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"Revival" - 10 Year Anniversary

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Without reading the whole thread (apologies for any overlap), it was a fantastic show, and Doug vs Jody is one of the best tournament finals ever. Special mention for Drew McDonald, who was bloody brilliant as well. The Tommy Boyd thing is a no-brainer, don't know the full details of what happened there but he was a massive asset (insert pun if you must). Of course, the whole 'Queen Mother' episode didn't help. But he added the mainstream credibility. I don't think anything since of this style has come close to the heights of Revival, and the famous adage of "If this doesn't get us onto TV, nothing will" still rings true a decade later. Nonetheless, a great effort. Alex Shane's finest hour.

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God, has it really been 10 years? I remember getting hyped for this and the wonderful way Tommy Boyd wound everyone up with his "makeup artist under the ring" theory, which spilled over into a worked shoot about how "If I see a wrestler, backstage, with a razor in ome hand. if he doesn't have a can of shaving cream in the other, he's out the door" and Alex Shane's scuffle on the radio. Instead of being pissed off I fell for Boyd's hype, I thought: if this gets a tv show, Tommy has to be the Vince McMahon character. Listened to the coverage on the radio and watched it with my little brother after convincing him it wouldn't be old blokes and rip offs of WWE stars and to give their tiny ring a chance. By the final with Dougie and Jodie, he was loving it

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Ah yes Revival! I find it incredibly hard to believe that was a decade ago! Amazing how time flies.

 

I have some excellent memories of that show. We arrived several hours before the show and queued outside so we could be front row, which was an excellent decision, not just because we got the seats we wanted, opposite the ramp, but also because of the excellent banter we had with the like minded people also waiting outside stupidly early. We had brought a chalkboard along, with the idea it could be an ever changing sign, which actually worked surprisingly well. During the event, we had a sign that said 'Eddie stole my wallet', which Guerrero actually responded to with some crack about there being no money in it, only condoms. so we changed the sign to 'Eddie stole my condoms' when he came out again later.

 

I also managed to get accidentally punched in the face by an on-rushing Robbie Brookside during his entrance which was quite amusing. Deserved probably given our teenage, cynical, smarky-as-fuck attitude to it all! (I've learned to be less of a twat since then)

 

The wrestling was immense, and it was a really excellent showcase for the UK scene at the time. Jody Fleisch looked like a star, Alex Shane seemed like a huge deal, and even Tommy Boyd was credible as the heel authority figure. The atmosphere in the building was excellent as it was a really fun night. Nothing since has come quite so close to bringing it back to the big time in this country!

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Just found this full account of the day, from former UKFF member SephJnr:

 

SWAT REVIVAL

Crystal Palace

London, England

 

DAYTIME NOTES

 

By the time I got there around 3 o'clock or so, the queue was full o'people stretching all the way back to the pathway leading to the arena! There was a large limo, but it turned out to be some Hulk Hogan impressionist doing 'autographs' and doling out free Legends Of Wrestling demo's. The doors opened not long before 4, and virtually everyone who was going to turn up arrived at that time.

 

Checking out the stalls, Strongstyle (the Frontier Wrestling Alliance official video distributor) was represented (selling Frontier Wrestling Volumes 1-4, and later Pure Dynamite; all of which I bought natch!) Dunno if it was the man himself, is he a ginge like me?

 

Tommy Boyd, the host, came out first doing his 'Mr. Clean' spiel to boos. Alex Shane comes out (to massive applause, 'cause there's a VERY large FWA crowd here) and runs him down, before taking a good 15 minutes' worth of questions. Noticeable by his presence was Bill Apter (!) doing photography, and radio commentary was done by Dean Ayass and Mark Priest. Tommy runs the ropes and 'bumps' like a total dipshit, before a ringside plant does it properly.

 

Later, Grand Master Sexay comes out and talks a little, before Eddy Guerrero enters to a BITCHING ovation. Q & A follows for aboot 45 minutes, with only one "killer"- "Why did you leave the WWF?" The crowd (who already KNEW why) responded "ooooooooooooooooooooooo!" Eddy laughed it off and put it down to Personal Problems (? WWFE 2001), while Brian adds "I was set up!".

 

The segment was almost completely ruined by a annoying Yankee ditz (who used to be on a British videogame show called "Bits") who took a photo in GMS' arms. Following some more Q & A, including someone asking about Art Barr (to applause), they both leave. Naturally, Eddy got the lion's share of the applause.

