of illumination. Future Pro Wrestling, in their first event of 2013, provided the stars and warmed a sell-out crowd at the Wallington Hall in south London.

Once more the hero of the afternoon was the Cockney Crusader Greg Burridge, dice-thrusting as always, who led his team to victory in the opening six-man tag.

He celebrated by proposing to an obsessive ladyfan in the front row: “I love you TOO, honey! We love EACH OTHER! Let’s get married! We could have a wedding at a show! We could book Jake Roberts to do a run-in!” which garnered loud cackling from those of us of a certain age but went over the heads of the youngsters. Read the rest of this entry »

Facts from Preston City Wrestling, Lava Ignite, Friday 24th February 2012

February 26, 2012

It’s ironic, really. I spent last week researching my article about concussions and serious injury in professional wrestling – and then I smacked my head on the bus en route to work and ended up with a splitting headache and most of the week written off.

Add to that I then developed a cold (I do NOT recommend sneezing repeatedly when you have a concussion) and we’re not looking at optimum conditions for a) enjoying a night out or b) remembering things.

Still, I’d been planning to go to PCW for ages, and I wasn’t about to let a bump on the head stop me.

I was most excited about the opening bout – Friend of TOWIS Noam Dar against his trainer Zack Sabre Junior, Joey Hayes and Dean Allmark in a four-way match. Read the rest of this entry »

Fact: Randy Orton is not in the Elimination Chamber, and wrestling is dangerous

February 19, 2012

One of the mockeries that always gets levelled at the pro wrestler and the pro wrestling fan is “But it’s not real!”

It might not be “real” in a competitive sense, but the moves that are done in the ring are very real – and very risky.

It’s become a habit to have a sly giggle at the WWE’s ‘Don’t Try This!’ safety announcements, but they’re right to stress the potential dangers of professional wrestling.

We saw that three weeks ago, when Mark Haskins landed badly from a shooting star press and got a concussion and a cut nose for his trouble.

We saw it a fortnight ago, when R-Truth and Miz had a mix-up, resulting in Truth crashing on to his back outside the ring.

We saw it last week, when Jesse Sorensen broke his neck in his match against Zema Ion at the start of the Against All Odds pay-per-view.

And now we learn that Randy Orton will not be competing in Elimination Chamber due to yet another concussion, which is something Christopher Nowinski said would be the case a couple of weeks ago and nobody believed him.

Austin Aries and Shannon Moore have both been telling spectators that they need to have more respect for the talent because of the dangers inherent in the business, with Moore saying: “Please have respect for anyone good or bad that puts themselves into a ring risking it all every night to entertain. Thanks for your support.”

But should wrestlers be having more respect for themselves – and cutting down on these dangerous manoeuvres? Read the rest of this entry »

Facts from Future Pro Wrestling, Wallington Hall, February 11th 2012

February 12, 2012

I live in North London, and it’s very rare that I venture south of the river Thames, particularly on freezing cold Saturday nights in February.

Still, I’m very glad that I took the risk this weekend, motivated by the card at Future Pro Wrestling’s show.

The entertainment started right from the off – even if you’d not been to an FPW show before, you picked up the history of Terry Striker aka Kidd Pride with his railing against the company and the powers-that-be, Snare (like the insane version of Sting), and Rob Cage Read the rest of this entry »

Question: When are fans entitled to criticise wrestlers? (Now with added Austin Aries)

February 5, 2012

Here’s a question that’s keeping me awake. Are fans ever justified in criticising wrestlers?

Austin Aries thinks not. His exact argument is: “People need to understand the difference between OPINIONS and CRITIQUES. Fan opinions are fine. Fan critiques aren’t. #ARROGANCE #IGNORANCE”

Of course, this is stemming back to a debate he’s been having with fans for the past week, ever since the lovely Friend of TOWIS Mark Haskins had a rather nasty landing from a shooting star press (warning: don’t watch this if you’re squeamish):

And Aries’ problem stems from the very title the fan gave to that video – “botch”. Aries doesn’t think that fans should use that term. He made the valid point that in a high-risk manoeuvre (such as the shooting star press) there’s no such thing as a botch (because there’s no such thing as a safe or clean landing – it’s just degrees of pain and damage).

But I’m still not quite sure where he’s drawing the line between “opinion” (valid) and “critique” (wrong). Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: Preston City Wrestling’s promoter Steven Fludder

January 9, 2012

If you fancy doing some defence of indy wrestling next month, one of the best places you could possibly be is PCW’s show on February 24th.

The bill features folk like friends of TOWIS Mark Haskins and Lionheart as well as other regulars on the circuit such as Johnny Moss and Noam Dar – it’s a stellar line-up, and with advance tickets all priced at under £12.50, I’d say that’s an absolute bargain.

PCW’s promoter Steven Fludder began running the company after seeing some less than good shows (“some dreadful tribute shows,” he complains) in the UK, and deciding that he could do better. And how did he begin to book his shows? By drawing on the contacts he’d made as a fan. Well, when he says “contacts”…

“I basically used to stalk them,” he laughs, and agrees that he was a huge, huge mark.

It’s obviously paid off. Now, the top stars on the scene get in touch with him to find out if slots are available – Nigel McGuinness put PCW on his farewell tour schedule last year.

PCW are also pushing new British talent – from the extreme youthfulness of Dar to the surely US-bound Lionheart – so if you want to support UK wrestling, you can find out more at PCW’s Facebook page.

Or, of course, you can watch clips from their shows right here: