Saturday, 26 October 2013

American Wolf in Brigg

So it came to pass that I find myself outside Ancholme Leisure Centre on a Saturday night in October. The last time I was here I was re elected to Brigg Town Council and not elected to North Lincolnshire Council. So I am 1 for 2 in this building over the last few years. Tonight however I was on a sure fire winner. My friend and Deputy of Heartbreak Phil Brown, who is a wrestling newbie I am educating in the ways of the squared circle, made the homage to our new Mecca. Real Deal Wrestling have been gone from Brigg for a while and as promoter Steve Sykes told me they really want to come back on a regular basis. Tonight laid out the scenarios and the matches for this long term promotional investment. 

The opener was the wonderful Robbie X against "American Wolf" Davey Richards. Davey had a night free on his schedule because of a promoters lapse in payment. When opportunities come knocking in wrestling you do not turn them down. RDW took full advantage and happily booked him on their show in Brigg. So you have one of the best workers in the world appearing in our small town, how great is that? Sadly indicative of the world indy wrestlers work in one sense, but I'd rather have him wrestling in Brigg than anywhere else. As one of my friends and an even bigger fan of wrestling than me Mark Dunderdale,who has literally traveled the world to watch wrestling said to me at the interval "It is just surreal". What's more the match delivered. Robbie X is an excellent wrestler I strongly advise you check out because he went toe for toe with Davey in a full on American Strong Style belter. The former Ring of Honor World Champion wasn't actually that popular and it was one of the first things that struck me about the crowd in attendance. They are a very diverse group, ranging from smart mark fan boys like me, to elderly couples who used to go to The Drill Hall in Lincoln (I got talking before the show started), to Mums, Dads and family groups. A lot of my former students, I was proud, and regular drinkers from my home pub The Britannia Inn. So it was nice to see them in a different environment. Wonder If I can get the Landlord to put on the next TNA PPV? Back to my point. Davey came over as a little heelish, because well a lot of the people in this audience will not have heard of him, he would just be another American wrestler, who traditionally have been heels in the UK, except for Rickie Starr, but things smoothed out over the match. He won with a double foot stomp from the top rope which was something else to see in person. I've seen him do it on Ring of Honor TV for years, and watched others do it as well, but the impact is something else as is the "oooooooh" from the crowd. After putting the RDW and Robbie X over in classy style.

This led us into the rest of the card featuring home grown talent and it is a great talent pool. Will Jackson being a stand out, now a GWA graduate, his match with The Hammer had people on the edge of their seats and was an excellent showcase for the wrestling school he represents. The Hammer wasn't half bad either. I was particularly impressed with Benham Ali and Simon Lancaster, what strikes you most though is the pace of the show, which never lagged and made three hours fly by. The main event tag with Ultimo Dragon and Spyda versus Sykes and King Kendo was my mark out moment of the evening. Here was a Japanese legend before my very eyes, and though I have seen it I still can't quite believe it. It is quite frankly incredibly difficult to please and audience this diverse, but there was enough of everything to keep everyone interested. Enough story based angles and yay boo moments to keep the fun fans happy, enough pure wrestling to keep the smart marks happy,and enough star power to give the whole thing a big show feel. 

Its hard not to when you have Ultimo Dragon on the card, and after the show I was able to catch up with him for a short conversation while he greeted fans, so here is my first interview with you know an actual proper wrestler rather than joshing with them on twitter. Of course my first one had to be a guy I have adored for 20 years so I wasn't nervous at all. Much, but thanks once again to Steve Sykes for getting this interview together;

You've been wrestling in the UK for a few weeks now, how do you feel about British wrestling at the moment?

Its been good I've enjoyed it.

What's been you favourite show?

They've all been good everywhere.

Are there any British wrestlers who influenced you when you where younger?

I never got to wrestle him, but I have to say The Dynamite Kid.

Do you think there is any differences in the British style compared to all the other places you go to? Or is it all just wrestling?

Its all just wrestling.

Thank you!

After I got in my quick chat with Dragon I talked to Steve Sykes a little more who informs me there will be more shows to come in Brigg and I am really looking forward to them. They should be doing great business soon, and when you consider how many people go to a TNA house show, they are getting similar sized crowds with no house hold names, and no TV. The mans a booking genius. As he managed to get heat whilst drawing the raffle, I am sure he is.

So on to the main event Stixx versus Havok for the RDW title. I had seen these two go at it before at the Grimsby GWA show a while back in a four way with Will Jackson and Spyda so I knew what to expect. I have to say though As much as Stixx is really cool, I am so impressed with Havok. He reminds me of the first time I saw Shinya Hashimoto on video, and I know some Japanese wrestling fans are gonna say "Sacrilege!", but, the first time I saw Hashimoto I was like, well whats he going to do? He's just a barrel on legs. Of course I then proceeded to see him kick the living daylights out of Scott Norton and that changed my view instantly. Havok did the same thing in one match. That four way in Grimsby. I suddenly had the feeling I was watching a special talent. He is blessed with a physique which is more Kevin Steen than Davey Richards, but as Kevin has proven you don't need the physique if you have the skills and the mouth. Havok has both. 

So thank you Real Deal for an excellent nights entertainment and I will look forward to you coming back. The crews next show is on Friday with Davey Richards taking on Spyda, I would think the more vocal 18-30 guys that frequent the Central Hall in Grimsby will give Davey a full throated welcome which he truly deserves. Tonight was a great opportunity for a great promotion, they didn't disappoint. My only disappointment was that sadly my Dad missed the show, he is sidelined with shoulder issues at the moment and can't really get anywhere. He missed an amazing night, now so when is the DVD due out?     

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