 

A Pyro test followed, followed by a 45-minute Autograph session which I didn't manage to get into. On my travels, though, I passed Apter buying a burger, Doug Williams doing nothing in particular, and Drew McDonald jumping the queue for a tea.

Well... would YOU stop him??

 

 

THE SHOW ITSELF

Firstly, GMS worked a quick dark match against Guy Thunder (I say 'dark', but it was being filmed, so I assume it'll make the video but not the upcoming show on the UK Bravo network next month). Sexay won, natch. GMS played up to the female MC beforehand. Afterward, he danced with some ringside fans/plants. There's a wait-on afterwards, then Boyd comes out to start the show proper.

 

(NOTE: Everything from 7pm-8pm does not appear on the Radio Broadcast (done live on TalkSPORT 1089/1053AM from 8-10pm). I also gather that the last half-hour didn't make the broadcast either but do correct me if I'm wrong)

 

Boyd is still 'Mr. Clean' and even introduces the "Fake Blood Man" (LOL!) and he assures that nothing remotely violent will happen. Alex Shane, in full "ShowStealer" mode, comes out and assures us that mass violence WILL happen, starting with Boyd. He goes to chokeslam him, but Fake Blood Man attacks. Shane does his finisher, the One Night Stand (Fireman's Carry - Michinoku Driver) and departs after Boyd runs like buggery.

 

5 minutes later, Tommy returns and draws the tournament lots:

 

DREW MCDONALD vs ROBBIE BROOKSIDE; JONNY STORM vs JODIE FLEISCH; "SOLID GOLD" SCOTT PARKER vs ALEX S... nope, Tommy announces EDDY GUERRERO; FLASH BARKER vs DOUG "ANARCHIST" WILLIAMS. In the order the bouts are fought, winner of 1

will face the winner of match 3, and the victor of match 2 will take on 4's winner.

 

NOTE: Match ratings in Alphabet rather than stars.

 

 

KING OF ENGLAND QUARTERFINAL 1: WILLIAMS vs BARKER

 

Nothing special here. Flash exhibited some decent Martial Art skillz, but Doug got the duke with a DDT (10 minutes, GRADE B+) to advance. It was noted in the program that Williams was the highest entry into the PS50, and he showed us just why.

 

 

KING OF ENGLAND QUARTERFINAL 2: MCDONALD vs BROOKSIDE

 

Gawd, I haven't seen Brookside in YEARS. He got some nice face heat in the form of 'Edge' chants ('cause he looks like Edge, see?) Drew came out with his Old Skool manager,Dino Scarlo, but without his FWA tag title belt. WAZZUPWIDAT? Drew dominated most of the bout, but Ed..'scuse me, Rob, shone pretty well. He scored a sitout 'flip-slam'. Dino stuck his nose in but got clocked. Robbie then walked into a Drew stunner; 1-2-3. (15 minutes, GRADE C)

 

 

WOMEN'S CHALLENGE MATCH: LEXIE FYFE vs NIKITA

Lexie gets huge heat from the ECW/FWA-inspired crowd here. Pretty even until Nikita slips from the mat (cue "YOU F***ED UP" chant) Then the match plays out the 'biased ref' issue, where the ref does quick counts for Lex but doesn't for Nik, even

though Nik scores a sweet Tornado DDT). Nikita's partner, who's wearing a "Gladiators" shirt, gets increasingly miffed; up to the point where he joins in and clocks the referee upside his bonce. Nikita rolls lexie up, where Partner forces a 3 out of the referee (15 minutes, GRADE B-)

 

(NOTE: it's 8pm now, so the Radio coverage starts)

 

 

KING OF ENGLAND QUARTERFINAL 3: PARKER vs GUERRERO

 

Matwork starts out this neat little affair, with Eddy getting loud pops, and Scott getting some neat moves in, including a Regal double-underhook suplex and a power slam. Later on, the referee gets bumped, and your choice of run-in is Alex Shane,

sporting a steel chair. He aims for Eddy but ends up nailing "Solid Gold" with the implement. Eddy then shoves the chair into Alex's face and the Army Of Referees (? WWFE 2001) come out, just in time for Parker to taste a frogsplash to do the

J-O-B, to rapturous applause. (10 minutes, Grade B+)

 

 

KING OF ENGLAND QUARTERFINAL 4: STORM vs FLEISCH

 

HERE WE GO! (as Bobby Heenan would say) The best fliers in Britain start their aerobatics early, alongside a neat 2-count-reversal series. They both elect to take it to the streets, and this is also the point where the fans rush up to the barriers.

