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Did you have a go at the wrestling, then?


Accident Prone
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The talk of some of you lot being quite high on the Lawler Meter in the 'Six Degrees Of Lawler' thread has got me thinking about my own 'attempts' at being one of those pro wrestlers.

It's something that I'd say a large portion of us forum dwellers have attempted (a fair few even succeeded). So what are you stories and scrapes? My tales are nothing but a good reason why you should always go in with a level head and a quiet mouth, whilst also having some level of maturity. I didn't get far at all (I didn't even work a live crowd in any capacity) but I had some fun all the same.

I first started training at AWW (Anti Watershed Wrestling) back in 2005/2006 around the ripe old age of 19. I caught one of their shows at the legendary Irish Centre in Birmingham (my first real indie show, unless you class All Star Wrestling at the Hippodrome in the same level) and that's where I found out about their training classes that were held in the same venue.

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They were a local promotion that relied on the usual names; British Born Steele, Carnage (trainer),The Bouncer, Ronin, Dragon Aisu, Danny D (owner and trainer) and their own home grown talent and trainees. 

Actually, quick detour about Dragon Aisu; me and my friends heckled him during his entrance at that show. He was the heel and we were booing the dastardly bad guy. Shortly into the match he exits the rings and makes a bee-line for me (I was about 3 rows deep, so way at the back), stands with his groin about 2 inches from my face and berates me for being a 'smart fan' and started making typing gestures and announced out loud "I bet your part of the fucking UKFF, eh? Fucking keyboard warrior mark!". Just as fast as he had appeared in front of me, he was gone, now back in the ring and carrying on as usual.

I had no idea what the UKFF was and it was only when I got home did I find out about this place, so cheers Dragon! Although it would be a while before I summoned the bravery to create an account.

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(A-Dub-Dub! A-Dub-Dub!)

As luck would have it, there were training classes once a week and there was an induction class a few weeks after that show. Great stuff! I'd always wanted to be a wrestler, and I'm sure my lanky, big nosed, long haired, skinny-fat self could be huge! And by 'huge' I mean my pro wrestling aspirations at that point were probably wrestling for fucking CZW.

I was surprised to find out that the training class wasn't in the downstairs room with a set-up wrestling ring where the show had taken place (how naive of me to think so). Rather it was was in the attic room, with a half dozen gym mats. I walked into the room and, almost on cue, I see two lads chain wrestling in the middle of the room. One of them leaps onto a nearby table and somersaults off into an armdrag. That lad was known as Tucker but would go on to be BritWres regular Ryan Smile. I thought it was the coolest shit ever.

This filled me with joy, confidence, optimism and enthusiasm for the up-coming future! But it turns out I was no where near ready for it and I constantly made a gigantic fool of myself. Here' some stories of woe from time with AWW, which last about 5 months;

- I decided it would be a GREAT idea to get into a chop contest with Carnage, who was basically the head trainer. He was the typical smash-mouth, built-like-a-bucket looking wrestler but that didn't deter me from saying "How about a game of chops, Carny?" as I was queuing up for flip bumps.

He went first and chopped me fucking HARD. Tears almost spurted from my nose. I had immediate regret. I retaliated with a strike that would make Jenna Morasca cringe and then WHAM!, the second chop hit and I spluttered out a "Stop! Stop". Carnage turned his back to me and we carried on the class. I had no idea what the fuck I was thinking, it must have been gallant youth.

- Danny D, the other trainer and head booker, had recently crowned UKFF fave Spud as his no.1 contender for the main title at the next event. After a show leading up to it, I was chatting to my mate about it; "Don't know why they're giving Spud a title shot, he's been booked to lose his last few matches". That's when I had another fantastic brain wave; I SHOULD ASK DANNY! YEAH! Maybe that'll show him that I have a keen eye for the business! Hey, you know what would be a better idea? I should ask him DURING TRAINING. IN THE MIDDLE OF A FUCKING DRILL.

And that's what I did at the very next training session whilst we were all doing squats; I broke out of the line and waltzed up to Danny D with an arrogant stroll and loudly asked, "Hey! How come Spud has got a number one contender spot but he's been on a losing streak the past few shows!?". Danny looked at me like I'd just walked into his house on Christmas morning and pissed in his cereal. 

"Spud actually won that no.1 spot a few months ago before his losing streak". 

"Oh!" I countered. Then a thick silence arose, similar to the one that appeared after I had lost my pride during the chop battle. I didn't even say anything else, I just smiled and nodded and got back into the drill whilst trying not to make eye contact with anyone. What a fucking tit I was.

- We had a guest trainer one day in the form of Dan Ryder. His idea for the class was to split us up into four categories so he could work with each group; technical, high flying, power and brawling I think it was. Everyone got to choose what style they wanted to learn for the day.

