Sometimes I honestly feel when I sit down and write these things that it’s just going to be me saying the same old shit, nothing of any true substance and then maybe a little rant at the end, usually aimed at someone’s epic bell-endery during the week just gone… but this week is completely different due to the events that took place yesterday in Sheffield… but I’ll come to that once I’ve covered the boring stuff…
A quick update on the Chuck Taylor tour which is going swimmingly well still, once again I would like to offer massive thanks to both Fight Club Pro and to Ironfist Wrestling who took charge of Chuck for Friday and Saturday nights this week and looked after him so well. Great reports from both shows and two more highly professional outfits that are a credit to Britsh Wrestling. Chuck is currently sunning it up in Barcelona having taken an early morning flight out of Luton to work for Spanish Pro Wrestling today where he will also be holding a seminar on Monday night before returning to the UK and gearing up for a HOPE seminar in Derby (which is open to anyone by the way and the official facebook link can be found at HERE and then of course, onto Kings Of Flight, which is by far the biggest double shot of shows I have ever tried to do, March 25th and 26th. I think that Kings Of Flight this year will really define HOPE Wrestling and bring us into our own, if there has ever been a more stacked cruiserweight tournament line-up in this country then I will be very surprised. To say it will be a hectic week is an understatement, Jigsaw arrives back in the UK on Thursday and begins his 3 week tour with our big shows first before heading off on date after date including a wonderful looking clash with Zack Sabre Jr on Easter Monday at IPW:UK.
The HOPE Wrestling Academies have again continued to grow with two new starters up in Derby this week and some magnificent attendances in Milton Keynes and in Derby. If you are reading this and interested in training with us then please feel free to get in touch with me on any of my various social media outlets.
So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of this week’s column… this is such a strange one for me to sit and write as to be able to write positively about the experience I had yesterday, but then reflecting on why we were there is something that totally blurs the lines between triumph and utter despair. Yesterday saw Pheonix Events and David Stewart (the promoter) put on a kind of second Sheffield based ‘Trav Aid’ show called “One More Round” where everyone came together to raise money for Kris Travis and for Cavendish Cancer Care who have been responsible for caring for Kris. Kris Travis is one of my heroes, not just in a wrestling sense, but in life as well, I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that I love that guy unconditionally and I’m sure I have spoken before on one of these about how Trav was one of only a handful of people that was there for me during a very tough time in my own life, which is something that I have never forgotten. I helped to put together Trav Aid last year to raise money for him and was honoured to be allowed the opportunity to do my very small bit and give up my Saturday to perform at the Pheonix show.
This is where it gets tough, I’m man enough to be able to say that there are certain things in this world that get to me and really affect me to the point where it is almost impossible to hold it all in and yesterday I shed more than a few tears, including sobbing to myself uncontrollably in the car on the way home. Trav made it down to the venue and was there for a short time during the afternoon, just sat quietly at the back, no fanfare, no big scene and completely under the radar, I don’t think that many people knew that he was there at all and only a few of us went over to say hello. I’m not going to start going into detail because I’m sure that every one of us has known someone who has suffered from this absolutely vile disease at some point and have seen what it does to people, but seeing my friend in so much pain is truly heartbreaking. I’m sure that Kris will never read this as he has much better things to be doing that listening to my rambling, but I just want to say that I love you man, you’re a true inspiration to everybody and so many people are utterly proud of you and thankful for your strength. It is a true honour to know you and to be able to call you my friend.
When you couple all of the above emotion with the show that followed then you will probably start to get a picture of why my journey home was one of such a rollercoaster of tears and satisfaction for the efforts put in by so many people. First off, let me mention Dean Mitchell, now, I’m sure most of you know of Dean, who first appeared on people’s radar as the host of British Wrestling Radio. I met Dean as a fan who attends a lot of British Shows and he became a friend very swiftly. Dean was also diagnosed with Cancer just a month or two before Trav and much like Trav, Deano has been one of the bravest and most insprirational people on a daily basis. Dean made sure that he was present yesterday for the afternoon show, despite having had to take public transport and treck half way up the country and it was a delight to see him get to announce one of the matches on the card in the afternoon with his usual passion and gusto. I’m so pleased to at least be able to say that Dean is healthy and well for anyone who was wondering… he supports a shite football team, but hey, he had to have a flaw somewhere didn’t he? Sadly, due to work, Dean wasn’t able to stick around for the evening show but allow me to fill you in on the actions of two guys who have been through thick and thin with Trav and have stood by his side every step of the way. First up, Mikey Rose, who wrestles as Mikey Van Riot and secondly the man known to many as “The Big Dog” Rainz… David Stewart took to the ring and demanded that Rainz and Mikey join him… it was at this point that David asked for everyone to stand because they were going to play “96 Quite Bitter Beings” by CKY (which I’m sure many of you will know is Trav’s entrance music) in honour of the man himself… whilst this was playing, Mikey grabbed a video camera and walked a typical wrestling entrance, filming the whole way around the room where every person was on their feet screaming “Thank You Travis” at the top of their lungs. I had popped out front to watch all of this and was sat quietly in amongst it all until this point and I will be honest and say that I couldn’t make it the whole way through and disappeared back behind the curtain about a minute or so in, so as to compose myself before needing to come back out to perform a few moments later. I give full credit to David, Mikey and Rainz for getting through this moment, which is one that will live with me until the day I die… they are true friends to Kris and all three really are wonderful human beings.