Storm & Fleisch go straight for the ladder- Jonny gets there first and rams it into Jody's guts, setting a trend for the night.

 

They both exchange SWEET moonsaults from the ladder (whereupon Crystal Palace is renamed Holy Shit City), and Jonny hits a 'noku Driver onto the stage! DAMN! He uses the ladder to Jodie's guts again and sets the ladder up in the ring.

 

Jonny ascends, but Jodie springboard-dropkicks him off. He's rallying at this point as he returns to the apron to set him up again.... but he promptly springboards into a Storm sitout-powerbomb!!! AIYAIYIAIYIAIYIAIYIAIYIAIYIAIYIE! Jody Stunner of the

ladder!! Storm armbar slam off the ladder!! The crowd is JACKED man, absoultely bananas. Storm Jumping Hurricanrana!!! and finally, to win the match, Jodie scores a SPRINGBOARD SOMERSAULT TORNADO DDT!! JESUS H. CHRIST!!! (10 minutes, GRADE A+)

 

Afterwards, Jodie & Jonny shake hands and the people are on their feet; and rightly so. They leave to an "FWA! FWA! FWA!" chant.

 

We then cut to a 20-minute interval, followed by some pretty dancers doing a nice little number in the ring.

 

 

KING OF ENGLAND SEMIFINAL 1: DREW MCDONALD vs JODIE FLEISCH

 

Drew is accompanied not only by Dino Scarlo again, but also a pretty woman dressed like a devil who looks like she'd rather be somewhere else. Jodie is still selling the barn burner he finished no more than half-an-hour ago. The Highlander From Hell

dominates early, but Fleisch recovers to hit a Springboard Headscissors, a 450 Splash, and a Missed Charge to screw up his elbow and put Drew back in charge.

 

Moments later, he tosses him out for Dino Scarlo to get his kicks. Later, Drew has him back in the ring and does an armbar slam. Fleisch clears the cobwebs... goes to springboard Drew... BUT ASAI-MOONSAULTS DINO INSTEAD! In a Random Act Of Violence

(? BADMOVIES.ORG 2001), Drew kayoes the referee; and joins a thoroughly annoyed Dino for an assault with a chair. Jodie gets a trip over the guard rail, the first for the night, as well.

 

Even their unnamed female charge gets some shit in, with a chest rake. Assorted Heel Shit (no ? needed) happens for a while. The end plays out a classic route as Dino goes for a table, setting it up in the ring. Drew holds Jodie in position for a

Dino moonsault... when Rob Brookside runs in, grabs Fleisch, and Dino eats wood (and blades as well) Jodie rolls Drew up as the ref regains consciousness to win the match (15 minutes, GRADE A-)

 

Drew & a bloody Dino beat on Jody's tender belly/ribs for a while, and they both leave, not before their woman gets a "She's a crack-whore" chant. Perhaps ECW will never die in that respect.

 

 

KING OF ENGLAND SEMIFINAL 2: DOUG WILLIAMS vs EDDY GUERRERO

 

They hit the mat to start and Eddy busts out his old Cheat To Win material... but the crowd REFUSE to boo him! I love loyalty! Ed then surfboards him, and performs a chinlock whilst in the same position. Into the corner as Eddy works on Doug's

back and a belly-2-back suplex. Doug rallies with some flying knees, but he fluffs one and Ed applies an Indian Deathlock Variant.

 

Now they start slugging it out. Eddy gets a handful of 2-counts but Doug stops it with a knee to his neck! Doug misses a flying elbow moments later and Eddy gets a 2 from this error. Eddy sets him up for a powerbomb and converts it into a

backbreaker (! ), and gets some 2's of it. He goes for a front-on sleeper but "the Anarchist" reverses it into an Aurora Borealis Suplex! (Northern Lights to the commoners)

 

They exchange 2-counts and Eddy performs 'The Stroke' but holds on for a facelock to rest up. The crowd starts clapping. Eddy scores a pair of facebusters, and heads to the top floor. He screws the moonsault up, and Doug gets a 2 off it.