Me? Well as a 6 foot 3 lad with all the athleticism of a wet towel, I thought the PERFECT style for me was high flying! I proceeded to fail at everything, despite Ryder repeatedly asking me to join another group more suited to my novice strengths. I constantly denied that request.

I fell on my head doing Hurricanranas and couldn't execute a headsciccors to save my life. Ryder took me aside and tried to help out. "Loosen up", he said as I stood there with my arms folded. "You can't be so uptight when you're doing this". For whatever reason, my reply to this advice was, "Oh yeah, I know all that! I used to do backyard wrestling!".

Ryder gave me a quizzical look and said "Well yeah, we all did...". I re-joined the group as we were about to get a demonstration on spinning wheel kicks. Looked easy enough. Everyone performed there own well, striking the previous trainee across the chest, before it was my turn. I took a run-up, leapt with all the precision of a drunken toddler and whiffed the target by half a meter, my body smashing off the cold pub floor. 

"YOU BACKYARD TWAT!", Ryder shouted with a massive grin. Pretty accurate, to be fair. The one positive I got from that lesson though is that I discovered I was a half-decent base for that style, and I just stuck to being the person who took the move for the rest of the lesson.

I was pretty bloody useless by all accounts, and I gave it up for a bit. I would help out at shows whilst I was there and even though I enjoyed it, I felt I didn't really have it in me to get the job done. 

Apart from Spud training at that class occasionally and Ryan Smile, I don't know if anyone else from my time there went on to do much. Lucian Jones joined shortly after me and I think he's still involved in the scene (I also accidentally stiffed him on a double-underhook suplex, as I forgot the part where you have to actually let go of your opponent's arms) and there was a guy called Kid Glory who was the star pupil, but apart from that I have no idea.

About two years later I got the itch to give it one more shot. I found out there was another wrestling school operating out of Birmingham called K-Star and they had a much more professional set-up that included a ring, a curriculum and tons more room and mats. The only thing that hadn't changed for the better was my attitude, and I was still way too immature and in the wrong mind set for the pro wrestling game. 

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K-Star shows were mainly made up of their trainees and a few local pros like The Hunters and Tommy Gunn, as well as the trainers Staxx and Karl Mizery.

I was at K-Star for about 6 months, where the following happened;

- When doing a chain wrestling drill, I was paired up with Lee Hunter (of the Hunter Brothers fame) to go through some basic standing grappling and the drill called for a standing strike to end the sequence. At this point, Lee Hunter was an actual professional wrestler who was getting paid to actually wrestle at shows so I should've kept my mouth shut and kept my ears open during this time.

But nah, not past-me! Lee calls for a superkick to end the chaining and I stopped him, broke the whole thing, and said "Hang on Lee, a superkick after some standing grappling? Like, this is the first 30 seconds of the match right? Isn't a superkick a bit too early?".

To his eternal credit and a real documentation of just how bloody lovely the Hunter Brothers are, he just hid his anger at this young wanker (who should've been stiffed in the fucking jaw, all things considered) and said, "Yeah okay, how about a dropkick then?".

There was a time I was doing the Wrestler's music for show once, and I forgot to play the Hunter's theme for their entrance. They stood right behind the curtain for a while before Staxx gave me a nudge and I remembered that I had a fucking job to do. After the match, Lee and Jim still made the point of coming over and letting me know that I did well.

Terrific blokes the Hunters. Terrific.

- Talking of terrific blokes, there was this absolute sweet heart of a man called Rob Long. Lovely chap that no one had a bad word to say about and he wrestled around the West Midlands scene during that time, as well as attending the K-Star training classes. He was well built, looked the part and had charm for days. He had stories of The Undertaker pointing to him at a WWE house show and knowing who he was, and stories of how he had to end a match once with a top rope Burning Hammer because he and his opponent forgot the finish...in front of thirty people at a social club.

Anyway, this shows that I just was no where near ready for the world of pro wrestling nor did I have any understanding of the social nuances and just the general "Don't be a prick" rules.

Me and a few other trainees were setting up chairs and the merch tables for that evening's show. As I'm placing all the DVD's on the table, I notice a 'Best Of Rob Long' DVD case that was missing the disk. I had flashbacks to a joke that Mick Foley did for a WWF special where he received a 'Best Of Al Snow' tape set only to find it was empty. You can see where this is going, can't you? 

I pick up the DVD, and I read it to the fellow trainees helping out, and I say "Oh hey look! It's the Best Of Rob Long! And oh look!". At this point I'm opening up the empty case and with a big goofy grin proclam, "There is nothing inside! It's empty! Hahaha!".

The trainees give me a look of scorn and my smile fades to a disappointed frown. I then look over my shoulder to see Rob Long at the other end of the social club, happily putting out chairs. I felt like such a massive cunt and it was a well deserved feeling of guilt and shame. 