The shows (both afternoon and evening) went off without a hitch and I am very much looking forward to learning how much money was raised. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to manage a wrestler named David Deville and we had an awful lot of fun on both shows, firstly locking up with Money Benjamin and “Solid” John Green in a three way dance on the afternoon and then having the honour of working with the great Keith Myatt in the evening. Money Benjamin is a guy that I am super proud of, over the last 12-18 months I have watched this guy go from being a relative newcomer and ‘trainee’ in some people’s eyes, to a guy that I can trust to go in there with just about anybody now and deliver exactly what is asked of him, he deserves to be getting more bookings than he currently is. Working with John Green was a new experience for me and you know me… the name ‘Solid’ written across the front of his trunks was far too good an opportunity for me to miss out on and was clearly mentioned during my pre-match promo, but all in all it was a very pleasing experience to work with some new folks as well. As for the evening show, I have wanted to work with Keith Myatt for YEARS… I mean, back in the days that Keith had hair… (Ok, maybe not THAT long ago as I wasn’t born until 1981 but you get my drift)… I also know that if Keith reads this he will know that all of my age jokes and jibes at him are solely in jest as he is truly one of the nicest guys in wrestling and finally having the opportunity to work with him was truly an honour and long over due.
As for the rest of the card, it was nice to get to sit and watch some people that I don’t get a chance to see too often, I am hot on Sam Goodison at the moment and you can expect to see his face around HOPE a lot this year so it was nice to see him doing his thing and always gives me ideas when I see people work. There was a wonderful comedy match in the evening that was lead by the ever entertaining Dave Rayne and included Jack Cave, who is one of the local Sheffield lads with a very bright future ahead of him as well, strapping 6ft 2 or 3 inches tall with a mouth that may one day rival mine, Flex Buffington, who is always over with any crowd he steps infront of (aside from the HOPE Wrestling “Burchill Section” who genuinely hate the sight of him) and JG Nash who with the exception of Mad Man Manson, may just be the funniest guy I’ve ever had the pleasure to hang out with… seriously though, viewer discretion is advised if ever watching the DVD of this match… the “Human Centipede” spot was certainly a sight to behold…
T-Bone closed out the show becoming the new Pheonix Heavyweight Champion and I then got to hang with my buddy for a few hours afterwards as he stayed at mine before heading onto his booking today and we reminissed about Trav stories and everything that had gone down during the day. I could hang out with Bone all day, every day as with that guy, you always know where you stand, he’s a legitimate bad ass and another guy that I am proud to call my friend… (what the fuck is wrong with me today? All this sweetness and light will get me a bad name). Other people to watch out for (and I’m sure I will forget somebody) that you may be unfamilliar with are certainly “The Hot Blooded Males” (although that tag team is sadly looking as though it may be coming to an end) which is the team of Ryan Lee & Dom Black, two young men with a good look and stacks of raw, natural ability that just needs shaping and they will be stars of the future for sure. Then there was ‘Radu Bulat’ who reminds me of a ‘Spartan’ style warrior who wouldn’t look out of place in the movie ‘300’ – A very respectful young man with an absolutely superb look and a guy who wrestles as “Tommy Nova” who throws some fantasticly stiff looking kicks, if we aren’t hearing a lot more about these guys over the coming months then I will be very suprised. Mark my words, keep your eyes open when it comes to these lads.
Anyways, I have rambled on for long enough this week… hopefully I will be seeing many of you at Kings Of Flight this coming Friday and Saturday, I apologise now if I am too busy to say hi, this week is gonna be a stressful one… but it will all be worth it in the end!
This one is all for Trav <3 xx