Eddy immediatly goes for something else but Doug gets the shock win off a reversal that I don't even see! (15 minutes, GRADE A) This was a very nice slow-burner that the crowd was WELL into. It goes to show that us Brits can appreciate almost

ANYTHING after the 1980s/1990s British Wrestling Drought.

 

 

TIME-KILLER BOUT: ULF HERMANN vs GRAND MASTER SEXAY

 

Ulf comes out wielding a torch. He spits fire and DESTROYS a plant at ringside with some piledrivers and evil shit before GMS comes out. This was a scrappy comedy bout mostly, but Ulf dominated before GMS got all 'bite-the-fingers' on him. They head

out ringside and into the crowd, before Brian gets a chair and everyone is back in the ring.

 

He charges Ulf but kayoes the ref as well. Sexay hits a superkick but there's no referee to count it. He retrieves the official, but gets LAMPED by Hermann. This is enough for a win as the referee covers (15 minutes, GRADE C). Worst match of the night- and it was STILL pretty good! Brian kills the ref afterwards. The soft shite.

 

Minutes later, Scott Parker returns and grabs the mic. He challenges Alex Shane because he cost him the Guerrero match earlier. Alex comes out to "SHOW" chants in time with his music, and accepts....

 

 

SPECIAL FALLS-COUNT-ANYWHERE CHALLENGE MATCH: SCOTT PARKER vs ALEX SHANE

 

Armwork, aerobatics, reversals OH MY! (to start with.) They take it to the streets after a while when Parker scores a Rolling Baseball Slide and then a Tope! He gets a 2 off it and both go back in, Alex scores a Baldobomb for 2, followed by... a

Pumphandle Stunner! And it STILL only gets 2! Scott rallies with a Tornado DDT and goes up. Alex doesn't do a rope crotch, but a ROLLING rope crotch (f***in' show off! ) and follows with a ShaneSation (spin kick to outside)! If you would

ever find a British equivalent of Awesome vs Tanaka, this is a scale model of such a fight!

 

Throughout the early stages of the bout, the crowd got on Scott's case with a "Solid Shit" chant. Alex gets a 2-count outside, then "Solid Gold" performs a post-assisted hurricanrana! STILL only good enough for 2. They then head over the

guardrail and take it up into the bleachers (as the Yanks call them) with an arena-wide brawl. All the way up near the window, Alex goes for a piledriver but Scott worms out of it...... And throws him over the balcony! "Holy Shit! Holy Shit!

etc." If that wasn't enough, Parker follows with a CROSS-BODY BLOCK OFF THE BALCONY! "HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! etc." Back over my side of the ring, Scott tries another post-assised 'rana but Alex -wise to this- hotshots him on the rail!!!

 

Parker comes back, but misses a moonsault. Alex scores a vanilla slam and follows this with a springboard legdrop for 2! Scott rallies and scores a Diamond Dust! After a couple of minutes, the referee gets bumped AGAIN. Scott scores HIS

finisher, The Golden Arrow (a suplex-into-Michinoku-Driver) but there's no ref for the cover! Alex does the One-Night Stand for a pair of 2-counts!!! Parker Piledriver-2!!! and finally... Shane's One-Night-Stand-3!!!!! (20 minutes, GRADE A*) That ruled every much

as Storm/Fleisch earlier, but it WASN'T a spotfest. It was a BITCHFEST!!!! AHHAHAH!!!

 

Afterwards, they shake and make up, the crowd goes batshit, and they both leave...

 

which leaves US with...

 

 

wait for it..

 

 

KING OF ENGLAND 2002 FINAL: DOUG WILLIAMS vs JODIE FLEISCH

 

Jodie's ribs are still screwed, but Doug (glaringly) ignores that fact. Williams is in control for a little while but it's neutral for the first 5 minutes or so. Doug steps up with an enzugiri and a spin-kick and both go outside. Jodie hotshots Doug on the rail as the crowd goes mad again (they've been like it through the entire night). Inside, they simmer the match with some matwork. "The Anarchist" gets 2 off a gutwrench suplex and gloats whilst in control. He gets quite a lot of

heat for that.