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(The mysterious Rigor Mortis, resident dead man of K-Star)

- I left shortly after that show due to twisting my ankle doing a rolling back elbow at a training session. I had always wore Converse for training but I was told to buy trainers instead. I thought I knew better and, like fucking clockwork, my ignorance led me to my downfall. I was on crutches for about a month afterwards and I kinda just stopped going as at that point I saw all my peers making tons of improvements whilst I still wasn't really getting it.

I never had the right headspace for the biz; I was young, dumb and all I cared about was movez and doing a 'edgy prick' character. I should've focused on the basics and the fundamentals, instead of day dreaming about topés in a three-piece suit (honestly, that was the idea for my debut). But I was a terrible trainee and never listened to anything.

"Look at these old fogies with their storytelling and muscles! Wrestling is different now, man!" I would think. Man, that lad deserves a slap and a snug lariat to the throat.

"Shut your mouth and listen" is pretty much what my foray into pro wrestling should teach aspiring trainees. Also, don't be a cunt.

Edited by Accident Prone
Spelling and shite.
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A mate and I dared each other to do one of the week long FWA Academy courses they used to run.
In July 2003 we made the trip down to the lovely town of Fratton [pub opposite got torched the second day we were there and running into town a dodgy looking guy in a car tried to flog me a watch] to train in a warehouse next to a denture repair centre for a week. 
Toilet didn't work. We spent the first night sleeping in the car, the second in the ring and then thought we should probably get a B&B for the remainder of our stay.

I remember such epic trainees as Mojo [a fat kid with a big affro who's finisher was 'The Mo-Job'], Chico [an Irish kid with long hair who was a massive Razor Ramon mark and would chew a toothpick] and Dutch wrestlers Oger, The Fury and Tengkwa. Aviv Maayan was training at the time, as was a very young Wade Fitzgerald and female wrestler Buttercup.
Nikita, Doug Williams, Burchill and James Tighe had just filmed Fort Boyard, Robbie Brookside popped in for a session and complimented my selling ability, Alex Shane showed up during promo class and a good time was had by all. I still have a VCR of my match v Mojo somewhere gathering dust.

A couple of years later I attended the short lived 'FWA Hull' [technically in the tiny village of Barton-Upon-Humber, Lincolnshire which is across the water from Hull] every Sunday for about six months. Infact I believe me and 1 other kid were the only ones to attend every session. It was odd taking bumps in one half of a sports hall while people played badminton in the other. Stevie Knight was the trainer and would turn up and get us to do drills while he nipped out for a fag and told funny stories about Alex Shane wanting him to moonsault and how much of a prick CM Punk was, Mick Romeo supplied the ring and would do most of the in ring stuff, Jamie Idol was the star pupil. LT Summers and Colossus Kennedy turned up towards the end. I got to work ring crew for every show on the FWA Celebrity Wrestling tour which was awesome and met D-Lo Brown and Joe E Legend. Sadly, I knackered my knee and my shoulder so that was the end of that.

I did go to a couple of sessions at 1PW's school in Doncaster after that but I was so fat at that point I was useless [not that I was great before]. Got to train with Ulf Hermann and Darren Burridge which was very cool. Keith Myatt was the trainer and I remember a 12 year old Robbie X being there. 1PW wrestlers like Gary Player, Donny Bull, Aaron James and Jason... somebody were training there too.

Anyway, fun times.


 

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I trained most of my teens, primarily with wZw up here in the North East. First at their Thornaby school which was crash mats in the corner of a leisure centre. My first bump in the ring was off a hip toss from D‚ÄôLo Brown‚ÄĒI travelled to wZw‚Äôs Newcastle base in 2004-ish for a seminar.

I did train on and off after stopping with wZw. I did a session at BCW’s school in Scotland, RDW in Lincolnshire, and then regularly again with a group called UWA in South Shields. I did attend a session a couple of years ago (after having not trained another couple of years before) and found I was horribly out of shape.

I always enjoyed training but never had a ‚Äúproper‚ÄĚ match. I never had a character in mind. UWA wanted me to do a trainee show but just didn‚Äôt have the confidence in myself to go from doing drills to working a match, in front of an audience that would be judging me.

I did think about training again with the view to having a match by the time I‚Äôm 30, but I‚Äôm cutting that fine giving that happens next month ūüėā

Edited by Your Fight Site
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I dabbled in wrestling training pretty extensively when I was about 15, ended up doing it for about a year or so.

Started with Futureshock Wrestling through one of their taster sessions catered entirely to people who had never done any wrestling before and didn't injure myself or anyone else, so figured I'd keep on going with it. I knew of them because they were, and still continue to run shows about five minutes from my house, and though I'd never attended one of their shows, they seemed to be churning out some good products, most notably as of late Jack Gallagher and Zack Gibson, so what did I have to lose? They had my £15, so off I went. Already I was conscious of the fact that we had to walk up into a mill, through a gym full of roidhead maniacs who looked capable of pressing me five times over, so it was a fairly intimidating time for me to be tumbling through wearing my Kevin Owens t-shirt and shitty Lonsdale boxing boots. This was in my indywank stage of my fandom, so my entire perception of myself throughout my first few months was that I was the next big thing because I had a good flip bump, and could do a box-jump from the floor to the apron.

