“You never stop learning in this job.” One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever been given in regards to my wrestling career. It’s something that has been told to me by dozens of highly respected men and women over the years. This weekend was a true reflection of that and a thoroughly enjoyable one at that, despite an almost fatal gusty drive down the M62. This is this past weeks ‘goings on of the showstealer, Nathan Cruz.’
Just the one job this past weekend for (in my opinion) the most professionally ran promotion in the country that I currently work under; that promotion being, NEW Wave Wrestling Alliance (NWWA) based out of Manchester. However the weekend also saw the launch of legendary British wrestler Marty Jones’, wrestling academy also in Manchester. In the past few months I have been very fortunate that Marty has taken me under his wing some what. There’s a few lads and lasses across the country that Marty has seen something in them and has offered to give back to the job that has given him so much over the years. To be in that group is a true blessing. For a business that championships now have sadly lost much relevance, rewards such as this and earning the respect of highly decorated wrestlers such as Marty, are the huge accomplishments that I look upon with great pride.
Marty, had called me earlier in the week saying that his school would be opening and would like it if I could pop across to Manchester and see it. Of course I would have jumped at the opportunity anyway, but it just so happened that I was in Manchester anyway for NWWA that day. So Saturday I left Hull early and travelled across the M62. Met up with a young promising star named Liam Slater and we both headed to Marty’s school.
Liam is someone who I rate highly. Much like my self he has been adopted in the wrestling world by El Ligero, something that it is hugely beneficial in focusing on making this your life’s work. Due to this I met Liam, by him starting to attend the NGW academy. His work ethic instantly caught my attention as well as his good manor and ability to develop very quickly inside of the ring.
It sounds arrogant, but I am attracted to potential talents that remind me of my self. In the sense of they are willing to commit everything they have to this dream and work incredibly hard none stop on developing their talent. Why do you think he was in my car travelling to Manchester? Because we both would like to develop further. Even after my eight years and over 850 matches with guys from all experience levels, I WOULD NEVER consider my self to be beyond learning.
Marty’s facility is great with a ring, a good matted area to teach amateur style, punch bags, weights, mirrors for promo work. And above all else, Marty flipping Jones. It’s at this point that I will like to briefly expose my shameful ignorance when I was a fan. Outside of the All-Star and FWA circuit in the very early 2000’s, I did not really know of much British wrestling history. I had read about guys such as Brookside, Drew McDonald, Mal Mason and Johnny Saint, in autobiographies by some of the top WWE stars. But sadly I had not researched my history enough to know who Marty Jones was. It was in 2010 when I joined the All-Star team and was fascinated by the fact this promotion had been running for 40 years that I started to research more British wrestling. Coupled by the fact I wanted to develop my technical wrestling and getting a stern lecture from my good friend Tony Spitfire, I discovered Marty Jones and his classic battles with Finlay, Dynamite Kid and Owen Hart. If you too are as ignorant as I once was, close this now. Stop reading this article and invest your time in watching any of those fights I have just mentioned. Once you have done that, then you will appreciate the value of this article all the more.
Back to it: Marty got us in the ring and had Liam and I doing a few basic drills until another student showed up. Tall athletic lad named Ross who had trained with Lance Storm and Brian Kendrick.
When he arrived he started teaching us a few more complex bits and bobs and the art of ‘tit for tat wrestling.’ It was brilliant. Honestly brilliant. This was only my third time actually doing a seminar with Marty, but each time it is just so mind blowing and really gets my brain thinking about a different approach to how we entertain the people.
Sweaty, sore and bruised, I jumped into my car, devoured my 3rd meal and headed over to the Victoria Baths for NWWA.
Fatal four ways are bloody difficult and this was my first ever one. I had done three ways, multiman matches but never a fatal four way.
NWWA, is run so professionally however. They sit everyone down before the show and give a good run down of what you can and cannot do depending on your place on the card. To me that is one of the most fantastic things about working there. You know that if you are on last you don’t have to worry that match two has had two dives and a billion bloody near falls and thus, the audience will not be exhausted and still very excited about the main event.
Secondly, this was their third show and already the audience is starting to build further. Each show has seen a steady progression of fans building up. From the first which may have had around 150. To the second which was around 200. To this past Saturdays 254. I was very pleased for them and it made me that extra bit excited about the match. The set up looks very professional and creates a great atmosphere. It also has its own identity with a very unique set up that is very much theirs. It’s great to see so many promotions having excellent production values but for me you should always be able to recognise which promotion it is, even if the screens are playing someone’s ring video. It’s one of the things I used to love so much about the old NGW set.
The match itself was very enjoyable. I love competing with Ligero as we both know each other so very well. Joey Hayes is consistently great even though he was competing with a suspected torn pec. Jack Jester brings a great element to a show that is outside of the ICW banner. A very unique look and intimidating persona. Given the added story of my frustration with Marty Jones, being at ring side, the match had a great deal of drama and entertainment. When Marty, thumped me in the jaw I thought the glass was about to fall through the ceiling of the listed historic building. It was a fantastic rush and I can’t wait for their next event which is March 12th of next year.
When the show had packed away my self and Liam headed back to good ol’ Yorkshire! I dropped Liam off and began the final leg of the journey by my self back to Hull. The wind that night was furious. So much so that when I past Ferrybridge on the home stretch towards Hull (a part of the M62 my self and Colossus affectionately named, Purgatory) my car was blasted from the left with such a strong gale that I quite literally switched lanes without moving the steering wheel. Thankfully there was nothing in the right hand lane but it was enough to put me into a cold sweat. Thankfully I made it home alive… obviously otherwise I would not be writing this and you would have had social media spammed with “Tragic loss of promising young British Wrestler. RIP Nathan Cruz.”
Catch me next week as I once again travel across the M62, this time to Ormskirk where I shall once again be defending my NGW Championship, this time against one of the top guys in the country; CJ Banks.
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