 

Jodie steps up to the challenge though; but when he goes up top Doug KILLS the momentum with a Release German from the 2nd buckle! OWWW! This sends the plucky Londoner outside and the crowd is all "ooh, he's in trouble now!". Fleisch returns to the ring with a vengeance, scoring a 'rana and an Asai Moonsault! Doug is like "F*** You, I don't work spotfests" by scoring a sitout powerbomb... from the apron to the floor! "Holy Shit! Holy Shit! etc."

 

The match rolls along and Jodie gets the Hulkamania Comeback (? Titansports 1984) with a Springboard Tornado DDT. Not a SOMERSAULT springboard, but a springboard none-the-less. Doug is pretty much f***ed here. He counters a victory roll but

FINALLY gives up the ghost, AND the KoE title, to a flying sunset flip!! (15 minutes, GRADE A) The final was a little anti-climatic IMNSHO, but it was a SUPERB end to a SUPERB night of wrestling.

 

And the Big Surprise?.... THE DYNAMITE KID, IN PERSON, TO PRESENT THE CHEESY-LOOKING MEDAL TO THE WINNER! We have confetti flying, a 5-minute Standing Ovation, and the female MC thanks everyone and reminds us all that the show will

be on Bravo on the 3rd of March.

 

 

 

THE WRAP-UP

 

The program states that the show will be available to buy, complete and uncut, later in the year. I damn well hope so.

 

National Express Return Tickets: ?28

Train from London Victoria to Crystal Palace: ?3.80

Hotel Stay due to Missed Last Bus: ?30

Watching the Best F***Iing British Show I have EVER seen: P-R-I-C-E-L-E-S-S.

 

Was looking at a few of those videos I posted earlier over breakfast this morning. Managed to spot Mark Sloan as a referee, Hade Vansen as the security guy getting beat up by Ulf Hermann and RJ Singh in the front row. Pretty sure I spotted Andy Quildan front row and Greg Lambert 2nd row too.

 

Also reminded me how Alex Shane's "raising his arms in the air.....SHOW!!!" in time to his music got insanely over that night. I remember there was people doing it at the train station afterwards!

 

I'm sure I've got the event programme somewhere too. I'll see if I can get some scans/pics up if I find it.

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Pretty sure I spotted Andy Quildan front row and Greg Lambert 2nd row too.

 

I wasn't that far forward I don't think. I was further back sitting next to Dann Read. That was my first experience of a major UK wrestling show. It was all downhill from there! ;)

Edited by Victor Is God

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Blimey, this is a blast from the past. My (lengthy) report from www.wrestlingx.com

I note with embarrassment that at the time, I couldn't spell "Eddie".

 

THE TRUTH DIARIES- SATURDAY FEBRUARY 9th 2002

The story of REVIVAL by Greg 'The Truth' Lambert

Volume One-THE WAIT

 

3.00pm

 

Exhausted by the six-hour journey from Morecambe, feeling

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Blimey, this is a blast from the past. My (lengthy) report from www.wrestlingx.com

I note with embarrassment that at the time, I couldn't spell "Eddie".

 

THE TRUTH DIARIES- SATURDAY FEBRUARY 9th 2002

The story of REVIVAL by Greg 'The Truth' Lambert

Volume One-THE WAIT

 

3.00pm

 

Exhausted by the six-hour journey from Morecambe, feeling

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I'm quite sure if you look hard enough, you'll see most of the best London/Southeast-based wrestlers from the past several years in the crowd.

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Blimey, this is a blast from the past. My (lengthy) report from www.wrestlingx.com

I note with embarrassment that at the time, I couldn't spell "Eddie".

 

Thats actually the correct WCW spelling. Still havent worked out why they did it like that but then again can say that about pretty much everything they did.

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Blimey, this is a blast from the past. My (lengthy) report from www.wrestlingx.com

I note with embarrassment that at the time, I couldn't spell "Eddie".

 

Thats actually the correct WCW spelling. Still havent worked out why they did it like that but then again can say that about pretty much everything they did.

Everywhere spelt it "Eddy", it was only WWE that used "Eddie".

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Love threads like this, because it actually gives me an opportunity to post with authority. Or, in other words, it's a great opportunity for me to show off! This may be an interesting read for some of you, as it's a slightly different take on proceedings from the point of view of someone you don't usually hear from- the timekeeper!

 

Revival was good and bad for me in several ways. Good because it was great to be part of such an important show. Bad because it was pretty much the end of my involvement in wrestling in terms of being at shows.