My first trainer was Dave Rayne, which was alright. A solid trainer but as I started, he was phasing himself out of wrestling, so the majority of my training was done under Xander Cooper, which was great. He was an excellent trainer who genuinely cared about the standard of trainees that he was producing, as well as making sure we knew what we were doing as opposed to rushing us onto shows to fill out the numbers. He seems to have disappeared from Futureshock as of late which is a shame.

As with many young trainees who presumed they knew everything about the business after watching a few PWG highlight compilations on Youtube, I too was susceptible to many a fuck up. This includes, but isn't limited to...

-Being in the ring practising stalling suplexes with a mixture of trainees and those who had already wrestled a few times on the shows who came down to the fundamental sessions to brush up their knowledge / help the new guys / boost their ego. Amongst these was the Women's Champion at the time, who was always sound with me. It comes to my turn, and she posts off fine, and the lift up goes fine. She's in the air for a few seconds when I get the fucking brainwave to end my suplex with a jumping bump as opposed to me just slowly lowering myself down, because I saw Prince Devitt do it in Japan, innit? So I do the move and instantly hear gasps and "oh fuck!" and I turn around beaming, expecting Vince himself to walk through the door, and yet nobody looks happy and the woman taking the move is still down and the trainer taking the class is instantly next to her. Only when I watched it back on video did I see that instead of her taking the back bump, I'd literally spiked her head on the mat, essentially delivering a shoot brainbuster to the woman main-eventing the next show. Rightfully took a bollocking for that one.

-Being almost knocked out in the first training match I ever had in one of the Advanced classes. It should've been dead simple. The guy who I was facing was making his comeback and included a jumping knee, similar to the one HHH does. All he tells me when I ask how to take it is "don't worry, just keep yourself open" - fair enough advice. The spot comes and he's good to his word, coming in without much speed and at a height where he's no danger to me, except I'm a fucking moron who sees a bigger guy flying toward me and instantly tuck my chin and form a standing brace position, obviously leading to him kneeing me right in the jaw and me dropping to the floor like a bag of shite.

-It was the weekend of Wrestlemania 30, and on the Saturday night a handful of the younger crowd all congregated at the house of a mate who also trained, because we were dedicated to the art and he lived closest to the training school, damnit. Training was on the Sunday morning, so after pulling an all nighter we dragged ourselves outside and proceeded to perform in the two worst singles matches ever exhibited to this planet. The highlight of which being the match being thrown out after I couldn't stop laughing following my opponent whispering "I've forgot the next spot, take a reverse rana", me thinking "sack that" and ducking down, leading to him flying over my head and landing arse first.

-Having to "retire" after injuring myself throwing a fucking lockup. A year or so into training and locking up caused an injury which I never really made the effort to get back into it from. It really is the simple things that can fuck you over. I managed to trap a nerve in my elbow which required physio and ultrasound, and I never really had the drive to go back. That, and I don't drive and it seemed unfair to expect my 75 year old Grandad ferry me up to Oldham three times a week so I could practice fake fighting.

They were genuinely great times. I was lucky enough to work with a few guys currently tearing it up on the UK scene, and got to attend seminars held by the likes of Nigel McGuinness (shit), Jay Lethal (good, but not worth the money) and Spud (incredibly intelligent man). Some of my favourite memories of those times involved me wrestling, whether it came from me sat in the car on the way home buzzing about getting a move right, fantasy booking the entire company for a year with mates, pulling all-nighters watching Cage of Death matches on Youtube with guys I'd met through training. I regret not giving it another crack, but it is what it is. I'd love to get back into it. Probably still got time, but it's a ballache to get to/afford and there's nowhere really viable to train near Uni. 

Something I'd absolutely recommend if you even have the slightest desire to give it a whirl.

 

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I had a go at an open session years ago. Could not keep up with the group at all in the warmup. It wasn't Louis Theroux with Sarge at the Power Plant levels of awful, but it felt like I was getting there. I knew it would be physical, but being someone who's always found exercise a struggle in various aspects, it was always going to be a struggle There wasn't a lot I felt good at. Back bumps were easy enough and running the ropes takes some getting into, but rolls were so hard for me. They still offered me a spot, but I turned it down.

I don't think it helped it was boiling that day, but better to have a go and fail than not have a go at all when I had the chance I guess. If there was ever any other openings that ever took my fancy, I'd have sure looked into it.

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I've worked as a referee for six years, for Channel Islands World Wrestling in Jersey.

