Photo Credit: @SidelineSP
My dad is certainly no wrestling fan. He has been forced to sit through hours and hours of it on television, and he even took me to my first show over ten years ago, and yet he has never seen the appeal. As fans of a rather niche sport, we all know people like my dad: people who just don’t get it. So, I tried, one last time to show him just what wrestling was all about. The perfect opportunity arose when Revolution Pro Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling announced their joint shows for October of this year. We could not attend the Uprising show but I managed to snag two tickets to the Global Wars UK event in Reading, a good four hour drive for us northerners. After the long drive we first went to the meet and greet, which he smiled his way through, despite knowing nobody we were meeting or what the big deal was. We eventually took our seats, and to be honest, I could see he was planning on grinning and bearing it. The thought of “a few hours and this’ll all be over” must’ve been on loop in his mind. The referee called for the first bout to be “one fall” and the crowd responded gleefully in turn. My dad was clearly confused.
Thankfully for me, the first match was a triple threat between three fantastic workers: the perfect opener to show a newbie. He smiled and he applauded and he seemed to genuinely enjoy the chemistry and smoothness exhibited by the performers. It was a good start. The next few matches elicited the same response, but he was not yet hooked. It needed something excellent. Even Nakamura/Scurll, which for me was an exquisite bout, could not break the glass roof in my old man’s head.
Thankfully though, then stepped up two of the best young talents on the planet, Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay. These two stars put on what can only be described as a classic on British soil. There was no more slumping in the chair; sat forward as close to the action as possible, he was even enthusiastically joining in with the crowd’s “one fall” chant, much to the chagrin of the guy next to us. It was great to see, a man, with no prior interest in wrestling, having sat through 2 hours of the stuff, being entranced by the magic of two wrestlers in the middle of the squared circle. A unique experience only ever found in the magical world of wrestling.
After the show, we were all smiles. It wasn’t half as bad as he’d expected. To be fair he’d only known of WWE up until that point, the poor guy. In fact, as we left I pointed out that Will Ospreay had stepped through the curtain on the other side of the room, and he immediately shot off away from me. When I caught up to him I asked him what was going on. He said how he wanted to congratulate Ospreay on his match, but he didn’t catch him before he left. So Ospreay and Okada, just know that you made the man least likely to ever like wrestling, become fixated by a wrestling match. That takes some going, and it just shows the quality of the bouts we get to see on the British independent wrestling scene today.