Picture Credit: Chris Evers
As 2015 closed, I finished up by defending my NGW championship against my best friend, in our home city, in front of a sold out audience, for national TV. As well as travelling down to Leicester to train with Robbie Brookside. I had the majority of Christmas off and have had the fortune to be able to look back on what has been a very successful year.
Upon this, I thought I’d wait until the New Year had passed before returning to write my weekly column and share with you my final week of 2015 and then talk about some of my favourite memories from this past year.
As I mentioned, I had made the journey to Leicester to train with Robbie Brookside whilst he was back over for the Christmas period. Rob, had invited me over after we met up during the NXT tour in Newcastle and again in Wembley. The session was ridiculously tough as you can imagine as we were going through the majority of the conditioning drills that take place at the performance centre. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I was worried about how I would fare in this as Christmas tends to be the time of year that my diet relaxes and I tend to gain a few pounds in the wrong areas. That however made it even more rewarding when I managed to get through with energy still to spare… Pro.
What baffled me most was the lack of certain people there. This session was advertised all over facebook. There’s DOZENS of guys from across this country who claim to want to make it to WWE, yet when the opportunity presents its self to train with one of their talent scouts and trainers; they are nowhere to be seen. However there were a good few of the lads and lasses who always put in that effort which was good to see, especially before Christmas as it was a nice little get together.
After a few of us went out for a Christmas meal with Brookside and his family and friends. It was nice to relax and be around so many people who all have the same passion. Before I left Rob, told me how proud he was of me; that really meant a lot to me.
On the same thought, two nights later it was NGW’s final show of the year ‘Eternal Glory’. The main event of this would feature my long term best friend Matt Myers, challenging me for my NGW Championship. I could talk forever about how special it is when Matty and I compete against each other, but this blog will be pretty lengthy as it is! If you look back on NGW’s YouTube page, you will see a long history between Myers and myself and how each time we have met it has been something special for the NGW audience. December 22nd was no exception. We had a fantastic match that had a very compelling story, one that the audience were fully amerced in. The short of the story is that Matt and I got to live out a childhood dream. We used to watch wrestling together as kids at Hull City hall and now we got to main event it and for TV none the less. It was a very special moment, a very special match and overall one of the best NGW shows I have been a part of in recent times.
It’s due to moments like this that it is very difficult for me to choose one particular moment from this past year that stands out as my favourite. I’ve had some of my favourite matches ever against Bubblegum, SDS, Rampage Brown, AJ Anderson, El Ligero and probably my greatest opponent this year in Zack Gibson. Our fifteen minute time limit in March was one of my proudest accomplishments ever. I have never been so proud of a match that delivered and lived up to the hype.My week in Denmark with AJ Anderson was a true highlight. We had a blast out there together. We was there for a week to help train some of the lads there and do an academy show at the end of the week. The end of the week was also AJ’s birthday. AJ didn’t drink… he did that night. We got wasted out in the bars of Randers and was drank under the table by the DPW promoter Chaos. The next day we had a nightmare flight home. Delays in Denmark for five hours, delays in Amsterdam for six hours and when we finally got to Manchester it was a taxi journey to Birkenhead, four hours kip and then I had to drive down to London for Progress. The drive home should have been six hours but due to relentless rain and flooding on the M1, it took me ten hours. Horrific week of travelling but so much fun and very rewarding.
Another rewarding weekend was my weekend in Italy for EPW and London for Progress. I believe my first blog was that week. Had a cracking match with Mark Haskins in Italy, reduced Toni Storm and Nixon to tears of laughter in Rome airport. Jumping a train from Manchester to London. Running to the venue to get changed and then go out into a sea of chaos against the London Riots and SDS. Quickly changing to make my train back to Hull, to find out I had gone to the wrong train station. Running as fast as I could to just make my train. Being delayed in Doncaster by an hour and then finally arriving back in Hull where I was welcomed by my fiancée.Just such an amazing year. Origin. The debut of New Wave in Manchester. The increase in popularity of NGW. The expansion and excitement of PROGRESS. Travelling to Denmark, Germany, Italy and France to wrestle. Catching up with some old friends at NXT. Many bumps. Many drinks. Many miles. Many laughs. I love my job, I love my life and I cannot wait to continue developing into 2016!