Our boss and head trainer trained at the FWA (probably around 2003?), and did a couple of seminars with Danny Collins and Robbie Brookside, and with Billy Gunn and D'Lo Brown. 

When he started up CIW (they had yet to gain an additional 'W'), it was mostly a fairly relaxed training school and a website, and just a small group of mates playing at being wrestlers, with no prospect of shows happening for a long time. The core of the CIW crew got booked on a Shane Stevens/Regency Promotions show in Jersey, and off the back of that were contacted by a hotel to do a run of shows there. 

I'd been mates with most of the guys before this - Dirty South is the boss, and I was at college with his brother and met him a few times as a result, JVY and Classy Ric were other members of the crew that I'd known since I was 16, so I was already sort of a hanger on with the company when the prospect of shows was raised.

JVY had been trying to convince me to become a manager for them - he envisioned me as a Jimmy Hart type, and it's a role I'd still really love to play - but as the shows drew nearer, it was obvious they needed a referee more than they needed a manager! The guy they first had in mind to referee had to pull out as he was required to work the sound desk that night (it was basically between the two of us who would take that job), and he later ended up becoming a wrestler, and one of the co-owners of the company, and openly admitting that he hogs the limelight too much to referee and they made the right choice choosing me.

I can't remember if I'd trained at all before the first show - I might have got in the ring just to take a couple of bumps - but I know I had very little time to get gear together, and showed up the day of the show with black jeans, smart black shoes, a long-sleeved white shirt and a black bowtie I'd bought that morning. 

I started training after that, though any of you who have met me will recognise that I'm lanky, bow-legged unathletic and uncoordinated, so I never really picked it up, and have never had the ambition or the drive to push myself enough to get around all of those drawbacks. Plus, for the vast majority of CIWW's existence, I've been the only referee, so there's very little impetus for me to move out of that role. My interest in wrestling lies far more on the creative side than the physical.

In spite of that, I have had a handful of matches. I was in a comedy triple threat match against a guy with a Lizardman gimmick and a jobber who hit people with baguettes, and a match with a comedy heel with a narcoleptic Frenchman gimmick - Pierre-Jean Pajama. PJ Pajama mostly existed for Carry On levels of innuendo in his promos, debuting in a Rumble with a promo claiming that "21 other men will come to this ring, and I will toss them all off!", and so on. He got into a feud with me because I kept disqualifying him, so he confronted me on the last show of the year, grabbing me by the back of the head, standing almost nose-to-nose with me, and saying, "I have been dreaming of you, Patrice. You screwed me. And now, I have come for you". That was probably the hardest I've ever had to try to resist corpsing. 

I think that's it for singles matches, but I've been in at least one Rumble match a year since we started - I think we did two in the first year. It started with me refereeing at ringside, my name getting called, and me throwing off my ref gear to reveal a vest underneath, then doing primary school PE style warm-ups on the outside. 
I think we did the "name gets called, changes out of refereeing gear" spot one more time, and I decided that I should change up my gear to make it more cheap and ridiculous - I really wanted to hammer home that I'm not a wrestler, and have dressed how a non-wrestler forced into a match might, but also that the character I'm playing might have some pretension of being a bigger deal than he is, so for most of my wrestling appearances I've worn a stars and stripes vest, "Hustle, Loyalty, Respect" wristbands and a Cenation headband. 

In one Rumble I did actually work double duty under my masked gimmick - Gentleman Earl Grey - in, to date, his only wrestling appearance (he'd appeared in a couple of video packages). It was a gimmick I pitched, with no intention of actually working it myself, but we needed an extra person in the Rumble to get it to a nice round number, and I figured I'd play the part, as I already owned the mask, and could cobble an outfit together. 
Problem is, I had entered the Rumble as myself earlier, and dislocated my kneecap from a band landing on the elimination - I hit the ground with one foot first, blew my knee out, and struggled to walk to the back. I basically couldn't walk for the next couple of days, and it still bothers me to this day - it blew out again seemingly at random a few months later, which didn't help. 
So I drag myself to the back, swearing through the pain, and immediately start getting changed into the Earl Grey gear - which comprised of knee-length socks, brogues, Tweed plus fours, a shirt, wool sweater, tailcoat, mask and bowler hat, so was a preposterous amount of clothes to get changed into at the best of times, let alone with only one functioning leg, and sweating buckets through the pain.
So then when Earl Grey has to make his entrance, I'm shuffling to the ring, shaking hands with fans, trying to get in position for my spot, all while trying to disguise the fact that I can't fucking walk. We hadn't booked how I was being eliminated, so I sort of moved delicately around the ring, trying not to bother anyone, desperately trying to work out what to do, as there was no way I was able to get thrown over the ropes, and even gently placing me on the apron and giving me a push might be a struggle. Thankfully, our resident monster heel's entrance for this match started with the lights going out as his music started playing - so I took the opportunity of the lights going out to roll carefully out of the ring, and act as if I'd been eliminated when they came back on. Not my proudest moment, and Earl Grey's not been seen since.

