I stepped into the ring and people are talking about Brit Wres dying – are the two linked? I cannot comment on speculation! As an un-athletic, awkward man child that loves wrestling I made a decision; do not disgrace wrestling and/or yourself by partaking. Then one of my best mates starts his journey in his late 30s to wrestle for fun and get in shape. I started to live vicariously through him and his terrible bumping choices.
Fast forward a few years later and said friend is doing well, going out to America (again) for his 40th birthday which will include some wrestling escapades. Now, as a very generous/ greatest friend in the history of the sport, I wanted to have said friend train with some of the best prior to the trip over the pond. A private session with the best in the business was in order.
Now I love dishing out surprises. Bringing an attractive female home to my parents when I was in my teens; one of my biggest surprises. This birthday surprise was rather a wet fart. It is difficult to surprise an adult with responsibilities plus a 3-hour trip to a wrestling training centre. You got to give the guy a heads up. You have to say, can you get this day off, what time works, when shall I pick you up oh and bring your graps gear.
The location? The historic Portsmouth School of Wrestling. The trainer? My dear close personal friend Andy Boy Simmonz (Mr Boy Simmonz). However, the deal for my generous gift of great training? I had to go with! Not a problem, always nice to have long car journeys with a good pal, a fun catch up with my dear close personal friend and, I get to watch. Oh no, that wasn’t the deal. I mean it was part of the deal, but I had to get in the ring too. A conundrum but, no regrets, do not say no to new experiences and go with the flow – I agreed.
An early morning journey to Portsmouth via Cambridge – what a treat. Fired up with a Costa, water and the prospects of being inducted into the Harvester Club. Packing my mighty Micra up with some towels, changes of clothes, deodorant, Ibuprofen – all the gimmicks I believe required.
Travelling to P-Town reminded me just how wonderful the A3 truly is. From someone that drives on the m1 for every wrestling show I go to, it makes great sense that hills, trees and scenery are interesting to me. 5 stars for you A3.
Once in Portsmouth, more specifically the Fratton Park area with a walk past a cemetery, cars, warehouse units until the historic location. We arrived over an hour early so stretching in an ally way whilst the kids class takes place. I have never seen such an array of wrestling T-shirts worn in one place.
After all these kids exited the premises – the question was asked “are you getting in as well Joel?” The answer was yes and, I got in and warmed the hell up. Running around the ring, squats, push ups – I didn’t do too badly at this. I had the sweat but I wasn’t blown up. Now that surprised me, I always felt rather unfit and, no matter how many miles I might run in the gym (it isn’t that many to be honest!).
Mr Boy Simmonz (aka my close personal friend) had a trainee called Harry join us and he learnt first hand that Jethro Roose (my other close personal friend) was no push over. They locked up and went through some holds and counters. All of this whilst I was in the corner of the ring and, in watching this realised that this is literally the closest I have ever watched wrestling. I mean I have been front row at the world famous York Hall (humble brag) but never within a few yards. The last time I was in a wrestling ring was Bedford Corn Exchange 2003 getting a polaroid picture with Jake ‘the snake’ Roberts (£5).
I was told Harry recently had a debut and, being the fan boy that I am asked if he was the young lad Mr Quildan (Rev Pro etc) tweeted about for his hard work over the years. He was that lad and after getting to know him briefly, being around to get beat up by Jethro I could see why he had the debut and praise combo at Rev Pro.
Well, now it is my turn. I think it started with a lock up with Jethro. Not too bad – I was able to snap into (a SLIM JIM…. Ooooo Yeah) a lock up nicely. Taking it in turns to pushing each other into the corner. Next came the big one – a bump. Would you like the crash matt I was asked? No thank you – I was prepared for the worst; back pain, smashing my head, breaking something, sciatic nerve flaring up. None of this happened. I just landed in the most unathletic way possible but, it wasn’t bad. Andy did ask how it felt and, being the stupidly honest guy I am I said it didn’t really hurt – I was expecting much worse. The next day my neck was stiff, but being passionate about this stuff for so long I knew that it weren’t ballet. It is gunna hurt!
After my inability to bump was uncovered, we worked through some pretty decent spots. Lock up, head lock, push off adding a shoulder tackle later on. Without realising it, I was running a pretty basic spot within my first hour. A testament to the school and Andy more than me. Running this and then, with a tired and winded Jethro on the matt I took it upon myself to count the three. Joel is… UNDEFEATED – UNDEFEATED!!!!!!!! It’s me and The Great O-Kharn with this amazing record.
All in all, highly recommend hitting up Andy and going to the school. Highly recommend booking both Harry and Jethro. More importantly I plan on doing more.