 

To start off, and to give some background info, some of you may be aware that I was the FWA's ring announcer (See the quotes in my sig- all gaffs from my time in the role!) and wrote a few things here and there for them, including a couple of show reports for WOW magazine (Two of which were actually written by me, one which was credited to me, although I had nothing to do with it!). As I was living in, firstly Yorkshire, then latterly Blackpool, I wasn't really deeply involved in the planning or execution of any of the shows, but I always made the long trips down South to take part in every show I could and when I heard about Revival I couldn't wait to be part of it. Partly because I thought it was going to essentially be an FWA show and partly due to the fact that my ego had been well and truly inflated by some very positive comments about my emceeing, I assumed that I'd take my usual role of ring announcer for Revival. You can imagine how gutted I was when I found out I wasn't.

 

Can't remember quite when I was told this, but I do remember the reasons I was given- one was that they wanted someone with television experience (Which was strange because I honestly don't recall seeing the woman who got the gig before or since and because the FWA had been filming its TV series in the six or so months leading up to Revival, so I essentially did have some experience). The other was that Tommy Boyd wanted the show to disassociate itself from the FWA in terms of on screen presentation (Again, kind of weird, because virtually the entire roster was from the FWA, the commentators were from the FWA...). As consolation, I was told that they'd like me to be timekeeper for the show. Which, again, I thought was rather strange as I had absolutely no experience of this. I do recall getting a dry run at one of the FWA shows before Revival, and timekeeping itself isn't that difficult, truth be told. However for a show that was to be broadcast live on radio, and would therefore have a strict time schedule, one would have thought they'd wanted someone who'd done the job before. Anyway, I wasn't going to complain. Disappointed though I was (And in my mind at the time I did feel them giving me the timekeeper job was a token gesture), I was still going to be able to see the show and say I was a part of it.

 

I only have vague memories of events pre-show. I remember having to swap the FWA tee I was wearing when I arrived for one that said 'SWAT' (Which I still have!) due to the aforementioned disassociation thing. I remember it being around the time that the original 'Legends of Wrestling' game was released and there being a guy dressed as Hulk Hogan at the show to promote it. I remember Brian Christopher (Who I didn't actually meet) being a total mark for himself. You could see that from the way he carried himself. Allegedly he also refused to work with Mark Sloan (possibly Jonny Storm also) because he wasn't big enough, or some other similar BS reason (Gutted for Mark when I heard that, whether true or not. He had more reason to be peeved than me in reality if this was the case, having done so much to get the FWA on the map).

 

I also remember some of the Q & A. How Alex Shane came across strongly and as the star he really was at the time. I know people slate him for self promotion, but without him I imagine Revival being a total dud in terms of success. Yes, there were the ex WWF stars there and no doubt the in ring action would still have been as good. But I genuinely think Alex had as much to do with the success of the show as Tommy Boyd.

 

One thing that really stands out in my mind was the fact I actually got to meet Eddie Guerrero. I say 'meet'- our meeting was probably about 30 seconds. Those wrestlers who remember me from the FWA days will tell you I was pretty quiet, as I'm quite reserved and certainly I got starstruck. Because of this, I'd spend most of my time talking to the FWA Academy students or the FWA workers who I'd got to know quite well, so I was never going to have any sort of conversation with Eddie. Especially since he was really the centre of attention backstage that day. Anyway, I was asked to go to Eddie's dressing room and inform him that he was needed to film a promo. Fine, no problem. I think I spent the entire couple of minutes walk to the dressing room thinking 'What do I call him? Am I OK to say 'Eddie'? Would 'Mr Guerrero' be more appropriate?' Of course, I said the first thing that came into my head upon arrival; 'Er, excuse me Eddie, but you're needed to do some filming.' 'OK, cool,' he replied. And that was that. I quickly left the dressing room and went back to whatever I was doing. Mostly aimless meandering around Crystal Palace, if memory serves. But yeah, brief though it was, I met EDDIE GUERRERO. And nothing can take that away from me!