In last year's Rumble, my name was called as our heel champion, Squire, was in the ring - 6'5", hard hitting, not someone I'm going to mix it up with, so I went and sat in the audience. Later in the match, a guy called Ian Stewart enters - he had done a heel ref gimmick, and transitioned into being a manager. Earlier in the show, he had protested against a babyface laying his hands on him, saying that as he was a licensed referee, no wrestler could touch him. He started bragging about that again in the Rumble, and the crowd immediately saw where things were going - I got back in the ring, hit him with a Stunner and a People's Elbow, then threw him out. I stuck around a while, hit another (worst ever) Stunner on someone, threw the best chop of my career (my first hand-print!), and was eventually eliminated unceremoniously.

 

As a referee, though, I've worked somewhere in the region of 200 matches. While it all started out, and largely remains, a group of friends putting on wrestling shows full of comedy and crazy gimmicks, during that time I've shared the ring with Tatanka, Joe E. Legend, Drew Gulak, Ruby Riott, Ophidian, Kimber Lee, Frightmare and Rhia O'Reilly, and refereed a match between two guys from STHLM Wrestling who were loudly calling all their spots in Swedish. I've attended seminars with Tatanka, Joe E, Ophidian, Drew, Rhia, and Mike Quackenbush. That we pulled off one show, or one run of shows, always felt like an insane achievement, that I'm still doing it this far in, even moreso. 

 

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1 hour ago, Chest Rockwell said:

I wonder if that was SpursRiot?

No idea. I do remember he was desperate to see Razor v HBK Ladder match from Mania 10 as he had apparently never seen it so one day we watched it in the gym. 
He also 'went missing' one morning and had, according to him, spent the night on a park bench. 

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2 hours ago, Silky Kisser said:

Mine and my buddies foray into backyard wrestling some 20 years back. 

 

Theres about 10 of those videos on YouTube. Really can't believe we weren't injured. Stupid fucks. 

Fucking hell, so many questions :laugh:

Is it you wearing the Sheffield Wednesday shirt with CARBONI on the back?

What is up with the Stone Cold skateboarding thing?

Did any farmers chase you all away with a pitchfork after watching you put your mates through tables?

Edited by Otto Dem Wanz
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9 minutes ago, Otto Dem Wanz said:

Fucking hell, so many questions :laugh:

Is it you wearing the Sheffield Wednesday shirt with CARBONI on the back?

What is up with the Stone Cold skateboarding thing?

Did any farmers chase you all away with a pitchfork after watching you put your mates through tables?

No, I can be seen sporting blonde curtains, as was the fashion at the time. Hard to pick anyone single one of us out though, considering we were all decked out in Adidas tracksuits. I think we invented the term chav in our town. 

No idea where Stone cold skate boarding came from. Tech decks were pretty popular back then so that's the only link I have. 

No farmers, but we were stopped and told to move on by Police and concerned parents many times. All this was filmed in our local park and the surrounding mountain. 

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I was a ring announcer for a company called British Wrestling Evolution based in Essex. We ran about 6 shows over 3 years and then a few as Saturday Night Slam (If i recall).

I always wanted to get into wrestling, but was not the right size, so chose to get into ring announcing. Most of our shows have been lost on hard drives though some was uploaded to You Tube. While we had a lot of names who never really progressed past the audience of 150 we would get, some of them are pretty well known.

Some names such as Will Ospreay (I think we had his 2nd or 3rd match) who I told should stop doing moonsaults of ladders in front of such a small audience if he wants a long term career! Jack Sexsmith, who wrestled as Ryan O'Riley as part of an Irish tangent called The O'Rileys (which also featured Rhia O'Riley), Ho Ho Lun and someone you may of also heard of called Pete Dunn (who had short parted hair and dressed like William Regal). We also, through Will, would get some of the RCWA wrestlers as well.

I had a great time and miss it fondly  

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14 minutes ago, Chest Rockwell said:

I wonder if that was SpursRiot?

Tremendous!

