Picture Credit: (c) Chris Evers – check his work out HERE
I’m sure that at some point or another you have experienced moments where you just have to take a step back and look at your life from an outsiders point of view. I’m fortunate enough to say I have experienced several of these over my eight years in the professional wrestling job/business/industry; one of such incidents was experienced this past week. So please feel free to read on and join me as I reflect upon the past week of The Goings On Of The ‘Showstealer’ Nathan Cruz.
My week began on Wednesday. It was a rough roller coaster of a day, not many people knew but recently my Grandma had passed away. In arrangements for the funeral the only day the family could unfortunately arrange was Wednesday 28th, which happened to be my big show for Global Force Wrestling. Coupled with the fact I was suffering with man flu, it was apparent to me that morning that it was certainly going to be a day of ups and downs.
After what was a difficult morning, I made the hour commute across the Humber to Grimsby. Lots of fond memories in the Grimsby auditorium. Fair few shows for All-Star Wrestling that I have been a part of over the years. Also as a teenager I was a part of a performing arts competition called ‘Rock Challenge’ in which schools from across the country would compete by putting on a 6-9 minute performance and would be judged on whom the overall best was. I remember sitting at the side of the stage holding hands with my friend Jodie (who I obviously had a crush on) waiting for the results. If our school won, it would be the third year in a row and would mean we would get the opportunity to go over to Australia and compete in the internationals.
I was stood at a vending machine getting a coke that was right by those very steps, reliving in my head the moment we found out that we had won and would be heading to Australia. NOTHING to do with wrestling, but gives you a bit of insight not only into my life involved with performing arts but also the special moments that I have had in that venue.
Global Force itself is a very exciting promotion in my eyes. Plenty of talent, plenty of heads screwed on with a clear vision and such a positive work environment. The day was very stress free when I arrived at the venue which I was pleasantly surprised by. I was a little unsure what the day would be like as Global Force are such a promisingly big upcoming promotion, I had it in my head that it would be very regimental and have a lot direction. Instead I was greeted by Nick, who I had not seen in over four years who confidently said to me “you know what you’re doing.” Got changed, had a good catch up and a laugh with Bram, then went out and stole the show with ‘Double J’. Now when I was a kid, my dad and I would watch WCW Nitro every single Friday nigh, although I had my own favourite stars, our joint favourite was Jarrett. My parents were hoping to come to this one just because my dad was such a big Jarrett fan and wanted to see his son achieve something else that seemed a little surreal.
That being said I knew why I was there. I’ve spent eight year working hard across Europe, impressing 98% who have ever seen me perform. I deserved to be there. It was a well earned spot on the card and I feel I lived up to it and delivered. When we came back Jeff asked me “I’m guessing you’ve been doing this a while right?” but was also blown away that I am only 25 (it still seems old to me though).
With Global Force wrapped up I was feeling very positive about the upcoming weekend; which would start with 4FW in Swindon on the Saturday. It was a long drive down but I had my Fiancée, Gemma to keep me company and more importantly; sell my merch! The 4FW crew are superb. David (Sharp, the 4FW promoter) can be somewhat of a stress head but I can appreciate that because it displays the passion he has for putting on a show that ticks all boxes. He is so big on making sure the ring, the set, everything looks professional and that people feel they have got their moneys worth the moment they walk through the door. Not to mention the card is stacked with talent. Everyone looks like a wrestler/athlete. He brings in top names from across the world to help promote his home grown talent. What I’m basically saying here is that 4FW is one of my favourite places to work in this country.
I was put up against Italian star; Antonio De Luca, who is a very talented young athlete. I really enjoyed our match. We had a lot to compete against but I felt our contest stood it’s ground and we entertained an audience that was relatively new to seeing me perform as a ‘good guy’.
After getting changed, chatting with a lot of really cool people and photobombing Nadia Saphire’s, picture with John Morrison, it was a four hours drive home, air out the gear, six hours kip, food prep, bag packed and head round the corner to my long term friend Colossus Kennedy; where he and I would meet up with my best friends Matt Myers and Andy Dye (NGW camera man and senior editor of all NGW online work from 2009-2012) and close friend Jimmy T, an NGW referee. As you can imagine with a car full of close friends it was a good laugh and we arrived in Liverpool for NGW Eternal Glory.
My opponent that night was another close friend in, Mark Haskins. Mark and myself have been friends for some five years now. In that time we have travelled the country competing against each other on the camps. Teaming together in town halls, before eventually forming Screw Indy in 2013. Our match in Italy aside we had never been put against each other in a big match situation. We did have a singles in Southside in 2013 with Ted DiBiase, managing Mark, but that was the opening contest of the show.
Pitched against each other in the co-main event for the NGW Championship in front of a live 600+ audience as well as the match being filmed for TV; Mark and I knew that we could showcase our talents and really give each other a fight.
Mark throws a hell of a kick and is very handy when it comes to submissions. We gave each other the best of one and other and truly left it all in the ring. After 13 minutes of an exhausting fight, I left feeling truly accomplished with my successful title defence. The incredible production values of NGW lit up the ring and stage as I raised the belts for the win and I had to take a step back and look over what had transpired in my life over the past week.
Truth is I am very blessed. I’ve worked hard to be in the position that I am in but I have certainly seen the rewards. I have so many close friends, family who I enjoy just being around. I get to travel everywhere living out my dream and finding myself in surreal moments that could have quite easily never happened if I were not bold enough to accept that my life surpasses the confines of my small city of Hull. Nothing to do with the fact it will be the 2017 city of culture, I love it and I am proud to be from there. But my life is one that I have grabbed by the balls, owned and will continue to own as my career progresses.
Catch me this weekend in Manchester where I will be a guest at Marty Jones’ wrestling academy and then on the Saturday evening will be competing in the 4-way championship match to crown the first ever NWWA champion at the Victoria baths!