 

Once bell time came (The bell that I rang, no less!), I recall that once all the pre-match intros and scene setting had happened, the female ring announcer came to sit next to me. I wasn't going to complain. She was quite fit. She had a very brief conversation with me, about what I cant remember, sat next to me for the whole of the first dark match and never sat next to me again for the rest of the show. I don't know if I smelt bad, she didn't enjoy our conversation (Not that I could say much anyway, legitimately this time, given that I had to concentrate on the match and the running time) or something else. In my head I thought she maybe sensed my resentment towards her for nicking MY job! Even though I don't know if she even knew she had- whether I slipped into the conversation that I was the FWA ring announcer or not. I do definitely remember that there were quite a few people after the show had aired on TV who asked why I hadn't done the announcing, as I'd have been better. I don't know if that's true or not. What I will say is this- any mug can do emceeing for a wrestling show. It's not that hard. But I think you have to be a real fan to do it well, and I got the feeling she wasn't, so perhaps her 'performance' suffered or didn't come across that well as a result.

 

About timekeeping being easy. Well... yes, it is, to a degree. You have your show notes, giving you rough match times so you know when to signal that a match is entering its final stages. Which is all well and good and everything went pretty swimmingly for me in that regard, with exception to the match that Mark Sloan reffed (I'm not convinced he saw my signals, to be honest, though there was also the added complication of Gladiator Ace being involved and I don't know how clued up he was with his cues), and the Jody Fleisch/Drew McDonald match. The latter was understandable though- there was a ref bump booked, which meant him (the UKFF's own Andy Coyne!) being out of the action for most of the match. There was no way he was going to see my signals and I know the match went well over the time I had written down in my notes. I think the refs had earpieces that night, but I don't know what was being relayed to them if that was the case. What made it worse was that Andy was meant to be pretty much out cold, so even if he was aware of things, he couldn't really signal effectively to the wrestlers. I can honestly say I was shitting bricks. This was live, at least as far as radio goes, and everything had to run to time. As far as I was concerned, there wouldn't be any 'overruns' on the radio show. I was also worried that I wouldn't get used again if anything came of Revival.

 

See those links for the Revival matches on Youtube? Check out the one for the Ulf Hermann/Brian Christopher match. I'm in it. Get name checked too, around the 7.30 mark- don't like to watch mind, as it reminds me I used to have a decent head of hair! Although all of the commentary relating to this is complete twaddle. Actually, one bit of it is almost brilliant, if only by accident. See the part where Brian rams Ulf's head into the bell? Truth be told, he rammed his head into the table, no where near the bell. It just so happened that at the time of said ramming (Ooo-er!), the implement I'd been using to ring the bell, which was on the table, rolled into the bell and sounded it, making it sound like Ulf's head had actually been forced onto the bell. The camera angle also doesn't give the game away. I don't know if Mark Priest knew any of this when he was recording his TV commentary. Brilliant improvisation if he did, though. Line about me trying to get out of the way is blatant bollocks though. I'm standing still. There's barely an expression on my face, even!

 

And that's where my memories go even more hazy. In reality, other than the majority of the matches being great, it was quite an uneventful show for me. As I said, my role meant I had to have 100% concentration for the whole of the show and I obviously don't have loads of fantastic backstage stories to tell because I was front of house while the show was on.

 

As I said, on reflection Revival was bitter sweet for me. Yes I was part of a ground breaking show, involving one of my passions. But I wasn't where I wanted to be, even if I could understand the reasons for this that were given to me at the time. And as I said, barring I think one or possibly two shows, certainly this was my last proper involvement with anything to do with the FWA, or even wrestling. Not long after Revival I got a job at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Where I worked for 7 years), which meant I couldn't commit to any weekend shows, and so had to quietly drop off the grid. Disappointed is an understatement, as part of the reason I moved to Blackpool was to be more involved in wrestling. Alas, 'was not meant to be. The same could be said for the concept of Revival and SWAT. Despite everyone being pleased with how it turned out on the TV and live, and much talk of hoping there would be some sort of pick up for a British wrestling show on Bravo or some similar station, I don't think the ratings justified it. Whether the expense and logistics of putting on such a show regularly came into it as well, I'm not sure.

 

Given the title of the show- Revival, on my part at least there's a certain irony there, as it proved to be almost the exact opposite for me (And I guess Brit Wres to a certain extent- although it led to something of a boom period, it didn't quite achieve what it set out to do)! But, honestly, to have been involved in that show was a great privilege and one I am eternally grateful for. Wouldn't have missed it for the world!

Edited by Adam South

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