You joke, but I started training at the same school at the same time as him and he constantly mimicked Razor's mannerisms and moves in training. Seriously, it was ALL the time! Pretty sure he once did a fallaway slam on his friend once on the cold, hard, slightly-matted dojo floor. Fuck that! He wasn't around for that long, maybe a few months? Seemed like a nice guy. We both appeared in the Enfield Gazette when some reporter came along to do a feature on the school. It was at this school where I also met @Carbombfor the first time, his jokes haven't changed ;)

This must've been around 2003, because I'm sure I was 20 when I started training and my friend was 18. We became massive FWA marks after catching a local show at the Civic Hall and my friend wanted to go FWA's academy in Portsmouth to train to become a wrestler but he couldn't drive at the time. At one point he was arranging a lift with a female trainee (Kaos perhaps? That sounds familiar) but that didn't happen in the end. His brother (and my closest friend, Burchill's Buddy of 'I sell yorkie meat to Ji Sung Park fame on here) found out about a school in Enfield and suggested he tried it out, as it was only a short drive from home and their dad could give him a lift. He went once with another friend (who didn't want to go again), said it was awesome but would only go if me or his brother would go along with him. However we both played for a 5-a-side team on Sundays and neither had any interest in training to become a wrestler. When the 5-a-side team folded, he persuaded me (but not his brother) to go along with him.

It was bloody great. It was a very small matted dojo with a couple of crash mats and an even smaller room adjoined to the back where a couple of people could train alone. No ring. We went through rolls, bumps and a lot of chain wrestling- really early basic stuff but I loved it all. Jorge Castano was our trainer and he was thorough- would make sure you would got it right and would coach you well. He wasn't strict but he had the respect of the room and everyone just got their head down and cracked on whenever he took training, a very good trainer. Me and my friend trained hard and managed to pick up the basics very quickly. The other trainer there was Johnny Kidd, who I immediately admired and liked as he was such a gifted guy whilst probably being the nicest guy I've ever met in BritWres to this day. Watching him VS Cameron Knite on a show around that time blew me away and completely opened up my eyes to World of Sport and the old British technical style, which I then became rather obsessed with. We had quite a few other trainers at the time, and one piece of advice they all agreed on was 'don't post on the UKFF!'. So I didn't- well not for a while anyway.

Other trainees that had been there longer than us were given spots in the rumble for experience, which was where we wanted to be. That was our first goal. After several months of training we were given spots in the rumble and I don't think we disgraced ourselves! Aside from the fact our ring gear was MMA gear (Hunter shorts for my friend - like MANY wrestlers wore at the time - and Sprawl shorts with a vest for me), we did ok. We were the first two entrants in our first rumble and like most keen debutants wanted to get our shit in! So in the 60 seconds we had before the third entrant entered, I got in a snap half hatch suplex (stolen from American Dragon/Daniel Bryan) and a t-bone suplex, while my friend busted out a flying headscissors and something else which I forget. Such shitarses! I can't remember who eliminated me, might've been Spud/Drake Maverick, Dave Mastiff/Moralez or Jack Storm. Prior to the rumble we had our first in-ring training, which I believe was taken by Stixx and Spud.

We continued appearing in Rumbles over the next few months until the promoter said he wanted to give us our debut in a couple of months time. He wanted us to be on opposing teams, me being the heel and teaming with Ross Jordan/RJ Singh and my friend on a face team. This was ideal for us, because in our head we wanted to be the next Jody & Jonny- in the sense that we would have epic battles against each other up and down the country and would be remembered for our rivalry. We were all getting geared up mentally and at training for our debut match, but then a month before we were both asked if one of us could fill in for someone on a show VS Flaming Red. I was away on a work trip, so my friend made his singles debut. I was gutted, but really happy for him. A couple of weeks later, and a couple of weeks before my scheduled debut in the aforementioned tag, I was at home on a Saturday when the promoter called me. "How do you fancy wrestling in a singles match tonight? You'll be up against Jorge Castano, the British middleweight champion in a non-title bout". My arsehole starting puckering like Rick Rude making kissy faces and I was a bag of nerves.

I got there and Jorge was awesome- we worked through a couple of ideas in the ring and I naturally assumed, being a novice in my debut, that I would have very little offence and this would be a showcase for Jorge- which was absolutely fine, I knew my role and was just delighted to be out there. Jorge listed a bunch of moves and asked if I think I could pull them off- tornado DDT, high cross body from the top rope, flying bulldog from the second rope- these were moves I hadn't ever considered trying as I saw myself more as a technical grappler! I said I'd give them a go and we went over them a few times without a problem. He put together this match but constantly asked me for input 'what do you think about this? Do you think you can do this? Do you think you will be able to sell the leg convincingly?'- he gave me SO much. He wanted to work on my leg throughout the match and planned a good finish which he stressed would only work if I did a good enough job selling the leg. If he felt I didn't sell the leg enough, then he had a different finish planned, where he'd call an implant DDT out there and get the win. He also planned a little spot on the outside where we would do a posting spot, and bit of slamming faces into the side of the canvas. This was a lot to remember for a debut match, so naturally I was worried that I'd forget half of this. Just before the bell went, Jorge cut a promo announcing that he was a fighting champion and that he would give this kid a chance at his title. So my debut match and I'm in there challenging for a Mountevans championship!

The sequence for working the knee/leg was well worked. I would have him on the ropes and charge at him with a big boot- he'd duck, my leg would go over the top and he'd tie my leg up in the ropes and work on it quite a bit. From there on there was a lot of leg working and some hope spots (such as the middle rope flying bulldog). To show how much of a gent Jorge was, he asked me which impact move (but not finisher) I wanted to hit as a big hope spot. I said I liked to hit a t-bone suplex, but I knew that he used that as part of a sequence he had where he'd hit three different suplexes in a row, separated each time with a kip-up and 'WOOOOO!!!'. He said I could have the t-bone, and he'd think of another suplex he could use in his spots. This is a guy who's been working for all the top British promotions for several years with a 21 year old trainee and there wasn't a hint of ego whatsoever. I sold the leg like an absolute bitch and did a spot where I tried to hit a t-bone, my leg buckled, but then I let out a bit of a primal scream the next opportunity I had to hit it and used every ounce of energy to hit the move. I did, and the crowd (all 50 of them) roared in support. Limping, I posted him, he reversed, I put the boot up (the uninjured one) and hit a tornado DDT. Now if anyone has ever seen Jorge Castano, who has an amateur background and a neck seemingly made of fortified springs, might remember that he sells head-dropper moves such as DDTs a lot like RVD. I hit the tornado DDT and he spiked like a motherfucker, bouncing high up into the air before bumping onto his back. The 50-strong sell-out crowd cheered as I made the cover- 1-2-kick out! I then signalled to go to the top- got a so-so reaction. Asked them again, but more forcefully, got a much bigger YEAH!, from them, and whilst still selling the leg injury slowly scaled to the top. I went to hit a Doug Williams-like knee drop from the top and as planned, Jorge rolled out of the way and I acted as though I had blown by knee out- screaming and rolling around clutching my leg. Jorge applied the Texas Cloverleaf and I tapped out. In 10+ years of wrestling, I can honestly say that I don't think that match could have gone any better, I was fucking elated. And I had Jorge to thank because he gave me this wonderful debut.

I got backstage and Johnny Kidd, who watched the entire match through the curtain, praised me. He said I put out an excellent performance and his only criticism was that he thought it should've finished after the tornado DDT, because it was so well-worked! I was on cloud 9 at this point, Johnny fucking Kidd of all people. Also a couple of those in the crowd posted on UKFF at the time (back in the day quite a lot of BritWres shows were reviewed on here) and they made positive remarks on my match and performance. Me and my friend's originally scheduled debut, the tag match, had also changed. The promoter wanted me to remain a face after that match VS Jorge so me and my friend were put together against Jorge & Tex Benedict instead. This was surprising as neither of us had considered becoming a tag team together until that point. We ran with it and started spitballing some ideas for team names, gear, style, gimmick, moves etc. That of course developed and evolved over time, but we had a really good run in the promotion until it closed. We then started working for a couple of new promotions based in and around London, both of which grew considerably. We wrestled up and down the country for various promotions to gain experience- I remember meeting @Nostalgia Nonceat a show we both wrestled on once where he was doing his surfer gimmick and I'm pretty sure on the same show Spud tried out the 'Rockstar' gimmick for the first time (or one of the first times, at least)

We did pretty well overall- over 10+ years we got to work some top talent, perform in front of some decent sized and hot crowds, wrestled on TV numerous times, won some titles (which I can honestly say didn't matter that much to us in the grand scheme of things), made a lot of friends and had a blast doing it. One year I even almost made the UKFF top 50- the little mark inside me found out from HatGuy that I was joint 51st one year! :laugh: After several years I started to wind down a bit as me and my wife settled down and had kids, but until then we were wrestling most weekends and doing the camps where we possibly could over the summer. It was time consuming- gym 3/4 times a week, gymnastics once a week, wrestling training for about 4 hours every Sunday, a show on Saturday plus sometimes shows midweek and on Sundays, football once a week to help with cardio- plus sticking to a high protein diet for a few years. After kids and work taking over both of our lives we started wrestling more sporadically, still teaming together, until we unofficially jacked it in about 3 years ago. When I was 8 years old I told my teacher I wanted to be a wrestler but never, up until I started training, did I think it would ever happen. Not quite the heights of WWF as I claimed I would in my Year 4 'when I grow up' piece, but immensely proud nonetheless. Good times indeed.

We were both saying the other day, when I told my friend WWE had opened a performance centre in Enfield (where it all began for us!), that we were around at the wrong time. Had we got into the industry several years later, we might've been caught up in this current hotbed where opportunities for British wrestlers is rife. WWE, NXT, NXT UK, WOS, New Japan, ROH, Impact- so many British wrestlers are involved with these promotions but back then those opportunities were distant dreams- which is why Burchill going to WWE was MASSIVE at the time.

Sorry for the long post. I was originally just going to blab on about when I first started training after Chest mentioned SpursRiot, then I got carried away. Getting all nostalgic and emotional now.

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